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Writing Chicago: Northwestern University Summer Writers' Conference

Faculty and Readers

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James Tadd Adcox

Workshop instructor

James Tadd Adcox's work has appeared in GrantaTriQuarterly, and Barrelhouse Magazine, among other places. He is the author of three books: a novel, Does Not Love, a novella, Repetition, and a collection of short fiction, The Map of the System of Human Knowledge. He is a visiting assistant professor of fiction at Purdue University, and lives in Urbana.

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

Panelist, Reader

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius completed his MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on fiction from Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies, where he received the Distinguished Thesis Award for his novel manuscript Fishhead. Soup., now under consideration by Curbside Splendor Press. A finalist for The Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists competition, Ignatius was also a recent interdisciplinary Ragdale Foundation resident in Lake Forest, Illinois. In addition, he became the 2014 Writer-in-Residence at el Ranchito Cielito con Nopales in La Union, New Mexico. He has moderated writers panels and participated as a guest panelist at the 2015 Chicago Writers Conference; as well, he performed and read his writing in the Ante Up Storytelling: Heartbreak Edition event on Valentine's Day at Second City's Beat Lounge this year, and is scheduled to read his work at the popular Sunday Salon (SuSa) in Roscoe Village on the 26th of June. Ignatius teaches advanced writing and creative experimentation in the Integrated Design and Strategy graduate program at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies. His writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, Newcity, the Chicago Tribune, LaTolteca Zine, and Gander Press Review. He lives in Evanston and makes a living as a graphic designer and teacher. In his spare time, he plays lead guitar in Reverend Ruin, a hard rock band to which he also contributes his songwriting talents.

Gint Aras

Gint Aras

Workshop instructor

Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Žukauskas) is the author of The Fugue, finalist for the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year. His prose and translations have appeared in The St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Curbside Splendor, Dialogo, The Good Men Project, STIR Journal, ReImagine and other publications. He is a community college instructor of Rhetoric and Humanities and lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.

Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt

Panelist

Michael Arndt is editor of Crain's Chicago Business, a position he's held since early 2012. He joined Crain's in 2010 as managing editor. Michael previously was a senior editor and senior correspondent with BusinessWeek, working primarily from its Chicago office. Before joining BusinessWeek in 2000, he was Sunday Business editor of Chicago Tribune from 1995 and chief economics correspondent in its Washington bureau from 1990. Michael is member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives' Club of Chicago and Soho House. He also has been a longtime judge of Chicago Innovation Awards and Illinois Technology Association's CityLights awards. He recently become a director of the national association of metropolitan business publications.
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Ian Belknap

Workshop instructor

Ian Belknap is a Chicago writer/performer and founder/Overlord of WRITE CLUB, the world's greatest competitive readings series (Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, with more cities on the way). He is author/performer of the solo shows Bring Me the Head of James Franco, That I May Prepare a Savory Goulash in the Narrow and Misshapen Pot of His Skull Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart: A Comedy With a Body Count, Terminal Ferocity, and Uncle Dad is Rip-Shit, You Guys. He curated and hosted the monologue shows Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Ian's Dog & Pony Show. Ian's work has been featured in the live lit shows This Much is True, Truth and Lies, That's All She Wrote, Story Club Chicago, Fictilicious, Essay Fiesta, Guts & Glory, Fillet of Solo Theater Festival, and the Rhino Theater Festival, among others. He served as Fact Checker for The Encyclopedia Show, and is on the masthead of The Paper Machete as the Dean of Mean. Ian has been on panels and presented at TEDx Greenville, Arts & Business Council of Chicago, League of Chicago Theatres, Printers, Row Book Fair, Chicago Writers, Conference, and Decatur Book Fest, among others, and has appeared as a guest lecturer at Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University. He has performed at The Poetry Foundation, The Smart Museum of Art at University of Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art, among many other venues. He teaches independently and at StoryStudio Chicago, and as an Instructor at Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). His work has appeared in The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago Literati, Story Club Magazine, and the Reading Out Loud podcast. He is co-editor and contributor to Bare-Knuckled Lit: The Best of WRITE CLUB (Hope & Nonthings, 2014), and co-host of the WRITE CLUB podcast. Photo credit: Joe Mazza, Brave Lux Photography

Ines Bellina

Ines Bellina

Keynote, panelist

Ines Bellina is a writer, podcaster, and storyteller. She holds a BA in Hispanic Studies from McGill University and an M.Phil. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University. As a nonfiction writer, her work has appeared in Book Riot, The Billfold, Gapers Block, and other online publications. She is also an active member of Chicago's thriving Live Lit community and has performed in such shows like You're Being Ridiculous, Story Club, Is This a Thing, Miss Spoken, Serving the Sentence, The Marrow, Chicago Women's Funny Festival and the inaugural Lit Crawl Chicago. Ines is also the co-producer and co-host of XX Will Travel, a podcast geared towards independent women travelers, that is listened to in all 50 states and over 100 countries. She is currently working on a contemporary YA novel that combines her passionate views on gender issues with her geeky love of musicals.

Susanna Calkins

Susanna Calkins

Workhop instructor

Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion historical mysteries published by Minotaur (St. Martin's). Her books have been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, the Agatha for Best Historical Mystery, the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery (Lefty) and the Sue Feder Historical Mystery (Macavity) awards. A historian by training, Susanna works at Northwestern University where she directs learning and teaching initiatives for faculty. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives outside Chicago now, with her husband and two sons.

