Nathan Rabin is the head writer for The A.V. Club. His books include “The Big Rewind” and “My Year of Flops.” He also collaborated on “Weird Al: The Book.” He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Spin, The Huffington Post and the Boston Globe. He lives in Chicago.
Monte Reel is the author of “Between Man and Beast.” A former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, he lives in Evanston. montereel.com.
Howard Reich, the Chicago Tribune’s arts and jazz critic, has covered music for the newspaper since 1977. He is the author of several books, including “Prisoner of Her Past,” about his mother’s hidden Holocaust past. He is producer-writer-narrator of the PBS documentary film of the same name.
Paul Reid is a journalist and the co-author of “The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965,” which he completed for his friend William Manchester. He lives in North Carolina.
RhymeSchool is a hip-hop mentoring program for Chicago Public Library students.
Simon Rich has written comedy for The New Yorker, Pixar, “Saturday Night Live,” The Believer and various movie studios. He is the author of two collections, “Free-Range Chickens” and “Ant Farm,” and the novels “Elliot Allagash” and “What In God’s Name.”
Sherri Duskey Rinker
Sherri Duskey Rinker’s first picture book, “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site,” has spent more than a year on the New York Times and IndieBound best-seller lists. Her latest book is titled “Steam Train, Dream Train,” and her third book, “Since There Was You,” is scheduled to be published in 2014.
Michael Robbins is the author of “Alien vs. Predator,” named one of the best books of 2012 by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and several other publications. His book of criticism, “Equipment for Living,” is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
Justin Roberts began his music career in the Minneapolis-based indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. While working as a Montessori preschool teacher, he began writing and singing songs for kids. He has played at such venues as New York city’s Symphony Space, Lollapalooza and Ravinia. He performs with The Not Ready for Naptime Players.
Roxana Robinson is the author of five novels, including “Sparta”; three collections of short stories; and the biography “Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life.” She lives in New York and Connecticut.
Sam Roe is a Chicago Tribune reporter who was part of the reporting team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for an examination of unsafe children’s products. He also was a Pulitzer finalist in 2000, 2011 and 2013.
Kathleen Rooney is a founder of Rose Metal Press and author of “Robinson Alone”; “For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs”; “Live Nude Girl”; and other books of poetry and nonfiction. Her novel “O, Democracy!” is forthcoming in 2014. kathleenrooney.com.
Phil Rosenthal joined the Chicago Tribune as a columnist in 2005. Before that he was a television critic and sports columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and a critic and columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Rosenthal is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Gillian Royes is the creator of the Shad series of mysteries, published by Simon and Schuster’s Atria imprint. The first in the series, “The Goat Woman of Largo Bay,” appeared in 2011 and the second, “The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks,” in December 2012. She teaches communications at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Brian Russell is the author of the poetry collection “The Year of What Now.” He received a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Houston and served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. He lives in Chicago.
Marcus Sakey’s novels “Good People” and the forthcoming “Brilliance” are in development as feature films. He also is the host of the television series “Hidden City” on the Travel Channel.
Patrick J. Salem
Patrick J. Salem is pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia College Chicago. His thesis is the novel-in-progress “St. Kevin of Cleveland.”
Susan is a singer/songwriter for children and families. She performs “The Dot and Susan Show” with storyteller Dot Kane.
Zak Sally is a cartoonist, musician and the owner of La Mano 21, a micropublishing house in Minneapolis. His most recent work is “Sammy The Mouse.” zaksally.com.
Victoria Sanz, a Miami native, is graduating from Columbia College Chicago in the fall with a degree in creative writing-poetry and American Sign Language.
Bill Savage is the distinguished senior lecturer in English at Northwestern University. He is the co-editor, with Paul Durica, of “Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America.”
Ald. Roderick Sawyer
Ald. Roderick Sawyer has lived all his life in Chicago’s 6th Ward, which he represents. He graduated from DePaul University and received his law degree from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law. He belongs to many civic and charitable groups.
Valerie Sayers is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. Her literary awards include a Pushcart Prize for fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship. She is the author of “The Powers.”
Mary Schmich is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune. A collection of her columns, “The Best of Mary Schmich,” is available as an e-book and will soon be available in print.
Gary D. Schmidt
Gary D. Schmidt is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning books “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” and “The Wednesday Wars,” and “Okay for Now,” which was a National Book Award finalist.
