Faculty and Staff
Guest Residency Faculty
In addition, each residency we're joined by over two dozen guest faculty members, ranging from winners of the Pulitzer Prize, to top agents and producers, and a variety of industry professionals. Below was our Spring 2023 Guest Faculty:
Larry Biederman was introduced to Los Angeles with his acclaimed productions of Eric Overmyer’s Dark Rapture starring Nick Offerman at the Evidence Room, and the World Premiere of Crumble by Sheila Callaghan (“Shameless”) at LATC. Both enjoyed extended runs and wide critical praise, including Critics Choice from the L.A. Times. In addition to these successful writers of theatre and television, Biederman’s biggest collaborator from the television world has been Winnie Holzman (Wicked, "My So-Called Life"), serving as the on-set coach for her series “Huge” (ABC Family). He also directed Holzman and husband, actor Paul Dooley, on two successful productions of their play Assisted Living, premiering at the Odyssey Theatre in L.A., and then moving east to a run at the George Street Playhouse. Most recently he staged a festival presentation of Stupid Kid by Sharr White (“The Affair”) starring Laurie Metcalf and Tom Irwin and another Sheila Callaghan L.A. premiere of We Are Not These Hands at Rogue Machine Theatre. He has directed two premieres of Mickey Birnbaum’s plays. The first, the L.A. premiere of Big Death and Little Death, included a live death metal band at the Road Theatre. The second, a world premiere of Backyard at the Echo Theatre Company, earned Ovation awards for Best Actor and Best Fight Choreography, as well as five Stage Raw Award nominations including Best Direction. Biederman was involved with both plays since directing their first workshop presentations at ASK Theater Projects and the William Inge Theatre Festival, respectively. Other premiere productions include Keith Josef Adkin’s Farewell Miss Cotton at the Black Dahlia, David Rock’s Grand Delusion at the Lost Studio and Matthew Benjamin and Logan Brown’s Wirehead for the Echo Theatre Company, earning seven LA Weekly Award nominations including Best Direction of a Comedy. Biederman also enjoys the classics, including direction of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies at Theatre of NOTE, Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden at Antaeus, which earned three more LA Weekly award nominations including Best Revival. In 2009, Biederman took his innovative staging of Schnitzler’s La Ronde to the New York International Fringe Festival where, in addition to critical acclaim, both actors received Best Actor awards for the festival. Biederman spent seven seasons with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, directing and serving in many senior capacities on the A.C.T. artistic staff, and as Associate Director of their M.F.A. program. Bay Area productions include Peter Barnes’ Red Noses, also a Critic’s Choice and named one of the year's 10 best productions, as well as the acclaimed West Coast premiere of Constance Congdon’s No Mercy which he later remounted for the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. Between productions, he enjoys the countless collaborations, workshops and readings with L.A.’s great playwrights. His staging of Bryan Davidson’s Death’s Messengers at the MET Theatre earned them two LA Weekly Theater Award nominations for writing and direction. They later collaborated on an adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper which was presented at the Theatre @ Boston Court. Biederman teaches directing and acting, both privately and for many reputable training programs throughout the country from the Williamstown Theatre Festival to the Old Globe and locally at Cal State Fullerton where he served three years as their Head of Directing. He has had the privilege of directing great actors during their training years, including Omid Abtahi, Elizabeth Banks, Jim Parsons, and Anika Noni Rose. Currently, he is a Professor of Directing at Cal State Northridge.
Cecil Castellucci is the award winning and New York Times Bestselling author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Shade, The Changing Girl, Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, Soupy Leaves Home, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Female Furies and Odd Duck. In 2015 they co-authored Star Wars Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. She has also written Batgirl for DC Comics. Their newest graphic novel is Shifting Earth out on Dark Horse Comics. Her short stories and short comics have been published in Strange Horizons, Tor.com, and many other anthologies. In a former life, she was known as Cecil Seaskull in the ‘90s indie band Nerdy Girl. She has written three opera librettos Les Aventures de Madame Merveille (World Premiere in 2010) Hockey Noir: The Opera (World Premiere 2018) and Metternich! The Language of Flowers (World Premiere 2021). They are the former Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two-time MacDowell Fellow, and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. Their pandemic projects have been rewatching every Disney film in order and researching a British World War I soldier. They live in Los Angeles and spend time in Montreal.
