The judges for the 2021 competition will be announced soon!  To get an idea of who will be reading your stories, check out the judges from previous competitions.




Jennifer Amos is a multi-genre writer from Portland, Oregon whose work includes commercial freelance writing, creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Her work has been published regionally, academically, and nationally as young as age eight. More recent publications include literary outlets such as The Penmen Review and The Literary Yard, where she has taken to using the pen name J.L. Amos. Since obtaining her BA in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University in 2014, her big dream is to continue on to an MFA program sometime before her children are grown. Her hobbies include novel procrastination, photography, watercolor painting, pointless research, watching the sun set on her youth, and raising her son and daughter to be decent human beings.   


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


Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of PREDATOR (Month9Books) and WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (w/NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Jonathan Maberry) (Citadel Press). Her short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines. Janice has written for NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER’S MARKET, THE WRITER, WRITER’S DIGEST, WILD RIVER REVIEW, and many other publications. She is a speaker and workshop leader at writers conferences, including SCBWI, ThrillerFest, Backspace, Pennwriters, The Write Stuff, Stoker weekend, and others. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, where she served as a Vice President and a member of the board of directors.


Alessandra Bautze holds an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a B.A. in The Writing Seminars and Film & Media Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. While in graduate school, Alessandra taught screenwriting to undergraduates and served as a fiction reader for Bat City Review. Alessandra’s writing often tackles diverse issues of social import and has garnered numerous awards. Her screenplay EIGHT DAYS IN ’88, a drama about identity, empowerment, and belonging set against the backdrop of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University, the world's only liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing, placed in the top 15% of all entries in the 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Her screenplay SAVING SHENANDOAH, a drama about a teenage girl in foster care who goes to great lengths to protect her late foster mother’s young biological daughter, will receive a live reading in Seattle on April 26, 2017 in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival. When she’s not writing fiction or screenplays, Alessandra can be found watching movies at the local arthouse cinema, browsing the shelves of the local independent bookstore, speaking French, or conversing in American Sign Language. She loves strong female protagonists, is an avid fan of Doc Martens, and values individuality. Visit her website at, check out her blog at, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @abautze.



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.


Jamie Campbell was raised on strange fiction by the likes of Rod Serling and Philip K. Dick, and has always been fascinated with stories of the fantastical, the dark, and the weird. He started writing fiction in his teenage years, and won the Pegasus Award for outstanding prose in 2002. His interest in storytelling led him to pursue an education in Classics at the University of California Santa Barbara, and he's been writing script coverage and studying creative writing and screenwriting ever since. A longtime entrant in the NYC Midnight writing competitions, Jamie has participated and excelled in the Short Story Challenge, Short Screenplay Challenge, and Flash Fiction Challenge every year since 2010. He's excited for the opportunity to share what he's learned about the craft of writing short fiction with this year's entrants.


Genelle Chaconas is a writer. They write poems, stories, cross genre, articles and reviews. They are genderfluid, feminist, queer, an abuse survivor and proud. They earned their BA in English with a focus in Creative Writing from CSUS (2009) and a MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University (2015). While at Naropa, they volunteered as submission reader at Semicolon, a student run literary publication. Their first chapbook is Fallout, Saints, and Dirty Pictures (little m press, 2011). They began writing at the age of 22 after reading John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale”. Genelle’s micro fiction, flash fiction, short fiction and cross genre work has been published or are pending publication in in the Story Shack, WT Patterson’s The Asylum, Fjords Review, Exposition Review, The New Engagement, Jet Fuel Review, No Extra Words, Sick Lit Magazine, Olentangy Review, Quail Bell, Pale Ghosts, Oddville Press and others in the past year. Their review for A Child of Storm: Poems by Michael J Wilson is pending publication in Milkfist.  Genelle is currently co-writing a nonfiction book with B.L Kennedy and working on their first complete book of writing. They volunteer as submission reader with Tule Review. They ran Red Night Poetry, a monthly poetry series, during 2010 and 2011.


Mark Chandley is a story analyst and writer hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Penn State University in 2017 with a degree in intelligence analysis, Mark moved to Los Angeles and had the fortune of writing and producing as an assistant for two Emmy award-winning reality/lifestyle television programs. He was involved in the development of series that were pitched at MIPTV in Cannes and Netflix. Mark was a script reader for Heidi Jo Markel’s Eclectic Pictures (LOVELACE, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN) and evaluated incoming scripts as well as those in active development. Currently he serves as a freelance story analyst with HBO where he reads books to determine suitability for feature or series adaptation. He also reads for Red Ampersand, the parent company of Screencraft, WeScreenplay, The ScriptLab, Coverfly and the many competitions they host.

