Literary Roster

Pittsburgh is home to an incredible range of authors, publishing professionals, literary event organizers and opinion leaders.

Our city nurtures well-known and emerging literary talent and is the inspiration for many works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In addition to the authors you may recognize, Littsburgh’s evolving literary roster features some of the passionate people who work behind the scenes to find local and national audiences for this work, and who help make Pittsburgh a haven for writers and readers.

If you would like to suggest yourself or someone you know for inclusion in this directory, please email us with a biographical sketch, and any relevant website and social links (we no longer require a high-resolution photograph).

 
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Julie Albright

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Biography

Julie Albright is owner of The Writing Studio, where she offers individual coaching for kids and adults, summer camps for kids, and editing and writing services.

Julie studied creative writing at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. She served as the assistant director of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project as well as the Young Writers Institute, and has taught writing workshops in Pittsburgh area schools, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and many other local venues.


Her short stories and essays have appeared in Third Coast, The Good Men Project, and Ducts, among others. Julie has contributed to publications including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pulp Magazine, and Pittsburgh City Paper, and writes regularly for Carnegie Mellon Today. She received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant for her novel, Carville, and although she writes mainly fiction, she’s now at work on a memoir.

Michael Albright

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Michael Albright is the Managing Editor of the Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and curates the “Under the Sign of the Bear” reading series. He has published poetry in numerous online and print journals. His first book of poems, In the Hall of Dead Birds and Viking Tools was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. He lives on a windy hilltop near Greensburg, PA. with his wife Lori and an ever-changing array of children and other animals.

Laura Lee Anderson

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Author Laura Lee Anderson has lived in the Pittsburgh area since 2007, and has lived on the North Side of Pittsburgh since 2010. Her Young Adult Contemporary novel, Song of Summer was published by Bloomsbury Spark in July of 2015. She’s represented by Uwe Stender of TriadaUS.

After growing up in the arts-loving small town of Westfield, NY (the setting of Song of Summer), Laura got her BA in Theatre Performance and music minor from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. She and her husband currently work with the Urban Impact Foundation on the North Side of Pittsburgh. In 2010, they created a semi-professional Shakespeare company for at-risk youth.

When she’s not writing, she’s kept very busy with mom-ing, teaching, and baking cookies, as well as the occasional acting job.

Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/llawrites

And her blog: https://lauraleeanderson.wordpress.com/

Kelly Andrews

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Biography

Kelly Andrews’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PANK, Prick of the Spindle, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Menacing Hedge, Lime Hawk, IDK Magazine, Rogue Agent, and Weave Magazine, among others. Her chapbook “Mule Skinner” is available from Dancing Girl Press (2014). She is a poetry coeditor for the online journals Pretty Owl Poetry and Hot Metal Bridge, and has a hand in creating B.E. Quarterly, a community-based Pittsburgh zine. She also curates the Pretty Owl Poetry Spotlight reading series held at Classic Lines bookstore. More information about her publications and literary endeavors can be found at her website.

Lis Anna-Langston

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Biography

Lis Anna-Langston is the author of Tupelo Honey, Skinny Dipping in a Dirty Pond and the short story collection, The End of the Century. Born in the South she loves writing about misfits, screw ups, outlaws and people who generally don’t fit into nicely labeled boxes. She loves zany, wild rides and is the recipient of many awards including; a 2013/2011 Pushcart nominee, 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Semi-finalist, a five time WorldFest winner, Telluride IndieFest winner, Helene Wurlitzer Grant recipient, New Century Writers winner, a finalist in the prestigious William Faulkner Competition, & Second Place Winner of the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Award and 2016 Bronze winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and 2016 Chanticleer First Place YA Book Award winner. She writes Young Adult, New Adult and Middle Grade novels and loves every second of it.

Her fiction has been published in Word Riot, The Blotter, Petigru Review, Hot Metal Press, The Smoking Poet, Eclectic Flash Literary Journal, Paper Skin Glass Bones, 491 Magazine, Fiction Fix, The Monarch Review, 5×5 Literary Magazine, Red Booth Review, Hint Fiction Anthology, Chamber Four Literary Magazine, Emyrs Journal, Literary Laundry, Barely South Review, Flash Fiction Offensive, Flashquake Literary Journal, Steel Toe Review, Cactus Heart Press, Empty Sink Publishing, Prick of the Spindle Literary Review, Per Contra, Storyacious, Gravel Literary, Bedlam Publishing, The Merrimack Review, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Kaaterskill Basin Journal, Sand Hill Review, Conclave, Milk Journal and The MacGuffin Literary Review. You can learn more about her at: http://www.lisannalangston.com

Jonathan Auxier

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Jonathan Auxier writes strange stories for strange children. His first novel, Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes was an ABA New Voices pick and a Bookpage Magazine “Best Book” of 2011. His latest book, The Night Gardener won the IRA Children’s Award, the CLA Book Award, and was named a best book of 2014 by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and NPR. His newest novel Sophie Quire & the Last Storyguard will be out next spring. He lives in Pittsburgh with his family and their adorable pet umbrella. You can learn more about him by visiting his website at http://www.TheScop.com where he blogs about children’s books old and new.

