Each residency, we’re joined by a slate of guest writers, producers, agents, publishers, editors, and industry professionals. Here’s who will be joining us from June 3-12th in beautiful Rancho Mirage.
Interested in applying? Want to visit for the day? We’d be happy to have you. Please contact Agam Patel at email@example.com or 760-834-0926.
Sheila Callaghan’s plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright’s Horizons, Yale Rep, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court, and Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include SCAB, CRAWL FADE TO WHITE, CRUMBLE (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS, DEAD CITY, LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING, KATE CRACKERNUTS, THAT PRETTY PRETTY; OR, THE RAPE PLAY, FEVER/DREAM, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, ROADKILL CONFIDENTIAL, ELEVADA, BED, and WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD. She is published with Playscripts.com and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright’s organization 13P. Sheila is also an alumni of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of “18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World.” She was also named one of Variety magazine’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch” of 2010. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless and a founder of the feminist activist group The Kilroys. In 2016 she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on the Hulu comedy series Casual.
Chiwan Choi is a writer, editor, teacher, and publisher. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including ONTHEBUS, Esquire.com, and The Nervous Breakdown. His first major collection of poetry, The Flood, was published by Tía Chucha Press in April, 2010. His second collection, Abductions, was published by Writ Large Press in April, 2012. Chiwan has been a featured poet in places such as Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles Central Library, Hunter College, KGB Bar, and McNally Jackson Books in NYC, Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, Make Out Room in San Francisco. His books have been taught in classes at Berkeley City College and Riverside City College. As an editor and teacher, he has helped writers who have had their works published by Simon & Schuster, Penguin, RA, Noon, Bombshelter Press, Full Fathom Five, KCET, and many others. Chiwan received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School at NYU. Once back in Los Angeles, he co-founded Writ Large Press with Judeth Oden in 2008, after a short and beautiful 6-issue run of a literary quarterly called Wednesday.
Michael Datcher did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley and his graduate work at UCLA, and UC Riverside where he is currently completing his dissertation for the Ph.D. in English Literature. He is the author of the historical novel AMERICUS and the critically-acclaimed New York Times Bestseller RAISING FENCES–a TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB Book of the Month pick. The film rights were originally optioned by actor Will Smith’s Overbrook Productions, who hired Datcher to write the screenplay. He is co-editor of TOUGH LOVE: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur. Datcher’s play SILENCE was commissioned by and premiered at the Getty Museum. He is co-host of the weekly public affairs news magazine BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE on 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles. His writing is widely anthologized, including appearances in the volumes What Makes A Man (Penguin), Brown Sugar (Simon Schuster), Soulfires (Penguin), Testimony (Beacon Press), Another City (City Lights), and Body and Soul (Crown), among others. He has curated and/or presented his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum and other art institutions. Datcher is the former Executive Director of The World Stage, a literary and jazz education and performance nonprofit in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District. He is Editor of THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FACT: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction. Datcher is on the faculty of Loyola Marymount University’s English Department.
Natashia Deón is an attorney, writer, and law professor. Her debut novel, Grace, is out June 2016 with Counterpoint Press. Deón was recently named one of L.A.’s “Most Fascinating People” by L.A. Weekly, and is the creator of the popular reading series, Dirty Laundry Lit. A PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, Deón has been awarded fellowships and residencies at Yale, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Prague’s Creative Writing Program, Dickinson House in Belgium, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Rumpus, The Feminist Wire, Asian American Lit Review, Rattling Wall, B O D Y and other places. Deón has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside–Palm Desert, has two perfect children, and a lovely husband whom she met while living and working in Kent, England. She loves pastor tacos and pretty much anything with Sriracha on it.
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. She has taught in private schools, and at universities including the University of California, Riverside.
Marla DuMont earned her MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen at Florida State University. She recently sold an original pitch to CBS Studios and is currently in the process of taking it out to HBO, Showtime, FX and Comedy Central, among others. Before that, Marla was a writer on Mike & Molly for two seasons, where she earned the title of Story Editor. In addition to writing for Television, Marla is also a playwright. Her play An Drochshaol has been performed across the country: American Theatre of Actors (NY), Ringling International Theatre Festival (FL), New Horizons Festival (FL), San Diego Playwright’s Organization (CA, reading). She is a member of WGA West, Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and The Dramatists Guild. Marla is currently repped by ICM and Echo Lake Entertainment.
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses (2016). His collection Windeye (2012) and novel Immobility (2012), were both finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (2006) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. Under the name B. K. Evenson, he has written video game novels and co-wrote a novel with Rob Zombie. He lives in California and teaches at CalArts.
