Fiction. Christopher Coake is the author of “You Came Back” (Grand Central Publishing, out June 2012) as well as the collection of short stories “We’re In Trouble” (Harcourt 2005), which won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. In addition, Coake was listed among “Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists” in 2007. His stories have been published in several literary journals, and anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories 2004 and The Best American Noir of The Century. A native Hoosier, he received his M.F.A. in fiction from Ohio State University. He and his wife Stephanie Lauer live in Reno, where Coake is a professor of English at the University of Nevada.
Poetry. Julia Connor Sacramento Poet Laureate Emeritus, is the author “Making The Good,” (Tooth of Time Press), and seven chapbooks. Her work has been anthologized and appears widely in journals such as: The Paterson Review, RUNES, No Exit, First Intensity, New American Writing, Café Review, Skunky Possum and many others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been awarded literary fellowships from the Centrum Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, The Virginia Center for Arts and Science, as well as the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and the California Arts Council. A past faculty member and Assistant Director of the MFA Writing Program at Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado, she has taught writing workshops and intensives in the community for the past twenty years. Connor is a core faculty member of Modoc Forum’s Surprise Valley Writers’Conference and Poetic Spirit gathering.
Poetry. Judy Halebsky's book of poems, “Sky=Empty”, won the New Issues Prize and was a finalist for the California Book Award. The MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Japanese Ministry of Culture have supported her work. She lives in San Francisco and teaches creative writing and literature at Dominican University of California. New Issues will publish her poetry collection, “Tree Line”, in 2014.
Keynote Speaker, Creative Nonfiction. Michelle Herman is the author of the novels “Missing and Dog”, the collection of novellas “A New and Glorious Life,” and the essay collections “The Middle of Everything” and “Stories We Tell Ourselves.” Other essays and short fiction have appeared in American Scholar, O, the Oprah Magazine, The Southern Review, and many other journals. Her awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a James Michener Fellowship, numerous individual artist’s fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and two major teaching awards—the University Distinguished Teaching Award and the Rodica Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring—from Ohio State, where she has taught since 1988, and where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Fine Arts, as well as a summer program for teenage writers, the Young Writers Workshop. A New Yorker by birth as well as temperament, she lives in Columbus with her husband, the painter Glen Holland, and their daughter.