Henry Carrigan

Workshop instructor

Henry Carrigan is Assistant Director and Senior Editor at Northwestern University Press. Before coming to NUP, he was publisher at Continuum International. He writes about books for Publishers Weekly, BookPage, and Library Journal, and he writes about music for American Songwriter, No Depression, Engine 145, the Bluegrass Situation, and Country Standard Time. He has written for numerous newspapers including Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Charlotte Observer, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Orlando Sentinel, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post Book World. He taught Humanities at Lake Forest College, Russian Literature at Northwestern University, Humanities at Otterbein College in Ohio, and Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and worked for ten years as a reference librarian at the Westerville Public Library in Westerville, OH. He has led numerous workshops on collection development at the local, regional, and national levels, and he speaks widely on topics ranging from writing and book reviewing to book publishing. Over the past four years, he has been a regular contributor to a number of reference books published by Salem Press, including Magill's Literary Survey. In the early years, Henry was a columnist for Library Journal for three years as well as Forecasts editor at Publishers Weekly for five years.

Paula Carter

Paula Carter

Workshop instructor

Paula Carter is the author of the forthcoming flash essay collection No Relation. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Salon, TriQuarterly, and Prairie Schooner. She is a company member with the storytelling series 2nd Story and holds an MFA from Indiana University.
Kelley Clink

Kelley Clink

Reader

Kelley Clink is the author of the memoir A Different Kind of Same. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, Shambhala Sun, Woman's Day, and The Huffington Post. She is the winner of the 2014 Beacon Street Prize in Nonfiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives near Chicago with her husband, son and daughter. You can find out more about her at www.kelleyclink.com.

Suzanne Clores

Panelist

Suzanne Clores is a memoirist and fiction writer. She is the author of Memoirs of a Spiritual Outsider (Conari 2000, Kindle 2011) and the founder of The Extraordinary Project, an online collection of our most unusual human experiences. Her work has aired on Chicago Public Radio and is forthcoming on the Los Angeles Public Radio program Strangers. She has written for Salon, The Huffington Post, The Nervous Breakdown, SMITH, and numerous trade publications. She has an MFA from the University of Arizona and lives with her family in Chicago.

Sara Connell

Sara Connell

Workshop instructor

Sara Connell is a Chicago based writer. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The View and NPR. She received the Judith Dawn Memorial Grant for fiction and has presented at Northwestern University, Printer's Row Literary Festival, Chicago Writers Association, Chicago Women in Publishing and teaches at Story Studio Chicago. Her writing has appeared in: the New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, TriQuarterly, and Mindful Metropolis. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year.

Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval

Workshop instructor, reader

Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago--where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics--he's mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians.He is the author and editor of 10 books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Coval's collection, A People's History of Chicago, dropped in April 2017 on Haymarket Books.

Patricia Crisafulli

Reader

Patricia Crisafulli (MFA 2017) is a published author and professional writer, currently working on her novel in progress, The Cross of Siena, which received the 2016-2017 Distinguished Thesis Award in Creative Writing.  Tricia is the author of several books, including the nonfiction works, Remembering Mother, Finding Myself: A Journey of Love and Self-Acceptance (HCI Books, 1999), and Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); as well as a collection of short stories and essays for Hallmark, Inspired Every Day. Her first novel, Magdalena’s Book of Life, is currently being marketed, and she writes for and edits her e-literary website, www.FaithHopeandFiction.com.  A former journalist, Tricia has published creative essays in the Christian Science Monitor and on the Leisure & Arts Page of The Wall Street Journal. Tricia has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. 

Allain Daigle

Allain Daigle

Reader

Allain Daigle is a PhD student in Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He researches film history and cinema technologies, especially in relationship to time and memory. His most recent article, "Of Love and Longing: Queer Nostalgia in Carol (2015)," is forthcoming from Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture.
J-L Deher-Lesaint

J-L Deher-Lesaint

Workshop instructor

Born and raised in Guadeloupe (French West Indies), J-L Deher-Lesaint has lived in the United States since 1995. He holds degrees from Harold Washington College, Loyola University Chicago, the University of Virginia and Northwestern University. His feature interviews with Edmund White and Edward P. Jones have appeared in Meridian: The Semi-Annual from the University of Virginia, where he also served as fiction editor; and his book reviews have appeared in New City and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He has taught creative writing and advanced freshman composition courses at the University of Virginia. Since 2004, he has taught developmental, intermediate and advanced composition courses, contemporary American literature, introduction to literature, Queer literature, and seminars in fiction writing and in cinema at Harold Washington College, where he also serves as Co-Chairperson for the English, Speech, Theatre and Journalism Department.
Stuart Dybek

Stuart Dybek

Keynote

Two new collections of fiction by Stuart Dybek, Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern, were published simultaneously by FSG in June 2014. The Start of Something: Selected Stories of Stuart Dybek was published by Jonathan Cape/Vintage in 2016. His previous books of fiction are Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, and I Sailed with Magellan. He has also published two volumes of poetry, Brass Knuckles and Streets In Their Own Ink. His work is widely anthologized and appears in publications such as The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Tin House, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Dybek is the recipient of many literary awards including the PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize for 'distinguished achievement in the short story,' a Lannan Award, the Academy Institute Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writer's Award, the Harold Washington Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and four O' Henry Prizes. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry and in Best American Fiction. In 2007, he was awarded both a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Rea Award for the Short Story. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University. Learn more about him at: poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/stuart-dybek.
Vincent Francone

