2017 Authors & Presenters

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A dynamic and passionate writer and reader, Sabreen Adeeba’s poems have been featured in several anthologies and she reads frequently around Los Angeles.

noel-alumit-bookNoel-AlumitNoel Alumit wrote the novels Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon. He won the Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association and the James Duggins Mid-Career Prize.


Caroline AllenCaroline Allen teaches writing and literature courses at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies. She co-wrote and illustrated I’ve Never Been So Unannoyed: Iceland for the Lady Traveler, with Kay Young.

Boni AlvarezBoni B. Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based playwright-actor. His plays include Bloodletting, Dallas Non-Stop, Ruby, Tragically Rotund, Dusty De Los Santos, Dolls of America, Marabella, and The Special Education of Miss Lorna Cambonga. His plays have been produced/developed at Playwrights’ Arena, Center Theatre Group, Chalk Rep, Skylight Theatre Co, The Vagrancy, Second Generation (2g, NYC), InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia), and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been a Semi-Finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission. Alum of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, Skylight Theatre’s Play Lab, CTG Writers’ Workshop, Moving Arts’ MADlab, and Humanitas/CTG Play LA Workshop. BA – Sarah Lawrence College, MFA – American Repertory Theatre/MXAT Institute at Harvard University, MFA – USC. Upcoming: Nicky (Chekhov’s Ivanov) with Coeurage Theatre Company & Fixed (Calderon’s The Physician of His Own Honor) with Echo Theater Company.

Betsy AmsterBetsy Amster is president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. A former editor at Pantheon and Vintage, she has been described in the L.A. Times as “a dogged prospector of the city’s literary talent.” Her clients include novelists Christopher Noxon, María Amparo Escandón, and Joy Nicholson; MacArthur fellow and urban farmer Will Allen; Beard Award winner Kim Boyce; popular historian Margaret Leslie Davis; and bestselling research psychologist Elaine N. Aron.

Khadija AndersonAfter 18 years in Seattle, Khadija Anderson returned to her hometown of Altadena where she runs a social justice themed literary series, Poets & Allies for Resistance. Khadija is a Pushcart Prize nominee and holds an MFA in Poetry from Antioch LA. Khadija’s poems have been published extensively and her book, History of Butoh, was published in 2012 by Writ Large Press.


Amelia AnthonyBrandon JungAmelia Anthony is editor of Tunnel Magazine and along with Brandon Yung and other teen contributors, they publish Tunnel Magazine, a collection of art, writing, music, and more. Launched in 2014, it is described as “a simple place, for things to change, develop, and be young + fresh in peace.”


Teena ApelesTeena Apeles is a writer, editor, and author who has spent two decades contributing to print and digital media. She wrote the nonfiction book for teens, Women Warriors (Seal Press), and contributed to the anthologies Bare Your Soul: The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Enlightenment (Seal Press), Father Poems (Anvil), and Geography of Rage: Remembering the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 (Really Great Books). Teena has edited books for Taschen, Design Studio Press, DC Shoes, and private clients, and she recently founded the creative collective Narrated Objects, which will be launching its imprint this fall.

Neelanjana BanerjeeNeelanjana Banerjee is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an independent publishing company dedicated to Asian diasporic literature. Her writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, PANK Magazine, Chicago Quarterly Review, and more. She is the co-editor of the poetry anthologies Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press) and The Coiled Serpent (Tia Chucha Press). She teaches writing at UCLA and with Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Sebastian BendixSebastian Bendix is a Los Angeles based writer and musician, as well as host of midnight horror film series, Friday Night Frights at The Cinefamily. He attended school at Emerson College for creative writing and spent his formative years in Boston playing in popular local band The Ghost of Tony Gold. Upon moving to LA he transitioned back to writing, contributing articles for the entertainment site CHUD.com and the print publication Mean Magazine. Stepping into the world of horror fiction, Bendix has found success both online and in print with numerous stories published in the genre imprints Grinning Skull Press, Encounters Magazine, Sanitarium Magazine, Xchyler Publishing and noted podcast The Wicked Library. Bendix self-published his first horror/fantasy novel The Patchwork Girl in 2013, and his second novel, The Stronghold, is a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller that will be published in Fall 2017. Also an avid film lover, Bendix has a sci fi/horror script that has been optioned and is in development.

Brooke BinkowskiBrooke Binkowski is the managing editor of Snopes and a freelance journalist focusing on border and immigration issues. She was frequently featured in The New York Times discussing the attacks she has received online for her fact-checking work: “I will always push back. At least until someone shows up at my workplace and kills me.” Her career and interests have taken her to Mexico, Alaska, Europe, North Africa and South America. She has a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego.

Nikki-BlakNikki Blak is a proud Los Angeles native and lifelong resident. She is the author of four volumes of poetry and fiction. Her work has been featured nationally on Season 5 of Lexus Verses and Flow. She has been a member of 4 different southern California poetry slam teams and has gone on the compete at the annual National Poetry Slam an equal number of times. She is mother to two, an eccentric aunt, lover of animals and baked goods, music enthusiast, radical womanist and activist.

David BlueBest known for his roles of Cliff St. Paul on “Ugly Betty” or through his portrayal of geek hero Eli Wallace on “Stargate Universe,” David Blue most recently originated the role of Stephen in “Lear’s Shadow” at the Ensemble Shakespeare Theatre. A lifelong actor, David began his career onstage, like most do, as a rat in “The Nutcracker.” Years of stage, film and television experience soon followed. You may have also seen him on everything from “Veronica Mars” to CBS’ “Moonlight” as vampire hacker Logan Griffen. He currently battles the evils of the Aperture Science Corporation. @DavidBlue http://www.David-Blue.com

Jennifer BrodyJennifer Brody’s award-winning novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is a Gold Medal Winner in Young Adult – Sci-Fi/Fantasy from the Independent Publisher‘s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums (July 11, 2017) complete this epic trilogy. She is also creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, where she teaches Sci-Fi & Fantasy workshops, and a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). After graduating from Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working at New Line Cinema on many films, including the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “The Golden Compass.”

Derek-D-BrownDerek D. Brown Derek D. Brown is a poet born and raised in Los Angeles and a graduate from Community Literature Initiative’s author training program at the University of Southern California. Derek hosts the open mic at Vibrations Cultural Center and the Last Sunday open mic at the U.S. Veterans Artists Alliance. Derek’s first collection of poetry, Articulate Scars, will be released Spring 2017.


F. Douglas BrownF. Douglas Brown of Los Angeles is the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize recipient for Zero to Three (University of Georgia 2014). He also co-authored with poet Geffrey Davis, Begotten (Upper Rubber Boot Books 2016), a chapbook as part of Upper Rubber Boot Books Floodgate Poetry series. Brown teaches English at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. He is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow, and his poems have appeared in several journals and magazines, including the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly (VQR), The Chicago Review, Bat City Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine.

Shonda BuchananShonda Buchanan Book CoverLiterary Editor of Harriet Tubman Press, Shonda Buchanan is the author of Who’s Afraid of Black Indians?, Equipoise: Poems from Goddess Country (forthcoming), and editor of two Los Angeles poetry anthologies, Voices From Leimert Park I and II. A Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow and a PEN Center Emerging Voice fellow, Shonda’s field of expertise includes Black Indian Scholarship, Women’s, African American and American Indian Literature, Narrative and Poetry. She has freelanced for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, and Indian Country Today. Fall 2018 Writer-in-Residence for William & Mary College, Shonda is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hampton University. Her memoir, Touched: Growing Up Black and Indian in Michigan: A Daughter Uncovers a Family’s History, is as yet unpublished. She is working on a collection of essays, Children of the Mixed Blood Trail: The Formation and Migration of Mixed Race Communities, Free People of Color and Black Indian Families, Settlements and Villages from the Southeast to the Midwest and two collections of poetry. Shonda’s work explores the complexities of bi-raciality, identity, heredity and the intersections between African Americans and American Indians. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Shonda is a voyeur and traveler who considers herself a citizen of the world. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, @shondabuchanan or visit www.shondabuchanan.com.

Leo BulgariniLeo Bulgarini – a native of Rome creates some of the most delicious and fantastic gelato in the country. This summer in San Gimignano Tuscany, he’ll lead a master class on how to shape this delicate, marvelous dessert and he’s working on his first book about his travels and his commitment to the virtues of artisanal gelato.

Carlease BurkeCarlease Burke is so excited to be invited back to read for The Roswell Awards. She is known for her work as Alice in the NBC sitcom CROWDED, as Roberta/Bob in SHAMELESS, as Principal Rose in SWITCHED AT BIRTH and as Judge Rawles in GENERAL HOSPITAL. Ms. Burke’s film credits include THE BACK UP PLAN, THE TERMINAL, IN HER SHOES and JUMANJI (2017). Carlease is a lifelong learner who loves to take all sorts of classes. Her current passion is learning how to Lindy Hop. Follow her on facebook, twitter and/or instagram @CarleaseBurke

Lauren CandiaLauren Candia has been blinding Los Angeles and the Inland Empire with library science for over a decade. When not planning literary events, she writes creepy stories and is currently working on her first YA novel. Her work can be found in the East Jasmine Review and the Los Angeles Times. Her science fiction short story, “Miracles in Wastelands”, appeared on display at the dA Center for the Arts as part of The Art In/Of Diversity collaborative project. She will be your BFF on Facebook and Twitter (@ParanormaLauren). All you have to do is ask. You may wish to catch her on Instagram as well if you don’t mind being inundated with pictures of her adorable dog and the man who gives her a reason to smile every day.

