We’re only a few weeks away from our spring residency, which means it’s time to start getting excited about all of the amazing writers, editors, publishers, agents, producers, showrunners, development execs and industry professionals who’ll be joining us! If you’re interested in applying to the program, we encourage you to come out and visit for the day, see some lectures, sit in on a workshop or two, and get a chance to meet the faculty and students. For more information, please contact Agam Patel at 760-834-0926 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natalie Baszile. Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie grew up in Southern California and lives in San Francisco with her family.
Matt Bell. Matt is the author of the novel IN THE HOUSE UPON THE DIRT BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE WOODS, a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, a Michigan Notable Book, and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient, as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. He is also the author of two previous books, HOW THEY WERE FOUND and CATACLYSM BABY, and his stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Fantasy, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, The American Reader, and many other publications. He teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.
Amber Benson. Cocreated, cowrote, and directed the animated supernatural Web series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden, which they followed with a series of novels, including Witchery and Accursed, and the novella Astray. Benson and Golden also coauthored the novella The Seven Whistlers. As an actress, she has appeared in dozens of roles in feature films, TV movies, and television series, including the fan-favorite role of Tara Maclay on three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Benson wrote, produced, and directed the feature films Chance and Lovers, Liars and Lunatics. Her latest book, The Witches of Echo Park follows the five novels in her popular Calliope Reaper-Jones series.
Cecil Castellucci. Cecil Castellucci is the author of novels for young adults. Boy Proof , The Queen of Cool and Beige all on Candlewick Press. Rose Sees Red, First Day on Earth on Scholastic Press. And The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Stone in the Sky on Roaring Brook Press. Her upcoming novel, Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, is a part of the Star Wars Journey to the Force Awakens series. Her first Graphic Novel The Plain Janes launched the DC Comics Minx imprint and she was awarded the 2007 Shuster Award for best Canadian Comic Book Writer. It was followed up by the sequel Janes in Love, which was nominated for the 2008 Shuster Award. Her first Picture Book, Grandma’s Gloves won the California Book Award Gold Medal for juvenile literature and Odd Duck was nominated for the Eisner Award, the Shuster Award and the Sakura Medal. Her short stories have appeared in various places including Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex Magazine, Black Clock, The Rattling Wall, YARN and the anthologies, Teeth, The Eternal Kiss, Geektastic (which she co-edited), Dear Bully, Interfictions 2 and After. Her books have been on various American Library Association’s (ALA’s) lists, as well as the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Bank Street Books, Junior Library Guild and the Amelia Bloomer list. In addition to The Plain Janes and Janes in Love, (illustrated by Jim Rugg), The hybrid novel, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell) and Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon). Cecil’s other comics work includes The Wallflower (illustrated by Amy Reeder) in Ghosts #1 (Vertigo), The Lighthouse- Aquaman/Mera (illustrated by Inaki Miranda) in Young Romance #1 (DC Comics), I Will Return (illustrated by Kel MacDonald) in Womanthology Space #5 (IDW), Green Lantern: The Animated Series Issue #11(DC Comics). Upcoming she has a story in Wonder Woman: Sensation Comics and a graphic novel Pearl in the Rough with Joe Infurnari (Dark Horse). She is the recent recipient of two Macdowell Fellowships, Banff Residency and the Launchpad space science workshop.
Rae Dubow. Rae Dubow is the director of Talking Out Loud. She believes that everyone can be trained to communicate more effectively. Using techniques that she has taught for many years, she has a developed a system for public speaking that will help you create a dialogue with your audience. A former actress, Rae received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has coached and directed actors since the late 1990s and has worked with many writers on their public presentations.
Dave Elliott. Dave Elliott has more than 25 years of experience working in every aspect of the comic book industry from writer and artist to editor and publisher. Dave created Odyssey, The Weirding Willows, Sharky and Maximum Force and has worked on diverse titles such as A1, Deadline, Viz Comic, Heavy Metal magazine, Penthouse Comix, 2000 AD, Justice League of America, Transformers, GI Joe and Doctor Who. He recently worked with the band Fall Out Boy, and with NASCAR/MMI to create and brand new intellectual properties which he sites as examples of new media integration for a more immersive entertainment experience. In 2006, Dave co-founded Radical Studios. As both the co-publisher and Editor-In-Chief, Dave was integral to the development and launch of Radical’s premiere comic book titles several of which have now begun development as film properties including Hercules (Starring Dwayne Johnson, directed by Brett Ratner and released by MGM), Freedom Formula (New Regency), Schrapnel, Caliber, Hotwire, Last Days of American Crime and Oblivion (starring Tom Cruise, directed by Joe Kosinski and released by Universal). Recently BenderSpink optioned the project Marksmen, co-created by Dave for Benaroya Productions, for development as a feature. Recently Dave relaunched his company ATOMEKA, started with his partner Garry Leach, as an imprint at Titan Books. His first graphic novels series released under this deal are THE WEIRDING WILLOWS, ODYSSEY, as well as the rival of his two anthologies A1 and MONSTER MASSACRE. Dave currently crisscrosses the country every month between Los Angeles and his home in Sleepy Hollow, New York, developing content for companies like DeviantArt.