Anne Babson

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Anne Babson’s first collection, released in 2015 by Vox Press, The White Trash Pantheon, won the Colby H. Kullman prize. Her poetry has been nominated four times for the Pushcart. She has won awards from Columbia, Atlanta Review, Grasslands Review, and other reviews. Her work has been published in the US, in England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Turkey. She was included in a British anthology of the best working American poets today entitled Seeds of Fire (Smokestack Books, 2008) and is another British Anthology related to the current riots in England entitled Emergency Verse (Caparison Books, 2011). She has four chapbooks, over a hundred journal publications, including work recently featured in in Iowa Review, Barrow Street, Atlanta Review, and many others. She is featured on a compilation hip-hop CD–The Cornerstone (New Lew Music, 2007). She has read her work for national radio programs and has appeared on television in the United States and in Taiwan. Catch her blog about her North-South culture shock at The Carpet Bagger’s Journal–Moving from NYC to Mississippi

Jason Baldinger

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Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs, if only poetry was the strangest of them he’d have far less to talk about. He’s traveled the country and written a few books, the latest of which are The Lower 48 (Six Gallery Press) and The Studs Terkel Blues (Night Ballet Press). A short litany of publishing credits include Blast Furnace, The Glassblock, Lilliput Review, Green Panda Press, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Beatnik Cowboy, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance, Uppagus and Anti-Heroin Chic. You can hear audio versions of some poems on Bandcamp, just type in his name.

Jennifer Bannan

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Jennifer Bannan is the author of short story collection Inventing Victor, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003. Her novel-in-progress was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finalist. Her publications include work in The Kenyon Review online, ACM, womenwriters.net, Passages North and the Autumn House 2011 fiction anthology, “Keeping the Wolves at Bay.” She is an adjunct professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

J.D. Barker

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Biography

J.D. Barker is the international bestselling author of Forsaken (Hampton Creek Press, 2014) – a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel, the expertly crafted tale twists both past and present into a fast-paced, suspenseful ride which has earned him comparisons to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul. His latest novel, The Fourth Monkey, is set to release in 2017. In addition, he has been asked to co-author a prequel to Dracula by the Stoker family. Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL and Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Dayna.

More info can be found on http://www.jdbarker.com.

Chloe T. Barlow

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Chloe T. Barlow is a contemporary romance novelist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and their sweet dog. She has sold over 15,000 copies of her The Gateway to Love series which is set in Pittsburgh. She is a native Washingtonian that graduated Duke University with a degree in English and Chinese language. She met her husband at Duke and he brought her to Pittsburgh over a decade ago, which she has loved ever since and made her adopted hometown. She also attended the University of Pittsburgh Law School where she continued to be a book-loving nerd. Chloe has always loved writing and cherishes the opportunity to craft her novels and share them with the world. When Chloe isn’t writing, she spends her time exploring Pittsburgh with her husband and friends.

Jonathan Barnes

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Biography

Jonathan Barnes is a Pittsburgh-born journalist and freelance tech writer who is the author of thousands of newspaper, magazine and news service stories for media including Reuters, Fortune, Engineering News-Record (ENR), Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh City Paper, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other publications. The vast majority of his published stories were created as a freelancer–he was only a full-time reporter for local newspapers for a few years since he began writing for pay in 1995. A former editor/reporter for the Butler Eagle, he also was a staffer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been a stringer for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsday, ARTE TV and others.

His essays have appeared in the Post-Gazette, ENR, Pittsburgh Magazine and other newspapers and magazines, and in the Dos Passos Review, Sampsonia Way and other literary journals.

He blogs for ENR under his Barnestormin tag. He has been writing his personal blog Barnestormin for more than 12 years.

He has repeatedly been invited to read his essays and lecture on journalism to students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon, and also has been honored there for his essay writing. Barnes also has been a guest lecturer to journalism students and faculty at Point Park University.

