The Writers House Team

Co-Founder & Executive Director

MAGGIE MESSITT is a journalist, editor and social entrepreneur who has spent 20 years working inside under-covered communities in South Africa and the American Midwest. In South Africa, she was the editor/publisher of an award-winning community newspaper and the founding director of a nonprofit training women journalists inside the former apartheid-era homelands of Lebowa and Gazankulu. She is the author of The Rainy Season, a work of narrative and immersion journalism, long listed for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. 

Messitt has edited the work of writers ranging from students to Pulitzer and Orange Prize winners, and managed editorial projects for the BBC, POV Documentary Films, Wisconsin Public Television, and others. She has taught writing in newsrooms and conferences, traditional university settings, alternative arts communities, and prison classrooms. She was the 2015 Scholar-in-Residence at Bowers Writers House (Elizabethtown College), 2015 Kenyon Review Peter Taylor Fellow, 2016 Clayton B. Ofstad Endowed Writer-in-Residence (Truman State University), and the Creative Nonfiction Judge for the 2017 Oregon Literary Fellowships (Literary Arts). 

Most recently, Messitt was the National Director of Report for America, a national service program addressing critical coverage gaps in newsrooms & communities across the country. During this time, she grew the program from 3 journalists in Appalachia to 60 journalists in 50 newsrooms across the country and established the foundation for an expansion to 250 journalists in 2020. 

Messitt is currently a Mellon Fellow in Narrative Journalism at Denison University and faculty in the Creative Nonfiction MFA program at Goucher College.

The House Advisory Committee

KEVIN HAWORTH is Co-Founder of Writers House Pittsburgh and a member of the advisory Committee. Haworth is a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing and the author of five books: the novel The Discontinuity of Small Things; the essay collections Famous Drownings in Literary History and Far Out All My Life; a collection of essays about writing, Lit From Within: Contemporary Masters on the Art and Craft of Writing, co-edited with Dinty W. Moore; and most recently, the Eisner-nominated Rutu Modan: War, Love, and Secrets, a book-length study of Israel’s most famous comics artist.

Winner of the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Outstanding Debut Fiction and first runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Haworth has been awarded residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Ledig International Writers House, and Grin City. 

Formerly the Executive Editor of Ohio University Press & Swallow Press, he has taught at Arizona State University, Antioch Writers Workshop, 826 Michigan, Ohio University, Tel Aviv University, and Carlow University. He now teaches writing and literature at Carnegie Mellon University and lives in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood with his family. 

We’re currently establishing an advisory committee of writers, librarians, and others with the aim of including a balance of team members based in Pittsburgh and across the country with an emphasis on the Rust Belt and Appalachia.