Efrain Colón is a writer originally from Fayetteville, NC. After getting his start in Los Angeles with National Lampoon, he now writes for a monthly late-night show. As well, Efrain writes/produces with icon Pauly Shore including the recent short film Sin City Psycho. An alumnus of The NHMC TV Writers Lab and the Latino Scriptwriters Intensive, Efrain now co-runs First Nations Screenwriters Group, a writers group for Native Americans, and has a pilot that he’s co-written currently being read by Hulu.


Elizabeth C. Crozier is a Chicago-based writer whose published work includes commercial freelance articles, poetry, and fiction. Previously published creative pieces have appeared in Mangrove and Avis, among others. Crozier is a previous editor-in-chief of The Evansville Review, a nationally acclaimed literary journal run out of the University of Evansville where she received her B.F.A. in creative writing and literature. Currently, she is the Illinois and Chicago contributor for Only In Your State.


Kate Delany is the author of two books of poetry – Reading Darwin (Poets Corner Press) and Ditching (Aldrich Press). Her fiction and verse have appeared in magazines and journals, such as Art Times, Barrelhouse, Jabberwock Review, Room, and Poetry Quarterly. She holds an MA in English from Rutgers-Camden and a BA in English and in Art History from Chestnut Hill College. She lives in Collingswood, NJ.


Making her theatrical debut as “the pond” playwright, Kirsten Easton has come a long way since the fifth grade. She holds a  B.A. in both Theater and Sociology from Occidental College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University. Her plays have been performed in Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Columbus, Fayetteville, AK and Carbondale, IL. In addition to her playwriting pursuits, she has taught courses in introductory theater, play script analysis, and acting.


Susan Edwards is a California native with a background steeped in the creative arts. Her pursuits have been as diverse as they are creative.  Formerly the senior executive content producer for the, Susan spearheaded the creative development of forty-four websites. Funded by USA Network, the holidaychannel represented a very robust lifestyle based ecommerce project. As a writer and editor she brought clarity and freshness to that project as well as the many other Internet projects where she has free lanced as a content developer and writer.  Susan has also created blogs for many artists and written art and theater critiques. A consultant on the California production of the acclaimed musical about the life of Cesar Chavez, Let the Eagle Fly, Susan’s diversity of artistic experiences has given her a creative edge and an appreciation for all things Art.  She is currently awaiting publication of her first book, The Five Chikas. The story of five young girls in Los Angeles, the book explores their love of dance and the adventures that surround that pursuit.  She is actively involved in writing programs for homeless teens and has recently created a poetry and literature program.


Michael A. Fink works as an editor and a hand scorer in Monterey, California, where he occasionally has to explain what hand scoring is. He's published one novel ("The Found Diary of Avery Alexander Myer") and numerous pieces of short fiction and poetry via such publishers as Meritage Press, the Point Lobos Foundation, Marsh Hawk Press. and Fiera Lingue. His writing explores memory, identity, and transgressive notions of self. A second novel is in progress.


Cherith Fuller currently lives in Atlanta, GA, and is addicted to all things television. After receiving her B.A. in television production from the University of Georgia, she began working at Cartoon Network and Boomerang. She currently works as a writer/producer for the on-air promotions department and has written promos for Mighty Magiswords, Teen Titans Go!, The Amazing World of Gumball, and various other hit CN and Boomerang shows. She has also written for the websites Reductress and Refinery 29. In addition to writing, Cherith is a stand-up comedian who has performed all over the country and has opened for Janeane Garofalo, Iliza Schlesinger, and Kurt Braunholer among others. 


