CCAA Writing Mentors

Participation in the Author Academy includes 75 hours of direct mentoring with a published author. Below you will find a list of some of the authors available for mentoring as part of the Carnegie Center Author Academy.

Please note: If you are interested in the hourly Writing Mentor Service–not associated with CCAA–find available mentors here.)

Sarah Combs
is the author of the young adult novels Breakfast Served Anytime and The Light Fantastic, both published by Candlewick Press. She mentors Author Academy writers of contemporary/realistic/literary fiction for teens and adults. For more information about Sarah and her books, visit her website.



Michael L. Cooper has published 16 middle-grade and young adult books, both biography and social history, with major publishers such as Viking and National Geographic. He has taught nonfiction and fiction at the Institute for Writers in Madison, Connecticut for 20 years. For the Carnegie Center, Michael mentors fiction and nonfiction writers. Learn more about Michael by visiting his website.



James B. Goode is the author of eight books including poetry, fiction, essays, photography, trade books, and anthologies and has published in a variety of national and international literary magazines that have featured his fiction, poetry, and essays. Goode holds a MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction and has three years of experience in the Authors Academy where he has mentored three Academy students through development of their novels. For more information on James, visit his Author Spotlight, or his Amazon platform.


Mary Knight is the author of Saving Wonder, a middle grade novel published by Scholastic and winner of the 2017 Green Earth Book Award. With an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University, Mary has mentored writers in both young adult and adult fiction, and is also willing to work with writers of creative nonfiction or memoir. For more information about Mary, you are invited to visit her website or contact her directly through the website’s comment section.


Karen Leet has sold hundreds of stories and articles as well as several books including co-authoring Civil War Lexington, Kentucky: Breeding Ground of Power (The History Press) and a historical novel for middle grade Sarah’s Courage: A Kentucky Frontier Kidnapping (THP). She mentors writers of children’s and religious/inspirational material. See her Facebook pages for her books.

Patsi B. Trollinger has published a nonfiction picture book, Perfect Timing (a Junior Library Guild selection), a mid-grade novel, Thrill in the ‘Ville, and numerous magazine articles. She mentors Author Academy writers of picture books, mid-grade fiction, and nonfiction for young readers of all ages. For more information about Patsi and her books, visit her website.



Jeff Worley has published six books of poetry, three chapbooks, and was editor of the anthology What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets (University Press of Kentucky). He teaches classes in poetry writing at the Carnegie Center and mentors Author Academy writers of poetry. For more information about Jeff, his background and published books, visit his website.


If you are a published author and are interested in becoming a CCAA Writing Mentor, please contact Marcia Jones at