MARIE C. BACA is interested in people on the fringes of society. She has written about morgue workers, day laborers, Bigfoot enthusiasts, cockfighting spectators and the wrongfully convicted. Once, she chased a bear and his pursuer through a forest while wearing a sundress and flip-flops. She has recently begun exploring the world of personal essays. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, ProPublica, California Watch, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Salon, among other publications.www.mariecbaca.com
TOM BARBASH is the author of the novel The Last Good Chance and the New York Times bestselling non-fiction book On Top of the World. He has held fellowships from the NEA, The MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and articles have been published in The Best American Non-Required Reading, Tin House, McSweeney’s, OneStory, Narrative, The Missouri Review, VQR, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, The Observer, New York Times, Bookforum, The Believer, and other publications, and performed on National Public Radio for their Selected Shorts Series. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts.
ALLISON HOOVER BARTLETT is the author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession (Riverhead Books). She has written on a variety of topics, including travel, art, science and education, for the New York Times, the Washington Post, San Francisco Magazine, and other publications. Her original article on book thief John Gilkey was included in the Best American Crime Reporting 2007, and the book was selected for Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program. Bartlett was named a San Francisco Library Laureate in 2010 and is the education outreach coordinator for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. www.allisonhooverbartlett.com
NATALIE BASZILE is currently at work on her first novel The Grinding Season, excerpts from which have won the Hurston/Wright College Award, been named a runner-up for the Faulkner Pirates Alley Novel-in-Progress Award, and been published in Cairn and Zyzzyva. She is a recent graduate of the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, where she received a Holden Minority Scholarship.
JD BELTRAN’s artwork and films have been exhibited internationally, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, The Getty Center, and in three Zero1 New Media Biennials. She has public art commissions all over the world, and her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Art in America, and ArtNews. She writes columns for SFGate.com and the Huffington Post, and is President of the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is also faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she directs the school’s City Studio arts education program for underserved youth. www.jdbeltran.com
ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN is a writer, editor, and writing coach. She’s also the founder and editor of The Big Ugly Review, an online literary magazine that showcases fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, music and short films. Her short stories have been published in the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian (fiction contest winner), and US and international literary journals. Her plays have been produced in several venues, including the Exit Theater, The PlayGround, Impact Theatre and Fringe of Marin. She also has 15 years experience writing and editing in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. www.ebc-books.com
JENNY BITNER’s fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, The Sun, Fence and PANK. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was selected by Dave Eggers for The Best American Nonrequired Reading and incorporated into an opera by The Paul Bailey Ensemble. Her nonfiction has appeared in Utne Reader, To-Do List, The San Francisco Bay Guardian and Men’s Health. She organized Irrational Exuberance, a cross-genre performance series, and The Basement Reading Series. Pine Press published her poetry chapbook Mother. She has finished a novel, Here Is a Game We Can Play. She was a Hoyns Fellow in creative writing at the University of Virginia. jennyart.com.
E.B. BOYD has reported on everything from Silicon Valley hotshots to Marines in Afghanistan. Most recently, she covered technology for FastCompany.com. Previously, she was an overseas producer for CNN and a staff writer at The Toledo Blade, where she was a Writer of the Year. She’s reported from the Middle East, China, Haiti, and Afghanistan. She is a contributing writer at Fast Company and San Francisco. Her work has also appeared in Elle, BusinessWeek.com, Utne Reader, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Boyd has had a second career in tech, working on product teams at startups and Fortune 1000s. She has a degree in international policy from Princeton and is president of the Society of Professional Journalists-Northern California.