Barnes helped ENR magazine win two ASBPE (American Society of Business Press Editors) awards for excellence in writing and reporting. One of those prizes was won partly for his essay “Tell Bullies To Step Off,” which was his personal contribution to a package of stories on bullying.

A graduate of Kiskiminetas Springs School (Kiski) and Carnegie Mellon University, Barnes earned BAs in Professional Writing and Creative Writing.

While maintaining his hand in journalism, in recent years Barnes has developed a niche in tech writing. He’s written for Facebook, Rolls-Royce, GE, Procore, Xerox, ARC Technology Solutions, Kespry and many other firms. He specializes in writing about SaaS, and about tech geared toward the architecture, engineering and construction industry.

Tess Barry

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Tess Barry was shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize (UK). Twice a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and Aesthetica Magazine’s (UK) Poetry Award, she also was shortlisted for the 2014 Bridport Poetry Prize (UK). Most recently, her poems appeared or are forthcoming in The Compass Magazine (UK), Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), Headstuff.org (Ireland), Mudfish, The Pickled Body (Ireland), Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Woven Tale Press Literary and Arts Magazine (UK) and online at the Manchester Writing School’s website. Her most recent prose is available online at North American Review, where she has been a featured blogger. Barry is a Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and longtime member of Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops. She teaches literature and creative writing at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, and poetry for Madwomen’s outreach program at The Ellis School.

Scott T. Barsotti

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Scott T. Barsotti is a playwright, author, and horror fan, tracing his love of the genre back to childhood readings of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. He is the author of the sci-fi horror novel Single Version, and many plays including Jet Black Chevrolet, Kill Me, The Revenants, and Brewed. Scott spent over a decade in Chicago making theatre, in particular with WildClaw, producers of horror theatre and the annual Deathscribe radio play festival. Scott received an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He now lives back in his hometown, Pittsburgh, with his family.

Bob Batz Jr.

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Bob Batz Jr. is a features editor and writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he was from 2007 to mid-2015 the food editor. The paper’s food section has won many awards, including Best Newspaper Food Coverage in 2009 and 2011 from the Association of Food Journalists. He is the vice president of that group and a member of the North American Guild of Beer Writers. He started writing here in 1986 at the Pittsburgh Press and has covered everything from nude volleyball to the death and funeral of Princess Diana. He once wrote a short story for the PG, where for several years he led a narrative writing group that he talked about several times at the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University and wrote about in the 2007 anthology, Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide.

Joan E. Bauer

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Joan E. Bauer is the author of The Almost Sound of Drowning (Main Street Rag, 2008). Her poetry has appeared in more than 40 journals including Chiron Review, 5 AM, The Paterson Literary Review, Poet Lore, Quarterly West, Slipstream, US 1 Worksheets, and in more than a dozen anthologies. Her poetry has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and in 2007, she won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize from Prism International for her poem, “Sleepers.” Born in Southern California, Joan worked for some years as an English teacher and educational counselor, and now divides her time between Venice, CA and Pittsburgh PA where, along with Jimmy Cvetic, she co-hosts and curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series.

Jameson Bayles

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Jameson Bayles is a roving correspondent for Poetrybay and was the co-curator of the 2016-2017 KC Poetry Throwdown held in Kansas City, MO. His work has been published in numerous literary journals and magazines; including Poems-For-All, Hedgerow, The Ambriel Revolution, Thirteen Myna Birds, Rusty Truck, Your One Phone Call and on Rumrazor.com. Jameson’s work can be found in the collaborative reader A Case For Ascension (Asinimali Publications, 2015), the 2016 Hessler Street Poetry Fair Anthology (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Delirious – A Poetic Celebration of Prince (Night Ballet Press, 2016), “Recession In Neverland” (Paladin Knight Publishing, 2017) and his solo work legends of doe hoe (Spartan Press, 2017).

Clare Beams

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Clare Beams is the author of the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, coming from Lookout Books in October 2016. Her stories appear in One Story, Ecotone, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in The Common and online at the Kenyon Review. Stories have received special mention in The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The Pushcart Prize XXXV. Clare is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and currently blogs for Ploughshares. In 2013, after teaching high school English for six years in Falmouth, Massachusetts, she moved with her husband and daughter to Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing at Saint Vincent College and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Philip Beard

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Philip Beard is a recovering attorney and award-winning author of Dear Zoe, which was a Borders “Original Voices” Selection, a “Book Sense” Pick, and was named by the American Library Association as one of its Ten Best First Novels of the Year. Dear Zoe is currently in development as a feature film. His third novel, Swing, centers around an unlikely friendship between a 10 year-old boy and a legless Korean War veteran who share a love of baseball and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Philip still practices law part-time with his brother, Beau, at The Stonecipher Firm. He lives in Aspinwall with his wife, Traci, and their three daughters.