Vincent Francone

Workshop instructor

Vincent Francone is a writer from Chicago whose memoir, Like a Dog, was published in the fall of 2015. He graduated from Northwestern University (MA in Creative Writing Poetry) in 2008 and won first place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition (Gwendolyn Brooks Award). In 2016 he was accepted to the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry's Summer School workshop at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His poems and stories have appeared in Rhino, The Oklahoma Review, Silver Birch Press, New City Magazine, and other publications. He is at work on a collection of poems. Visit www.vincentfrancone.com to read his work or say hi.
Goldie Goldbloom

Goldie Goldbloom

Workshop instructor

Goldie Goldbloom was awarded a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Brown Foundation-Dora Maar Fellowship. Her most recent novel is Gwen and she has a new publication, "Tandem Ride" in Ploughshares out this summer. Her novel, The Paperbark Shoe, won the AWP Novel Award and several other awards. Goldbloom's collection of short fiction, You Lose These, includes the title story that appeared in the queer anthology, Keep Your Wives Away from Them. Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, NPR, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner and StoryQuarterly, amongst others. She is an internationally recognized speaker, and was invited to lecture at the Assises Internationales du Roman in Lyon, France, in the same year that she was recognized for her excellence in teaching by way of Northwestern University's Honor Roll. In 2014, she won Hunger Mountain's Non-Fiction Prize. Goldbloom is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program in North Carolina. Visit her website at www.goldiegoldbloom.com.
Adrienne Gunn

Adrienne Gunn

Keynote, workshop instructor

Adrienne Gunn is a writer, editor, and humorist based in Chicago. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon and her work has appeared in various literary magazines including McSweeney's and PANK. Adrienne previously served as managing editor and fiction editor of TriQuarterly, the literary magazine of Northwestern University, and she regularly performs stand-up and storytelling throughout Chicago. In 2016, her first one-woman show Mother of the Year! debuted and returned to sold-out audiences. Adrienne is currently the editor of the web magazine HEAUXS.
Betsy Haberl

Betsy Haberl

Panel moderator

Betsy Haberl is a freelance writer and editor. She is also a fiction student in Northwestern University's MA/MFA in Creative Writing and co-curator of the Sunday Salon Chicago literary reading series. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her family.

Esther Hershenhorn

Esther Hershenhorn

Workshop instructor

Chicagoan Esther Hershenhorn writes picture books, poetry and middle-grade fiction, teaches adult Writing for Children workshops at the Newberry Library and the University of Chicago's Graham School's Writers Studio and coaches writers of all ages to help them tell their stories. Her latest books include S IS FOR STORY and the baby board book TXTNG MAMA TXTNG BABY. Esther proudly advocates for children's book creators via her past service on the Board of Advisors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and current service as the Illinois Chapter's Regional Advisor Emeritus. Visit her website www.estherhershenhorn.com to learn more about her books, classes and coaching. She blogs at www.teachingauthors.com
Brian Hieggelke

Brian Hieggelke

Panelist

Brian Hieggelke is the co-founder, editor and publisher of Newcity, the 'Publication of Record for Chicago Culture,' founded in 1986. Hieggelke, who has written about media, politics, running, books, film, art, music, food, fashion, theater and dance, was awarded the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists for a weekly media column, Press Relief, and has been a finalist for the award three additional times. Hieggelke is the producer of the feature film "Signature Move," which world-premiered at SXSW in 2017 and is currently playing film festivals around the world. Hieggelke has written two short plays that have been produced by American Blues Theater as part of its "Ripped" festival.
Alex Higley

Alex Higley

Workshop instructor, Reader

Alex Higley is the author of Cardinal and Other Stories (Tailwinds Press, 2017). He has been previously published by New World Writing, PANK, Fanzine, Paper Darts, and elsewhere. He contributed text to Alec Soth's "The Frank Album." He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and dog. His next book, Old Open, will be published by Tortoise Books later this year. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University's MA/MFA in Creative Writing program.
Julianne Hill

Julianne Hill

Workshop instructor

Julianne Hill is a freelance writer, reporter and multimedia content producer. Her award-winning nonfiction has appeared in outlets including NPR's "This American Life" and "Morning Edition," PBS, The History Channel, Real Simple, Triquarterly Online and Writer's Digest. Hill's stories often focus on health. She served as a Rosalynn Carter Fellow, awarded to journalists covering mental health, and as a National Press Foundation Fellow, given for work focusing on HIV-AIDS. She also worked as a team member earning the George Foster Peabody Award for PBS science show "The New Explorers." She also writes essays. Her "This American Life" piece "One Brain Shrinks, One Brain Grows" looks at a young boy's struggle with his father's degenerative brain disease. Her essay film "So, Mary?" screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival and others. Her Pushcart-nominated essays have appeared in The Round, Chicago Quarterly Review, Health and others. Hill studied journalism at Ohio University and received a Masters in Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Northwestern University. She teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Susanna Homan

Susanna Homan

Panelist

Susanna Homan is editor-in-chief and publisher of Chicago magazine, an award-winning monthly that spurs conversation on important civic topics while helping readers make the most of their lives through authoritative coverage on politics, the arts and dining. She is also editor-in-chief and publisher of Splash, a semimonthly Sunday style magazine distributed in the Chicago Tribune, which she created and launched in 2012. It the largest-circulation glossy in the region with up-to-the-minute coverage on the trending people and events that shape city life. She previously served as the founding editor-in-chief of Michigan Avenue magazine, a glossy dedicated to luxury lifestyle in Chicago. Susanna started her journalism career as a nightlife and shopping columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jill Hopkins

Panelist

Jill Hopkins is one of the hosts of The Morning Amp on Vocalo Radio, 91.1FM. She’s also a host of local StorySLAMs for NPR’s The Moth, and a musician and singer in the all-woman bands Satan’s Boner, and The Bangers. Before joining the team at Vocalo, she could be heard every Tuesday afternoon on CHIRP Radio, and you can still find her behind the decks at clubs like The Empty Bottle, and GMan Tavern.
Lindsay Hunter

Lindsay Hunter

Keynote

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the novel Ugly Girls and the story collections Don't Kiss Me and Daddy's. Her next novel, Eat Only When You're Hungry, will be released in August of 2017. She lives in Chicago with her husband, sons, and dogs.