PO BRONSON is a Grotto founder and the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers NurtureShock, What Should I Do With My Life?, and the Nudist on the Late Shift. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and New York. He and his frequent collaborator, Ashley Merryman, have won nine national awards for their work. Their newest book is Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing. Po also serves as volunteer president of the San Francisco Vikings Youth Soccer League. www.topdogbook.com
MONICA CAMPBELL is the immigration reporter and editor at Public Radio International’s The World. She also contributes to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Prior to joining PRI, she reported internationally, with stories ranging from Mexico’s migrant shelters, the Pope’s Cuba visit, press freedom in Venezuela. From 2003 to 2009, she lived in Mexico City and covered immigration, politics, and crime for The Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the San Francisco Chronicle, Columbia Journalism Review, Marie Claire and Newsweek. Monica, a 2009-10 Harvard Nieman Fellow, has also reported from Afghanistan. www.theworld.org
ZOE FITZGERALD CARTER is the author of the memoir, Imperfect Endings: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Loss, and Letting Go (Simon & Schuster) an account of her mother’s decision to end her own life after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The book was excerpted in O magazine, chosen as a finalist for the National MS Society’s Books for A Better Life Award, and is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Zoe has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Salon and Vogue. She is currently at work on a novel. http://zoefitzgeraldcarter.com
XANDRA CASTLETON is a screenwriter, producer and story consultant whose scripts have served as the basis for award-winning documentary, television and film projects. Her films have screened at the Sundance, Tribeca, AFI and Rotterdam film festivals, among others. Her feature film, Full Grown Men, was the winner of the 2007 Sundance Channel Audience Award and was released in over a dozen theaters in 2008 by Emerging Pictures. She won an Emmy Award as the Series Producer of Independent View for her profile of John Waters. Xandra has an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and is represented as a screenwriter by the Gersh Agency.
MARIANNA CHERRY is a writer and musician living in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in The 2001 Pushcart Prize XXV, Chelsea Magazine, Fourteen Hills and Best Women’s Erotica 2005. Since 1990, she has played with Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a Bay Area performing arts group dedicated to the music and dance of Bali. With Sekar Jaya, she has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Cal Performances, Stern Grove Festival, the Fillmore and beyond, as well as in temples, villages, and the Arts Festival in Bali. She received a B.A. in English from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is currently working on a second novel and screenplay.
CHRIS COLIN is the author of Blindsight, named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2011, and What Really Happened to the Class of ’93. He’s written about chimp filmmakers, Slovenian ethnic cleansing, George Bush’s pool boy, blind visual artists, solitary confinement, the Yelpification of the universe and more for the New York Times Magazine, The Atavist, Wired, Smithsonian, Mother Jones, Conde Nast Portfolio, McSweeney’s Quarterly and other publications. He’s a contributing writer at Afar and was an early editor at Salon. His next book, coming out with Chronicle Books in 2014, is called What to Talk About. www.chriscolin.com
CHRISTOPHER D. COOK is an author, essayist, and award-winning investigative journalist. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, The Economist, Mother Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere. Chris is the author of the widely praised Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis. He is also a contributing writer for The Progressive magazine. His honors include a Project Censored Award, finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and an Aronson Award. Chris also runs Progressive Message, a communications consultancy. Check out his writing at www.christopherdcook.com
MICHAEL J. COREN is a reporter covering science, economics and the environment for FastCompany, Foreign Policy and other magazines. He co-founded MajorPlanet Studios to produce multimedia stories for tablets and the Web. Michael served as the science editor of CNN.com, managing editor of Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Post and a Jakarta-based correspondent for Newsweek and the Christian Science Monitor. He’s now working on the next story at www.majorplanetstudios.org
SABRINA CRAWFORD hails from the as-yet-undead hinterlands of newspapers and magazines. An award-winning feature writer and arts and culture critic, she’s interviewed everyone from former Rep. Tom Lantos to Guns N’ Roses guitar god Slash, amassing a rare fortune in random facts. Her illustrious credits include: staff writer for The San Francisco Examiner, A&E critic for The San Francisco Bay Guardian, associate editor of DRUM! magazine, researcher at Wired and author of the Newcomer’s Handbook for the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently she’s working on a memoir, writing essays, teaching and trying (often laughably) to master Italian and French.
