Lesley Nneka Arimah is the author of What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, a collection of short stories from Riverhead Books. Her collection was named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, LitHub, and more. Her stories have been honored with a National Magazine Award, the Caine Prize, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and an O. Henry Award. Arimah’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and GRANTA among other publications, and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation, MacDowell, Breadloaf and others. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2018 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club among other honors. Arimah is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing. She lives in the Midwest and is working on a novel about you.
Dean Bakopoulos’ first novel, Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon (Harcourt, 2005), was a New York Times Notable Book; Bakopoulos co-wrote the film adaptation, which premiered last year at the Los Angeles Film Festival. His second novel, My American Unhappiness (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) was named one of the year’s best novels by The Chicago Tribune, and his latest novel Summerlong (Ecco, 2015) made the independent bookstore bestseller list. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Dean is now writer-in-residence at Grinnell College in Iowa, where he lives with his spouse, novelist Alissa Nutting, and their blended family of three kids. Dean and Alissa are now at work on a television series based on Alissa’s novel, Made For Love.
Carolyn Ferrell is the author of the short-story collection, Don’t Erase Me, which was awarded the 1997 Art Seidenbaum Award of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the John C. Zachiris First Fiction Prize given by Ploughshares, and the Quality Paperback Book Prize for First Fiction. Her stories and essays have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2018, edited by Roxane Gay; The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike; Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present edited by Gloria Naylor; and most recently Apple, Tree: Writers on their Parents, edited by Lise Funderberg. She is the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Association, the German Academic Exchange (D.A.A.D.), the Bronx Council on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1996, she has been a faculty member in both the undergraduate and MFA programs at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in New York with her husband and children.
Jeremy Gavron’s fourth novel, Felix Culpa, was published in the US in 2019. His investigation into his mother’s suicide, A Woman on the Edge of Time, out now in paperback in the US, was a book of the year in newspapers in the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands, and a finalist for the Gordon Burn Prize. A BBC radio dramatization aired in June 2019. His previous books include King Leopold’s Dream, a New York Times Notable Book, and The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award. Educated at Cambridge University and NYU, he started out as a journalist and was a correspondent in Africa and Asia. He has been writer-in-residence in a prison, a hospice, and at University College in London, where he lives with his wife and sometimes their two daughters.
Lauren Groff received a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of two story collections and three novels. Her most recent collection, Florida, won the Story Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award and Kirkus prize; her most recent novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize, and won the American Booksellers’ Association Fiction Book of the Year Award, as well as France’s Grand Prix de L’héroïne. Her short fiction has won a PEN/O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and the Paul Bowles Prize from Five Points, and her stories have appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, One Story and Ploughshares, as well as in five editions of the Best American Short Stories anthology and the book 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. She was a Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellow, was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into thirty languages.
C.J. Hribal is the author of the novel The Company Car, which won the Anne Powers Book Award, and three other works of fiction. His collection of novellas and stories, The Clouds in Memphis, won the AWP Prize in Short Fiction. He is also the author of the novel American Beauty, the collection of stories and novellas, Matty’s Heart, and he edited the collection The Boundaries of Twilight: Czecho-Slovak Writing from the New World. His story, “Do I Look Sick to You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)” won the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bush Foundation. His BA is from St. Norbert College and his MA from Syracuse University. He is the Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Vanessa Hua has been writing about Asia and the diaspora in journalism and in fiction for more than two decades. She’s the author of A River of Stars, longlisted for the Chautauqua Prize, and was named a best book of the year by NPR and the Washington Post. Her short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, was a finalist for the California Book Award, and a One City/One Book pick for El Cerrito. Her honors include a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Acolumnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, she has also written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Paris Review Daily, among other publications. She has taught at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Tin House Winter Workshop, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and the Writers Grotto in San Francisco. She has a BA and MA from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of California-Riverside. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Her forthcoming novel will be published by Ballantine.
T. Geronimo Johnson born in New Orleans, received his BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Oglethorpe, an MA in Language Literacy and Culture from UC Berkeley, and his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Johnson has taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford, the Writers’ Workshop, the Prague Summer Program, OSU, TSU, San Quentin, and elsewhere. He has worked on, at, or in brokerages, kitchens, construction sites, phone rooms, education non-profits, writing centers, summer camps, a women’s shoe store, nightclubs, law firms, offset print shops, and a political campaign that shall remain unnamed. His novels have been selected by the Wall Street Journal Book Club, named a 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, shortlisted for the 2016 Hurston Wright Legacy Award, longlisted for the National Book Award, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, a finalist for The Bridge Book Award, a finalist for the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, included on Time Magazine’s list of the top ten books of 2015, awarded the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, named the winner of the 2015 Ernest J Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. He was the recipient of the inaugural Simpson Family Literary Prize (aka The Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize). Johnson was a 2016 National Book Award judge. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and currently resides in the Eternal City.
Antonya Nelson is the author of four novels and seven short story collections, including Funny Once, released in May 2014. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, NEA, and USA Artists Fellowships, as well as the Rea Award for Short Fiction. She lives in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, where she holds the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Marisa Silver is the author, most recently, of the novel Little Nothing, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Award for Fiction. Her other novels include Mary Coin, a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller’s Award, The God of War, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, and No Direction Home. Her first collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. When her second collection, Alone With You was published, The New York Times called her “one of California’s most celebrated contemporary writers.” Silver has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Silver’s fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies. She received her MFA from The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson.