The judges for the 2017 competition will be announced soon!  To get an idea of who will be reading your stories, check out the judges from last year's competition below.




Robert Alderman is a State College-based writer and former member of the U.S. Army who now teaches English at Pennsylvania State University. An excerpt from his novel The Land Between Two Rivers is forthcoming in The Mailer Review, and he has published both poetry and fiction in several literary magazines throughout the United States. In 2013, he was a semi-finalist for The Poet's Billow Atlantis Award. He won the 2011 Scholarly and Creative Excellence Award at the University of South Florida, and that same year, was also the recipient of the Thomas E. Sanders Scholarship in Creative Writing.


Scott Anderson has been teaching screenwriting since 1993, beginning at U Mass - Lowell and currently at Emerson College where his "Business Of Screenwriting" course was the first ever offered at the college level. He was the director of the acclaimed screenwriter's workshop The Harvard Square Scriptwriters for 14 years and is currently the Creative Director for Johnston Media LLC. Through his Imaginary Forests writing service he has helped numerous writers overcome writers block, finish books and publish them.  His website is


Brittany Bogan's first serious literary endeavor was at Sacramento City College, where she was elected Editor-in-chief of the college's literary journal. 2012's Susurrus explored dichotomies of every kind, good vs. evil, dark vs. light, emotional vs. stoic, death vs. rebirth. From there, she transferred to University of California, Davis and went on to receive Higher Honors in English Literature and a minor in Medieval Studies. While at UCD, Britt was accepted in to the Honor's Thesis Program, a multi-semester, research-intensive undergrad thesis writing program. Her paper, entitled "

Expanding the Scope of ‘Gendered Violence’ in Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s The Changeling," sought to dissect how violence in "The Changeling" was used against various genders and how such violence was characterized depending on the perpetrator's gender. Britt is currently pursuing a career in professional editing, working out of the California Bay Area.


Paula Andrea Bolander hails from the Southside of Chicago and proudly reps her Chicagoan and Chicana roots on every platform. A writer, musician, and general creative enthusiast, Paula Andrea loves exploring and connecting through words, movement, visual art and sound. Paula Andrea is a recent graduate of UW-Madison's First Wave Program, where she received a full tuition scholarship for poetry. Paula Andrea has published several zines and is the co-author of "Where Sea and Sky Meet". Currently, Paula Andrea is in the process of writing her newest theatre production, CORE, which encompasses original poetry, dance, and music, set to debut at the Chicago Hip Hop Theatre Festival June 2016.


Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of a sweet romance, From the Ashes published by SANDS Publishing in 2001 and reissued by Clean Reads in 2014; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native come “back home” after a stint in northeast Indiana and has “landed” in the north suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Patrick, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, SRC (Spoiled Rotten Cat).   


Nick Delgado is an award-winning filmmaker born in Madrid, Spain. After writing professionally for Spanish television, Nick attended USC School of Cinematic Arts where he was mentored by filmmaker Robert Zemeckis. Under Zemeckis’s auspices, Nick wrote and directed The Macabre World of Lavender Williams, starring Christopher Lloyd and John Lithgow. The film was screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide and won multiple awards. This short is the genesis of the feature film project I’m presenting at the Sundance Producing Lab. The short was screened at forty film festivals across the world and won (mete tu los premios que no se cuanto fueron). Nick resides in Los Angeles where he splits his time between writing for hire and directing branded content and commercials, with clients including Tostitos and DEFY Media (formerly Break Media). Together with his producing partner Begona Castillo, he’s developing the fantasy film Lavender Williams and the Orphan Souls (usa el titulo Lavender Williams o el que prefieras), based on his award-winning short, and the science fiction films WeBcam for which he’s in post-production of a proof of concept shorts, starring Pretty Little Liars’ Drew Van Acker and Agents of Shield’s Dichen Lachman. Bill Marsilii, the co-writer of Tony Scott’s Deja Vu and the upcoming supernatural thriller Cold, starring Reese Witherspoon, has recently signed as producer on the project. Nick and Begona recently completed shooting Freedom HUD, another proof of concept for second science-fiction feature they’re developing. This short stars Josh Pence (The Social Network, The Dark Knight Rises, Battelship) and Jessica Stroup (The Forgiven). Nick uses cutting edge visual and practical effects to tell innovative stories rich in character and emotion. He is represented by Archetype Management and ICM Partners.


Charlotte 'Lottie' Dingle is a writer, journalist and art tutor living in London. She is currently studying for an MA in creative writing at Brunel University and working on a PhD proposal looking at Borderline Personality Disorder in fiction. She graduated with a BA in English literature from University College London in 2005. Charlotte had her first poem published at the age of 14 in the Kaleidoscope Young Kentish Poets' Collection. After something of a hiatus(!), she has since had poetry published in the Ariadne's Thread anthology and a novella serialised on the Indie Berlin website. Charlotte has recently read at the Medway Arts Festival, Lewisham LGBT's Women's Words event and Ladywell Arts Festival. She is also a regular fixture on her vibrant local open mic scene.  As a journalist, Charlotte writes regularly for Cosmopolitan, Diva magazine and Occupy, as well as editing her own Stonewall-award-nominated website, Biscuit. Charlotte edited g3 magazine, at the time one of the two leading lesbian and bi women's magazines in the UK, between 2008 and 2011. g3 won the Stonewall Publication of the Year award in 2009 under her editorship. As editor, she was also named 48th most influential LGBT person in the UK on the Time Out Pride Power list.


Tom Edwards is a freelance writer best known for his widely respected first novel, BLUE JESUS, which was published in 2009. He is also known throughout the South as the author of the DELLA’S DINER series of musical plays, which have the distinction of being the longest running musical theatre series in the Southeast. Mr. Edwards is also the author of SLINGIN’ HASH: WAITING TABLES IN A FOUR-STAR TOILET, and the co-author of DOODLY DO IT! TRUE CONFESSIONS FROM SUMMER CAMP. Bantam-Doubleday-Dell selected Mr. Edwards to author the audio script to their best-selling novelty book, HOW TO SPEAK SOUTHERN. Mr. Edwards’ career as a playwright includes New York City productions of DELLA’S DINER at the prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club, and the popular musical revue TAN SHOES & PINK SHOELACES. Tom also wrote MISTRESS OF MEADOWBROOK, A GOTHIC ROMANCE WITH MUSIC and SCARLETT FEVER, a musical comedy version of Gone With the Wind. This musical spoof prompted lawsuits by the Mitchell Family Trust, MGM Pictures, MacMillan Publishing Company, and Trust Company Bank of Georgia. Time Magazine said it was "like going after a gnat with napalm." The gnat lost the lawsuit. For film and television Mr. Edwards has written RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY: THE MAKING OF MEREDITH WILLSON’S MUSIC MAN for Warner Bros. Also for Warner Bros., Mr. Edwards wrote SOBBIN’ WOMEN: THE MAKING OF SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS and YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS: THE MAKING OF CASABLANCA. Mr. Edwards worked for Turner Home Entertainment as a freelance researcher and writer on the Studio Archival Project. This remarkable project involved filming interviews with all the stars, directors, technicians, and behind-the-scenes artisans who worked under the studio contract system at MGM, RKO, and Warner Bros. Mr. Edwards and his partner make their home in Davisboro, Georgia. He recently finished a new novel, THE INCREDIBLE FICTIONALIZED TRUE-LIFE ACCOUNT OF THE TOTALLY FABRICATED SOUTHERN CITY MAYORAL ELECTION, a fiction-ish retelling of the 2009 Atlanta Mayoral Election.


A writer and manuscript editor based in New Zealand, Michelle Elvy edits at Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and Blue Five Notebook and is the chair of NZ's National Flash Fiction Day. She's an associate editor for Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton, 2015) and has guest edited at Smokelong Quarterly. In past lives she’s been a software company exec, historian and sailing instructor. She's also been a Watson Fellow, Fulbright scholar and Pushcart nominee. Her poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and travel stories have been published in numerous print and online journals and anthologies. Michelle currently spends much of her time working with other writers, coaxing stories of all kinds to the written page and publishable form, and making her way through SE Asia aboard her 43’ sailboat and home of eleven years, Momo. More about her work as an editor here. Or: Twitter, Facebook.


