Authors & Speakers

Over 150 authors, artists, and speakers are participating in LitFest Pasadena 2018. For authors with books available, books may be purchased at Vroman’s Bookstore for signing after they appear.

Carl Stillwell

CaLokie (aka Carl Stilwell) is a retired teacher who taught over 30 years in Southern California. Born during the depression, he came to California in 1959 and has lived here ever since. His poetry has been published in Blue Collar Review, Canary, Life and Legends, Lummox, Pearl, Prism, Revolutionary Poets Brigade–Los Angeles, Spectrum, Struggle and Verse-Virtual. He also has had poems included in the anthologies, An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind/Poets on 911 and In the Arms of Words: Poems for Tsunami Relief. He was selected as a “Top 10 San Gabriel Valley Poet: 2016” by Spectrum Publications.

Carla Sameth

Carla Sameth’s work has appeared in several anthologies and other publications, such as ?The Nervous Breakdown, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Child & Brain Teen Magazine, Mutha Magazine, Full Grown People, Angels Flight Literary West, Tikkun, Pasadena Weekly, Hometown Pasadena and La Bloga. Her story, “Graduation Day at Addiction High,” which ran in Narratively, was selected by Longreads for “Five Stories About Addiction.” Carla was selected as a Fall 2016 PEN Fellow in The Community Teaching Artist and has taught incarcerated youth with She teaches creative writing with the LA Writing Project (LAWP) and with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) . She is a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets and has an MFA in Creative Writing (Latin America) from Queens University.

Cecil Castellucci

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, Soupy Leaves Home, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, and the Eisner nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she co-authored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. Out in 2018 is Don’t Cosplay With My Heart. She is currently writing Shade, The Changing Girl, an ongoing comic on Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. Her short stories and short comics have been published in Strange Horizons,, Womanthology, Star Trek: Waypoint and Vertigo SFX: Slam! She is the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two time Macdowell Fellow and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Chelsea Sutton

Chelsea Sutton is a fiction writer, playwright, and screenwriter. Her fiction has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Spectrum, Bourbon Penn, The Texas Observer, Exposition Review, and others. She was 2016 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and is currently working on a short story collection Curious Monsters and her first novel. Her play Wood Boy Dog Fish, a macabre retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio, is playing at the Garry Marshall Theatre this May and June 2018.

Chloe Cole

Chloe Cole has written about fandom and feminism for Dorkly, The Mary Sue, CollegeHumor and Reductress. Most recently, Vice published her short story, “Moved,” about doppelgänger sex dolls. She is currently getting her MFA in Fiction from UC Riverside.

Chris Daley

Chris Daley is the Director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles and she also teaches at the California Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Collagist, FORTH Magazine, Angels Flight • literary west, DUM DUM Zine, Front Porch Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. She was recently awarded the Yefe Nof California Writing Residency.

Christa Faust

Christa Faust is the author of several hardboiled crime novels, including Choke Hold, Money Shot and Hoodtown. She also recently wrote a gritty, semi-autobiographical graphic novel set in Times square in the 80s called Peepland (with coauthor Gary Phillips) and is currently writing strong female characters for Marvel Comics. She grew up in NYC but now lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Chuck Corbisiero

Chuck earned his B.F.A. in Musical Performance and Arranging at the City University of New York – The City College. He has performed with Eddy Arnold and most recently with the Mills Brothers.

Claudia Casper

Claudia Casper is the author of the best-selling novel The Reconstruction and The Continuation of Love by Other Means, which was short-listed for the Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize. Her most recent post-climate change, post-apocalyptic novel, The Mercy Journals, won the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction. Her writing has appeared in LitHub, the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, Geist, Event, Best Canadian Short Stories (Oberon), the anthology Dropped Threads: What We Aren’t Told (Vintage), edited by Carol Shields and Canadian Content. She is writing the screenplay for a France/Canada coproduction of The Reconstruction. Her work has been published in Canada, the US, the UK, and Germany. She has been a mentor with Vancouver Manuscript Intensive for over ten years and has taught in the Creative Writing Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Casper was born in Toronto, attended S.E.E.D. high school and received a BA from the University of Toronto. She lives in Vancouver, where she is working on her next novel.

