Tom DeMarchi, Director
Sanibel Island Writers Conference
Reed Hall 111
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565
Steve Almond is the author the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the novel Which Brings Me to You (with Julianna Baggott), and the non-fiction books Candyfreak and (Not That You Asked). His memoir Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life was published in Spring 2010. He also, crazily, self-published three books: This Won't Take But a Minute, Honey, which is composed of 30 very brief stories, and 30 very brief essays on the psychology and practice of writing; Letters From People Who Hate Me, a collection of letters and responses between Steve and his indignant readers; and Bad Poetry, a collection of previously unpublished verse and accompanying self-criticism. Lookout Books is publishing Almond’s story collection God Bless America in October 2011. He lives outside Boston with his wife, two children, and mounting debt. For more on Steve Almond, including music recommendations, visit www.stevealmondjoy.com or check him out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steve-Almond/105908579252?fref=ts
Lynne Barrett is the author of the story collections Magpies (Gold Medal, Florida Book Awards), The Secret Names of Women, and The Land of Go. She edited Tigertail: Florida Flash and co-edited Birth: A Literary Companion. Her recent work appears in Fifteen Views of Miami, Real South, The Written Wardrobe, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Southern Women’s Review, Delta Blues, One Year to a Writing Life, and Blue Christmas. Her essay in The Review Review, “What Editors Want,” was featured in the L.A. Times and Glimmer Train’s digest. A recipient of the Edgar Award for best mystery story, she teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University and is editor of The Florida Book Review. Learn more about Lynne here: www.lynnebarrett.com
Dan Bern—Dan Bern is best known as a prolific songwriter and electric performer who has released a dozen albums and has spent over a decade appearing everywhere from coffee shops to Carnegie Hall. Since 2007, Bern has focused much of his talent and sharp wit on writing songs for movies and other projects. He composed over a dozen songs for the Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow spoof-biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and wrote the title song for Jonathan Demme’s documentary, Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains. Bern also composed songs that are included in the Judd Apatow film Get Him to the Greek, and he has had songs featured on the CW show Hellcats. Since 2009, Bern has self-released 2 live albums, a children's album Two Feet Tall, his first studio album in 6 years Drifter, an album of baseball songs Doubleheader, and an album based on the writings of Everett Ruess Wilderness Song, which will serve as the soundtrack for a Jonathan Demme-produced documentary of the same name.
Lisa Borders’s second novel, The Fifty-First State, will be published by Engine Books in October, 2013. Her first novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, was chosen by Pat Conroy as the winner of River City Publishing’s Fred Bonnie Award in 2002, and received fiction honors in the 2003 Massachusetts Book Awards. Lisa’s short stories have appeared in Kalliope, Washington Square, Black Warrior Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Newport Review and other journals, and her essay, "Enchanted Night" was published in Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes (Simon & Schuster, 2007). She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Somerville Arts Council and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and fellowships at the Millay Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hedgebrook and the Blue Mountain Center. She lives near Boston, where she teaches at Grub Street. More information on Lisa and her work is available at www.lisaborders.com
Margaret Cardillo is a Florida native, born and raised in Naples, FL. She graduated from Boston College cum laude and earned her MFA in creative writing as a Michener Fellow at the University of Miami. She currently holds a fellowship in University of Miami’s MFA program in Screenwriting. Her first book, Just Being Audrey, a biography of Audrey Hepburn for children, was published by Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Children’s Literature in 2012. A former children’s book editor in New York City, Margaret now resides in Miami with her husband, daughter, dog and a lot of wild peacocks.
Christopher Castellani is the author of three novels, each published by Algonquin Books: All This Talk of Love (2013)The Saint of Lost Things (2005), and A Kiss from Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. He is a contributor to numerous books on writing, including Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Fiction Writer (Random House, 2008) and Mentors, Muses and Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Free Press, 2009). A short story, “The Living” was published as a Ploughshares Solo in June 2013. He is the artistic director of Grub Street, teaches every other semester in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, is on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and for the fall 2013 term is a visiting professor at Swarthmore College. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. For more info, visit www.christophercastellani.com
Brock Clarke is the author of five books of fiction, most recently the novels Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England, both of which have appeared in a number of foreign editions. His short fiction and nonfiction have been published in a dozens of magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, The Believer, and in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies. He has twice been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and has been awarded an National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Mary McCarthy Prize, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, and an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship. He teaches at Bowdoin College and lives with his family in Portland, Maine. For more on Brock Clarke, visit www.brockclarke.com
Ron Currie Jr. is the author of, most recently, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles. His books have been translated into 17 languages and won the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, as well as the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, The Believer, and elsewhere. For more about Currie, visit www.roncurriejr.net
John Dufresne grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he wasted his youth playing baseball and going to movies. He attended Worcester State College and spent seven years as a social worker before attending the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. Dufresne is the author of the story collections The Way That Water Enters Stone (1991) and Johnny Too Bad (2006). His novel Louisiana Power & Light (1994) was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, as was his second novel, Love Warps the Mind a Little (1997). In describing Deep in the Shade of Paradise (2002), Publishers Weekly wrote, "Imagining John Irving, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor or Max Shulman (or all of the above at once) on peyote juice only begins to evoke the dimension and energy of the seriocomic fantasies of Dufresne at his freewheeling, frenetic best." In July 2008, W.W. Norton, Dufresne's longtime publisher, will release his most recent novel, Requiem, Mass. In addition to his works of fiction, he has a book on fiction writing titled The Lie That Tells a Truth. Carl Hiassen chose Dufresne's story "The Timing of Unfelt Smiles" for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2007. In April 2008, Grand Valley Productions filmed To Live and Die in Dixie, based on a screenplay Dufresne co-wrote with Donald Papy. Since 1989 he has been teaching in the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University (http://w3.fiu.edu/crwriting/). He lives in Dania Beach, Florida, with his wife and son. For more information on John Dufresne, visit www.johndufresne.com.
