Sarah DeBacher

Retained Instructor
Chair of First-Year English
Director of the Greater New Orleans
Writing ProjectDeBacher


Office: LA 201B
Phone: 504-280-6275


Education: M.F.A., University of New Orleans

Greater New Orleans Writing Project
GNOWP on Facebook

Sarah DeBacher received her MFA in Creative Writing from UNO in 2004, and her BA in English from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1997. She taught at Tulane University before joining the full-time faculty at UNO in 2005. Sarah now directs The Greater New Orleans Writing Project at UNO, a non-profit arm of the National Writing Project whose mission is to improve writing and the teaching of writing through workshops and professional development partnerships. In 2013, she became the Chair of UNO's First-Year Writing Program.

Sarah teaches writing, writing, and more writing (Freshman Writing, Fiction Writing, Creative Nonfiction Writing, and the Summer Writing Institute for teachers). Central to her teaching is her belief that students write best when they care about their subjects, when their instructors and peers express enthusiasm for their work and progress, and when course grading policies encourage risk-taking. As a result, her writing students generate topics that interest them, enjoy regular and abundant feedback, and are evaluated by portfolio assessment and contract grades.

Originally from Atlanta, Sarah moved to New Orleans to pursue singing and writing. Eighteen years later, she sings to her sons, writes when she can, teaches a lot, and works to rebuild her neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward. She is a contributing writer to her neighborhood association's website, and she populates the GNOWP Facebook page with teaching and writing tips.