Susan Alff, of Cary, North Carolina, has studied poetry with Betty Adcock over several years. After years of quiet, Ms. Alff is writing again in the company of a monthly poetry group. She has worked in bookstores for nearly 30 years, the last 20 at Quail Ridge Books, in Raleigh. She placed second in 2000 in the annual poetry contest at NCSU and had a poem published in English and Russian in Earth and Soul: An Anthology of North Carolina Poetry.
Ashley Anderson is an essayist, writer, Ohio native, Ph.D. student and Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Missouri. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Peripheral Surveys, SFWP Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, Badlands Literary Journal, The Manhattanville Review, Wraparound South, Newfound: An Inquiry of Place, and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. She also holds MA degrees from Kent State University and the University of Cincinnati, as well as a B.A. in creative writing and journalism from Ashland University.
Vicki Austin, faculty and dorm parent at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, lives with her husband, two children, and 80 or so other teenage boys in Kingston, PA. Vicki has more than twenty years of experience in many facets of education and is currently shifting her writing focus from persuasive to creative. Vicki’s most recent work was included in The Walls Between Us: Essays in Search of Truth, a 2018 Juncture publication. You can find Vicki on Twitter @VickiAustin02.
Barbara Bottner‘s novel, From the Awful Girl, With Love, is forthcoming with MacMillan in 2020. Bottner has published over forty books for children of all ages, from picture books to Young Adult, including a New York Times Bestseller. Many of her titles were translated, animated, and included in ‘best books’ lists. She’s written lyrics for Jim Henson on the Fair is Fair album as well as produced award-winning animations for Sesame Street. A proud member of the WGA, Barbara Bottner was a staff writer on a network sitcom and sold various screenplays. Her short stories have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Playgirl,The Barcelona Review, Adelaide Magazine and others. She’s written reviews for the LA and NY Sunday Times Book Reviews.
Aaron Buchanan is a writer who lets teaching philosophy and Latin in Tampa pay his bills. He is a Michigan native—a mystical, incongruous land which features prominently in his work. Aaron is also the only one he knows who has a four-feet-square painting of David Bowie in his living room and loves that his kids will grow up thinking that that is completely normal. His writing was most recently featured at The Ravens Perch, The Write Launch, and X-R-A-Y Lit Magazine.
Tracy Harris is a native of Boston who now lives in Minnesota but loves traveling in the south. She is a former political asylum attorney who now teaches a class in cultural orientation for refugees. Her essays have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Mason’s Road, Lunch Ticket, and the Tahoma Literary Review, among others. She is a former board member of Water-Stone Review and participant in Cracked Walnut, a series of literary readings in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Kim Harvey is a San Francisco Bay Area poet and dog mom originally from Richmond, Virginia. She is currently a reader for Palette Poetry and an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her work has recently appeared in Rattle, 3Elements Review, Raw Art Review, Poets Reading the News and Written Here. She was awarded 2nd Prize in the Comstock Review’s 2017 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest judged by Ellen Bass and selected for Special Merit in the 2018 contest.
Tom Hearron was born and raised in Dallas. He graduated from Rice and the University of Buffalo, where he studied with John Barth. After teaching college in Michigan, China, Rwanda, and North Carolina, he now lives with his wife in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Tom’s work is published in Streetlight, Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Panache, Just Pulp, Huckleberry Press, Buffalo Spree, Bicycling, and Spectacle. His prizewinning story in the Authors in the Park fiction contest appeared in Fine Print. His novel, The Serpents of Paradise was chosen as a finalist (top five) by The Dana Award in the Novel.
Christina Holzhauser grew up in a town of 85 people, along the Missouri River. She earned her MFA from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She lives with her partner and their children in Columbia, Missouri where she coaches and plays rugby. Her most recent work can be found in the anthology, Crooked Letter i: Coming Out in the South.
Kathryn Jordan is from Berkeley, CA, where she obtained her BA and MA in English and where her story, “Cookie,” won the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Prize for Short Story. After retiring from a career teaching music and English, she has returned to writing. Two of her recent poems were selected by Maggie Smith as Special Merit Winners for the Comstock Review’s 2018 Poetry Contest and will be published in January. Her poem, “After Watching Ken Burns’ Vietnam,” was chosen by Richard Blanco for Crossroads’ flash poetry contest in 2018. Kathryn is the 2016 winner of the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference Prize for Poetry and her work has appeared in Birdland, The Sun Magazine, Roar, and in the anthology, Solamente en San Miguel, among others. Kathryn is thrilled that her chapbook, Riding Waves, was published by Finishing Line Press in February of this year! Kathryn is an avid birder and loves to ramble in the East Bay Hills, translating birdsong to poetry whenever possible.
