Spalding MFA in Writing Faculty

Some faculty members teach in more than one area (see bios for details); not all faculty members teach each semester.

Julie Brickman
K.L. Cook
Leslie Daniels
Pete Duval
Kirby Gann
Rachel Harper
Roy Hoffman
Silas House
Fenton Johnson
Robin Lippincott
Jody Lisberger
Nancy McCabe
Eleanor Morse
Sena Jeter Naslund
Elaine Neill Orr
John Pipkin
Neela Vaswani
Crystal Wilkinson
Debra Kang Dean
Kathleen Driskell
Shane McCrae
Maureen Morehead
Greg Pape
Jeanie Thompson

David-Matthew Barnes
Larry Brenner
Gabriel Dean
Helena Kriel
Kira Obolensky
Eric Schmiedl
Charlie Schulman
Sam Zalutsky
Creative Nonfiction
Dianne Aprile
Charles Gaines
Roy Hoffman
Fenton Johnson
Nancy McCabe
Elaine Neill Orr
Neela Vaswani
Luke Wallin
Rebecca Walker

Writing for Children & Young Adults
David-Matthew Barnes
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Beth Bauman
Carolyn Crimi
Edie Hemingway
Lesléa Newman

To see all faculty books, click here.

The faculty is carefully chosen by Program Director Sena Jeter Naslund from candidates nationwide who are known to be not only publishing writers, but also excellent teachers. The instructors create a supportive and honest environment for their students at the residency and during the at-home (independent study) portion of the semester. Faculty mentors help each student design an Independent Study Plan that meets that student at his or her level of ability and interest in order to promote maximum improvement and learning. Each study plan is individualized and created with the student’s writing goals in mind.

Dianne Aprile, MFA (creative nonfiction). Dianne Aprile is the author of four books of nonfiction: Making a Heart for God: A Week Inside a Catholic Monastery (2000); The Eye Is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering (2000) with printmaker Mary Lou Hess; The Abbey of Gethsemani: Place of Peace and Paradox (1998), and The Things We Don’t Forget: Views from Real Life (1994). She is editor of (and contributor to) The Book, a letter-press, hand-printed volume of fine-art photographs by Julius Friedman, with texts by 25 poets and writers, coming out this winter. She is also a contributor to This I Believe: Kentucky, published by Butler Books/NPR.  Recently published books include A Landscape and Its Legacy: The Parklands of Floyds Fork (21st Century Parks, 2012) and a revised paperback edition of The Eye Is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering (2012).  She is at work on a memoir, a portion of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work is included in an anthology of writing exercises, Now Write Nonfiction, published by Tarcher/Penguin (2010). In 2008, she was named the first writer in residence for Spalding’s BFA in Writing program. She is the recipient of three individual artist fellowships in nonfiction from the Kentucky Arts Council (most recently in 2008), and two writing grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a Hedgebrook Writers Residency (2011) and a Washington State Artist Trust Writers Fellowship (2012). Her essays and book reviews have been published in literary journals, newspapers, magazines and on-line journals, and also appear in anthologies, including A Kentucky Christmas, Conversations with Kentucky Authors, and Savory Memories, all published by University Press of Kentucky. She has had poems recently published in The Louisville Review and Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems. As a staff writer for The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, she won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ top award in 1996, and in 1989 shared a staff Pulitzer Prize for team coverage of the aftermath of a northern Kentucky school bus crash. Her collection of Courier-Journal columns, The Things We Don’t Forget, was adapted for stage and produced by the University of Louisville theater department. As a journalist, she earned more than a dozen first-place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in the areas of criticism, magazine writing column-writing and feature writing. Her work was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition with Bob Edwards and in Southern Living, and has been part of two gallery shows combining text and visual art, “Silence as Sacred Text” and “The Marriage Project.” She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding Univeristy. She and her husband, who co-owned a jazz club in Louisville for five years, recently moved to Seattle, where she is the co-producer of A Moveable Salon, a new in-home reading series launched in summer 2012 in the Seattle area. (top)

David-Matthew Barnes, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting, writing for children and young adults). David-Matthew Barnes is the bestselling author of twelve novels and several collections of stage plays, poetry, short stories, and monologues. Two of his young adult novels have been recognized by the American Library Association for their diversity. He is the President of the Pindelion Entertainment Group, the creator and producer of the teen television series Bloom, the Artistic Director of The Dorothy Nickle Performing Arts Company, and the host of the weekly radio show People You Should Know. His first feature film, the coming-of-age drama Frozen Stars (starring Lana Parrilla of ABC’s Once Upon a Time), received worldwide distribution. He has written over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. His literary work has been featured in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Best Men’s Stage Monologues, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, The Comstock Review, and The Southeast Review. His stage plays have been official selections for the Chicago Director’s Festival, the DC Queer Theatre Festival, FronteraFest, the Johannesburg One-Act Drama Festival, the Mid-America Dramatists Lab, the NYC 15-Minute Play Festival, the Rough Writers New Play Festival, and the Western Australia Drama Festival. His work has been performed on stages across the country including productions at the American Globe Theatre, the Boston Center for the Arts, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Hyde Park Theatre, and the Producer’s Club in New York City. Internationally his plays have been produced in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. He was selected by Kent State University as the national winner of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Theatre Education at the University of Northern Colorado. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He has been a teacher for nearly a decade, instructing college courses in writing, literature, and the arts. (top)

Susan Campbell Bartoletti, PhD (writing for children and young adults). Newbery-Honor author Susan Campbell Bartoletti has published seventeen books ranging from picture books, novels, and nonfiction for young readers. Her latest nonfiction book is the YALSA honor-winning They Called Themselves the K.K.K: the Birth of an American Terrorist Group. (Houghton Mifflin 2010). For her body of nonfiction work, she was awarded the prestigious Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild award in 2009. Her work has received dozens of awards and honors, including the ALA Newbery Honor, ALA Robert F. Sibert Award for Nonfiction, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Charlotte Zolotow honor, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction,ALA Notable Children’s Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book, and Booklist Editors’ Choice, among others. Despite writing about depressing subjects such as home-grown terrorism in They Called Themselves the K.K.K., the horror of the Third Reich in Hitler Youth and The Boy Who Dared (Scholastic 2005, 2008), famine in Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine (Houghton, 2001), and child labor in Kids on Strike! (Houghton 1999) and Growing Up in Coal Country (Houghton 1996), and the pain of arranged marriages in A Coal Miner’s Bride (Dear America, Scholastic 2000), she insists that she has a good sense of humor, no doubt a defense mechanism developed as a result of teaching eighth grade for eighteen years. Her latest novel is Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose, 1871 (Scholastic 2013). She holds a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University (New York). She lives with her husband near Scranton, Pennsylvania. They have two grown children. Visit her website at http://www.scbartoletti.com. (top)

