Steve Almond is the author of 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 most recent book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, came out in Spring 2010. He is also, crazily, self-publishing books. In 2011, Lookout Press will publish his story collection, God Bless America.
Michael Angelella's feature film screenwriting credits include Mother (Kings Road Productions, 1996), a domestic thriller starring Olympia Dukakis and Diane Ladd; Canes (Fries Entertainment, 2006), a horror film starring Michael Madsen and Edward Furlong; and Drawback, a supernatural thriller currently in development with producer Robert Cort (Jumanji, Something the Lord Made, Save the Last Dance). In 2004 - 2005, he served as head writer for The 100 Greatest Discoveries, an eight-part series produced by The Discovery Channel. In 2007, he wrote two episodes for Rome: Death of an Empire, a documentary series produced for The History Channel.
Angela Balcita is the author of Moonface: A True Romance (2011, Harper Perennial), which was named a "Great Read" by People magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Iowa Review, The Utne Reader, and The Florida Review, among other publications. She earned her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from The University of Iowa. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, her daughter, and a very loud Bluetick Coonhound.
Geoffrey Becker's most recent books are Hot Springs (Tin House Books, 2010), a novel, and Black Elvis (U. of Georgia Press, 2009), a collection which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. His other awards include a NEA Fellowship, the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, the Nelson Algren Prize, inclusion in the Best American Short Stories anthology, Maryland Arts Council Awards, and the Parthenon Prize. He teaches at Towson University.
Jessica Anya Blau’s newest novel, Drinking Closer to Home, has been called "a raging success" and "unrelentingly side-splittingly funny." It was recently selected to be featured in Target stores as a “Breakout Book.” Her first novel, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, was picked as a Best Summer Book by the Today Show, the New York Post and New York Magazine. The San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers chose it as one of the Best Books of the Year. Jessica graduated from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Currently she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Goucher College.
Dan Cafaro is the founder and publisher of Atticus Books, a small, independent publishing house located in Old Town Kensington, Md., a close-in community of Washington, D.C. Dan has worked in various forms of print and electronic media for 20-plus years, with an emphasis on manuscript acquisitions, project development and program management. He has commissioned the work of more than 100 book authors in various genres, and has cultivated many strong relationships with industry professionals including booksellers, editors, compositors and graphic designers.
Michael Downs's short story collection, The Greatest Show, inspired by the famous Hartford, Conn., circus fire, will be published in Spring 2012 by LSU Press. His book of literary journalism and memoir, House of Good Hope, won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. A one-time newspaper reporter, he lives in Baltimore and teaches creative writing at Towson University.
Jerry Gabriel’s first book of short fiction, Drowned Boy, was published in 2010 by Sarabande Books, and has been awarded the Towson Prize for Literature and named a “Discover Great New Writers” selection by Barnes and Noble. His stories have appeared in Epoch, One Story, The Missouri Review and Five Chapters. His work has been short-listed for a Pushcart Prize and he has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Mr. Gabriel is a graduate of The Ohio State University, Northern Arizona University, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he worked, from 2001-2008, as a lecturer in the Engineering Communications Program at Cornell University. He teaches writing at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Karen Houppert is a contributing writer at The Washington Post Magazine and also freelances for other magazines, covering social and political issues. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, The Nation, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, Ms., The Village Voice and in various other magazines and anthologies. She is the author of two nonfiction books, The Curse (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999) and Home Fires Burning (Ballantine/Random House, 2005). The London Review of Books described The Curse as “lively, well-researched and wide-ranging.” The New York Times called her second book “Gripping…[A] thoughtful and absorbing study of military wives today.” Her third book--a look at the sorry state of indigent defense in this country--will be published by New Press next year. She teaches in the MA in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins and has been living in Baltimore since 2007.
Wil S. Hylton is a Contributing Writer at The New York Times Magazine. Over the years, his work has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, GQ, and Rolling Stone, and has been selected for the anthologies Best American Political Writing, Best Music Writing, and Best Business Stories. In the line of duty, he has interrogated U.S. Presidents, bicycled a thousand miles across rural Cuba, crawled inside a nuclear reactor, scaled the world's tallest active volcano, and conducted grueling overnight research at the Playboy Mansion. He is working on a book about the legacy of war in American life. Due to an unforseen professional obligation, Mr. Hylton will not be attending the Nov. 12th conference.
Leslie F. Miller is the author of Let Me Eat Cake: A Celebration of Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Powder, and a Pinch of Salt (2009, Simon & Schuster). Her food, beverage, music, and education features and essays have appeared in Style, Baltimore Magazine, Johns Hopkins University's Arts & Sciences, Weight Watchers Magazine, and other publications. She ghost blogs for a green grocer and once owned a health food store. She lives in Baltimore, where she is a connoisseur of cake and ale.
Cynthia Blake Sanders is an experienced intellectual property and entertainment attorney at Ober|Kaler. Cynthia focuses her practice on copyright, trademark, advertising, arts and media law matters, technology transfer and works closely with the firm’s Intellectual Property and Business Groups. She counsels a broad range of clients involved in creative endeavors — from designers to publishers, ad agencies to educational institutions, and interactive companies to film producers.
Elissa Schappell is contributing editor at Vanity Fair where she writes the “Hot Type” book column, a former senior editor of The Paris Review, and a founding editor and now editor-at-large of Tin House. Her debut, Use Me, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and a New York Times Notable Book. Her latest book is Blueprints for Building Better Girls (Simon & Schuster), a collection of linked stories. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Lizzie Skurnick is the author of Shelf Discovery, a critical paean to the unsung young adult books of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Her work on literature and culture has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Time, Bookforum, NPR, Jezebel, The Awl, O, the Daily Beast, Politics Daily, the LA Times, and many other outlets and publications. A former Vice-President of the Board of The National Book Critics Circle, she is the author of a book of poetry, "Check-in," and the recipient of residencies and fellowships from Yaddo, the VCCA, Ucross, and the AWP. A frequent speaker on young adult literature and the intersection between print and online at SXSW, BEA, AWP and other industry conferences, she is the editor of "Old Hag," one of the first literary blogs and a Forbes Best of the Web pick. Find out more at lizzieskurnick.com and theoldhag.com, or follow her on Twitter at @lizzieskurnick.
Rob Spillman is Editor and co-founder of Tin House, a twelve-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine. Tin House has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and numerous other anthologies. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Worth, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, which was published in 2009.
Ron Tanner’s awards for writing include a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters Award, a Best of the Web Award, and many others. He has won fellowships from the Copernicus Society, Sewanee Writers Conference, and the National Park Service, to name a few, and his stories and essays have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including The Iowa Review, West Branch, and the Massachusetts Review. He is the author of A Bed of Nails (stories), Kiss Me Stranger (illustrated novel), and, most recently, From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story, a memoir. He teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, and directs the Marshall Islands Story Project (mistories.org).
Benjamin Wallace-Wells is a contributing editor at both New York magazine and Rolling Stone, and writes mostly about politics, defined loosely enough to have encompassed the politics of physics, the politics of the Sudan, and the politics of intellectual vanity. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine (where he was formerly a contributing writer), The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The New Republic, among other magazines and newspapers, and has been anthologized in The Best American Political Writing, among other collections. Before he became a full-time magazine writer, in 2006, he had worked as a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer and an editor at The Washington Monthly. He studied history at Dartmouth College, and has lived in Baltimore since 2009.
Greg Williamson was born in 1964 and grew up in Nashville, TN. He has a BA from Vanderbilt University and MAs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Johns Hopkins University. His three collections of poetry are The Silent Partner (Story Line Press, 1995), Errors in the Script (Overlook Press, 2001), and A Most Marvelous Piece of Luck (Waywiser Press, 2008). He has received a Whiting Writers’ Fellowship, a grant from the NEA, The Nicholas Roerich Prize, and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other honors. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the latest edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry. He teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Susi Wyss is the author of The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories (Henry Holt, 2011), called a “Book to Pick Up Now” by O, The Oprah Magazine. Set across Africa, her book is inspired by her 20-year career in international health. She earned her master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and currently lives in Silver Spring, MD, where she balances her creative writing with her work at Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international health organization.
Special Critique Faculty:
The following writers, most of whom have presented at the BWC in the past, have graciously agreed to provide additional help with Quick Critiques:
The following writers, most of whom have presented at the BWC in the past, have graciously agreed to provide additional help with Quick Critiques:
David Bergman is the author, editor, and translator of over a dozen books, including the award-winning Cracking the Code, Gaiety Transfigured, and Men on Men 2000. His poetry and commentary have appeared in The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and The Yale Review, among many other journals and magazines. He teaches at Towson University.
Rae Bryant’s short story collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals, released from Patasola Press, NY, in June 2011 and has been nominated for the Pen Hemingway award. Her stories have appeared or will soon be appearing in StoryQuarterly, BLIP Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review), Opium Magazine, and Gargoyle Magazine, among other publications and have been nominated and short-listed for ‘Best of’ and web awards. She writes book reviews and essays for journals such as Puerto del Sol, Portland Book Review and Beatrice.com. Rae has received Fellowships from the VCCA and Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a Masters in Writing and now teaches multimedia and creative writing. She is the editor in chief of Moon Milk Review.
Stories by Jane Delury have appeared in journals and anthologies including the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011, The Southern Review, Narrative (by which she was named one of 20 Best New Writers), StoryQuarterly, The Sun magazine, Prairie Schooner ("Eclipse") and IOU: New Writing on Money. Her fiction has received an Individual Artist Award in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest Award and has been nominated for Best New American Voices and for the Pushcart Prize. Her creative nonfiction appears in One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe (Sarabande Books, 2010).
Harvey Lillywhite (Ph.D., Utah) has published poems in many national literary journals such as Anitoch Review and Kansas Quarterly and has won numerous awards for his poetry including an N.E.A. Individual Fellowship, the Bennett Cerf Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and The Nation Poetry Award. As a consultant, he has provided writing training to government agencies such as the Treasury Department, the National Institutes of Health, and the Veterans' Benefits Administration and corporations such as Peat Marwick and Whiting Turner. He teaches at Towson University.
Marion Winik is the author of eight books of creative nonfiction and poetry, most recently THE GLEN ROCK BOOK OF THE DEAD (Counterpoint, 2008.) Her other works include TELLING (Random House, 1994), a best-selling collection of personal essays; FIRST COMES LOVE (Random House, 1996), a memoir now in development for motion-picture release; THE LUNCH-BOX CHRONICLES (Random House, 1998); RULES FOR THE UNRULY (Simon and Schuster, 2001) and ABOVE US ONLY SKY (Seal Press, 2005.) She is also the author of two books of poetry.