Anna Dorn has published three books: Vagablonde, Bad Lawyer, and Exalted. Exalted was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. Anna is also an associate editor at Hobart Pulp. Her next book Perfume & Pain is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster. She lives in Los Angeles.
Michelle Dowd is a journalism professor and contributor to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Book Review, The Alpinist, Catapult, and other national publications. She is Faculty Lecturer of the Year for 2022 at Chaffey College, where she founded the award-winning literary journal and creative collective, The Chaffey Review, advises Student Media, and teaches poetry and critical thinking in the California Institutes for Men and Women in Chino. She has been recognized as a Longreads Top 5 for her article on the relationship between environmentalism and hope in The Alpinist, nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, and profiled on the second season of Sincerely X, a TED production for stories too risky, painful, or controversial to be shared on the stage. Her popular Modern Love column in The New York Times inspired a book contract. Michelle was raised on a mountain in the Angeles National Forest where she learned to identify flora and fauna, navigate by the stars, forage for edible plants, and care for the earth. As an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, she has been teaching students and training teachers in southern California studios since 2008, as well as teaching yoga to employees at local businesses and leading Yoga on Tap at Claremont Craft Ales. Michelle’s first book, Forager: Field Notes on Surviving a Family Cult, a memoir forthcoming with Algonquin Press, showcases her life growing up on an isolated mountain in California as part of an apocalyptic cult, and how she found her way out of poverty and illness by drawing on the gifts of the wilderness.
Rae Dubow created Talking Out Loud, a communications company specifically to provide public speaking training in the professional and academic spheres. She has extensive performance training and worked as an actor for many years. This is the basis of her practice, which uses dramatic techniques to help clients relax and speak publicly as their most authentic selves. Public speaking is an enormous challenge for most people, outranking the fear of death. Having experienced her own performance anxieties, she discovered ways to work with these issues and keep them at bay. In addition to Talking Out Loud, Rae has taught at the University of Southern California, Antioch University Los Angeles, UC Riverside, and Woodbury University. Her private clients include actor/activist Edward Asner, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor, and actress Genevieve Angleson. Her corporate and nonprofit clients include The Southern California News Group (SCNG), Dress for Success, and MOSTe, which offers similar training to high school girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who are working towards college admission.
Charli Engelhorn is a staff writer on The Cleaning Lady on FOX and former associate producer on Crank Yankers. A graduate of the Low Residency MFA at UCR, Charli previously was an award-winning journalist and is a Warner Brothers Television Workshop alumni.
Janet Fitch is an American author and teacher of fiction writing. She is the author of the #1 national bestseller White Oleander, a novel translated into 24 languages, an Oprah Book Club book and the basis of a feature film, Paint It Black, also widely translated and made into a 2017 film, and her epic novels of the Russian Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral. Additionally, she has written a young adult novel, Kicks, short stories, essays, articles, and reviews, contributed to anthologies and regularly teaches at the Community of Writers Summer Workshops, and in their online program. She taught creative writing for 14 years in the USC Master of Professional Writing program, as well as VCFA’s Writing and Publishing program, A Room of Her Own (AROHO), the UCLA Writer’s Program, and Pomona College. She lectures frequently on fiction writing. Fitch was a 2009 Likhachev Cultural Fellow to St. Petersburg, Russia, a Helen R. Whiteley Fellow, a Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and a Moseley Fellow at Pomona College. Fitch graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1978 with a BA in History. She lives in Los Angeles and travels whenever she gets the chance.
Ashley Mag Gabbert is the author of SEX DEPRESSION ANIMALS (Mad Creek Books, 2023), which was selected by Kathy Fagan as the winner of the 2021 Charles B. Wheeler Prize in Poetry; the chapbook The Breakup, which was selected by Kaveh Akbar as the winner of the 2022 Baltic Writing Residencies Chapbook Award; and the chapbook Minml Poems (Cooper Dillon Books, 2020). She’s the recipient of a 2021 Discovery Award from 92NY’s Unterberg Poetry Center as well as fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Idyllwild Arts, and Poetry at Round Top. Her work can be found in The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review Daily, Copper Nickel, Guernica, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. Mag has an MFA from UC Riverside and a PhD from Texas Tech. She lives in Dallas, Texas and teaches at Southern Methodist University.
