Boot Camp Faculty


Fall 2018 Session


samantha-dunn-300x199Samantha 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.


Photo by Adam KarstenPam 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 StoriesThe O. Henry AwardsThe 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.


Fenton Johnson is the author of the novel The Man Who Loved Birds (The University Press of Kentucky) as well as the award-winning Scissors, Paper, Rock and Crossing the River, each recently reissued in new editions. Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays was selected by the Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature and will be published by Sarabande Press in 2017. He has published as well Geography of the Heart:  A Memoir and Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks. At the Center of All Beauty: On the Dignity and Challenge of Solitude (W.W. Norton), based on his most recent Harper’s Magazine cover essay, will be published in 2018. Geography received the American Library Association and Lambda Literary Awards for best LGBT Creative Nonfiction, while Keeping Faith received a Lambda Literary and Kentucky Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction. Johnson has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was recently featured on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air and writes regularly for Harper’s Magazine. He teaches in the creative writing programs at the University of Arizona and Spalding University.


Palacio7-200x300Derek Palacio received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University. His short story “Sugarcane” appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, and his novella, How to Shake the Other Man, was published by Nouvella Books. His debut novel, The Mortifications, is forthcoming in 2016 from Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. He lives and teaches in Ann Arbor, MI, and is a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program.


Spring 2019 Session


ramona-ausubelRamona Ausubel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of a new collection of short stories, Awayland, as well as two novels: Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (Riverhead Books), which was a San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Best Book of the Year and a People magazine Book of the Week and No One is Here Except All of Us (2012). Her debut story collection, A Guide to Being Born (2013) was a New York Times Notable Book.  Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, she has also been a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Award and the International Impac Dublin Literary Award.  She holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine where she won the Glenn Schaeffer Award in Fiction and served as editor of Faultline Journal of Art & Literature. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, The New York Times, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, and collected in The Best American Fantasy and online in The Paris Review.   She has been a finalist for the Puschart Prize and a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Ramona is a faculty member of the Low-Residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Visiting Professor at Colorado College.

garthGarth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris ReviewA Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and the New York Times Book Review, among others. He lives in Iowa City.


Photo by Adam KarstenPam 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 StoriesThe O. Henry AwardsThe 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.


Christian Kiefer’s first novel, The Infinite Tides appeared on best of the year lists from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist and was given rave reviews in The Washington Post, Oprah.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Brooklyn Rain, Library Journal, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. T.C. Boyle called the novel “smart, lyrical [and] deeply moving” and noted its “emotional complexity and pure aching beauty.” Pam Houston called it “the most emotionally and syntactically sophisticated debut I have ever seen.” His second novel, The Animals was a best book of the year from Amazon.com and was praised by Richard Ford, Janet Fitch, and many others. Porter Shreve, writing about the novel in the San Francisco Chronicle, noted that “the book is not just a galloping great read; it’s a violent, tender, terrifying, genuine work of art.” Kiefer is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, which has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Zyzzyva, Catamaran Literary Reader, and elsewhere.  He holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of California at Davis and teaches at American River College and as part of the low-residency MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada College. He serves as a contributing editor for Zyzzyva and as a fiction reader for VQR. His recent work includes the novella, One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide (Nouvella) and the upcoming novel, Kingdom of Wolves.  He lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada northeast of Sacramento, California with his wife and sons.


Agents & Editors


Fall 2018 Session


Nicki AgentNicki Richesin began her career at Bloomsbury in London during the exciting days when J.K. Rowling was first discovered by the publisher. She has worked as a freelance editor for over fifteen years with many talented writers, as well as publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Seal Press, and Little, Brown. She edited four literary anthologies (The May Queen, Because I Love Her, What I Would Tell Her, and Crush) featuring essays by bestselling authors including Jennifer Weiner, Lauren Oliver, David Levithan, Karen Joy Fowler, Chris Bohjalian, Amy Greene, and Kaui Hart Hemmings.  Nicki is especially interested in representing literary and upmarket fiction, young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. She is eager to discover authors writing about somewhat unconventional protagonists with an imaginative slant on storytelling. In young adult fiction, she has a particular fondness for coming-of-age stories that take a cue from classic literature. Nicki is drawn to memoir with a genuine voice that instantly connects with readers and takes them on a journey. She will always champion a story that investigates the true meaning of life, love, and identity. After many years of collaborating with hard-working authors, she enjoys nothing more than helping them realize their vision and telling everyone all about it.


Jay Schaefer

Jay Schaefer is an independent editor and book publishing consultant based in San Francisco.  He was an editorial director at Chronicle Books, where he’d worked for more than 20 years, and later was the editor at large for Workman Publishing and Algonquin Books. He has edited a wide variety of books by both well-known and previously unpublished writers, including the memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, fiction by Craig Ferguson, Robert Olen Butler, John Nichols, and Ann Packer, and nonfiction by Senator Kamala Harris .  He has also edited art books, mysteries, and humor, including The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series.  www.jay-schaefer-books.com.


Spring 2019 Session


 

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