Chris Adrian is the author of three novels: Gob’s Grief, The Children’s Hospital and The Great Night. In 2008, he published A Better Angel, a collection of short stories. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories and Story. He was one of 11 fiction writers to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Adrian also received his M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2001 and attended Harvard Divinity School. He is currently in the pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.
Ayana Mathis received an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of the 2011-2012 Michener Copernicus Fellowship and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s Teaching Writing Fellowship. Her novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was named to Oprah's Book Club 2.0 in December 2012. She lives in Brooklyn.
Taylor Plimpton is the author of Notes from the Night: A Life After Dark (Crown) and the co-editor of The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays (Abrams). He is currently the literary editor of Manhattan Magazine. His writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Men's Journal, Town & Country, Dan's Papers, newyorker.com, TheRumpus.net and elsewhere. He graduated with a degree in English from Reed College.
Danyel Smith is the author of the novels More Like Wrestling and Bliss. She is the former editor of Billboard, former chief content officer of VIBE Media Group, and former editor-in-chief of Vibe and vibe.com. Smith is also a former Time Inc. editor-at-large, and has written for NPR, CNN, MySpace, Elle, Time, Essence, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Condé Nast Media Group, and The New York Times. A 2013-14 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, she often comments on music and culture for NPR, CNN, VH1, and ABC, and is currently working on a history of black women in pop music.
Jackson Taylor is the author of the novel The Blue Orchard. His poetry has appeared in Sleeping Fish, Barrow Street, LIT, Witness and the anthology, “What’s Your Exit?: A Literary Detour Through New Jersey.” For more than twenty years he has directed the Prison Writing Program at PEN American Center. In 1996 he co-founded the graduate writing program at The New School, and he has also taught at Mediabistro, The Fortune Society, Friends of Island Academy and The Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.
Justin Torres grew up in upstate New York and is the author of the novel We the Animals. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Glimmer Train and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature, and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He has worked as a farmhand, a dog-walker, a creative writing teacher and a bookseller.