2022 Keynote Speaker
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer, and educator. She is the Interim Executive Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love (2021), Vinyl Moon (2021), Chlorine Sky (2021), Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice (2020), Black Girl Magic (2020), Woke Baby (2018), and Kissing Caskets (2017). Browne is also the founder of Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign); and as an Arts for Justice grantee, is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Literary Journal & Small Press Editors
Arao Ameny is a Ugandan-born, Maryland-based poet and writer from Lira, Lango, Northern Uganda. She is a Biography Writer and Editor at Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry Magazine. She earned her MFA in Fiction from University of Baltimore in 2019, MA in Journalism from Indiana University, and BA in Political Science from University of Indianapolis. Her first published poem “Home is a Woman” appeared in The Southern Review and won the 2020 James Olney Award. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the UK-based Brunel International African Poetry Prize, nominated for Best New Poets, and won a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship.
Michael J. DeLuca lives in the rapidly suburbifying post-industrial woodlands north of Detroit with partner, kid, cats and microbes. He is the publisher of Reckoning, a journal of creative writing on environmental justice. His short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Mythic Delirium, and lots of other places. His novella, Night Roll, was a finalist for the Crawford award in 2020.
Tayyba Maya Kanwal is Fiction Editor at Gulf Coast Journal and an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow. Her prose appears or is forthcoming in Witness, Meridian, Juxtaprose, Quarterly West and other journals, has been anthologized by The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and designated finalist in the CRAFT Fiction Elements contest.
Kathryn Kulpa is a New England-based writer and editor with stories in Atticus Review, Flash Frog, Lost Balloon, Monkeybicycle, Pithead Chapel, Smokelong Quarterly, and Wigleaf. Her chapbook Girls on Film was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest, and her work was included in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021 and has been nominated for Best Small Fictions. She is senior flash editor at Cleaver magazine.
Selena Middleton is an educator, editor, and publisher at Stelliform Press, a small press focusing on climate stories. She holds a PhD in English Literature for which she studied ecological narratives in exo-planetary stories written by women since 1960. As Eileen Gunnell Lee, she writes climate fiction and other interstitial stories and has been published in Escape Pod, Reckoning, Nightmare, and more.
Kate Martin Williams is the executive director and co-founder, along with Jessica Cole and Phuc Luu, of Bloomsday Literary, a mission-driven press that publishes bold, beautifully crafted books—prioritizing historically underrepresented writers—that transform us and inspire us to act. Her duties include manuscript acquisitions, sustaining author relationships, editing, overseeing publicity and marketing, and reporting to the board and literary advisors. She never imagined that founding a press with two lifelong friends would lead to upending the traditional model of publishing, but that’s where it led, and she’s not looking back. By recentering the artist-as-beating-heart of the book business, the Bloomsday team aims to shorten the distance between the storyteller and the reader.
Amy Robinson is co-owner and Sr. Editor/Poetry Editor at Apparition Literary Magazine, and former column editor at Fierce & Nerdy. She is a certified Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshop facilitator and has led workshops for Writing Pad L.A. & Write In Ventura & App Lit patrons. Her poetry & spec. fiction has been in Strange Horizons, Pearl Magazine, & Flash Fiction Press. She lives in a small house beside the ocean with her husband, and procrastinates on Twitter @Amyqotwf
Tanya Aydelott is a Pakistani American writer of speculative fiction. Her debut short story "Flight" was chosen for publication in FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology by Jandy Nelson, and then included in the FORESHADOW: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA print anthology, co-edited by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X.R. Pan. She has been published in Dark Moon Digest and by Owl Canyon Press. You can find her online at tanya-aydelott.com
A Texas writer with a focus on environmental literature, Rachel Blume received her BA in fiction from the University of Houston. She currently lives with her husband, young son, and Dalmatian by the Texas Gulf.
Margo Catts was a writing kid in Los Angeles who became an editor in Indiana and Colorado, and then turned back into a writer in Saudi Arabia. She is the author of Among the Lesser Gods (Arcade, 2017), and is currently at work on her second novel. She is making a new home in Houston, and likes good food, good dogs, good people, and great laughs.
Cassandra Rose Clarke's work has placed in the Rhysling Awards and been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, the Pushcart Prize, and YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults. She grew up in south Texas and currently lives in Virginia, where she writes and tends to multiple cats. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle. Her latest novel is The Beholden, a fantasy novel.
Sean Morrissey Carroll is an author in Houston, Texas and co-host of Writers Lunch. He’s been a bookseller, photography teacher, butcher, cartoonist, waiter, art critic, crepemaker, vintage fashion grader and sign painter. Published in Art in America, Artforum.com, Bullshit Literary, Defunkt Magazine, Houston Press, Punt Volat, Nebo, Space City Underground, and Gulf Coast magazine, Sean’s story “Future Floods of Houston” was nominated for a PEN/Dau Award. He received an Honors degree in Art History from University of Houston and his former street stand was named one of the Ten Best Restaurants by the Houston Chronicle. Find Sean on twitter @buffalosean
K. James D'Agostino is an author, poet, and essayist with an MFA from the University of Illinois, where they spent three years as an Editorial Assistant with the Ninth Letter literary magazine. Recent work has been featured or is forthcoming from The Gravity of The Thing, Abandon Journal, Marrow Magazine, and The Briar Cliff Review. They have been nominated for the Best of the Net, Best American Sci-Fi, the Pushcart Prize, and the Shirley Jackson Award for horror.
Dominick D'Aunno, M.D. is a physician and research scientist whose specialities include Space Medicine and Physiology, Internal Medicine, and Addiction Medicine. Writing interest are Sci-Fi and Fantasy, adult and middle grade. Dominick works with authors to correctly incorporate medicine and physiology into their work.
Tyler Darnell is a writer and teacher in Houston TX whose work focuses on the intersection of queerness & disability. Super Ballsy is his middle grade novel currently out on submission.
Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Nevada, but currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. Her prize-winning poetry has received Rhysling, Dwarf Star, and Pushcart nominations and has appeared in over fifty journals, including F&SF and Asimov’s. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog and Galaxy’s Edge. For more about her work, including her poetry collections, The Gates of Never and Bounded by Eternity, please see www.edda-earth.com.
Rhonda Eudaly lives in Arlington, Texas where her wide variety of experience and skills is well-suited to her current job in local government. She's married with dogs and an increasing horde of writing instruments – which she blogs about.
Rhonda has a well-rounded publication history in all kinds of writing including novels, collaborations, and short stories. Check out her website - www.RhondaEudaly.com - for her latest publications and downloads.
Rhonda has a well-rounded publication history in all kinds of writing including novels, collaborations, and short stories. Check out her website - www.RhondaEudaly.com - for her latest publications and downloads.
Anjali Enjeti is a former attorney, organizer, and award-winning journalist based near Atlanta. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed books Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change, and The Parted Earth. Her other writing has appeared in Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner, Poets & Writers, Harper’s Bazaar, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Publisher’s Weekly, and elsewhere. A former board member of the National Books Critics Circle, she teaches in the MFA program at Reinhardt University.
Ayokunle Falomo is Nigerian, American, and the author of AFRICANAMERICAN’T (FlowerSong Press, 2022), two self-published collections and African, American (New Delta Review, 2019; selected by Selah Saterstrom as the winner of New Delta Review’s 8th annual chapbook contest). A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell, and the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he obtained his MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry, his work has been anthologized and widely published in print and online: The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review, Write About Now among others.
Eugene Fischer is an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy whose work has been translated into multiple languages and adapted for television. He created a course on Reading and Writing Science Fiction for the University of Iowa, and has lead writing workshops at conventions around the country. He lives in San Antonio.
Patricia Flaherty Pagan, MFA was born in Boston and has lived in four countries. Her award-winning crime, horror and literary short fiction and poetry have been featured in a range of journals and anthologies. She is the author of "Trail Ways Pilgrims: Stories" and "Enduring Spirit: Stories." She has edited anthologies of fiction and poetry about complex women for Spider Road Press. She teaches short fiction writing at Writespace Houston. Learn more about her books, writing workshops, and developmental editing services at www.patriciaflahertypagan.com. Follow her on twitter @PFwriteright and on Instagram @patriciaflahertypaganauthor.
Ammar Habib is a bestselling author from Lake Jackson, Texas. Ammar enjoys crafting stories that are not only entertaining, but will also stay with the reader for a long time. Some of his novels include "The Heart of Aleppo" and "The Orphans of Kashmir."