Devon Fulford holds Master's degrees in Education and in Creative Writing from the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Denver, respectively. Though she spent much of her life living, learning, and teaching Language Arts in the Rocky Mountains, she now travels the lower 48 states with her man and a 100-lb chocolate Labrador named Walrus in a pop-up camper, while working as an editor and writer of curriculum for an educational website. Devon also develops bi-weekly content for an alternative lifestyles website, contributes flash fiction to, and sporadically maintains a personal blog. Follow Devon on Twitter @DevilVixen or visit her blog.


Jaclyn Gramigna is the founder/Director of Whippersnapper Films. Her short films have screened in film festivals all over the USA as well as featured in the Short Film Corner at Cannes. In the summer of 2013 she was highlighted as an "emerging filmmaker to watch" in Miramax's blog and is currently a member of the Brooklyn chapter of The Filmshop (a filmmaker's collective). While studying at NYU, Jaclyn was accepted into the prestigious screenwriter's lab in Dublin, Ireland and since then has written 3 feature-length scripts and many shorts. Other than making films, she is an avid home cook and musician (she plays trumpet, ukulele and sings). She is currently writing the feature expansion of her recent short thriller, CROW. Follow her on Twitter @JACoLYNtern.


Katharine Henner is a writer and director based in New York. She is the writer and director of the film novella No Man's Land, currently available to watch on iTunes. She wrote and directed the cult series, Nights in UltraViolet with her writing partner Matt Cook. The series was featured in Vulture, Gothamist, Portable TV, and other media outlets. Her play, The Brighter the Star was recently selected out of over 1,500 applicants around the world to be one of 30 finalists for the Samuel French 40th Annual Off Off Broadway Festival. Her short stories have been published in the Bushwick Review and performed in various festivals in New York. She received her Masters Degree in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, UK.  Learn more at


Alessa Hinlo hails from the Washington D.C. area. Born in the Philippines and raised in Virginia, she writes stories that reflect the push and pull of conflicting cultures and feature people who fall into the spaces between. After many years working in biological research, she recently left the field to pursue a writing career. Her short fiction has been featured by REUTS publications and in The Sea is Ours, an anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk. Follow her on Twitter @alessahinlo or visit her website to learn more:


Melody Hughes, a writer and educator in NYC, invests her creativity in empowering high school students through literacy enrichment. As a lifetime bibliophile and staunch word-lover, she teaches students to connect to their writing and recognize the power of their voices. When she’s not reading student work, Melody writes fiction, humor, poetry, and comics. Previously, she served on the submissions board for Opus literary magazine, wrote and edited for a news publication called The Anchor, and managed acquisitions at a publishing internship with Seven Stories Press. Melody holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Hope College and an M.A. in education from Brooklyn College; she foresees a long, beautiful friendship between her writing self and teaching self. She anticipates your story submissions with great enthusiasm: write on, writers!



A multifaceted writer, publisher and story performer, Laura McHale Holland has released the flash fiction collection, The Ice Cream Vendor's Song, and the award-winning childhood memoir, Reversible Skirt. Her stories have appeared in such anthologies as Every Day Fiction, Wisdom Has a Voice, Vintage Voices and My Gutsy Story. Her articles have been published in NorthBay biz magazine, the Noe Valley Voice and the original San Francisco Examiner, among other publications. Previously, Laura was a featured teller at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, the Lake Tahoe Storytelling Festival and numerous schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her play Are You Ready? was produced in the Sixth Street Playhouse 2014 Passport to the Plays festival. Laura is currently editing Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood, an anthology that includes perspectives from every continent except Antarctica. To connect with Laura, visit, where you can subscribe to her newsletter and read a multitude of short shorts, true and untrue. 


Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College and NCCU; a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective (CAAWC); and a member of the Carl Brandon Yahoo group.  She was a featured panelist of the Octavia Butler Arts and Activism (2013), and the Florida A&M Black to the Future (2014) celebrations.  Valjeanne is the author of eight books: Voyage of Dreams: A Collection of Otherworldly Stories; Immortal; Immortal II: The Time of Legend; Immortal III: Stealer of Souls; The Switch II: Clockwork; Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds; Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective; and Colony: Ascension: An Erotic Space Opera. In addition, her writing was featured in 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction.  Her stories have been published in Reflections Literary and Arts Magazine; Steamfunk!; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology; Genesis Science Fiction Magazine; PurpleMag; Griots II: Sisters of the Spear; Possibilities; and The City.  Her novella, The Switch (Book I of The Switch II: Clockwork) was also nominated for the best ebook novella of 2013 (eFestival of Words); and her short story Awakening has been published as a podcast by the District of Wonder's Far Fetched Fables.  Her poetry has been published in Drumvoices Revue; The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; Revelry; and Liberated Muse: How I Freed My Soul Vol. I.  Valjeanne is also one of the screen writers for 7Magpies, a horror anthology film showcasing black female writers, created by Lucy Cruell (in production). 


Je Tuan Jones is a best-selling creative writer with over 40 published titles under her belt. Writing creatively has been her saving grace and it found her. She began a career of ghostwriting as a way to pull herself out of poverty and hide in the background. After writing book after book for others, she decided to publish her own works. Now she writes full time and coaches clients through writing and publishing their books. She is a member of the Chicago Writer's Association and active within different writing communities. Je Tuan firmly believes that the world can never have too many authors. You can contact Je Tuan through her website or Facebook Group.


Erin Kilian is a writer and teacher living in Chicago, Illinois. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Barely South Review, Lunch Ticket, and Grassroots Writing Research Journal, among others. She received her M.F.A. at the University of Arizona, where she also served as Fiction Editor of Sonora Review. She has been a participant of the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, the Summer Literary Seminars, and Disquiet International. She is currently an instructor of writing at the University of Maryland University College and Southern New Hampshire University, in addition to being a Ph.D. student at Illinois State University.


Patricia La Barbera, MFA, is an author and editor. She's an active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of Mystery Writers of America. She’s also the organizer of the Sarasota Editors Association. Various magazines and anthologies have featured her work. The first three books in her paranormal romance series, The Wolf’s Daughter, The Wolf’s Revenge, and Wolf Slayer, have release dates from February 2013 through April 2013. She lives in the Sarasota, Florida, area with her husband.


Ethan Levinskashas made a living on the betterment of his fellow writers. He has had his writing featured in Taste of Cinema, Tech Gen Mag, Blank Page, and Gumbo Fiction Salon. His work with several literary management and production companies has focused on improving the material of writer clientele through rigorous critique. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys not experiencing winter, and having a plethora of burger joints, the latter of which reminds him that life is still worth living.has made a living on the betterment of his fellow writers. He has had his writing featured in Taste of Cinema, Tech Gen Mag, Blank Page, and Gumbo Fiction Salon. His work with several literary management and production companies has focused on improving the material of writer clientele through rigorous critique. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys not experiencing winter, and having a plethora of burger joints, the latter of which reminds him that life is still worth living.


Sean Lovelace lives in Indiana, where he directs the creative writing program at Ball State University. In 2011, he published two flash fiction collections, Fog Gorgeous Stag (Publishing Genius Press) and They Could No Longer Contain Themselves (published with other flash fiction authors by Rose Metal Press). His latest collection is about Velveeta and published by Bateau Press. He blogs at He likes to run, far.


Eric Lutz is a writer of fiction, journalism, and essays. His nonfiction has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Salon, Paste Magazine, and the Chicago Reader. His fiction has appeared in The Boiler, Maudlin House, New Pop Lit, and Chicago Literati, among others, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Chicago, where he is an adjunct in the English Department at Elmhurst College.