Jessica M. Scott
Jessica M. Scott is pursuing a master’s degree in fiction writing at Columbia College Chicago. Her work can be seen at Chicago Literati and Emerge Literary Journal.
Donna Seaman is a senior editor for Booklist. Her reviews, interviews and essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Creative Nonfiction and other publications.
The Second City
The Second City is a leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy with theaters in Chicago and Toronto, training centers in those cites as well as Hollywood, 11 touring ensembles, theatricals divisions and television and film operations.
Doug Seibold is the president and founder of Agate Publishing, which was established in 2003. Since 2012, Agate has partnered with the Chicago Tribune to publish e-books created from Tribune content under its Agate Digital imprint.
Alan Sepinwall has been writing about television for 17 years and currently writes the popular blog What’s Alan Watching? on hitfix.com. His book “The Revolution Was Televised” was one of the first self-published works reviewed by The New York Times. alansepinwall.com.
William Shunn is the author of more than 30 works of short fiction, which have appeared since 1993 in Salon, Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and other publications. He is the co-author of the novella “Cast a Cold Eye.” He co-hosts Tuesday Funk, an eclectic monthly reading series in Chicago, and occasionally writes under the name Perry Slaughter.
Marisa Silver is the author of the novels “Mary Coin,” “The God of War” and “No Direction Home” and the story collections “Alone With You” and “Babe in Paradise.” She lives in Los Angeles.
Art Smith is the chef/owner of Table Fifty-two in Chicago and Art and Soul in Washington, D.C., among other restaurants. In his new cookbook, “Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort,” he writes about how he worked to lose 120 pounds and bring his diabetes in check through more healthful eating and exercise. Smith also is a former contestant on “Top Chef Masters” and Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef.
Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith are The Hearty Boys. They are Chicago caterers, owners of Hearty Restaurant, authors of “Talk with Your Mouth Full” and were hosts of Food Network’s “Party Line With the Hearty Boys.” Their newest book, “The New Old Bar,” is an everyman’s guide to the cocktail movement. heartyboys.com.
Christine Sneed is the author of the novel, “Little Known Facts,” and the story collection, “Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry.” Her pieces have been included in “The Best American Short Stories” series, “The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories” series and numerous journals.
R. Clifton Spargo
R. Clifton Spargo is the author of “Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.” He writes “The HI/LO” blog for The Huffington Post and has been published in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, Glimmer Train and the Chicago Tribune. beautifulfoolsthenovel.com.
Doug Sohn is the head chef of Hot Doug's: The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meats Emporium. He is the author of “Hot Doug's: The Book,” along with Kate DeVivo.
Art Spiegelman is the award-winning cartoonist of "Maus," "Breakdowns," "In the Shadow of No Towers" and many others. In coordination with a traveling North American exhibit of his career, Drawn & Quarterly will debut at Printers Row Spiegelman’s "CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps." He lives in Manhattan.
Scott Stantis is the editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. He is the creator of the internationally syndicated comic strip, “Prickly City,“ and the winner of the 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial cartooning.
Jon Steele is a journalist and author of “The Watchers.” Born in Spokane, Wash., he traveled the world while working as a cameraman for Independent Television News . “Angel City” is his second novel. He lives in Switzerland.
Kevin Stein is the Illinois Poet Laureate. He has published multiple books of poetry, criticism and anthology, including his 2013 collection, “Wrestling Li Po for the Remote."
Neil Steinberg is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, where he has been on staff since 1987. He is the author of seven books, including “You Were Never in Chicago.” He lives with his family in Northbrook.
David Henry Sterry
David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut are co-founders of The Book Doctors and co-authors of “The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published.”
Heidi Stevens is a lifestyles reporter at the Chicago Tribune, where she writes the weekly “Balancing Act” column.
Megan Stielstra is the literary director of 2nd Story, co-editor of the anthology, “Briefly Knocked Unconscious By a Low-Flying Duck,” and author of the story collection, “Everyone Remain Calm,”. She teaches writing and performance at Columbia College Chicago and The University of Chicago.
Bill St. John
Bill St. John has written and taught about wine for more than 40 years. He writes for the Chicago Tribune; teaches at his wine school, St John on Wine; and lectures on history, food, wine and religion at the University of Chicago Graham School. stjohnonwine.com.
Sting, a composer, singer, author, actor and activist, was born in Wallsend, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five albums, earned six Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. A strong supporter of many human rights organizations, he co-founded the Rainforest Fund, an organization that protects the civil rights of indigenous people living in rainforests, with his wife Trudie Styler in 1989.
