Stacey Engels

Writer. Connector. Originator. Listener.

Director of Relationship Management


I am a prize-winning playwright and prose writer and the recipient of numerous grants and residencies. For eight years, I taught Writing Intensive courses at Lehman College-CUNY. Writing has taken me places I might not have visited otherwise: Alert Bay, Haida Gwaii, Ile aux Grues, Slovenia, Sicily, Alaska, to name a few. I’ve worked with other playwrights and writers, people with disabilities, women in alternative to incarceration programs, people with early stages Alzheimer’s disease, and first in the family college students. I’ve coached successful writers and people agonizing over pulling words out of themselves. It is always humbling and an honor.


As a program manager/director/administrator, I have always been a liaison: between students and teachers, between the organization I worked for and other orgs and institutions, between visiting authors and the university where they were doing readings. As a teacher, my instinct was to guide students to make connections first as readers, and then as writers. When that happens, the fuse is lit; people trust themselves and their writing more because they can FEEL they are making connections. I know I’m in the groove with a creative project when themes, images, symbols etc. start connecting on their own. It’s magical.


Professionally, I have consistently built a new facet of a company, or a new company, from the ground up. While working for an arts non-profit, I founded an after school program later recognized as one of the 50 best youth programs nationally. I helped grow an educational organization with a 15-person staff and a budget under half a million dollars into a 50-person staff and a $3M budget. When I moved my elderly parents, I created to-scale floor plans with to-scale cardboard shapes representing their furniture. From the night of the move, it was as if they were already home.


As a playwright who wanted to capture the rhythms and oddness of real dialogue, I listened to how people around me spoke – not just what they said, but how they said it. What they didn’t say was also important. As a program manager and director, I was often implementing the vision of an Executive Director or CEO. I had to listen to hear what was being said under whatever words were actually used. As a writing coach, I “listened” for patterns and omissions as I read people’s work, and reflected these back to them.


Education: MFA Creative Writing, Hunter College NYC; Certificate, Center for Arts in Healthcare Research & Education, UF Gainesville; MFA Playwriting, The New School NYC

Honors: Winner, Nowhere Magazine’s Fall 2018 Travel Writing Contest; Andrew & Eleonor McGlinchee Award for a Play; Grants from NYFA, Canada Council for the Arts, TCG-ITI; Publications in Sundog Lit, The Malahat Review, Assay, Nowhere Mag; Productions/staged readings in the US, Canada, and Italy

Professional Experience: Adjunct Lecturer, Lehman College-CUNY, Writing Intensive and Literature courses; Communications Associate, Sargent Shriver Peace Institute, NYC; Grant Writing/Development/Program Manager, Creative Connections, NYC; Director of Education & Outreach, High 5 Tickets to the Arts, NYC