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.
Shelly Kim, the artist behind Letters By Shells discovered the act of creating art as a creative outlet from her desire to release stress from her full-time insurance job back in 2015. She has now made it a mission for her artwork to express love and positivity, and for it to inspire others to believe that anything in life is totally possible. Shelly has also collaborated with a wide range of creative companies, including Apple, at their Today at Apple event, where she shared her artwork and story; Adobe Students, for their Spark Stories Sweepstakes; Enso Rings for their limited edition inked collection; MOO for their Cotton Paper Campaign; and with such crafts manufacturers as Tombow, Ranger Ink, Blick Art Materials and Princeton Brush. Shelly and her work have been featured on CBS News, Art Insider and Voyage LA.
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.
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).
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.
Kate Seldman is a mother, writer, teacher, and metalhead. She has been writing about music for almost two decades, and her writing has appeared in Scary Mommy, Your Teen magazine, Albumism, and elsewhere. She also teaches music appreciation to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, using rock music to help kids learn about concepts like time signature, song structure, and vocal range. She created her first children’s book, FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK, because her oldest son wanted to learn more about the bands she played to him all the time. She ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the book’s creation, illustration, and publication.
Born and raised in London, England, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, a small, cream-colored dog, and three cats of varying sizes.
Michael Strecker is the author of The Young Comic’s Guide to Telling Jokes Books 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 2021. He also writes fiction for adults. His short story The Woman at the Well was selected as a finalist by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and his 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Sarah Prager is the author of three books about LGBTQ+ history for young readers: Queer, There, and Everywhere (YA, 2017, HarperCollins), Rainbow Revolutionaries (MG, 2020, HarperCollins), and Kind Like Marsha (PB, 2022, Running Press). Sarah’s writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic, NBC News, Business Insider, HuffPost, The Advocate, JSTOR Daily, and elsewhere. Sarah has spoken on LGBTQ+ history to over 150 groups across six countries and 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.
Matthew Daddona is the author of the poetry collection House of Sound (Trail to Table Press, 2020), which was praised by Publishers Weekly as "ruminative...carefully crafted," and by the Chicago Review of Books as "a debut collection for this moment." His writings--ranging from poetry to fiction to non-fiction--have appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Grammy.com's The Recording Academy, Tin House, Slice Magazine, Outside Online, Fast Company, The Rumpus, Amtrak's The National, Literary Hub, The Nervous Breakdown, and many other places. He is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and was a runner-up in The Blue Earth Review's 2017 flash fiction contest. Originally from the North Fork of Long Island, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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.
Lindsey Steffes has an MFA in Fiction from University of California, Riverside and a background in publicity and film. She enjoys small towns, quiet moments, and stories that vibrate with tension. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and is currently at work on her debut novel. Her stories and poems have been featured in Midwestern Gothic, Black Heart Review, and Atticus Review.
Kara Zivin is a writer and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan and Research Career Scientist at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to her publications in peer-reviewed medical and public health journals, her essays have appeared in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Essay Daily, Health Affairs, MedPage Today, Past Ten, Psychology Today, and STAT First Opinion.
Her science writing can be found here.
Jessica Leibe is an asexual copywriter, lifestyle blogger, and creator of One Page a Day. Her mission is to inspire women to live their most intentional lives through means such as simple living, planning, and personal development. Her work has appeared in Craft Better Books, The Big Smoke, Writing and Wellness, the AAA (Asexual, Aromantic, Agender) Literary Magazine, Fangoria, and She Did What She Wanted. She is a Northern California Writers Retreat alumni and member of Quill & Cup, an all-female writing community. She lives in New Jersey.
Jessica will be working with Carrie and Victoria.
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, Molly Mogren Katt arrived on earth with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—she never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. When she’s not googling “epigenetics” or “borderline personality disorder” for her most recent book project, Mom Genes, she’s a food and travel writer with bylines in Delta Sky, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, and Experience Life.
She’s written three books with James Beard Award and Emmy-winning chef and travel personality Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel/MSNBC)—two for Random House and one for MacMillan. Zimmern and Mogren Katt co-hosted the award-winning podcast, Go Fork Yourself, for three years. She’s also written for Emmy-winning travel show host Samantha Brown.
Mogren Katt currently hosts Matriarch Digital Media’s A Mess in the Kitchen podcast.
Molly Mogren Katt will be working with Carrie and Victoria.
Colleen Morrissey is an award-winning author, educator, and humanities scholar born in Omaha, Nebraska. A writer of prose, poetry, and criticism, her work can be found in The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Chicago Reader, BitchMedia, The Rumpus, Studies in the Novel, and other venues of note. She was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 2014 and has been a Best American Short Stories Notable. She is currently at work on her debut novel.
