Mikki Kendall, a writer and occasional feminist divides her time between two careers, a family, and brunch. She commits acts of fiction largely focusing on black people in every situation under the sun, and a few under undefined celestial bodies.
Parker Molloy is a writer, essayist, feminist, blogger, pseudo-journalist, and taker of naps from right here in Chicago. Her work has appeared in outlets like The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Slate, Bitch Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others. She's written about topics ranging from LGBT issues to pop culture to sports, and she spends way too much time on Twitter. Parker recently began working full-time at Upworthy as a trends contributor, and hopes to stick around there for the foreseeable future.
After leaving the white power skinhead movement he helped build, Christian Picciolini graduated from DePaul University and became a respected entrepreneur. He executive-produced America's second-longest running music television program and launched Goldmill Group, a global entertainment firm. Most importantly, in 2010 he co-founded the peace advocacy nonprofit Life After Hate. He and his family live in Chicago.
Sara Ross Witt is the former co-host of Tuesday Funk and a graduate of The New School MFA in Creative Writing program. Her writing has appeared in Black Market Lit, Best of Ohio Short Stories, Arch City Chronicle, and Parent to Parent. Born in Ohio, Sara was raised by a mother who wrote checks to herself, served her children a shot of brandy on New Year's Eve to ward off evil spirits in the new year, and believed two of her daughters were psychic. She followed her mother to seances, new moon circles, and out of body experiences. Magic (and sometimes her mother) are a part of almost all of her stories. Sara lives Chicago's Uptown neighborhood with her husband Andrew Witt - bassist for the hard rock doom pop fish metal band Sea Lords - their 3 year old son and a cat named Perseus.
Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and ten other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change is a science fiction novella, and finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica,Wet, Kathryn in the City, The Classics Professor, The Best of Strange Horizons, Without a Map, The Poet's Journey, and A Taste of Serendib (a Sri Lankan cookbook). Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010 and Maneki Neko Con. She serves as Executive Director of the Speculative Literature Foundation, has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is Clinical Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Danielle Susi is the author of the chapbook The Month in Which We Are Born (Dancing Girl Press). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Knee-Jerk Magazine, Hobart, The Rumpus, Lines+Stars, DIALOGIST, and Midway Journal, among many others. Recently, Newcity named her among the Top 5 Emerging Chicago Poets. You can find her online at daniellesusi.com.
Genevieve Sedlack Waller's career path veered dramatically when, at 10 years old, she realized that being a veterinarian would mean she'd have to put animals to sleep. Inspired by her cartoon idol, the savvy red-headed reporter Brenda Starr, she decided to become a writer instead. With gusto she carved out her first job in the late '70s as the sole founder, reporter, editor, designer and salesperson for The Claremont Review - named after the Chicago street she called home. That childhood experience shaped her professional career as a reporter for daily newspapers, the legendary City News Bureau, and Chicago's agricultural and financial markets. She founded Crooked Door Storytelling in 2011 and currently defines herself as an oral storyteller, teaching artist, essayist and fiction writer. She finds her inspiration from seemingly everyday moments and the roads she's traveled in the world. And she remains quite thrilled with her long-ago career choice.
As a writer, Mare Swallow is working on her business book, Pay Attention to the Brown M&Ms. She is also a public speaking coach in Chicago. When she's not doing those two things, she is the Executive Director of the Chicago Writers Conference. Join them at their annual benefit, "Bad Poetry Night" on March 31.
Keidra Chaney is a Chicago-born-and-raised writer and editor who focuses on pop culture, music, and technology. She's been published in Newcity, Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Bitch Magazine, Paste magazine and tons of publications that don't exist anymore. A blogger since 1999, she is the co-founder and managing editor of The Learned Fangirl, a blog about pop culture and technology and an editor at JSTOR Daily. She occasionally plays bass guitar with her band Sole Heiress for beer and LOLs.
Tom Underberg writes speculative fiction and raises children. He was born in Michigan, raised in Wisconsin, and resides in Illinois, which may explain why so many of his stories revolve around Midwestern oddities. Tom has worked for The Man as a consultant and washed The Man's dishes for beer money and lodging. His fiction has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction and Weird Tales. He is available for beer and scotch tastings. You can find him on twitter as tomatlarge.