Rebecca Stoelinga, known by her stage name Super Stolie, has entertained families since 2006. Showcasing songs from her latest kids' CD, ”Press Play!”, this high-energy show is an interactive experience, encouraging children and parents to embrace their own uniqueness by singing and dancing. superstolie.com.
Julia Sweeney is the author of “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.” She was a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” from 1990-94, and has written and performed in several one-woman shows, including “God Said, Ha!” “In the Family Way” and “Letting Go of God.” She lives outside of Chicago.
Sonia Taitz is author of “The Watchmaker’s Daughter: A Memoir.” Her previous books include “Mothering Heights” and “In the King’s Arms.” soniataitz.com.
TallGrass Writers Guild
TallGrass Writers Guild provides performance and publication opportunities for writers, including a quarterly newsletter, open mics, formal readings, and Performance Ensemble programs. Its annual anthology, now in its 18th year, awards $1,000 in cash prizes. firstname.lastname@example.org
Literary editor of Chicago Tribune, Elizabeth Taylor is the co-author of “American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley — His Battle for Chicago and the Nation.” She has served as chairwoman of several Pulitzer Prize juries and is past president of the National Book Critics Circle.
Teen Volume Reader's Theatre Troupe
The Chicago Public Library's Teen Volume Reader’s Theatre Troupe will be joined by mentors from Promethean Theatre Ensemble as they perform some of their favorite stories for children. This performance is recommended forfamilies with kids ages 3-10.
Robbie Q. Telfer
Robbie Q. Telfer is the co-founder of The Encyclopedia Show, a live literary variety show that’s currently being staged in 10 cities. He helps organize the annual teen poetry festival Louder Than A Bomb. His first book of poetry, ”Spiking the Sucker Punch,” was published by Write Bloody Publishing.
Frank Tempone teaches writing and literature at an independent school in Chicago. His writing has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. @Tempone, absolutegentleman.net.
Third World Press
Third World Press will celebrate the release of “Home/Bass: Poems” by Sterling D. Plumpp as well as other new poetry collections with a musical tribute and panel discussion on the intersection of music and poetry with Sterling D. Plumpp, Fred L. Hord, Eugene B. Redmond and moderator Kelly Norman.
Jean Thompson is the author of six novels, including “The Humanity Project,” “The Year We Left Home” and “City Boy.” She is also the author of five short story collections, including “Who Do You Love.” She lives in Urbana.
Patrick Thornton is master’s degree candidate in Columbia College Chicago’s creative nonfiction program. He is a graduate student instructor, curator for the 33 Reading Series, and a reader for Hotel Amerika. His work has appeared in Ghost Proposal.
Amy Timberlake is the author of “One Came Home,” “That Girl Lucy Moon” and “That Dirty Cowboy She lives in Chicago. amytimberlake.com.
Phil Timberlake has worked as an actor since 1989 and is a member of Lifeline Theatre’s Artistic Ensemble. He also is an associate professor of voice and speech at the Theatre School at DePaul University.
John Urban earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. He has performed in music festivals, at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, and at Symphony Center.
Luis Alberto Urrea
Luis Alberto Urrea is known for using his life experiences to explore themes of love, loss and triumph. The writer of 13 books has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays, including “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.” He was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his nonfiction piece “The Devil’s Highway.”
Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and young adults. His many books include “The Burke Series” and three short story collections. His work has appeared in Parade, Esquire, Playboy and The New York Times, among other publications.
Cyn Vargas has a master’s of fine arts from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been published in Word Riot, Curbside Splendor and The Good Men Project, among others. cynvargas.com.
Dauren Velez is a nonfiction master of fine arts candidate at Columbia College Chicago. She received a liberal arts background from St. John's College in Santa Fe, N.M.
Chef Fabio Viviani is the author of the new cookbook “Fabio's Italian Kitchen.” Best known for his appearance on the fifth season of“Top Chef”, he opened Siena Tavern in February. sienatavern.com.
Chicago native and Grammy nominee Stephen Wade is best known for his one-man performances of “Banjo Dancing” and “On the Way Home.” His book, “The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience,” was published by the University of Illinois Press.
Chris Ware is the author of “Building Stories” and “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.” His work was the focus of a 2006 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Ware lives in Oak Park with his wife, Marnie, and their daughter, Clara.
