Steve Almond is the author of the story collections God Bless America, The Evil B.B. Chow, and My Life in Heavy Metal, as well as the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His fiction has been awarded an NEA grant for 2022, and his short stories have been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, Best American Mysteries, Best American Erotica, and The Pushcart Prize. His debut novel, All the Secrets of the World, was published in May 2022.
Phil LaMarr is best known as an original cast member on Mad TV and for his prolific voice acting career across dozens of series, including Futurama, Static Shock, Samurai Jack, Justice League, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Young Justice, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Loud House, and Craig of the Creek, among others. Additional film and television credits include Pulp Fiction, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, Get Shorty, Lucifer, Supergirl, Incredibles 2, and The Book of Boba Fett.
Tony Hale started his career playing on the ground-breaking series Arrested Development and has since garnered two Emmy awards for his work on the HBO hit Veep. He currently plays “Benedict” on Disney’s The Mysterious Benedict Society. Film credits include Being the Ricardo’s; The Informant; Stranger Than Fiction; Love, Simon; The Heat; Happythankyoumoreplease, and voicing “Forky” in Toy Story 4. Hale’s children’s book, Archibald’s Next Big Thing, was adapted as an animated series and premiered in 2019.
Rivers Solomon is a dyke, an anarchist, a she-beast, an exile, a shiv, a wreck, and a refugee of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. In addition to appearing on the Stonewall Honor List and winning a Firecracker Award, Solomon’s debut novel, An Unkindness of Ghosts, was a finalist for a Lambda, a Hurston/Wright, a Tiptree, and a Locus Award, among others. Solomon’s second book, The Deep, was the winner of the 2020 Lambda Award and is on the shortlist for a Nebula, Locus, and Hugo award. Faer third book, Sorrowland, was published in May 2021.
TL Thompson is a non-binary actor who has performed on stages across New York City including productions of Lessons in Survival and Is this a Room? at the Vineyard, My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre at the Public, Nervous System at BAM, Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade History of Popular Music at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Crooked Parts at Cherry Lane, Straight White Men on Broadway, Waafrika 123 with the National Queer Theatre, Galatea with Red Bull, Dutch Kings with Brave New World, and many more. On screen, Thompson was a series regular on CW’s 4400, and has been featured on the webseries These/Thems and Dinette, and the films Friday Afternoon, Separation/Celebration, and Flu$h.
Alexander Weinstein is the author of the short story collections Universal Love and Children of the New World, which was named a notable book of the year by The New York Times, NPR and Electric Literature. He is a recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his stories and interviews have appeared in Rolling Stone,World Literature Today, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Best American Experimental Writing. His short story “Saying Goodbye to Yang” was adapted into the film After Yang. Weinstein is the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and a Professor of Creative Writing at Siena Heights University.
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion, The Interestings, The Ten-Year Nap, and The Wife, which was adapted to film in 2018, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. She was the guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017, and has also published books for young readers, mostly recently a picture book, Millions of Maxes. Wolitzer is a faculty member in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton, where she co-founded and co-directs BookEnds, a one-year, non-credit intensive in the novel.
“A Happy Dream” by Steve Almond, from The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories (Algonquin Books, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Steve Almond. Used by permission of the author.
“A Brief Note on the Translation of Winter Women, Written by the Collective Dead, Translated by Amal Ruth” by Rivers Solomon was commissioned by Symphony Space for the collection Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories, edited by Hannah Tinti, published by Algonquin Books. © 2022 by Symphony Space.