© Howard Schatz


Michael Krasny, PhD, is a scholar and Professor of English and American Literature at San Francisco State University, an award winning broadcast journalist, and the author of three acclaimed books, Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio; Literary Life and Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Search; and now, Let There be Laughter. Since 1993 he has been the host of “Forum with Michael Krasny,” a news and public affairs interview program produced at KQED Radio, the NPR affiliate in San Francisco. In that capacity, he has discussed books and writing with some of the leading authors of our time.



The author of ten novels and numerous plays for stage and screen, Jody’s young-adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel; her first psychological suspense novel, Watch Me, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2018; and her full-length play, Tribal Life in America, recently won the Ebell Playwright Prize. Jody holds a master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College.



Michael has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his first novel, The Oracle of Stamboul, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize. His second novel, The Forty-Third Name of God, is forthcoming from Random House. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Maryland, he is a recipient of many scholarships and has taught creative writing to MFA students, undergrads, working adults, and middle schoolers.

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Vanessa Hua is the author of  Deceit and Other Possibilities, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and a finalist for the California Book Award. A columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, she has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She received a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights Reporting, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and Asian American Journalists’ Association. Her novel, A River of Stars, is forthcoming (Ballantine, August 2018.)

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Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a young girl, keeping close ties with family on both sides of the border. Her poems for adults have appeared in more than twenty literary journals in the United States and abroad. Mrs. McCall is an up-and-coming writer whose debut YA novel, Under the Mesquite, won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award, was named a Morris Award finalist, and received a Tomas Rivera Children’s Book award among many other accolades. Her 3 young adult books, Under the Mesquite, Summer of the Mariposas, and Shame the Stars, are widely read at public schools and universities all over the U.S. Her poetry appears in anthologies and literary magazines throughout the country and abroad. Guadalupe Garcia McCall lives in Somerset, with her husband, Jim, and is currently at work on her 4th young adult novel, All the Stars Denied, due for publication in the spring.

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John is the author of three books. His latest, Should I Still Wish: A Memoir was selected for the American Lives Series. Young Widower: A Memoir won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize and a Foreword Reviews Book Prize. The Consolations: Poems won the 2015 Peace Corps Writers Best Poetry Book. His work appears in Slate, The Missouri Review, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, and Best American Essays. He is the Draper Lecturer in Creative Nonfiction at Stanford University, where he was also a Jones Lecturer and Stegner Fellow. 



Shara is the author of five books of poetry published in the US and the UK: Madwoman, The Face of Water: New and Selected Poems, This Strange Land, Song of Thieves, and The Water Between Us. Her poems have appeared in literary magazines, anthologies, and textbooks around the world and been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, and Romanian. Recognition for her writing includes a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry. Since 2003, she has been Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, where she is also the Margaret Hollinshead Ley Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing.



Lisa holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature and MA in English Literature from USC, as well as an MFA and BA from NYU. She has held many teaching appointments, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, translated into Italian, anthologized, and received honors including the 2011 John Steinbeck Award for Fiction, the 2014 Robbins Memorial Emerging Writer Award from Sou'wester, and a 2014 Dorys Grover Award from the Western Literature Association. 

Lisa is editor of the anthology Golden State 2017: The Best Fiction and Nonfiction from California; publisher of Joyland: A Magazine for Fiction; associate editor at the Scottish magazine Product; and editor at the ekphrastic collaboration magazine 7x7. Her novel Jutland Gothic will be published by Grove Atlantic in 2018.

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Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She's the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors. Jane is also a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses. In partnership with The Authors Guild, she helped produce The Authors Guild Guide to E-Publishing and presented an educational series on The Digital Age author.

Jane has delivered keynotes and presentations on the digital era of authorship at major writing events, such as the Writer's Digest conference and The Muse & The Marketplace. She's served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, and has held positions as a professor of writing, media, and publishing at the University of Cincinnati and University of Virginia.

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Ann is a book marketer with a passion for helping authors bring their ideas into the world. With experience ranging from independent publishing, to Silicon Valley startups, to Big Five publishing, Ann brings organization and creativity to every project. She’s also a Jane Austen fan and an avid baker. 



Kara’s flash fiction has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Green Mountains Review, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She has been a Best Small Fictions finalist, an MCWC Estelle Frank Fellow, and she is currently an Elizabeth George Foundation scholar at Antioch University LA (graduating in June of 2017). She is a reader for Wigleaf’s “Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions 2017,” and her flash fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, is available from Split Lip Press.



Alex graduated from Whitman College in the Pacific Northwest and completed her MFA in writing at Goddard College in Vermont. Her experience in the film industry has included stints in acting, marketing, and as Production Executive and Development Director. As a filmmaker, Alex has produced three feature length films. The latest, The Lure of this Land, a documentary she has written, produced, and directed, is currently in post-production. Her company, LEX Productions, develops and produces small art-house films.



After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, April joined the literary world as head reader for Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine, followed by five years as an agent with two San Francisco-based literary agencies. A self-described "literary change agent," April founded her own agency in order to assist and advise authors as they navigate the increasingly complex world of publishing. She represents clients worldwide, and divides her time between San Francisco, New York, and Paris.



Elizabeth joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist, and writer. In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, historical, thrillers, and mysteries. In nonfiction, she is interested in finding narrative/creative nonfiction, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, spirituality, sexuality, self-help, true crime, investigative journalism, and pet stories.



Jessica has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Now an Associate Agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, she’s known for #MSWL, ManuscriptWishList.com, ManuscriptAcademy.com, #PubTalkTV—and for drinking far too much tea. Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding YA, picture books, upmarket genre fiction (especially women's/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. 

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Susie is the author of the novel Finder of Lost Objects, which was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and recipient of a 2015 International Latino Book Award. Before turning her hand to fiction, she was a dancer, actor, and playwright and performed with San Francisco companies Word for Word, El Teatro de la Esperanza, and the Z Space. In 2008, her play Lost and Found in the Mission received a Best of Fringe award at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. A graduate of the MA program in Educational Theatre at NYU and of the Dance and English departments at UC Riverside, she currently teaches Kinetic Writing at The Writing Salon in Berkeley. Writing fiction is the most fun she’s ever had with a laptop. 



Melissa is the author of five chapbooks: huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves the leaves, and green glass asterisms, while her poems have appeared widely in journals including Entropy, Lunch Ticket, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. Her first full-length collection, field guide to autobiography, is due out this summer from H_NGM_N. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Mills College and an MLIS from San Jose State University. Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Mendocino County where she works as a Teen Librarian, teaches creative writing, and curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library.  



Dorothy is an MCWC Estelle Frank Fellow (2010) who lives and writes in Davis, California. Her first novel, The Heart to Kill, was published in fall 2016 by SFA Press. A collection of fifteen short stories, nine of which have been published in literary journals, is in the final editing stage. Dorothy's second novel, The Search for Yetta, is in progress.