Beth Ann Bauman, MFA (writing for children & young adults). Beth Ann Bauman is the author of a short story collection Beautiful Girls (MacAdam/Cage), and the young-adult novels Rosie and Skate (Random House), which was selected for the New York Times Editors’ Choice list and Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels for Youth, and Jersey Angel (Random House), selected by Publishers Weekly, Boston Globe, and The Horn Book as a best summer book. Beth has received fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She teaches fiction writing at New York University and online at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. (top)

Larry Brenner, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Larry Brenner is a graduate of Spalding’s MFA program, and is currently earning his PhD in Educational Theatre at NYU. In Fall 2010, Larry’s screenplay, Bethlehem, was one of the winners in the Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition, which is now being produced by Joe Roth Productions. It subsequently placed on the 2011 Hollywood Black List, Hit List, and Blood List. He’s has also written Labyrinth for Walt Disney Pictures and Angelology for SONY/Columbia Pictures. Saving Throw Versus Love, was produced at part of the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. It was then selected for the Fringe Encore Series, and is currently in contract with producers for an upcoming Off-Broadway run.  Larry is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and WGAEast. (top)

Julie Brickman Julie Brickman, MFA, PhD (fiction). Julie Brickman is author of the novel What Birds Can Only Whisper and the story collection Two Deserts. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the North American Review, the Barcelona Review, Fireweed, The Louisville Review, the International Journal of Women’s Studies, Kinesis, Canadian Dimension, as well as other journals and the anthology States of Rage.  When the San Diego Union-Tribune had a Books section, she published thirty-some reviews in it. Julie’s honors include grants from the Canada Council, a Pushcart prize nomination, a writer-in-residence position at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, and finalist status in the San Diego Book Awards.  She has served as guest faculty editor of The Louisville Review in both fiction and creative nonfiction. Also a clinical psychologist, Brickman spent seventeen years in private practice before becoming a writer. Raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Laguna Beach, California. Visit her website at  http://www.juliebrickman.com. (top)

K. L. Cook, MFA (fiction). K. L. Cook’s collection of linked stories, Last Call (Univ. of Nebraska Press 2004), won the inaugural Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Stories from the collection were originally published in The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah, American Short Fiction, and Witness, among other journals and magazines.  His novel, The Girl from Charnelle (William Morrow 2006, Harper Perennial 2007), won the 2007 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and was an Editor’s Choice selection by the Historical Novel Society and a Southwest Book of the Year, among other honors.  His thematically linked cycle of stories, Love Songs for the Quarantined (Willow Springs Editions 2011), won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Stories from this book originally appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, Harvard Review, and The Louisville Review, as well as other journals and anthologies. Several of the pieces won individual awards, including the Western Writers of America Association Award for best short story set in the American West and selection for the 2012 Best American Mystery Stories and Best of the West 2011.  Additional essays, articles, and stories have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Brevity, Glimmer Train Bulletin, Now Write: Fiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education, and When I Was a Loser.  Other honors include the Grand Prize from the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Arts Series, an Arizona Commission on the Arts Fellowship, and residency fellowships to The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, and Ucross. He has taught as a distinguished professor at many colleges and universities and is currently a professor in the MFA Program for Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. Visit his website at www.klcook.com. (top)

MFA-Crimi-CarolynCarolyn Crimi, MFA (writing for children and young adults). Carolyn Crimi received her MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College in 2000. She has published over thirteen books, including Don’t Need Friends (Random House, 1999), Boris and Bella (Harcourt, 2004), Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies (Candlewick, 2005), Where’s My Mummy? (Candlewick, 2008), Principal Fred Won’t Go To Bed (Marshall Cavendish, 2011), Dear Tabby (Harper, 2012), Rock and Roll Mole (Dial, 2011), and Pugs in a Bug (Dial, 2012). Carolyn was quite pleased to be awarded The 2012 Prairie State Award for her body of work. Her books have garnered over 30 state awards and award nominations, including The Kentucky Bluegrass Award, The Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award and The Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award. Carolyn enjoys giving Author Talks to elementary schools all over the country. Her website, www.carolyncrimi.com, gives more details about her books and her background. Students, moms, teachers and librarians are also welcome to post letters about their pets on Carolyn’s blog,  deartabbycat.blogspot.com. (top)

Leslie Daniels, MA, MFA (fiction) First novel, Cleaning Nabokov’s House, was published by Simon & Schuster/Touchstone in 2011, paperback in 2012, in translation in four languages, and was recently optioned for film. Prior to the book’s publication, Leslie worked in publishing for two decades, first as an assistant, then as a literary agent in New York. Throughout her tenure as a literary agent, Leslie nurtured the work and careers of many fine writers, working closely with writers to shape and edit their work. Leslie received a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, MA in psychology from the New School for Social Research, MFA in creative writing from Vermont College. Leslie has taught writing workshops at the University of Pennsylvania writing conference, Eastern Washington University MFA program, Franklin & Marshall College, and others. She was the 2011 Walton Award visiting writer at the University of Arkansas. She is on faculty at The Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Between 2005 and 2010, Leslie served as the fiction editor for Green Mountains Review. She is currently the artistic advisor to the Finger Lakes literary festival, Spring Writes. She has published stories or essays in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, The Florida Review, among others.  Her one-act play was produced by The Shooting Gallery in New York City.  She has been nominated for Best American Essays, four times for the Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Associated Writing Programs. Leslie is at work on a novel. (And a play.) She lives in Ithaca, New York.  Visit her website at  http://www.lesliedaniels.com/ (top)

Debra Kang Dean, MFA (poetry). Debra Kang Dean has published three collections of poetry: Back to Back (North Carolina Writers’ Network, 1997), which won the Harperprints Poetry Chapbook Competition, judged by Ruth Stone; News of Home (BOA, 1998), which was co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motton Award; and Precipitates (BOA, 2003), which was nominated for the William Carlos Williams Award. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily, and have appeared in many journals and a number of anthologies, including The Best American Poetry (1999), The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000), Yobo: Korean American Writing in Hawai’i (2003), America! What’s My Name: The “Other” Poets Unfurl the Flag (2007), and Yellow as Tumeric, Fragrant as Cloves (2008).  Visit her website at http://www.debrakangdean.com (top)