Gloriana CaseyGloriana Casey – Poet, rhymer, performer, tutor, and curious citizen of the world. Life goals are to take Frost’s advice and travel “The Road not Taken,” while at the same time applauding the vision of Dr. Seuss and going, “On Beyond Zebra.”

Jessica-Ceballosjessica-ceballos-bookJessica Ceballos curates and hosts literary programming at Highland Park’s (her hometown) Avenue 50 Studio including its Poesia Para La Gente program that brings poetry to the community using non-traditional spaces as venues. She’s 1/4 of the experiment in publishing known as Writ Large Press, and she holds a seat with the Highland Park Neighborhood Council where she works to support policy and neighborhood development efforts that favor community sustainability over disproportionate monetary advantage, and heads their Arts & Culture committee. She’s a 2015 Western States Arts Federation Emerging Leader of Color, has been recognized by the the City of Los Angeles Council Districts 1 & 14, and she has received grants from Department of Cultural Affairs and The James Irvine Foundation, and collectively as a publishing partner through partnerships across Southern California. Her work has been published in various journals and anthologies, in addition to public installations in Los Angeles and San Diego. She has been invited to speak at numerous panels on issues related to poetry, place-making, editing, publishing, healing arts, and community building. Her poetry has been integrated into curriculum at UC San Marcos and UCLA’s Chicano Studies program. Her chapbook Gent/Re De Place Ing was published on Writ Large Press at the end of 2016.


Steph ChaSteph Cha is the author of Follow Her Home, Beware Beware, and Dead Soon Enough, all published by St. Martin’s Minotaur. She’s the noir editor for Los Angeles Review of Books and a regular contributor to the LA Times. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles with her husband and basset hound.

Michelle ChiharaMichelle Chihara (MFA, PhD UC Irvine) is Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature at Whittier College, where she teaches contemporary American literature and creative writing. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Studies in American Fiction, n+1, Trop Magazine, the Green Mountains Review, the Santa Monica Review, Echoes, Mother Jones, and The Boston Phoenix, among others. Her research involves real estate, financial panics and contemporary culture.

Chiwan-ChoiChiwan-Choi-bookChiwan Choi is the author of 3 collections of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012) and The Yellow House (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2017). His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Entropy, Spiral Orb and in the anthologies Coiled Serpent, ATTN, and the upcoming Resist Much, Obey Little. He also wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a downtown Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress.

Tricia Alkmia CochéeTricia Alkmia Cochée is a 4th generation Californian and Altadena is her first hometown. Writer, Poet, Arts Promoter and Producer, she has previously served on the board of the International Black Writers & Artists. She is currently the publicist for BlackCulturalEvents.com, an online calendar of events and Black owned businesses throughout Southern California. She can be reached at: http://triciacochee.wordpress.com

Beverly M. CollinsBeverly M. Collins’ most recent book is entitled, Mud in Magic (Moonrise Press). She is a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society and in 2015, Collins was nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best Independent American Poetry for her work that appears in Rubicon: Words & Art Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis. She has appeared in many publications including the 2017 Journal of Modern Poetry as well as the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of Altadena Poetry Review.

Bill CushingRaised in New York, Bill Cushing lived in numerous states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Returning to college later in life, he earned an MFA in writing from Goddard College. He now resides in Glendale, California with his wife and their son. His work has been in anthologies, literary journals, magazines, and newspapers. When not teaching or writing, Bill facilitates a writing workshop and performs with a musician on a project called “Notes and Letters.”

Rose DavisRose Davis – Editor and Publisher of Indian Voices Newspapers, San Diego

Alana de HinojosaAlana de Hinojosa was raised in Northern California. A former intern at Alternet, she earned her bachelor’s degree is from Hampshire College, where she studied journalism, creative writing, U.S. immigration history and Latinx cultural studies. She is a doctoral student in César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Alana is a creative writer and interdisciplinary scholar who approaches her work as a storyteller. As a scholar pursing a creative dissertation, her methodology considers how various texts and materials, across form, genre and language(s), imagine alternative poetic geographies tied to histories of migration, displacement and erasure.

Natashia DeonNatashia Deón is a 2017 NAACP Image Award Nominee and author of the critically-acclaimed novel, Grace (Counterpoint Press), which was named a New York Times and Kirkus Review Best Book of 2016. A practicing attorney, law professor, and creator of the popular L.A.-based reading series Dirty Laundry Lit, Deón is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Buzzfeed, LA Review of Books, The Rumpus, and other places.

Lillian Diaz-PrzybylLillian Diaz-Przybyl was a Senior Editor at TOKYOPOP, Inc. from 2004 to 2011, where she worked with both original creators to develop new manga and freelance translators/editors to localize Japanese manga. She’s developed original and localized comics for HarperCollins, Viz Media, and Crunchyroll, among others. She is currently a freelance editor, head of comics at Sparkler Monthly, and a producer at a small, independent media company.

Lian DolanLian Dolan is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife, and a regular columnist for Pasadena Magazine. In addition, Lian has written regular columns for O Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She is the creator and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she has produced with her four real sisters since 200. Satellite Sisters is now a top-rated podcast for women online. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs. She also created the popular podcast about modern motherhood, The Chaos Chronicles, developed by Nick at Nite for TV. A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and organizations. Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband and two college-aged sons.

Marvin DorseyMarvin Dorsey was born in Los Angeles, and spent much of his youth in the Valley. He now lives on a ranch in Lancaster and works in Sunland. From these outskirts Marvin pursues his mission for the care and well-being of domesticated animals as well as his passion for poetry. Marvin is a member of the writing group Emerging Urban Poets in Pasadena, and of the reading ensemble The Inner Four. He has produced six slim chapbooks over the years and is included in several anthologies highlighting poets of the San Gabriel Valley.

Boris DralyukBoris Dralyuk is the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is a literary translator and holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA, where he taught Russian literature for a number of years. He has also taught at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. His work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, London Review of Books, The Guardian, Granta, World Literature Today, The Yale Review, New England Review, Harvard Review, Jewish Quarterly, Poetry International, and other journals. He is the author of Western Crime Fiction Goes East: The Russian Pinkerton Craze 1907-1934 (Brill, 2012) and translator of several volumes from Russian and Polish, including, most recently, Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry (Pushkin Press, 2015) and Odessa Stories (Pushkin Press, 2016). He is also the editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (Pushkin Press, 2016), and co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015).

Heidi DurrowHeidi Durrow is the New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Ebony Magazine named her a Power 100 Leader and she was a nominee of the NAACP Image Awards. Durrow is the founder of the annual Mixed Remixed Festival and an award-winning podcaster. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Huffington Post among others.

Pauli DuttonPauli Dutton founded, coordinated, and led the Altadena Library Poetry and Cookies Anthology and public reading events from 2003-2014. She served on the Altadena Poetry Review Selection Committee in 2015 and 2016, and this year as its co-editor. She has won awards for her poems and has been published in several poetry anthologies. 

Since his breakthrough comic book “Violent Messiahs” in 2000, New York Times bestselling author Joshua Dysart has contributed to some of the most high-profile graphic novel projects of the past decade, including “Hellboy”, “Swamp Thing” and “Neil Young’s Greendale”. From 2008 to 2010 Dysart authored a two-year run on Vertigo’s comic “Unknown Soldier.” He spent a month in Acholiland, Uganda during the LRA/UPDF ceasefire of 2007 researching the work. “Unknown Soldier” garnered two Eisner Award nominations, for Best New Series and Best Single Issue, as well as international critical acclaim. Since 2012 he has been one of the key creators in the relaunch of Valiant comics, using his series “Harbinger” and “Imperium” to help architect their larger universe. In December 2014 he went to Iraqi Kurdistan to interview refugees fleeing ISIS, and in January of 2016 Huffington Post World hosted the graphic novel that came from it, “Living Level-3: Iraq”, free for all to read. In May of 2016 he spent ten days in Aweil, South Sudan investigating the mass migration of human beings fleeing food insecurity in the region. “Living Level-3: South Sudan” can now be read for free online.

Brandon EastonBrandon M. Easton is a professional writer based in Los Angeles. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Brandon was a U.S. History and Economics teacher in NYC for 6 years before moving to the west coast in 2008. Brandon has written for the 2011 ThunderCats reboot from WB Animation and Transformers: Rescue Bots from Hasbro. Easton won the 2012 Glyph Award for his Shadowlaw series and multiple 2014 Glyph Awards for the Watson and Holmes comic series and a 2014 Eisner Award nomination. He is also the producer, director and writer of Brave New Souls – a documentary about the inspirations and obstacles of African-American sci-fi writers. In 2015, Brandon was selected as one of the eight winners of the 2015 Disney/ABC Writing Program which led to a position as a Staff Writer for season two of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Currently, Brandon writes M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) for IDW/Hasbro and Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars for Unified Pictures.

Bill EsparzaBill Esparza is the author of L.A. Mexicano: Recipes, People & Places, as well as a recent winner of a James Beard award for his coverage of the L.A. taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food, the California native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles; writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and others; appears regularly on CNN, KCRW’s Good Food, and such television shows as I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, Bizarre Foods, and Top Chef. A noted saxophone player, Esparza has traveled and eaten extensively throughout Mexico, Latin America, and, of course, Southern California.

