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Authors & Speakers

Over 250 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.

Brandon Yung

Brandon James Yung is a senior at South Pasadena High School and a Curator of Tunnel Magazine  which publishes art + writing + music + misc from young and fresh people, specifically high schoolers.

Brandy Colbert

Brandy Colbert is the Stonewall Award–winning author of Little & Lion and Pointe, and the forthcoming Finding Yvonne. Her short fiction and essays have been featured in several critically acclaimed anthologies for young people, and her books have made several best-of lists, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Vulture, and more. Brandy lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Brian Biery

Brian Biery is a documentary photographer who strives to capture the complexities, contradictions and beauty of life through his camera lens. His world view has been shaped by living in Guatemala as a Peace Corps Volunteer and by working in community organizing projects in the city of Pasadena. His work has been shown in numerous exhibits including the ‘Tender Land’ (Pasadena), the Sierra Club (Pasadena Chapter), and the Los Angeles County Fair. In addition, his photos have been published in various magazines including Orion, Z Magazine, Eco Traveler, American Cattleman, and the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine. Brian was the photographer for the book Power of One written by Traude Gomez.

Brian Corley

Brian Corley is based out of Austin, Texas, and enjoys looking for the strange underbelly of his beloved city. When Corley isn’t exploring the unknown, he can be found in his home office dreaming up his next comic fantasy novel. For more info, visit his website at

Brian Lin

Born in Taiwan and living in LA, Brian Lin is a queer writer of color and an ethnic studies teacher. He studied literature at Brown University and urban education at UCLA. Brian taught at Hawthorne High School and is at work on his debut novel and a short story collection. He enters USC’s Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature in the fall.

Bridgette Bianca

bridgette bianca is a poet and professor from South Central Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Howard University and her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Otis College of Art & Design. bridgette bianca has performed her poetry all around Southern California, including features at the World Stage, the Southern California Poetry Festival, the 2017 Los Angeles Lit Crawl, the Table Lit, and the un::fade::able Reading Series. She was most recently published on bridgette bianca’s work as a writer and an educator seeks to serve the people and moments most forget or ignore.

Brooke Jean

Los Angeles native spoken-word artist Brooke Jean returns to creating and performing her motivational pieces of art. After a two-year mental growth break from international and domestic performances, Brooke Jean is gearing up to revive the soul and jazz scenes. From eclectic acapella story-telling to full-fledged music compositions, her goal is to consistently remind us of the God-given power within us. Inspiring her audience to embrace their innermost insecurities remains the top priority as Brooke Jean exposes her own vulnerabilities through her poetry.

Caeli Wolfson Widger

Caeli Wolfson Widger is the author of the novel Real Happy Family. Her other work has appeared in numerous literary journals, the New York Times Magazine, and Amazon’s Day One and on NPR. Caeli lives with her husband and three children in Santa Monica, California, where she runs a recruiting firm focused on tech start-ups.

Camari Carter-Hawkins

Camari Carter-Hawkins is a poet, fiction writer, and small business owner. Her first book of poetry Death by Comb was published in May 2016 by World Stage Press. Her works can also be found in Rise Anthology by Vagabond Press. Hawkins is the 2018 Spoken Word, Voices Heard Amateur Slam Winner. Hawkins is currently writing a novel and a book of short stories.

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.

Cassandra Lane

Cassandra Lane, a writer, journalist and educator, has published stories in a variety of newspapers, journals, magazines and anthologies. In April 2018, she was part of Expressing Motherhood, a live storytelling show in L.A. Her book-length project explores the impact of a lynching on her family, and her motherhood story was part of the New York Times’ “Conception” series in January 2018. She is the managing editor of L.A. Parent magazine and lives in South L.A. with her husband and young son.

Cat Staggs

Cat is an artist best known for her work on the New York Times Bestselling title Smallville Season 11 from DC Comics. Currently working on Crosswind with co-creator, Gail Simone (Image Comics). She has also worked on popular titles like Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay (DC Comics), Adventures of Supergirl (DC Comics), Wonder Woman ‘77 (DC Comics), X-Files and Orphan Black (IDW), Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman (DC), John Carpenter’s Tales For A Halloween Night (Storm King), The Vampire Diaries (DC), Phantom Lady and Doll Man (DC), Star Trek (IDW), and over ten years in the Star Wars universe with Lucasfilm.

CB Lee

CB Lee is the author of the Sidekick Squad series, a young adult science fiction adventure that follow queer teens, and also the fantasy Seven Tears At High Tide. Lee’s first novel in theSidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards.  Connect with her on Twitter @author_cblee and on Instagram at @cblee_cblee.

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.

Cheryl Klein

Cheryl Klein is the author of a story collection, The Commuters (City Works Press), and a novel, Lilac Mines (Manic D Press). A monthly columnist for MUTHA, Cheryl’s stories and essays have also appeared Blunderbuss, Mom Egg Review, The Normal School, Razorcake, and several anthologies. Her work has been honored by the MacDowell Colony and the Center for Cultural Innovation. By day she works for the youth writing and tutoring organization 826LA. She is also a podcast junkie who blogs about the intersection of art, life, and carbohydrates at

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 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 Blue

David Blue is best known for portraying geek hero Eli Wallace on “STARGATE UNIVERSE.” But you may have also seen him as vampire hacker Logan Griffen on “MOONLIGHT,” fan-favorite Cliff St. Paul on “UGLY BETTY” or any of his multiple TV appearances – “CASTLE,” “RIZOLLI & ISLES,” “VERONICA MARS” & more. He also voiced the role of Sam in “SUNSET OVERDRIVE” and multiple characters in “WORLD OF WARCRAFT,” “BREADWINNERS” and more. He can soon be seen opposite Chris Klein and Thora Birch in the upcoming film “THE COMPETITION.” Much more is coming out this year! Keep an eye here for details: (He also currently battles the evils of the Aperture Science Corporation)