MARK DECENA is a writer, director and producer of feature films, television programming, shorts and web films. A three time Sundance alumni, Mark’s first feature, Dopamine won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. Decena’s documentary work spans across themes of social justice, sustainable design and water. First, as a narration writer for PBS’s critically acclaimed series, Design e2, he then directed Portland: A Sense of Place. Mark has also written and directed the Redford Center’s latest film, Watershed. Decena is a three time screenwriting finalist for the SF Film Society’s Kenneth Rainen Grant. www.kontentfilms.com
DAVID EWING DUNCAN is an award-winning science journalist and a bestselling author, with 8 books published in 19 languages. His latest is When I’m 164: The science of radical life extension and what happens if we succeed. He regularly writes for The New York Times, Atlantic, Wired, and others, and is Chief Correspondent for NPR Talk’s “BioTech Nation”. He has been a a special correspondent and producer for ABC’s Nightline and a commentator for NPR’s “Morning Edition.” David is the Founding Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Life Science Policy. He has won numerous awards, including the AAAS Magazine Journalism Award. www.davidewingduncan.com
STEPHEN ELLIOTT is a former stripper and the author of six books including Happy Baby, a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lion Award as well as a best book of 2004 in Salon.com, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. His most recent book is an almost all true sexual memoir called My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up. His writing has been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, GQ, Best American Non-Required Reading, Best American Erotica, and Best Sex Writing 2006. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
RODES FISHBURNE‘s first novel, Going to See the Elephant, has been sold to an imprint of Random House. In the past ten years he has written for magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, and Forbes ASAP, where he was the editor of the acclaimed “Big Issue,” an annual magazine of literary essays from leading writers and thinkers. His plays have been performed off-Broadway in New York City, San Francisco, and Palm Springs. www.rodesfishburne.com
ISAAC FITZGERALD has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and been given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. He has also written for The Bold Italic, McSweeney’s, Mother Jones, and The San Francisco Chronicle. He is the managing editor of The Rumpus. www.isaacfitzgerald.net
LAURA FRASER is a long-time freelance writer, San Franciscan, and Grotto denizen. Her most recent book is All Over the Map, a sequel to the best-selling travel memoir An Italian Affair. She also wrote Losing It: America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry that Feeds on It, an expose of the diet industry. An award-winning journalist, she has written features for many national magazines, including Gourmet, More, O the Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Glamour, Self, the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Good Housekeeping, Salon.com, Bon Appetit, Town and Country Travel, Islands, Yoga Journal, and others. Her work has been frequently anthologized, including in Best Food Writing of 2001 and 2002, and Best Women’s Travel Writing of 2005. She has taught magazine writing at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Aspen Summer Words, U.C. Extension, and other venues. She co-authored The War on Choice with former Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Gloria Feldt. A frequent traveler, last year she visited Sydney, Tasmania, Baja, Buenos Aires, Rome, and her favorite island in the Mediterranean, which she refuses to name.
ALASTAIR GEE is a British-born journalist and has written for The New York Times, The Economist, The Lancet, Slate, The Sunday Times, U.S. News & World Report, Foreign Policy, The Independent, WWD and other publications. He is the Monocle magazine correspondent in San Francisco, where he is based. After graduating from Cambridge, he lived in Moscow for four years, and was an editor at The Moscow Times. www.alastairgee.com
SUSAN GERHARD is a San Francisco-based writer and editor whose creative nonfiction, journalism, and criticism have appeared in a variety of international and local publications, including Salon, McSweeneys.net, CinemaScope, Mothering Magazine, POZ, the Village Voice, and San Francisco Magazine. Her work has been republished in a variety of anthologies. She was a senior editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian for many years, co-created digital film magazine SF360.org with Indiewire and the San Francisco Film Society, and currently writes and edits film criticism for Fandor. She was a Sundance Arts Writing Fellow 2002–4. She is fascinated by monkey bars.
MELANIE GIDEON is the bestselling author of Wife 22, The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After and two young adult novels: Pucker and The Map that Breathed. Her books have been translated into 31 languages. She has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, More, Shape, the London Times, the Daily Mail and Marie Claire as well as other publications. www.melaniegideon.com
CONSTANCE HALE is a fiend about the craft of writing and covers it at sinandsyntax.com. She also writes about style and language in her books: Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch (the most recent), Sin and Syntax, and Wired Style. She has been an editor at the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner, Wired, and Health; her journalism has appeared everywhere from The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times to The Atlantic and Honolulu. She directed the program in narrative journalism at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and edits books for various clients, turning narratives about serious subjects into serious page-turners.
RACHEL HOWARD is a fiction writer and journalist, and author of The Lost Night, a memoir about the emotional aftermath of her father’s unsolved murder. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, O, the Oprah Magazine, and The Village Voice. She is a lifelong ballet lover, and served as the San Francisco Chronicle‘s primary dance critic from 2003-2009. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and is currently at work on a novel. www.rachelhoward.com
SUSAN ITO is a writer and performer who studied with the San Francisco Solo Performance Workshop. She has performed her solo shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Cambridge and Baltimore. Susan’s work has appeared in The Bellevue Literary Review, Hip Mama, CHOICE, and elsewhere. She edited the anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption, and has been a creative nonfiction editor and columnist at Literary Mama.
GERARD JONES‘s book in progress, coming from Farrar Straus & Giroux in 2009, is The Undressing of America: How a Bodybuilder, a Swimming Queen and a Magician Created Reality Media. His previous books include Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book (Basic Books 2005), Killing Monsters (Basic 2002), Honey I’m Home (St. Martin’s 1993) and The Beaver Papers (Crown 1983). He’s also done some screenwriting and written a whole lot of comic books.
HOLLY JONES recently returned to the Bay Area after several years in Washington, D.C., where she co-founded 826DC and wrote extensively about the city in the “Dispatches From The Anacostia” and “Dispatches From The Capital” series for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She has published short stories, essays, and articles in various print and online magazines, and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts as well as an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is currently working on a spy novel set in Pakistan.
YUKARI IWATANI KANE is a journalist, working on a book about Apple Inc. for HarperCollins. She is a former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal in SF and Tokyo before that. She has nearly 15 years of experience writing about technology and covering companies like Apple, Sony and Nintendo. Her biggest scoop about Steve Jobs’ liver transplant was picked up around the world. She was also named as a Gerald Loeb Award finalist in 2011 for her work on a series about online privacy. Prior to the Journal, she was a correspondent for Reuters in Chicago and Tokyo. www.yukarikane.com
DIANA KAPP is a magazine journalist who writes about a broad range of political, educational and cultural topics. She has written on the $3B California stem cell initiative, the tragic suicide of UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton, New York’s arcane, fault-based divorce law and San Francisco’s slick-haired mayor, Gavin Newsom. Her work has appeared in ELLE, O The Oprah Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Magazine, where she is a contributing writer. Her circuitous career path includes stints in a biotechnology start-up, on Nike ad campaigns, and currently, as the owner of the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, a historic guest ranch located in the Sawtooth Valley, a place best described as “What would it look like if the Tetons married the Sierra Nevada – and nobody came to the wedding? This is it!” She has an English degree from University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, which, of course, is a whole other story.
ALEXANDRA KOSTOULAS received her MFA in English & Creative Writing from Mills College, and BA in literature from College of Creative Studies at UCSB, where she won the university’s top award for fiction. She has worked as a radio reporter airing on NPR and KALW and was awarded for journalistic excellence by the Society of Professional Journalists. She teaches English at Berkeley City College and Golden Gate University. Her short story, “Kalavrita: A Lament in Six Parts” was recently published in the anthology, ”Conversations in the Wartime Cafe.” She also publishes and performs her poetry. She is working on a novel.
JESSICA CAREW KRAFT is an independent print journalist in San Francisco, specializing in cultural trends and sustainability. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, Grist Magazine, Yoga Journal, ARTNews and other publications. Originally from the Midwest, Jessica trained as an anthropologist at Swarthmore College and Yale University, and then worked as an art critic, a graphic designer and an adjunct professor. She is currently on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley Extension and spends free time in her art studio. www.WritingKraft.com
LEE DANIEL KRAVETZ is the author of Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success (to be published by HarperCollins in 2014). His writing focuses on survivorship, hope, and stories of resilience. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, Lee has written for print and television, including The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Psychology Today and The Huffington Post, as well as for Sesame Street, Frontline, and NOVA. He appears regularly on Huffington Post Live and is on the board of LitCamp, the first San Francisco-based juried writers’ conference. www.leekravetz.com
RACHEL LEHMANN-HAUPT is an essayist, journalist, event-producer, and editor living in Sausalito. She is available for consulting on nonfiction manuscripts, book proposals, and Web content. Her areas of expertise are health, science, and culture. Editing projects include the best-selling The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. Her writing on gender politics and the influence of science and technology has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, New York, Vogue, Self, Outside, Wired, The New York Observer, and MSN Money. She is the author of In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood (Basic Books). www.lehmannhaupt.com
RACHEL LEVIN is a freelance writer/editor who covers travel, food, and the occasional rock star, rabbi, ex-con ultra- marathoner. She is a frequent contributor to Sunset magazine, where she was a senior travel editor until the commute almost killed her. She also writes for the New York Times, Slate, Outside, Food & Wine, Modern Farmer, Dwell, Budget Travel, the Bold Italic, the Rumpus, and San Francisco magazine, where she is a contributing writer. Her work has been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2012. She also sold her first piece to The New Yorker, which was exciting, until it sat too long in the Talk of the Town’s backlog. byrachellevin.com
CONSTANCE (Connie) LOIZOS is a magazine writer who has written for a more than a dozen outlets, including Barron’s, Business 2.0, Yoga Journal, National Geographic, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, I.D., Inc., 7×7, San Francisco Magazine, MBA Jungle, Corporate Board Member, and Technology Review. An editor at Red Herring magazine in the mid- to late-’90s, Connie also remains a fixture on Silicon Valley’s venture capital scene, writing about everything from entrepreneurs and illicit love affairs to the occasional kidnapping for several publications, including the national magazine Venture Capital Journal. She is currently working on her first novel, Funeral Parlors, a romantic comedy.
