2013 & 2020 Moderator
Aimee Bender is the author of six books: her most recent novel, The Butterfly Lampshade, published July 2020, which Publisher’s Weekly called “an astounding meditation on time, space, mental illness, and family”, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt a NY Times Notable Book, An Invisible Sign of My Own an L.A. Times pick of the year, Willful Creatures nominated by The Believer as one of the best books of the year, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which won the SCIBA award for best fiction, and an Alex Award, and The Color Master, a NY Times Notable Book for 2013. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and teaches creative writing at USC.
2017 & 2020 Author
Rufi Thorpe grew up in Southern California, whose people, coast lines and real estate listings continue to obsess her. After graduating from Eugene Lang College, she spent some time as a waitress at a poorly run French café before she was accepted as a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia’s MFA program. Years of incredibly depressing waitressing followed before she sold her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, long-listed for the Dylan Thomas and Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Thorpe’s latest novel, The Knockout Queen, was an Indie Next Pick and a Book of the Month, published in April 2020. She lives with her husband, two sons and insane dog in Los Angeles.
Kevin WilsonKathleen Waller
Kevin Wilson is the author of two collections, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby You’re Gonna Be Mine, and three novels, The Family Fang, Perfect Little World, and Nothing to See Here. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology as well as The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee with his family and is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Sewanee: The University of the South.