Gabriel Jason Dean, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Gabriel Jason Dean is a New York / Austin based theatre-maker who originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  His plays have been produced or developed at New York Theatre Workshop, the Lark, New York Stage & Film, Oregon Shakespeare, the Kennedy Center, Davenport Theatrical, PlayPenn, Theatre Row, Hangar Theatre, ASSITEJ International, Red Orchid Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Actor’s Express, Vortex Rep, Horizon Theatre, FronteraFest, Source Festival, the Cohen New Works Festival, Essential Theatre,  and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Gabriel is a current nominee for the Laurents/Hatcher Award for his play Javaaneh (in Bloom) which is optioned for Broadway by Davenport Theatrical.  He is also a current nominee for the NETC Stavis Award for his play Terminus.  Gabriel received the Kennedy Center’s ACTF 2012 Paula Vogel Prize, Theatre for Young Audiences Award and was Runner-Up for the Harold & Mimi Steinberg National Playwriting Award.  In 2011, Gabriel received the Kennedy Center’s ACTF Ken Ludwig Prize for a body of work from an emerging writer and was Runner-Up for the New Dramatist’s Princess Grace Award.  His script for children, The Transition f Doodle Pequeno, received the 2013 American Alliance for Theatre & Education Distinguished Play Award, the 2011 New England Theatre Conference Aurand Harris Award and was selected for the 2012 Kennedy Center New Visions / New Voices Conference and is currently being adapted into a picture book. Gabriel is the recipient of the 2010 Essential Theatre New Play Prize for Qualities of Starlight.  A short play, Pigskin, won the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. Gabriel was voted “Favorite Local Playwright” in Creative Loafing–Atlanta and is the recipient of the James A. Michener Playwriting Fellowship, the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs Playwriting Award, the Porter Fleming Prize for Fiction, the Sidney Lanier Prize for Poetry, and a winner of the Horizon Theatre Young Playwright’s Festival. Other plays have been finalists or semi-finalists for the Seven Devils Conference, The O’Neill Theatre Conference, Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, Interact’s 20/20 Commissions, Page 73 Fellowship, the Julliard Wallace Fellowship, Lark Play Development Center and Aurora Theatre Global Age Project.  His scripts are published through Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing and Playscripts.  Gabriel’s poetry, fiction and journalism has been published in Snake Nation Review, The Tower, Eclectica Magazine, The Melic Review, and Creative Loafing. He received the Porter Fleming Prize for Fiction and the Sidney Lanier Prize for Poetry. Gabriel is currently a CORE Writer at The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis and the 2013-14 Fellow at the Dramatist’s Guild in New York. BA: Oglethorpe University. MFA: UT-Austin Michener Center for Writers.   Visit his website at  www.GabrielJasonDean.net (top)

Kathleen Driskell, MFA (poetry). Kathleen Driskell is Professor of Creative Writing at Spalding University and since 2003 has served as the Associate Program Director of the Spalding brief-residency MFA in Writing Program. Her latest publication is Peck and Pock: A Graphic Poem, a long poem presented in an illustrated comic book form. Her second book of poems Seed Across Snow (Red Hen Press, 2009) was listed as a bestseller by the Poetry Foundation. She has also published a full-length book of poems, Laughing Sickness (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 1999, second printing 2005), and her third full collection of poems Blue Etiquette is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Kathleen is also the editor of  Place Gives Rise to Spirit: Writers on Louisville (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 2001), an anthology she edited as a fundraising project for the Kentucky Writers’ Coalition, a non-profit statewide writers’ organization she helped to found in 1996; and co-editor, with Sena Jeter Naslund, of High Horse: Contemporary Writing by the MFA Faculty of Spalding University. Her work has been anthologized in What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets and The Kentucky Anthology: Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Bluegrass State (both from University Press of Kentucky). Kathleen has published poems nationally in literary magazines such as The Southern Review, Rattle, North American Review, GulfStream, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Greensboro Review, and Mid-American Review. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was co-poetry editor (with Claudia Emerson) of The Greensboro Review. Kathleen has won grants for her poetry and fiction from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women and prizes from the Associated Writing Programs and Frankfort Arts Foundation. Kathleen was appointed and served on the Kentucky Arts Council’s Poet Laureate Selection Committee for many years.  A past regular contributor to WFPL 89.3 FM, Louisville’s NPR affiliate, she also coordinated the Community Journal Project for that radio station. She is Associate Editor of The Louisville Review and has taught creative writing and literature at Spalding University, the University of Louisville, Elon College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as for many writers’ workshops and conferences. She helped found the Low Residency MFA Directors’ Caucu0s, which meets annually at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, and has twice been elected by the caucus to the position of chair.  In 2013, she was awarded the Trustees Outstanding Faculty Award given by the Spalding Board of Trustees. She is presently at work on another collection of poems, a novel, and  is working to develop a poetry video chapbook. She lives with her husband and children outside Louisville in an old country church built before The Civil War. (top)

Pete Duval, MA (fiction). Pete Duval’s story collection, Rear View (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize for Fiction, the Connecticut Book Award for fiction (nominees for which included Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America), and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. His work has appeared in a variety of national and international journals, most recently Alaska Quarterly Review, Meridian, Witness, and Appalachian Heritage. “Common Area,” a short story, won Grain Magazine‘s 2011 Short Grain fiction competition; his 248-word story “Still Life” was awarded first prize in Florida State University’s World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest. A new story collection, “Strange Mercies,” was a finalist for The Hudson Prize for Fiction at Black Lawrence Press, and the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Contest. Twice honored with Connecticut Artist Grants and twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Duval teaches writing and film studies at West Chester University. He edits and designs books for the newly re-emergent Story Line Press; and serves as technical editor for Mezzo Cammin, the online journal of formalist poetry by women. Duval holds master’s degrees in creative writing (Boston University), in literature (University of Illinois) and in film studies (New York University) and recently attended Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School in London as the sole writer (“The writer is always welcome here!”) among 68 filmmakers. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, the poet Kim Bridgford, and their son, Nick. (top)

Charles Gaines, MFA (nonfiction, fiction, screenwriting). Charles Gaines is a professional journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and the author of twenty-three books, three of which were made into movies. His books include the bestselling Stay Hungry, finalist for the National Book Award (1972); international bestseller Pumping Iron (1974); the biography Yours in Perfect Manhood: Charles Atlas (1982); the creative nonfiction book A Family Place: A Man Returns to the Center of His Life (Grove/Atlantic Books, 1994); and the novel The Next Valley Over (Crown, 1999). He has written a number of movie-length features for PBS, including the adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Summer, recently co-authored a screenplay with Ethan Hawke, and wrote a series of books for children with Arnold Schwarzenegger called Arnold’s Fitness for Kids. He has won two Cine Gold Eagle Awards and three Emmys for television writing. His work has appeared in Town and Country, Sports Illustrated, Harpers, Esquire, Architectural Digest, Men’s Journal, GEO, Audubon, Sports Afield and many other magazines. Formerly Charles taught creative writing at New England College. He holds the MFA in Writing from the University of Iowa. (top)