Zach Gonzalez-Landis grew up in a one-stoplight town in Michigan until his parents' remarriage spurred a cross-country move to Arizona. He pursued comedy in college and Chicago, where he performed improv, sketch comedy, theater, and once did stand-up as a zombie. Zach holds an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, participated in the NHMC Television Writers Program, and is a Sundance Episodic Lab fellow. As a writers' assistant, he co-wrote the Part Three finale of Mr. Iglesias (Netflix) and worked on The Big Leap (Fox). He's served as an advisor for Sundance Collab and most recently was staffed on the multi-cam comedy Basic Witches (Disney Channel).
Lynn Grant Beck was recently hired to write 2 episodes for season 2 of Cypher on Roku. Her play, All American, which was developed at UCR, was nominated for Best Drama and won the Hollywood Producers Encore Award at the 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival. An original pilot, The House that Jackie Built, and an adapted pilot, French Vanilla & Felonies, are currently out to market. She’s also written an action/disaster feature, BlackOut, as well as two animated family features, Sandra Claus and The TreasureD Cat. She was hired to write a TV pilot, Hashers, by Google VP, Jim Kolotouros. Her TV movie thriller, My Mom is a Bank Robber, aired on Lifetime in 2016 and her TV movie rom-com, 12 Gifts of Christmas, aired on the Hallmark Channel in 2015. Her other MOW scripts include Spring Break Nightmare, Quiet Night, Trapped, and Cult of Lies. Her indie thriller, Dead Wrong, won an award in the WIF/MORE Screenplay contest and was optioned by the director, John Rhode. Her half hour pilot, Life in 2D, won a fellowship at the Writers Boot Camp, and she was hired to co-write a sci-fi web series, The Annex, by director Hank Isaac. She was also hired to write the feature comedy, Hollywood Hit, for Miracle Mile Ent. Her other feature scripts include two comedies, James Borkowsky 000 and Trophy Husband, two romantic comedies, The Death of Art and Trouble, and a sci-fi adventure story, Jonny Was. She’s also written a sci-fi pilot, Fuzion, and a half hour tween pilot, Twindroids. In 2019 she co-produced an award-winning short horror film, House of Redemption. She currently teaches screenwriting at Script University, and has taught at Pepperdine University, Spalding University, the University of Auckland, and SMC. She received her MFA in Screenwriting with a minor in Playwriting at UCR in 2021. She has significant industry experience as VP of Production at Kopelson Entertainment, as well as a CE at Interscope Communications. During her tenure at Interscope she traveled to Australia where she was an assistant producer on Pitch Black with Vin Diesel. Originally from NJ, Lynn founded the independent theater company, The Chelsea Players, in NY where she wrote and produced numerous successful Off-off Broadway plays. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Russian Studies, she worked as an assistant director for the Nikitsky Vorot Theater and traveled with the theater around the former Soviet Union on the heels of its collapse. She wrote about that experience in a memoir titled Adventure in the Soviet Union. She’s also written numerous manuscripts for children’s books.
Don Handfield was the co-creator and Executive Producer of History Channel's drama series Knightfall and producer of critically-acclaimed films The Founder starring Michael Keaton, and Kill The Messenger starring two-time Academy-Award nominated actor Jeremy Renner. Handfield is currently writing an original scripted comedy series for Paramount + and adapting the graphic novel UNIKORN for Stampede Ventures with Debbie Berman (editor of Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Homecoming) attached to direct. Handfield is a partner and board member of top-indie comic label Scout Comics and his original comic series The Rift was optioned by Steven Spielberg and produced as the season finale for the Apple + reboot of Amazing Stories. Handfield is a fellow of the WGA Showrunner Training Program, the Film Independent's Director's Lab and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine.
Matt Horwitz got his start at Sleeping Giant Entertainment before joining Echo Lake in 2013 focusing on writers and directors in all aspects of TV and film. His clients have worked on such hit shows as AMERICAN DAD, CALL YOUR MOTHER, TACOMA FD, MAGNUM PI, THE YOUNG ROCK, ARROW, THE FLASH, STRANGER THINGS, and THE CONNERS just to name a few. He has set up client projects at just about every network or streamer that you can think of, (and several that you probably didn’t even know existed). Originally from the Washington DC area, he attended Indiana University and has had a passion for TV and Film since a young age when he discovered that people actually made the things he was watching every day, and that passion has helped him guide and build the careers of creative people from the lowest levels all the way to the top!.