Donna Galanti is the author of the bestselling paranormal suspense Element Trilogy and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine, blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem about the creative life and presents as a guest author at schools. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna has long been a leader in the Mid-Atlantic writing scene as a workshop presenter. She’s taught on writing craft and marketing at writing conferences, regional writing organizations, and colleges as well as provide critiques for fiction submissions. Donna also loves teaching writers about author brand and platform through her free training series at Visit her at


Taylor Gates holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville. Though an Indiana native, she now lives in Los Angeles. Taylors work has appeared in Memoir Mixtapes, Dear Movies Zine, and on BuzzFeed, where her contributions have amassed over two million views. She is the recipient of three Virginia Lowell Grabill Awards for Nonfiction and Academic Writing. During her undergraduate career, Taylor edited literary magazine The Evansville Review and served as the journal's social media manager. She now interns for literary agent Rayhané Sanders, reading and selecting manuscripts. Taylor also serves as a staff writer for AfterBuzz TV and Starry Constellation Magazine, where she writes about pop culture and conducts interviews with prominent figures in the entertainment industry. She recently cowrote a pilot titled Higher Grounds, which appeared on The Popcorn Talk Network's show "The Unproduced Table Read.You can follow Taylor on Twitter at @Elphaba_Anne.


Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy (and occasional science fiction) author by night. Her work has appeared in the Tiny Frontiers, Tiny Dungeons, and Aliens & Asteroids tabletop RPG series. Her fantasy novel, Moonshadow's Guardian, was released in November 2018. When she's not writing, Gunn can be found working to develop the indie author community. She hosts the #weeknightwriters Twitter chat at 7PM EST and is a co-host of #ReviewPit, a quarterly event designed to connect indie authors with review bloggers.


Meredith Hambrock has worked in writing rooms on over 100 episodes of TV comedy for CityTV, YTV, Netflix, and CTV and is the credited writer on episode #107 of YTV/Netflix's Some Assembly Required. She’s a three-time finalist for the CBC Short Story Prize, a national contest, and has published fiction in many Canadian literary journals and magazines. Four of her plays have been produced: a critically acclaimed one-woman show she wrote and produced for a contemporary circus artist called “CLIMB” and three pantomimes for youth audiences. She’s currently working on the Canadian comedy series “Corner Gas: Animated” as the Story Coordinator and shopping her first novel "Sympathy for Terrible People" in the USA. 

Heather Haskins received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and her B.S. in English Literature from Plattsburgh State University.  When required to define her genre, she chooses “memoir,” though her work spans everything from personal essay to humor writing to blogging to fiction.  Haskins’ memoir-in-progress, Locating Lorraine, is a product of her own attempts to navigate the world of domestic violence, not from a decade of professional work in domestic violence prevention, but from the vantage point of someone who loved and lost a family member–her Aunt Lorraine, who after decades of physical, psychological, and financial abuse finally ended her life.  Haskins’ work often explores the disconnect between people–from their surroundings, from each other, from themselves, and she is most interested in how we use art to establish, or reestablish those connections.  Haskins works as a freelance writer and editor, and is currently penning her second memoir about training her rescue dog Beckett to become a certified therapy dog.  Most recently, her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Feminist Wire, Forge Journal, The Elephant Journal, and The Albany Times Union.


Monique Hayes holds an MFA from the University of Maryland College Park, where she taught fiction and rhetoric courses. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Midway Journal, Prick of the Spindle, District Lines (Politics&Prose), Revise the Psalm (Curbside Publishing), Aberdeen Larks (the Dickens Fellowship) and the Jewish Currents Anthology. She was awarded a residency at Wildacres Retreat, and has received awards from the Missouri Writers Guild and Missouri Literary Festival. She currently serves as a Manuscript Screener for Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters.


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:


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. 


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!


Haley Isleib is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon, and teaches online at She’s a fan of Story, all kinds in any format--books, movies, games, graphic novels, poems, miscellany found abandoned at bus stops, etc. Her writing has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Plasm and Fireweed: Poetry of Western Oregon, and she is the recipient of a fellowship in poetry from Literary Arts of Oregon. Her script Drones & Drivers won the Feature Script category at the Other Worlds Austin screenwriting competition in 2015, and her short films have screened in festivals on both sides of the Atlantic.


Amy Jones is the author of the short fiction collection What Boys Like (Bibiloasis, 2009) and the novels We’re All in This Together (M&S 2016) and Every Little Piece of Me (M&S, 2019). She is a past winner of the CBC Short Story Prize and finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award, and her short fiction has been anthologized in Best Canadian Stories 08 and 09 and The Journey Prize Stories 25 and 26. Amy holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has previously taught creative writing at Lakehead University and served as the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop’s e-Writer in Residence in 2015. She currently teaches creative writing in the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto and mentor emerging writers through the Flying Books Writing School.