STEPHANIE LOSEE is an author, business journalist and personal essayist. Stephanie’s articles have appeared in Fortune, Forbes, O, The Oprah Magazine; The Los Angeles Times; Salon.com; San Francisco Magazine; The New York Post; and The San Francisco Chronicle; among others. She is the co-author of “Office Mate,” which The New York Times called “a kind of ‘The Rules’ for the office.” Her essays have been published in several anthologies and she has appeared on CBS’ The Early Show, CNN Headline News, Fox Business News, and NPR. Stephanie is currently directing thought leadership for Dell as the company’s Global Communications Managing Editor.
KIMBERLEY LOVATO is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles about travel, lifestyle, and food have appeared in print and online media including National Geographic Traveler, Executive Travel, AFAR, Delta Sky, Condé Nast Traveller (UK), Easy Jet Traveller, American Way, Wine Enthusiast, frommers.com, leitesculinaria.com and more. Her culinary travel book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves, won the 2012 Gold Lowell Thomas Award, and her essay, “Lost and Liberated,” won the 2012 Bronze Lowell Thomas Award, and also appears in Best Women’s Travel Writing. She is a co-founder of Weekday Wanderlust, a monthly travel writer reading series. www.kimberleylovato.com
KATHRYN MA won the Iowa Short Fiction Award for her short story collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, named a San Francisco Chronicle “Notable” Book and a Los Angeles Times “Discovery” Book. Her new novel will be published by HarperCollins in 2014. She is a lawyer, teacher, avid playgoer and parent. www.kathrynma.com
AYESHA MATTU‘s first book - Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women - was featured globally by media including The New York Times, NPR, BBC, The Guardian, Times of India, and Jakarta Post. She was selected a ‘Muslim Leader of Tomorrow’ by the UN Alliance of Civilizations and has served on the boards of the Women’s Funding Network and World Pulse. Ayesha is currently working on Love InshAllah’s companion anthology, Beyond the Beard: Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy (Beacon Press, February 2014), and a non-fiction book about three generations of Pakistani Sufi women. http://loveinshallah.com
MAC MCCLELLAND is the award-winning human rights reporter for Mother Jones magazine. Her first book, For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question, about her time with refugees on the Thailand-Burma border, was a finalist for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize; an adaptation of it was nominated for a National Magazine Award. She’s commented for outlets including MSNBC, NPR, BBC, Al Jazeera, and been anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Best Business Writing. Her second book, about PTSD, is forthcoming from The Penguin Press. www.mac-mcclelland.com
LAURA MCCLURE is the editor of IDEO and a national award-winning magazine journalist, editor, and digital innovator. A former Salon.com and Mother Jones staff writer/editor, Laura has covered topics ranging from toy design to the Congo. She has also been an International Reporting Project editor (Liberia), Peace Corps Volunteer (Togo), and speaker at SXSW Interactive, Facebook, and USC Annenberg. She teaches nonfiction writing workshops at Stanford University and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. www.lauramcclure.us
KIRSTEN MENGER-ANDERSON is the author of Doctor Olaf van Schuler’s Brain (Algonquin, 2008), which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Fiction and one of Chicago Time Out‘s top ten books for 2008. Her short stories have appeared in Ploughshares, the Southwest Review, Post Road, and other publications. She holds an M.A. in English and creative writing from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in economics from Haverford College. She is currently working on a novel set in Ecuador, Texas, Los Angeles, and Boston. For more information, please see www.kirstenmengeranderson.com
DAVID MUNRO‘s debut feature Full Grown Men premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival en route to winning the Sundance Channel Undiscovered Gems Award. David’s short films have screened at festivals worldwide including Sundance and Berlin. Filmmaker Magazine named David “One of 25 New Indie Faces.” David and his Grottofilms partner (and wife) Xandra Castleton are currently producing a docu-series for the Gates Foundation called Stand Up Planet that profiles comedians in the developing world. David is represented by The Gersh Agency for film and TV and Kontent Films for commercials.
