Angela Flournoy is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, The Turner House, which is a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, a Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a May 2015 Indie Next pick and a New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors' Choice. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

Steven Hobbs was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida, a setting that serves as the backdrop for much of his writing. His story, “At the Turn,” was recently published in a new literary journal out of Yale University called Letters and another, “The Prophet,” was selected as a finalist for this year’s J.F. Powers Short Story Prize. In addition to his work as a writer, Steven teaches creative writing and literature at the College of New Rochelle. He has also created and taught courses on religious themes in contemporary short fiction at Yale University. He serves on the committee for the Prison Writing Program at PEN American Center and holds an MA in religion and literature from Yale as well as an MFA in creative writing from The New School.

Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea González Poetry Award and most recently a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. Randall is a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, and a member of the experimental performance group: Heroes Are Gang Leaders. TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press in the publisher of his latest poetry collection Pitch Dark Anarchy. Hook: A Memoir is published by Augury Books. Randall is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Haven.

Born in London, Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist (2002), Transmission (2004), My Revolutions (2007) and Gods Without Men (2011) as well as a short story collection, Noise (2006) and a novella, Memory Palace (2013). In 2003, Granta named him one of its twenty best young British novelists. His short stories and essays have appeared in diverse publications including The New York Times, New YorkerGuardianLondon Review of BooksGrantaBook Forum and Frieze. He was a 2008 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in New York City.

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.

Bernice L. McFadden is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including SugarLoving DonovanNowhere Is a PlaceThe Warmest DecemberGathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a three-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of three awards from the BCALA. McFadden has also published five novels of humorous-erotica under the pseudonym Geneva Holliday. The Book of Harlan is her latest novel due to be published in 2016. 

Flaminia Ocampo is the author of six books including three works of fiction in Spanish, a literary study, a crime novel, and an English-language story collection. She is also a screenwriter, and has written frequently on films.

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 IllustratedMen's JournalTown & CountryDan's Papers,  newyorker.comTheRumpus.net and elsewhere. He graduated with a degree in English from Reed College.

Timothy Small is an assistant professor in the English Department at St. Joseph's College, where he teaches writing. He also serves as the assistant director of the PEN Prison Writing Program. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. 

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, ElleTimeEssenceThe 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 StreetLITWitness 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.