Christopher Karr is the co-creator of the indie streaming series Server Life on Vimeo. His novels include the coming-of-age tale JR SR YR and Kingdom Come, a slim adaptation of the Bible (both available on Amazon). Karr’s interviews and essays on film have appeared inHighbrow Magazine. His award-winning plays have been performed in Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Chicago. He currently lives in Austin, Texas. Watch new episodes of Server Life at


Stacy Karyn is a playwright, editor, and theatre educator from San Diego, California. After graduating from Hunter College in NYC with a BA in theatre, she took on an internship in theatre education with Roundabout Theatre on Broadway. This internship, along with the completion of a “TESOL Drama Workshop” ignited her passion for applied theatre and education, resulting in a journey of teaching playwriting courses around the world while simultaneously working as a freelance editor. Stacy has recently published a book of short plays for English learners, and is currently running an educational website focused on international theatre.


Mary Kobayashi is a freelance writer and editor, born and raised in Missoula, Montana. She has written for Funny or Die and been featured multiple times in The Huffington Post, Playboy, Splitsider, and on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Most recently, she co-wrote and executive produced BOOK CLUB with AIMEE MANN for Funny or Die. She is a regular performer at Public School, a story-telling show in Los Angeles.


Anne Korkeakivi is the author of the novels, Shining Sea (2016) and An Unexpected Guest (2012), from Little, Brown. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared for The Atlantic, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (UK), USA Today, Literary Hub, The Millions, The Yale Review, and many other publications in the US, UK, and online. A Hawthornden Fellow, she recently received the Lois Kahn Wallace Writers Award. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.  For more information about Anne and her writing, please visit her website.


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 DaughterThe 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.  Learn more at


Jessica Lauffer is a poet and editor in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA in poetry from The New School, and several years of experience tutoring in writing. She likes to experiment with a variety of pen names and genres. Her work has been featured in Pretty Owl Poetry, Dream The End, Mad Gleam Press, and other selections. She loves lipstick, astrology, and dancing all night long, but not in that order.


Anthony Leclair has been a freelance poet, playwright, lyricist, journalist, and composer for nearly a decade now, and is heavily invested in the world of writing. Currently he is Managing Editor, and contributor to the arts and culture publication Working now on several projects, including an adventure travelogue/conservation book on the Manitou Islands on Lake Nipissing, and an upcoming album (Whisky Moon), to be released this Summer, Anthony makes his living through writing contracts for music reviews, and list-based articles respectively. A graduate of Canadore College's Theatre Arts program in North Bay, ON, Leclair has traveled across Canada writing for several publications (RazMataz Music Mag, GUFF, The Reason Tribune), as well as writing and producing his own theatre productions. Having just returned to North Bay, to be closer to the site of his upcoming book, Anthony is always eager to share, and have art shared with him. 


Nanette Littlestone is a best-selling author, editor, writing coach, publisher, and CEO of Words of Passion. She helps authors overcome writers block, master correct grammar, create strong structure, and write with clarity and passion by blending the technicalities of writing with intuition, emotion, and heart. Over 20 years of experience working with both fiction and nonfiction kindle Nanette's passion for assisting authors to achieve their own unique message. She specializes in helping women write from the heart so they can put their passion into words and inspire others.  Her books include F.A.I.T.H. - Finding Answers in the Heart, Volumes I and II, Overcoming Writer's Block: Moving from Fear to Passion, and the historical novel The Sacred Flame. She is at work on the sequel to The Sacred Flame called Bella Toscana. In her spare time, she works with the Conscious Life Journal as editor, managing authors and articles for this magazine that helps people journey into higher conscious awareness through the five stages of Mind, Body, Spirit, Integration, and Balance.


Hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan, April Love has been creating stories since childhood. Her love for writing spans styles and genres, and her body of work includes fiction, non-fiction, stage plays and screenplays. With a Master's Degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, April won first place in her category in the 77th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition with her feature article entitled “My Cup Runneth Under.” Her other published pieces include an article in Canada's Vitality Magazine, a feature in a FaithWriters' compilation, and multiple works for eHow and other online resources.  With well over 100 short stories in her portfolio, April is unceasingly inspired by everyday experiences and interactions. She also performs at kid-friendly events as a doll-like character called Miss Pickles, who has served as a muse for several unique writing projects. Living now in Denver, April is working on producing scripts for a children's cable television show.