Amara Hoshijo is a senior editor at Saga Press. Originally from Honolulu and a graduate of the University of Southern California, she left warmer climates for New York City a decade ago. Prior to joining Saga, she was an editor at Soho Press, where she specialized in international crime fiction, debut literary fiction, and speculative fiction for more than eight years. She also managed the company’s subrights initiative and is a former Frankfurt Fellow.
Dara Hyde is Senior Agent at the Hill Nadell Literary Agency and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including literary and genre fiction, graphic novels, narrative non-fiction, memoir, young adult, and children’s literature. Her clients have been winners or finalists for the Women’s Prize, NAACP Image Award, Carnegie Medal, Eisner Award, Anthony Award, YALSA Award, Harvey Award, International Latino Book Award, and the Reading the West Award, among others. "I’m drawn to stories that examine social issues in unique ways, and voices that have been historically under-represented in publishing; stories that explore the bonds and complexities of both blood and chosen families; stories with crossover appeal, whether that’s YA/adult or blending genres in surprising ways. I relish being hooked by a high concept and a clever premise, but that creative vision needs strong character development and an attention to every word. I find imperfect characters more interesting than those that start off with all the answers, and I want to walk away from every book having learned something new. Before joining Hill Nadell, I spent over a decade as an editor and rights and permissions manager at independent publisher Grove Atlantic in New York. I enjoy every aspect of the publishing process and helping my clients from idea to finished book and beyond is always a thrill. When I’m not reading I’m probably watching a movie, hopefully on TCM or Criterion."
Boris Kachka is the books editor of the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was an editor and writer at New York magazine for two decades. He has written profiles of authors including Joan Didion, Toni Morrison and Harper Lee; investigated turmoil at various cultural and media institutions; expanded books coverage across the publication’s many verticals; and covered film, television, theater and book publishing. He is also the author of “Hothouse,” a cultural history of the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux; “Becoming a Veterinarian”; and “Becoming a Producer.”
Jud Laghi runs the eponymous Jud Laghi Agency, a full-service literary agency that represents fiction and non-fiction at every stage of the publishing process. Jud’s hands-on style includes significant editorial guidance on proposals and manuscripts for the strongest possible publisher submission, and an exploration of all potential opportunities for boosting the marketing and publicity of his clients’ books once they have been published, as well as licensing foreign and translation, audio, serial, film, television, and other digital and online rights. His clients include Jaime Lowe, Peter Zeihan, Dakin Campbell, Davy Rothbart, Brian Raftery, Tim Layden, Jason Turbow, Farah Pandith, Sally Hogshead, Justin and Sydnee McElroy, Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney guitarist and vocalist Carrie Brownstein, all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, and rock legends Gene Simmons and Kenny Loggins. Jud has represented, developed and launched a broad spectrum of trendsetting and bestselling books throughout his career, by authors of narrative nonfiction, journalism, cultural criticism, memoir, popular culture, prescriptive nonfiction and business, as well as select fiction, middle grade and YA. Before forming JLA, Jud worked as a literary agent at LJK Literary Management and at ICM, where he began his agenting career. He is a graduate of Trinity College with a B.A. in English and creative writing.
Stefanie Leder is an upper-level TV dramedy writer with an unusual path. She has been dirt poor, wildly rich, and somewhere in between. She has been a socialist at UC Berkeley, a union organizer in Seattle, a community organizer in San Francisco, a radical in Central America, an ESL teacher, an almost FBI agent, and is now a TV and film writer. She’s lived in Central America, London, and Hawaii. She speaks English and Spanish. Her credits include writing and producing on Men At Work, Melissa & Joey, Faking It, and Boo, Bitch. She’s developed for the CW, Netflix, and Disney. Most recently she showran a pilot and mini-room for Disney. She is currently in development with Disney on another pilot (paused due to strike.)