Jan Beatty

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Jan Beatty is the author of four books of poetry, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The Switching/Yard won the 2014 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Library Journal named it one of …30 New Books That Will Help You Rediscover Poetry. Beatty’s work was featured in The Huffington Post as one of ten women writers for “required reading.” Other books include Red Sugar, finalist for the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize; Boneshaker, finalist for the Milt Kessler Award; and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her chapbook, Ravage, was published by Lefty Blondie Press in 2012. Beatty’s limited edition chapbook, Ravenous, won the 1995 State Street Prize.

Awards include a $10,000 Regional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation, the $15,000 Creative Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, a finalist for the Discovery/The Nation Award, and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Individual poems have appeared in journals such as TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, and Court Green, and Best American Poetry, with work forthcoming in POETRY. Her essays on writing have appeared in anthologies by Autumn House Press, Creative Nonfiction, and The State University of New York Press.

Beatty worked as a waitress for fifteen years, and as a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, and a social worker and teacher in maximum-security prisons. She is the managing editor of MadBooks, a small press that has published a series of books and chapbooks by women writers. She has toured at venues such as the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and the Geraldine R. Dodge Festival. For twenty years, Beatty has hosted and produced Prosody, a public radio show on NPR-affiliate WESA-FM featuring national writers. Jan Beatty directs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops at Carlow University, where she is also director of creative writing and teaches in the low-residency MFA program.

Rege Behe

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Rege Behe is a freelance writer and journalist. Writing primarily for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he has interviewed numerous writers, poets, and musicians, including Michael Chabon, Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff, Jane Smiley, Joyce Carol Oates, PD James, Robert Pinsky, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jon Bon Jovi, Sade, Ray Davies, Bruce Hornsby and Chrissie Hynde.

A native of Trafford, PA — the birthplace of the noted memoirist Lori Jakiela and Sonny Vaccaro, the famed sports marketer — he attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned bachelor’s degree in English, with concentrations in philosophy and political science.

He is currently shopping his first novel, Low Flying Rockets, a story about a hard luck gambler seeking redemption.

Joshua David Bellin

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Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since the age of eight (though the first few were admittedly very short). His first published novel, the YA science fiction thriller Survival Colony 9, appeared in Fall 2014; its sequel, Scavenger of Souls, comes out in Summer 2016. A native Pittsburgher, Josh lives in the Regent Square neighborhood with his wife, two children, a cat, a carnivorous fish, and a lizard. He loves Pittsburgh’s parks and trails, cozy neighborhoods, and vibrant writing community.

Craig Bernier

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While not a native to Pittsburgh, Craig Bernier arrived in 2002 as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in Pitt’s Writing Program. He has since remained, completing a room by room restoration of his home in nearby Wilkinsburg while working as an Instructor of Writing at Duquesne University. His collection of short stories Your Life Idyllic won the St. Lawrence Book Award and was released in 2014. Work is key theme in the collection, which is set in southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Metropolitan region. His writing has appeared in Great Lakes Review, Creative Nonfiction, Western Humanities Review, Dogwood Journal, Roanoke Review, Gigantic Sequins, and the Akashic Books compilation Detroit Noir. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh for the 2015-16 academic year.

Jennifer Jackson Berry

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Jennifer Jackson Berry’s first full length collection of poetry The Feeder is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2016. She is also the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Her poems have appeared in journals such as Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. Poems also appeared in various anthologies, including New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2015), We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), and By the Slice (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2014). She has been featured on Prosody, a public radio show on the NPR affiliate WESA-FM showcasing the work of national writers. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University’s MFA program. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and an Assistant Editor for WomenArts Quarterly Journal. She lives in the Braddock Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Rachel Blaufeld

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Rachel Blaufeld is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Coming-of-Age Romance, and Sports Romance. A recent poll of her readers described her as insightful, generous, articulate, and spunky. Originally a social worker, Rachel creates broken yet redeeming characters. She’s been known to turn up the angst like cranking up the heat in the dead of winter.

A devout coffee drinker and doughnut eater, Rachel spends way too many hours in local coffee shops, downing the aforementioned goodies while she plots her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end as lusciously as her treats.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found courtside, tweeting about hoops as her son plays, or walking around the house wearing earplugs while her other son, the drummer, bangs away.