Lily Mabura has pursued a transnational literary and scholarly career in countries such as Kenya, the USA, and the UAE. Mabura has degrees from the University of Nairobi, the University of Idaho (MFA in Creative Writing – Fiction), and the University of Missouri-Columbia (PhD English – Creative Writing & Africana Studies). Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as RAL, LTHE, and ariel. 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. Mabura’s 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. Her latest book is a collection of short stories titled How Shall We Kill the Bishop and Other Stories (African Writers Series, Heinemann-Pearson, 2012). Short fiction by Mabura has appeared in PRISMinternational (Univ. of British Columbia, Canada), Wasafiri (Routledge - UK), Callaloo (Johns Hopkins UP), the 2007 Fish Anthology (Ireland), and Love on the Road 2015 anthology (Liberties Press, Dublin, Ireland). 


Danny Manus is one of the most in-demand script consultants as CEO of No BullScript Consulting and author of “No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective.” He was ranked one of the Top 15 “Cream of the Crop” script consultants in CS Magazine. He was previously the Director of Development for Clifford Werber Productions (Cinderella Story, Sydney White), where he sold “To Oz” to United Artists. He was also Development Consultant for Eclectic Pictures (Lovelace) and the DOD and Production Coordinator at Sandstorm Films (The Covenant, 8MM2), which had a first look deal at Screen Gems. Danny is also a producer, a columnist for ScriptMag, a judge four years running for the PAGE Awards, and teaches seminars and workshops across the country. You can follow him on Twitter @DannyManus.


Jules Marie is a Boulder, Colorado journalist who has had over 350 articles and 1000 blogs published on topics ranging from organic chocolate and biodynamic farming to reverse mortgages and haunted castles. She’s a self-described word chef and eats words for breakfast, lunch and dinner! She recalls her Mom gathering all six kids together for breakfast every morning and quizzing them with words for the National Spelling Bee. Jules has self-published a cookbook and is currently writing two books: A thriller and a non-fiction business book. She is an engaging speaker and her passion for helping people navigate the world of words is evident in her dynamic classes and presentations. She’s a judge and selector for several literary award competitions: Colorado Book Awards, Colorado Independent Publishers Association (EVVY awards) and in 2019 she’ll be judging for the Ben Franklin PEN awards. Meet her at


Schyler Martin is a screenwriter and journalist from North Carolina who lives and works in Los Angeles. She currently writes treatments for national and international commercials. Schyler has written treatments for brands such as Google, Facebook, Samsung, Nike, Range Rover, and many more. She attended the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and minored in writing for the screen and stage, and history. Her one-act play, “Death and Dignity,” was published in a drama collection. Schyler is currently working on a television pilot.


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.


Melissa McCann is a Detroit based writer. She currently works as a writing tutor and is pursuing an MFA in writing at Lindenwood University. Melissa has previous experience working with online literary journals and in film. When she is not writing and reading, you can find her snuggling with her cat and binge watching TV.


Tara McDaniel is a poet and prose writer living in the arts district of Minneapolis. She has an MFA in Literature and Creative Writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work is featured in Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Third Wednesday, Map Literary Magazine, Gently Read Literature, and elsewhere. She teaches poetry and poetics at the Loft Literary Center and community centers around the Twin Cities. She is also a former editorial intern at Graywolf Press and was a judge for’s monthly newsletter poetry feature, which reaches over 7 million readers.


Kerry McElroy is a freelance writer, editor, playwright, writing instructor, and PhD candidate based in Montreal, Canada. She holds a masters in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently completing a PhD thesis at Concordia University on the labour and industrial history of women in Hollywood.  In 2013, McElroy created and screened a short film, Maid, Uncredited in Montreal. In 2014, she was the writer and a lead producer of the play An Evening with James Joyce, staged as part of Bloomsday Montreal. In the last year, she has been the English subtitler for a Cannes-submitted documentary on women directors and published articles in Irish America, Alt.Theatre, and Performance Ireland. She is currently producing a yearlong series on the economic history of women in Hollywood for The Independent film magazine in 2018. She has been an invited guest on podcasts, radio shows, and interviewed for Vice, Elle Quebec, and Accent magazines. She currently tutors newly landed immigrants to Canada in English, focusing on creative writing, literature, and theatre.


