Fred Leebron, novel, director

Fred LeebronFred, program director of the M.F.A. in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte, is also a professor of English at Gettysburg College, and a former director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In addition, he is a managing partner of Unboxed Books, which publishes original and reprint fiction and nonfiction, and features an annual $5,000 book prize in fiction. His novels include Six Figures, In the Middle of All This, and Out West. He has received a Pushcart Prize, Michener Award, Stegner Fellowship, and O. Henry Award. He is co-editor of Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology and co-author of Creating Fiction: A Writer’s Companion. The independent production of Six Figures premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and he is currently at work on another film project.

Khris Baxter, fiction, nonfiction

Khris BaxterKhris is a screenwriter, producer, and the president of Story Lab. Story Lab develops and finances mid-tier independent films, and works closely with Crystal City Entertainment (The Butler; The Ides of March; Everything Must Go) developing and cofinancing a wide range of feature film and television projects. Baxter teaches screenwriting at the low-residency M.F.A. in creative writing at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. He is also a member of the Virginia Film Office, where he has been a judge for the annual Virginia Screenwriting Competition since 2004.

Laura Benedict, genre fiction

Laura BenedictLaura is the author of several novels of dark suspense, including Isabella Moon and Bliss House (Pegasus Books, June 2014). Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine as well as numerous anthologies, and she originated and edited the Surreal South short fiction anthology series with her husband, Pinckney Benedict. She lives with her family in the southernmost region of a Midwestern state.

Pinckney Benedict, fiction

Pinckney BenedictPinckney grew up in rural West Virginia. He has published a novel and three collections of short fiction. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story. He is the recipient of two Transatlantic Review awards, a Michener Fellowship, and the Nelson Algren Award, and an individual artist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served on the faculties of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Aspen Summer Words conference. Pinckney is a professor in the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Queens University in Charlotte.

Sarah BowlinSarah Bowlin, fiction

Sarah joined Henry Holt & Co. as an editor in 2010 after several years at Riverhead Books where she worked with the internationally acclaimed Juan Gabriel Vásquez, the National Book Award nominated Salvatore Scibona, and with award-winning new talents Ramona Ausubel and Nick Dybek. At Holt, her list includes Sheila Heti’s acclaimed breakout novel How Should a Person Be?; the debut novels Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss and Love All by Callie Wright; new books from the award winning and bestselling writers Louis Bayard and Catherine O’Flynn; and the forthcoming debuts High as the Horses’ Bridles (July 2014) by Slice alum Scott Cheshire and Snow in May (May 2014) by Kseniya Melnik. Born in the south, she has a degree in literature and history from NYU.

James McKean, creative nonfiction

James McKeanJames writes poems and nonfiction. He has published three books of poems: Headlong, Tree of Heaven, and We Are the Bus. Headlong won a 1987 Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writer Award, Tree of Heaven won a 1994 Iowa Poetry Award, and We Are the Bus won the 2011 X.J. Kennedy poetry prize and was published in 2012 by Texas Review Press. His nonfiction has appeared in magazines and collections such as the Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, and the Best American Sports Writing 2003 and has received a Pushcart Prize. His latest volume of nonfiction is a collection of essays titled Home Stand: Growing Up in Sports. He is a professor emeritus at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Thorpe Moeckel, advanced poetry

Thorpe MoeckelThorpe is the author of three books of poems — Odd Botany, Making a Map of the River, and Venison: a poem. Chapbooks include Meltlines and The Guessing Land. He teaches in the English and creative writing program at Hollins University. A former Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC-Chapel Hill, he has received an NEA Fellowship in poetry, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the Gerald Cable Book Award, the George Garrett Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and a Henry Hoyns Fellowship. His poetry is featured in several anthologies, including Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests, edited by Erik Reece, and From the Fishouse. His prose and poems appear in such journals as FIELD, Open City, The Antioch Review, Poetry Daily, Orion, Poetry, The Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. A new book is forthcoming in September 2015 from Etruscan Press.

Daniel Mueller, fiction/nonfiction

Daniel MuellerDaniel has written two collections of short stories: How Animals Mate (Overlook Press, 1999), which won the Sewanee Fiction Prize, and Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey, released in 2013 by Outpost 19 Books. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, Gargoyle, CutBank, Prairie Schooner, Surreal South, Another Chicago Magazine, StoryQuarterly, The Mississippi Review, Story, The Crescent Review, and Playboy. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Henfield Foundation, University of Virginia, and Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He directs the creative writing program at University of New Mexico and teaches on the creative writing faculty of the low-residency M.F.A. program at Queens University in Charlotte.

Emilia Phillips, beginning poetry

Emilia PhillipsEmilia Phillips is the author of Signaletics (University of Akron Press, 2013) and two chapbooks. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, U.S. Poets in Mexico, and Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry appears in AGNI, Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She serves as the prose editor of 32 Poems, on staff of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and as the 2013–14 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.

Peter SteinbergPeter Steinberg, all genres

Peter Steinberg is a literary agent at Foundry Literary + Media in New York City. Peter has been an agent for fifteen years and has worked at a number of boutique agencies, in addition to his own agency, before moving to Foundry in 2014. He represents both fiction and non-fiction and his clients have written many bestselling books and have been nominated for/awarded Edgars, The Pulitzer Prize, The Story Prize, The Paris Review Discovery Prize, PEN/Faulkner and National Book Awards.