Kirby Gann, MFA (fiction). Kirby Gann is the author, most recently, of the novel Ghosting (May 2012), which was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly and Shelf Unbound, and is to be translated into French by Editions du Seuil. He is also the author of the novels The Barbarian Parade (2004), and Our Napoleon in Rags (2005), which was a nominee for the Kentucky Award in Literature, a finalist in the Litblog Co-Op Read This! series, and was named one of the Top Five Novels published in 2005 by Frontiers Magazine. He is also co-editor of the anthology A Fine Excess: Contemporary Literature at Play, a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Anthologies). The recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and two Professional Assistance Awards from the Kentucky Arts Council, Gann is also Managing Editor at Sarabande Books.  Visit his website at  www.kirbygann.net for more information. (top)

Rachel Harper, MA (fiction).Rachel M. Harper’s  novel Brass Ankle Blues (2006) was a finalist for the Borders Original Voices Award and selected by Target for their Breakout Books Program. Her work has been published in The Carolina Quarterly, Chicago Review, African American Review, and Prairie Schooner, as well as the anthologies Mending the World: Stories of Family by Contemporary Black Writers, and Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. Her One-Act play, “Bluffing on a Queen’s Playground,” was part of the New Black Playwrights Festival at Actor’s Express in Atlanta, and she recently collaborated on the performance piece, “The Book of Daniel,” by interdisciplinary theatre artist Daniel Alexander Jones, which premiered in Austin, Texas in 2005. Harper has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony and won the 2002 Fellowship in Fiction from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. A graduate of Brown University, she went on to earn her MA from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently working on her third novel, Motherland.  Visit her website at www.rachelmharper.com. (top)

Edith M. (Edie) Hemingway, MFA (writing for children and young adults). Edie Hemingway, a graduate of Spalding University’s MFA program, is co-author of two Civil War novels, both licensed by Scholastic Book Fairs and optioned for films.  Her most recent middle grade novel, Road to Tater Hill (Delacorte Press, September 2009) won a 2009 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and was listed on Bank Street College’s Best Books List for 2010. In addition to joining the Spalding MFA faculty in W4CYA, Edie is an adjunct instructor for the graduate online certificate program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD, and she offers creative writing workshops at Misty Hill Lodge, her secluded 1930s log cabin home near Frederick, Maryland.  She served as the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI for four years, is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, and is a contributor to the One Potato…Ten! blog, a group of ten children’s authors and illustrators at http://onepotatoten.blogspot.com.  Visit Edie’s website at http://www.ediehemingway.com. (top)

Roy Hoffman, MFA (creative nonfiction, fiction).Roy Hoffman, a novelist and journalist, has worked as a professional writer for more than twenty-five years. His latest book is Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations (University of Alabama Press, 2011). He is the author of two novels: Chicken Dreaming Corn (University of Georgia Press, 2004) and Almost Family (Dial, 1983; University of Alabama Press reprint, 2000), winner of the Lillian Smith Award for fiction. His Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile (Univ. of Ala. Press, 2001) is a collection of essays and narrative nonfiction published in The New York Times, Newsday, Southern Living, Preservation, and the Mobile Register. A native of Mobile who now resides in Fairhope, Alabama, Roy lived in New York City for twenty years where he wrote articles and reviews for numerous publications, penned speeches for the president of NYU and the governor and first lady of New York, and taught workshops at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. He was a long-time staff writer for his hometown paper, the Mobile Press-Register, with a special interest in the diverse cultures of the South. His reflection on changes at the Mobile paper and others appeared in his NYTimes op/ed piece, ‘Leaving Alabama Behind,’ in June 2012. He has contributed frequently to the NYTimes, including book reviews of novels by Pat Conroy and Lee Smith, his essay, ‘Tom’s World,’ included in ‘More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times,’  and his essay, “My Own Private New York,” a notable essay of the year in Best American Essays 2003. He appeared on CNN’s Moneyline to discuss a photo-essay he created and wrote the text in 2000 for Fortune magazine: Working Past 90, about 90-year olds in the workforce. His essay, On Keeping a Journal, a My Turn column for Newsweekon Campus, is in the Prentice-Hall Handbook for College Writers. His essay from Preservation magazine, “On the Dock of the Bay,” is anthologized in A Certain Somewhere: Writers on the Places They Remember (Random House, 2002). His young adult story, “Ice Cream Man,” is in Working Days: Short Stories About Teenagers at Work (Persea, 1997). A portrait of Roy on a Mobile Bay dock is in Bill Aron’s photo book, Shalom Y’all: Images of American Life in the Jewish South (Algonquin, 2002). His new novel, Come Landfall (University of Alabama Press), is forthcoming in Spring 2014. Roy’s website is www.royhoffmanwriter.com. (top)

Silas House, MFA (fiction).Silas House is the author of five novels:  Same Sun Here (2012 and co-written with Neela Vaswani), Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2003), The Coal Tattoo (2004), and Eli the Good (2009), a play The Hurting Part, and a work of creative nonfiction, Something’s Rising (co-written with Jason Howard, 2009). A new play, Long Time Traveling, premiered in April 2009. He has served as a commentator for NPR’S “All Things Considered” and as a contributing editor for No Depression magazine, where he has done long features on such artists as Lucinda Williams, Nickel Creek, Buddy Miller, Kelly Willis, Darrell Scott, Delbert McClinton, and many others. He is also one of Nashville’s most in-demand press kit writers, having written the press kit bios for such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Kathy Mattea, Leann Womack, and many others. Silas is a two-time finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Novel of the Year, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Chaffin Prize for Literature, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Appalachian Writer of the Year, the Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of English Teachers, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors. In 2009 Emory and Henry College presented the Silas House literary festival in honor of Silas’s body of work. Silas’s work can be found in The New York Times, Newsday, Oxford American, Bayou, The Southeast Review, The Louisville Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Wind, Night Train, and others, as well as in the anthologies New Stories From the South 2004: The Year’s Best, Christmas in the South, A Kentucky Reader, Of Woods and Water, A Kentucky Christmas, Shouts and Whispers, High Horse, The Alumni Grill, Stories From the Blue Moon Café I and II, and many others. For his environmental activism Silas received the Helen Lewis Community Lewis Award in 2008 from the Appalachian Studies Association. He currently serves as the Director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College, where he is also an Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies and Creative Writing. House lives in Eastern Kentucky, where he was born and raised. (top)