To connect with Rachel, she’s most active in her private reading group, The Electric Readers, where she shares insider information and intimate conversation with her readers.

Katie Booth

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Katie Booth’s work has appeared in Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, The Fourth River and Vela, where she also edits the “Bookmarked” column. She has received support for her work from the Edward Albee Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center and the Massachusetts Historical Society, and she teaches writing and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh. View her website at katiebooth.net; follow her on Twitter at @_katiebooth_.

Eric Boyd

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Biography

Eric Boyd is working on his first short story collection, “Brownfields”.

His writing has been published by The Offing Magazine, Sixpenny, Guernica, The Missouri Review, PEN America Journal, Bridge Eight, Cheap Pop, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Midwestern Gothic, Luna Luna, and Fourth River, among others. He appeared in the anthologies Prison Noir (Akashic Books), edited by Joyce Carol Oates, as well as Words Without Walls (Trinity University Press).

Boyd is a winner of the PEN Prison Writing award, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has been shortlisted by The Masters Review, and was a semifinalist for the H.E. Francis award. He has served on conference panels for North American Review and Barrelhouse magazine. In 2014 he was selected to attend the Tin House summer workshop and this year he received a full scholarship to attend Slice magazine’s literary conference.

Boyd is also the editor of The Pittsburgh Anthology (Belt Publishing) as well as a former editor for Pork & Mead magazine and tNY press; he was also a guest-editor for The James Franco Review and a reader for Winter Tangerine‘s special “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” issue.

Eric Boyd’s personal tumblr page is a ‘spotlighted’ blog on that website, highlighting his daily six word stories/poems, as well as longer works.

Further Reading:

Interview/article for The City Paper

Interview with The Huffington Post

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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Biography

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is the author of two nonfiction health memoirs entitled Sick Idiot and Chronically Positive. She is also the novelist behind the post-apocalyptic fiction book To Exist, and a co-author of an anthology called Empowered in Pittsburgh. In addition to being an award-winning published author and blogger, Ms. Boynes-Shuck is an advocate for health and animal causes, a book reviewer, a social media consultant, and a reporter for Healthline.com.

Ashley has a large following online and is a prominent social media influencer who has won several awards and recognitions for her work in writing and patient advocacy. She has been quoted by Teen Vogue, the Today Show website, ABC News Health, FOX News Health, and has even been personally tweeted by Oprah Winfrey.

Boynes-Shuck is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the wife of an American Ninja Warrior! She grew up in South Fayette Township and now resides in Green Tree with her husband Mike, 3 dogs, and 2 cats.

Ashley is currently working on several new book projects and is excited about her future as an author. Her books are available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart.com, Nook, Kindle, and several other bookstores and retailers. She is also available for book signings and public speaking engagements.

Stephanie Brea

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Stephanie Brea is a writer, teacher, copy editor, and event organizer. She has 10+ years of experience facilitating creative writing workshops for local schools and non-profit organizations including Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Literary Arts Boom, The Warhol, and Penn Trafford High School. Her work has been published in Pear Noir!, The Legendary, Nerve Cowboy and the Pittsburgh City Paper. She also spent time as a technical writer for an invention company and as copy editor for Alternative Press magazine.

Way back in 1998, she helped organize her first event: a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. Then came a monthly literary series called Get Lit. She still vacillates between literary and non-literary happenings including: Bayardstown Social Club, Weather Permitting, Pittsburgh Abides (a Lebowski fest), Pittonkatonk, Rec Room: Winter Games, Girls Get Lit, and Bah Humbug: Writers Wrestle the Holiday Spirit.

She mostly uses Twitter for cat pictures, but you can contact her @wordfarm.

Carol A. Briney

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Biography

Carol A. Briney has combined her 30-plus years of business experience with her many years of Spiritual study to create a unique blend of Spiritual Prosperity. Her passion is to help people and businesses to move from ordinary to extraordinary.

Carol speaks about Spirituality but never religion. She believes that religion is an extremely personal thing, and people have the right to believe what makes their Soul soar.

Carol shares life-changing information and empowers people to find their personal power by using their inner guidance. Carol teaches how the law of attraction, your intentions, your thoughts, and feelings create your life.

Carol’s has a sincere desire to help people to unlock their personal and spiritual potential. Her talks enhance, uplift, and empower her audiences to joyously expand their lives. Carol’s personal philosophy is that we are all on this planet to live joyously and shine our individual lights brightly and by doing so we automatically make this world a better place.