Horror and suspense author Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, and The Science of Serial Killers, lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota
Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and reviewer of speculative fiction. She currently lives just outside Vancouver with a husband, two kids, a snake, several birds, and a very large black dog. Her short story collection Six Dreams About the Train is out now from Trepidatio Publishing. Maria’s work has appeared in The Best Horror of the Year Volume 13, Strange Horizons, Black Static, Interzone, Fireside, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Flash Fiction Online, Mythic Delirium, Shimmer, Cast of Wonders, and elsewhere. Find out more on her website, mariahaskins.com, or follow her on Twitter, @mariahaskins.
Sim Kern is a journalist and speculative fiction writer from Houston, Texas. As a journalist, they report on petrochemical polluters and rant about billionaires in space. Their fiction often deals with intersections of climate change, identity, and social justice. Their debut novella, Depart, Depart! (2020) was an honor list book for the Otherwise Award. Their upcoming Seeds for the Swarm (2022) is the first book in a YA scifi trilogy about college students taking on oligarchs with social media and nanotechnology. Sim tweets @sim_kern.
Georgina Key is an award-winning author whose debut novel, Shiny Bits In Between is a recipient of the Phoenix prize for Best New Voice of 2020 (Kops-Fetherling International Book Award) and a Top 5 Finalist for the Author Elite Award. Her poems have appeared online in Passage and as part of a printed collection in the Pivot + Pause Anthology. Georgina was born and raised in England and currently lives in Texas where she received her M.A. in English from Stephen F. Austin University. She has taught writing for over 30 years at colleges, private writing organizations, and one-on-one mentorships.
William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning author with two novels and more than seventy speculative fiction short stories and non-fiction articles published in five languages, in markets such as Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Escape Pod and the SFWA blog. He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace industry. He is a member of SFWA, the National Space Society of North Texas, and a Launch Pad Astronomy workshop graduate. He lives near Dallas with his wife, a needy dog and three spoiled cats.
Kendra Preston Leonard is a librettist, lyricist, poet, and playwright inspired by history, language, and the mythopoeic. She is the author of the chapbook Making Mythology (Louisiana Literature Press) and Protectress (Unsolicited Press), a novella in verse. Leonard is a frequent collaborator with composers and other musicians, as well as a scholar. Follow her at @K_Leonard_PhD.
C.D. Lewis is an attorney and entrepreneur whose writing includes acedemic reasearch (e.g., peer-reviewed publication Pharmacoeconomics) and financial analysis (e.g. on Seeking Alpha, which gave Editor's Choice awards to numerous articles). Lewis' reviews of fiction have appeared in various online forums such as Fantasy Book Review and Tangent.
Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four braided series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine, which includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and The Way of the Shield, as well as the dieselpunk fantasy, The Velocity of Revolution. He is also the co-host of the Hugo-nominated, Stabby-winning podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists, and has been a playwright, an actor, a delivery driver and an amateur chef. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.
Jae Mazer was born in British Columbia, and grew up in Northern Alberta. While reading feverishly, and writing the odd short story or journal article, Jae got her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and worked in the field of mental health for ten years. One day, after moving south to Texas, she decided that she had devoured enough words that she could spin a decent yarn of her own. Now she is an award-winning author with a dozen novels under her belt, short stories in various publications, and is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
An East Side Houston native, Thomas H. McNeely is the author of the forthcoming story collection PICTURES OF THE SHARK: STORIES (Texas Review Press) and the novel GHOST HORSE (Gival Press). His short stories and non-fiction have appeared in The Atlantic, Texas Monthly, Ploughshares, and many other magazines and anthologies. He has received National Endowment for the Arts, Wallace Stegner, and MacDowell Colony fellowships for his fiction. His first book, Ghost Horse, won the Gival Press Novel Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize in Writing. He currently teaches in the Stanford Online Writing Studio and at Emerson College, Boston.
Premee Mohamed is a multiple award-nominated Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction author based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is an Assistant Editor at the short fiction audio venue Escape Pod and the author of the 'Beneath the Rising' series and other works. She can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus and on her website at www.premeemohamed.com.
Jennifer Murphy holds an MFA in painting from the University of Denver and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the 2013 Loren D. Milliman Scholarship for creative writing and was a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. In 2015, her acclaimed debut novel, I LOVE YOU MORE, won the prestigious Nancy Pearl Book Award for Fiction. Her love of art led her to start Citi Arts, a public art and urban planning company that has created public art master plans for airports, transit facilities, streetscapes, and cities nationwide. She hails from a small beachfront town in Michigan and has lived in Denver, Charlotte, Seattle, and Charleston. She currently lives in Houston, Texas. Her current novel, SCARLET IN BLUE, was published March 8, 2022.
