JewishStoryWriting.com's contest judges, workshop instructors and editors are professional, award-winning authors, expert teachers and experienced editors. Our current team includes:
Yaacov Peterseil created JewishStoryWriting.com as an Internet site where talented writers of Jewish prose and poetry can get the exposure they deserve.
Yaacov received his B.A. in English from Yeshiva University and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Michigan, where he also earned a Cognate Degree from the Center for Far Eastern Studies. He received rabbinic ordination (Smicha) from Shor Yoshuv Institute for Jewish Studies.
One of his first forays into the world of publishing and writing led to the creation of Enjoy-A-Book Club, a Scholastic-type book club which distributed brochures featuring Jewish children’s titles to over 400 Jewish schools throughout the United States. In order to meet the demand for new children’s titles, Enjoy-A-Book Club began publishing its own titles. The success of these titles prompted Yaacov to enter the Jewish book fair market and open K’Tonton Bookstore, the largest children’s party and book store on Long Island.
Eventually, Yaacov realized his longtime dream of making aliyah to Israel. It was here that Yaacov helped create Pitspopany Press which soon became the leading publisher of Jewish children’s books. Thanks to some remarkable authors and illustrators, Pitspopany titles won many awards, including The National Jewish Book Award, The Storytelling World Award,The Children’s Book Council Award, and The Judaica Librarians’ Choice Award.
Yaacov has written three chapter books and numerous short stories for ages 8-12 . His Tweens “Gang of Four” series sold over 40,000 copies and his young children’s title, “Princess Alopecia”, won the coveted Gold Triangle Award.
Currently, Yaacov is completing an M.A. degree in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University.
As for his newest venture, Yaacov says, “I think my years as a publisher, distributor, and writer of books have served as a kind of smorgasbord before the main event, JewishStoryWriting.com. Maybe it just took technology a while to catch up to my vision, or maybe I just needed to find the right venue for my dream of a holistic writing site for writers of Jewish prose and poetry to become a reality.”
Born and raised in New York, June O. Leavitt received her undergraduate degree in English from the Universityof Wisconsinin 1974. After five years homesteading in New England, she immigrated to Israel. At the same time that she raised five children, she pursued a writing career. Her first novel Flight to Seven Swan Bay (Feldheim, 1985) was reissued in 2012 as a classic for young adults. She has published two memoirs about her life in Israel, Maze of Terror 1995 (Laffont/ Claasen Verlag) which was featured in US News and World Report (April, 1994) and Storm of Terror (Ivan Dee, 2002). A novel Falling Star was published in Hebrew by Aviv Publishing 1999 as Cocav Nophel.
In 2001, when her children were grown she began graduate studies, receiving both her MA and PhD in literature from BenGurionUniversity. Her book Esoteric Symbols: the Tarot in Yeats, Eliot and Kafka was published by UP of America in 2007. Her work The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka was published byOxford in 2012. Since 2001, she has been an adjunct lecturer in mystical literatures atBen GurionUniversity. June teaches creative writing to adults inJerusalem.
Michael Dekel's prize-winning poetry and photographs have appeared in print and online in Sketchbook, Zeek, Poetry Midwest, Neon Beam, why vandalism? and Poetica Magazine. He is the author of the poetry and art book, The World Behind It, Chaos. Michael has received top awards in the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition (2008 and 2009), and was co-editor of the Voices Israel Poetry Anthology (2010). He holds degrees in literature, creative writing, and psychology
Marcie has traveled to Israel more than 50 times, including visits during both intifadas and the 2006 Lebanon War. Her time in Israel has intensified her passion and honed the perspective she has brought to Hadassah's National Board and Executive Committee, and the Hadassah Foundation Board.