Patricia Engel is the author of the novel It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris and Vida, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, Paterson Fiction Award, and winner of a Florida Book Award, International Latino Book Award, and Independent Publisher Book Award. VIDA was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Barnes & Noble, and Los Angeles Weekly. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, A Public Space, Boston Review, Guernica, and Harvard Review among other publications, and received numerous awards and fellowships. Born to Colombian parents and raised in New Jersey, Patricia earned her undergraduate degree at New York University and her MFA at Florida International University. She teaches creative writing at the University of Miami. www.patriciaengel.com
Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at Ole Miss where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants from the N.E.A., the MS Arts Commission, and United States Artists. Her work has three times been included in The Best American Poetry Series. Fennelly has published three full-length poetry books. Her first, Open House, won The 2001 Kenyon Review Prize, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, and was a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick. It was reissued by W. W. Norton in 2009. Her second book, Tender Hooks, and her third, Unmentionables, were published by W. W. Norton in 2004 and 2008. She has also published a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, in 2006, with Norton. Fennelly writes essays on travel, culture, and design for Country Living, Southern Living, the Oxford American, and others. She and her husband Tom Franklin co-authored the novel The Tilted World (October 2013, William Morris). They live in Oxford with their three children.
Craig Finn is a songwriter, musician, and lyricist. He is best known for being the singer of the Brooklyn NY rock band The Hold Steady, which he has fronted since 2003. Prior to the Hold Steady, he was the singer for the Minneapolis based band Lifter Puller. Finn's songs are known for their narratives, and how they string together story lines with recurring characters. Pitchfork describes Finn as "a born storyteller who has chosen rock as his medium". In 2012, Finn released his first solo album Clear Heart Full Eyes. Regarding this release, The Washington Post said "'Clear Heart Full Eyes' underscores Finn's role as a major American songwriter". Craig is currently at work on another record for The Hold Steady, their sixth.
Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014. For more info, visit www.roxanegay.com
Kristen Iversen is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction. Full Body Burden was chosen by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association as one of the Best Books of 2012 and named 2012 Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic. Iversen’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Reader’s Digest, and many other publications. She has appeared on C-Span and NPR’s Fresh Air and worked extensively with A&E Biography, The History Channel, and the NEH. She holds a Ph.D from the University of Denver and is an associate professor at the University of Memphis, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.
Website is www.kristeniversen.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorkristeniversen
Tim Parrish is author of three books: Red Stick Men, a collection of stories set in his hometown of Baton Rouge; Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, a memoir (University Press of Mississippi, fall 2013); and The Jumper, a novel, which won Texas Review Press's 2012 George Garrett Prize (release fall 2013). Parrish's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of periodicals and in anthologies such as The Best of LSU Fiction, Alive and Awake in the Pelican State, French Quarter Fiction, and Rules of Thumb. He is the recipient of a Gerald A. Freund Grant-in-Aid from the Whiting Foundation, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, two Connecticut Artists fellowships, and a nomination for Best New American Voices from Tim O'Brien. He is the founder of Connecticut's first full-residence MFA at Southern Connecticut State University, where he has taught fiction and memoir writing for nineteen years.
Benjamin Percy is the author of two novels, Red Moon (Grand Central/Hachette, 2013) and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Men's Journal, Outside, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House and the Paris Review. His honors include an NEA fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the Plimpton Prize, the Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. He is the writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College and teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University.