Fenton Johnson, MFA (creative nonfiction, fiction).Author and teacher Fenton Johnson’s latest book is Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks, in which he addresses what it means to a skeptic to have and to keep faith. Keeping Faith received a Lambda Literary Award for best gay/lesbian nonfiction as well as a Kentucky Literary Award for creative nonfiction. He is the author of Geography of the Heart: A Memoir, which received the American Library Association and Lambda Literary Awards for best gay nonfiction. Johnson received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship supporting his two current projects: His third novel, The Man Who Loved Birds; and a book of creative nonfiction, Single: For Those Who Have Lived a Long Time Alone, a meditation on what it means to have a vocation of solitude. He publishes opinion essays in leading newspapers on issues involving social justice, environmentalism, and human rights. Johnson is the author of two novels: Crossing the River and Scissors, Paper, Rock. Scissors was nominated for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and the Boston Review Fisk Award for best fiction. He has been a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to Harper’s Magazine. His short fiction, essays, and features have been widely published and anthologized. Johnson has an active career in writing narration for independent media, including radio, independent documentaries, personal films, and radio. He has contributed commentaries to National Public Radio and wrote the narration for several award-winning public television documentaries. Currently he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.  Visit his website at www.fentonjohnson.com (top)

Helena Kriel (screenwriting, playwriting). Helena Kriel was raised and educated in Johannesburg South Africa. After graduating with a Dramatic Art and Literature degree from University of Witwatersrand she worked in Television, directing and writing. Her plays Pigs on Passion, Arachnid and I Can’t Wait To Tie You To The Sofa premiered at the National Arts Festival and were all produced a number of times. She was nominated for playwright of the year. She immigrated to America and won the Steven Spielberg Dianne Thomas Award for her first screenplay Virtuoso. She has been a working screenwriter in Los Angeles writing for the studios and independent producers. The adaptations of Ahab’s Wife, The Good Soldier, The Arabian Nights, Tsotsi, Valley Song, and Wuthering Heights are a few of her adaptations. Heated and The Other Woman are amongst her original screenplays. Kama Sutra was produced with Academy nominated director Mira Nair directing and released in 1996. Skin was produced by Elysian Films and released in 2009. Skin has won over eight festival awards and was named in the best ten independent films of 2009. She has finished her first novel: The Burning Ground. She is completing her first memoir: Heart and Stone.  (top)

Robin Lippincott

Robin Lippincott (Sharona Jacobs Photography)

Robin Lippincott, MFA (fiction). Robin is the author of three novels, In the Meantime (Toby Press/Amazon Encore), Our Arcadia: An American Watercolor (Viking/Penguin), and Mr. Dalloway (Sarabande Books), as well as a short story collection, The Real, True Angel (Fleur-de-Lis), now available as an e-book under its original title, The ‘I’ Rejected. Both In the Meantime and Mr. Dalloway are also available as e-books. Robin’s fiction has received nominations for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Pushcart Prize, the American Library Association Roundtable Award, the Independent Book Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. For ten years he reviewed mostly art and photography books for The New York Times Book Review. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in over thirty journals, including The Paris Review, Fence, Bloom, American Short Fiction, The Lumberyard, Memorious, The Literary Review, Provincetown Arts, The Louisville Review, and The Bloomsbury Review, and his fiction has been anthologized in M2M: New Literary Fiction, as well as Rebel Yell and Rebel Yell 2. He has held many fellowships at Yaddo, and also a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony. He lives in the Boston area. (top)

Jody Lisberger, PhD, MFA (fiction).Jody Lisberger’s story collection, Remember Love, was published by Fleur-de-Lis Press in May 2008 and nominated for a National Book Award. Her stories have appeared in Fugue, Michigan Quarterly Review, Thema, Confrontation, and The Louisville Review. Her story “Crucible” was nominated for a Pushcart Award. She won third place in the 2003 American Literary Review Fiction Contest and was a finalist in the 2004 Quarterly West Fiction Contest. Her story “Bush Beating” was also selected for the fiction anthology The Way We Knew It (2006), celebrating the first twenty-five years of Vermont College’s MFA in Writing Program. Jody lives in Rhode Island. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She has taught fiction, creative nonfiction, literature, and feminist theory for more than thirty years at the University of Rhode Island, Brown, Harvard, Tufts, Holy Cross, and Boston University. She is an Associate Professor and currently the Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at URI, where she teaches courses that include Critical Issues in Feminist Scholarship, Women Writing Their Lives, and Feminist Theory. In summer, she participates in the Ocean State Summer Writers Conference. She’s also worked as a journalist, editor, and grant writer. (top) (top)

Nancy McCabe, PhD, MFA (creative nonfiction). Nancy McCabe’s most recent book is From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood (November 2014). She has also published a collection of essays, After the Flashlight Man: A Memoir of Awakening (Purdue 2003), and two full-length memoirs, Meeting Sophie: A Memoir of Adoption (Missouri 2003) and Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge: A Journey to My Daughter’s Birthplace in China (Missouri 2011). Her work has won a Pushcart Prize for memoir, been listed six times in the notable sections of Houghton Mifflin’s Best American series, and won two awards from Prairie Schooner. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Newsweek, Writer’s Digest, Fourth Genre, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska. She has published fiction, poetry, journalism and critical articles, including one for Studies in Popular Culture. Her teacher’s handbook, Making Poems: Writing Exercises for the Classroom was published in 1989 by Arkansas Writers in the Schools, a program she directed for two years in addition to working as a writer in the schools in South Carolina and Missouri. She has taught creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry workshops for thirty years at six colleges and universities. Currently she directs the writing program for the Bradford campus of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received the Chairs campus-wide award for excellence in teaching in 2005. She was also a recipient of a 2007 Individual Artist’s Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her website is at http://nancymccabe.net, where her blogs on returning to China with her daughter in the summer of 2011 and on rereading old favorite books can be found.  She is also a regular blogger for Ploughshares. (top)

Shane McCrae, MFA, JD, MA (poetry). Shane McCrae is the author of two full-length books of poetry—Mule, published in 2011 by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center and a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and Blood, published in 2013 by Noemi Press—and three chapbooks, the most recent of which, Nonfiction, won the Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook Competition. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2010, as well as The American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, and many other journals, and has been featured as a part of the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Project, and on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. In 2011 he received a Whiting Writer’s Award, and in 2013 a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard Law School, and the graduate English program at the University of Iowa. (top)