Carol is the author of Embracing Your Unlimited Possibilities – A Handbook For Life and the host of a #1 rated podcast show titled Embracing Your Unlimited Possibilities. She has been featured in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Herald and on several radio shows. She is a monthly contributor to The Network Marketing Magazine, as well as the Founder/Executive Director of Business Leads Exchange Networking Group.

She joyfully resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“People do not need to be rescued, fixed or saved. What they need is knowledge of their own personal power and how to access it.” – Carol A. Briney

Cat Bruno

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Biography

The Girl from the North (“A truly exceptional entertainment” — Midwest Book Review) is Cat Bruno’s first full-length venture into fantasy writing, although she has been an avid and loyal reader of sci-fi/fantasy books for many years, especially traditional epic fantasy. Having long dreamed of creating a series fit for both reading and viewing, Ms. Bruno’s early start as a poet gives her a unique style that centers on vivid descriptions and settings. Her focus has always been on imagining strong, if imperfect, female characters and bringing diversity to the fantasy genre. The Pathway of the Chosen as a series will most likely be a long one, just as long as the journeys of many of its characters.

Midwest Book Review praised Cat Bruno’s debut novel, The Girl from the North, as, “Exceptional entertainment with deftly created characters and unexpected plot twists.” Now, a year later, Ms. Bruno continues the story of her strong female protagonist with the second book in the series, Daughter of the Wolf.

Released in January, 2016, Daughter of the Wolf seamlessly crosses genres, with paranormal elements and romance, which readers of fantasy and young adult literature will find pleasing. For those looking for diversity in fiction and atypical fantasy characters, Ms. Bruno offers an engaging read with uncommon voices. When Cat Bruno is not wandering through the world of Cordisia, she is writing the third book in the Pathway of the Chosen series. Expect its release in early 2017.

Mike Buzzelli

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Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. Buzzelli is a contributing writer to several area magazines, including In Community Magazine, Local Pittsburgh Magazine and Pittsburgh’s Pride Magazine. He is also a Moth storyteller. His book, Below Average Genius, is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter.

Babs Carryer

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Biography

Babs Carryer is an entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, writer and sailor.
As a serial technology entrepreneur, she has spent the bulk of her
life creating and advising startups. Currently, Babs is director of
education & outreach for the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation
Institute where she develops and implements programs to encourage and
support innovation and entrepreneurship across campus to all students,
faculty, researchers and clinicians. For 15 years, Babs helped develop
the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
where she taught entrepreneurship, was embedded entrepreneur, and
innovation advisor. For years, Babs has written about startups and
entrepreneurship on her NewVenturist blog. Now she has turned to
writing fiction with the publication of her first startup mystery
novel, HD66: search for a cure or a killer?. Babs co-founded the
Pittsburgh chapter of Women in Bio. Her focus on encouraging and
supporting women in entrepreneurship has led to her novel’s female
sleuth, Brie Prince, who she hopes to take into a series. Babs has a
Masters in Public Management from Heinz College at CMU and a BA from
Mills College in CA. Babs is President of the Pittsburgh chapter of
Sisters in Crime.

Nick Caruso

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Biography

Nick Caruso is an award-winning designer across multiple platforms, including fiction and non-fiction books, branding, exhibition design, posters and apparel. Before launching his own studio in Pittsburgh, Nick worked as a designer for studios and publishers in New York City, and created the covers for New York Times bestselling books. He has served as an adjunct design professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

His clients include Grand Central/Jimmy Fallon, SPIN Magazine, Johns Hopkins University, The Warhol Museum, Artisan Books, Henry Holt & Company, Wiley, WW Norton/Countryman Press, Metropolis Magazine, WR Case & Sons, Potter Style/Random House, Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster.

Israel Centeno

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Biography

Israel Centeno has published 14 books including novels, short stories, and poetry. He is regarded as one of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the last 50 years. He has won numerous awards including Spain’s Federico Garcia Lorca Award and Venezuela’s National Council of Culture Award (1991). Through his narratives he conveys a sense of the many shortcomings of a society that feeds on grandiose historical myths that lead to poverty and violence. Centeno lives in Pittsburgh, with his wife and two daughters, where he has been Exiled Writer-in-Residence at City of Asylum.

Danielle Chiotti

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Biography

Danielle Chiotti has worked in publishing for thirteen years. Formerly an editor, she joined Upstart Crow in 2009, specializing in young adult and middle grade fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, and cookbooks and select nonfiction. Thanks to her extensive editorial background, she enjoys working closely with authors to develop projects. She welcomes first-time authors with a unique voice and point of view.