John Warner is the author of the novel “The Funny Man” and writes the Biblioracle column for the Printers Row Journal. An editor at large for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, he is a visiting professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Chicago Tribune senior correspondent Ellen Warren has been a war correspondent, a foreign correspondent and a White House reporter. She was the first female legman for Chicago columnist Mike Royko. Warren, a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame, has covered seven presidents, Chicago City Hall, the Supreme Court and opening day at Wrigley Field.
Tom Watson is the author of the “Stick Dog” books. He once worked in politics, including a stint as the chief speechwriter for the Governor of Ohio. He lives in Chicago.
Wendy K. Webb
Wendy K. Webb is the author of “The Fate of Mercy Alban” and “The Tale of Halcyon Crane.” She lives in Duluth, Minn.
Lara Weber is the events editor for the Chicago Tribune, but her natural habitat is the great outdoors. When not in a newsroom, she has been found fishing for piranhas in the Amazon, tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda and shivering at the fear of lions circling her tent in Zambia.
Rachel Jamison Webster
Rachel Jamison Webster is an artist in residence at Northwestern University. She edits an online anthology of international poetry, UniVerse, which aims to widen poetry’s audience and celebrate poets from every nation in the world. She is the author of “September: Poems.”
Jenniffer Weigel is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, where she writes the weekly “Lessons for Life” column. She is the author of “Stay Tuned” and “I’m Spiritual, Dammit!” and has been a broadcast journalist in Chicago since 1995. chicagotribune.com/features/life.
Robert Weintraub is the author of “The Victory Season.” He is a sports columnist for Slate and a frequent contributor to the New York Times’ sports pages. His writing has also aired on ESPN, ABC Sports, CBS Sports and dozens of other outlets. He lives in Decatur, Ga.
Lauren Weisberger is the author of “The Devil Wears Prada,” which was published in 40 languages and made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in New York City.
Irvine Welsh is the author of “Skagboys,” “Trainspotting,” “Ecstasy,” “Filth” (soon to be a film starring James McAvoy), “Glue,” “Porno” and “Crime,” among other works. Welsh is also producing movies and writing screenplays. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, he lives in Chicago, Miami and London.
Scott Whitehair is a storyteller; the co-host and producer of “This Much Is True,” a storytelling showcase; and creator of Story Lab Chicago. He has performed at many venues, including Steppenwolf Theatre, and on Chicago Public Radio and the Risk! Podcast, among others. scottwhitehair.com.
Danielle Wilcox is a master’s in fine arts student and tutor in the fiction writing department at Columbia College Chicago.
A Chicago native, Chevy Williams joined the board of the 2nd Story reading series in 2012. A scientist by training, she is an artist at heart.
Leila Wilson is the author of “The Hundred Grasses,” and her poems have appeared in Poetry, A Public Space, American Letters and Commentary, Canary and elsewhere. She works at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Joycelyn Winnecke is vice president and associate editor at the Chicago Tribune. She works on new business ideas for media and journalism, directing strategic initiatives to increase audience and profitability through innovation, organizational design and content development across all platforms.
Former Chicago Tribune columnist Robert Wolf is the author and editor of numerous books, including the novel “Grand Tally” and “Jump Start.” Wolf produces a nationally syndicated radio program, “American Mosaic,” and writes the monthly column “In Search of America” for Stay Thirsty Media.
Meg Wolitzer’s novels include “The Interestings,” “The Uncoupling,” “The Ten-Year Nap,” “The Position” and “The Wife.” Hershort fiction has appeared in “The Best American Short Stories” and “The Pushcart Prize” anthologies. @MegWolitzer.
Nili Yelin is a storyteller, combining her passion for picture books, comedy, mommyhood and little ones. As The Storybook Mom, she performs weekly around the Chicago area. storybookmom.com.
Stephen Young served as senior editor at Poetry magazine for many years before becoming program director at the Poetry Foundation in 2003. He produces public events and runs the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest for high school students.
Patricia Yeo is the creative director at Big Bowl. She made it to the top four during season four on “Top Chef Masters.” She is working on a PBS show and new cookbook.
Young Chicago Authors
Young Chicago Authors transforms the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication and performance education.
Mary Zimmerman, a Tony Award winner, directed and adapted the Goodman Theatre’s stage musical adaptation of “The Jungle Book” based on Rudyard Kipling’s children’s tales and the Disney animated film. The musical will run from June 21-Aug.4. Zimmerman also directed and adapted stage versions of “Metamorphoses,” “The Arabian Nights” and “Candide.”