Fred Leebron, advanced fiction, director
Fred Leebron has published three novels, a novella, and numerous short stories, winning both an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize. He has founded and directed writing programs in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, and has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level for nearly 30 years. His second novel, Six Figures, was made into a feature length award-winning film in Canada, and he has worked on a number of film and television projects. He is co-author of a Harcourt Brace textbook on fiction writing and co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction.
Pinckney Benedict, fiction
Pinckney Benedict grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. He studied English and creative writing at Princeton University as an undergraduate and received his M.F.A. in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published a novel (Dogs of God) and three collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, Tin House, the O. Henry Award series (twice), the Pushcart Prize series (three times), the Best New Stories from the South series (four times), Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story (both the 1992 edition and the twentieth-anniversary edition). He wrote the screenplay for the 1999 feature film Four Days, and he wrote the lyrics and libretto for A: The Scarlet Letter, a musical adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, the concert version of which premiered in October 2016 at Fort Myer, Virginia. Benedict is the recipient of, among other awards and honors, a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Britain’s Steinbeck Award, a fiction grant from the Illinois Arts Council, two Plattner Awards for fiction from Appalachian Heritage magazine, a Literary Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, two Henfield Foundation awards, and the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award. He has taught on the creative writing faculties of, among others, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, West Virginia University, Warren Wilson College, Princeton University, Davidson College, and Hollins University. He has taught on the faculties of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s Summer Words Writing Retreat & Literary Festival. He teaches each summer at the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, a conference he cofounded with the writer Fred Leebron in 2004. Benedict serves as a professor in the M.F.A. program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and on the faculty of the low-residency M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lisa Pertillar Brevard, contemporary lyricism
Lisa Pertillar Brevard is an internationally-recognized scholar and creative artist, whose research and writing projects include the 1997 National Public Radio series, Will The Circle Be Unbroken (the Civil Rights radio documentary, which she named and which received a 1998 Peabody Award); and Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions (1994), a 26-hour National Public Radio/Smithsonian Institution project, which received a 1995 Peabody Award and a National Education Association (NEA) Award.
She completed a Smith College B.A. degree with honors in Afro-American studies; an Emory University Ph.D. in African-American music and literature and women’s studies; and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland College Park.
For more than two decades, Brevard has taught college and university courses and lectured in such areas as American literature, biography, creative writing, philosophy, and women’s studies. Along the way, under the auspices of Harvard University and Warner Bros. Records, she gave a lecture-recital at the landmark April in Paris: African-American Music and Europe international conference, held at The Sorbonne.
A member of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Brevard writes gospels, ballads, poetry, and biographies. Her published works include: A Biography of Emma Azalia Smith Hackley, 1867-1922, African-American Singer and Social Activist (book); Louisiana Dawn: Poems of a Grafted Life (book and audio CD); In Praise of Ancestors (CD audiobook with music); Beautiful Remains: Words and Pictures Rescued from Hurricane Katrina (with Frank Brevard) (book); and Whoopi Goldberg on Stage and Screen (book).
Barbara Jones, advanced fiction/memoir
Barbara Jones is an executive editor at Henry Holt & Company, where she edits fiction, memoir and an idiosyncratic short list of nonfiction. Her authors include Paul Auster, Sebastian Faulks, Christa Parravani, Adelle Waldman, Rick Moody, and many others. She was previously editorial director of Hyperion Books and Voice Books, where she edited Lauren Groff, Deborah Copaken Kogan, Chitra Divakaruni, Isabel Gillies, Kelly Corrigan, and many others. Before becoming a book editor in 2008, Jones spent nearly 20 years as an editor at magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Magazine, More, and Grand Street, editing authors such as Jennifer Egan, Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, Louise Erdrich, Francine Prose, Liz Gilbert, Ann Hood, Kate Braestrup, Amy Wilentz, Christopher Hitchens, Kathryn Harrison, and many others. She has taught at Yale College, New York University, and elsewhere. Her writings have been published in magazines, newspapers and books, including Salon, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, The Paris Review, and in anthologies from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Riverhead Books.
Jeff Kleinman, fiction/nonfiction
Jeff Kleinman is a founding partner at Folio Literary Management. He loves unique voices, magnificently strong characters, unusual premises, and books that offer up some new perspective on something he thought he already knew something about or never even dreamed existed. He’d particularly love to find some great dark upmarket or literary psychological suspense, if you have any lying around. Current clients include: New York Times bestsellers Garth Stein, Eowyn Ivey, Jacqueline Mitchard, Charles Shields, Elizabeth Letts, and soon-to-be-mega-bestseller Karen Dionne.
Rebecca Lindenberg, poetry
Rebecca Lindenberg is the author of Love, an Index (McSweeney’s 2012) and The Logan Notebooks (the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State 2014), winner of the 2015 Utah Book Award. She’s been awarded an Amy Lowell Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Grant, a Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Fellowship, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and residency grants from the MacDowell Arts Colony and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her poetry, lyric essays, and criticism appear in The Believer, Poetry, McSweeney’s Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Seneca Review, DIAGRAM, Third Coast, Smartish Pace, Conjunctions, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah; she directs the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati.
Karon Luddy, young adult fiction
Karon Luddy is the author of the novel Spelldown published by Simon and Schuster, which earned starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly as well as the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award that praised that praised its humor and infectious zeal for learning new words. Her second novel, Bewilderment of Boys, is the sequel to Spelldown. Kirkus Reviews called it a charmingly perceptive follow-up to Spelldown. Clemson University Digital Press published her first book of poetry, Wolf Heart, about growing up in South Carolina. Luddy earned an M.F.A. in creative writing at Queens University Charlotte, and has been an adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte since 2005. Her short story, “Because You Asked,” was selected for the anthology Forty Stories, New Writing by Harper Perennial.
James McKean, creative nonfiction
James McKean writes poems and nonfiction. He has published two books of essays: Home Stand: Growing up in Sports, and Bound; and 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, the Southern Review, and the Best American Sports Writing 2003 and has received a Pushcart Prize. He is a professor emeritus at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Daniel Mueller, fiction
Daniel Mueller is the author of two collections of short fiction, How Animals Mate (Overlook Press 1999), winner of the Sewanee Fiction Prize, and Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey (Outpost 19 Books 2013). His work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The Missouri Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Gargoyle, Story Quarterly, CutBank, Joyland, The Writing Disorder, Another Chicago Magazine, the Mississippi Review, Story, and Playboy. New writing recently appeared in The Iowa Review and Gargoyle. He teaches at the University of New Mexico and on the faculty of the low-residency M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte.
Jon Pineda, advanced poetry
Jon Pineda is the author of three poetry collections: Little Anodynes, winner of the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry; The Translator’s Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose; and Birthmark, winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition. His memoir, Sleep in Me, was a 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and his debut novel, Apology, won the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. His second novel, Let’s No One Get Hurt, will be published in early 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Pineda teaches in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte and at the University of Mary Washington.