Angela Jackson

Angela Jackson

Reader

Angela Jackson is the author of numerous books of poetry, plays, and fiction, including Dark Legs and Silk Kisses (TriQuarterly, 1993), which won the Carl Sandburg Award, and It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time (TriQuarterly, 2015), finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her novel Where I Must Go (TriQuarterly, 2009) won the American Book Award. Jackson’s honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. She lives in Chicago.

Jac Jemc

Jac Jemc

Workshop instructor

Jac Jemc is the author of The Grip of It, forthcoming from FSG Originals in 2017. Her first novel, My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time (Dzanc Books) was named one of Amazon's best story collections of 2014. She edits nonfiction for Hobart.

Parneshia Jones

Parneshia Jones

Keynote

Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems (Milkweed Editions), winner of the Midwest Book Award. Jones has been honored with the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Named one of the "25 Writers to Watch" by the Guild Complex and one of "Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago" by Newcity Magazine, her work has been anthologized in She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems, edited by Caroline Kennedy and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney; and featured on PBS Newshour, the Academy of American Poets, and espnW. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, she serves on the board of Cave Canem and Global Writes. She currently holds positions as Sales and Community Outreach Manager and Poetry Editor at Northwestern University Press. Parneshia Jones lives in Chicago. photo credit: Dino Robinson

Gretchen Kalwinski

Workshop instructor

Gretchen Kalwinski is a Chicago-based writer of everything from essays and fiction to copy and journalism. She has worked as a culture editor at Time Out Chicago and in a communications capacity with the Women's March on Chicago, American Library Association, Caring Across Generations, and Poetry Foundation. Kalwinski's writing has appeared in Stop Smiling, Make Literary Magazine, and Featherproof Books. She has appeared as a literary panelist on WGN radio and Chicago Tonight, and was awarded a Ragdale artist residency in 2009. Currently, she edits novels for Curbside Press, writes marketing copy, and pens travel stories for publications including Orbitz, Time Out, and the Chicago Reader. Her essay "Iliana" is included in the forthcoming Chicago: Rust Belt Anthology (Belt Publishing). For more, see gretchenkalwinski.com or @gretchel on social media.
Crystal Hana Kim

Crystal Hana Kim

Workshop instructor

Crystal Hana Kim's debut novel, If You Leave Me, is forthcoming from William Morrow of HarperCollins. In 2017, her story "Solee" was chosen as a PEN America/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize winner. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, the Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Foundation, and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. Her novel was chosen as runner-up in the 2015 James Jones First Novel Fellowship Contest. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MS in Education from Hunter College. Her fiction has been published in The Southern Review and is also forthcoming in the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2017 anthology.
Laurie Lawlor

Laurie Lawlor

Workshop instructor

Laurie Lawlor is the author of 38 works of fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. Recipient of the Illinois Reading Council's Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children, Lawlor published in June 2017 Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World (Holiday House), middle grade nonfiction profiling remarkable pioneers in a variety of fields--from astronomy to biochemistry. She was awarded the 2012 John Burroughs Riverby Award for Excellence in Nature Writing for her biography of Rachel Carson, which was featured on the ALA Amelia Bloomer Award List. Her distinguished historical fiction for middle grade readers includes Addie Across the Prairie, nominated for six state reading awards. Young adult titles include Dead Reckoning, He Will Go Fearless, and The Two Loves of Will Shakespeare. Trained as a journalist at Northwestern University, she has a M.A.T. from National-Louis University and has taught creative writing at Columbia College of Chicago and workshops throughout the Midwest. Visit her author website: www.laurielawlor.com.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

Panelist

Mike Levine offers developmental, substantive, and line editing for books, essays, and short stories, as well as appraisals of book proposals. He was an acquisitions editor at Northwestern University Press for nine years, overseeing a wide range of books, including fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, and scholarly titles. Among his authors were Ludmila Ulitskaya, A. E. Stallings, Amit Majmudar, Lydia R. Diamond, and David Ives, as well as novelist Jen Beagin and playwright Clare Barron, both winners of a 2017 Whiting Award. In 2015, he was named to New City's Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago. He has participated in editors' panels at the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, AWP, and other conferences. Mike earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in English from Rice University. Visit his website at www.mikelevineeditorial.comphoto credit: Andrea Bauer

Billy Lombardo

Billy Lombardo

Workshop instructor

Billy Lombardo is the author of three books of fiction The Man with Two Arms, How to Hold a Woman, The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories. He is the 2011 recipient of the Nelson Algren Award. Billy is the founder and managing editor of Polyphony HS, a student-run, international literary magazine for high school writers and editors. His most recent publication is the play, The Storm of the Century, published by Coachella Review. He teaches English literature and creative writing at the Latin School of Chicago.
Marylee MacDonald

