Lisa Alvarez’s poetry and prose has been published in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Huizache, [PANK], Santa Monica Review, TAB Journal and most recently in So It Goes, the literary journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library as well as anthologies including Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America (Norton). Along with Andrew Tonkovich, she co-edited Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday). She is the editor of the forthcoming Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poems from the Community of Writers (Heyday). Born in Los Angeles, she earned an MFA from UC Irvine and has taught for nearly 30 years as a professor of English at Irvine Valley College. She co-directs the Writers Workshops, and serves serves as Assistant Program Director at the Community of Writers.
Ramona Ausubel is the author of two novels and two story collections. Her most recent book, Awayland, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. She is also the author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born. She is the recipient of the PEN/USA Fiction Award and the Cabell First Novelist Award and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Tin House, One Story, Ploughshares and many other journals. www.ramonaausubel.com
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Leland Cheuk is an author of three books of fiction, most recently the novel No Good Very Bad Asian. Cheuk’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as NPR, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Prairie Schooner, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books and lives in Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter @lcheuk and at lelandcheuk.com.
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Tyler Dilts received his MA in English Literature and MFA in Fiction Writing from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Air/Light, and The Best American Mystery Stories, and he is the author of the Long Beach Homicide series of detective novels: A King of Infinite Space, The Pain Scale, A Cold and Broken Hallelujah (An Amazon #1 Bestseller), the Edgar Award-nominated Come Twilight, and most recently the standalone novel, Mercy Dogs. He lives with his wife in Long Beach, California and teaches creative writing at CSULB.
Frances Dinkelspiel is an author and journalist. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was selected as a best book of the year by the Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Association. Her second book, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of the year by the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine magazine. Frances is the co-founder and former executive editor of the award-winning nonprofit news organization, Cityside, which has two news sites: Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Her freelance journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast, People magazine, AARP magazine and elsewhere. Frances has also participated in several documentaries and television shows including American Greed, Who Do You Think You Are? and American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco. She also has lectured widely on California and Jewish history, the wine business and the changing ecosystem, of local news. She lives in Berkeley. www.francesdinkelspiel.com
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Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico to parents from the state of Michoacán. He graduated from the University of California-Riverside, then went on to earn an MFA from UC-Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints, was published by Random House in 2007. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013. Alex’s work has appeared in several anthologies and journals. His awards include a 2009 Margaret Bridgeman Fellowship in Fiction to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a 2014 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León. His latest is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime (Unnamed Press 2019). Alex teaches at UC-Riverside where he serves as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing. www.alexespinoza.com
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Janet Fitch’s first novel, White Oleander, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, translated into 24 languages and made into a feature film. Her second novel, Paint It Black, a national bestseller, was made into a 2017 feature film, written and directed by Amber Tamblyn. Her most recent books are a duet of novels set during the Russian Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Los Cathedral. She leads weekend writing intensives through the Community of Writers, and is longtime staff at the Summer Workshops, which she herself attended as a young writer. www.janetfitchwrites.comwww.janetfitchwrites.com
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Dagoberto Gilb is the author of Before the End, After the Beginning; The Flowers; Gritos; Woodcuts of Women; The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña; and The Magic of Blood, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many magazines, including Harper’s, The New Yorker, and Texas Monthly, and are reprinted widely. A union high-rise carpenter for nearly two decades, Gilb is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers Award, and has been a finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner and National Book Critics Circle Awards. He is the founding editor of Huizache magazine. He makes his home in Austin.
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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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Rachel Howard is the author of a novel, The Risk of Us, and a memoir, The Lost Night. Her fiction, essays, and dance criticism have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Waxwing, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. The former interim director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College, she teaches frequently for Stanford Continuing Studies and at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She lives in Nevada City, California. www.rachelhoward.com
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Vanessa Hua is an award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and Deceit and Other Possibilities, a New York Times Editors Pick. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, her honors include the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and Steinbeck Fellowship, among others. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program, San Francisco Writers Grotto, and elsewhere. Her novel, Forbidden City, is forthcoming. www.vanessahua.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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Krys Lee is the author of Drifting House and How I Became a North Korean, and the translator of I Hear Your Voice and Diary of a Murderer: And Other Stories by Young-ha Kim. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the BBC International Story Prize. Her fiction, journalism, and literary translations have appeared in Granta, the New York Times Book Review, Corriere della Sera, and The Guardian, among others. She is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at Yonsei University, Underwood International College, in South Korea. www.kryslee.com
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Victoria Patterson’s latest story collection, The Secret Habit of Sorrow, was published in 2018. The critic Michael Schaub wrote: “There’s not a story in the book that’s less than great; it’s a stunningly beautiful collection by a writer working at the top of her game.” Her novel The Little Brother, which Vanity Fair called “a brutal, deeply empathetic, and emotionally wrenching examination of American male privilege and rape culture,” was published in 2015. She is also the author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the Story Prize and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in South Pasadena, California with her family.
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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 nonfiction 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 graduate of Brown University (American Studies) and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Siler also earned an MBA at night from Northwestern University. A veteran journalist and National Endowment for the Humanities “Public Scholar” fellow, 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 family. She will be a fellow at Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute in 2024-2025. Ms. Siler was a participant and now is longtime staff member of the Community of Writers. www.juliaflynnsiler.com
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Gregory Spatz’s most recent book publications are the novel Inukshuk, short story collection Half as Happy, and the collection of connected stories and novellas What Could Be Saved. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, New England Review, Santa Monica Review, Kenyon Review, Post Road Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories and many others. He’s the recipient of a Washington State Book Award and fellowships from the NEA and the Washington State Artist Trust. He teaches in and directs the MFA program for creative writing at Eastern Washington University. http://www.gregoryspatz.com/
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Héctor Tobar is the Los Angeles-born author of five books, including the novels The Tattooed Soldier and The Last Great Road Bum. His nonfiction Deep Down Dark was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times bestseller. Tobar’s novel The Barbarian Nurseries won the California Book Award, and his fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories. His books have been translated into 15 languages. He earned his MFA from UC Irvine. As a journalist, he has been a foreign correspondent and has written for the New York Times, The New Yorker, and others. www.hectortobar.com