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Keeping the loop looping...

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Rachel Coonce is a graduate of the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College. She was awarded the Conger Beasley Jr. Award for Nonfiction by New Letters magazine, and she received an honorable mention in The Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize. She is cofounder of The Inner Loop, a literary arts nonprofit in Washington, DC, and she is creator, Executive Producer, and cohost of The Inner Loop Radio, a creative writing podcast. Follow her on instagram @rachel_coonce.

Courtney Sexton



Courtney Sexton received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She was a 2015 Our City Festival curator and is the co-founder of Washington, DC’s The Inner Loop. She is the recipient of multiple DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship awards. Courtney is also a AAAS Mass Media Fellow (2020), and a Diverse Intelligences Fellow (2022). She is an animal behavior researcher, and water and her dog (or manifestations thereof) are recurrent characters in her writing, and her life, for that matter.

Lena Crown


Program Manager

Lena Crown is a writer from Northern California. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from George Mason University, and her work is published or forthcoming in Guernica, Narratively, Gulf Coast, Sonora Review, and The Offing, among others. She loves cats, old fire insurance maps, and reading/writing about cities, bodies, language, and art. She edits for Autofocus Books and writes for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. 

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Outreach Coordinator

Aeriel Merillat is a short story writer and novelist. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh. Her work is published in The Massachusettes Review, Reed Magazine, and Asterix Journal. When she's not writing, she loves listening to podcasts and going on hikes with her dog, Toast. Follow her on Twitter @aerielmerillat 

Our Board of Directors

Past Members:

​Maud Casey      

Jennifer Clements      

Paul Ruppert

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