Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Glimmer Train, LA Review of Books, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR, among other places.
Koa Beck is the former editor-in-chief of Jezebel and the co-host of “The #MeToo Memos” on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Previously, she was the executive editor of Vogue.com and the senior features editor at MarieClaire.com. Her literary criticism and reporting on gender, LGBTQ rights, culture, and race have appeared in TheAtlantic.com, The New York Observer, TheGuardian.com, Esquire.com, Vogue.com, MarieClaire.com, among others. She is at work on a forthcoming book about white feminism for Atria Books.
Heather M. Bryant fell down the rabbit hole at a young age and bumped the reality right out of her head. These days she can be found raising two little masters into a life of whimsy, while belting out impressively tone-deaf Disney ballads. She consumes YA novels like she drinks coffee, and will never say no to a manicure. Her real world revolves around flowers, family, and fun times. Killing characters with a smile since 2010.
Peggy Dean (the Pigeon Letters) is native to the Pacific Northwest and is a nationally recognized freelance artist, with worldwide publications as a platform artist. She is the best selling author of The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide and Botanical Line Drawing. Peggy is an award-winning online instructor with a range of classes on Skillshare. She is predominantly self-taught, which she proudly uses to assist others.
J. Daniel Elam writes about activism: anti-colonial revolutionaries in the 1910s-1920s; anti-racist thinkers in the 1930s-1940s; Third World solidarity in the 1950s-1960s; anti-apartheid movements in the 1970s; and AIDS activism in the 1980s-1990s. His book about anti-colonialism in India, Impossible and Necessary, is forthcoming from Fordham University Press in 2020. He is currently writing a book about gay uncles, the ongoing AIDS crisis, and queer inheritance. He teaches comparative literature at the University of Hong Kong. He lives in Hong Kong, Toronto, and on airplanes.
Kristy Dickerson, keynote speaker, author, businesswoman, mom of 3 boys, and active CEO to START brands, has devoted her life to providing hope for individuals who are looking to achieve balance, success, and happiness within their own lives. She is a health enthusiast as that is people’s most important asset in life! Her health slowly slipped away from her in 2017.
LaChrista Greco is the creator of Guerrilla Feminism and The Guerrilla Feminist. Lachrista is a cultural critic, a writer, speaker, curator, and maker, She has been interviewed by NPR, NBC, The Red Elephant Foundation, and others. Lachrista has her Master’s Degree in Women’s & Gender Studies and has written for Bitch Media, Ravishly, Rebellious Magazine For Women, Elephant Journal, Decolonizing Yoga, and more.
Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel is We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books), one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016. Her writing has appeared in the Vogue, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, Buzzfeed, Transition Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, American Short Fiction and other places. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study other places. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Robb Hitt (Bodega Cats) went to Rutgers University for Management Science and Information Systems along side Computer Science while working a side hustle building websites for his bands where he plays drums. A graduate of the Flatiron School’s Full-Stack Web Development Program, he worked previously at Curalate as an engineer and currently at Taboola helping build UI components for Microsoft, Bloomberg, NBC, ABC, Fox, Business Insider, and more. Currently he enjoys running his record label I Surrender Records and keeping up with Bodega Cats accounts.
Holli Johnson Karrer writes from her life experiences to revitalize others, bringing encouragement, inspiration, and a bit of laughter. From her name embossed on the front cover to the ancient maps in the back, Holli believes that the entire Bible is not only true, but is God’s roadmap to living her best life. As a wife, mother, author, and Children’s Ministry Director, “Mrs. Holli” often wonders why her Sunday School kids grow older, but she never does. When Holli isn’t busy writing, teaching, or speaking, you’ll see her cheering on her own three daughters at school and on the field.
James King is the author of the award-winning Bill Warrington’s Last Chance, published by Viking/Penguin. Bill Warrington’s Last Chance won the 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award on Amazon. His non-fiction work has been published in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and New York Daily News. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds an M.A. in Writing from Manhattanville College. He lives in Conneticut.
