Margo Steines

Margo Steines is a native New Yorker, a journeyman ironworker, and serves as mom to a wildly spirited small person.

Margo holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Arizona and lives and writes in Tucson. Her work was named Notable in Best American Essays and has appeared in The Sun, Brevity, Off Assignment, The New York Times (Modern Love), the anthology Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us, and elsewhere. She is the author of the memoir-in-essays Brutalities: A Love Story.

Margo is faculty at the University of Arizona Writing Program and is also a private creative coach and creative writing class facilitator. You can read more about her practices at

Student Feedback for Margo

Margo embodies a certain intense passion for the work of writing. It feels like she’s right there for each student, a straight forward but kind and knowledgeable partner. This course came at the perfect moment. Carol A Thomas

The course was a joy. I’m quiet by nature, but by the end of it, I found myself not only with the confidence to participate but eager to so do. It was well structured, and everyone was given a chance to contribute. Margo’s knowledge, experience, and empathy created a safe space for discussing sensitive subjects that left me not only more confident in my writing about such a challenging subject but with broader insights into life as a whole. You can’t ask for more than that. James Boud

Margo’s course was expertly structured. Her weekly readings and discussions accumulated into a satisfying intro to the literature. And her essay creation process gave me a draft and a system for making more. Ashley Walker

I found myself inspired by the weekly readings and found Margo’s teaching style to be really effective. I came away from the class feeling like a whole new creative channel has been opened for me. Workshop discussions were lively and the class was engaged. Plus, I left her class with an essay that I’m really proud to have written. Jessica Fiorillo

Margo writes with insight and incisiveness you feel in your gut. Reading her work reminds me that I am human and alive and not alone in feeling what I feel. It’s a privilege to read Margo and also to be edited by her. She’s a thoughtful editor who possesses both empathy and sharp instincts, which do not always appear in the same package. She knows how to ask you thought-provoking questions about your work that lead you to your own solutions. Rachel Reeves, journalist

Margo is an extraordinary teacher, with extremely helpful lectures, writing prompts, and course structure. This was one of the most helpful workshops I have ever participated in. I found her extremely generous and accessible with her time, and she created a class atmosphere that felt respectful and engaging. Highly recommend! Mary Simpson

Margo is a great teacher. Very professional, supportive and knowledgeable. Very sensitive dealing with a difficult topic. She created a warm and supportive Zoom environment for those who attended. Ariela Zucker