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

Leland Cheuk

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.

Photo Credit: Jessi Tran

Tyler Dilts

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.

Louis Edwards

Louis Edwards is the author of four novels, including his latest, Ramadan Ramsey (Amistad/Harper Collins), which was selected as one of the best books of 2021 by NPR and Publishers Weekly. He has won both the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Whiting Writers Award. Born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Edwards attended Hunter College and LSU (B.A. in Journalism). He has had a decades-long career as a producer of many special events, most notably the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He is the Chief Creative Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans.

Photo Credit: W. David Foster

Alex Espinoza

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 including Alta, NPR, Virginia Quarterly Review, and in the 2022 Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories. 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, a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León, and a 2019 fellowship to Macdowell. 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

Photo: Tracy Hall

Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris is the author of four novels, including A Calling for Charlie Barnes, published in September of 2021, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He was awarded the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016. He lives in New York.

http://www.joshuaferris.com/

Photo Credit: Peter Aaron

Janet Fitch

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

Photo credit: Cat Gwynn

Debra Gwartney

Debra Gwartney is the author of two book-length memoirs, Live Through This, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and I Am a Stranger Here Myself, winner of the RiverTeeth Nonfiction Prize and the Willa Award for Nonfiction. Debra has published in such journals as Granta, The Sun, Tin House, American Scholar, Creative Nonfiction, VQR, and others. She is the recipient of two Pushcart prizes and her essay, “Fire and Ice,” was recently selected for Best American Essays. She is co-editor, along with her husband Barry Lopez, of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. She lives in Western Oregon.

Sands Hall

SANDS HALL is the author of the award-winning memoir Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology (Counterpoint). Blackstone Audio produced the audio book, read by the author. Other books include the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Random House Reader’s Circle selection and Willa Award Finalist (Woman Writing the West); and a book of essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Her stories and essays have appeared in such journals as Alta, New England Review, Iowa Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books. Professor Emeritus at Franklin & Marshall College, she lives in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada. www.sandshall.com Please visit https://sandshall.com/

Photo Credit: Tracy Hall

Photo Credit: David Henderson

Susan Henderson

Susan Henderson is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee, the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Award, and author of the novels Up from the Blue and The Flicker of Old Dreams, both published by HarperCollins. A lifetime member of the NAACP and the National Book Critics Circle, she lives in New York and blogs at the writer support group, LitPark.com.

Rhoda Huffey

Rhoda Huffey’s novel 31 Paradiso is published by Delphinium Books. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Santa Monica Review, Tin House, and other magazines. She holds an MFA from the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine; and she was a student at the Community of Writers on multiple occasions. Her first novel, The Hallelujah Side, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Book, and is being republished alongside the second. She lives in Venice Beach with her husband, Bill McDonald, and a host of animals. www.rhodahuffey.com

Photo Credit: Daniel Shapiro

Dana Johnson

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 Ploughshares, 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/

Photo credit: Brett Hall Jones

Louis B. 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 

Sameer Pandya

Sameer Pandya is the author of the novel Members Only, a finalist for the California Book Award and an NPR Best Books of 2020, and the story collection The Blind Writer, longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. His cultural criticism has appeared in a range of publications, including the Atlantic, Salon, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN. The recipient of the PEN/Civitella Fellowship, he is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jason Roberts

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/

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones

Gregory Spatz

Gregory Spatz’s most recent books are What Could Be Saved (connected novellas and stories), Inukshuk (novel), and Half as Happy (short stories). His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New England Review, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Santa Monica Review, Zyzzyva, and many other publications. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and a Washington State Book Award. He teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University and is also serves as program director.  http://www.gregoryspatz.com/

Photo Credit: Julia Graff

Lysley Tenorio

Lysley Tenorio is the author of the novel The Son of Good Fortune and the story collection Monstress, which was named a book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Award, a Stegner fellowship, the Edmund White Award, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Bogliasco Foundation. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Ploughshares, and have been adapted for the stage by The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Ma-Yi Theater in New York City. The Son of Good Fortune is being developed into a comedy series by Riz Ahmed and Lulu Wang for Amazon, and Tenorio is currently a 2021-22 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, where he is working on a novel. Born in the Philippines, he lives in San Francisco, and is a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Photo credit: Laura Bianchi

Héctor Tobar

Héctor Tobar is the Los Angeles-born author of six books, including the nonfiction Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation of Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino,” and 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. His books have been translated into 15 languages. His novel The Barbarian Nurseries won the California Book Award, and his fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories. 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

Photo: Patrice Normand, Opale Agency

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984 and raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California, and Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno and the Ohio State University, Claire is the author of three books: two novels (Gold, Fame, Citrus, and I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness), and the short story collection Battleborn. She has been awarded the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, theNewYorker.com, The Believer, on Granta‘s list of “Best Young American Novelists,” and elsewhere. She is a professor at UC Irvine, lives in Twentynine Palms, and can often be found at Camp Yellow Pine in the South Pahrump Valley, where she engages in direct action against for-profit industrial solar on public wilderness and for free, distributed community solar in the built environment alongside local conservation groups Basin and Range Watch and Mojave Green.

Photo credit: Lise Watkins

Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the poetry collection, Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She is the author of a collection of stories, How to Escape from a Leper Colony, which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35. Her writing has won the Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, the Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor at Emory University. She lives in Atlanta with her family. www.tiphanieyanique.com

Photo credit: Kay Hinton