Eric EztliEric Eztli is a community advocate of Southeast Los Angeles. Through his dedication to his community, he founded Alivio Open Mic in the city of Bell, coordinated the first art walk in Southeast LA, and he is currently a proud member of the grassroots collective, Proyecto Vecindad. Besides his community work, he is also a comic book junkie, a high school teacher and a poet.

Blas FalconerBlas Falconer is the author of The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books, 2012); A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007); and The Perfect Hour (Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press, 2006). He is also a co-editor for The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press, 2011) and Mentor & Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Murray State University. Falconer’s awards include a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant, the New Delta Review Eyster Prize for Poetry, and the Barthelme Fellowship.

J.G. FinchThe poet and fiction writer J. G. Finch was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1980 and spent most of his childhood in Henderson, Tennessee and Prairie View, Texas. His style of writing easily captures the emotions of people of all cultures in a tearful and personal way. Finch’s major poetic influence and muse is Louise Glück. After he read her book of poems, Wild Iris, he never again saw poetry in the same way. However, Finch writes in his private voice of a simple and quiet man. Painting his emotions into words from the eyes of a black man who simply lives in America.

Samuel FischbachSamuel Fischbach began writing in kindergarten, long before his passion for programming and coding developed. His love for comic books and science fiction led him to making, and then programming his own robots. As he entered high school, he also entered the world of competitive robotics where programming and science fiction come together. He continues to write as one of the founding members of HUU Comics, creating his own comic books and fiction stories. He draws inspiration from his experiences and from those around him as both programming and science fiction aren’t bound by physics and allow for infinite possibilities.

GT FosterA Vietnam era veteran, G T Foster began his exploration into poetry in the ’60s. He received a 2016 Pushcart nomination for his poem Pre-code Shocker. His poetry has been published in the Pasadena Weekly, San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, Altadena Poetry Review, The Stonebird and Spectrum. He has finished and is currently editing his first novel, The Butt Naked and the Been Dead.

Elsa FraustoElsa Frausto (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a bilingual poet. She’s been active in local poetry events as coordinator and host, most recently Wide Open Readings at the Sunland-Tujunga Library. Her book of poems which she co wrote with Alice Pero, Sunland Park Poems (Shabda Press) is newly published. Elsa was Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga 2014-2017.

Salve book coverSoma Mei Sheng FrazierSoma Mei Sheng Frazier is an East Coast Native living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she presently serves as a 2017 San Francisco Library Laureate and final judge of the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Her award-winning fiction chapbooks, Salve (Nomadic Press) and Collateral Damage: A Triptych (RopeWalk Press), have earned praise from Nikki Giovanni, Daniel Handler (a/k/a Lemony Snicket), Antonya Nelson, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Molly Giles, Michelle Tea and others. Frazier’s writing has placed in literary competitions offered by HBO, Zoetrope: All-Story, the Mississippi Review and more. You can find her work online at Eclectica Magazine, Carve Magazine, Eleven Eleven and Kore Press – or read her interviews with CBS, SF Weekly and Women’s Quarterly Conversation. Recent work is available in Glimmer Train, issue 96, and ZYZZYVA, issue 106. She is at work on a novel and a screenplay.

Soma is Chair and Assistant Professor of English and the Humanities at Cogswell College; Founding Editor of COG, a multimedia publication.

Xach FromsonXach Fromson is a Los Angeles native who has been obsessed with horror and dark fiction from a very young age. After a brief and ill-advised attempt at being a theater major, he received his BA in Creative Writing from California State University Northridge in 2009. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside’s Palm Desert program. He appeared on stage at Dirty Laundry Lit in February, 2013, and has a short story in the anthology Halloween Tales, out in 2014. He is currently in various stages of working on a ton of projects. Asking him his favorite book will earn you as blank a stare as asking him his favorite wine or whiskey. And once, he slew a dragon. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @_mythogenesis_.

Martina GallegosMartina Gallegos came to the United States as an undocumented teenager and attended schools from 8th through graduate school. She’s a stroke/brain injury survivor, and her post- stroke works have appeared in Hometown Pasadena, The Altadena Poetry Review, Spirit Fire Review, Somos en Escrito, Spectrum, Silver Birch Press, PSH, Lummox, Basta! and others. http://poetry309.wordpress.com

Jessica Gallion was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and raised in Los Angeles has performed at Vibrations, The World Stage, Flight School and many other venues around Los Angeles. Jessica was the 2016 champion of the Spoken Word Voices Heard poetry slam and a graduate of the Community Literature Initiative. Her first book of poetry Can’t No Woman, Woman Like Me was released in 2017.

Josh GershickJosh Gershick’s works include the plays Dear ONE: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America, Coming Attractions, Assisted Living, and Bluebonnet Court, winner of the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre; the film Door Prize, winner of the Alfred C. Kinsey Award, honoring film that furthers understanding of gender or sexuality; and two acclaimed oral histories, Gay Old Girls, winner of the ForeWord Book of the Year Award for LGBT Nonfiction, a American Library Association Book of the Year Nominee, and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist; and Secret Service: Untold Stories of Lesbians in the Military, winner of the ForeWord Book of the Year Award for LGBT Nonfiction and a C-SPAN Book TV featured book. He earned an MFA from the USC School of Dramatic Arts & an MPW from the USC Dornsife College. Gershick is the Southern California Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild of America.

Jonathan-GoldJonathan Gold is a food critic who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times and used to write for LA Weekly and Gourmet magazine. In 2007 he became the first such critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a regular on KCRW’s Good Food radio program. Gold often chooses small, ethnic restaurants for his reviews, although he covers all types of cuisine. A collection of his articles can be found in his book, Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles. He has been married to Laurie Ochoa, who was editor-in-chief at LA Weekly since 1990; they met at the Weekly in 1984.

Damian GonzalezDamian Gonzalez is an artist, writer, and award winning filmmaker. He has been sponsored by the Creative Artists Agency to attend both the Sundance Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary Film Fest near Prague as an “Emerging talent.” in 2014, he co-produced PoetryPalooza, a Southern California touring open mic. That same year, he co-created an interactive art installation entitled, “The King is Dead” for the La Puente Art-Walk. His writing has led him to work in various creative capacities in the film industry at studios like NBC Universal, Fox Searchlight, and Bad Robot. Whether in art, poetry, or filmmaking he often explores narratives featuring identities transitioning through relationship trauma.

Jean GuerreroJean-Guerrero is the author of the upcoming cross-border memoir, CRUX, winner of the PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize. She is the Fronteras reporter at KPBS, San Diego’s NPR and PBS NewsHour affiliate. She started her career at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires as a foreign correspondent. Her reporting has taken her into the sewers of Tijuana, opium poppy plantations and some of the deadliest desert smuggling routes along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mel GurneyBorn and raised in the Midwest, Mel Gurney was just nine years old when he was inspired to write by seeing a story by his older brother published in a book of science fiction short stories. His dream of someday being just like his big brother is still alive, decades later — he still hopes someday to get published.

Denise HamiltonFormer LA Times Journalist, Fulbright scholar and Edgar Award finalist Denise Hamilton is the author of 7 crime novels set in LA. She’s also the editor of Los Angeles Noir and Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics, which spent two months on bestseller lists and won the Edgar Award for “Best Short Story.” James Ellroy called Denise’s latest novel, Damage Control “A superb psychological thriller.” Hamilton lives in the Los Angeles suburbs and loves trail running in the mountains, even though she is slow and afraid of mountain lions.

Tobi HarperTobi Harper is Director of Operations at Red Hen Press. While completing an M.A. in English Literature, Tobi served as Editor-in-Chief of San Francisco State University’s graduate student journal Interpretations and wrote a thesis titled “‘What is it?’: Examining Narrative Shifts in Twentieth-Century Genderqueer Novels.” While serving as an Officer of the Queer Student Union, Tobi co-founded and co-organized the First Annual Isla Vista Pride Festival in 2010 as well as the Big Queer, Little Queer mentor program in 2009.

Hazel Clayton HarrisonHazel Clayton Harrison’s poetry has appeared in The Altadena Poetry Review Anthology – 2016 and 2017, Coiled Serpent, A Rock Against the Wind, Grandfathers, Journal of Modern Poetry and other publications. Her memoir, Crossing the River Ohio, is available on Amazon.

Gar Anthony HaywoodGar Anthony Haywood is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels. His short fiction has been included in the BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES anthologies and Booklist has called him “a writer who has always belonged in the upper echelon of American crime fiction.” Haywood has written for network television and both the New York and Los Angeles Times.

CP HeiserC.P. Heiser is the publisher of The Unnamed Press and Executive Director of its sister nonprofit Phoneme Media. He was involved with helping start up the Los Angeles Review of Books, where he served as an editor and managed various aspects of marketing, membership, and business development. Previously, he has worked in book publishing, legal marketing, and advertising.