Maureen Morehead, PhD (poetry). Maureen Morehead has published five books of poetry: In a Yellow Room (Sulgrave Press, 1990), Our Brothers’ War (Sulgrave Press, 1993), A Sense of Time Left (Larkspur Press, 2003), A Melancholy Teacher (Larkspur Press, 2010), and Late August Blues, The Daylily Poems (Larkspur Press, 2013). She is Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2011-2012. Her poems have appeared in America, The American Poetry Review, The American Voice, The Black Warrior Review, The California Quarterly, The Greensboro Review, The Iowa Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The Kenyon Review Online, The Louisville Review, The Southern Poetry Review, Poet and Critic, Poetry, and other literary journals. She is featured in Conversations with Kentucky Writers II (University of Kentucky Press, 1999) and Kentucky Voices: A Bicentennial Celebration of Kentucky Writing (Kentucky Arts Council, 1992). She won fellowships for her poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Early in her career, she was selected to the Bluegrass Poetry Circuit, a competition judged by Robert Penn Warren. She has taught at Western Kentucky University, the University of Louisville, and for the Jefferson County Public Schools. For several years, she served on the faculty of the Kentucky Institute for the Arts in Education, a program designed to help educators integrate the arts into their curricula. She earned a PhD in English, with a creative writing thesis, from the University of Louisville. (top)

Eleanor Morse, MFA (fiction). Eleanor Morse has written three novels. Her first, Chopin’s Garden, was published through Fox Print Books in 2006. An Unexpected Forest (Down East Books, 2007), won the 2008 Independent Book Publisher’s Award (IPPY) for best regional fiction (Northeast region) and the 2008 Maine Literary Award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for best published fiction. White Dog Fell from the Sky, her third novel, was published by Penguin Books in January 2013 and was a Publishers Weekly ‘pick of the week’. The audio book version received an AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award. A nonfiction book, Over the Mountains: Two Tibetan Girls Journey Toward Hope (Fox Print Books, 2008) was written in collaboration with two Tibetan girls about their flight into Nepal. Eleanor has received grants from the Maine Humanities Council to establish writing programs in three Maine prisons. She has also taught at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, through the University of Maine system, Portland Adult and Community Education, and at Maine Medical Center. She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Yale University and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College. She lives on an island off the coast of Portland, Maine. Visit her website at www.eleanormorse.com (top)

  Sena Jeter NaslundSena Jeter Naslund, PhD (fiction). Sena Jeter Naslund’s nine books include, most recently, the novel The Fountain of St. James Court, or, Portrait of an Artist as an Old Woman (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2013; Harper Perennial paperback 2014. Her other novels are Adam & Eve (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2010; Harper Perennial 2011; ), Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2006; Harper perennial 2007), Four Spirits (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2003; Harper Perennial, 2004), Ahab’s Wife; Or, the Star-Gazer (Morrow, 1999; Harper Perennial, 2000; Harper Perennial Modern Classics Series, 2008), Sherlock in Love (Godine, 1993 and Harper Perennial, 2001), and The Animal Way to Love (Ampersand, 1993), and two short story collections, The Disobedience of Water (Godine, 1999 and Harper Perennial, 2000) and Ice Skating at the North Pole (Ampersand, 1989). Ahab’s Wife, a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and national bestseller, was selected by Time magazine as one of the five best novels of 1999 and appeared on the notable book lists of the New York Times Book Review and of Publishers Weekly; it was a finalist for the Orange Prize (UK). Four Spirits, a national bestseller, appeared on the notable book lists of The New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles TimesThe Seattle Times, and The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. Abundance was also a national bestseller in the U.S. Sena holds the MA and PhD from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught in the MFA programs of the University of Montana, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Vermont College. She served as the Pascal Distinguished Visitor in 2005 at the University of Montevallo, and as Visiting Eminent Scholar at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, 2008 and 2010. She was the 2005-6 Kentucky Poet Laureate. She retired from her position as Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville in 2014. Since 2000, she has served as the Program Director of the brief-residency MFA in Writing at Spalding University, of which she is also the co-founder. Her short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The American Voice, and The Michigan Quarterly Review, and she has received grants from the NEA, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as the Lawrence Fiction Prize, the Heasley Prize, the Hall-Waters Award, the Southeastern Library Association award in fiction, and the Alabama Governor’s Award in the Arts. Her fiction has been translated into German, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, and Polish, and reprinted in English in the UK and Australia. (top)

  Leslea Newman Lesléa Newman (writing for children and young adults). Lesléa (pronounced “Lez-LEE-uh”) Newman is the author of 64 books including A Letter to Harvey Milk, Nobody’s Mother, Hachiko Waits, Write from the Heart, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The Best Cat in the World, and Heather Has Two Mommies. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.  Lesléa wrote Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children’s book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, and has followed up this pioneering work with several more children’s books on lesbian and gay families: Felicia’s Favorite Story, Too Far Away to Touch, Donovan’s Big Day, Saturday Is Pattyday, Mommy, Mama, and Me, and Daddy, Papa, and Me. She is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two. Her award-winning short story, “A Letter To Harvey Milk” has been made into a film and adapted for the stage. In addition to being an author, Lesléa is a popular guest lecturer, and has spoken on college campuses across the country including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College and the University of Judaism. From 2005-2009, Lesléa was on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine and has taught fiction writing at Clark University. From 2008-2010, she served as the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. Recent projects include a picture book titled A Sweet Passover, about a little girl who is “sick sick sick of matzo” and October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, a novel-in-verse that explores the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder. October Mourning received the American Library Association Stonewall Honor and was named a “Must-Read” book by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Visit her website at  www.lesleanewman.com (top)

  Kira Obolensky, MFA (playwriting, fiction) Kira Obolensky is a playwright and writer who lives in Minneapolis. She is currently a recipient of a national Mellon Foundation fellowship that puts her on staff as a playwright with the award-winning theater Ten Thousand Things, New work includes Vasa Lisa (Ten Thousand Things Theater, Minneapolis); Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret, which premiered in two international festivals; Raskol (commissioned and produced by Ten Thousand Things Theatre and featured on critics’ end of year lists); Cabinet of Wonders (produced by Gas and Electric Arts, Philadelphia; Open Eye Figure Theatre, Minneapolis; 2010 Barrymore nomination for Best New Play); Modern House, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburne Prize), and Lune, pronounced Loony, produced by B Street. Kira is a Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships and grants from the Henson Foundation, NEA and Irvine Foundations, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, le Comte du Nouys Foundation, and a Pew Theatre Initiative Grant. Her play Lobster Alice was a Kesselring Prize winner; The Adventures of Herculina received Honorable Mention/ Kesselring Prize. She attended Williams College and Juilliard’s Playwriting Program and recently completed an MFA in Fiction Writing at Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She is the author of three published books about architecture and design and is the co-author of the national bestseller, The Not So Big House. Her novella, “The Anarchists Float to St. Louis,” won Quarterly West’s 2009 novella contest. She is a core writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and teaches playwriting at the University of Minnesota and playwriting and fiction at Spalding University’s MFA Program. (top)