Colleen Dunn Bates

Colleen Dunn Bates (moderator) is the founder and publisher of Prospect Park Books, which specializes in mysteries, fiction, cookbooks, memoirs, and regional/gift titles.

Conney Williams

Conney Williams is a former Los Angeles based poet, actor and performance artist originally from Shreveport, Louisiana who now lives in the Dominican Republic. He has published two poetry collections “Leaves of Spilled Spirit from an Untamed Poet (2002/2008)” and Red Soul Falsetto (2012).”  His poetry has also been published in various publications and anthologies. He was the Artistic Director at the World Stage in Leimert Park; and a member and Coordinator for the Anansi Writers Workshop. He has hosted several poetry venues and been a curator for many poetry/jazz events throughout Los Angeles. He was the Poet’s Stage Coordinator for the Leimert Park Book Fair for five years.

Connie diMarco

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink featuring Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released in August 2018. Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in both The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Dana Middleton

Dana Middleton grew up in Georgia and lives Los Angeles where she writes children’s books and animated television. She was a producer of an Academy Award nominated short film, and is also a recipient of a Los Angeles Theatre Ovation Award. Her books include The Infinity Year of Avalon James, (Feiwel & Friends, 2016) and Open If You Dare (Feiwel & Friends, 2017).

Daniel A. Olivas

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of nine books including the The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press), and Crossing the Border: Poems (Pact Press). Olivas is the editor of the landmark anthology, Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press), which brings together 60 years of Los Angeles fiction by Latino/a writers. Widely anthologized, he has also written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, El Paso Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and La Bloga.

Daniel Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez is an award-winning journalist, author, correspondent, and commentator across a variety of media outlets. A native of San Diego/Tijuana, Daniel is currently editor of, a platform for food and news coverage in Los Angeles. Daniel is author of “Down & Delirious in Mexico City” (Scribner), a nonfiction exploration of youth subcultures, and has recently published essays on Highline for Huff Post and for the Los Angeles Times editorial page. Daniel spent nearly a decade living and working in Mexico, where he served as founding Mexico bureau chief for Vice News, and as editor of Vice Mexico. Daniel contributes to NPR stations KPCC and KCRW in Southern California.

Daniel Voll

Daniel Voll’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Story, and Esquire, where he is a Contributing Editor. “Riot Baby” was selected for The Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers. Daniel, who also writes for television and films, lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two children. Jelani, the subject of this story, is now a senior in college.

Danielle Davis

Danielle Davis grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong and now lives in Los Angeles. She has an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and has had the privilege of teaching English to middle school and community college students. Presently, she reads and writes and blogs at This Picture Book Life. Zinnia and the Bees is her first novel.

David Davis

Journalist-curator-editor David Davis is the author of three books: “Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku;” “Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze;” and “Play By Play: Los Angeles Sports Photography: 1889-1989.” His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Smithsonian, and has been anthologized in “The Best American Sports Writing” series. He lives in Los Angeles.

David Francis

David Francis – Wedding Bush Road – david.francis@nortonrosefulbright.comDavid Francis is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Stonewall Prize for Literature and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist His third novel, Wedding Bush Road, was released in Australia and the United States in 2017. David has taught creative writing at University of California, Los Angeles, Occidental College and University of Southern California. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, Best Australian Stories, Australian Love Stories, Los Angeles Times and The Rattling Wall. He works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm in Los Angeles and spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.

Deborah Arlook

Debe Arlook is an L.A. based artist working in conceptual and abstract photography. Debe found quick success with her first fine art submission accepted into an American Photographic Arts juried exhibit and shared walls nationally recognized photographers. Commercially, she has honed her reportage skills documenting bands on tour – including Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – and expeditions with the United Cerebral Palsy in the jungles and towns of Nicaragua. Since 2001, her work has been exhibited extensively in Southern California at the San Diego Art Institute, Pacific Design Center, Louis Stern Gallery, Fabrik Projects Gallery, dnj Gallery with California venues and on the east coast. She was invited to exhibit at the 2016 Southern California/Baja Biennial in San Diego and asked to be featured in the upcoming issue of Éclat International magazine. She has been published nationally and internationally in L’Oeil De La Photographie, Rangefinder Magazine, Shots Magazine and more. Expanding on her love for art, Debe has worked on the other side of the art world in galleries and at art fairs. She has curated exhibits, shoots reportage commercially and is a printer for fine art photographers in Los Angeles.

