First Draft

Michael Lionstar

James Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and Air Force pilot until his mid-thirties, when the success of his first novel, The Hunters (1957), led to a fulltime writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. His novel, A Sport and a Pastime (1967), was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.” His latest book, All That Is, was published to critical acclaim in 2013. He lives in New York and Aspen.

Rob Liguori

Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, in the former Soviet Union, in 1979, and emigrated to the United States in 1988. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The New Republic, The Nation, Harper’s, Vogue, The London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Beth Gwinn

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children and five grandchildren, live in Santa Cruz, California.

Joshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010.  His current novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is short listed for the Man Booker Prize.  He lives in New York.

Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including Einstein’s Dreams, which was an international best seller and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award.  He is also the author of two collections of essays and several books on science.  A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities.  He lives in the Boston area.

Stuart Dybek is the author of five books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Most recently published include Paper Lantern: Love Stories and Ecstatic Cahoots: Short Stories.  Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books, and The Coast of Chicago was a One Book One Chicago selection. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles.  His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry.  Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a PEN/Malamud Prize “for distinguished achievement in the short story,” a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2007 Dybek was awarded the  John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Hannah Tinti is a writer, editor, and teacher.  Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her best-selling novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. She is now finishing a new novel.

Hannah has worked at bookstores, magazines, publishing houses, and literary agencies. In 2002 she co-founded the award-winning magazine One Story and for the past 12 years has been its Editor in Chief. In 2009 she received the PEN/Nora Magid award for excellence in editing and in 2014 One Story won the AWP Prize for Best Small Press. In 2011, she joined the Public Radio program, Selected Shorts, as their Literary Commentator, interviewing authors and actors about the importance of literature and reading.

Olivia Smith

Kevin Barry is the author of City of Bohane and two story collections, his newest, Dark Lies the Island, is being published in America in September 2013. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Dark Lies the Island is a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Fiction Book of Fall 2013. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland.

Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist who passed on his passion to his son. Bass received a B.S. in petroleum geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas and oil geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. He started writing short stories during his lunch breaks.

He is the author of over twenty books. His first short story collection, The Watch, set in Texas, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection, The Hermit’s Story, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Bass’s stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected in The Best American Short Stories. His newest novel is called All The Land To Hold Us.

Bader Howar

Edan Lepucki is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her short fiction has been published in Narrative Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Meridian,  FiveChapters, and McSweeney’s, among others. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and for Writing Workshops Los Angeles, which she founded.   Her novel is called California.