Our Staff

The Cheat River Review is the work of MFA students and the Council of Writers of the West Virginia University MFA program in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Megan Fahey, Editor-in-Chief

Megan is originally from Wheeling, West Virginia.  She spent two years at Coastal Carolina University getting her MA in writing and is in her third year in the MFA program in fiction at WVU. Her favorite authors include Nicholson Baker, Karen Russell, and Donald Ray Pollack. When she’s not teaching and writing, Megan is a part-time crematory technician at the Ohio Valley Pet Center in Wheeling.

Elizabeth Leo, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Elizabeth is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. Some of her favorite authors include Richard Hugo, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska, Donna Tartt, David Foster Wallace, and Kurt Vonnegut. Two of her favorite texts she often returns to are Milton’s Paradise Lost and Richard Adams’ Watership Down. She’s generally very fond of plants, being outdoors, insects and all manner of critters. She recently started wearing glasses and, even more recently, made the discovery that she can, in fact, wear them in the shower. This has greatly improved the quality of her mornings. Also, she lives with a cat named Jonas.

Nat Updike, Fiction Editor

Nat Updike is pursuing an M.F.A. in fiction from West Virginia University. She holds an M.A. in literature from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a specialty in dystopian/utopian studies, children’s literature, animal theory, and British Romanticism. She has taught E.F.L. in Colombia, South America, as a Peace Corps Volunteer; in the future, she hopes to teach creative writing and literature, publish her current, working novel manuscript, travel to Egypt, meet Lemony Snicket, understand the mysteries of Lost, complete a zombie 5k, earn a philosophy degree, and own a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Sarah Munroe, Poetry Editor
Sarah Munroe holds a bachelor’s in political science from Drexel University. Before coming to WVU to study poetry, she worked with words in marketing. Currently she’s the assistant editor at West Virginia University Press. Her favorite authors include Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Carson, John Le Carré, Maggie Nelson, Marilynn Robinson, and Charles Wright. Sarah once met Anne Carson in person and embarrassed herself. She daydreams about seeing Simon and Garfunkel live in concert circa 1970.

Bryce Berkowitz, Assistant Poetry Editor
Bryce Berkowitz is from Carbondale, Illinois. He has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Before pursuing his MFA, he worked at APA Talent and Literary Agency in Beverly Hills, California. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pinch, Passages North, Tampa Review, Evansville Review, Kentucky Review, Tulane Review, San Pedro River Review, Oyez Review, among other publications.

Kelsey Liebenson-Morse, Nonfiction Editor
Kelsey was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She was raised in Florida and New Hampshire. In 2012 she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in English. After a two-year hiatus featuring stints at restaurants and gigs in childcare, academia called Kelsey back and landed her here, in Morgantown. Kelsey admires the work of Alice Munro and Roald Dahl. In her spare time, Kelsey can be found outdoors.

Marjorie McAtee, Media Editor 

Marjorie McAtee is a professional blogger who has worked with content marketing companies including Relevant Marketing to Go, 360 Enterprises, and Internet Brands. Her work, much of it ghostwritten, has appeared all over the Web. She teaches English at WVU, where she is a graduate teaching assistant and second-year Master’s student in Professional Writing and Editing. Marjorie writes a humor blog, Don’t Call Me Marge. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in journals including The Blotter, Flashquake, and Amarillo Bay.

Abigail Palbus, Media Editor
Abigail is pursuing an M.A. in Professional Writing and Editing at West Virginia University.  When she is not being a responsible academic she tends to waste her time reading comics and playing video games.

Jacob Block, Poetry Reader

Jacob was born and raised in Sacramento, California, before getting his bachelor’s in literature from UC Santa Cruz. Since then, he has prepared samples at Costco and worked at a bourgie specialty grocery store in Oakland, CA. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at WVU. When he isn’t rewatching oldSimpsons and Venture Bros episodes, he loves reading anything by Anne Carson, Gary Young, Mary Ruefle, Brandon Shimoda, George Saunders, and Zachary Schomburg. In an alternate universe he can dunk a basketball on a regulation-size hoop.

Lauren Milici, Poetry Reader

Lauren Milici is a Jersey-born, Florida-bred gal who believes the best art is derived from naked honesty. She graduated in 2015 with a BA in Writing from the University of Tampa, where she spent four years chasing lightning and sunsets. Lauren also met Neil Gaiman once and left a giant white makeup imprint on his Armani jacket. 

Heather Myers, Poetry Reader

Heather is from Altoona, PA, where she basically spent all of her life until recently. She received her bachelor’s degree in English at Penn State Altoona, where she also studied Women’s Studies. Upon graduating in 2016, she became a first year poetry MFA at WVU. When she isn’t writing and reading, she is looking at pictures of goats on Instagram and many internet memes. She hasn’t met Anne Rice, but she wants to.

Jordan Carter, born and bred in Morgantown, WV, is in the letting-go phase of her astrological cycle. She is a recent graduate of West Virginia University applying for MFA programs in Creative Writing: Fiction. The short story collections Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash and More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson are directly responsible for her career in creative writing. She hopes one day to see the world as truly as Breece D’J Pancake did.

Faculty Representative: Mary Ann Samyn
Readers: Council of Writers volunteers

About the Journal

As a young journal, the Cheat River Review appreciates the freedom of being a work in progress. The magazine seeks to publish prose and poetry in various forms that, simply put, reflect a love of language.

We are a staff with diverse tastes and backgrounds. We recognize the evolving nature of writing, of literary journals, and of our own lives.

We hold to one constant: the power of a story told interestingly.

The Cheat River Review is the work of MFA students and the Council of Writers of the West Virginia University MFA program in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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