Jessica Mehta is the author of over one dozen books and currently a Halcyon Arts Lab fellow in Washington DC. She's a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and curating an anthology of poetry written by incarcerated and previously incarcerated indigenous women. Jessica is a poetry editor at Airlie Press, Bending Genres Literary Review, and Exclamat!on. Find out more at


Patrick Parr is the author of The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age (Chicago Review Press, April 2018), praised by David Garrow as “without question the most original and important book about King’s life to appear in more than a quarter century,” and by Kirkus as “fearless…cleareyed and honest.” Parr’s work has appeared in Politico, The Atlantic, History Today, The Humanist and The Japan Times, among others. He has also had fiction appear in over a dozen magazines, and in 2014 was the recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship for his literary career. Parr earned his Bachelor’s degree in Literature from Catawba College, and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Seton Hill University.


Anna Pohlod recently graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. As the acquisitions assistant at Ohio University Press and Swallow Press, she worked with creative and academic manuscripts and helped organize the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. She is now a freelance SEO writer and a research assistant for an upcoming book on Ohio history.


Rachel Porter is an editor, writer, and educator in NYC. She holds a master’s degree in secondary English education from Brooklyn College and a bachelor’s in English and music from Portland State University. After working as an English teacher, she began focusing on editorial projects instead. Since then, she has worked for independent and traditional publishing companies, edited fiction novels and educational materials, and provided ELA, writing, and ESL tutoring to students. In her free time, she plays music and teaches piano lessons.


Jess Rinker's debut picture book, Gloria Takes a Stand, a biography of Gloria Steinem, comes out in March 2019. Her second picture book biography, Send a Girl: The Brenda Berkman Story is forthcoming in 2021. Both are being published by Bloomsbury. Jessica’s middle grade novel debut duology, The Dare Sisters, will be published in Fall 2020 and 2021 by Imprint/Macmillan. Jess has a BA in Social Welfare and received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and has won many awards for her work including short story, creative nonfiction, and most recently an honorable mention for the Katherine Paterson Prize from Hunger Mountain for her middle grade manuscript, The Young Traveler’s Club


Jordan Rivers is the author of “The Village Series” (children books) and currently the talk show host and producer of “Turn the Pages” on Chicago’s access network. Turn the Pages focuses on bringing parents and teachers together to solve problems in the education sector. As a writer Jordan’s mission is also to encourage children to read which is why she started Turn the Pages, a non-profit that helps authors promote literacy through tours within the schools, libraries and bookstores.  Jordan graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Creative Writing. She worked at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center until she realized that she could reach more youth as a writer. After years of volunteering for a publishing company, school libraries and her Alma mater Kenwood Academy, Jordan decided that it was time to move forward and she received her Masters in Fine Arts with a concentration in Screenwriting from Full Sail University. Finally, Jordan created Rivers Ink (a children’s publishing company) for Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian writers who have a story to tell to children who look like them due to the lack of diversity in children’s literature.  Learn more about Jordan at


Gabriel Robinson is a writer and freelance editor, originally from West Virginia. As a kid she read everything she could get her hands on, especially myths, fairy tales, and science fiction; she wrote bad stories and got other kids to act in her terrible plays. At Bard College she majored in comparative religions. She later earned a Ph.D. in history of religions from the University of Chicago with a dissertation about bullfighting and Catholicism. Her storytelling interests range across different media. She’s been an associate fiction editor for the Chicago Review and senior researcher for a film about the development of evolutionary theory. Her graphic short story, “The Red Calf,” was published in the horror anthology Hellbound II. She won a fellowship to attend the Stowe Story Lab in 2015, and in 2016 completed her first screenplay, The Soldier Nun, which placed fourth in the Stage 32 Feature Screenplay Competition. She is a visiting scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, and lives in Cambridge, MA with her partner and two-year-old son. 
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.

Chloe Rose Stuart-Ulin is a Montreal-based journalist, editor and screenwriter. Her stories on tech, finance, and gender have appeared in CBC, Quartz, Ha'aretz, Maclean's, and Lift&Co. Her award-winning short films and series have screened internationally to much festival acclaim. Her Twitter is @chloerosewrites.


Sam Scrimger is a Torontonian writer of numerous short fictions and articles on the outdoors and rock-climbing. After getting his start at Random House Canada he has been writing and editing fictions freelance. He is presently working on a new fantasy novel and has relocated to scenic New Zealand to continue his editing career. He spends his time climbing and camping around Christchurch.


