Samantha Dunn is the author of Failing Paris, a finalist for the PEN West Fiction Award in 2000, and the memoirs Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life (Henry Holt & Co.), a BookSense 76 pick, and Faith in Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex and Salvation. Samantha’s work is anthologized in a number of places, including the short story anthology, Women on the Edge: Writing from Los Angeles, which she co-edited with writer Julianne Ortale. Other recent collections showcasing her work include the Seal Press releases Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small and Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up. Samantha’s essays have appeared in numerous national publications including the Los Angeles Times, O (Oprah) Magazine, Ms., and Shape. In 2000 she received the Maggie Award for Best Personal Essay in a Consumer Publication. A widely published journalist, her bylines are regularly featured in InStyle, Glamour, SELF, Men’s Health and a variety of other consumer magazines. She has also written for the stage, as a co-creator of the show “American Ese,” and has taken a few turns screenwriting as a member of the Writers Guild of America. Samantha teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers Program and at the Idyllwild Arts Center in California, and was a longtime writer-in-residence at the New York State Summer Writers Institute. A former specialty features writer for The Orange County Register, Samantha lives in Orange, California, with her husband, musician/politico Jimmy Camp, and their son, Ben.
Pam Houston’s most recent book is Contents May Have Shifted, published in 2012, by W.W. Norton. She is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is professor of English at UC Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers and teaches in The Institute of American Indian Art’s Low-Rez MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world. She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
BK Loren is the award winning author of the novel THEFT, and the essay collection, ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL. Her short fiction and essays have garnered many national awards and have been published in The Best Spiritual Writing Anthologies (2004 and 2012), Parabola, Yoga International, Orion Magazine, and many others. She is from a working class family and has usually worked in jobs that allow space to write as she works. She’s been a ranch hand, a cook for a gourmet catering service in NYC, a cook, also, in a cafe run by a reverend healer who cured people’s ailments with a pendulum and herbs. She was also an aide on a locked psych ward, a tenured college teacher, and a furniture builder. She was extremely grateful for the chance to go to college (not a given)–and she attended the University of Colorado (Classics/Philosophy), the University of New Mexico (Lit), and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, (Fiction). She feels that her varied experiences in other fields inform her writing as much as her schooling has. The publishing editor of her first book told her I wrote like she was raised by wolves. She tries to live up to that daily. TWITTER FACEBOOK RADIO KRUU, WRITERS’ VOICE KBOO, a podcast from Orion Magazine and something completely different than Theft or Animal, Mineral, Radical. Theft has been optioned for film, and BK will be writing the screenplay.
Joshua Mohr is the author of five novels, including “Damascus,” which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written “Fight Song” and “Some Things that Meant the World to Me,” one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as “Termite Parade,” an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel “All This Life” won the Northern California Book Award. His first book of nonfiction, a memoir called “Sirens,” was recently published.
Betsy Amster is president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. A former editor at Pantheon and Vintage, two divisions of Random House, she has been described in the Los Angeles Times as “a dogged prospector of…literary talent” and celebrated in the American Society of Journalists and Authors newsletter for her “no-nonsense style and whimsical sense of humor.” Her clients include Los Angeles Times bestselling writers Maria Amparo Escandon, author of ESPERANZA’S BOX OF SAINTS (Scribner), and Joy Nicholson, author of THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES (St. Martin’s; now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Garner); Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Sandi Ault, author of WILD INDIGO and three other titles in the “Wild” mystery series (Berkley Prime Crime); popular research psychologist Elaine N. Aron, author of THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON and THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILD (Harmony); historian Margaret Leslie Davis, author of THE LOST GUTENBERG (forthcoming from Avery); MacArthur fellow and urban farmer Will Allen, author of THE GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION (Gotham); and James Beard Award-winning baker Kim Boyce, author of GOOD TO THE GRAIN: BAKING WITH WHOLE-GRAIN FLOURS (Abrams). The agency’s areas of interest include literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, mysteries and thrillers, memoirs, narrative nonfiction, travelogues, social issues, psychology, popular culture, health, parenting, cooking, gardening, and quirky gift books.