Susan Choi is the author of five novels, including Trust Exercise, which received the 2019 National Book Award for fiction. She has also been recipient of the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, a Lamba Literary award, the 2021 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She serves as a trustee of PEN America and teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including The Book of Aron, and five story collections, including most recently The World to Come and Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, One Story, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Tin House, the New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope: All Story, and Playboy, and five of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, two for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.
Dani Shapiro is a bestselling novelist and memoirist and host of the podcast Family Secrets (now in its sixth season). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, and Time. She has taught at Columbia and New York University and is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference. Her new novel, Signal Fires, will be published by Knopf in October.
Hannah Tinti is the author of the bestselling novel The Good Thief, which won The Center for Fiction’s first novel prize, and the story collection Animal Crackers, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her latest novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, is a national bestseller and is in development with Netflix. She teaches creative writing at New York University’s MFA program and co-founded the Sirenland Writers Conference. Tinti is also the co-founder and executive editor of One Story magazine, which won the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, CLMP’s Firecracker Award, and the PEN/Magid Award for Excellence in Editing.
Karen Shepard is a Chinese-American born and raised in New York City. She is the author of four novels, An Empire of Women, The Bad Boy’s Wife, Don’t I Know You?, The Celestials, and the collection of stories, Kiss Me Someone. Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, and Ploughshares, among others. Her nonfiction has appeared in More, Self, USA Today, and the Boston Globe, among others. She teaches writing and literature at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she lives with her husband, novelist Jim Shepard, and their three children.
Michael Maren is a former journalist and current filmmaker. He has worked for The Village Voice, and New York Magazine and contributed to The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and The New Republic among other publications. He is the author of The Road to Hell, which The New Yorker has labeled “the seminal critique of foreign aid.” As a filmmaker he has written scripts for HBO, Sony Pictures and Killer Films. He wrote and directed A Short History of Decay and his most recent film, Shriver, stars Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Don Johnson, Zach Braff, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. It will be released next year.