Marylee MacDonald

Panelist

Marylee MacDonald is the author of MONTPELIER TOMORROW, a novel, and BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD, a short story collection. She is the Writer-In-Residence for the City of Mesa, AZ Public Libraries, and she teaches fiction for the Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She is a former carpenter with a Master's in Creative Writing. Her fiction has won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, Gold and Silver Medals from the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, and more. Her short fiction has appeared in the Yamassee, North Atlantic Review, Bellevue Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, Briar Cliff Review, Ruminate, and others. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in Journal of Light Construction, Old-House Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, Consumer Reports, and Illinois Issues.
Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Workshop instructor

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime -- six stories from which have appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers' Conference and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is currently on the faculty of the MFA programs at Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. Her website is www.rebeccamakkai.com.
Andrew Marikis

Andrew Marikis

Keynote

Andrew Marikis is a storyteller, actor, teaching artist and dinosaur enthusiast. As a storyteller, Andrew has performed with Story Sessions, Fillet of Solo, You’re Being Ridiculous, This Much is True, Here Chicago, Hump Night, Story Club North Side and Tellin’ Tales Theatre; his writing was featured on WBEZ's Pleasure Town Podcast; and he hosts and produces Story Club South Side on the third Tuesday of every month – currently in it’s second year. As an actor he’s worked with Adventure Stage, BoHo, Sidewhow, Lifeline, and Seanachai Theatres among others. As a teaching artist he works with children of all ages with Emerald City. Dream Big and Adventure Stage Chicago; and he’s the Lead Teaching Artist with the ASC Trailblazers, a mixed-age ensemble of adult and tween artists who devise original theatrical pieces based their lives. As a dinosaur enthusiast he has dressed up as Sue the T-Rex twice - once for compensation. You can find out more at www.AndrewMarikis.com.

Juan Martinez

Juan Martinez

Workshop instructor

Juan Martinez is a fiction writer. He was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and has since lived in Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. His work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Ecotone, Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, TriQuarterly, Conjunctions, National Public Radio's Selected Shorts, Norton's Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and The Perpetual Engine of Hope: Stories Inspired by Iconic Vegas Photographs. His collection of stories, Best Worst American came out from Small Beer Press in February 2017. He holds a PhD from the University of Nevada and is currently at work on a novel.
Eric Charles May

Eric Charles May

Workshop instructor

Eric Charles May is the author of the novel Bedrock Faith, which was named a Notable African-American Title by Publisher's Weekly, and a Top Ten Debut Novel for 2014 by Booklist magazine. May is an associate professor in the fiction-writing program at Columbia College Chicago, and the 2015 recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation's 21st Century Award. A former reporter for The Washington Post, his fiction has also appeared in Fish Stories, Solstice, Hypertext, Flyleaf Journal, F, Criminal Class, and We Speak Chicagoese. In addition to his Post reporting, his nonfiction has appeared in Sport Literate, Chicago Tribune, and the personal essay anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck. He has taught at the Stonecoast, Solstice, Northwestern University, and Chicago writers conferences, and in Chicago has read personal essays with 2nd Story, and That's All She Wrote, and oral tellings at the Grown Folks Stories and Here's the Story personal essay programs.
Marty McConnell

Marty McConnell

Workshop instructor

Marty McConnell lives in Chicago, where she coaches individuals and groups toward building thriving, sustainable lives and organizations. An MFA graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, and Indiana Review. Her first full-length collection, "wine for a shotgun," received the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Awards, and was a finalist for both the Audre Lorde Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Part of the vanguard of poets fusing and refusing the delineations between literary and oral poetry, she is a seven-time National Poetry Slam team member, the 2012 National Underground Poetry Individual Competition (NUPIC) Champion, and appeared twice on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Her first nonfiction book, "Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop," is forthcoming in 2018 on YesYes Books.
Jonathan Messinger

Jonathan Messinger

Panelist

Jonathan Messinger is the executive producer and co-founder of Gen-Z Kids, a company producing scripted podcasts for kids. The show he writes and produces, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian, has been named one of the top podcasts for kids, and a second show, Sage or Charlatan, is soon to launch. He's also the author of the story collection Hiding Out (not for kids), a co-founder of Chicago small press featherproof books, and he spent nearly a decade in the trenches as a book critic for Time Out Chicago.
Ethan Michaeli

Ethan Michaeli

Workshop instructor

Ethan Michaeli is the author of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) praised by Brent Staples of the New York Times as "An extraordinary history...towering achievement that will not be soon forgotten," awarded the Best Nonfiction of 2016 prizes from the Society of Midland Authors as well as the Chicago Writers Association, named as a Notable Book of 2016 by the New York Times as well as the Washington Post and Amazon. Ethan was a copy editor and investigative reporter at the Chicago Daily Defender from 1991 to 1996. He left the Defender to found Residents' Journal, a magazine written and produced by the tenants of Chicago's public housing developments, and an affiliated not-for-profit organization, We the People Media. His next book, Twelve Tribes: Promise and Peril in the New Israel, will be published by Custom House Books in 2019.
Fawzia Mirza