Terrence Chiusano

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Biography

Terrence Chiusano received his BA in poetry writing from the University of Pittsburgh and his MA in literature from the University at Buffalo. Some of his poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Mickle Street Review: An Electronic Journal of Whitman and American Studies, CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art & Action, Colorado Review, Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), Yellow Field, Mirage #4/Period(ical), Ixnay, Queen Street Quarterly, Can We Have Our Ball Back, and elsewhere. He is the winner of the 2013-14 Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize for his book On Generation & Corruption (Fordham University Press, 2015). He is also an assistant editor of Huck Finn: The Complete Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Manuscript (Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 2003), as well as a co-recipient of the Oregon Literary Fellowship to Publishers for his work as co-founder and co-editor of Rococo Anerca, a literary and arts journal. He works at Carnegie Mellon University.

Caitlyn Luce Christensen

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Biography

Caitlyn Luce Christensen is Associate Editor of SampsoniaWay.org, an online publication of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated essays have appeared in Blunderbuss Magazine, Diagram, Gigantic Sequins, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s writing program in 2011.

Anissa Clay

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Biography

Anissa Clay is the teenaged author of the The God Conception (“it is rare to see such maturity and skill in storytelling from a first-time novelist” – Dwight Jon Zimmerman). She is currently a sophomore vocal major at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland PA. The God Conception is Clay’s first book in a planned trilogy, and was published by Red Engine Press (Cranberry Township PA) on August 15, 2015.

The God Conception is primarily set in Pittsburgh, PA with several chapters occurring in Clay’s hometown of Clarksburg, WV. “The God Conception” is the ability to see events in one’s future, a talent acquired by the book’s teenage heroine, Delilah Danton, after she is the first to undergo an experimental procedure to achieve this ability. The novel follows Delilah’s life as she learns to deal with this new gift all the while living with the knowledge of the struggles, losses, and triumphs that are to come. In the pages of this novel, we learn Delilah possesses an angelic singing voice and she lands a recording contract. Clay, a talented musician herself, shares her musical abilities through four original songs that are displayed in the novel.

Clay has experienced a whirlwind of activity around her recent publication, including a book launch party and signings at local fairs and library events.

Clay was recently awarded the TAZ Pittsburgh Emerging Author Award and was a finalist in the young adult fiction category. Anissa was also awarded an Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival.

Anissa Clay is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book signings, contact thegodconception@gmail.com. The book can be ordered on Clay’s website: http://www.anissaclay.com, Amazon or your local Barnes and Noble.

Casey Clipper

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Biography

Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Contemporary Romantic Suspense Author Casey Clipper is from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s a noted sports fanatic, chocolate addict, and has a slight obsession with penguins. She’s an avid romance reader and loves to lose herself in a good book, like we all do, right? Casey currently serves as president of the Contemporary Romance Writers of America. Casey is an active member of the Romance Writers of America, Three Rivers Romance Writers, Kiss of Death, North Eastern Ohio Romance Writers of America, and ASMSG. Casey is the recipient of the 2016 JABBIC HBARWA Short Contemporary Romance Readers’ Choice Award.

Sign up for Casey’s Newsletter for updates on new releases, special content, appearances, cover reveals, giveaways, and so much more by texting CaseyClipper to 66866 or go to http://eepurl.com/TZBh5.

Joel W. Coggins

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Biography

Joel W. Coggins is an award-winning editor, writer, and book designer. He is the Design & Production Editor of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Robyn Coggins

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Biography

Robyn K Coggins is a writer and associate editor at Pitt Med magazine by day and a freelancing fiend by night and weekend. She also curates great, long nonfiction for Longform.org. If you’re an experienced science or medical writer in the ‘Burgh, please get in touch! Ditto if you’re a young writer getting your career off the ground—always glad to talk shop.

Her work has appeared in Pacific Standard magazine, Slate, Wilson Quarterly, The Reject Pile, at CNF online, and more. Previously, she taught nonfiction writing at Pitt and worked for Creative Nonfiction. Her next big project is co-editing a food writing anthology with Acquired Taste founder Marissa Landrigan.

Kristofer Collins

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Biography

Kristofer Collins is the Books Editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, as well as being a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is the publisher of Low Ghost Press and Coleridge Street Books. He also manages Caliban Book Shop in Oakland (and owns Desolation Row Records located inside). Collins is the former co-director of the TNY Presents Performance Series and was the managing editor of The New Yinzer online literary journal from 2005-09. A book of his poems entitled King Everything was published in 2007 by Six Gallery Press, and The Liturgy of Streets was published by them in 2009. The chapbook Last Call was published by Speed & Briscoe in 2010. Pennsylvania Welcomes You (2013) was followed by his latest poetry collection Local Conditions in 2015. He lives in Stanton Heights, a hidden gem in Pittsburgh’s east end with his wife Dr. Anna Johnson and their three cats.