Rosalind HelfandRosalind Helfand works with nonprofit and government organizations to engage communities in finding and implementing solutions to the pressing human rights, social justice, and conservation issues of our time. She’s the former director of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series and directed programming for their Women’s Leadership Conference. She produced a series of cross-organizational community dialogues in Los Angeles on international issues of women and education, accountable leadership, foreign aid systems, media and Africa, artists as change agents, and human development. Currently, she’s deeply engaged in America’s reproductive justice movement, and can regularly be found on Capitol Hill lobbying to protect women’s health access. Also a leader in the literary world, she’s a Co-founder and Curator of Lit Crawl L.A., the Managing Editor of the lit journal and high school educator’s resource, Literature for Life, Director of Sci-Fest L.A.’s short science fiction story writing competitions, and the former Director of the multiple award-winning book festival, the West Hollywood Book Fair. She’s moderated and curated programming for The Last Bookstore, LitFest Pasadena and others. In her spare time she writes, and recently published a piece on gophers and suburban woes in Cutthroat Magazine.

Jonathan HerbstJonathan Herbst is a native of Southern California. His interests are short story writing, reading, and computer programming. He began writing 300-word short stories that he kept in a little journal by his bed. One thing led to another, and he ended up writing a 1500-word story that was a collage of his wacky ideas, deep worries, and humor besides. He would like to thank his father, who told him that when you get the writing itch, scratching may not cure it, but it does feel good.

Naomi-Hiraharanaomi-hirahara-bookPasadena-born Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. The first in her Officer Ellie Rush bicycle cop series received the 2014 T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award. The last Mas Arai novel, Hiroshima Boy, will be released by Prospect Park Books in spring 2018. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper and curator of historical exhibitions, she has also published noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books. For more information, go to www.naomihirahara.com.

Janis HirschJanis Hirsch worked on the National Lampoon Show “Lemmings,” which starred John Belushi, Christopher Guest and Chevy Chase, among others. She worked at the National Lampoon Magazine, and during this time, she contributed to several books of humor as well as writing for various publications including both the New York Times and a much-heralded parody of it called Not the New York Times. Janis has written for “The Nanny,” “Murphy Brown,” “Frasier,” “Bette,” “My Wife and Kids,” and “Will & Grace.” She also contributes special material for Bette Midler’s tours and shows. She is currently writing an original musical with composer Dan Lipton and lyricist David Rossmer for producer Jayson Raitt as well as a television pilot with Tony Hendra about the early days at the National Lampoon. She was also featured in “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead” about the glory days of the National Lampoon Magazine. Having appeared in several documentaries about her friend John Belushi, she’s just been filmed for an upcoming biography of the sweetest person she ever knew, Gilda Radner.

Marlene HittMarlene Hitt – The first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (1999-2001), Hitt is the author of 3 chapbooks: Mint Leaves; Sad with Cinnamon; and Bent Grass. Her fourth poetry book, Clocks and Water Drops, was recently published by Moonrise Press. She collaborated with poet Dorothy Skiles in writing the poetry collection, Riddle in the Rain. Her work is frequently anthologized.

Nalo HopkinsonNalo Hopkinson is at the forefront of the emergent genre of Afro-futurism, a sci-fi/speculative author of the first caliber, Hopkinson, in her novels, melds visions of the future and vestiges of her characters’ Canadian present and Haitian and African past in bewildering and beautiful stories.

Liz HuffordSometimes life circles back. In 1969 as an English major at Clarion State College, Liz Hufford registered for a summer workshop in science fiction writing. The instructors, participants, and environment led to her first short story sale. Over the years the demands of career and family led to forays in other genres—academic writing, trade articles, features, poetry, essays, and novels. This year a colleague’s request for a science fiction lecture in his humanities class led her to reacquaint with an old friend and spurred the creation of “Trash Landing.” Sometimes the second “go around” is better than the first.

Jessica HundleyJessica Hundley is a longtime journalist, author, and filmmaker. She is partner in the print collective Hat & Beard Press and has worked as an editor on scores of books for Taschen, Princeton Architectural Press, Chronicle, and more. As an author, she has published four books in the last decade, among them an acclaimed bio on country rock icon Gram Parsons for Da Capo Press, a best-selling travel guide to Los Angeles, an extensive overview of the photography of Dennis Hopper for Taschen, and an overview of photographs from Michael Jackson photographer Todd Gray for Chronicle Books. In her 20-year career as a journalist, she has worked for Vogue, Rolling Stone, Dwell, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Spin, Travel and Leisure, Mojo, Salon, and many others. As an editor, Hundley has served as West Coast editor for men’s magazine Complex, Entertainment Editor for Angeleno/Modern Luxury magazines, Film Editor for Soma and as West Coast Editor for the UK magazine Dazed and Confused. As a filmmaker, she has helmed numerous music videos, fashion films, shorts and commercials. Her documentary short, Viva Morrisey, screened at the Edinburgh and SXSW film festivals. She directed and produced Such Hawks, Such Hounds, a feature-length music documentary, available on DVD. Hundley also wrote the narrative voice-over for award-winning feature documentary Visual Acoustics.

JanaciA prolific writer and performer of poetry, plays, songs and short stories, four-time winner Black Writers on Tour Poetry Jam and two-year host of Verbal Gardens Poetry/Comedy Venue. Janaci’s poetry is entertaining, enlightening, and encouraging.

Dana JohnsonDana 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 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.

James Evert JonesJames Evert Jones (aka James Maverick) is a co-founder and Director of Expressions L.A., a literary arts program based in the San Fernando Valley. James has been a contributor to the poetry magazines Next… Magazine and (sic) Vice and Verse. His work has been published in the anthologies Voices from Leimert Park, Vol. II, The Moment, Onyx: Spoken Word, Spectrum, and News Clips and Ego Tripsthe Best of Next… Magazine.

Adrian KalvinskasAdrian Kalvinskas is the founder and owner of Distant Lands–A Traveler’s Bookstore & Outfitters, which opened in Old Pasadena in 1989. ​When he’s not selling travel books & gadgets, or hitting the road, you can usually find Adrian volunteering throughout Pasadena as a kids’ soccer coach, Tournament of Roses member, and for the Old Pasadena board of directors.

Bonnie S. KaplanPoet Bonnie S. Kaplan grew up in the San Fernando Valley but now resides in the SGV. A Pushcart nominee and longtime teacher of adults, she was recently named Teacher of the Year by the Correctional Education Association. Kaplan’s poems have been published in Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology (Split Oak Press) and This Assignment is So Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching (Sibling Rivalry Press), and featured in Cultural Weekly. More work can be found at bonnieskaplan.com.

Genevieve KaplanGenevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen Press), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s poetry publication prize, and three chapbooks: In an aviary (Grey Book Press, 2016); travelogue (Dancing Girl, 2016); and settings for these scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013), a chapbook of continual erasures. She lives in southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.

Douglas KearneyPoet/performer/librettist Douglas Kearney’s first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, was published in 2006 by Red Hen Press. His second, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was Catherine Wagner’s selection for the National Poetry Series. It was also a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in 2010. He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Coat Hanger award, and fellowships at Idyllwild and Cave Canem. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts.

Traci Kato KuriyamaTraci Kato-Kiriyama is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer/author, actor, arts educator & community organizer. Since 1996, she has performed and written for theatre tours, productions, artist residencies, and performance collaborations in hundreds of venues throughout the country. She continually writes and creates for theatre and is one half of the award-winning PULLproject ensemble with actor/aerial artist, Kennedy Kabasares. Author of a book of poetry, signaling (The Undeniables Press, 2010) and columnist for the Rafu Shimpo’s Through The Fire, Traci’s second book of writing & poetry was released by Writ Large Press.

Laleh KhadiviLaleh Khadivi is the author of the Kurdish Trilogy. She lives in Northern California and teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Ron Koertge Credit_Sonya SonesRon Koertge is the author of many celebrated novels, including Stoner & Spaz, Strays, and The Brimstone Journals, all American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults; Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and American Library Association Top Ten Sports Books for Youth Selection; and The Arizona Kid, an American Library Association pick for “one of the ten funniest books of the year.” A two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children’s Literature, Ron lives in South Pasadena, California.

Lisa C. Krueger Lisa C. Krueger is a clinical psychologist. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, and Barrow Street. She has published articles and written a series of interactive journals related to psychology and creativity. She maintains a psychotherapy practice in Pasadena focused on women’s issues, health psychology, writing therapy, and the role of creativity and wellness. Run Away to the Yard is her fourth book.

A multi-talented artist; musician, poet, voiceover talent, humorist, and radio host, Kuahmel’s first book of poetry Peace in The Pocket was released April 2017 through World Stage Press.

Rich LarsonRich Larson was born in West Africa, has studied in Rhode Island and worked in Spain, and at 25 now writes from Ottawa, Canada. His short work has been featured on io9, translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, French and Italian, and appears in numerous Year’s Best anthologies along with most pro-paying SF markets. He was the most prolific author of short science fiction in 2015 and 2016. Find him at richwlarson.tumblr.com and support his writing via patreon.com/richlarson.

Las Lunas LocasLas Lunas Locas is a collective that/who provides a safe space for a community of self-identifying womyn to write, right and rite. They meet every Monday, 7pm, at Here & Now in El Sereno.

Leslie LeLeslie Le considers herself passionate for both science and art. She was first inspired to create her story after having dreams about traveling through different realities that piece together into a timeline of events. This, along with her passion for literature and philosophy sparked the idea of her science-fiction piece. She is continually inspired by films, art, and science everyday to create meaningful projects in life, including the ongoing process of improving her writing.

CB LeeC.B. Lee is a bisexual writer based in California. She is a first-generation Asian American and has a BA in Sociology and Environmental Science, which occasionally comes in handy in her chosen career, but not usually. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Not Your Sidekick was named a Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in 2017. Seven Tears at High Tide was named a finalist for two Bisexual Book of the Year Awards (YA and Speculative Fiction) and also won a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance. Ms. Lee is also a Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow.