Fawzia Mirza

Keynote

Fawzia Mirza is an actor, producer, writer who believes in dispelling the myth of the 'model minority' in mainstream media and in the power of comedy to tackle divisive topics and breakdown stereotypes. She was named a White House 'Champion of Change' in Asian American Art & Storytelling, a 3Arts Grant Recipient in Acting, a 'Top 10 Creative' by Indiewire magazine, one of Chicago's 'Rising Stars' of indie filmmaking, selected as a 3Arts Fellow at the Djerassi Residents Artists Program and was named to New City Magazine's 'Film 50' list. She is featured in the acclaimed Emmy-nominated and Peabody, Gotham and GLAAD-Award winning web series "Her Story". She has performed theatre across Chicago, including her own one-person play "Me, My Mom & Sharmila" which she's currently developing into a screenplay. She hosts The Moth monthly at Evanston's Space and she emceed the Chicago Women's March. Her work has been covered nationally and internationally, including in Marie Claire, Jezebel, Al-Jazeera, AV Club, .Mic, Chicago Tribune, Esquire, NBC News, VICE, The LA Times, Red Eye Chicago, New City Magazine, Indiewire, DNA India, Newsweek Pakistan, and a lot of Indian and Pakistani tabloids. He first short story ever published is featured in Good Girls Marry Doctors. Her latest short documentary "The Streets are Ours" world premiered at the Nashville International Film Festival (Audience Award, Best Short Documentary). Signature Move", which she co-wrote, produced and stars in, is Mirza's first feature-length film, directed by Jennifer Reeder and starring film legend Shabana Azmi. It world premiered at SXSW 2017.

Aram Mrjoian

Aram Mrjoian

Panel moderator

Aram Mrjoian is a regular contributor at Book Riot and the Chicago Review of Books. His short stories, reviews, interviews, and essays have appeared in many other publications, including Colorado Review, TriQuarterlyGigantic SequinsThe Masters ReviewNecessary FictionTahoma Literary ReviewThe Adroit Journal blog, Limestone, and The Great Lakes Book Project. Mrjoian is currently working toward his MFA in creative writing at Northwestern University, where he is a fiction editor at TriQuarterly.
Bonnie Nadzam

Bonnie Nadzam

Reader

Bonnie Nadzam has published fiction and essays in Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Orion Magazine, The Iowa Review, Epoch, The Kenyon Review, and many others. Her first novel, Lamb, was recipient of the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize in 2011, and was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. It has been translated into several languages and made into a film that was released in 2016. Her second novel, Lions, is out now from Grove Press. She is also co-author with Dale Jamieson of Love in the Anthropocene (OR Books, 2015).

 A.D. Nauman

A.D. Nauman

Reader

A.D. Nauman’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Literary Review, Roanoke ReviewKnee-Jerk, Other Voices, The Chicago Reader, and many other literary journals. She is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council award for literary fiction and has had work produced by Stories on Stage. Her dystopian novel, Scorch, set in a near-future America governed by three huge corporations, can be found on Amazon and as an e-book. A.D. works as an education professor in Chicago, and lives in Oak Park with a highly pampered tuxedo cat.

Jarrett Neal

Workshop instructor

Jarrett Neal's first book, What Color Is Your Hoodie?: Essays on Black Gay Identity, was a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in The Gay and Lesbian Review, Chelsea Station, The Good Men Project, Cold Drank, and other publications. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA program in Writing, his upcoming works include the essay collection Reel Love: The Man and the Movies that Changed My Life, and Illisouri: A Novel. He lives in Oak Park, IL.

Toni Nealie

Toni Nealie

Panelist

Toni Nealie is the author of The Miles Between Me, an essay collection about borders, homeland, dispersal, heritage and family, published by Curbside Splendor. Work has appeared in Guernica, Hobart, The Offing, The Rumpus, Entropy, Midwestern Gothic, Essay Daily, Chicago Quarterly Review and elsewhere. Her essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and shortlisted for a Chicago Review of Books nonfiction award. Nealie worked in journalism, politics and public relations in the U.K., Singapore and her native New Zealand, and currently teaches and writes in Chicago. She is Literary Editor of Newcity and curates The Sunday Rumpus.
Dana Norris

Dana Norris

Workshop instructor

Jeremy Owens

Jeremy Owens

Keynote, workshop instructor

Jeremy Owens is the creator, producer and host of You're Being Ridiculous, a long running live-lit show most recently featured at Steppenwolf Theatre as part of their LookOut Series. Jeremy is also the co-editor for Heauxs Chicago, and a writer for Oy!Chicago. His writing has appeared in The Daily Dot, Story Club Magazine, Role Reboot, The JUF News, and Thread, and his work has also been featured in the live-lit shows Essay Fiesta, Fillet of Solo Theatre Festival, Guts & Glory, Story Club Chicago, Story Sessions, The Paper Machete, This Much Is True, That's All She Wrote and others. He is a graduate of The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and has an MFA in performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
C. Russell Price

C. Russell Price

Workshop instructor

C. Russell Price is a genderqueer punk Appalachian poet originally from Virginia but now lives in Chicago. Their chapbook "Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other" was released in June 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press. Their work can be found in Assaracus, Court Green, Nimrod International, Lunch, and elsewhere. Their current project "Human Flesh Search Engine" is a hyperqueer neo-confessionalist view of the apocalypse utilizing mixed media 90’s pop, and DIY/punk theory. They are a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. They are a Lambda fellow in poetry and a Literary Death Match champion.
Ruben Quesada

Ruben Quesada

Reader

Ruben Quesada’s writing and short films have been featured at The American Poetry ReviewPloughshares, Southern Humanities Review, Art Institute of Chicago, and The Poetry Foundation. He has served as Essays Editor at The Rumpus, Senior Editor at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Content Editor at CantoMundo. Quesada has held fellowships and residencies at Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and CantoMundo. He is invested in the creation of community infrastructure and the promotion of Latino writers at all stages of their career.