Dinah Lenney has played countless roles on stage and television, among them Murphy Brown’s Secretary number three, Eileen/Abraham on The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a nun with a gun on Sons of Anarchy, ER’s no-nonsense Nurse Shirley, Shakespeare’s Queen Gertrude (in Hamlet), and also his Lady Macbeth (of course). She’s a graduate of Yale, where she didn’t study theater, the Neighborhood Playhouse, where she did, and the Bennington Writing Seminars, where she presently serves as a member of the core faculty in nonfiction. Dinah’s taught writing and acting in schools all over the country, and co-wrote Acting for Young Actors with director Mary Lou Belli. The author of two memoirs, The Object Parade and Bigger than Life (excerpted for the “Lives” column in The New York Times Magazine), Dinah served as a long-time nonfiction editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and co-edited Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction with the late Judith Kitchen. Her latest book, Coffee, was published in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. Dinah lives (reads, writes, grinds, brews—in a Chemex, by the way) with her husband in Echo Park.
Katherine MacDonald is currently a Producer at Netflix and previously served as the Senior Vice President of Paramount Animation at Paramount Pictures, the Director of International Research & Client Services at Nielsen Corporation, Director and Head of Research at MGM, as well as previous executive experience at Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. She is also the co-author of The Marketing Edge for Filmmakers: Developing a Marketing Mindset from Concept to Release: Developing a Marketing Mindset from Concept to Release. She holds an MFA from the Low Residency MFA at UC Riverside.
Jennifer Maisel The daughter of an adhesives manufacturer and a teacher, Jennifer Maisel grew up in a picture perfect Long Island suburb where she once found a dead man in her driveway – which may account for one reviewer’s assessment of her writing as a “sort of David Lynch on estrogen”. Her THE LAST SEDER, starring Gaby Hoffmann, premiered off-Broadway with Rosalind Productions after productions around the country, including D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. Her THERE OR HERE premiered with Hypothetical Theatre in New York and at the Park Theatre in London with Special Relationship Productions. @thespeedofJake, a Kilroy nominee in 2014 and a Kilroy Honorable Mention in 2015, premiered with Playwrights’ Arena in Los Angeles in 2015, was named a PEN West Literary Award finalist, and was subsequently produced at MadLabs in Ohio. Her OUT OF ORBIT, workshopped at the Sundance, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Cal Rep and the Gulf Shore New Play Festival, and recipient of Alfred P Sloan commission for plays about science and technology and The Stanley Award for Drama, made the 2016 Kilroy List. It was then awarded the Woodward Newman award for drama and premiered at Williamston Theatre and Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2018. Backstage included Jennifer amongst their “favorite female playwrights” and The Dramatist Magazine named her one of their “Ones to Watch. She was recently listed by Theatre Nerds as one of 30 Female Playwrights You Should Know. Jennifer’s EIGHT NIGHTS was workshopped with the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Antaeus, Moving Arts Bay Street Theatre and Playmakers was part of the 2018 Gulfshore New Play Festival. EIGHT NIGHTS will premiere with Antaeus Theatre in 2019. The play is also part of a national fundraiser for HIAS called 8 Nights of EIGHT NIGHTS. Jennifer was one of five playwrights who were part of the prestigious Humanitas PlayLA group, developing her newest play, BETTER, which culminated in a festival reading in September 2018 in collaboration with the Road Theatre in Los Angeles. Jennifer’s other plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Magic Theatre, The Organic Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York and Los Angeles), South Coast Repertory, Playwrights’ Arena, The Bat at the Flea, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, The LARK, The Hypothetical, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Theatre J, Rorschach Theatre, The Victory Theatre, Circle X Theatre, Theatre of NOTE and Teatro da Juventude (Brazil) among others. She has developed plays at the Playwrights Center’s PlayLabs in Minneapolis, ASK Theatre Project’s Spring Writer’s retreat, NYU’s FirstLook@NewPlays in New York, University of the Arts New Play Festival, Moving Arts MADLabs, Cypress College’s New Play Festival (five times) in California, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, PlayPenn in Philadelphia and the 2010 Sundance Theatre Lab @Mass MOCA (OUT OF ORBIT). Jennifer was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award and their Charlotte Woolard Award for Promising New Voice in American Theatre, as well their Roger Stevens Award for Playwrights of Extraordinary Promise. She won South Coast Repertory’s California Playwrights Competition and was a finalist for the PEN West Literary Award (twice), the Sundance Theatre Lab, the O’Neill Theatre Conference (twice), the STAGES International Playwriting Competition, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, Abingdon Theatre’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award (twice), the Ojai Playwrights Festival