Fatima Farheen Mirza is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She has taught creative writing and fiction courses at the University of Iowa and at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. Awarded the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship in 2016 and The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research/Creative Achievement from The University of California, Riverside, she has also received residencies from The Marble House Project and The MacDowell Colony. Her debut novel, A Place for Us, was the first title published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, SJP for Hogarth. The book was an instant New York Times bestseller and was named a best book of 2018 by the Washington Post, NPR, People, BuzzFeed, and more.
Sheila Maldonado is the author of the poetry collections, one-bedroom solo (Fly by Night Press, 2011) and that’s what you get, forthcoming from Brooklyn Arts Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a Creative Capital awardee as part of desveladas, a visual writing collective. She has served as an artist-in-residence on Governors Island for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and as a Cultural Envoy to Honduras for the US State Department. She teaches creative writing for the City University of New York and holds degrees in English from Brown University and poetry from the City College of New York. She grew up in Coney Island and lives in Washington Heights. She has taught and read and written with virtually every grade level of NYC student and is forever a city kid herself.
Aliya S. King is a freelance writer and author. Born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, Aliya has held editorial positions at Billboard, The Source, and Ebony. As a freelance writer for nearly twenty years, her profiles, news stories and features have appeared in Elle, Nylon, Ebony, Vibe, Ms, Essence, Black Enterprise and many others. In 2007, Aliya co-authored the New York Times bestseller, Keep The Faith, with Platinum recording artist Faith Evans. She also co-authored Original Gangster with Frank Lucas, on whom the film American Gangster was based. Her first novel, Platinum, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2010. The sequel, Diamond Life, was published by Simon and Schuster in February of 2012. She is currently squeezing blood from a rock to get her third novel done.
Alicia Anabel Santos is an Afrolatina Lesbian Storyteller, Speaker, Performance Artist, Producer, Playwright, Teaching Artist and Activist. Her stories celebrate and honor women throughout Latin America. She was born in Brooklyn and is a proud Dominican Writer. Iyawó is the Founder of the New York City Latina Writers Group which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. For ten years she has created and nurtured safe spaces for emerging and established writers to nurture their creativity. She has been a guest speaker, traveling to more than thirty universities throughout the United States, lecturing on subjects which intersect identity, religion, sexuality, feminism and social justice. In 2011, she self-published her memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love and her one-woman show I WAS BORN was selected as part of the ONE Festival in New York. Anabel has been a guest on NPR’s Tell Me More and her work has been seen in LATINA Magazine. Having worked for renowned magazines, such as Glamour, Domino and BusinessWeek, it was an article published in Urban Latino Magazine, “Two Cultures Marching to One Drum,” that would change the direction of her life. In 2008 she joined Creador Pictures as Writer/Producer of its first documentary, AfroLatinos: An Untaught History. She attended New York University, has a daughter in graduate school and lives in the Bronx with her partner.
Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation, Reconsolidation, and most recently, The Sky Isn’t Blue. She is Editor of the #RECURRENT Series for Civil Coping Mechanisms, Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, and CEO/Founder of POTG Design. She holds a BA in Literature/Writing from UCSD and an MFA in Creative Writing from CalArts and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is currently at work on a new novel about the apocalypse and interspecies communication called Imagine a Death. She can be found online at http://janicel.com and Twitter: @diddioz.
Eisa Nefertari Ulen is the author of Crystelle Mourning (Atria), a novel described by The Washington Post as “a call for healing in the African American community from generations of hurt and neglect.” She is the recipient of a Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Fellowship for Young African American Fiction Writers, a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, and a National Association of Black Journalists Award. Her essays on African American culture have been widely anthologized, most recently in Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect? (Haymarket), which won the Social Justice/Advocacy Award for 2017 from the School Library Journal’s In the Margins Book Committee. Eisa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University. She has taught literature at Hunter College and The Pratt Institute. A founding member of Ringshout: A Place for Black Literature, she lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn.
t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, No, Dear, The African American Review, Vinyl, Muzzle, RHINO, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as a part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shocklee. She is currently a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow and the winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. Her first poetry collection, “how to get over” is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn.
Mitchell S. Jackson is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction and is the former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award for college writers. Jackson teaches writing at New York University. He published the e-book Oversoul: Stories and Essays in the summer of 2012. His novel The Residue Years was released in the summer of 2013 and was praised by publications such asThe New York Times, The Times of London, and O, the Oprah Magazine. The novel was a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, The Hurston / Wright Legacy Award for best fiction by a writer of African descent; it was long-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for writing and the Chautauqua Prize. As well, it was named an “Honor Book” by the BCALA.
Tim Manley is the writer and illustrator of Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation, out now from Penguin. He was a raconteur on the Unchained Tour, and his stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and Podcast. He is also a mentor with PEN American’s Prison Writing Program, a former high school English teacher, and a wedding officiant.