LOUISE NAYER has written two books of poetry: Keeping Watch, with funding from the NEA, and The Houses Are Covered in Sound. She co-authored How To Bury A Goldfish: 113 Rituals for Everyday Life. Burned: A Memoir was mentioned in O Magazine, was a finalist for the USA Book News Award and won the 2011 Wisconsin Library Association award. She received six California Arts Council grants. Retired from teaching at City College of SF, she continues to teach —private workshops—and through Osher UC Berkeley and at the Grotto. She’s done numerous readings and radio spots, including NPR. www.louisenayer.com
JAMES NESTOR has written for Outside Magazine, Dwell Magazine, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR’s Marketplace, Interior Design, Salon, and more. His column “Too Much Tech” appears bimonthly in ReadyMade Magazine. He is the author of Get High Now (without drugs), a science-based book which playfully covers topics of physics, physiology, psychology, and the audio/visual arts. The adjoining website, gethighnow.com, was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Sites of 2009 and receives about 1,000,000 visitors a month. In May 2009, Nestor returned from a 30-day expedition to Norway and Russia in which he and a cadre of professional surfers became the first to explore massive, frigid waves inside the Arctic Circle. The article, Tasty Freeze, appeared in the January 2010 issue of Outside Magazine. Nestor is currently working on a narrative nonfiction science/adventure book titled DEEP: A Sea Odyssey to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2014.
JANIS COOKE NEWMAN is the author of the Bay Area Bestseller Mary (published in hardcover by MacAdam/Cage, and in paperback by Harcourt), a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, chosen as USA Today’s Best Historical Fiction of the Year, and a Booksense Year-End Highlight. Newman is also the author of The Russian Word for Snow (St. Martin’s Press, 2001), a memoir about adopting her son from a Moscow orphanage. Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives (Inner Ocean, 2006) and four Travelers’ Tales editions. Newman’s travel writing has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Backpacker. She lives in San Francisco, where she teaches classes in creative writing. http://janiscookenewman.com/
ZAHRA NOORBAKHSH is a writer, performer and stand up comedian. The New Yorker Magazine dubbed her one-woman show, “All Atheists Are Muslim” a highlight of the Int’l NYC Fringe Theater Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in North America. Her performances have sold-out theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Zahra is a contributor to the groundbreaking, NY Times featured anthology, “Love Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” featuring her piece, “The Birds, The Bees—and My Hole.” ZahraComedy.com
TODD OPPENHEIMER is the author of The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved (Random House). He has won numerous awards for his writing and investigative reporting, and has been featured on radio and television shows such as ABC’s “Nightline.” The Flickering Mind was a book award finalist from Investigative Reporters & Editors, Inc. It is based on “The Computer Delusion,” a cover story Oppenheimer wrote for The Atlantic‘s July, 1997, issue, which won the year’s National Magazine Award for public interest reporting.
PETER ORNER is the author of Esther Stories and the forthcoming novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Best American Stories, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Bomb, The Southern Review, and other publications. Esther Stories was named a New York Times Notable book, and was named a top five book of the year by National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He has been been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Goldberg Award from the National Foundation of Jewish Culture, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is on the M.F.A. faculty at San Francisco State University.
SUSANNE PARI is the author of The Fortune Catcher, a novel of a young woman—American and Iranian, Jewish and Muslim—caught in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She writes and speaks on issues of immigration, religious fundamentalism, women’s rights, and what she thinks it means to be an American. Her work appears in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She was Program Director for Book Group Expo, is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and judges for The California Center for the Book.
CAROLINE PAUL is the author of the memoir Fighting Fire, about life as a San Francisco firefighter. Her novel East Wind, Rain, is based on the true story of a Japanese-American couple faced with a terrible choice when a Japanese soldier, who has just attacked Pearl Harbor, crash lands his plane on their small Hawai’ian island. Caroline’s latest book is LOST CAT, a True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS technology, an illustrated memoir about stalking her cat.