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Benjamin_Percy
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/benjamin.percy
Nahid Rachlin attended Columbia University MFA program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and then went on to Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin), four novels, including Jumping Over Fire (City Lights), Foreigner (W.W. Norton), and a collection of short stories, Veils (City Lights). Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, Shenandoah. One of her stories was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and was aired on NPR’s around the country. She has written reviews and essays for New York Times, Newsday, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. The grants and awards she has received include the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. For more info:
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. Her essays have appeared in Allure, the New York Times Magazine, Indiana Review, The Believer and The Rumpus, and she is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction including the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press 2012) and the art modeling memoir Live Nude Girl (University of Arkansas, 2009). Her debut novel O, Democracy! is forthcoming with Fifth Star Press in Spring 2014. She lives and works in Chicago. Visit www.kathleenrooney.com
Christopher Schelling represents a wide-ranging list of fiction and nonfiction authors, including #1 New York Times bestselling writers Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors, This Is How) and Haven Kimmel (A Girl Named Zippy), as well as highly respected literary fiction (Louis Bayard's The Black Tower) and upscale nonfiction (Hanne Blank's Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality). His specialty in memoir has also brought writers like Robert Wilder (Daddy Needs a Drink) and John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye) to his list. In addition, he represents a number of young adult authors, including Cinda Williams Chima (The Gray Wolf Throne) and Kathe Koja (Buddha Boy). Schelling has been representing writers since 1997, and started his own agency, Selectric Artists, in 2011. Prior to being an agent, he held Executive Editor positions at both Dutton and HarperCollins.
Michael Steinberg has written and co-authored five books and a stage play. Still Pitching won the 2003 ForeWord Magazine /Independent Press Memoir of the Year. He’s also the founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. And, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (with Bob Root,) is in a sixth edition. Several of Steinberg’s shorter works have been cited in Best American Essays. He is currently a writer-in-residence in the Solstice/Pine Manor MFA program. Visit www.mjsteinberg.net.
Johnny Temple is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. He is also the cofounder, with Akashic senior editor Ibrahim Ahmad, of Brooklyn Wordsmiths, an editorial and consulting company. Temple won the American Association of Publishers’ 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing; and the 2010 Jay and Dean Kogan Award for Excellence in Noir Literature. Temple plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and Book Forum. He is also the Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn’s borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival in September. www.akashicbooks.com
Emma Trelles is the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011), winner of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize and a finalist for ForeWord Reviews' poetry Book of the Year; and the chapbook Little Spells (GOSS183, 2008). She has been a featured reader at many venues, including The Poet and the Poem series at the Library of Congress, Busboys & Poets in Washington D.C., the O, Miami Poetry Festival, the Miami Book Fair International, and the Palabra Pura series at the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2013, PoetsArtists, Terrain.org, Best of the Net, The Rumpus, the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, Newsday, and others. In 2013, she was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. For more, visit www.emmatrelles.com
Laura Valeri is the author of linked story collection Safe in Your Head (Stephen F. Austin Press), a finalist of the SAF Fiction prize and an honorable mention of the Leapfrog Literary Fiction Award, and also author of The Kind of Things Saints Do (U of Iowa Press), an Iowa/John Simmons Award winner, and winner of the Binghamton University John Gardner Award. Her work appears in numerous magazines, including Glimmer Train, Big Bridge, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction Writers Review, Gulfstream, Night Train, V.I.A., Waccamaw, The Adirondack Review, The Patterson Literary Review and Conjunctions. She was winner of the Glimmer Train Family Matters competition and twice a finalist of the Glimmer Train Open Fiction Awards as well as a Finalist of the New Letters Awards in fiction. Her nonfiction is also published in Lee Gutkind’s Our Roots Are Deep With Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian American Writers (Other Press/Creative Nonfiction). Laura Valeri has an MFA from Florida International University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was a 2008 Walter E Dakins Fellow at the Sewanee Writers Conference. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing specializing in fiction at Georgia Southern University.
Alexis Washam joined Crown and Hogarth as a senior editor in November 2010. Previously, she was an editor at Penguin, where her authors included Christos Tsiolkas, author of the Man Booker Prize-longlisted and Commonwealth Award-winning novel The Slap and Kristin Hersh, critically acclaimed musician, founder of Throwing Muses, and author of the memoir Rat Girl. She has also worked closely with Sebastian Barry, Julia Alvarez, J.M. Coetzee and Janice Y.K. Lee. At Hogarth she has published The Kissing List by Stegner fellow and Rhodes scholar Stephanie Reents; The Headmaster’s Wager, the debut novel by Giller Prize-winning author Vincent Lam; The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu, which was chosen by Nicole Krauss as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 in 2011 and was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Books of 2012; and the New York Times bestseller The Dinner by Herman Koch. Upcoming books include The Stud Book, a comic novel by Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl; The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan; and Mother, Mother, the debut novel by New York Times bestselling memoirist Koren Zailckas.