Dustin Illingworth’s writing has appeared in a variety of outlets including The Atlantic, Paris Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Los Angeles Times, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He writes a monthly column for Paris Review called Archive of Longing. Illingworth is also finishing a debut novel.
Annie Levin writes middle grade and adult fiction and holds an MFA from Hunter College. While at Hunter she acted as research assistant to Francine Prose, providing key research to the book Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife.She is anative New Yorker and has taught writing and literature at New York University and Fordham University. She is the co-founder of Sing in Solidarity: a resistance choir that performs struggle songs at political inaugurations, benefit concerts, and street actions. Her work has been published in The Maine Review, The Tottenville Review, Eclectica Magazine, Canon Magazine, and Bookslut.
Jennifer N. Levin writes scripted television, articles and essays. She has been published in the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, LA Weekly, and others with a focus on social and cultural issues both in the US and abroad. In television she has worked in the writers' room on a variety of dramas, including CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION when it was the #1 drama in the world, and creates and develops female-driven comedy and unscripted formats. Jennifer splits her time between New York City, Los Angeles, and Berlin. She is working on a self-help/memoir.
Marissa Miller’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, GQ, CNN Style, BBC Travel, Cosmopolitan, VICE, Teen Vogue, Allure, Women’s Health, SELF, The Huffington Post, Chatelaine, Reader’s Digest, The Frisky, The Montreal Gazette, The National Post and more. Cosmopolitan and BuzzFeed listed one of her tweets among the 100 most “hilarious” of 2016. Twice, The Huffington Post listed it among the funniest written by women in 2016 alongside Hillary Clinton and Aidy Bryant.
Richard Scott Larson holds an MFA from New York University, and his writing has appeared in Electric Literature, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Joyland, Hobart, Booth, and other venues. Recent work was also listed as notable in the Best American Essays series. He was the Assistant Editor of the "Queers Destroy Fantasy!" issue of Lightspeed, and he regularly contributes film and literary criticism to Slant Magazine. He was also recently awarded fellowships and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, he now lives in Brooklyn.
Rebecca Minelga is a graduate of LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, where she studied liberal arts. She is an author, speaker, stay-at-home-mom, and Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Rebecca is currently working closely with KTF Films and Guide Dogs for the Blind to present Pick of the Litter, an award-winning, feature-length documentary.
Tom Mulroy is an award-winning educator living in the greater Minneapolis area. He’s been a teacher at the same elementary school for more than twenty years, and has been writing since he was in elementary school himself. He’s earned degrees from St. Cloud State University and St. Mary’s University, both in Minnesota. Tom is a contributor to the blog “Middle Grade Minded” and maintains his own blog, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.”
Emme Lund lives in Portland, OR and holds an MFA from Mills College. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Paper Darts, 580 Split, and APT Magazine among many others. In 2016 Quiet Lightning Books published The Sacred Text of Rosa who is Great, with collaborative art by Stella Peach. Emme was was the recipient of 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship.
Sarah Prager is dedicated to raising awareness of LGBTQ+ history through writing, speaking, and her app, Quist. Her first book, Queer, There, and Everywhere came out from HarperCollins Children’s in May 2017 and her second, Rainbow Revolutionaries, will be released by the same publisher in May 2020. Sarah’s writing has been published on the websites of The Atlantic, The Advocate, HuffPost, Bustle, JSTOR Daily, GO Magazine, and elsewhere. Sarah has presented on LGBTQ+ history to over 100 groups across five countries, including the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. She lives with her wife and their two children in Massachusetts.
Jennifer Shulman writes contemporary YA. When she’s not writing, she works as a consultant for children’s television and toy companies, including Nickelodeon, Sprout, and LEGO. Read more about Jennifer and her books on her website and follow her on twitter and instagram.
