Writers’ Week

2017 Participating Writers


Buckner Keynote Speaker—Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. Catalog was winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. He is a cofounding editor of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’, and editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.


 Visiting Authors

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of a poetry collection, Seam, winner of a GLCA New Writers Award, the Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, and other honors. Her poems have been published and translated in periodicals and anthologies both in the United States and abroad, have been featured at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere, and are the recipients of multiple awards, including three Pushcart Prizes, the Frederick Bock Prize, and others. In 2016, she was recognized by Harvard Law School’s Women Inspiring Change. She teaches in the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
Kristen Iskandrian’s novel, Motherest (Twelve, 2017), is called "a moving debut" by The New York Times. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Tin House, Zyzzyva, Crazyhorse, McSweeney’s, and Ploughshares, among others. Her story “The Inheritors” was included in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014 as a juror favorite. She was a juror for The O. Henry Prize Stories 2015 along with Tessa Hadley and Michael Parker. She has a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross, and an MA and PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Georgia. Born in Philadelphia, Kristen currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and two daughters.
David Jauss is the author of four collections of short stories, including the newly released Nice People: New & Selected Stories II. He has also published two collections of poems, a collection of essays, and, as editor, three anthologies. His short stories have been published in numerous magazines and reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1991, The O. Henry Prize Stories 1983, and, twice, The Pushcart Prize: The Best of the Small Presses, as well as in The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Short Stories from the Pushcart Prize. A professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Nick Neely’s debut book of essays, Coast Range: A Collection of the Pacific Edge, was a finalist for the 2017 John Burroughs Medal for Natural History Writing and CLMP’s Firecracker Award in Creative Nonfiction. He holds MFAs in nonfiction and poetry from Hunter College and Columbia University. He is the recipient of a UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship, PEN Northwest’s Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, and the 2015 John Burroughs Nature Essay Award. His nonfiction has appeared in journals such as Orion, the Georgia Review, and the Kenyon Review.  He lives in Hailey, Idaho. 

Kristen Radtke is the author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This. She is the art director and New York editor of the Believer magazine.

Michael Ramos spent nine years, ten months, and twenty-eight days in the Navy, most of those with First Marine Division, which included a tour in Iraq. He holds a BFA (’12) and MFA (’16) in creative writing from UNCW. His work has appeared in the Sun and Fourth Genre. His essay, "A Long but Incomplete List of Some of the Things You Can’t (Don’t) Talk About," was named a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2017. He is a lecturer in the UNCW Department of Creative Writing.


Visiting Agents, Editors & Publishing Professionals

Julie Barer is a partner at The Book Group, a boutique literary agency in New York City, where she represents a variety of writers across a literary spectrum, with a special emphasis on fiction. Her clients include Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere), Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour), Madeline Miller (Song of Achilles), Nicole Dennis Benn (Here Comes the Sun)Cristina Henriquez (The Book of Unknown Americans), Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang), Bret Anthony Johnston (Remember Me Like This) and many others. Julie is particularly interested in representing a diversity of voices from around the world.

Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems, winner of the Midwest Book Award and an oprah.com pick for 12 New Poetry Books to Savor. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, Jones currently serves as the poetry editor for Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books and holds the position of sales and community outreach manager. She serves on the advisory board for the Shorefront Legacy Center and is president of the board of directors for Cave Canem Foundation.

Kristen Radtke is the author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This. She is the art director and New York editor of the Believer magazine.


Career Panelists

Nicola DeRobertis-Theye is a foreign rights agent at Trident Media Group. She received an Emerging Writing Fellowship from The New York Center for Fiction in 2015, and her work has appeared in Agni and on Electric Literature and LitHub. She received an MFA in creative nonfiction from UNCW in 2014.

Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza received her BFA from UNCW in 2011 and has since worked as an editor and writer. Her writing has appeared in theNewerYorkDeep South, the Bohemyth, and Blunderbuss, among others. Emily is currently the editor at housemethod.com

Ryan Kaune received an MFA in fiction from UNCW in 2016. She is the managing editor of Autumn House Press, a freelance editor, and the former fiction editor of Ecotone. When she isn’t editing, she’s reading, writing, or hiking. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her partner, Matt, and their cat.

Matt Tullis is an assistant professor of English and the director of the Digital Journalism program at Fairfield University. His book, Running With Ghosts: A Memoir of Surviving Childhood Cancer, was published in August by The Sager Group. Tullis is also the host and producer of Gangrey: The Podcast, which focuses on narrative journalism and the reporters who write it. He has been noted in The Best American Sports Writing three times and The Best American Essays once. Tullis completed his MFA in creative nonfiction at UNCW in 2005. He lives with his wife and kids in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.