Paul Kiernan lives in southwest Florida. A retired engineer he holds an MA in literature and is an avid Latinist.
Evan Marcey is a (trans) woman born in California, raised in North Carolina and now living in New York. Having spent most of her life in Charlotte, NC, she considers it her home, even if she never developed a proper accent. She graduated from NYU in 2016 with a degree in Math and French, and she now works as a Software Engineer. Her work has appeared in The Concubine, The Guillotine, Long Day Press, and most recently in Duende.
J. Jacqueline McLean was born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, though she is a Southern city girl at heart. J. Jacqueline McLean is the recipient of eight TV news Emmys and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for her investigative reporting. McLean was chosen as one of the top three reporters in the country by the National Press Photographers Association. She has worked in a dozen TV markets, including Honolulu. Her writings have appeared in Hawaii Review, River River, Rock, Paper, Scissors, and York Literary Review. Her educational background includes an MFA in Writing, Hamline University (2017), an MA in Public Affairs Reporting, University of Illinois, and a BS in Journalism, Bradley University.
Lorraine Merrin is a child of the Southwest desert, raised by truly Southern parents (Texas/Louisiana) and married to a Southerner (Florida). Any child raised by Southerners is Southern; there is no way to escape this fact. Especially if regular reconnaissance missions are made across southern state lines with occasional forays into deep woods. Sometimes, Lorraine wonders if the reason she married her husband is because he was the one guy to whom she didn’t have to explain black eye peas.
Todd Sentell is an Atlanta native, and the author of the lunatic adventure, Toonamint of Champions—How LaJuanita Mumps Got to Join Augusta National Golf Club Real Easy (2007/Kunati Books), nominated for the 2008 Thurber Award for American Humor. He’s the first Georgia native in the alluring history of world literature to publish a sports-related novel unless Deliverance is really about canoeing? He’s also the author of the corkscrew funny teaching memoir, Can’t Wait to Get There. Can’t Wait to Leave (2014/Stairway Press), and a two-time award winner for feature writing from the Magazine Association of the Southeast.
Mark Stein’s poetry and hybrid works have appeared in Exposition Review, Eclectica, Burningword, Nimrod, Michigan Quarterly and Moment magazine. His plays have been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville and elsewhere. He wrote the screenplay for the Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn film, Housesitter, and the non-fiction books, How the States Got Their Shapes, which became the basis of a History Channel series by the same name, American Panic: A History of Who Scares Us and Why and Vice Capades: Sex, Drugs and Bowling from the Pilgrims to the Present.
Robert Stone was born in 1961 in Wolverhampton in the UK. He was educated at the University of East Anglia, Norwich and at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has worked as a press analyst in London for more than twenty-five years. Before that he was a teacher and the foreman of a London Underground station. He has two children and lives with his partner in Ipswich. He has had stories published in Stand and Panurge and he has had a story accepted for Nicholas Royle’s Nightjar chapbook series. That will probably come out next year. When not at work, he spends his time reading, writing and mooching about.
Michele Feltman Strider became a writer to better monetize the time spent talking to her imaginary friends. She has written four novels; Homecoming, Hometown, Homeless, and Homestyle and hopes to soon explore the titular potential of the other 25 letters of the alphabet. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area but grew up, to the extent that maturity is possible for her, in the Mobile Bay Area. Her hobbies include eating, sleeping, and cleaning up cat hair. She is a powerfully uninteresting person.
Deirdre Verdolino discovered painting and art last year at the sweetly tart, overripe age of 48. After a long time love of doodling as a kid and a short-lived still life painting class at 8, she discovered that mixed medium and simple, cheap paints and brushes can create striking work. Her love of hunting “found” materials to create authentic works of art led to various woven painted creations through recycled materials. By some lucky stroke, her first piece of completed art was accepted to an exhibit in Worcester, MA’s “Windows on Worcester” as part of a rebirth-themed spring exhibition.
Susan Beckham Zurenda worked as a newspaper features reporter, taught English for 33 years, and now works as a book publicist for Magic Time Literary Publicity. A recipient of several regional awards for her fiction, she has also published stories and nonfiction pieces in various journals. She has stories recently or forthcoming in Aji Magazine, Blue Lake Review, Deep South Magazine, and Red Dirt Forum. Susan’s debut novel, Bells for Eli, has been accepted for publication by Mercer University Press.