Taj Shareef is an LA based writer originally from New Jersey. He has always loved great stories as he found himself glued to the TV for countless hours watching Batman, X-men, All In the Family, and Golden Girls. Further foray into fiction led him to the literary works of Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Alice Sebold, and Stephen King. He obtained his B.A. in Communications and Radio Production from Delaware State University.  His eclectic interests and writing style have led to his work being featured in online periodicals like Young Adult Magazine, Australian lifestyle magazine Kluster, as well as blog contributions. He spends quite a bit of time reading manuscripts and novels as an audiobook narrator with work featured on At present, he is a Staff Writer with BigFooters LLC and working on a Sci-Fi series due for release 2019-2020.


Rachel Logan Snyder is a poet and writing instructor from Westchester, New York. She earned her BA and MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. After teaching at SUNY Purchase and Manhattanville college for several years, she recently moved to Austin, Texas to write, live, and roam. When she's not writing, she enjoys hiking and photography, and has developed a spontaneous interest in rock collecting. Her poems have most recently appeared in Slice Magazine, Decomp, Word Riot, and Big Lucks. 


D.W. Socha began her career as a story analyst when she was a college intern working for James Cameron. Her assignments included feature screenplays, graphic novels and short stories. After college she was an analyst for several production companies and literary agencies. Most recently, Socha has been working as an analyst for Script-A-Wish which caters to the writer directly, offering insights and story structure notes to aspiring writers. A writer herself, Socha has an ACE Double titled ‘The Ties That Bind’ available as an eBook and has two television pilots in development.


Born and raised in the small mountain town of Sunland-Tujunga, Ryan Socha devoted the majority of his childhood to inventing games, creating stories and reading books of all kinds. He was co-editor, writer, and cartoonist for the high school paper and won 1st place in their scary story writing contest on Halloween. His 1st major in college was English Lit, which he received an AA degree in before pivoting to physics in his later years. He’s written and published several short stories, books of poetry, and a fantasy novel which he plans on turning into a series.  For the past 5 years he’s made a career out of teaching workshops on English rhetoric, language composition, and Essay writing for the high school SAT/ACT prep. Among his favorite authors include Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, and Neil Gaiman. His capacity for creativity and imagination both animate and inspire his passion for writing and literature in all respects.


Hayley Stone is a writer who lives in Rocklin, California. She recently graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s degree in history—a subject she believes offers a wealth of story inspiration as well as a powerful look into what makes us human. While at CSUS, she had the pleasure of studying under award-winning poet, Joshua McKinney, who introduced her to a love of poetry, and taught her the value of precise language. Her poem, “Cinderella Comes Out of Egypt,” was published in the 2014 Calaveras Station Literary Journal. With an eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she has contributed to manuscripts such as The Paper Magician series (47North) by Charlie N. Holmberg, and Inconceivable (Curiosity Quills) by Missy Shelton Belote due out this summer. Hayley is currently on submission for her own sci-fi novel, Machinations. She loves hearing from fellow writers and readers. Tweet her @hayley_stone or check out her website:


Writer, educator, and editor Susan Thurston's work has been published frequently including in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Los Angeles Review, Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, Minnesota Monthly, Fox Cry Review, Rag Mag; several anthologies including Open to Interpretation: At Water’s Edge, Low Down and Coming On, Tremors Vibrations Enough to Rearrange the World, Penchant; the chapbook Wild Bone Season; the novel Sister of Grendel; and Cooking-Up the Good Life with local-food movement leader Chef Jenny Breen. 


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.


Cynthia Uhrich writes plays, films, and short-stories and just completed her first novel in January! Whoot-whoot!! She owns IN THE MOMENT FILMS, a non-profit film production company which has produced several short films she has written, including “Robert in the Bedroom” which in 2017 was selected to screen at the 36th Annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. This year, “Code Green” has already been accepted to Docs Without Borders in the Docu-Drama category. Uhrich is the author of a quirky, heart-felt comedy feature script titled “Hotdish” and is fully expecting a major star to option it! Additionally, she has co-written a sitcom pilot titled “Welcome to the Cavelier” and is polishing that to pitch to the on-demand programming world. As a playwright, two of Cynthia’s monologues (from her own memoir) were staged and then published in “Dirty Girls Come Clean: The Anthology” Vol. I (Freshwater Press.) She garnered 3rd Place in the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Jade Ring Competition in Adult Fiction for her story “Gathering Beauty.” Smith and Kraus published “Leaf on the Wind,” a short play she wrote with Jennifer Tuder.  Her novel (memoir) manuscript with famed Minneapolis musician, BrownMark, is slated to go into editing in March this year. She has just been retained to serve as an Editor for the online website Bodyguard Careers. She is the facilitator of an ongoing Women’s Writing Retreat, founded in 2011.  Her website is  