and the Heideman Award (three times). Backstage included Jennifer amongst their “favorite female playwrights” and The Dramatist Magazine named her one of their “Ones to Watch. She is one of seven playwrights commissioned by Playwrights’ Arena and Center Theatre Group for the collaborative THE HOTEL PLAY, premiered in 2017. Jennifer has been a guest lecturer and speaker at Fordham University, University of the Arts, Cal State Long Beach, the UCLA Extension Writers Program, AFI, the David Hwang Playwriting Institute, Cornell University, Footlights in Washington DC and Claremont College. She has taught playwriting at USC, and currently teaches television and screenwriting for the Stephens College Low Residency Master of Fine Arts program. In the world of film and television, her screenplay, Lost Boy, was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein and adapted two Jane Green novels for Lifetime’s Book-to-Screen series that aired in 2019. She has written movies for NBC, ABC, MTV and Lifetime, was a staff writer on the television series, RELATED, wrote a pilot for ABC Family and developed an animated feature for Disney. She co-created the critically acclaimed web series Faux Baby with Laura Brennan and Rachel Leventhal. The screenplay adaptation of her play THE LAST SEDER won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, meriting her a month’s stay in a haunted farmhouse at the Nantucket Screenwriter’s Colony. She has developed original pilots with Bunim-Murray, Ineffable, Stun Media and MomentumTV. A graduate of Cornell University, Jennifer received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the WGA, the Playwrights Union, Playwrights Ink and The Dog Ear Playwrights Collective. She is represented by Heroes and Villains and the Susan Schulman Literary Agency. More can be found at jennifermaisel.com.
Kathryn E. McGee's horror stories have appeared in Ladies of the Fright, Kelp Journal, Scoundrel Time, Gamut Magazine, and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Chromophobia anthology. Her story, “Mondays Are for Meat,” was recently optioned for film. “The Creek Keepers’ Lodge” (Horror Library Vol. 6) was listed as an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Vol. 10. She regularly publishes articles about horror books and film on The Lineup. Additionally, she co-authored a book of stories about downtown Los Angeles, DTLA37: Downtown Los Angeles in Thirty-seven Stories (Enville Publishing). She has an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside Palm Desert. Kathryn is represented by Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary Agency. For more information, visit www.kathrynemcgee.com
Patrick Newman is a literary manager at Mosaic Media Group.
Dr. Sunita Puri is the Program Director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center & Chan School of Medicine, where she is also an associate professor of clinical medicine. A graduate of Yale University, she completed medical school and residency training in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco followed by fellowship training in palliative medicine at Stanford. She is the author of That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour, a critically acclaimed literary memoir examining her journey to the practice of palliative medicine, and her quest to help patients and families redefine what it means to live and die well in the face of serious illness. She is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Her writing and book have been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, JAMA, the Atlantic, NPR, India Today, the Asian Age, the Oncology Times, and, forthcoming, the New Yorker. In 2019, the Guardian made a mini-documentary of her work in palliative medicine which has been viewed nearly 3 million times. She has been interviewed on the PBS Cristian Amanpour show, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, ZDogg MD’s show, and numerous podcasts. In 2018, she was awarded the Etz Chaim Tree of Life Award from the USC School of Medicine, awarded annually to a member of the faculty who, in the eyes of the campus community, models and provides humanistic and compassionate care. She has taught medical memoir and literary nonfiction to medical students and residents, and has delivered talks about palliative medicine, the centrality of narrative and storytelling in medicine, and physician well-being in forums around the world.
Jim Ruland the author of the LA Times bestseller Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records, the award-winning novel Forest of Fortune and the short story collection Big Lonesome. He is the co-author of Do What You Want with Bad Religion, My Damage with Keith Morris, founding member of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and OFF!, and Giving the Finger with Scott Campbell, Jr. of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Jim writes about punk and pop culture for Razorcake — America’s only non-profit independent music zine. He also writes book reviews and author profiles for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Jim’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Believer, Electric Literature, Esquire, Granta, and Oxford American, and has received awards from Reader’s Digest and the National Endowment for the Arts. Jim is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has worked for advertising agencies, entertainment enterprises, and the gaming industry.
