MYRIAM GURBA - MASTER CLASS
Myriam Gurba’s most recent book, Mean, a work that is part true-crime, part ghost story, and part personal history, was a finalist for the 2018 Judy Grahn Award as well as a New York Times editors’ choice. Her first book, Dahlia Season, won the 2008 Edmund White Award. Her personal essays have been published in TIME and The Paris Review and she has written art criticism and historical monographs for KCET. She is too superstitious to share what she is currently working on.
INGRID ROJAS CONTRERAS - NOVEL
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday) is an Indie Next selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. Ingrid has received awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, and is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds.
SHOBHA RAO - SHORT FICTION
Shobha Rao is the author of the short story collection, An Unrestored Woman, and the novel, Girls Burn Brighter. She is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, and her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco, and is currently the 2018 Grace Paley Teaching Fellow at The New School in New York City.
MITALI PERKINS - MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT
Mitali Perkins has written ten novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, nominated for a National Book Award), Rickshaw Girl (New York Public Library’s Top 100 books for Children in 100 Years), Bamboo People (American Library Association’s Top Ten Novel for Young Adults) and Tiger Boy (Charlotte Huck Honor Award, South Asia Book Award, Neev Best Young Readers Book Award.) She has been honored as a “Most Engaging Author” by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a “Literary Light for Children” by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the Bay Area with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
JEANNIE VANASCO - MEMOIR
Jeannie Vanasco is the author of The Glass Eye. Featured by Poets & Writers as one of the five best literary nonfiction debuts of 2017, The Glass Eye was also selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, an Indies Introduce Pick, and an Indie Next Pick. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Believer, The New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, Tin House, and on NewYorker.com, and her essays have twice been named notable selections in Best American Essays. Her poetry honors include an Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers. She lives in Baltimore and is an assistant professor of English at Towson University. Her second memoir, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl, will be published by Tin House Books in the fall of 2019.
VICTORIA CHANG - POETRY
Victoria Chang’s latest book of poems, OBIT, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her previous, Barbie Chang, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017. The Boss (McSweeney’s) won a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches within Antioch’s MFA Program.
ISMAIL MUHAMMAD - NONFICTION
Ismail Muhammad is a novelist and critic based in Oakland, California. He is the reviews editor at The Believer, a contributing editor at Zyzzyva, and a staff writer at The Millions. His work has appeared in Paris Review Daily, Bookforum, The Nation, and other publications. He is currently at work on a novel.
SCOTT SIGLER - SPECULATIVE FICTION
#1 New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler is the creator of fifteen novels, six novellas and dozens of short stories. He gives away his stories as weekly, serialized, audiobooks, with over 40 million episodes downloaded. Scott launched his career by releasing his novels as author-read podcasts. His rabid fans were so hungry for each week’s episode that they dubbed themselves the “Junkies.” The first hit is always free …
He is also a co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his Galactic Football League series. He lives in San Diego, CA, with his wee little dog Reesie. Both Scott and Reesie are diehard Detroit Lions fans.
CHARLOTTE GULLICK - EMERGING WRITERS
Charlotte Gullick is a novelist, essayist, editor, educator and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. In May 2016, she graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her first novel, By Way of Water, was published by Blue Hen Books/Penguin Putnam, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Rumpus, Brevity, Pembroke, Pithead Chapel, and the LA Review. Her other awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a MacDowell Colony Residency, a Ragdale Residency, as well as the Evergreen State College 2012 Teacher Excellence Award.
ANDREW KARRE, EDITOR
Andrew Karre is executive editor at Dutton Books for Young Readers. Over the course of his career, he’s had the pleasure of publishing debut novels by A.S. King, Maggie Stiefvater, E. K. Johnston, and many other award-winning authors. Books he’s edited have earned the William C. Morris Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, Michael L. Printz and Coretta Scott King Honors, and have been longlisted for the National Book Award. He lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota.
PHILIP MARINO, EDITOR
As a senior editor at Little, Brown and Company, Philip Marino is interested in a wide range of nonfiction, most notably sports, business, music, history, tech, comedy, economics and philosophy. Before joining Hachette in 2017, Philip was an editor and Marketing Director at Liveright Publishing, where he helped grow a list that had been dormant for nearly 40 years into one that now includes over fifteen New York Times bestsellers. He has worked with a diverse group of authors, including Seth Kugel, Owen Benjamin, Philip Mudd, Winston Groom, Janine di Giovanni, Philip Kitcher, Evelyn Fox Keller, Michael P. Lynch, and Simon Critchley.
Melanie Castillo, AGENT
Melanie Castillo is an associate agent at Root Literary. After graduating with an MS in writing and book publishing from Portland State University, she worked as an editorial project manager at Quarto and then as a freelance editor for several years before joining Root Literary in 2018. Melanie is actively looking for fiction and narrative nonfiction as well as author/illustrators. She’s especially excited to find high-concept commercial and literary leaning general fiction, young adult novels with a strong voice and propulsive pacing, and heartfelt and humorous middle grade novels across genres. Melanie was born and raised in Southern California in a multi-cultural, blended family, so she has a soft spot for books that shine a spotlight on the nuances of family relationships and identity. She lives in Anaheim with her husband, a local sous chef, and a pack of animals currently comprised of two cats, one dog, and a geriatric turtle.
SARAH BOWLIN, AGENT
Sarah Bowlin joined Aevitas in early 2017 after a decade as an editor of literary fiction and nonfiction at Riverhead Books and Henry Holt & Company. As an editor, she has worked with prize-winning and acclaimed writers Sheila Heti, Helen Phillips, Salvatore Scibona, Julie Buntin, Rachel Khong, and Juan Gabriel Vásquez, among many others. As an agent, she represents break out voices Kevin Nguyen, Aysegul Savas, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Kseniya Melnik, Hope Wabuke, and Lynn Steger Strong. She is focused on bold, diverse voices in fiction and nonfiction and is especially interested in stories of strong or difficult women and unexpected narratives of place, of identity, and of the shifting ways we see ourselves and each other.
SHARON OLDS - KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Sharon Olds is an American poet. Her first book of poetry, Satan Says, received the first San Francisco Poetry Center Award in 1980. Her second book, The Dead and the Living, was both the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983 and the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2012 her collection Stag’s Leap was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. From 1998-2000 Sharon was the New York State Poet Laureate, and she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2006 to 2012. Her numerous other honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her poetry has been anthologized in more than a hundred collections. She currently teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Program of Creative Writing at New York University, where she holds the Erich Maria Remarque Professorship, and helped to found the N.Y.U. workshop program for residents of Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, and for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Her next collection, Arias, which will come out with Knopf in 2019.
MARY K. JENSEN - PATHS TO PUBLISHING
Mary K. Jensen’s award-winning memoir, Rudy’s Rules for Travel: Life Lessons from Around the Globe, was conceived in the emerging writers’ workshop at MCWC 2014, and delivered to the world two years later after inspiration from MCWC 2016’s Publishing Bootcamp. Her memoir was included in Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018. Jensen began her second career as a popular writer following years as a professor and grants writer at Chico State University. She holds an M.A. degree from Loyola Marymount and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. She is a survivor—of cancer twice and of decades of worldwide travel with her risk-taking, frugal spouse.