BRIDGET QUINN is writing a memoir about growing up in a big Montana family and becoming a new kind of woman in the American west. Excerpts from the book have recently appeared in Narrative Magazine. Bridget’s nonfiction can be found in the anthologies Solo: On Her Own Adventure (Seal Press), Two In The Wild (Vintage) and Brain, Child: Greatest Hits (March Press). Her essay “Back in the Pool” was a finalist for the 2006 Annie Dillard Prize in Creative Nonfiction (Bellingham Review) and her Narrative piece, “One-on-One,” was noted in Best American Sports Writing 2010.
For 35 years, CATHRYN JAKOBSON RAMIN has written narrative non-fiction. She’s an investigative journalist, essayist and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Carved In Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in Midlife. In the fall of 2012, she’ll complete her current book project, The Fragile Column: How to Beat the Back Pain Industry at Its Own Game. Based on interviews with hundreds of experts and patients, Ramin exposes the underpinnings of the $80 billion back pain industry. Next up is If You Go, her novel-in-progress, about one man’s weakness and sudden fall from grace. www.cathrynjakobsonramin.com
JASON ROBERTS is the author of A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins), a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award, longlisted for the international Guardian First Book Award and named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Reviews. He’s also the inaugural winner of the Van Zorn Prize for emerging fiction writers, sponsored by Michael Chabon, and a contributor to McSweeney’s, The Believer, the Village Voice and other publications. Roberts is currently at work on a nonfiction narrative, centered on the opening of Japan in 1853.
ETHEL ROHAN is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody (2013) and Cut Through the Bone, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize. Her work has or will appear in The New York Times, World Literature Today, Tin House Online, The Irish Times, Sou’wester, Post Road Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. She earned her MFA in fiction from Mills College, Oakland, and is a reviewer for New York Journal of Books. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan now lives in San Francisco. Visit her at ethelrohan.com
LORRAINE SANDERS is a journalist, blogger, media consultant and author of Style Bytes, a San Francisco Chronicle column covering the intersection of fashion and technology. She is founder of Digital Style Digest and SF Indie Fashion and has written for Fast Company, 7×7, NBC Bay Area, KQED’s Spark!, Daily Candy, BUST and many others. She occasionally teaches in the fashion journalism department at Academy of Art University and regularly works with companies to hone their media strategies. In 2010, Lorraine was selected as a news entrepreneurship fellow by the University of Southern California Knight Digital Media Center. She is a graduate of Brown University and Stanford University. Visit her atwww.lorrainesanders.com
MARK SCHAPIRO, a correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting, specializes in international environmental stories. His writing appears in publications such as Harpers, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Yale 360 and The Nation. He is writing a book for Wiley & Sons evoking the backstory to our carbon footprints. His previous book, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, revealed the health and economic implications for the United States of tightening environmental standards in Europe. He also teaches at the Erasmus Mundus program at the University of Denmark, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
JULIA SCHEERES is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Jesus Land and the award-winning A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. Presently she’s at work at a second memoir. To learn more: www.juliascheeres.com
JULIA SCOTT is an award-winning radio producer, journalist and essayist based in San Francisco. Scott produces radio documentaries – most recently, for the BBC World Service – and long-form radio news features for such nationally syndicated programs as Marketplace, The World and Living on Earth. Her freelance work is anthologized in Best American Science Writing and has appeared in The New York Times, Salon.com, Maclean’s, Rolling Stone, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. Scott is a former staff writer for the San Mateo County Times and Bay Area News Group, including the San Jose Mercury News. Follow her on Twitter @juliascribe. www.juliascott.net
SHANTHI SEKARAN lives in Berkeley and teaches in the Writing MFA program at California College of the Arts. She’s also consulting editor for ApostropheCast.com, a literary podcast. Her novel, The Prayer Room was published in 2009. Her short fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices, The Chattahoochee Review, and Fourteen Hills, with stories forthcoming in Canteen Magazine and The Asian American Literary Review. She’s currently at work on her second novel. www.shanthisekaran.com
JUSTINE SHARROCK is a journalist and author of Tortured: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things (Wiley, 2010) about American soldiers who participated in torture Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. She written for publications including Mother Jones, San Francisco magazine, Alternet, Salon, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a former editor at San Francisco magazine and before that was on the editorial team at Mother Jones. Her latest journalistic obsession is the so-called Patriot movement, militias, and right-wing extremists. www.justinesharrock.com
JULIA FLYNN SILER is a prize-winning journalist and the bestselling author of The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. She has written for the New York Times and BusinessWeek and is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, was a New York Times bestseller and was honored as a finalist for both a James Beard Foundation award and a Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business reporting. Her second book, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012) is now available in paperback. www.juliaflynnsiler.com
LAVINIA SPALDING is the author of Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler (named one of the best travel books of 2009 by the L.A. Times) and With a Measure of Grace: the Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. She’s also the editor of the 2011, 2012 & 2013 editions of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. A regular contributor to Yoga Journal, she has also contributed to Sunset, the San Francisco Chronicle, Tin House, Inkwell, Post Road, Gadling, and The Best Travel Writing Volume 9, among others. She is a co-founder of Weekday Wanderlust, San Francisco’s monthly travel reading series. www.laviniaspalding.com
T.J. STILES won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for his most recent book, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. His previous biography, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and won the Ambassador Book Award and the Peter Seaborg Award in Civil War Scholarship. He is a member of the Authors Guild board of directors, and reviews books for the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. He is currently working on a biography of George Armstrong Custer, with the support of a Guggenheim fellowship.