Ryan Uytdewilligen, a Canadian born writer, studied Broadcast Journalism at Lethbridge College which led to several years as a reporter, freelance writer and blogger, On Air Traffic News Anchor, Media relations for the Vancouver International Film Festival, and a copywriter for various radio stations. He made the move to Vancouver in 2014 to pursue creative writing, studying film and television at Vancouver Film School.  Ryan sold his first screenplay in 2015 to Look to the Sky Productions. The script is currently in development and led the company to hire Ryan to write two separate scripts for development. In 2016, Ryan published two books – the first a nonfiction film history called 101 Most Influential Coming of Age Movies through Algora publishing. His second book and first fiction work was released in mid September, a young adult novel called Tractor through Sartoris Literary.  Ryan continues to write screenplays, novels, and nonfiction works. He has also written and produced two short films, Tea Time (2014) and Even the Devil Swiped Right (2015).
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 WednesdayPoetry Nook, and Chrysalis, among others, and she recently received a Writers' Reserve grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her poetry manuscript, Evening BITE.


Eleanore Wells is a writer and filmmaker living in Boston. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has been writing since she was three years old. Her work has received national distinction by the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, and has served as an editor for the Young Writer’s Literary Journal. Follow her on twitter at @elliebwells.

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.


Greta C. Wink is a researcher and archivist for the Hudson-on-Hudson Historical Society in Hudson-on-Hudson, NY. A writer and historian, Greta co-produced OWNING THE WEATHER for 4th Row Films and has read scripts for the Nantucket Film Festival for five seasons. She has also co-written and consulted numerous independent projects. Make contact or keep up with her historical discoveries at Hudson-on-Hudson's Facebook page.


Catherine Wiska is a Waterloo based writer, editor, and copywriter. Through tutoring, ghost writing, and content management in the finance sector, she has a diverse range of writing and editing experience. Catherine believes that the written word has the power to comfort, teach, and unite. Whether they are stories from the real world or from a far-off universe, they deserve to be told. Through a multifaceted approach, Catherine works with writers, authors, and entrepreneurs to help them refine their message and share their passion with the world.


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: A world traveler, his years living in Japan and China have had a noticeable cross-cultural influence on his work, which crops up in unexpected ways in the realms he fashions. He has worked in the video game industry as a narrative designer and writer for years, notable projects being the mmorpg City of Steam and the sandbox horror game Darkout. Brian's work has been featured in numerous books including Steampunk for Simpletons, along with credits in both television and film. He recently published Modern Philosophy and Other Absurd Ideas, 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. Learn more through his website,


Joanne C. Yi is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and a BA in Human Development from the University of California, San Diego. She is a former Fiction Editor of Lunch Ticket Literary Journal and has written articles and weekly features for local news. Previously, she has written and spoken about the portrayal of Asian-American women in literature and the significance of writing about illness, pain, and loss. She is currently working on a YA novel and a series of short stories.


Beverley Young has enjoyed a long and successful career as a freelance writer. For several years she specialized in speechwriting for federal cabinet ministers and was on the writing team for Her Royal Majesty the Queen during the Queen’s cross country tour of Canada. Beverley is the published author of Secrets In Qumran (historical fiction, 2007) and has three winning short stories to her credit: The Trouble With Dawn was a runner up in the Toronto Star International Short Story Contest; Rosie’s Legacy was published in an anthology of winning short stories; and The End of Politeness was a winner in the 2015 Ottawa Libraries Short Story Contest. After studying dramatic screenwriting for two seasons with the Summer Institute of Film & Television, several of her screenplay projects received funding from the CTV Development Fund. Beverley also studied The Character Arc with Hollywood Script Consultant, Dara Marks, and was a movie and screenplay reviewer for the Toronto International Film & Video Awards.


Melissa Zeigler graduated from New York University with a BFA in Drama and Psychology.  In addition to her own writing projects, she has worked in script development on staff and as a freelancer for the last seven years.  Always a sucker for a good story, Melissa hasn't been able to nail down one genre as her favorite and would rather keep things fresh by writing and reading across them all.  She calls LA home, though is currently in New York working on her next project.  When she isn't writing, she prefers to be hiking with her dog or planning her next traveling adventure.  Some of her produced shorts can be viewed online at












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