Ashley Ray-Harris

Ashley Ray-Harris

Keynote

Ashely Ray-Harris is a freelance writer for the Chicago ReaderViceThe A.V. Club, and Jezebel. She's also a comic and storyteller. Her work focuses on the intersection between blackness, queerness and pop culture.

Ross Ritchell

Ross Ritchell

Workshop instructor

Ross Ritchell is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, The Knife. He is a combat veteran who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Upon returning from war, Ross attained his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University. He works in financial trading, but is always looking for the next step in life. He lives outside of Chicago with his wife, children and two Labrador Retrievers.
Ed Roberson

Ed Roberson

Reader

Ed Roberson is the author of seven volumes of poetry, including Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; Just In: Word of Navigational Change: New and Selected WorkAtmosphere Conditions, a National Poetry Series winner; and his most recent, City Eclogue. Roberson received the 2008 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has also received a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writer's Award. His author website is edroberson.net.

Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney

Workshop instructor

The author of eight books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, as well as a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Kathleen Rooney is the co-editor, most recently, of Rene Magritte: Selected Writings, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, was published by St. Martin's Press in January 2017. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Allure and The Nation. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay. Follow her @KathleenMrooney.

Ozge Samanci

Ozge Samanci

Workshop instructor, panelist

Ozge Samanci is an artist and an assistant professor at the Radio TV Film Department of Northwestern University. She is a graphic novelist and she makes interactive art installations. Her interactive-digital media installations and other collaborative works have been exhibited internationally. Her autobiographical graphic novel, Dare to Disappoint, was published by Farrar Straus Giroux in November 2015. Dare to Disappoint received media attention in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, New Republic, Paste Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, PBS-Chicago Tonight, the Daily Beast. Dare to Disappoint will be translated into Korean, Dutch, and Turkish. Ozge's drawings have appeared in Slate magazine and Huffington Post.

Jorge Sánchez

Jorge Sánchez

Reader

Cuban American teacher and poet Jorge Sánchez was born in Hialeah, Florida, and raised in Miami. He earned a BA from Loyola University, an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, and an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Sánchez teaches at Elgin Academy in Elgin, Illinois, and lives in Chicago with his wife and son.
doug seibold

Doug Seibold

Panelist

Doug Seibold has been a publishing professional in Chicago since 1986. For more than 15 years he worked as a freelance writer and editor for organizations that published magazines, books, and educational content. In 2003, he founded Agate, which is now a diversified independent publishing company with five distinct imprints. In 2005, he created Agate Development, an educational content provider that creates content for large education publishers, educational institutions, and other organizations. In 2006, Agate acquired Surrey Books, a 25-year-old Chicago-based book publisher, which is now run as an imprint of Agate. In 2012, Agate established a partnership with the Chicago Tribune to publish ebooks created from Tribune content under its Agate Digital imprint. In February 2012, Publishers Weekly identified Agate as the fastest-growing small press in America from 2009-2011.

Fred Shafer

Fred Shafer

Workshop instructor

Fred Shafer is a literary editor, writer, and teacher of writing. He was an editor with TriQuarterly, the international literary journal published by Northwestern University, where he taught a sequence of courses in fiction writing in the School of Professional Studies for many years. He now leads three private workshops for advanced short story writers and novelists. More than thirty books have been published by members of his workshops, including fifteen in the last seven years. He has consulted with film directors on scripts; one motion picture on which he received a screen credit won six first prizes at the Milan Film Festival, including best film and best screenplay. His own essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in several periodicals.
Lynn Sloan

Lynn Sloan

Workshop instructor, panelist

Lynn Sloan is a writer and photographer. Her novel Principles of Navigation was published in 2015 (Fomite Press); her story collection This Far Isn't Far Enough is forthcoming in 2018 (Fomite Press). Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, American Literary Review, The Literary Review, among others, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She graduated from Northwestern University, earned a master's degree in photography at The Institute of Design, formerly the New Bauhaus, and exhibited her work nationally and internationally. While teaching in the photography department of Columbia College Chicago, she founded the journal Occasional Readings in Photography, and wrote for Afterimage, Art Week, and Exposure.
Christine Sneed

Christine Sneed

Workshop instructor

Christine Sneed is the author of the novels Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts, and the story collections Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry and The Virginity of Famous Men (Bloomsbury USA & Bloomsbury UK). Her stories or essays have been included in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the Midwest, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, New England Review, The Southern Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Greensboro Review, and a number of other periodicals. She has received an Illinois Arts Council fellowship, the Associated Writers & Writing Program's Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Ploughshares' Zacharis Prize, the Society of Midland Authors Award in Adult Fiction, the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award, and Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers' Association. Little Known Facts was a NYT Editor's Choice, and Paris, He Said was a 2016 Illinois Reads selection. The Virginity of Famous Men was a finalist for the Chicago Review of Books best book of the year, fiction category, and was named one of the best books of 2016 by Booklist. Visit her author website: christinesneed.com.
Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra

Keynote, Reader

Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, Once I Was Cool, and Everyone Remain Calm. Her work appears in the Best American Essays, New York Times, Poets & Writers, Guernica, Buzzfeed, PANK, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, Radio National Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Goodman Theatre, the Neo-Futurarium, and regularly with The Paper Machete live news magazine at The Green Mill. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University.