Derek 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 USC. His first book of poetry Articulate Scars was published in 2017. Derek is a member of the Still Waters Writers’ Collective and regularly shares his work at the World Stage Performance Gallery‘s longstanding Anansi Writers Workshop. He has also facilitates the open mic at Vibrations Cultural Center and Tea House as well as filling in at The World Stage.

Don Kingfisher Campbell

Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA from Antioch University L.A., has taught at Occidental College for 33 years, poetry editor of the Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum magazine, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For awards, features, and publication credits, please go to:

Donnell Alexander

Donnell Alexander is a Los Angeles-based storyteller whose work has been featured by KCRW, Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, Leafly, and Time.

Douglas Manuel

Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has served as the Poetry Editor of Gold Line Press as well as was one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His work is featured on Poetry Foundation’s website and has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify, was released by Red Hen Press in the spring of 2017.

Edoardo Ponti

Edoardo Ponti is a film director who divides his time between California and Italy. He has made a name for himself in the industry with numerous award-winning shorts and feature films, as well as plays and an opera. Edoardo Ponti graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1994 with a BA in creative writing. He went on to earn an MFA in film directing and production from USC’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts in 1997. Edoardo is married to actress Sasha Alexander, with whom he has two wonderful children. This is his first book of poetry.

Elena Sichrovsky

Born in Japan but raised in Taiwan, Elena Sichrovsky is an Austrian citizen currently living in Shanghai, China. She’s a student at SUES there and also a member of The Shanghai Writing Workshop. She has been writing since fifth grade and continues to pursue it with a passion; she’s currently finishing work on her first novel and loves writing poetry and short stories as well.

Eli Ryder

Eli Ryder lives in a small desert suburb of Los Angeles with his wife and daughter, where he teaches English, writes speculative fiction, and is an avid lover of all things twisted. His writing has appeared in print, online, and on stage, and he is a Co-Founding Editor of Automata Review. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from UC Riverside’s low-residency program in Palm Desert.

Elisabeth Sheffield

Elisabeth Sheffield is the author of three novels, all published by FC2: Helen Keller Really Lived (2014), Fort Da: A Report (2009), and Gone (2003). Additionally, her work has appeared in various venues such as Ploughshares, the Denver Quarterly, Pretext, 13th Moon, Gulf Coast and past and present issues of Gargoyle. A National Endowment of the Arts Award for Literature Fellow in 2012, Elisabeth Sheffield has also been awarded two Fulbrights, in Kiel, Germany (1999-2000), and in Belfast, Northern Ireland (2014), and a writing residency at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study in Bremen, Germany (2016-2017). Currently she is working on another novel and directing the creative writing program at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Elline Lipkin

Elline Lipkin, Ph.D., the Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District for 2016- 2018, co-edited last year’s edition of the Altadena Poetry Review Anthology 2017. She is the award-winning author of two books: The Errant Thread and Girls’ Studies. Her poetry and scholarly work have appeared in a variety of journals and academic publications. She is a Research Scholar with UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women and teaches for Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing is from the University of Houston.

Eric Beetner

Eric Beetner has been described as “the James Brown of crime fiction – the hardest working man in noir.” (Crime Fiction Lover) and “The 21st Century’s answer to Jim Thompson” (LitReactor). He has written more than 20 novels including Rumrunners, Leadfoot, The Devil Doesn’t Want Me, The Year I Died 7 Times and Criminal Economics. His award-winning short stories have appeared in over three dozen anthologies. He co-hosts the podcast Writer Types and the Noir at the Bar reading series in Los Angeles where he lives and works as a television editor. For more visit