Sunisa Manning


if we can liken life, for a moment, to a furnace, then freedom is the fire which burns away illusion.

- James Baldwin

Photo credit: Nan Phelps

Photo credit: Nan Phelps


Sunisa Manning's fiction and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Atlas and Alice and elsewhere. She’s been awarded fellowships at San Jose State’s Steinbeck Center and the SF Writer's Grotto. Sunisa was an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts, and has done residencies at Hedgebrook and The Hambidge Center.

Half American and half Thai, Sunisa was born and raised in Bangkok. She’s lived in Thailand, Ireland, Australia and the US. She is a graduate of Bangkok Patana School, a British International School in Bangkok, where she did the IB program. Sunisa earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Brown University and has an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She currently lives in Berkeley, California where she teaches at UC Berkeley Extension. Sunisa is represented by Brettne Bloom at The Book Group.


Sunisa has a demonstrated commitment to working with young people. When she was an undergraduate at Brown University, she founded Women’s Launch Pad, a program that pairs rising senior women with Brown alumna. The relationship allows young women to receive support through their transition from college to the workforce or higher education; mentor pairs discuss work and life ambitions, how to balance them, and develop relationships with women outside their initial network that encompass social and emotional wellbeing. WLP has worked with over 1,500 mentees. Sunisa has been a WLP mentor since 2015.

She was part of the founding team at a social enterprise in Australia that trains homeless young people in hospitality, giving them access to jobs. When Sunisa moved back to the States in 2012 she worked at Intersection for the Arts, the oldest arts nonprofit in the Bay Area, bridging between artists, developers, and San Francisco nonprofits working on housing and homelessness. Her passion for working with young people to help them develop into their fullest potential continued in her role as an instructor at Berkeley City College, where she taught Critical Thinking and Literature for three years.

Sunisa now teaches Academic Writing and University Application Essays in the College Foundations Program at UC Berkeley Extension. Her students work on their Common App and Coalition admission essays. She offers writing coaching, mentoring, and college essay tutoring. She’s worked with everyone from professionals at to KAUST students from Saudi Arabia doing a gap year between high school and college.

To get in touch about private tutoring, please us the contact form on this website.