Cynthia McVay storyteller of daCunha

Cynthia McVay

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Editors’ Choice winner in daCunha’s 2017 Flash Nonfiction Competition


A life-long environmentalist, Cynthia McVay lives on a defunct farm in the Hudson Valley, where she writes, forages and makes art, and lives in a 200-year-old barn she brought and re-erected in the field. 

Cynthia graduated Magna cum laude from Harvard in biology and studio arts, spending summers doing social anthropological research in Chiapas, Mexico, studying tamarin and capuchin monkeys in the Peruvian Amazon and writing for the first edition of Let’s Go: Mexico.  After receiving her MBA from Wharton and MA in International Studies (focus: Brazil) from University of Pennsylvania, as a Fellow of the Lauder Institute, Cynthia worked in strategy and management consulting at McKinsey and then as an independent consultant for nonprofits and household names. She was the founding Director of the Office of Innovation at Peace Corps. As Senior Program Officer in the Latin American and Caribbean Program of the World Wildlife Fund right out of college, Cynthia oversaw the Mexican and Guatemalan programs, including helping to establish the Monarch Butterfly Reserve. 

Cynthia currently serves on the boards of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, John Burroughs Association, Town of Esopus Environmental Board, World Music Institute, and Harvard Club of the Hudson Valley. An All-Star, All-American basketball player in her youth, she is now gentler on her joints, as a member of the Rondout Rowing Club. Cynthia spent her childhood in Princeton, New Jersey, and speaks Spanish, Portuguese and some German. Cynthia’s accomplished daughter, Tess Krasne, is Project Specialist for Trash Free Seas Program at Ocean Conservancy.

While Cynthia has written all her life, including screenplays and poetry, she only recently took up writing full time. Cynthia's work has been/will be published in DASH, The Ravens Perch, daCunha's Anthology 2, 2019 Orison Anthology, Ragazine and Eclectica. Her work won the 2018 Orison Anthology Award in Nonfiction; was performed in the UK, as Editors' Choice winner in daCunha's 2017 Flash Nonfiction Competition; finalist in New Millenium Writings Muse Contest; finalist, freeze frame fiction and non-fiction finalist in the Bridging the Gap Awards at the Slice Writer's Conference 2017. 

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“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” Annie Dillard

Other writing

The Ravens Perch, In the Woods

daCunha's Anthology 2, On the Road.

2019 Orison Anthology, Morning Kenyan

Ragazine, November, 2018, Field Farm 

DASH, Layer Cake

Eclectica, Deities of Sicily

Awards and Honors

2018 Orison Anthology Award in Nonfiction

Editors' Choice winner in daCunha's 2017 Flash Nonfiction Competition, Performed in the UK

Finalist in New Millenium Writings Muse Contest

Finalist, freeze frame fiction

Non-fiction Finalist, Bridging the Gap Awards at the Slice Writer's Conference 2017