Katie Ford. Katie Ford is the author of Deposition and Colosseum, which was named a “Best Book of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Her poetry has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Poetry, and Poetry International. She has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Levis Reading Prize. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, and lives with the writer Josh Emmons and their daughter. Her latest book, Blood Lyrics, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book prize.
Dara Hyde. Dara Hyde is an agent at the Hill Nadell Literary Agency in Los Angeles and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including literary and genre fiction, graphic novels, narrative non-fiction, memoir, and the occasional young adult title. Before joining Hill Nadell, Dara spent over a decade as an editor and rights and permissions manager at independent publisher Grove Atlantic in New York. A graduate of Bard College, Dara has always balanced her love of film and literature. At the agency she assists with foreign and film rights for the whole agency in addition to managing her own clients. Dara has taught or spoken at a number of writers’ conferences and events, including 826LA, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, New Orleans Writers’ Conference, Pima Writers’ Workshop, PubWest, BinderCon, Long Beach Comic Expo, and the UC Riverside MFA program in Creative Writing. You can follow her on Twitter @dzhyde.
Douglas Kearney. Poet/performer/librettist Douglas Kearney’s third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. His second, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was a National Poetry Series selection. He has received residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, The Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Washington Square, and Callaloo. Two of his operas, Sucktion and Crescent City, have received grants from the MAPFund. Sucktion has been produced internationally. Crescent City premiered in Los Angeles in 2012. He has been commissioned to write and/or teach ekphrastic poetry for the Weisman Museum (Minneapolis), Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCA, SFMOMA, the Getty, and the Hammer. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts, where he received his MFA in Writing (04).
Shawna Kenney. Shawna Kenney wrote the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp), co-authored Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher), and edited the anthology Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers (Seal Press). Her nonfiction work has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, The Rumpus, Bust, Juxtapoz, Veg News, Ms., Mix Mag, Transworld Skateboarding, the Baltimore Sun and the Florida Review, among others, while her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kenney’s personal essays appear in numerous anthologies and she has shared her words with Goucher College, Sarah Lawrence, UCLA, UC Riverside, California State University Long Beach, Cal-State Fullerton, the University of Maryland, Ladyfest LA, the DIY Convention, Vallekilde School of Communications (Denmark), the Hollywood Public Library, Hustler Hollywood, NPR affiliates and the BBC. She earned a BA in Communications from American University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She teaches creative writing in private workshops and for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Kenney lives in Los Angeles, where she is finishing Live at the Safari Club: a people’s history of harDCore.
Jillian Lauren. Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel, Pretty, both published by Plume/Penguin. Some Girls has been translated into seventeen different languages. Her next memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted, is coming out from Plume in spring 2015. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine and Salon.com among others and has been anthologized widely, including in The Moth Anthology, True Tales of Lust and Love and Best of Babble Blogs. She has performed at spoken word and storytelling events across the country, including being a regular on The Moth mainstage, and has been interviewed on such television programs as The View, Good Morning America and Howard Stern. She is a popular and sometimes controversial blogger at MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Jillianlauren.com, which was named a Top 100 Mom Blog of 2012 by Babble Magazine. Jillian is married to Weezer bass player Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.
Gallagher Lawson. Gallagher Lawson is a graduate of UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA. program. He has worked as a travel writer and technical writer, and plays classical piano. He lives in Los Angeles. His first novel, The Paper Man, is out now.
