Ruth Dickey is the Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures which brings the best writers of our time to Seattle stages and classrooms for transformative experiences with literature. Dickey’s work has appeared widely and garnered her a Mayor’s Arts Award from Washington, DC and an artist fellowship from the DC Commission and Arts and Humanities. She serves on the Board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
Javier Ramirez is a longtime Chicago indie bookseller and co-owner of Madison Street Books. He is currently a member of the American Booksellers Association’s ABC advisory council, recently served on the ABA’s middle grade/YA debut Indies Introduce panel, was a 2017 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction judge, and has co-hosted Publishing Cocktails—a semi-annual Chicago-area social bringing together independent booksellers and authors—since 2011.
Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including her award-winning first novel Caucasia, and her most recent novel, New People, selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of TimeMagazine’sBest Novels of the Year. Senna is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and is a Professor at the University of Southern California.
Jeff VanderMeer is the bestselling author of the Southern Reach Trilogy. His fiction has won the Shirley Jackson and Nebula awards, and been translated into 38 languages. His novel Borne was recently added to the National Endowment for the Arts’s Big Reads program. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Atlantic. VanderMeer has previously been a judge for the Eisner Awards, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, among others.