  Elaine Neil Orr, Ph.D. (creative nonfiction, fiction). Elaine Neil Orr is a trans-Atlantic writer of fiction, memoir, and literary criticism.  Themes of home, country, and spiritual longing run through her writing.  A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa, her newest book (Berkley/Penguin, 2013), received a starred review from Library Journal, is a SIBA Bestseller, and the recipient of a Vermont New Voices invitation for 2014.  Orr’s memoir, Gods of Noonday (Virginia, 2003), was a Top-20 Book Sense selection and a nominee for the Old North State Award as well as a SIBA Book Award and is now an audiobook.  Elaine has published extensively in literary magazines including The Missouri Review, Blackbird, Shenandoah, and Image Journal.   Her short stories and short memoirs have won several Pushcart Prize nominations and competition prizes.  She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She was born in Nigeria to medical missionary parents and spent her growing-up years in the savannahs and rain forests of that country.  Her family remained in Nigeria during its civil war.  Orr left West Africa at age sixteen and attended college in Kentucky.  She studied creative writing and literature at the University of Louisville before taking her Ph.D. in Literature and Theology at Emory University.   She reads and lectures widely at universities and conferences from Atlanta to Austin to San Francisco to Vancouver to New York to Washington D.C., and in Nigeria. Orr lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, Anderson Orr.  Visit her website at elaineneilorr.net (top)

 Greg Pape, MFA (poetry). Greg Pape is the author of ten books, including Four Swans (Lynz House Press), Border Crossings, Black Branches, Storm Pattern (all originally published by University of Pittsburgh Press), Sunflower Facing the Sun (winner of the Edwin Ford Piper Prize, now called the Iowa Prize, and published by University of Iowa Press), and American Flamingo (winner of a Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, and published by Southern Illinois University Press). Black Branches was reprinted in the Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporaries Series. His poems have been published widely in such magazines and literary reviews as The Atlantic, Iowa Review, The New Yorker, Northwest Review, and Poetry. He has received the Discovery/The Nation Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowships, the Pushcart Prize, the Richard Hugo Memorial Poetry Award, and his poems have been featured on NPR and read by Garrison Keillor on The Writers’ Almanac. He teaches at the University of Montana, and in the Brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University. He served as Poet Laureate of Montana from 2007 to 2009. (top)

John Pipkin, PhD. (fiction). John Pipkin’s critically-acclaimed debut novel, Woodsburner, was published by Nan Talese/Doubleday in May 2009 and was awarded the 2009 First Novel Prize by the New York Center for Fiction, the 2010 Fiction Award from the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and the 2010 Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner First Novel Prize. The novel is based on a little known forest fire accidentally started by Henry David Thoreau a year before he went to live at Walden Pond. Woodsburner was named “one of the best books of 2009” by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Christian Science Monitor. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, John attended Washington & Lee University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his Ph.D. in British Literature from Rice University in 1997. He was an Assistant Professor of Humanities and Rhetoric at Boston University until 2000, when he moved to Austin, where he served as the Executive Director of the Writers’ League of Texas until 2007. More recently he has taught Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, and at Southwestern University, where he is also the Writer in Residence. He is currently working on his second novel, The Blind Astronomer’s Atlas. For the summer of 2010, he was awarded a Research Fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center to research the archives of the Herschel Family Papers, and The Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program has awarded him the Jesse H. Jones Writing Fellowship for the spring of 2011. John currently lives in Austin with his wife and son. His website is www.johnpipkin.com. (top)

Eric Schmiedl, MFA (playwriting). Eric Schmiedl is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of Kent State University and the University of Hawai’i. His plays for children and adult audiences have been produced by theatres including The Cleveland Play House, the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Public Theatre, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, New Stages Theatre, the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Oregon Children’s Theatre, Karamu House, Great Lakes Theater Company, and BackStage Theatre in Chicago.  He is currently working on an adaptation of Frankenstein for the Denver Center Theatre Company and a new original play with his wife, Nigerian storyteller Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl, to be developed through PlayhouseSquare’s innovative Launch program with the generous support of Cleveland Public Theatre. This fall Eric had the great pleasure of celebrating his love of Cleveland and the Browns in The Kardiac Kid at Cleveland Public Theatre. Eric is the recipient of a 2012 CAC Creative Workforce Fellowship as well as an Aurand Harris Fellowship, an Edgerton Award, and a Sloan Foundation Commission. Eric is a member of The Cleveland Play House’s Playwrights’ Unit. (top)

Charlie Schulman, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Charlie Schulman is a playwright, screenwriter and theater producer. His musical The Goldstein Variations, written with his creative and producing partner, Michael Roberts, is scheduled for a commercial Off-Broadway run in Fall 2015. For more info go to www.theschulberts.com. His first musical The Fartiste, was produced at The FringeNYC Festival (Outstanding Musical) and Off-Broadway at Under Sofia’s in 2011. The Fartiste, based on his original screenplay of the same name, was also presented in concert performance at The Charring Cross Theater in London’s West End. Charlie’s plays have been presented internationally at The Seymour Center in Sydney, Australia and The Soho Poly Theater in London. He is a three-time winner of The Avery Hopwood Award for Drama from The University of Michigan. He also received the Paulette Goddard Fellowship from New York University. His plays include The Birthday Present, The Ground Zero Club, Angel of Death, The Kitchen, The Common Enemy, The Greene House Effect, Character Assassins, and The Great Man. His plays have received world premieres at The American Jewish Theater, The Magic Theater, New Jersey Rep and Theater J. He is the recipient of The Charles McArthur Award for comedy from The National Playwrights Conference and received the 2011 Walton Fellowship from Arena Stage. He was named a finalist for 2013 The Terrence McNally Award for his play The Great Man. His plays are published by The Dramatists Play Service and in The Ground Zero Club and other Prize Winning Plays (Dell/Bantam). For three seasons Charlie wrote sketch-comedy for the nationally syndicated Apollo Comedy Hour. He has sold half-hour television pilots to CBS and Twentieth Century Television. He recently completed a screenplay called Frankenswine and a television pilot called Silver Hills. Charlie also teaches playwriting and screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts. (top)

Jeanie Thompson, MFA (poetry). Jeanie Thompson has published four collections of poetry, The Seasons Bear Us (River City Publishing, 2009), White for Harvest: New and Selected Poems (River City Publishing, 2001), Witness (Black Belt Press, 1995), and How to Enter the River (Holy Cow! Press, 1985), three chapbooks and has co-edited The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers, (University of Alabama Press, 2002) with Jay Lamar. Witness won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Publishers Marketing Association.  Her poems, interviews with writers, and critical articles have appeared in Antaeus, Crazyhorse, Ironwood, KROnline, North American Review, New England Review,  Southern Review, The New Sound and others. Jeanie holds the MFA from the University of Alabama, where she was founding editor of the literary journal Black Warrior Review. She has taught at the University of New Orleans, the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and in poetry-in-the schools programs in New Orleans and in Alabama. Jeanie has received Individual Artist fellowships from the Louisiana State Arts Council and the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was a Walter Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers Conference.  Jeanie is director of the award-winning Alabama Writers’ Forum, a statewide literary arts organization in Montgomery whose signature arts education program is Writing Our Stories, a collaboration with the Alabama Department of Youth Services. (top)