Tara Stringfellow

Tara Stringfellow

Workshop instructor

Tara Stringfellow is a poet and an attorney living in Chicago, originally from Memphis, Tennessee and Okinawa, Japan. Third World Press published her first collection of poetry entitled More than Dancing in 2008. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016, her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Minerva RisingJet Fuel ReviewWomen Arts QuarterlyTransition MagazineApogee JournalLinden Avenue Literary JournalChicago Magazinedecomp, and Prompt. Currently, the author is an MFA Candidate for both poetry and prose at Northwestern University and is writing a memoir about her family she is calling Memphis.

Ben Tanzer

Ben Tanzer

Workshop instructor

After 20 plus years working with nonprofits and literary presses, Ben is excited any time he gets to talk to people about how they can enhance their marketing, communications, branding, strategy and planning work. He currently serves as Marketing and Communications Director for the Echoes and Reflections Program at the Anti-Defamation League and as a Lecturer in the Lake Forest College Loop Program where he teaches LOOP 202: Professional Development in the 21st Century. He is the author of the books Be Cool: a memoir (sort of) and Sex and Death, among others. He has contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor and Men's Health and co-scripted the 2010 Emmy award winning Ounce of Prevention of Florida Prevent Child Abuse public service campaign. He also oversees This Blog Will Change Your Life, a place for finding cool stuff that just might change your life.
David E. Tolchinsky

David E. Tolchinsky

Workshop instructor

David E. Tolchinsky is the Chairman of RTVF and Founder/Director of NU/SOC's MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage. He writes screenplays/plays about teenagers and psychiatrists. Some are funny, some scary, some uncomfortably personal. He was the recipient of a 2014 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Literature and was voted Best Director for the 2015 New York production of his play, Where's the Rest of Me? He was No. 8 on New City's Film 50 2015: Chicago's Screen Gems and his feature film Girl is available on iTunes. He's currently writing a dark comedy about the psychologist Wilhelm Reich, is in pre-production on a psychological thriller, Cassandra that he's directing about the psychiatric memory recovery movement of the 90s, and is associate producing Debra Tolchinsky's documentary, True Memories and Other Falsehoods, about memory contamination in the criminal justice system. He's a graduate of Yale (BA) and USC (MFA) and an active member of the Writers Guild of America-west. More at http://davidetolchinsky.com/

Vu Tran

Vu Tran

Workshop instructor

Vu Tran's first novel is Dragonfish, a NY Times Notable Book of 2015 and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year. He is the winner of a Whiting Award, and his short stories have appeared in publications like the O. Henry Prize Stories and the Best American Mystery Stories. Born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma, Vu received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.
Michele Weldon

Michele Weldon

Workshop instructor

An award-winning journalist and author for more than three decades, Michele Weldon is emerita faculty at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, a senior leader with The OpEd Project and director of Northwestern's Public Voices Fellowship for the past five years. Weldon's latest book, Escape Points: A Memoir was an Editor's Choice for best books of 2015 by Booklist and a finalist in the Society of Midland Authors excellence awards for memoir. Her other books include, I Closed My Eyes (Hazelden/ HCI); Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden/HCI, 2001); and Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page. Her e-book chapter through SheBooks, Just Me And My Three Sons, was released in 2014 and is an audiobook. Weldon has written chapters in seven other books and has written columns, news and features for outlets including New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Medium, Narratively, Nieman Narrative Digest, OZY, Pacific Standard Magazine, Parenting, Quartz, Slate, USA Today, Writer's Digest, womensenews, Woman's Day and hundreds more. She directed TEDX Northwestern2014, has narrated lessons for TED Ed and competed in the Moth Story Chicago GrandSlam in 2012.

Jeremy T. Wilson

Jeremy T. Wilson

Panelist, Reader

Jeremy T. Wilson is a former winner of the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in literary magazines such as The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, The Florida Review, Hobart, Third Coast and other publications. He holds an MFA from Northwestern and is currently a creative writing instructor at The Chicago High School for the Arts.

S.L. Wisenberg

Workshop instructor

S.L. Wisenberg is the author of a story collection, The Sweetheart Is In; an essay collection, Holocaust Girls: History, Memory, & Other Obsessions, and a nonfiction chronicle, The Adventures of Cancer Bitch, based on her blog. Her MFA is in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop; her BS is in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism. She was a feature writer for the Miami Herald and has published prose and poetry in The New Yorker, PloughsharesTikkunNew England ReviewMichigan Quarterly Review and many other places. Her nonfiction has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, River TeethFourth Genre, Lilith, Colorado Review, and The Progressive. She's received a Pushcart Prize and grants and awards from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is working on a book of creative nonfiction, Moments in Selma & Other Glimpses of the South, to be published by the University of Georgia Press. She is former director of Northwestern's MA/MFA in Creative Writing program, where she continues to teach creative nonfiction workshops. Photo by Adine Sagalyn

Mary Wisniewski

Mary Wisniewski

Workshop instructor

Mary Wisniewski is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and the author of Algren: A Life, the critically acclaimed biography of writer Nelson Algren. Before coming to the Tribune, she was the Midwest reporter for Reuters, transportation columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and an investigative reporter for Chicago Lawyer. Wisniewski has won numerous awards for reporting and has taught creative writing and published literary reviews. She is an active participant in the Nelson Algren Committee, past president of the Chicago Headline Club, and appears frequently on local television and radio.

J. Preston Witt

J. Preston Witt

Panelist

J. Preston Witt studied creative writing at the University of Michigan (BA 2010) and The Ohio State University (MFA 2014). He was awarded the Able Muse Write Prize in 2014 and a Luminarts Fellowship in 2016. He is based in Chicago and is currently a Visiting Professor at Romanian-American University in Bucharest.