Nathania Seales Oh Originally from the Cayman Islands, Nathania Oh is an entertainment industry veteran with more than 20 years of production experience that started with hosting a music video show (remember those?). After earning her B.A. in Telecommunications from Pepperdine University, she went on to earn her animation stripes working on the groundbreaking series “The Ren & Stimpy Show” and has worked with such media giants as Sony Pictures Entertainment, HBO and Cartoon Network. She first discovered her enthusiasm for mentoring as an entertainment and marketing executive where she was proficient in leading large, interdisciplinary work teams. Through strategic communication she found ways to lead her team and colleagues in ways to blend well-reasoned instincts and theory with best practices to execute unparalleled brand extension and storytelling. Eager to share this real-world industry experience with collegiate students, she completed her MFA in nonfiction and screenwriting with University of California, Riverside where she worked on The Coachella Review, the low residency program’s literary journal. Prior to joining Dodge College, she was a visiting professor at The Oregon Extension where she led and taught the Creative Writing component to university students recruited nationwide for a semester spent in the mountains of Southern Oregon rooted in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Through instruction she inspires students on ways to harness their passion and authenticity while making their mark on the world. She believes and teaches that humor coupled with candor are the key to a great narrative. Recently published in Coast Magazine of The Orange County Register, The Coachella Review, the Redlands Review, Anastamos and The Kelp Journal, she lives, writes and teaches in Orange County, CA. In between teaching, working on her first full-length memoir and volunteering with the Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy program, she explores the world through food and travel with her husband and young daughter by her side.
Dan Smetanka is the Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of the Catapult Book Group, which includes Counterpoint Press, for which he is Editor-in-Chief, Catapult, and Soft Skull. Books he's acquired recently include winners and finalists for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Hammett Prize, The Edgar Award, NAACP Image Award, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the Story Prize, plus countless New York Times Best Books of the Year, LA Times Best Books of the Year, USA Today Best Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist STARRED titles, national and international bestsellers, and so much more...all while currently corralling a motley crew of authors including Natashia Deon, Gina Frangello, Maggie Downs, Elizabeth Crane, Dana Johnson, Joan Silber, Ben Ehrenreich, Karen Bender, Elizabeth Rosner, Jaret Yates Sexton, Nawaaz Ahmed, Maria Hummel, Joe Meno, Jaime Harrison, Tod Goldberg, and many more.
Olivia Taylor Smith joined Simon & Schuster in 2022 as Senior Editor. Prior to joining S&S, Olivia was the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Unnamed Press in Los Angeles for over eight years where she published over 88 books. Her focus has always been on championing dynamic and voice-driven storytelling from the US and around the world, particularly by debut authors, and including books like A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers (finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novel Award), Homesick by Jennifer Croft (winner of the Saroyan International Prize), and Like a Bird by Fariha Roisin (one of NPR and Vogue’s Best Books of 2020). Titles Olivia has acquired and are forthcoming at S&S include Sky Full of Elephants by Cebo Campbell, The Sleepwalkers by Scarlett Thomas, Misrecognition by Madison Newbound, A Pocketful of Happiness by Richard E. Grant, The Sons of El Rey by Alex Espinoza, and Alice Sadie Celine by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright.
Aja Vasquez is a Southern California native. She received an MFA in creative writing from UCR’s Palm Desert Center along with an MA English and EdD in Educational Leadership. Her writing is focused on memoir and suburban horror stories. She has been teaching college writing for a few decades, specializing in curriculum development for writing programs. She is currently a business writing lecturer at CSU Fullerton and a doctoral writing coach. In her personal time, she enjoys watching horror movies, visiting local paranormal hotspots, and trying to grow plants on her balcony. She lives in the Inland Empire with, perhaps, an innumerable yet not hoarder-status number of pets and children, as well as multiple year-round Christmas trees and Halloween decorations.
Rax Will is an alum of the UC Riverside MFA in Fiction and is a James Beard-nominated journalist. Their writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Eater, New York Times, and more.