The fiction and children's author, Lily Mabura, is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the American University of Sharjah. She has a PhD in English (Creative Writing and Africana Studies) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. She was a pre-doctoral dissertation fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, University of Rochester, New York. Select areas of research and teaching include Women’s and Gender Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, and Creative Writing (Fiction). Her literary awards include the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, Kenya's National Book Week Literary Award, and the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award. Her short story, ‘How Shall We Kill the Bishop?’, was shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing and is the lead story in her first collection titled How Shall We Kill the Bishop and Other Stories (African Writers Series, Heinemann-Pearson, 2012). Her other publications include a first novel titled The Pretoria Conspiracy and four children’s books: Oma, Saleh Kanta and the Cavaliers, Seth the Silly Gorilla, and Ali the Little Sultan.


Elisabeth McAvoy lives in Jackson Heights, New York, with her husband, 133,000+ other people, and her beloved cat. After graduating from Barnard College with a focus in English literature and art history, Elisabeth combined her love of writing and art in a position as research editor at Artforum magazine. One thing led to another-- and she ended up spending a few months taking creative writing classes in far-flung Buenos Aires. Most recently, she worked in the publicity department of a literary publisher in Manhattan; lunch breaks, weekends, and evenings were spent writing. Her short stories have been published in fields and Laundray Literary.

Although a native of Chicago, Jana McBurney-Lin lived half her adult life in Asia. (Japan/Singapore). She hadn't planned on being a writer. However, one day she heard a story so captivating—about a lone female Japanese Diet member whose biggest struggle was using the restrooms, as there were none—that she wanted to share it....with everyone. She enjoyed the writing so much, she continued doing fictional stories as well as non-fiction articles for magazines journals, and newspapers in seven countries. She also worked as an editor at ALC Publishing in Tokyo. During all this time, she met her husband, a native of southern China. One year, while in his village she again came up against a story so compelling—that a house with no male is a real problem—she needed to share it, this time in something longer than an article. Her first novel, My Half of the Sky (KOMENAR Publishing, 2006), received numerous awards, including Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year, National Booksense Pick of the Month and Forbes Book Club Pick. “Your book reminds me of old Korea,” a gentleman at a conference said to her in 2007. “Will you help me tell my story?” Captivated by his upbringing in Seoul, Korea during WWII, Jana turned her sights towards co-authoring Blossoms and Bayonets: a tale of Love, Faith and Courage under Japanese occupation. (Redwood Publishing, 2012.) The book is currently pending an award from the National Historical Society and, according to author and previous resident Clifford Garstang, is a harrowing tale, and one definitely worth reading. Jana currently lives with her husband and four children in Los Gatos, California. She served as President of the California Writers Club for five years, started the first-of-its-kind Jack London Writers Camp for Kids in 2001, speaks at conferences and workshops on the craft of writing, and happily mentors aspiring writers. You can follow her thoughts on writing at her website.

Carole McDonnell holds a BA degree in Literature from SUNY Purchase and has spent most of her years surrounded by things literary. Her writings appear in various anthologies including but not limited to, “So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonialism in science fiction,” edited by Nalo Hopkinson and published by Arsenal Pulp Press; Fantastic Visions III" anthology published by Fantasist Enterprises; “Jigsaw Nation” published by Spyre publications, “Griots: A Sword and Soul anthology,” edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders, “Steamfunk,” edited by Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, and “Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: writings by mature women of color.” Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites including, “Fantastic Stories of the Imagination” edited by Warren Lapine and published by Wilder Publications. Her novels are the Christian speculative fiction, Wind Follower, the alternative world novel, The Constant Tower, and the paranormal chicklit novel, My Life as an Onion. Her collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction, is available on kindle and several stories can be read or listened to online. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, sons, and a great pitbull wannabe named Hemotep.
Rebecca Norris is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and content creator. Her films and web series have screened worldwide at festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, San Pedro Film Festival, HollyShorts, LA WebFest, KWebfest, and many more, and have won several awards. She also writes for Script Magazine in the column Writers on the Web, where she encourages writers to produce their own work through tutorials and interviews with influencers in the web world. Rebecca teaches writing and producing through the Writers Store and Screenwriters University, and is on the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV), which fosters meaningful relationships within the indie filmmaking and web series communities. Follow her on Twitter at @beckaroohoo.
Robert Rogers: I’ve called cities from Honolulu to NYC home. Taught at schools, farms, and museums. Worked jobs from acting to writing. I have an MFA in Creative Writing and have spent the past fifteen years writing and editing fiction, screenplays, and textbooks. I write, bike, and love through life sharing discoveries with friends gathered along the way.
Naben Ruthnum
writes literary and crime fiction, and also does the monthly Crimewave review column at the National Post. His work has appeared in Event, The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He's currently based in Toronto, where he continues to write journalism and fiction. He is the winner of the 2013 Journey Prize. His Twitter is @NabenRuthnum.
Ariele Sieling is an author, an editor, and a member of Independent Publishers of New England. She is author of the light science fiction series, The Sagittan Chronicles, and the children's book series, Rutherford the Unicorn Sheep. She also offers coaching and publishing support for those pursuing the art of independent publishing, and has worked on dozens of books. She lives in NH with her three cats. 