Brian Lipson. Lipson is a partner in the Los Angeles based literary management company Intellectual Property Group (IPG). Brian specializes in selling the motion picture/television rights of literary material. For 15 years he has represented such notable authors as Stephen E. Ambrose, Jared Diamond, Eric Garcia, Joe Lansdale, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Carol Oates, Rex Pickett and Mark Haskell Smith. Brian also represents the literary estates of Mark Twain and Jim Thompson. Some of the motion picture and television projects he sold include Band of Brothers, Boardwalk Empire, Ike: Countdown to D-Day, Sideways, Matchstick Men, Repo Men, Pain & Gain and The Departed. Additionally, Brian also markets non-fiction books to publishers. Some of the authors he has sold books for include Stephen Ambrose, Hugh Ambrose, the Osbournes, Alexandra Pelosi, Amber Tamblyn, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sharon Rocha (Laci Peterson’s mother), Scout Productions (the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), Aisha Tyler, Bob Newhart, Burt Bacharach and Roger Ebert. Prior to joining IPG, Brian ran the book division at Endeavor from 1999 until the merger with the William Morris Agency in 2009. Before Endeavor, Brian was an agent and assistant at the Renaissance Agency, where he trained under his current partner, Joel Gotler.
Leon Martell. An MFA from the University of Iowa, he co-founded “DUCK’S BREATH MYSTERY THEATER” and performed with them on stage and in series for NPR, PBS, and a children’s series “DR. SCIENCE” for FOX Television. He wrote the award winning “HOSS DRAWIN” as a member of Sam Shepard’s writing workshop and participated as a writer, actor, and director in the Padua Hills Festival for thirteen years. His award winning plays also include “KINDLING” , “1961 EL DORADO”, “MOONCALF”, “FEED THEM DOGS,” and “HARD HAT AREA”. His play with music, “STEEL – JOHN HENRY AND THE SHAKER” , written with composer Penka Kouneva, received seven “Ovation Award” nominations, including “Best New Musical” and “Best Musical – Small Venue.” His “BEA
Dito Montiel. Dito Montiel is an author, screenwriter, and director. He is the author of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Eddie Crumble is the Clapper. His films include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fighting, The Son of No One, Empire State, and Man Down.
Ruth Nolan is a recent graduate of the UC Riverside low residency MFA program. She is Professor of English at College of the Desert, where she’s taught composition, creative writing, and literature courses since fall, 1999 and advises the campus literary magazine, Solstice. She won a national teaching award in 2004 from The National Council of Teachers of English/Teaching English in the Two–Year College affiliated organizations. Her poetry and prose writing has appeared recently/is forthcoming in Rattling Wall, New Fiction Los Angeles (Red Hen Press;) New California Writing (Heyday Books); KCET Los Angeles; and Sierra Club Desert Report. She is winner of the 2015 Mojave River Press creative nonfiction chapbook contest for California Drive, and has collaborated as a writer on several film projects, including Escape to Reality: 24 hrs at 24 fps, produced by the UCR/California Museum of Photography in 2008. Ruth is also editor of the anthology No Place for a Puritan: the literature of California’s Deserts (Heyday, 2009) and has founded and led many community-based writing and literature workshops for the Inlandia Writers Workshop; the (In)Visible Memoir Project; UCR and CSUSB Extension; and the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park. She has been a featured reader at the L.A. Times Festival of Books; Lit Crawl L.A., 2013-2014; Rattling Wall at Book Soup; Dirty Laundry Lit; PEN USA Empire Moon; and was recently honored for her community writing workshop contributions at the Poets & Writers /West 25th Anniversary Celebration. Ruth is currently writing a memoir about her work as a wildland firefighter in the Mojave Desert and western U.S. in the 1980’s.
Patrick O’Neil. Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir Hold Up, which was published in France. During punk rock’s heyday (1979–83) O’Neil worked at the legendary Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco’s premier punk venue. He then went on to become a roadie and eventually the road manager for Dead Kennedys and Flipper, as well as the Subhumans (UK) and T.S.O.L. (Los Angeles). But that was before his life got totally out of control. O’Neil was a heroin addict for eighteen years, incarcerated for two and a half years, went to two long term residential rehabs for a total of three years, worked as a substance abuse counselor for six years, and has been clean off drugs for the last thirteen. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles, teaches at a community college, and splits his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. His new book, Gun Needle Spoon, is out now from Dzanc.
Eduardo Santiago. Eduardo’ first novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss was an Edmund White Debut Fiction Award finalist and a Latino Book Award finalist. Mr. Santiago’s highly anticipated follow-up is entitled, Midnight Rumba, won the New England Book Award – Best Fiction and took top honors at the Beverly Hills Book Awards 2013. His short fiction has been widely published, most notably in ZYZZYVA, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, among others, and his nonfiction has appeared in Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Out Traveler Magazine, among others.