BONNIE TSUI is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods, winner of the 2009-2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and Best of 2009: 50 Notable Bay Area Books selection. She writes for The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Outside, O the Oprah Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveller, and is a recipient of the Jane Rainie Opel Award from Harvard University and the Lowell Thomas Award for travel journalism. She likes writing about people. In her spare time, she wishes fervently for a surf house in Costa Rica. www.bonnietsui.com
FRED VOGELSTEIN is a business and technology journalist and a contributing editor for Wired Magazine, where he was a 2010 finalist for the Gerald R. Loeb Award. He’s been a staff writer for Fortune, US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. His first book, about the Apple/Google mobile phone war, and the tech/media revolution it is spawning, is due from Farrar Straus & Giroux in 2013. http://www.fredvogelstein.com
MEGHAN WARD is a freelance writer, book editor, and social media consultant. She blogs about writing, publishing, and social media at Writerland.com, she blogs about social media for SheWrites.com, she writes book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, and she teaches blogging at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She is currently at work on a memoir, Paris on Less Than $10,000 a Day. Her work has appeared in San Francisco magazine, 7×7 magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Tribune, and the anthology It’s So You. Follow her on Twitter @meghancward or at meghanward.com/blog
ETHAN WATTERS is a co-founder of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. His most recent book is Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family? He’s written for many of national magazines including New York Times Magazine, Spin, Discover, Details, Men Journal, Mother Jones, GQ, and Esquire. He has written two previous books about recovered memory therapy and the mental health profession. The movie rights for Urban Tribes have been optioned by Ira Glass and are in development for a feature film at Warner Bros. Currently, he is working on a book about evolutionary medicine.
MAW SHEIN WIN lives in Berkeley. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as 2River, No Tell Motel, Moria, and Big Bridge. She is currently a co-publisher for Stretcher and has completed residencies at Can Serrat and Headlands Center for the Arts. She often collaborates with visual artists and musicians, and her latest poetry book, Ruins of a glittering palace, with paintings by Mark Dutcher, was recently published by SPA. Along with Megan Wilson, she organized Broadside Attractions | Vanquished Terrains, a show featuring 24 Bay Area writers and artists at Intersection for the Arts in 2012. www.broadsideattractions.com
MATTHEW ZAPRUDER is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Come on All You Ghosts, one of New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2011. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in Open City, Bomb, Slate, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Tin House, Harvard Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, The Believer, Real Simple, The Los Angeles Times, and Best American Poetry. A recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a May Sarton Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he is an editor for Wave Books, and teaches at the Saint Mary’s College of CA MFA. His new collection, Sun Bear, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in 2014. matthewzapruder.wordpress.com
ANNE ZIMMERMAN’s first book, An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher, is the product of extensive research at Harvard’s Schlesinger Library. She has compiled and introduced two subsequent collections of Fisher’s work: Love In A Dish and Other Culinary Delights (Penguin UK and Counterpoint Press in 2011), and Wine Is Life: M.F.K. Fisher’s Musings on Wine (Sterling Publishing, 2012). She has written for Culinate, The Kitchn, Tasting Table, Diner’s Journal, Gayot, and is the San Francisco Editor for Blackboard Eats.