Ruth Nasrullah is an independent journalist who has written about a range of topics including religion, civil rights, nature and the environment. She presented on writing about religion at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, where she has done two residencies, and will present at the creative nonfiction conference HippoCamp this year. In 2021, Ruth was selected for the Solutions Journalism Mentee Program and in the same year received the Society of Professional Journalists Dubin Pro Member of the Year award. She has an MA in journalism from Emerson College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College.
Kate Pentecost is from the forest on the Texas/Louisiana border. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children &Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Elysium Girls (2020,) and YA dark fantasy romance That Dark Infinity. She loves tea and flowers and ghosts, and she is obsessed with the Romantic Poets. She lives in Houston with her dog, Stevie Nyx.
Jessica Raney is the author of seven books. Her latest, Rack and Ruin is the final book in her Appalachian-Supernatural-Noir series. Her other works include a zombie Apocalypse adventure, These Violent Delights, and two collections of short stories, Oddballs and Dreadful Pennies. She loves all things quirky and spooky, and her style could be best described as the intersection of dark comedy, horror, and the fantastical. Originally from southern Ohio, Jessica now lives in Houston, Texas. When not writing or navigating Houston traffic, she’s enjoying the Gulf Coast with friends and her dog, Gimli.
Jessica Reisman grew up on the east coast of the U.S., was a teenager on the west coast, and now lives in Austin, Texas. She's been a writer, animal lover, devoted reader, and movie aficionado since she was a wee child. She's had two novels published, and her first collection of stories, The Arcana of Maps, came out in 2019. See storyrain.com for more.
Ebony Stewart is a top touring interdisciplinary artist, Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion, author, and playwright. She is a mental and sexual health advocate whose work speaks to the Black experience, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, womanhood, and race, with the hopes to be relatable, remove shame, heal minds, encourage dialogue, and inspire folks in marginalized communities. The work of Ebony Stewart has been featured in AfroPunk, Button Poetry, For Harriet, Texas Observer, Write About Now & more.
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s fiction and poetry has appeared in over 90 publications such as Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Lightspeed, and LeVar Burton Reads, as well as in six languages. By night, she has been a finalist for the Nebula Award. By day, she works as a Narrative Designer writing romance games for the mobile app Chapters. She lives in Texas with her partner and a mysterious number of cats
Michael R. Underwood is an author, podcaster, and publishing professional. Mike's books include space opera Annihilation Aria, the Ree Reyes Geekomancy books, the Stabby Award-finalist Genrenauts series, and Born to the Blade (written with Malka Older, Cassandra Khaw, and Marie Brennan). Mike has been a bookseller, sales representative, and was the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. He is also a co-host of the actual play show Speculate! and a guest host on the Hugo Award-finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show. Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, their dog, and an ever-growing library. He also loves geeking out with games and making pizzas from scratch.
Valerie Valdes’s short fiction and poetry have been featured in Uncanny Magazine, Time Travel Short Stories and Nightmare Magazine. Her debut novel Chilling Effect was shortlisted for the 2021 Arthur C. Clarke Award and was named one of Library Journal’s best SF/fantasy novels of 2019. The sequel, Prime Deceptions, was published in 2020, and the third book in the trilogy is forthcoming in 2022. Valerie lives in Georgia with her husband, children and cats.
Catherine Vance's novel "Someone You'd Never Notice" is forthcoming from Balance of Seven Press. She is an interfaith chaplain at MD Anderson Cancer Center, a memoir essayist, and has been an instructor for Writespace since 2018. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her works has appeared in Defunkt, Synkroniciti, Talking Writing, Wraparound South, Visible, Herstry, and elsewhere.
T.D. Walker is the author of the poetry collections Small Waiting Objects (CW Books, 2019) and Maps of a Hollowed World (Another New Calligraphy 2020). Her poems and stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Web Conjunctions, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere. Walker curates and hosts Short Waves / Short Poems, a program created for broadcast on shortwave radio that features poets reading their work. Find out more at https://www.tdwalker.net
Doni Wilson received her doctorate in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is Professor of English at Houston Baptist University, and focuses on creative nonfiction and writing about the arts.
D.L. Young is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Independent Press Award. He’s also much less serious than his author photo implies. A lifelong science fiction fan, his intense, fast-paced novels echo his many influences from books and movies, including Star Wars, the Mad Max films, Dune, Blade Runner, Star Trek, Harlan Ellison, and the novels of William Gibson.