Katie Ford is the author of Deposition, Colosseum, and Blood Lyrics, all published by Graywolf Press. Colosseum was named among the “Best Books of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review and led to a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Prize. She completed graduate work in theology and poetry at Harvard University, and, following that, received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and many other journals. Her teaching interests include international poetry, the lyric tradition, and the shapely creation of poems and poetry manuscripts.
Debbie Graber’s fiction has been published in Electric Literature, Harpers, Zyzzyva, The Nervous Breakdown and Hobart, among other journals. She received an MFA from the University of California, Palm Desert, low residency program. Her debut collection of short stories, Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday, was published by The Unnamed Press in May 2016.
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.
David Hyde began his publicity career at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, one of the legendary independent bookstores in the United States, where he learned about the importance of building—and nurturing—a local community. In 1998, he moved to New York City with his college sweetheart, two cats and two bags for the opportunity to work at Vintage Books, the prestigious paperback imprint in the Knopf Group at Random House. At Vintage Books, David worked on publicizing acclaimed literary writers like Alexander McCall Smith (The # 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY), Jonathan Lethem (MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN), Richard Russo (The Pulitzer Prizewinning EMPIRE FALLS) and James Ellroy (THE COLD SIX THOUSAND); as well as bestselling nonfiction books including Erik Larson’s ISAAC’S STORM and Gary Kinder’s SHIP OF GOLD IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA. As a lifelong reader, he was blessed to have worked at one of the great and historic publishing houses, but he left after five years for the chance to work on behalf of the world’s greatest superheroes and some of the most talented writers and artists creating graphic novels and comic books today. At DC Comics, David brought unprecedented sustained mainstream attention to the art form with regular exposure in the ASSOCIATED PRESS, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, HUFFINGTON POST, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, THE NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY, while also working with corporate communications, movie productions and toy launches tied into the comic book line.
Tara Ison is the author of the novels Rockaway, The List, and A Child out of Alcatraz, the short story collection Ball, and the essay collection Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies, winner of the 2015 PEN Southwest award for Creative Nonfiction. She is also co-writer of the cult classic film Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
Kailey Marsh is a literary manager & producer and CEO of Kailey Marsh Media. She represents screenwriters, and directors that work in all genres in the feature, and television space. Kailey created The Blood List in 2009, which is the annual list hi lighting the top 13 most liked unproduced dark-genre screenplays of the year. She and her clients have projects set up across town in different stages of development, production, and post-production.
Bernadette Murphy is the author of, Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life (Counterpoint Press, May 2016). She has published three previous books of narrative nonfiction including the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting, is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Department of Antioch University Los Angeles, and a former weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times. Her website is Bernadette-Murphy.com. Edmond’s climb can be followed at this blog: johnedmondseverestadventure.com.
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
BJ Robbins opened her Los Angeles-based agency in 1992 after a multi-faceted career in book publishing in NY. She started in publicity at Simon & Schuster and was later Marketing Director and then Senior Editor at Harcourt. Her agency represents quality fiction, both literary and commercial, and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in memoir, biography, narrative history, pop culture, sports, travel/adventure, medicine and health. A member of AAR and Pen USA West, Ms. Robbins has led workshops at UCLA Extension, UC Irvine Extension, the Writer’s Pad, and at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop. On behalf of PEN, she has been guest speaker in numerous cities in the West as part of their Writers Toolbox program, including Seattle, Portland, Santa Fe, Dallas, Las Cruces, Flagstaff and Oakland. She was profiled in Writer’s Digest and mediabistro.com. The BJ Robbins Literary Agency works with both established and first-time authors and is looking for projects of literary merit that are fresh and original.
John Hilary Shepherd is a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Emmy Award-winning Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. John joined Cross Creek Pictures in 2010 after working in development for Spelling Films, Polygram, and as a story analyst for the William Morris Agency. John 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.
Lizi Silver is the author of Hyperion (Winner of the Big Lucks 2015 Best Prize Chapbook contest) and drip, drip (selected by Maru Ruefle as finalist of BOAAT Press’ 2015 chapbook competition, forthcoming August 2016). Her writing has appeared in many fine publications including Forklift Ohio, Menacing Hedge, Poor Claudia, Real Pants, The Rumpus, Thrush, YEW, and the Volta blog. She has worked with PEN’s Prison Writing Mentor Program, has read for Sumarr Reading Series, and participated with Machine Project’s Poetry Phone exhibit at the Tang Museum. She is currently working on a new manuscript and learning how to print letterpress. She is a first-generation American of Mexican and Israeli descent and she lives in Southern California with her crew: a spouse, a teenager, and a dog.