Sofia LeggioSofia Leggio is a writer living in Los Angeles, after time in New York, Houston, and Saudi Arabia, whose writing tends toward observational essay and fictionalized biography. Past works have been published in The Truth About the Fact, LA Miscellany, and Attic Salt. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories, written around the experiences of one fictional California family across several generations. She has also recently finished writing and illustrating a children’s book called Meet Napoleon.

Janice Rhoshalle LittlejohnJanice Rhoshalle Littlejohn has an MA degree in Fiction from the University of Southern California and a BA degree in Communication from Loyola Marymount University. Her first script, Those People: A Love Story was selected by the DreamAgo 2016 Plume & Pellicule international screenwriting atelier. Prior to filmmaking, Janice had an extensive career as a journalist. She is a senior editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed (Atria, 2012). She is a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities fellow.

Tom LutzTom Lutz is the author of And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches form a Life in Transit and Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar, both published in 2016, and other books. He is the founding editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books and teaches at UCR.

Radomir LuzaRadomir Vojtech Luza was born in Vienna, Austria in 1963. He owes his love of art and politics to his Czech parents who battled Nazism and escaped Communism. Luza is Poet Laureate of North Hollywood, CA, a Pushcart Prize Nominee and author of 29 books. Radomir has had his work published in over 80 literary journals, websites, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other media. Luza has featured his poetry over 100 times across the country in addition to organizing, hosting and curating over a dozen poetry readings across the country including Alliteration Alley in Jersey City, NJ (New York City) with Christine Goodman and UNBUCKLED: No Ho POETRY in North Hollywood, CA (Los Angeles) with Mary Anneeta Mann.

Peter MackenziePeter Mackenzie grew up in Boston, matured in New York and is rotting in LA. He is currently very proud to play the second most hated white man in America on ABC’s hit show, BLACKISH.

Richard MagdaluyoRichard Magdaluyo’s entry for The Tomorrow Prize contest, entitled “Earth II” was inspired by one of the most vivid dreams he had ever experienced. He had never witnessed such an immersive dream that involved death and rebirth. Right after waking up, he wrote down as much as he could remember from the short lived adventure. Now, a few years later, he uses the experience to create an interesting story to be shared with others through the Tomorrow Prize contest.

Nicole MaggiNicole Maggi was born in the suburbs of upstate New York, and began writing poems about unicorns and rainbows at a very early age. She detoured into acting, earned a BFA from Emerson College, and moved to NYC where she performed in lots of off-off-off-Broadway Shakespeare. After a decade of schlepping groceries on the subway, she and her husband hightailed it to sunny Los Angeles, where they now reside, surrounded by fruit trees, with their daughter and two oddball cats.

Pete MagillPete Magill is a 55-year-old masters runner, coach, and writer. He is the author of The Born Again Runner, released this past summer, lead author of the 2014 book Build Your Running Body (a book that Runner’s World founder, Bob Anderson, called “the best running book ever”), and a former senior writer and columnist for Running Times magazine, as well as a longtime contributor to Runner’s World, Competitor, and other fitness publications. In his 30s, Magill was a screenwriter, with script sales to New Line Cinema and Disney. Magill has coached at the youth, high school, open, and masters levels. Over the past fifteen years, he’s led his Southern California clubs to two dozen masters national championships in cross country and road racing. He’s a five-time USA Masters Cross Country Runner of the Year, the fastest-ever American distance runner over age 50 on the roads for 5K (15:02) and 10K (31:11), holds multiple American and world age-group records, and, in 2016, was inducted into the USA Masters Hall of Fame. Magill lives in South Pasadena, California, and competes for the Cal Coast Track Club.

Nilah MagruderNilah Magruder is a writer and artist based in Los Angeles. Her fantasy web comic, M.F.K., won the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in 2015 and will be published in print from Insight Comics in fall 2017. She has also drawn for Disney and DreamWorks, and written for Marvel.

Karineh MahdessianKarineh Mahdessian is the hostess of La Palabra reading series and a founder and member of Las Lunas Locos She is a community social worker interested at the intersection of art and social work. She has been published in several publications including Cal State Los Angeles’ Statement magazine, Gutters and Alleyways, and Altadena Poetry Review. She writes. She loves. She rights. She eats. She rites. She breathes.

Cecilia Manguerra BrainardCecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of nine books, including the internationally-acclaimed novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Brainard’s second novel, Magdalena inspired a stage play, Gabriela’s Monologue, which was produced in 2011 by the Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco as part of Stories XII! annual production. Cecilia has received a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District. She has also been awarded by the Filipino and Filipino American communities she has served. She received the prestigious Filipinas Magazine Arts Award, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants in the Philippines, from the USIS (United States Information Service).

Dana MiddletonDana Middleton grew up in Georgia before moving to Los Angeles to work in film, television and theatre. She was a producer of an Academy Award-nominated short film, and is also a recipient of a Los Angeles Theatre Ovation Award. Her debut children’s book, The Infinity Year of Avalon James, was published last year, and her new novel, Open If You Dare, is out this October. She lives in Hollywood with her British husband, author and screenwriter, Peter Atkins.

Carolina MirandaCarolina A. Miranda is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she produces the Culture High & Low blog. In this post, she covers art, architecture, design and music — from racial conflicts at the Whitney Biennial to the urban design of Los Angeles to the rock en español grooves of Café Tacvba. Prior to joining the Times, she was an independent magazine writer and radio reporter producing stories on art, culture and travel for Time, ARTnews, ARCHITECT, Art in America, Fast Company, NPR’s All Things Considered and PRI’s Studio 360. She has also been a regular contributor at public radio affiliates KCRW in L.A. and WNYC and WQXR in New York. She has been named someone to follow on Twitter by the New York Times. Find her at @cmonstah.

MOMMOM is a woman comic creator, artist, editor, and project manager. She acted as project manager on the Lady Bug Anthology and editor/project manager on the Secret Anthology. Her work has been featured in the Lady Bug Anthology and The Awesome Comic: The Glasgow Comic Con Anthology. You can find her work at momcomics.org or follow her on Twitter @momcomics.

Nayomi MunaweeraNayomi Munaweera’s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors won the 2013 Commonwealth Literary Prize for Asia and was nominated for the Northern California Book Award. The New York Times called it “incandescent” and Publisher’s Weekly has compared her work to that of Jumpha Lahiri and Michael Ondaatje. Her second novel, What Lies Between Us was named one of the best literary releases of 2016 from venues such as BuzzFeed and Elle Magazine. The novel was included in Publisher’s Weekly’s Ten Essential Books About the Immigrant Experience 2017.

Bernadette MurphyBernadette Murphy served for six years as a weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times, and has published three books of creative nonfiction: The Tao Gals’ Guide to Real Estate (with Michelle Huneven); The Knitter’s Gift; and the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting (2002). Her personal narratives and essays on literature have appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Manifest Station, BOOK Magazine, Ms. Magazine, LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She currently serves as core faculty in creative nonfiction at the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA program.

Jasika NicoleJasika Nicole is best known for her work as Astrid Farnsworth on Fox’s ‘Fringe’ and Huck’s wife, Kim, on ABC’s ‘Scandal’. She is currently playing the role of Georgia on WGN’s smash hit ‘Underground’, and stars in the newly released cult fav indie film ‘Suicide Kale, which she also produced. Nicole is an avid DIY-er who builds furniture, makes shoes, and sews all her clothing in her spare time. You can follow her creative exploits via her instagram, JasikaIsTryCurious, and see her writing and illustration work at jasikanicole.com.

Keenan NorrisKeenan-Norris-bookKeenan Norris’s novel Brother and the Dancer won the 2012 James D. Houston Award. He’s completing his next book, about Richard Wright, Barack Obama, and the problem with “Chi-Raq.” He holds an M.F.A. from Mills College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. Keenan is a 2017 Marin Headlands Artist-in-Residence and a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow. He teaches English, African-American Literature and facilitates a study abroad program at Evergreen Valley College. He’s served as a guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center and is a Faculty Advisor with Goddard College. Keenan’s short work, both fiction and nonfiction has appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literature for Life, popmatters.com, Post-Soul Satire, Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s Inland Empire and Oakland Noir. He is also the editor of Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape.

Christopher NoxonChristopher Noxon is the author of the novel Plus One, a comedic take on breadwinning women and stay-at-home husbands set in contemporary LA. “Noxon reveals the inner workings of the Plus One role with wit, warmth and candor,” wrote the New York Times. His previous book, Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cupcakes, Cartoons and the Reinvention of the American Grown Up looked at the changing meaning of maturity and was featured on NBC’s Today Show and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” His journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, Details and Salon. His illustrations and graphic essays have appeared in the Hollywood Reporter, Tablet and Fusion. He lives in LA with his wife and three children.

Medaya OcherMedaya Ocher is the Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is pursuing her doctorate at UCLA, focusing on contemporary American Fiction. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Medaya worked in publishing and non-profits in Paris and New York, including The International Herald Tribune, W Magazine & Women’s Wear Daily, Teen Vogue, the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and organizations like The Watermill Center and The Center for Fiction.

