Tom Barbash is the author of four books as well as reviews, essays, and articles for publications such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Believer, Narrative Magazine, ZYZZYVA, and the New York Times. His short story collection Stay Up With Me was nominated for the Folio Prize and picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent of London, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News. His novel The Last Good Chance was awarded The California Book Award and was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year. His nonfiction book On Top of the World, about the fate of the bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald on 9/11, was a New York Times Bestseller. A well-regarded speaker, panelist, and interviewer, Barbash teaches the novel, short fiction, and nonfiction at California College of the Arts. His most recent book, the novel The Dakota Winters, was a National Bestseller, and named as an Editors Choice by The New York Times Book Review, Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone and People.
Photo Credit: Roy Zipstein
Charmaine Craig studied literature at Harvard College, received her MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages. Her second novel, Miss Burma (Grove), recently long listed for the National Book Award, is based on the lives of her mother and grandparents, all born in Burma. Formerly an actor in film and television, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she now resides. http://www.charmainecraig.com/
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Leslie Daniels’ first novel, Cleaning Nabokov’s House has been published in translation in four languages. The novel, now under option for film, fights the good fight of being both literary and funny. Daniels’ stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications. Her background in publishing includes over a decade as a literary agent in New York, as well as serving as the fiction editor for Green Mountains Review. She currently teaches writing at the Spalding University MFA program, and the Community of Writers. Leslie Daniels lives in Ithaca, New York. www.lesliedaniels.com
Karen Joy Fowler is a novelist and writer of short fiction. Her work ranges from literary to science fiction, from contemporary to historical. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award, the California Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2014. She has recently finished a seventh novel, expected out in 2022. She is currently sheltering at home in the beautiful city of Santa Cruz, California. www.karenjoyfowler.com
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Glen David Gold is the author of the best selling novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside and the memoir I Will Be Complete. He has written short stories, essays and journalism for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, McSweeney’s, Wired and Zyzzyva, and comic books for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. His dramatic work includes stuff you’ve never heard of nor seen anywhere, and easily-available episodes of the podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
Sands Hall‘s recent memoir, Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology, (Counterpoint), was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book in Religion and Spirituality. She is also the author of the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Willa Award Winner, Women Writing the West, and a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; as well as a volume of essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Stories and essays have been published in such places as Iowa Review, New England Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books, and she has written several produced plays. Professor Emeritus at Franklin & Marshall College, Sands is a writing coach and teaches for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and for the Community of Writers, among other conferences. She is also a theater artist and a singer/songwriter. Sands lives in Nevada City, California. Please visit https://sandshall.com/
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Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. https://danajohnsonauthor.com/
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Louis B. Jones is the author of the novels Ordinary Money (Viking); Particles and Luck and California’s Over (Pantheon); Radiance, and Innocence (Counterpoint). His short fiction and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Threepenny Review, Open City, The Sun, Santa Monica Review, the Pushcart Prize, and The Best of Pushcart anthology. He co-directs the Writers Workshops at the Community of Writers. www.louisbjones.com
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Edan Lepucki is the bestselling author of the novels California (Little, Brown & Co.) and Woman No. 17 (Hogarth), as well as the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Esquire, McSweeney’s, Narrative Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Cut, among other publications. A contributing editor to The Millions, she is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She lives in L.A. with her husband and two children. www.edanlepucki.com
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Edie Meidav is the author of Kingdom of the Young, a collection of short fiction with a nonfiction coda; as well as the novels Lola, California, Crawl Space, and The Far Field: A Novel of Ceylon. She also coedited Strange Attractors: Lives Changed by Chance. Her work has been recognized with the Bard Fiction Prize, the Kafka Prize for Best Novel, and year-end editors’ picks, as well as support from the Fulbright Program, the Howard Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and more. She is a senior editor at the journal Conjunctions and teaches in the UMass Amherst MFA program, where she founded and advises the Radius MFA project. She has served as a judge for the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Award, the Juniper Prize, Howard, the PEN/Bingham Prize, and elsewhere. https://www.ediemeidav.com/
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Peter Orner is the author of six books including, Maggie Brown & Others, a New York Times Notable Book, an Oprah Magazine Top Ten book for 2019, and winner of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish Fiction. His novel, Love and Shame and Love, won the California Book Award and his essay collection Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Reading to Live and Living to Read was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A three-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, Orner received the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Best American Stories. He holds the Dartmouth Professorship of English and Creative Writing, and lives with his family in Norwich, Vermont where he’s a member of the fire department.
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Kirstin was awarded a Rome Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and a Stegner Fellowship. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor at Princeton. Her new novel is The Five Wounds, out April 2021.
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Jason Roberts is the author of the nonfiction works A Sense of the World and the forthcoming Every Living Thing. He is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and the Guardian First Book awards, and winner of the Van Zorn Prize. He is also the editor of four titles in the bestselling 642 Books series, each of them collections of creative materials for writers. http://jasonroberts.net/
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Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley, California. Her newest book of nonfiction, Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times; it was also a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her three acclaimed novels have been translated into nine languages and have received prizes in the US and in Europe. A graduate of Stanford University, the University of California at Irvine, and the University of Queensland in Australia, she lectures and teaches writing workshops internationally. http://www.elizabethrosner.com/
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Margaret Wilkerson Sexton was born and raised in New Orleans, and studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her most recent novel, The Revisioners, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, was a California Book Award finalist, and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her work has been published in The Paris Review; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times Book Review; and other publications. She lives in Oakland with her family. https://margaretwilkersonsexton.com/
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Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown (Knopf, 2019) was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the California Book Award. Her other books are The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting, and Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. A veteran journalist, Siler was a foreign correspondent based in London and has been a guest commentator on PBS, the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons. www.juliaflynnsiler.com
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Elizabeth Tallent’s essays and stories have appeared in the O. Henry Prize Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. She has published five story collections including, most recently, Mendocino Fire. Scratched: A Memoir of Perfectionism will appear in February 2020. She teaches in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program.
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Andrew Winer is the author of the novels The Marriage Artist (Henry Holt) and The Color Midnight Made (Simon & Schuster). He also publishes philosophical and literary essays and conducts conversations with fellow authors, most recently with Colm Toibin and Geoff Dyer. He is Chair of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, author Charmaine Craig, and their daughters. [F] www.andrewwiner.com