Kate Carroll de Gutes’ book, Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, won the 2016 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and a 2016 Lambda Literary Award in Memoir. Kate is a wry observer and writer who started her career as a journalist and then got excited by new journalism which became creative nonfiction and is now called essay (personal, lyric, and otherwise). You can learn more about Kate and sign up to get an essay a week from her critically acclaimed blog,”The Authenticity Experiment,” where she writes about grief, the drama of perimenopause and dating, riding bikes, and the joys and challenges of authentic living.
Steven Harvey is the author of three books of personal essays: A Geometry of Lilies, Lost in Translation, and Bound for Shady Grove. He is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at Young Harris College and a member of the nonfiction faculty in the Ashland University MFA program in creative writing. He lives in the north Georgia mountains where he writes and sings and plays banjo, guitar, and ukulele with the musical group Butternut Creek and Friends. He is also the hardly humble creator of The Humble Essayist, a site on-line for promoting personal essays and reflective memoirs. You can learn more about Steve and his work at his website.
Brenda Miller’s collection, An Earlier Life, won a bronze medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Essay. Brenda teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and the MA program in English Studies at Western Washington University. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes, and all six prize-winning essays are included in Listening Against the Stone. Her essays have been published in many journals, including Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, Utne Reader, The Georgia Review, and The Missouri Review. Brenda lives in Bellingham, WA, with her dog Abbe and many foster dogs who find temporary shelter with her through Happy Tails Happy Homes. Visit her website to learn more.
Sandra Swinburne was a neonatal intensive care nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mother of four now grown children. She returned to college to study literature when she turned fifty—taking candy to class as a ploy to make young students like her. Only one semester in, she fell head over heels for Faulkner and began measuring all things literary with her eyes full of him. She published a critical essay based on her master’s degree research, Lilith in Mississippi: Reading Mythic Desire in If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, in Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures. Her creative/critical essay, Essay, Dresses, and Fish, written in response to John McPhee’s The Founding Fish, appears in Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, Ed. Judith Kitchen. The Last Good Obsession is Swinburne’s first book, an outgrowth of her MFA thesis submitted to Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in 2008. She lives with her husband in Pittsford, New York where she bikes on the Erie Canal path, remembering childhood days on a blue Schwinn in New York’s Southern Tier.
Heather Weber blogs about life, faith, and parenting at On Raven Street and writes for ForeWord Reviews. She is a credentialed minister and associate pastor at LIFEchurch in North Liberty, Iowa, where she lives with her husband and three energetic daughters. A hippie in disguise, she dabbles in organic gardening; ferments coconut milk, beets, and cabbage on her countertop (not all together!); and loves to refinish furniture in unexpected ways. Her favorite parenting activity is reading aloud to her girls in front of the fire on winter nights (Narnia, anyone?). She thrives on deep friendships (necessary as water), and she feels she’s in exactly the right place when helping to sort out the tangly bits of life with people in her community and congregation.
Tarn Wilson has settled in the heart of shiny and fast-paced Silicon Valley, so far from the outhouses and kerosene lamps of her rural Canadian childhood, that she sometimes feels as if she’s lived two hundred years. So she tromps through the hills as often as she can, identifying plants and spying on animals. In a typical week, she devotes her mornings to writing at her red desk—and recently has been published by Brevity, Defunct, Gulf Stream, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Inertia, Ruminate, South Loop Review, and The Sun, among others. In the afternoon, she teaches high school students, who hail from all over the world and who never stop impressing her with their creativity and courage. She’s led writing workshops at programs across the US, from Maine to Oregon. She earned a master’s in education from Stanford and an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Learn more about Tarn at her website.