Photo Credit: Meghan Leigh Barnard
Find Colleen on Twitter and Instagram: @colleenmoz
Colleen will be working with Carrie, Victoria, and Zoe on her debut novel.
Katya Lidsky writes novels and TV shows. She is working on Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Women's Fiction books. She also loves writing essays and can't stop making lists. Her work has been featured in Parents.com, Texas Monthly, VegNews, The Fix, The Dogington Post, The Bark, The Mighty, and more. Katya is a Life Coach for Dog People, co-host of The Animal That Changed You podcast, and an avid animal shelter volunteer and foster. Some of her other favorite things include Tina Turner's voice, e.e. Cummings poetry, and being a Russian-Cuban-Jew from Laredo, Texas. She's a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and received her masters from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Elisa Faison is a PhD candidate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying twenty-first century speculative climate fiction. She is also the Book Review Editor for the Carolina Quarterly and an editorial intern at Algonquin Books. She attended the Sewanee Writers' Conference in 2012 as the Sewanee Scholar in Playwriting. She returned as a member of the Sewanee Writers' Conference Staff in 2014 and 2015. She has published essays and book reviews in the Carolina Quarterly, the Women’s Review of Books, and Ethos Review. She has an article of literary criticism forthcoming in Extrapolation. She is currently working on her debut novel.
Kate Tooley is a queer writer currently living in Brooklyn, but originally from the Atlanta area. She writes about the sticky corners of gender and sexuality, complicated families, and magical animals. She holds an MFA in Fiction from The New School, and is an Assistant Editor at Uncharted Magazine focusing on Mystery and Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Their writing can be found in journals including Barren Magazine, Gargoyle Magazine, Witness Magazine, and Longleaf Review, and has been nominated for best Microfiction and Best American Essays. When not writing, she can be found watching too many documentaries, falling off walls at the climbing gym, or walking her unconscionably outgoing Chiweenie, Etta, in Prospect Park.
Kate will be working with both Carrie and Victoria on her debut novel.
Kelly Carden traveled the world as a linguist and ESL teacher before settling down in rural Iowa to homeschool their children and focus on their writing. Kelly enjoys reading and writing about diverse characters, complicated interpersonal relationships, and memorable places. When not writing, Kelly raises vegetables and chickens in their backyard, hikes and camps with their family, and works at the local library.
Erica McKeen is a Canadian fiction writer. Her debut novel Tear is forthcoming with Invisible Publishing in fall, 2022. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, longlisted for the 2020 Guernica Prize, and shortlisted for The Malahat Review 2021 Open Season Awards. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals, including PRISM international, filling Station, and The Dalhousie Review, among others. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Find Erica on Twitter and Instagram: @emckeenwrites
Tyrel Hunt is a writer, filmmaker and cultural worker from Queens, New York. He is the founder of Grittyvibes.com, one of the premiere independent platforms for black arts and culture. As a filmmaker, he wrote, edited and directed the feature film "April Again", which won several awards including "Best of the Fest" at The Peoples Film Festival and "Best Feature film" at the Baltimore Black Film Festival.
Tyrel works full time as the Director of Marketing and Communications at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning where he produces the annual "JCAL Ten Minute Film Festival.”
Hannah Benson is a writer and elementary teacher living in Miami. Her work appears in Pacific Review, Great Lakes Review, and Literary Bennington, among others. She loves to eat starfruit and ooh and ahh over the manatees by her apartment.
Hannah will be working with Victoria and Zoe on her debut novel.
Chelsea Wakelyn’s debut novel is What Remains of Elsie Jane, forthcoming in March ‘23 (Rare Machines). She’s a good enough mother, a committed music snob, and neurodivergent maker of doom piles great and small and everywhere. She lives with her children in what is colonially known as Nanaimo, Canada as an uninvited guest on the unceded, ancestral, and living territory of the Snuneymuxw Nation. Chelsea is of mixed white settler and Red River Métis descent. Her current work-in-progress, Melinoë, is a speculative horror novel about doppelgängers, fraught mother-daughter relationships, and ketamine-infused VR.
Madeline Dyer (she/her) writes young adult and adult fiction, memoir, and poetry, many with representation of asexuality, disability, and chronic illness. She teaches writing and is currently pursuing her MFA from Kingston University London. In 2020, Madeline founded YA Thriller Con, a yearly online celebration of everything thriller, crime, and mystery. She has a herd of Shetland ponies, loves anything ghostly, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her everywhere she goes.
Find Madeline on Twitter and Instagram: @MDyerAuthor
Meg Frances is a Texas born Brooklyn based writer. Her recent works have been featured in Outlook Springs, Las Odiosas’ A Very Feminist Zine, The Chachalaca Review, Love Like Salt Anthology, RaceBaitr, We the Women Collective’s Digital Wake Series, The Heart Podcast, the Cid Pearlman Performancehome(Body) project, and a forthcoming short story in Augur Magazine. In 2020, like many, she adapted her performances to suit online audiences.
