Amanda Uhle

Amanda Uhle is the executive director and publisher of McSweeney’s, known for its daily humor website, award-winning quarterly literary journal, and intrepid list of books. Uhle is the occasional host of the Living Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Electric Literature, LitHub, Think Progress, and elsewhere. She is an enthusiastic supporter of youth writing programs in the 826 Valencia family and beyond. 

Photo Credit: Doug Coombe

David Kipen

David Kipen is an author, critic, broadcaster, arts administrator and founder of Libros Schmibros, a non-profit lending library in Boyle Heights, California.  He is the former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared widely, and he is most recently author of the collection, Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters 1542 to 2018. His advocacy on behalf of a Federal Writers’ Project has led to its introduction as proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thomas Barbash

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: Sven Wiederholt

David Haynes

David Haynes is an emeritus professor of English at Southern Methodist University and 25-year member of faculty at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He has written seven novels for adults and five books for younger readers. His most recent is A Star in the Face of the Sky.  He is the Board Chair for Kimbilio

Photo Credit: Adrienne Mathiowetz

Jared Jackson

Jared Jackson is the literary programs manager at PEN America. He received an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where he was awarded a Chair’s Fellowship and Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship. His work has received support from the Tin House Winter Workshop and has appeared in The Yale Review and Guernica, among others. Jackson was a finalist for the 2021/22 George Bennett Fellowship, the 2021 Baltic Writing Residency in London, and the 2019 Iowa Review Award in fiction.

Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of twenty-five or so novels and collections, and there’s some novellas and comic books in there as well. Most recent are The Only Good Indians and Night of the Mannequins. His new novel, My Heart is a Chainsaw, will be published by Gallery / Saga Press in August, 2021. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English, as well as a Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Photo credit: Gary Isaacs

Michelle Latiolais

Michelle Latiolais is Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine and Director of the Programs In Writing.  She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California.  Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press, as was Widow, a collection of stories, Involutions and essays, released in January 2011.  She was released in May 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company.  Recent work has appeared in ZYZYVVA and the Santa Monica Review.

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones

Krys Lee

Krys Lee is the author of the story collection Drifting House and the novel How I Became a North Korean, and the translator of two books by Young-ha Kim. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, the Honor Title in Adult Fiction Literature from the Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association, a Granta New Voices pick, and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the BBC International Story Prize. She teaches creative writing at Yonsei University, Underwood International College.

Photo Credit: Matt Douma

Tom Lutz

Tom Lutz is the American Book Award-winning author of eleven books and the founding editor of Los Angeles Review of Books. His most recent books are Born Slippy (2020), a novel; Aimlessness (2021), a lyrical-philosophical essay on blundering about as method; and The Kindness of Strangers (2021), the third book in his travel trilogy, He is finishing up a collection of photographic portraits with micro-essays, and working on a new novel and a book about violence along the aridity line.
Photo Credit: David Walter Banks

Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, teacher, and author. Her most recent play and film, Notes from the Field, looks at the vulnerability of youth, inequality, the criminal justice system, and contemporary activism. The New York Times named the stage version of Notes from the Field, among The Best Theater of 2016 and TIME magazine named it one of the Top 10 Plays of the year. HBO premiered the film version in February 2018. Her plays include Fires In the Mirror, Twilight: Los Angeles, House Arrest, and Let Me Down Easy. Twilight: Los Angeles was nominated for two Tony Awards. Fires in the Mirror was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, President Obama awarded her the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nation’s highest honor in the humanities. She was the 2017 recipient of the Ridenhour Courage Prize. She was the 2017 recipient of the George Polk Career Award in Journalism.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s novels are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and Valley of Amazement. She is the author of two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins; and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club and creative consultant for the PBS television series, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat.  She wrote the libretto for the opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter and is the subject of the American Masters documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir. Tan is an instructor of a MasterClass on Fiction, Memory, and Imagination. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her most recent book, The Backyard Bird a Chronicles (Knopf, April 2024) marks her debut as a nature journalist and bird artist. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Community of Writers.

Lisa Teasley

Lisa Teasley is the author of the novels Dive and Heat Signature, and the award-winning story collection, Glow in the Dark, published by Bloomsbury. Teasley is the writer and presenter of the BBC television documentary “High School Prom”; her essays, stories and poems have been much anthologized, appearing in publications and media such as National Public Radio, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Joyland, 7X7 LA and ZYZZYVA. An Editor-at-Large for Los Angeles Review of Books and a member of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, Lisa is also a visual artist who has exhibited widely.

Photo credit: John Vlautin

David L. Ulin

David L. Ulin is the author, most recently, of the novel Thirteen Question Method. His other books include Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time; and Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. He is the books editor of Alta and the former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Paris Review, and The Best American Essays 2020. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and Ucross Foundation, as well as a COLA Individual Master Artist Grant from the City of Los Angeles, he is a Professor of English at the University of Southern California, where he edits the journal Air/Light. [F/NF]