Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She is the author of five books of poems: Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, Ideal Cities, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, Copia, and Holy Moly Carry Me. In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW-Madison, and UC-Santa Cruz, she has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a systems consultant, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle school teacher in the New York City public school system.
Cara Robertson is the author of The Trial of Lizzie Borden. She is an attorney whose writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Raleigh News and Observer, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. She was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Law School. A former Supreme Court law clerk, she served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School
David Means is the author of several short story collections including Instructions for a Funeral, The Secret Goldfish, and The Spot and the novel, Hystopia.
Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and her books include Rin Tin Tin, The Orchid Thief, and The Library Book, among others.
Jessica Soffer's work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Redbook, Saveur, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Her bestselling novel, Tomorrow There Will be Apricots, was published in twelve countries.
Sophie Mackintosh is the author of The Water Cure, which is on teh long list for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.
Eva Hagberg Fisher is the author of How to be Loved: A Memoir of Lifesaving Friendship.
Pam Houston is the author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country.
Katrin Schumann is the author of the novel The Forgotten Hours. She is also the author of the non-fiction titles: The Secret Power of Middle Children and Mothers Need Time Outs, Too.
Valeria Luiselli is the author of The Lost Children Archive. She is a fiction writer, journalist, and essayist.
Madhuri Vijay is the author of the novel The Far Field.
Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of The Border of Paradise and The Collected Schizophrenias.
Merritt Tierce is the author of the novel Love Me Back. Merritt currently writes for the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. She lives in Los Angeles.
Juliet Lapidos is the author of the novel Talent and is a senior editor at The Atlantic.
Christy Stillwell earned a BA in English at the University of Georgia before moving west, first to Wyoming, then Montana. She holds an MA in Literature from the University of Wyoming, and an MFA from the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. Her books include a chapbook of poetry called Amnesia and the novel, The Wolf Tone.
Tommy Caldwell is the author of The Push and is an accomplished rock climber. He made the first ascents of some of the United States' hardest sport routes including Kryptonite (5.14c/d) and Flex Luthor (5.15a) at the Fortress of Solitude, Colorado. In January 2015, Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the first-ever free climb of the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
Stuart Dybek is the author of three books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books, and The Coast of Chicago was a One Book One Chicago selection. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles.
Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. Her novel, The Vagrants, won the gold medal of California Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for Dublin IMPAC Award. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, her second collection, was a finalist of Story Prize and shortlisted for Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.
Tom Barbash is the author of the novels The Dakota Winters and The Last Good Chance, a collection of short stories Stay Up With Me, and the bestselling nonfiction work On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick & 9/11: A Story of Loss & Renewal.
Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. His newest novel is called Virgil Wander.
R.O. Kwon’s first novel is called The Incendiaries. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, BuzzFeed, Noon, Time, Electric Literature, Playboy, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere.
Cai Emmons is the author of the novels Weather Woman, His Mother's Son, and The Stylist. Emmons has taught at various colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California. Since 2002 she has been teaching fiction and screenwriting at the University of Oregon.
Sarah Stone’s new novel, Hungry Ghost Theater, was published by WTAW Press in October 2018. Her first novel is called The True Sources of the Nile.
She teaches creative writing for the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and Stanford Continuing Studies.
Karen Bender is the author of short story collections The New Order and Refund, the novels A Town of Empty Rooms and Like Normal People and is co-editor of the anthology Choice.