Mr. Santiago earned a BFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a Creative Writing MFA from Antioch University. He has taught novel writing for UCLA’s extension program for the past eight years, and memoir writing at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, and is currently on faculty at Mt. San Jacinto College. He is the founder of the Idyllwild Authors Series, and a two-time PEN Center U.S.A. Fellow (2004 & 2008). His many personal appearances include” CBS News, KCRW’S All Things Considered, The New York City Book Festival, The Miami Book Fair International, The Tucson Book Festival, The Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books, and the West Hollywood Writers Fair.
Andrea Seigel. Andrea Seigel is the author of four novels, Like The Red Panda, To Feel Stuff, The Kid Table, and Everybody Knows Your Name (with Brent Bradshaw). Her first film, Laggies, directed by Lynn Shelton, was released last year.
John Hilary Shepherd is the Director of Development at Cross Creek Pictures and is a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Emmy Award-winning Showtime television series NURSE JACKIE. He comes to Cross Creek Pictures after also working in development for Spelling Films, Polygram, and as a story analyst for the William Morris Agency. Mr. Shepherd has a BA in Broadcasting & Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute.
Dan Smetanka is the Executive Editor of Counterpoint Press and has worked in various aspects of the publishing industry for over twenty years. As an Executive Editor at Ballantine/Random House, Inc., he acquired and published award-winning debut books including The Ice Harvest by Scott Philips, The Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rosner, Down to a Soundless Sea by Thomas Steinbeck, and Among the Missing by Dan Chaon, a 2001 finalist for the National Book Award. Prior to this, he served as Director of Maria B. Campbell Associates, an international scouting agency that facilitated the placement of American authors into the international marketplace. Daniel also acted as a publishing consultant to both Amblin/Dreamworks and The Kennedy/Marshall Company to identify material appropriate for feature film and television adaptation. As Executive Editor for Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press, one of the largest independent presses in the country and one of the few located on the west coast, his recent projects include works by Thomas Steinbeck, Linda Gray Sexton, James Brown, Scott Phillips, Janna Malamud Smith, Craig Nova, Ilie Ruby, Neil Jordan, Dana Johnson, Isaac Adamson, Karen E. Bender, Joshua Mohr, Emma Woolf, John N. Maclean, Tara Ison, Kim Addonizio, Andrea Portes, Dinah Lenney, Frank Browning, Anna David, Liza Monroy, Thaisa Frank, Tod Goldberg, Gina Frangello, Natashia Deon and more.
Mitch Stein runs The Stein Agency, a literary agency representing screenwriters, producers and directors. Previously, he was a partner is Shapiro-Lichtman-Stein, which he left in 2000 to start his own firm.
Jamison Stoltz is a senior editor at Grove/Atlantic. He edits nonfiction—recent titles include Paradise Lust by Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Harlem by Jonathan Gill, and Mint Condition by Dave Jamieson—and mysteries and thrillers, including Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series and the novels of Deon Meyer, Mike Lawson, and Mark Haskell Smith. Before joining Grove/Atlantic, he worked at the William Morris Agency in London and New York, and in publicity at Houghton Mifflin in New York.
Andrew Winer. Andrew Winer is the author of the novels The Marriage Artist and The Color Midnight Made. A recipient of a NEA Fellowship in Fiction, he occasionally writes about artists, composer, thinkers and other writers. He is working on a new novel about religion and politics. He is the Chair of the Creative Writing department at the University of California, Riverside
Matt Witten is the author of four novels, Breakfast at Madeline’s, winner of the Malice Domestic Award, Grand Delusion, Strange Bedfellows, and The Killing Bee. He’s served as a writer/producer on The Glades, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, Supernatural, House MD, JAG, CSI:Miami, and written episodes of Pretty Little Liars, Law & Order, Judging Amy, Homicide and many other shows. His plays include The Deal, Washington Square Moves, and The Ties That Bind. His film Drones, directed by Rick Rosenthal and starring Matt O’Leary and Eloise Mumford, premiered in October and November of 2013 at the London Film Festival; the Austin Film Festival; and the AFI Fest.
Matthew Zapruder. Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014), as well as a book of prose, Why Poetry, forthcoming from Ecco Press in 2015. He is also co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu (Coffee House Press, 2007). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Paris Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Bomb, Slate, Poetry, and The Believer. He has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, TX. An Assistant Professor in the St. Mary’s College of California MFA program and English Department, he is also Editor-at-Large at Wave Books and Writer-in-Residence at the UCR Loa Residency MFA. He lives in Oakland, CA.