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
Photo Credit: Teo Grossman
A MacDowell and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, Leland Cheuk is an award-winning author of three books of fiction, most recently No Good Very Bad Asian (2019). Cheuk’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as NPR, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. www.lelandcheuk.com
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, 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.
Photo Credit: Teo Grossman
Frances Dinkelspiel is an author, journalist, and the co-founder and executive editor of Cityside, a nonprofit civic news organization that oversees Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Her most recent book is Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, which was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards and a finalist for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association award in nonfiction. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, a Chronicle Best Book of 2008, and a Northern California Independent Booksellers Association best book of the year. Frances’ articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, People magazine and AARP magazine. www.francesdinkelspiel.com
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Alex Espinoza earned his MFA from UC Irvine and is the author of the novels Still Water Saints and The Five Acts of Diego León, both from Random House. His newest book is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime. He’s written for the LA Times, the NY Times Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, and NPR’s All Things Considered. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the MacDowell Colony, as well as an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, he is the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at UC Riverside and is completing a new novel. https://www.alexespinoza.com/
Photo Credit: Tracy Hall
Janet Fitch is the author of White Oleander, Paint It Black, and two novels on the Russian Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Black Clock, Los Angeles Noir, Room of One’s Own, Black Warrior Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, and Real Simple. She has taught at the USC Master of Professional Writing Program, the UCLA Writer’s Program, the Esalen Institute and Pomona College. Her essay on writing from the senses appears in Writer’s Workshop in A Book: The Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction. Having taught for many years in the MPW program at USC, Fitch currently leads creative writing weekend intensives through the Community of Writers, as well as mentoring through CoW’s Fiction First Aid. Her popular weekly Writing Wednesdays are available on Facebook and on Youtube. www.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/
Photo Credit: Tracy Hall
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 a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and the short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, her honors include Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, and Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Social Justice Reporting. Her work appeared publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. She teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and elsewhere. www.vanessahua.com
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Rhoda Huffey is the author of The Hallelujah Side, and has published stories in Ploughshares, Santa Monica Review, Tinhouse, Rattling Wall, and Green Mountains Review. She lives in Venice, California, where she is a tap dancer.
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
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
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
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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Tom Lutz is the founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and founder of the LARB Publishing Workshop, LARB Radio Hour, and LARB Books. He is the American Book Award-winning author of Born Slippy: A Novel, Aimlessness, And the Monkey Learned Nothing, Drinking Mare’s Milk, Crying, Doing Nothing, and other books, and has published over a hundred pieces in journals, magazines, newspapers, and collections, and has written for TV and film. He has taught at Iowa, Stanford, CalArts, and Copenhagen, and is now Distinguished Professor and Chair at UC Riverside’s Department of Creative Writing. https://lareviewofbooks.org/contributor/tom-lutz/
Photo Credit: David Walter Banks
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.
Photo Credit: Gabriel Mason
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
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Photography
Gregory Spatz’s most recent book publications are What Could Be Saved (linked short stories and novellas), Half as Happy (short stories), and the novel Inukshuk. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The New England Review, Kenyon Review, Epoch, Santa Monica Review, Glimmer Train and elsewhere. Recipient of a Washington State Book Award and an NEA Fellowship, he teaches in and directs the MFA program for creative writing at Eastern Washington University. http://www.gregoryspatz.com/
Photo Credit: Julia Graff
Hector Tobar is the author of five books, including the novels The Last Great Road Bum, The Tattooed Soldier, and The Barbarian Nurseries. His non-fiction Deep Down Dark was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times bestseller. Tobar is a contributing editor to the New York Times editorial pages, and has written for The New Yorker and many other publications. His fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and his books that have been translated into 15 languages. He teaches at the University of California, Irvine. www.hectortobar.com