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

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

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.

Dauren Velez

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.

Fabio Viviani

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.

Stephen Wade

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

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

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.

Ellen Warren

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

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.