Fred Leebron, advanced fiction, director

Fred LeebronFred 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.

Laura Benedict, genre fiction

Laura BenedictLaura Benedict is the author of six novels of dark suspense, including the Bliss House gothic trilogy: The Abandoned Heart, Charlotte’s Story (Booklist starred review), and Bliss House. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, PANK, on NPR, and in numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, and St. Louis Noir. Benedict’s short story “A Paler Shade of Death” has been nominated for a 2017 Edgar Award (Best Short Story). Get to know her better at laurabenedict.com.

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.

Sara Eliza Johnson, poetry

Sara Johnson

Sara Eliza Johnson’s first book, Bone Map (Milkweed Editions, 2014), was selected for the 2013 National Poetry Series. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Meridian, the Best New Poets series, Salt Hill, Willow Springs, Gulf Coast, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and two Winter Fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Barbara Jones, advanced fiction/memoir

Barbara Jones

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 KleinmanJeff 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: NYT Bestsellers Garth Stein, Eowyn Ivey, Jacqueline Mitchard, Charles Shields, Elizabeth Letts, and soon-to-be-mega-bestseller Karen Dionne.

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 Moeckel 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. 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. His most recent works are the nonfiction book Watershed Days: Adventures (A Little Thorny & Familiar) in the Home Range, and the epic/anti-epic Arcadia Road: A Trilogy.

Daniel Mueller, fiction

Daniel MuellerDaniel 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 is forthcoming in 2017 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.

Martin Seay, fiction

Martin SeayMartin Seay’s debut novel, The Mirror Thief, was published by Melville House in 2016. He has been awarded a fiction fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and his short stories and essays have appeared in Joyland, MAKE, Gargoyle, the Believer, and the Gettysburg Review. Originally from Texas, he lives in Chicago.