Find Meg on Twitter: @Keisha_Belle
Eva Jurczyk is a writer and librarian living in Toronto. She has written for Jezebel, The Awl, The Rumpus, and Publishers Weekly. Her first novel, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, was published in 2022 by Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen Press.
Catherine Yu writes dark speculative fiction. She was born in Nanjing and is now based in New York. She is a graduate of Odyssey Writing Workshop. Direwood (Page Street, September 2022) is her debut novel.
Laura Garrison is working on some middle grade horror-comedy novels. She earned a PhD from Catholic University in Washington, DC, with a dissertation on spiders and webs in American literature. Currently, she teaches creative writing and literature at Roanoke College in the Blue Ridge Valley, where she lives with her husband, son, daughter, and cat. She edits Jersey Devil Press (an online magazine of weird fiction and poetry) and tweets occasionally @pickleboots.
Taylor got to writing late. After spending his early years performing in L.A. rock clubs, he founded a digital agency and a software company for the advertising and entertainment industries. He's created designs that have traveled to space, written songs for film, played bit roles in bad movies, and occasionally does dumb things like rocketing down the Olympic bobsled track. He lives in a 1750 farmhouse outside Boston with his wife, two daughters, and a very busy miniature Australian Shepherd. Taylor's debut middle grade novel, Clara Poole and the Long Way Round, will be published in spring 2023 by Pixel+Ink with a second book to follow in spring 2024.
Elizabeth Kilcoyne is an author, playwright, and poet, born and raised in Kentucky. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Her first novel, Wake the Bones, a YA Southern Gothic, is forthcoming from Wednesday Books in Summer 2022. Elizabeth uses she/her pronouns.
Sandra Knisely Barnidge is a writer from Wisconsin with a passion for small towns and overlooked places. Her fiction leans speculative and has appeared in Barren, Nimrod, The Fiddlehead, Reckon Review, Reservoir Ridge, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Alabama.
Kate Saxton teaches English and creative writing at the Loomis Chaffee School, a boarding school in Connecticut. She lives just off campus with her husband and their Golden Retriever named Goose. Kate writes middle grade and young adult fiction. She loves riddles, slow-paced travel, board games, libraries, museums, and good cheese. Many of these things appear in her books.
Meg Ripley was born in Ontario and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, surrounded by whales and icebergs. After an MFA in illustration from SVA, NYC, she worked as an illustrator for a decade before realizing her love of writing fiction could no longer be ignored.
She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.
Find Meg on Twitter at @ripley_meg
Robert C. DeLena lives in Sudbury, MA, where he runs a recruiting company, Legal Staffing Solutions, which he founded over twenty years ago to advise law firms, lawyers, and students. He spends time skiing all over the world with his son, Ryan, and the great friends he’s made during his journey from beginner to reluctant adventurer.
Ryan C. DeLena is widely known in the outdoor community through his social media presence as “Extreme Ryan.” He has conquered many of the world’s signature ski runs and is an enthusiastic rock climber, ice climber, and hiker. He recently completed the “Hundred Highest” hiking peaks in New England. Ryan has earned advanced certifications from the American Mountain Guides Association and the Professional Ski Instructors of America.
Rob and Ryan’s debut, WITHOUT RESTRAINT, a memoir in two voices, is forthcoming from Falcon Guides in spring 2023.
SON M. is an Algerian-Amazigh, Muslim writer who enjoys creating narratives in both prose and visual mediums. They specialize in horror, science fiction, action, thriller, and mystery. They are very passionate about comics, games, and animation, and they create stories in all three mediums. Son's debut graphic novel, THIEF OF THE HEIGHTS, is forthcoming from HarperAlley in fall 2023, and they have written for Z2 Comics, DC Comics, Vault Comics, and more. They draw their power from the Sun.
Find her on Twitter at @bogboogie
Elie Lichtschein is a writer based in downtown New York. He's the co-creator of The Creeping Hour podcast with GBH Boston, and his short fiction has been published by Knopf.
Nolan Cubero is a writer and filmmaker from Louisville, Kentucky. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is a law student at UCLA School of Law.
Maria Pinto is a mushroom enthusiast, writer, and teaching fellow at the literary nonprofit GrubStreet. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies by Vermont Studio Center, the Mass Cultural Council, The Writers' Room of Boston, The Mastheads, and The Garrett on the Green. Her fiction has appeared in Frigg, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, The Butter, and Dostoevsky Wannabe Cities: Boston, among others. She edits fiction for Peripheries Journal and is a contributor at Roundglass: Living. She's lectured about fungi for the Boston Center for the Arts, the Wisconsin Mycological Society, and the Central Texas Mycological Society.