  Neela VaswaniNeela Vaswani, MFA, PhD (fiction, creative nonfiction). Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collection, Where the Long Grass Bends; a memoir, You Have Given Me a Country; and co-author of the middle-grade novel, Same Sun Here (with Silas House). She is the recipient of the American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal, and many other honors. Her fiction and nonfiction have been widely anthologized and published in journals such as Epoch, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner. She has been a Visiting-Writer-in-Residence or Guest Lecturer at more than 100 institutions, among them: Knox College, 92nd Street Y (Tribeca), the Jimenez-Porter House at the University of Maryland, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, the Whitney Museum in New York City, and IIIT Hyderabad, India. She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, lives in New York City, and is also on faculty at Manhattanville College’s MFA in Writing program. An education activist in India and the United States, Vaswani is founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library. Neela’s website is neelavaswani.com. (top)

Rebecca Walker, MFA (creative nonfiction). Rebecca Walker is an award-winning writer based in Hawaii. She is the author of the bestselling memoirs Black, White and Jewish (Riverhead) and Baby Love (Riverhead), and editor of the anthologies To Be Real (Doubleday), What Makes a Man (Riverhead), One Big Happy Family, (Riverhead) and, most recently, Black Cool (Soft Skull). Her writing has appeared in Bookforum, Bomb, Afar, Greater Good, Newsweek, Real Simple, Glamour, More, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Vibe, Interview, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Babble, and CNN, among many other publications, and in literary collections including Erica Jong’s Sugar in My Bowl, and Crush, Unbuttoned, Dirt, Shaking the Tree, The Way We Live Now, Tales from the Couch, Mixed, The Fire This Time, Blended Nation, Adios Barbie, The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, and In Search of Mary Poppins. Rebecca has taught and lectured at over three hundred universities and corporate campuses, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, Penn, MIT, Tufts, Smith, Williams, Mt. Holyoke, University of Utrecht, University of Linkoping, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and the Ministry of Gender and Culture of Estonia, and participated in creative collaborations with other writers and visual artists at The Addison Gallery, Walker Art Center, LA Hammer Museum, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Jewish Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, Amsterdam Cultural Education Foundation, and The Fundazione Merz in Turin. She has developed projects for film and television with Nickelodeon and the Kennedy Marshall Company. She is the recipient of MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships, and the Alex Award from the American Library Association, and has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, and Oprah. Time Magazine named Rebecca one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She holds a BA from Yale, an MFA from Spalding, and an honorary Doctorate of Arts and Letters from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She teaches a yearly master class on memoir writing on Maui (www.writing-in-paradise.com), and is the co-founder of Write to Wellbeing (www.writetowellbeing.com), a start-up bringing voice and sanity to those with the creative itch. Rebecca’s first novel, Adé, is forthcoming from Amazon’s New Harvest imprint in 2013. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccawalker. (top)

 Luke Wallin, MFA (creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, fiction). Luke Wallin holds an MFA in fiction writing from Iowa, as well as graduate degrees in environmental planning and philosophy. His essays about his Iowa experiences appear in Word by Word, published on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 2011, and in The Workshop, 1999. Luke’s latest book, co-authored with his daughter Eva Sage Gordon, is The Everything Guide to Writing Children’s Books, 2nd edition, January 2011. In April 2011 the song “Trust Me,” written and performed by Luke in the film of the same name, written and directed by his grandson Skye Wallin in Prague, was featured at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival. Luke’s nonfiction book Conservation Writing: Essays at the Crossroads of Nature and Culture, was published by the Center for Policy Analysis, 2006. His award-winning young adult novels include Ceremony of the Panther (recorded for the blind by the Library of Congress), In the Shadow of the Wind (recommended by the Committee on U.S. History Standards, and chosen a Best Book by the New York Public Library), The Redneck Poacher’ Son (an American Library Association Best Book), Blue Wings, and for middle-grade readers The Slavery Ghosts. His YA science fiction, The Bestiary Trilogy, under the pseudonym John Forrester, was translated into Danish. In 1999 Luke co-edited and contributed to a nonfiction anthology, Nature and Identity in Cross-cultural Perspective, from Kluwer Academic Publishers; it was issued in softcover in 2010. Luke is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; he has been a Fulbright Teaching Professor at University College Dublin, and has given invited talks to universities in Chile, Australia, and Canada, as well as across the U.S.A.  Luke’s website: http://www.lukewallin.com.   Luke’s blog is http://lukewallin.wordpress.com. (top)

Crystal Wilkinson, MFA (fiction). Crystal is the author of Water Street (Toby Press, 2002), which was nominated for the Orange Prize and for the Zora Neal Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation’s Legacy Award in Fiction, and Blackberries, Blackberries (Toby Press, 2000) which was named Best Debut Fiction by Today’s Librarian Magazine. Crystal is writer in residence at Morehead State University and the 2002 recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. She is the recipient of the 2009 Sallie Bingham Award for the promotion of activism and feminist artist expression.  She and her partner Ron Davis are the editors of Mythium: A Journal of Contemporary Literature Celebrating Writers of Color and the Cultural Voice and owners of The Wild Fig Bookstore in Lexington. She has been published widely in anthologies and literary journals. Crystal is a former assistant director of The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. She is a graduate of the Spalding MFA in Writing Program. (top)

Sam Zalutsky, MFA (screenwriting ). Sam’s new short, How to Make it to the Promised Land, was recently selected as the Short of the Week at www.Shortoftheweek.com. He won a Jerome Foundation Production Grant and completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for the film. For his first feature, You Belong to Me, he was short-listed for the Independent Spirit Award’s Someone to Watch Award. It was released on DVD (Wolfe), Pay Per View (Warner), and Logo and is out on DVD and/or TV in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, and the Benelux countries. The film screened at film festivals on five continents, including Palm Springs International, San Diego FilmOut (Audience Award, Best First Feature), NewFest (Honorable Mention, Feature Film Jury), and Outfest. He also is a director/producer of the webseries, The Go-Getters. Sam’s previous short films have screened at dozens of festivals, won numerous awards, and all received distribution on various platforms. Sam has taught at Bennington College, NYU Tisch, and Tec de Monterey (Querétaro, Mexico) and has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Fundación Valparaiso. He received his BA in studio art from Yale University and his MFA in film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Follow him at on twitter/instagram @zalutsky. You can see more of his work at www.sazamproductions.com. (top)

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