Shadae Lamar Smith. Though born in Miami, Florida, Shadae Lamar Smith’s heritage is set in the hills of St. Catherine, Jamaica and London, UK. Smith received his B.A. in theatre from Fordham University in New York City. In 2009, Shadae expanded his artistic scope to include filmmaking. He worked with Firelight Media in research and editing for the documentary ‘Freedom Riders’ (Sundance selection 2010), and with IM Global in sales and distribution at theCannes Film Festival in 2010. In the fall of 2011 Smith worked with the Stunt Department on Quentin Tarrentino’s ‘Django Unchained’. 2012 was the year Shadae Smith completed his first short film ‘Divine Rite’ which screened at the New Orleans Film Festival, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Bronze Lens Film Festival of Atlanta and the Little Rock Film Festival. His short ‘The Resort’ (2015) has screened at The Havana Film Festival in Cuba, The Zimbabwe International Film Festival, and the Munich Festival of Film Schools to name a few. His most recent directing endeavor includes ‘Miss Famous’, executive produced by James Franco and starring actor’s Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, SNL), Jimmy Kimmel (Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel) and Tony Cox (Bad Santa, Friday). ‘Miss Famous’ is currently screening as inflight content on United Airlines. Shadae is a recent Graduate of UCLA’s M.F.A. Film Directing program.
Bridget Smith began her career at Dunham Literary, Inc. in June 2011. Previously, she was an intern at Don Congdon Associates, worked at a secondhand book store in Connecticut, and evaluated short story submissions for Tor.com under Liz Gorinsky and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. She graduated from Brown University in 2010. While there, she studied anthropology and archaeology, worked as a radio DJ, fenced on the varsity team, and helped design an experiment that she later performed in microgravity at NASA. A lifelong fan of children’s books, she’s looking for middle grade and young adult novels in a range of genres, including fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, romance, and contemporary, plus anything that bends the rules of genre. She is actively seeking books with underrepresented or minority characters. She is also seeking fiction for adults, especially fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, and literary women’s fiction.
Lee Stobby After graduating from the University of Michigan and moving to LA in 2009, Lee Stobby has quickly made a name for himself championing strong independent voices and quality cinema. He is literary manager, producer and principal of Lee Stobby Entertainment. Before starting his own shingle in 2014, Stobby worked at Misher Films, Double Feature Films, Industry Entertainment, Innovative Artists, and Caliber Media; the lattermost is where he began representing literary clients in 2011 and produced 2 films. Stobby’s clients include Isaac Adamson whose script BUBBLES, a biopic of Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, was named #1 on the 2015 Black List and Stobby will produce as a stop motion animation film with Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries (ANOMALISA), Fritz Böhm (writer/director of upcoming WILDLING starring Bel Powley, Liv Tyler and Brad Dourif which Stobby also produced), Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237, THE NIGHTMARE), and Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy (THE TRIBE). In addition, he also produced and edited CHATTY CATTIES written and directed by Pablo Valencia, a black comedy about talking cats, which won the Grand Jury prize at the Seattle International Film Festival and will be released theatrically in 2016.
Jamison Stoltz is a senior editor at Grove Atlantic. He edits nonfiction—recent titles include The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese, The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff, Neither Snow Nor Rain by Devin Leonard, and Eccentric Orbits by John Bloom—and fiction, including Donna Leon’s New York Times-bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series, and the novels of Mark Haskell Smith, Deon Meyer, and Mike Lawson. Notable forthcoming books include Simon Ings’ Stalin and the Scientists, Tracy Borman’s The Private Lives of the Tudors, and Carrie Gibson’s El Norte. In 2008 he oversaw the original publication of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs’s collaborative novel And the Hippos Were Buried in their Tanks. Before joining Grove Atlantic in 2005, he worked at the William Morris Agency in London and New York, and in publicity at Houghton Mifflin in New York.
Kristen Tracy has written twelve novels for young adults and young readers, including Lost It, Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus, Too Cool for This School, Hung Up, and Project UnPopular. She has an M.A. in American Literature from Brigham Young University, an M.F.A. in poetry from Vermont College, and a Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan. She’s taught writing courses at BYU, Western Michigan University, Johnson State College, and Stanford University.
Miriam Weinberg is an editor at Tor Books.
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 writers 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.
Zoe Zolbrod is the author of the memoir The Telling (Curbside Splendor, May 2016) and the novel Currency (Other Voices Books, 2010), which was a Friends of American Writers prize finalist. Her essays have appeared in Salon, Stir Journal, The Weeklings, The Manifest Station, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Rumpus, where she is currently the Sunday co-editor. She gradated from Oberlin College and received an M.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Program for Writers. Born in Western Pennsylvania, she now lives in Evanston, IL, with her husband and two children.