Daniel OlivasDaniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books including The Book of Want: A Novel (University of Arizona Press, 2011), and Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews (San Diego State University Press, 2014). Most recently, he co-edited The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tía Chucha Press, 2016). His writing has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post, and La Bloga. Olivas will have two more books released later this year: The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press), and Crossing the Border: Poems (Pact Press). He earned his degree in English literature from Stanford University, and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1990, Olivas has practiced law with the California Department of Justice in the Public Rights Division. He and his wife make their home in Los Angeles and have an adult son. Twitter: @olivasdan.

Jaime PanquevaMexican-Colombian writer Jaime Panqueva was in Bogotá, Colombia. His first novel, Tribulaciones de Chinos en Indias, was awarded with the national Juan Rulfo Prize for First Novel in 2009 granted by CONACULTA y el INBA, and published in 2011 by Grupo Planeta as La rosa de la China. It is an adventure novel dated in the New Spain from XVII century, starred by Catarina San Juan, la china poblana. His short story collection, El final de los tiempos, was printed by Nortestación in 2012.

His short stories and essays has been published in such well-known magazines as Letras Libres, Los Suicidas, UNI-Diversidad from Puebla y Parteaguas from Aguascalientes and GRAMMA from Argentina. He is a regular contributor to the newspaper El Espectador de Colombia, printed version and literary blog. He publishes his book review Guía de Lectura weekly in the newspaper AM Express from Irapuato and in Tachas on the news blog Es lo Cotidiano from León. As an editor, he has been responsible for the special dossier of China’s BUAP UniDiversidad magazine, and the weekly publication of short stories in La trinca del cuento in the newspaper AM Express. Founding member of the civil association Fomento Cultural Irapuato, he is general manager of Argonauta, cultural magazine of the Bajío.

Johnny Parker IIIn West Philadelphia born and …..Ah…Wrong! Sorry about that, in West Detroit, he was born & raised, and teaching & comics are the name of his game. Born in Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, and now residing in Los Angeles, Johnny Parker II is a man living his dream. He teaches English at Animo South LA and self publishes comics under his publisher Neat-O Comics. His goal in the classroom is to inspire young minds and his mission in comics is to give the fans the great story telling they want and deserve. Johnny brings a unique perspective to comics, through his use of diverse characters and fast paced storytelling. You can check out his books Black Fist & Brown Hand, Elvish, Teen Horror, and Broken.

Candace PearsonCandace Pearson won the Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry from Longwood University for Hour of Unfolding. Her poems have been published in such leading journals as Ploughshares, Crab Orchard Review, Poem/Memoir/Story, Bellevue Literary Review and Cider Press Review. Anthologies include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond and Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems. You’ll find her writing away in an old hiker’s cabin at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Angela PenaredondoBorn in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx/Pin@y poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, comet or part-time animal). Peñaredondo is the author of All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016), winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize and the chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications). Her work has appeared in Asian American Writers’ Workshop: The Margins, Drunken Boat, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere.

Jo PerryJo Perry’s dark, comic LA-set mystery series features a murdered man and a dead dog as protagonists. Dead Is Better, Dead Is Best, and Dead Is Good, (late spring, 2017) are published by Fahrenheit Press and have won praise from Eric Idle, Timothy Hallinan, Terry Shames, author and cadaver dog expert, Cat Warren and others. Perry has Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television, and published articles, reviews, and poems. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry.​ They have two children. Their cats and dogs are rescues.

Adam Walker PhillipsAdam Walker Phillips is the author of the Chuck Restic mystery series, which follows a burnt-out HR director who moonlights as a private detective. The series debuts this summer with the release of The Silent Second. Adam is a 20-year veteran of Corporate America and has endured countless PowerPoint decks, offsite retreats and visioning sessions, synergies and synergistically-minded cross-functional teams, to bring this new series to life. He lives with his wife and family in Eagle Rock.

Gary-Phillipsgary-phillips-bookRaised deep amid the concrete and weathered palms of South Central L.A., weaned on the images of Kirby and Steranko in comic books, and Hammett and Serling in prose, Gary Phillips also draws on his experiences ranging from teaching incarcerated youth, running a nonprofit started after the riots, director of a shadowy political action committee to delivering dog cages in writing his tales of chicanery and malfeasance.

Lissa PriceLissa Price is the author of the award-winning series entitled STARTERS, an international bestseller from Random House, published in over thirty countries, with high praise from Harlan Ellison, Kami Garcia and The L.A. Times. Dean Koontz called this YA futuristic thriller “a smart, swift, inventive, altogether gripping story.” Set in a future L.A., STARTERS asks the question: Would you rent your body to a senior citizen so they could be young again temporarily? Contact her at www.LissaPrice.com.

Kit ReedKit Reed moved so often as a kid that she never settled down in one place. She doesn’t know whether that’s A Good Thing or not, but it colors everything she writes. Reed calls herself ‘”transgenred” and Publishers Weekly calls her “one of our brightest cultural commentators.” Her books include Where, Son of Destruction, and The Story Until Now, with an introduction by Gary K. Wolfe. The collection features some Reed classics as well as her personal favorites over several decades, including six new stories, never before collected. Both The Story Until Now and her 2011 collection What Wolves Know were Shirley Jackson award nominees in 2011 and 2013. Other novels include The Baby Merchant and Thinner Than Thou. Her stories appear in venues including The Yale Review, Asimov’s SF, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Omni, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Literature and The Kenyon Review. Her books Wired Women and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse, both published by the Wesleyan University Press, were finalists for the Tiptree Prize. A Guggenheim fellow, she is the first American recipient of an international literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation. She serves as Resident Writer at Wesleyan University. Her most recent novel, MORMAMA, unfolds in sort-of ancestral territory, a deteriorating mansion on a once-distinguished street in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nina RevoyrNina Revoyr was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a white American father, and grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of five novels. Her first book, The Necessary Hunger, was described by Time Magazine as “the kind of irresistible read you start on the subway at 6 p.m. on the way home from work and keep plowing through until you’ve turned the last page at 3 a.m. in bed.” Her second novel, Southland, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and “Best Book of 2003,” a Book Sense 76 pick. Nina’s third book, The Age of Dreaming, was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Nina’s fourth novel, Wingshooters, was a Booklist Editors Choice for 2011 and an O: Oprah Magazine’s “Book to Watch For,” and has won an Indie Booksellers Choice Award. Her fifth novel, Lost Canyon, was published in August, 2015. Booklist called it “a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation.” The Los Angeles Times described Nina as “one of (L.A.’s) finest scribes,” and the Los Angeles Review of Books has called her “one of the city’s great storytellers.”

Thelma-Reynathelma-reyna-bookThelma T. Reyna is the national award-winning author of four books: a short story collection (The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories), two poetry chapbooks (Breath & Bone; and Hearts in Common); and a full-length poetry collection, Rising, Falling, All of Us. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, textbooks, blogs, and regional media for over 25 years. As Poet Laureate in Altadena, 2014-2016, she edited the Altadena Poetry Review Anthology: 2015, as well as the 2016 anthology. She was recently featured in a chapter of the book, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, ed. by Mayra Calvani, 2016). Reyna holds a Ph.D. from UCLA.

Lilliam RiveraLilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel available now from Simon & Schuster. Recently named a “2017 Face to Watch” by the Los Angeles Times, Lilliam lives in Los Angeles with her family where she’s completing her second novel.

BJ RobbinsBJ Robbins established her Los Angeles-based agency in 1992 after a multi-faceted career in book publishing in NY, first in publicity at Simon & Schuster and later as Marketing Director and then Senior Editor at Harcourt. Her agency represents quality fiction, both literary and commercial, and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in memoir, biography, narrative history, pop culture, sports, travel/adventure, medicine and health. Her clients include NY Times bestselling nonfiction writers J. Maarten Troost, James Donovan, Deanne Stillman, vocal coach Roger Love, Dr. Pamela Nagami, Carol Ann Harris, nationally syndicated columnist Chris Erskine, and J.A, Mills, and novelists Stephen Graham Jones, James D. Houston, John Hough, Jr., Nafisa Haji, Renee Swindle, CBS TV Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, Eduardo Santiago, Laura Catherine Brown, Mary Volmer, and Max Byrd. A member of AAR, Ms. Robbins has led workshops at The Writers Pad, UCLA Extension, UC Irvine Extension and Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop.

Luis J. RodriguezLuis J. Rodriguez was Poet Laureate of Los Angeles from 2014-2016. He has fifteen books in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and children’s literature. Luis is best known for the best-selling memoir, Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Luis is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, a renowned cross-cultural small press, and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center & Bookstore, both in the San Fernando Valley. Luis traces his native roots to the Raramuri (Tarahumara) people of Chihuahua, Mexico and the Mexika of central and southern Mexico. He has been a Native American spiritual practitioner for almost 25 years, taught by elders among the Lakota and Dine (Navajo) as well as from Mexika, Maya, and Quechua tribes in Mexico, Central America, and Peru. His latest book is a collection of poems, Borrowed Bones, from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

Tim RussActor, writer and producer Tim Russ has worked in a cross section of films and television. His film credits include; “LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD,” “RAMPART,” “STAR TREK: GENERATIONS,” series regular roles on “THE HIGHWAYMAN,” “THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR,” “STAR TREK-VOYAGER,” “SAMANTHA WHO,” and “iCARLY.” He has also appeared in numerous stage plays including the original Los Angeles premier of “DREAMGIRLS.” Tim has performed as a musician for over twenty-seven years, playing bass, acoustic and lead guitars well as solo vocals. His musical talents are showcased on three CD’s currently distributed through iTunes and CD Baby. As a writer/producer Mr. Russ currently shared the helm in the production of the feature, “EAST OF HOPE STREET,” which won “Best Feature Film”, and “Best Actress” on the festival circuit. He was also the recipient of the Sony Innovator’s Award for a commercial he produced entitled, “The Zone.” Mr. Russ has also entered the TV/Film directing arena with credits including, “STAR TREK: VOYAGER,” and the feature films, “STAR TREK: OF GODS AND MEN,” & “NIGHT AT THE SILENT MOVIE THEATER,” and “STAR TREK: RENEGADES, ” as well as the current award winning web series, “BLOOMERS.” He has also just released two DVD collections of short stories he has written and directed entitled, “FRAME OF MIND,” volumes I & II, and has recently received and EMMY AWARD for his directing on several commercials for the FBI.

