Gretel Ehrlich is an American travel writer, novelist, essayist, and poet born on a horse ranch near Santa Barbara, California and educated at both Bennington College in Vermont and UCLA film school. After working in film for 10 years and following the death of a loved one, she began writing full-time in 1978 while living on a Wyoming ranch where she had been filming. Her first book, The Solace of Open Spaces, is a collection of essays describing her love of the region. Since then she has published 11 more books — nonfiction, essays, memoir, poetry, and fiction.
Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is the author of many books of essays, “proems,” and fiction, notably the novels Mink River, The Plover, and Martin Marten. His novel Chicago was published in April by St. Martin’s Press.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Alison Hawthorne Deming’s most recent book is Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit(Milkweed 2014). She is the author of three additional nonfiction books and five poetry books, most recently Rope (Penguin, 2009) with Stairway to Heaven due out in 2016. Also due out is Death Valley: Painted Light, a collaboration with astronomer/photographer Stephen Strom. She is Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice and Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona. Deming is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. She lives in Tucson, AZ and Grand Manan, NB, Canada.
Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Lynne Sharon Schwartz is the author of 23 books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, and translations from Italian. Her latest book is a collection of essays, This Is Where We Came In. Other recent books are the novels, Two-Part Inventions and The Writing on the Wall, and the memoir, Not Now, Voyager. Her novel Leaving Brooklyn was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and Rough Strife was nominated for a National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway First Novel Award. Her work has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Essays, and many other anthologies. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts. She teaches at the Bennington College Writing Seminars.
Zachary Lazar is the author of four books, including the novel Sway, the memoir Evening‘s Empire: The Story of My Father’s Murder, and the novel I Pity the Poor Immigrant, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for “a writer in mid-career whose work has demonstrated consistent excellence.” Lazar’s journalism has appeared in the New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. He lives in New Orleans, where he is on the faculty at Tulane University.
Alix Kates Shulman
Alix Kates Shulman is a longtime political activist and the author of 14 books, including novels, memoirs, biography, children’s books, and essays. The NY Times hailed her as "the voice that has for three decades provided a lyrical narrative of the changing position of women in American society," for books ranging from her bestselling debut novel, the feminist classic Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, to the literary satire Ménage. Her memoir Drinking the Rain won a Body Mind Spirit Award of Excellence and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. She has received fellowships from the DeWitt Wallace Foundation,the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been widely translated and has appeared in Salon, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Nation, The Sun, and The Guardian.
Lauren Miller wrote her debut, Parallel, while on maternity leave from her law firm job and blogged about it, an experiment she called "embracing the detour" (also the name of her blog). Many people told her she was crazy. When she realized they were right, she told no one and kept writing. Her second novel, Free To Fall, was nominated for YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults reading list. Raised in Atlanta and a Southern girl at heart, Lauren now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
A literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine Sands has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books.
She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent‘s Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. Actively building her client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. For compelling reads in faction, memoir and femoir, she like to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed; for fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled.