Current Students

New Students

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Yana Billie-Chung
Yana Bille-Chung

Yana, a multi-lingual writer, and filmmaker, was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, grew up in France, and is currently based in Los Angeles. Her works as a director and producer have been featured in U.S. and international film festivals, such as the LA Film Festival, SXSW, and Circuito Off Venice International Film Festival. A graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, she started as an assistant to Oscar-nominated writer/showrunner Michael Green. Later, she pursued the production of her documentary "Father," shedding light on the hidden lives of children of Catholic priests. Yana is a 2018 associate of the Investigative Reporting Project at U.C. Berkeley's School of Journalism and was recently a staff writer on the upcoming Netflix series, "Blue Eye Samurai." She is an inaugural 2022 Peace Studio fellow.

Lisa Billington
Lisa Billington

Lisa Billington is a fiction writer from Houston, Texas. She is a proud aunt, art fanatic, voracious reader, and animal lover. Lisa has worked for many years as an executive assistant but plans to be a full-time writer in her second act. She is currently working on her first novel.

Andy Cao
Andy Cao

Andy Cao is a writer, photographer, and creative. Born and raised in the Inland Empire, he currently lives in Fontana, CA. He recently graduated from California State University of San Bernardino with his BFA in English with a concentration of Creative Writing. In his writing, he draws inspiration from his complex experiences of being Vietnamese-American and queer in Southern California. Aside from writing, he loves film, photography, fashion, and music.

Eric Escanuelas
Eric Escanuelas

Eric Escanuelas is a graduate of Marylhurst University. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

Taj Harvey
Taj Harvey

Taj Harvey (He/Him) is an aspiring Afrofuturism and Afrofantasy screenwriter. Inspired by NASA astronaut Ronald McNair, Taj began dreaming of the stars as a young boy. His thirst for space-bound stories, particularly narratives that center people of color at the forefront, moved him to action. Combining his long-standing background with performing arts and his love of storytelling, Taj aims to tell highly nuanced tales about futures centering black and brown people.

Taj is currently the Diversity and Culture chairperson at a digital nonprofit platform and has an extensive background in customer support. When he's not writing, working, or performing you can find Taj playing video games (primarily RPGs) and learning more about tiny houses/alternative living.

Taj is an optimist and a dreamer. He envisions brighter futures and awaits the day when his stories bring people closer together.

B.R. LaPlant
B.R. LaPlant

B.R. LaPlant (he/they) writes screenplays, fiction, and philosophy in coffee shops and libraries around Minneapolis. Favorite genres include historical drama, gothic horror, and near-future sci-fi.

Sullivan Long
Sullivan Long

Sullivan went through the Creative Writing Conservatory at Orange County High School of the Arts, she then graduated from CSUF with a double major in Communications and American Studies. It took her four years in the world of media to realize, she doesn’t want to be in the world of media. She’s excited to be a part of a creative community again. 

Mason Martin
Mason Martin

Mason Martin is a nonbinary writer, artist, and chronic literature student, always commuting across the endless freeways of California. Due to a long-standing rivalry with their own brain, most of their work focuses on navigating life with an ongoing mental health crisis. Mason is also passionate about destigmatizing homelessness and poverty - having experienced both themself - and wants to use their voice to advocate for those still struggling to survive. Their dream is to publish illustrated poetry collections and other writing projects on these subjects as outreach for greater help and humanization for those who need it most.

Solomon Moore
Solomon Moore

Solomon Moore holds a master's degree from the University of Southern California and completed the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television Professional Program in Screenwriting.  His writing explores narratives involving action, adventure, and more.

Kevin Morales
Kevin Morales

Kevin T. Morales (he/him) is a Latino filmmaker originally from CA, now living in the New York Hudson Valley. His 1st feature screened at over a dozen festivals and won numerous awards, including the Audience Award at the Florida Film Festival in 2022. He received a BFA in Drama from NYU and has been the Artistic Director of two professional theater companies in the San Francisco East Bay. He's directed over 30 plays and musicals regionally and Off-Broadway and has had seven original plays and musicals produced. He was named one of the top 20 most influential artists in the Bay Area at the age of 23. He's in preproduction for his 3rd feature film. He lives with his wife Sara and is herded by Mabel, his Old English Sheepdog/poodle mix.

Kyle Murphy
Kyle Murphy

Kyle Murphy is an aspiring screenwriter and third-generation Irish Californian, living in the Inland Empire since birth.  Faith and maintaining a personal relationship with God is the most critical part of his life.  The prospect of inspiring different people to achieve their dreams or to have a new perspective on life is what he hopes to accomplish with future screenplays and, ultimately, the explanation for his love of film and television.  He holds three Associate of Arts degrees in English, History, and Religious Studies while also being a second-generation college graduate, recently earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Riverside in English. The university also chose him as their 2023 recipient for the Shrimad Rajchandra Essay Award for an undergraduate paper he wrote on the religion of Jainism. His earliest memories of watching film and television are The Incredibles and JAG.

David Oei
David Oei

When he's not assisting with his wife's veterinary hospital, Dave Oei is often found throughout San Diego playing soccer, climbing, and practicing K-Drama show tunes on the piano. Barring that, he's usually hunched over large mugs of coffee while squeezing out words of science fiction, fantasy, and yes, romance. 

Shannon Presby
Shannon Presby

Shannon Presby was born in Hollywood and raised by beatniks. He works as a criminal prosecutor in Los Angeles and writes fiction. He is delighted to be a part of UCR’s MFA and hopes to transmute his experience and imagination into artifacts that live beyond the flesh, to share with other writers and help the melodies inside us sing out, to have our words and thoughts and souls find the deep heart of the forest and dance in the holy moonlight together.  Told you – raised by beatniks.

 
Oliver Young