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Lara Ehrlich
Founder, Director, Instructor

Lara Ehrlich embraces and reexamines qualities that in women are often considered monstrous, like selfishness, desire, and ambition. She is the author of Animal Wife, a collection of stories about women’s transformations from girls into wives, mothers, and monsters. Animal Wife won Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award judged by Ann Hood and was published by the press in 2020.

Lara teaches writing and has led workshops and panels at Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, Yale Writers Workshop, AWP, and Story Studio Chicago, among others. Lara is also the host of Writer Mother Monster, a conversation series devoted to dismantling the myth of “having it all” and offering writer-moms solidarity, support, and advice. She is also the founder and director of Thought Fox Writers Den.

Farah Ali

Farah Ali is from Karachi, Pakistan, and is the author of the short story collection People Want to Live (McSweeney’s, 2021). Set in Pakistan, these award-winning stories follow people living on the brink of abandonment—in their personal relationships and their place in the world. “Farah Ali writes with a precise and profound understanding of the most vital dimensions of the human experience, and these stories illuminate how connection can be found in even the bleakest moments,” said Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears. Farah’s novel, The River, The Town, is forthcoming from Dzanc in fall 2023. Her work has received the Pushcart Prize and been anthologized in Best Small Fictions, as well as published in Shenandoah, the Kenyon Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere. Farah has taught at the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai, and she teaches creative writing for children.

Allison Blevins

Allison Blevins (she/her) is a queer disabled writer and the author of Where Will We Live if the House Burns Down (Persea Books, forthcoming), winner of the 2023 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award; Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2023); Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022); and Slowly/Suddenly (VA Press, 2021). She is also the author of the chapbooks fiery poppies bruising their own throats (Glass Lyre Press, forthcoming), Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022), Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Allison is the Founder and Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Minnesota with her spouse and three children.

Allison Hadley

Allison Hadley, PhD, has lived a thousand writerly lives. From studying Italian literature and political thought to freelance journalism and cultural crit, she now resides comfortably in the niche of PR, digital PR, and thinking strategically about storytelling for a living. Currently an outreach manager and content strategist with Digital Third Coast, an SEO and digital marketing firm, she has also worked extensively in traditional PR as well as book PR. In her free time she reads, writes, and analyzes horror film haunted houses for their property value. She resides happily in Chicago, IL, where she has only just put away her winter coat.

Sadie Hoagland

Sadie Hoagland is the author of Strange Children (Red Hen Press, 2021) and American Grief in Four Stages (West Virginia University Press, 2019), which earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Her second novel, Circle of Animals, will be published in 2024 (Red Hen Press). Her work has been featured in Salon, Electric Literature, Mid-American Review, Foreword Reviews, Writer’s Digest, and elsewhere. She has a PhD in Fiction from the University of Utah and is the recipient of several fellowships.

Ann Hood

Ann Hood is the bestselling writer of fourteen novels, including The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, and The Book That Matters Most; five memoirs including Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2008 and was a NYT Editors Choice; and YA novels and The Treasure Chest. a ten book series for middle readers. She was won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, and a Best American Travel Writing and Best American Spiritual Writing Award. Her latest book is the memoir Fly Girl, which is about her years as a TWA flight attendant during the Golden Age of travel. 

Sara Hosey

Sara Hosey is the author of three young adult novels, Iphigenia Murphy (Blackstone Publishing, 2020), Imagining Elsewhere (CamCat Books 2022) and Summer People (CamCat Books, forthcoming 2023), as well as a collection of literary short fiction, Dirty Suburbia (forthcoming Vine Leaves Press, 2024). She teaches creative writing and literature at a New York-area community college.

Megan Leonard

Megan Leonard (she/they) is a poet and the author of a book of lullabies (Milk & Cake Press, 2020) and Larkspur Queen (Nightingale and Sparrow Press, 2023). She has taught writing for more than 20 years and specializes in working with writers who have language-based and learning disabilities, ESOL writers, and poets seeking to place their first book. Megan is a mad, sick mother of four, and she lives and works in New Hampshire.

Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer. She is the author of the memoirs The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Kalia wrote the children’s books A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most Beautiful Thing, Yang Warriors, and From the Tops of the Trees. She co-edited the ground-breaking collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color. Her libretto for the MN Opera will premiere in spring of 2023.

Kalia’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education, Midland Authors Association, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards. She is a recipient of the Sally Award from the Ordway Center for Performing Arts for Social Impact and the A.P. Anderson Award for her significant contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Minnesota. Kalia is also a teacher and public speaker.