Andrew Conte

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Biography

Andrew Conte’s latest book, The Color of Sundays, explores the role of race in the National Football League and how the Pittsburgh Steelers used the league’s prejudice to the team’s advantage. Andrew previously wrote the best-selling sports book Breakaway. He works as an investigative reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He teaches journalism at Point Park University as the founding director of its Point Park News Service. And he occasionally appears as a guest host for Essential Pittsburgh, a daily current events show on Pittsburgh’s NPR station, WESA-FM.

Andrew is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Dickinson College.

Paola Corso

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Biography

Paola Corso is proud to be included on The Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Literary and Cultural Map. She is the author of four books of poetry and two books of fiction, all set in her native Pittsburgh where her Southern Italian immigrant family found work in the steel mills. Her recent poetry books include The Laundress Catches Her Breath, winner of the Tillie Olsen Award in Creative Writing and Once I Was Told the Air Was Not for Breathing, featuring Pittsburgh steelworkers and garment workers in The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and sweatshops today. Her novel, Catina’s Haircut is on the Public Library Association’s “Best Books for General Audiences” List. Giovanna’s 86 Circles and Other Stories is a John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist. She coedited Politics of Water: A Confluence of Women’s Voices with Dr. Nandita Ghosh. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Women’s Review of Books, Writer’s Digest, The Progressive, U.S. Catholic, and numerous anthologies. Her writing honors include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowship, and the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize. A literary activist, Corso is a co-founder and resident artist for Steppin Stanzas, a new poetry project celebrating Pittsburgh city stairs, and a poetry editor for Pittsburgh’s Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice and a book reviewer for Group Against Smog and Pollution in Pittsburgh. She is a lecturer in Chatham University’s Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. Her website is http://www.paolacorso.com/.

Nick Courage

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Biography

Nick Courage is an author and publishing professional whose writing has recently appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Story, Writer’s Digest and Full Stop.

Having spent over a decade promoting authors for New York publishing houses like Picador and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Nick now works as a publishing and book marketing consultant. His services include digital strategy, web development (Littsburgh, most recently), author branding, platform building, and more. If you’d like to hire Nick to help promote your book or organization, you can reach him here.

His debut novel, The Loudness, is available where books are sold!

Nick Courage on The Reading Life:



 
Further reading:

“Contaminated,” Paris Review Daily (Best of 2014)

“Mazzy Star Batman,” Paris Review Daily (2015)

“Futuristic middle-school novel tackles challenging subjects with a Huck Finn-like narrative” (Post-Gazette)

“Point Breeze writer draws from his past” (Tribune-Review)

Rachel Ekstrom Courage

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Biography

Rachel Ekstrom Courage was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where she fell in love with the work of Margaret Hodges, Annie Dillard, and Michael Chabon. She worked for over a decade in the publicity departments of St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and Penguin’s Dutton and Gotham imprints and is now a literary agent at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

For more information about Rachel, visit http://www.rachelcourage.com.

Rachel is also the founder of Littsburgh!

Hannah Craig

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Biography

Hannah Craig is the author of “This History That Just Happened” (Parlor Press, 2017) which was selected as the winner of the 2015 New Measure Poetry Prize by Yusef Komunyakaa. She won the 2016 Mississippi Review Prize and her manuscript was a finalist for the Akron Poetry Prize, the Fineline Competition, and the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared widely in such publications as Smartish Pace, North American Review, Fence, Mississippi Review, Prairie Schooner. She lives in Stanton Heights with her husband and daughter.

Gwyn Cready

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Biography

Gwyn Cready is the author of eight romance novels and the winner of the RITA Award, the most pretigious award given in romance writing. Booklist called her “the master of time travel romance.” She’s also the co-founder of Women Read/Women Write, Pittsburgh’s largest book festival. Many of her books are set in Pittsburgh.

Tyler Crumrine

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Biography

Tyler Crumrine is a Pittsburgh-based designer and dramaturg and the founding editor of Plays Inverse Press. Past design and dramaturgy credits include: Bricolage Production Company, City Theatre Company, Hotel Amerika, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Signature Theatre Company, Switchback Books, and The Lettered Streets Press.