Abel SalasBased in Los Angeles, journalist and poet Abel Salas has written for The Austin Chronicle, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly and the New York Times, among others. His poems have appeared in Zyzzyva, Beltway Quarterly, Cuthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Cipactli and Huizache as well as the anthologies Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Change (University of Arizona Press, 2016) and The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising From the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016). He is the editor and publisher of Brooklyn & Boyle, a community, arts and cultural monthly and was a co-founder of Corazón del Pueblo, a grass-roots arts, education and political action center in Boyle Heights.

Ximena SalasXimena Salas was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and immigrated to South Los Angeles when she was four years old. She discovered her passion for writing when her ninth grade English teacher assigned the class a personal narrative essay. It was then that she discovered that she could express her happiness, woes, and hopes and dreams with a paper and a pen. Her favorite things to do when she isn’t writing are reading – her favorite book is Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez, watching movies – her favorite movie is The Place Beyond the Pines, and painting – mostly portraits, all while eating RedVines.

Amelia SaltsmanAmelia Saltsman is the award-winning author of The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen and The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. As the Los Angeles-born daughter of a Romanian mother and Iraqi father who were raised in Israel, her food reflects the bold, diverse flavors, and rich memories of her eclectic background. She has been featured in and written for such diverse publications as Better Homes & Gardens, Bon Appétit, Los Angeles Times, Food 52, The Kitchn, Washington Post, Cooking Light, Jewish Journal, Parade Magazine, Vegetarian Times, and Jewish Chronicle of London. Amelia served ten years on the California Certified Farmers’ Markets Advisory Committee and Direct Marketing Task Force and is a contributor to The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. She is a familiar voice on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman, and has appeared on Hallmark’s Home and Family Show and Good Day L.A.

Chris SantiagoChris Santiago is the author of Tula, winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, selected by A. Van Jordan and published by Milkweed Editions in December 2016. The recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Mellon Foundation/ACLS, and a Finalist for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award, Santiago received his PhD in English from the University of Southern California and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

Allison ScagliottiA TV veteran of over 15 years, Allison Scagliotti is firmly rooted in science fiction culture. Best known for Syfy’s Warehouse 13, Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh, and memorable guest appearances on Eureka, Smallville, One Tree Hill, and the Vampire Diaries, Allison is currently starring in the 3rd season of Stitchers. Twitter: @allisonscag

Graham SibleyGraham Sibley is a member of EST/LA and is a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company. RECENT TV: Fear The Walking Dead, How To Get Away With Murder, Aquarius. RECENT FILM: Sully, Grow House, Threshold. Graham also stars in the three independent features coming out this year: Better Off Zed, Poor Greg Drowning, The Passing Parade as well as Netflix’s new anthology series Dark/Web premiering in the fall of 2017.

Joseph ShuldinerJoseph Shuldiner is the author of two cookbooks: Pure Vegan: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living and the upcoming The Institute of Domestic Technology Cookbook (Chronicle Books), an authoritative book on the crafts of the artisanal food movement. The L.A. native is the founder of The Institute of Domestic Technology, a modern home-ec university in Southern California; the founder of the Altadena Certified Farmers Market and its pioneering (Sub)Urban Farm Project; and a former creative director at the Los Angeles Times. Shuldiner is also a partner at Headspace Consulting, which re-envisions public spaces by populating them with chefs, food makers, farmers, artists, and visionaries. A recent project was the reinvigoration of Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.

Sam SilvasSam Silvas received his MFA from St. Mary’s College and lives in Claremont, California with his family. In life and in writing, he strives to be deceptively honest. He is the author of Stanton, CA (Silver Birch Press), which examines the claustrophobia that comes from growing up in a small town, and the enigmatic search for happiness inside and outside of it. Whether a man settles for life in Stanton or attempts to escape it, the choice is fraught with unforeseen consequences as the outside world butts up against the ways of his hometown. Stanton, CA is his first book.

Hiram-SimsBorn and raised in various parts of Los Angeles, Hiram Sims is a poet, essayist and adjunct English Professor teaching at Cal State University Los Angeles, Long Beach City College, and Compton college. Hiram has a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and a Masters of Professional Writing in Poetry from USC. In addition to teaching essay writing, creative writing, and literature, he is the founder of the Urban Poets Society. He has published three collections of poetry, including Poems of a Young, Troubled Mind (2007), Write or Die: An Anthology of Poetry from the Urban Poet’s Workshop (2008), and PHOTOETRY: Poetry and Photography from South Central (2013).


Jonathan SlavinJonathan Slavin just finished up a 2 season run on Dr Ken on abc. In addition, he recurs on Speechless, also on abc. Career highlights include roles on Better Off Ted, Grimm, Major Crimes, Grey’s Anatomy, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Castle, and My Name is Earl. He spent three seasons lending his voice to the Nickelodeon cartoon Robot and Monster. He’s actively involved in animal rescue, and his home resembles a small petting zoo. He is thrilled to participate in the Tomorrow Prize Reading for the second time.

Dr. Steve SmithDr. Steve Smith is an orthopedic chiropractor with more than 30 years of experience. As an avid runner, Dr. Smith specializes in injury prevention for runners and takes his knowledge to the community. He is the co-founder of one of SoCal’s largest running clubs, the Pasadena Pacers. The Pacers provide a committed, inspiring environment for runners of all skill levels to reach a state of ultimate fitness and vitality. He is the writer of Run Healthy, Run Strong, which provides extensive insights on injury prevention.

Mike SonksenEqually a scholar and performer, Mike Sonksen, also …known as, Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation L.A. native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles and mentoring teen writers. Following his graduation from U.C.L.A. in 1997 as a Sociology Major, he has published over 500 essays and poems. His KCET column L.A. Letters celebrates literary Los Angeles. Mike has an Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in English and History and his prose and poetry have been included in programs with the Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Public Library’s “Made in LA,” series, Grand Park, the Music Center and the Friends of the Los Angeles River. His most recent book, Poetics of Location was published by Writ Large Press. Mike has taught at Cal State L.A., Southwest College, Woodbury University, View Park Prep. and St. Bernard High School.

Joseph SpringerJoseph Springer first became interested in Science Fiction after reading Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, which immediately became his favorite book. Inspired by Bradbury’s short stories, Joseph decided to try his hand at writing science fiction short stories after learning of the Tomorrow Prize. While he enjoys writing stories of all genres, science fiction is his favorite due to the profound themes it conveys, and he hopes that one day he will be able to publish his own book of scifi short stories.

Veda Ramsay-StampsVeda Ramsay-Stamps Book CoverVeda Stamps is the author of the middle grade novel Flexible Wings. She also co-owns The Ramsay Group, a community planning consulting firm. She was born in Los Angeles, California but grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her BA in Sociology at California State University, Fresno and is currently completing her MPA at the University of Southern California. Veda spent time in Washington, DC where she served as a legislative aide and speechwriter to Congressman Harold Ford, JR. She currently lives in Valencia, California with her husband, two daughters, and three little dogs.

Neil StevensNeil Stevens works in Southern California on the outer fringes of the entertainment industry while cultivating an interest in tech startups. He has traveled extensively to Europe and the Far East but has a soft spot in his heart for a small patch of sand on the Gulf Coast of Florida, which is where he’d like to settle eventually once his fortune has been made.

Tim-StilesTim Stiles lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His poems and short stories have been published in literary magazines throughout the US and Great Britain. His most recent work is Repeat After Me, a photography/poetry book collaboration with the Photographer Jay Tyrrell.

Carl StilwellCarl Stilwell aka CaLokie – I am a retired teacher of Los Angeles City Schools. I have poems published in Blue Collar Review, Canary, Lummox, November 3 poetry blog, Pearl, Prism, Revolutionary Poets Brigade–Los Angeles, The Rise Up Review, Spectrum and Struggle. I also have poems included in the anthologies, AN EYE FOR AN EYE MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND/POETS ON 911, Poetry and Cookies and In the Arms of Words: Poems for Tsunami Relief.

Phoef SuttonPhoef Sutton is a New York Times Bestselling author. The winner of two Emmy Awards for his work on the classic television comedy CHEERS and a Peabody Award for the legal drama BOSTON LEGAL. As a screenwriter, his credits include MRS. WINTERBOURNE and THE FAN, starring Robert DeNiro. He’s also written plays and novels, among them CRUSH, FIFTEEN MINUTES TO LIVE and (with Janet Evanovich) WICKED CHARMS. He forthcoming books in 2016 are Curious Minds with Janet Evanovich and Heart-Attack and Vine, a sequel to Crush. He lives in South Pasadena, California with his wife and two daughters.

