Lead Organizers

Thomas Coston, President of Light Bringer Project
Tom Coston has been actively involved in the greater Los Angeles nonprofit community for the past 18 years. As president of Light Bringer Project he leads the organization and its board to fulfillment of its mission “to build communities through the power of the arts,” and to achieve long-term success for its innovative learning, prevention and career pathways programs. Tom has held leadership positions on the boards of many high-profile nonprofit organizations, including Villa Esperanza Services, Leadership Pasadena, Mothers Club Family Learning Center, Arroyo Seco Foundation, and Institute for Urban Research and Development and has served as board president of several of these. Tom is the producer of Pasadena’s famed Doo Dah Parade. He is a graduate of UCLA.

Patricia Hurley, Managing Director of Light Bringer Project
Patricia has daily oversight responsibility of Light Bringer Project, its programs and operational needs. A graduate with a Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design, she has professional experience in public relations and marketing. She is a past board member of Leadership Pasadena and is on the communication task force for Villa Esperanza Services which serves developmentally disabled individuals and their families. Patricia has been with the organization for the past ten years.

Rosalind Helfand, Director of LitFest Pasadena
Rosalind Helfand leads innovative programs that connect and improve communities. From the arts to social justice and environmental conservation, her focus is on doable big ideas that lead to lasting positive change and a better future. A leader in L.A.’s literary community, she co-founded the award-winning West Hollywood Book Fair in 2000, directing the festival for its first decade, and is the current Director of LitFest Pasadena. She is the Managing Editor and School Programs Director for Literature for Life, she Directs The Tomorrow Prize and The Roswell Award short sci-fi writing competitions, and she co-founded Lit Crawl L.A. Additionally, she’s curated and produced thousands of literary programs in partnership with leaders from LA’s diverse literary communities, with a focus on multi-disciplinary collaborations with the sciences, government, and more.

Jervey Tervalon, Artistic Director for LitFest Pasadena
Jervey Tervalon, MFA, is the award-winning, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of five books including Understanding This, a novel based on his experiences teaching at Locke High School in Los Angeles, for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voices Award. Jervey was born in New Orleans and raised in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles where he attended Foshay Junior High. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine and was a Disney Screenwriting fellow and a Shanghai Writers Association Fellow. He is the Founder of Literature for Life. He is also the Co-founder of LitFest Pasadena. Currently he teaches fiction writing and Literature at the College of Creative Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara. His latest novel is Monster’s Chef published by Amistad/HarperCollins.

Organizing Committee

Colleen Dunn Bates, Publisher at Prospect Park Books
Tobi Harper, Red Hen Press
Cheryl Klein, Writer & 826LA Development Manager (former Poets & Writers California Director)
Dana Middleton, Middle Grade Novelist
Keenan Norris, Writer & African American Literature Professor
Gary Phillips, Mystery and Science Fiction Novelist

Science Fiction Competitions Organizing Board

Rosalind Helfand, Director
Lisa Beebe, Writer
Jennifer Brody, Young Adult Novelist
Griffin Davis, Writer

Additional Staff

Lisa Beebe, Programming & Social Media Manager, Phillip Huynh, Web Designer; Lexie Williamson, Graphic Designer; Athena Villard, Literary Programs Intern; Spencer Whaley, Literary Programs Intern