Matt Snell is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Peterborough, Ontario. His work has appeared in Existere, Punchnel’s, and PRISM International, and his short screenplay “Vigil” was a quarter finalist for the 2014 Canadian Short Screenplay Competition. He is currently completing his MFA thesis at the University of British Columbia, where he is also teaches creative writing for the non-credit mentorship program Booming Ground. As a musician, he has performed throughout Quebec and Ontario, accompanying his original songs on guitar, banjo, and musical saw.

Onwyn Stacey is a creative writer, editor and photographer hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia. Presently trapped on the east coast of Canada, she has worked as a writer and script-analyst for Goldrush Entertainment, content curator and columnist for IX Daily, editor for 01Magazine, and is currently on the submissions review team for the Toronto International Film and Video Awards.  Onwyn is a literary nerd of the highest order, and is extremely passionate about her hobbies such as smelling books, playing with electric car windows, and just barely squeezing through a closing door without touching it. After developing a nagging subconscious desire to illustrate the words she has spent much of her life writing, she attended Concordia University to quash it once and for all with a BFA in film and diploma in photography.  Working as a researcher and technical writing editor, she fantasizes daily of pens gracing paper with long and looping swaths of ink, and fingers tapping keyboards sprinkled delicately with crumbs and spots of spicy mustard. Whether it is her hand or yours, she cannot wait.


Beth Staples teaches editing and publishing classes in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and is associate editor for its literary magazine, Ecotone,and its press, Lookout Books. Before heading down South, she worked at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, editing its literary magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and other publications. She has taught fiction writing and editing at various universities and conferences, including Arizona State. Her work has appeared in the Portland Review, Phoebe, and Bat City Review. She is working, when she can, on a novel.