Morgan Adair has an affinity for disasters, whether that’s mandatory evacuation due to historic flooding while getting her MFA from the University of Iowa, serving in Peace Corps Georgia during the Rose Revolution, or enjoying typhoons while living in Xiamen, China. Life, while getting a BFA in dramatic writing at Tisch NYU, was full of large and small disasters, some, like the 2001 cockroach apartment incident, were merely off-putting, while others were more formative. After transitioning to YA fiction, Morgan’s predilection for disasters became a feature in her work. When not writing about the apocalypse, or getting rescued by helicopter from the Shasta National Forest in CA, Morgan teaches English at Smith College and Western New England University. She’s also an avid, if new, practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and will happily convince anyone willing to listen why grappling with friends (or enemies!) is a spectacular idea.
Erin Slaughter is editor and co-founder of The Hunger, and the author of I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun (New Rivers Press, 2019). Her poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Split Lip Magazine, New South, Passages North and elsewhere. Originally from north Texas, she holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University, and is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University. You can find her online at erin-slaughter.com
Erika Stallings is an attorney based in New York City. She received her B.A. in Political Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she attended as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. She is also a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center (2010) and currently practices in the trademark/copyright group at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. She is also an active volunteer with the New York Junior League.
Rachel Strauss is the woman behind @woodburncorner. You can find her artwork on the packaging of the newest professional wood burner to hit the market: the Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner. She is a featured teacher on Skillshare for her Introduction to Wood-Burning class. Her work has been featured on the official Instagram feeds of Etsy (1.5M followers), Joann, Pinners, Craftsposure, Walnut Hollow, Creatorslane, Handmade Revolution, and many more. Her artwork is in @doityourselfmagazine. She is the proud creator of the Burnt Month Challenges (most recent: #BurntOctober).
Jason Tougaw is the author of The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (winner of the 2017 Dzanc Nonfiction Prize), The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience (Yale University Press), and Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge). He is editor, with Nancy K. Miller, of Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community (University of Illinois Press). He has published essays in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Electra Street, Modern Fiction Studies, and OUT magazine. He teaches literature and writing at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. You can hear his weekly radio show, “The Mixtape,” on 90.5 WJFF Radio Catskill.
Emma Bolden is the author of three full-length collections of poetry -- House Is An Enigma (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2018), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013) – and four chapbooks. She received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2019 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Norton Introduction to Literature, The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and Poetry Daily as well as such journals as the Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, Conduit, the Indiana Review, Shenandoah, the Greensboro Review, Feminist Studies, The Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, the Seneca Review, and Crazyhorse. She currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly and as an editor for the Screen Door Review.
James Richards is an internationally recognized urban designer, travel artist, urban sketcher and professor based in Siesta Key, Florida. He is the author of the award-winning book Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers,and is an online sketching course instructor for Bluprint, Skillshare andThe Great Courses. He serves as an Advisory Board member, blog correspondent and instructor for the international non-profit Urban Sketchers.
Jim has sketched on location in 40 countries around the world. His work has been widely published, shown in group and solo exhibitions and seen on NBC Nightly News. His watercolor sketches of Cuban sites related to Ernest Hemingway’s life and work was the subject of his solo exhibition at Hemingway’s home (now a national museum) near Havana during the 2015 Havana Arts Biennial. He is a frequent keynote speaker and travels globally to teach sketching workshops for artists, designers and travelers.
Michael Strecker is the author of The Young Comic’s Guide to Telling JokesBooks. 1 and 2(Sterling 2017) and Jokes for Crescent City Kids, (Pelican 2019). His fourth joke book for kids will be published by Scholastic in the fall of 2020. He also writes fiction for adults. His short story A Lake Catherine Lesson appeared in The Critic, a literary journal that has published some of the country’s most highly regarded writers, including Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor and Graham Greene. In addition to his writing, Strecker is a stand-up comedian, who regularly performs at some of the top comedy clubs in the country. He lives in the New Orleans area with his wife Jillian and their sons Stephen and Joseph.