Lisa-Teasleylisa-teasley-bookLisa Teasley is the author of the acclaimed novels Heat Signature and Dive, and the award-winning story collection, Glow in the Dark, all published by Bloomsbury. Lisa Teasley’s essays, stories and poems have been much anthologized, appearing in publications and media such as National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, Zyzzyva, Black Clock and Los Angeles Review of Books, where she is currently a fiction editor. Her BBC television documentary High School Prom was in long-term rotation in the UK. Lisa has taught fiction writing at the UCLA Writers Program, University of California, Riverside, Cal Arts MFA Writing Program and Antioch University, as well as in other parts of the world such as Indonesia, Nigeria and Haiti.

Jervey Tervalon was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles, and received his MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine. His new novel is Monster’s Chef. He is the Executive Director and founder of Literature for Life, literary magazine and educational advocacy organization, and Literary Director of The Pasadena LitFest. He lives in LA with his wife, Jinghuan Liu Tervalon and their kids.

Jinghuan-Liu-TervalonJinghuan Liu Tervalon graduated from Fudan University. She consults in innovation and most recently worked for Dragon Rouge, a French innovation and design company in Shanghai. She has recently written for Pasadena Weekly.

Mary Langer ThompsonMary Langer Thompson’s poems, short stories, and essays appear in various journals and anthologies. She is a contributor to two poetry writing texts, The Working Poet (Autumn Press, 2009) and Women and Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012), and was the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California. Her first collection of poems, Poems in Water, was published by Green Fuse Poetic Arts of Loveland, Colorado in 2014, and she is working on a second collection entitled “It’s a School Night.” Her children’s book How the Blue-Tongued Skink got his Blue Tongue was recently released by Another Think Coming Press. A retired school principal and former secondary English teacher, Langer Thompson received her Ed.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She continues to enjoy conducting writing workshops for schools, prisons, and in her community of the high desert of California.

AK ToneyAK Toney is a father, husband, student, poet, and founder of Reading is Poetry, an LA based literacy program founded in 2005 with a primary focus on K-5 inner-city children.

Alex TraftonAlex Trafton is the U.S. Operations Director for Global Media Risk. He has extensive experience in the Middle East conducting risk consultancy and training. He is also a current law enforcement officer and is the head instructor of Krav Maga San Diego. He is the senior instructor for all U.S.-based Global Media Risk courses. He operated as a Krav Maga instructor for elite units from the IDF as well as visiting elite units from foreign militaries.

Jesus TrevinoJesús Salvador Treviño won the American Book Award in 2016 for his short story collection, Return to Arroyo Grande. He is writer/director whose television directing credits include LAW & ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT, PRISON BREAK, ER, BONES, CROSSING JORDAN, THIRD WATCH, NYPD BLUE,THE O.C., DAWSON’S CREEK, NASH BRIDGES, STAR TREK VOYAGER, BABYLON FIVE and many others. His national PBS documentaries about Latinos include YO SOY CHICANO, AMÉRICA TROPICAL, LA RAZA UNIDA, CHICANO MORATORIUM and THE SALAZAR INQUEST. He was Co-Executive Producer of the PBS documentary series, CHICANO! HISTORY OF THE MEXICAN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and Co-Executive Producer of the RESURRECION BLVD. drama series on SHOWTIME. Mr. Treviño’s collection of short stories, The Fabulous Sinkhole and Other Stories was published in 1995. A memoir of his experiences as an activist filmmaker during the turbulent 1960s, Eyewitness: A Filmmaker’s Memoir of the Chicano Movement was published in 2001. A second collection of short stories, The Skyscraper That Flew, was published in 2005. Mr. Treviño’s latest venture is www.Latinopia.com, a video-driven website on Latino history, art, music, theater, literature, cinema and food.

Maja TrochimczykMaja Trochimczyk, Ph.D. is a Polish American poet, music historian, photographer, and author of six books on music and five volumes of poetry: Rose Always, Miriam’s Iris, Slicing the Bread, Into Light, and The Rainy Bread, honored by PAHA’s 2016 Creative Arts Prize. She also edited two poetry anthologies, Chopin with Cherries and Meditations on Divine Names. A former Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (2010-2012), she is the founder of Moonrise Press and Board Secretary of the Polish American Historical Association. www.trochimczyk.net.

David L. UlinDavid L. Ulin is the author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/DIamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, his other books include The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award.

Mark VillasenorAn active and determined leader of his community both culturally and politically, Mark Villasenor has been an engaged member of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, a sovereign tribe of Los Angeles County, for his adult life. He is the descendant of lineages/villages of Ta’apu, Tapo Canyon, Siutcanga, the village at Encino, and Chaguayanga, a village in Santa Clarita Valley. As the current Tribal Secretary for his tribe, Mark manages proceedings of his government, collaborates with Federal, State and local municipalities, as well as other sovereign nations, and as part of the executive branch, advises the President of his tribe. To better accomplish financial, political, or cultural objectives for his tribal community, he graduated with a B.S. Business Administration with a focus in Global Supply Chain Management from California State University, Northridge. Since 2010, he has worked for the United States Census, Tribal non-profits, and Tribal Governments in various capacities.

Pam WardPam Ward, a UCLA graduate and recipient of a California Arts Council Fellow in Literature and New Letters Literary Award. Pam operates her own graphic design studio, Ward Graphics as well as her own publishing house, Short Dress Press. Pam has had her poetry published in many journals and she has two novels published, Want Some Get Some, and Bad Girls Burn Slow.

Ellis WeinerEllis Weiner has been writing humor since the Late-Pleistocene. He was an editor of National Lampoon, a columnist for Spy, and a contributor to a thousand magazines including The Paris Review and (still!) the New Yorker. For ten years he had a great career writing children’s television until…well, never mind. He is author or co-author of over twenty books, including Yiddish With Dick and Jane, How to Raise a Jewish Dog, How to Profit from the Coming Rapture, Drop Dead, My Lovely, and the middle-grade novels The Templeton Twins Have an Idea and The Templeton Twins Make a Scene. His latest book, written with Steve Radlauer, is Monsters of the Ivy League, published this past April. He is founder and editor of The Sherman Oaks Review of Books (www.shermanoaksreview.com), an online humor magazine.

C. Imani WilliamsC. Imani Williams is a freelance writer and social/human justice activist. She holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. A Queer Black Womanist, Imani uses her voice to raise awareness in efforts to help empower others. Her work has been published in Pride Source Between the Lines, Tucson Weekly, The Michigan Citizen, Harlem Times and with various popular culture, health, news blogs and magazines including Dope Magazine, For Harriet, and KollideTV.com.

Larry Wilson is a Columnist and Editorial Writer for Pasadena Star News.

John Wiltshire – I am not a poet in the way Robert Frost is a poet. Sometimes I think of something and write it down. I believe it is a gift from God. Who reads it is of little concern to me. I believe it has been written before in another time and in another place.

Annette WongAnnette Wong is an LA based poet and attorney. Her work has been featured in the Altadena Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, Spark & Echo Arts, and Rick Lupert’s Poetry Super Highway. She currently workshops with Altadena Poet Laureate Elline Lipkin through Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Peter WoodsPeter Woods is a partner at Writ Large Press, the LA based indie publisher that focuses on books and events that transgress and disrupt, including the epic #90X90 summer project. He has contributed over a decade of service as a one of LA’s most prolific producers, with events ranging from music and culture to education and literary arts, and in a wide range of unique venues— from guerilla spaces such as auto body shops and lofts, to renowned galleries, exquisite locations, and large format venues. His productions reflect a need to address the shortage of creative events accessible to the community as displayed by his continued work with his own Quality Collective, a grass roots movement created in 2000 with a manifesto to create alternative stages, increase artist visibility and offer free art to the public.

George WrightGeorge Wright is a track & field runner who has attended over a thousand Track and Field meets, including three United States-Soviet Union dual meets; five Olympic Games and twelve World Track and Field Championships. George began chronicling his running experiences while in high school, as well as eventually writing a number of articles about the politics of international sport. He ghostwrote The Autobiography of Stan Wright: Forty Years in the “Good Old Boy” in 2005. That project took seven years and was a labor of love. Stan was the sprint coach for the 1968 and 1972 United States Olympic Track and Field teams; and, was chairperson of the Amateur Athletic Union’s Track and Field Committee in the late 1960’s and most of the 1970’s. He is considered an African-American pioneer in the areas of coaching and sports administration. George also made a video documentary about the 1950 Los Angeles Jefferson High School Track and Field team, a team which is considered the greatest United States high school track team of all-time. George has a Ph.D in politics from the University of Leeds (UK). He plans to attend the 2017 World Track and Field Championships in London this summer.

Kay YoungKay Young is a professor of English at UC Santa Barbara. She and Caroline Allen have written a book about their travels in Iceland, I’ve Never Been So Unannoyed: Iceland for the Lady Traveler.

Ekaterina ZhosanEkaterina Zhosan was born in Russia, where she spent a significant part of her childhood. After her education in Russia, she moved to the U.S., where she first started writing. Ekaterina lives in California and is a sophomore in Los Angeles based award-winning charter school HTLA, located in Lake Balboa. She enjoys reading fantasy, as well as science fiction and horror books. Ekaterina Zhosan is a beginner in writing, but you can definitely expect more stories and even novels to come from her in the nearest future.