Matthew J. Trafford is the author of the critically-acclaimed collection The Divinity Gene. His work has appeared in journals across Canada, received the Far Horizons Award for Fiction, and has been nominated for the National Magazine Award and CBC Literary Prize. Stories have been anthologized in Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow and Best Gay Stories 2012, among others. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2008, and since then has taught online writing courses. He is also one of the co-founders of YOSS: Year of the Short Story, which aims to bring short stories to a wider audience and generally promote the form. He tweets @mjtrafford.
Mary Trainor-Brigham, M.A. is the author of DEEP CINEMA, Film as Shamanic Initiation, and a Scribe~for~Hire, Writing Consultant and lecturer based on the tenets of that work. The book was included in the swag bag of the Los Angeles inaugural event of GATE: Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment. She has been a Film Critic for 15 + plus years and her column was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when she worked for the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Massachusetts. A lifelong fascination with Indigenous cultures has accrued over the decades, culminating in a M.A. and development of workshops which she facilitates nationally and internationally. Currently she and her husband, Ciaran, are designing a Mersapien Sea Chapel in order to have a site where people can be restored to enchantment and their Indigenous Souls. Mary's clients mainly include, but are not limited to, screenwriters, as her Deep "C" insights can be applied to any great story.
Laura Trunkey’s first book of short fiction, Double Dutch, is forthcoming from House of Anansi in 2016.  Her fiction has previously been published in journals and magazines across Canada, and was included in the bestselling collectionDarwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow.  Her midgrade novel The Incredibly Ordinary Danny Chandelier, was a starred selection in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens.  Laura’s non-fiction has garnered two National Magazine Award honourable mentions, and been anthologized in the book Hidden Lives. Laura has a Post-Graduate Certificate from the Humber School for Writers and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.
Sarah Varnam is a writer, editor, and artist from Toronto. She is the founder of The Quilliad Press and editor-in-chief of The Quilliad, a Canadian literary and arts journal. Her creative writing has been published in Third Wednesday, Poetry Nook, and Chrysalis, among others, and she recently received a Writers' Reserve grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her poetry manuscript, Evening BITE.
Melissa Wiley is a freelance writer living in Chicago. Her creative nonfiction typically pairs small stories asking big questions with arcane research and has appeared or is forthcoming in literary magazines including DIAGRAM, Superstition Review, Prick of the Spindle, Tin House Open Bar, Stirring: A Literary Collection, PANK, Poydras Review, Gravel, Pinball, Eclectica Magazine, Gone Lawn, Split Lip Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Beetroot Journal, Specter, Lowestoft Chronicle, Midway Journal, Pithead Chapel, Great Lakes Review, and pioneertown. Her writing about her travels in Lapland has also been anthologized in Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, and she serves as assistant editor for Sundog Lit. 

Michael Wilson is the author of Flash Writing: How to Write, Revise and Publish Stories Less Than 1000 Words Long, and is the creator of the JumpStart Jars (Jars filled with over 2,100 color-coded words, writing prompts and inspiration; Check out for more information). He wrote the popular Flash Writing feature for the flash fiction journal flashquake. Michael's blog at features writing prompts, writing-related book reviews, articles of interest to writers and other creative thinkers. Michael is also an accomplished writing instructor, teaching creative writing and creative thinking classes for over a decade. He earned a BA (with Honors) in English from Ohio University, and has been a featured guest speaker at the Thurber House, the Western Reserve Writers Conference, the Columbus Writers Conference, and at many other venues. Michael is available for coaching, manuscript critiques, writer’s group facilitation, and customized writing or creativity training. He can be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter @flash_writer for interesting writing tips, prompts, quotes and author facts.
Crystal Wood is a Toronto-based writer working in television, film and theatre. She studied television writing at the prestigious Canadian Film Centre, founded by Norman Jewison. She’s worked in the writing department on the CanWest Global television shows Falcon Beach and Inside the Box, and for the web series Tights and Fights. She has been the recipient of the Banff Media Festival CTV National Fellowship and the Screenwriter Mentorship Award at the WIFT-V Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. Crystal also wrote the short film The Morning After, which screened at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. For the stage, Crystal has had her plays presented by Steady State Theatre, Toronto Cold Read Series, the InspiraTO Festival and the Lab Cab Festival in Toronto, and FemFest in Winnipeg.
Brian Woodruff's time living in Japan and China brings him a cross-cultural awareness and a sense of the sweep of histories which crops up in unexpected ways in the realms he fashions. He recently published Modern Philosophy and Other Absurd Stories, an anthology which explores wonderful realities, both distant and familiar, populated by strange characters living unusual lives. Born and bred in Montreal, he now calls Vancouver home. Brian lives in a fantasy world; correction, he lives in many fantasy worlds of his own creation, which find their outlet through his flying fingers as narrative experiences, marketing campaigns, university curricula, film and television, and virtual reality experiences.
Marla Young has always been a writer, a seeker of creativity, constantly delivering printable, publishable, broadcastable content through her muse. Since graduating with honors from George Mason University and working with renowned authors John Irving and the late, great John Gardner, she has pursued her craft, intent on improving it. She’s published a hundred or more articles, been at the helm of lifestyle magazines, published short stories and in recent years, focused on screenwriting, being asked to be a member of the Writer’s Guild of America West, after selling and seeing a movie, Profile for Murder, come to fruition through Lifetime Movies.








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