A.K. Benninghofen grew up in the Mississippi Delta. She spent the first part of her adult life living in New York City and Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actress, which is to say, she has a lot of restaurant experience. Since 2008, A.K. has happily made her home in Asheville, along with her husband, two children and a dog named Juliet. A.K.’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages NorthEvergreen ReviewMonkeybicycleNecessary FictionDeep South Magazine and elsewhere. She has been a fiction contributor at Sewanee Writers' Conference, a writing fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities and Wildacres Retreat. In 2012, she was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant by the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, she is at work on her first book, a collection of linked stories titled Landmine Maps of the Hospitality State.


Maryedith Burrell is a show business veteran. Her TV career began when she derailed from Shakespeare into improv with The Groundlingsand Second City  in LA. She went on to star in the ABC late-night comedy Fridays, the sitcom Throb, Ron Howard’s Parenthood and The Jackie Thomas Show. She also enjoyed recurring roles on Seinfeld and Home Improvement as well as numerous guest-star turns on everything from SNL to Murder She Wrote. Meanwhile, she was honing her skills as a dramatist and author. Ms. Burrell has written revue, musicals and operas in the U.S., Britain and Australia as well as screenplays for all the major networks and film studios. At present, she enjoys a career as a script doctor.  A published journalist, her essay “An Affair To Forget” appears in the bestseller What Was I Thinking? (St. Martin’s Press.) She is currently working on a collection of short stories, Garlic Girl, and a screenplay, Black Angel


Catherine Campbell is an award-nominated fiction writer and essayist. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Millions, Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s, The Atlantic, Daily Muse, Arcadia, Drunken Boat, Ploughsharesonline, and elsewhere. She also ghostwrites articles for high-profile clients in national magazines such as Inc., Harvard Business Review, and Foundr Mag. Catherine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Writing at UNC-Asheville and her MFA in Writing at Queens University. She was born on a little homestead in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, and lives in Asheville with her son Thaddeus and her partner, the writer Brandon Amico.


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Marjorie Klein's first novel, Test Pattern (Wm. Morrow Publishers, 2000) was a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, and is being re-released by HarperCollins as an eBook. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications, including 20 years of free-lance work for Tropic, the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine. She has taught at the University of Miami, Warren Wilson College, and Florida International University (where she received her MFA), and has led workshops at the Florida Center for Literary Arts at Miami Dade College, UNCA’s Center for Creative Retirement and the Great Smokies Writers Program. Recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in 2007, and honorable mention in 2002, she served as a preliminary judge in the writing category for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts from 1991-2006, until she moved to Asheville. She has recently completed a new novel, Shifting Gears.


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Kim lives in Asheville and is a Jersey-girl turned Appalachian Enthusiast. She attended Syracuse University and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center for Theatre, and was an actor briefly in Los Angeles and for many (too many) years in New York City, where she was a founding member of ATHEATRECO, a non-profit theatre that focused on original works. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Sou’westerCosmonauts AvenueThe Nervous Breakdown and others. Kim won the inaugural Ramsey Library Community Author Award in 2017. She has been a continuing Writer-in-Residence at The Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities since 2009 and just completed a residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Her former life as an actor has greatly informed her writing. Kim is currently at work on a thematically linked short story collection about characters on the edge of economic stability and the mirage of the American dream.



 photo  by Thomas Calder

photo  by Thomas Calder

Alli Marshall is a poet, fiction writer, and spoken word artist. She’s the author of the 2015 novel “How to Talk to Rockstars” and the 2017 chapbook “It All Comes Rushing Back,” as well as a number of zines. She’s a member of the the spoken word troupe Literary Circus, and the arts editor at alternative newsweekly Mountain Xpress. She’s lived in Asheville since 1995. Alli won the 2018 Ramsey Library Community Author Award, the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize (judged by Ron Rash) for her short story, “Catching Out,” and the 2016 Shrewd Writer Award for her flash fiction “Structural Soul.” Alli’s prose and poetry have been published in the Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review, Blurt!, Shuffle, Our State, MetroPop, FifeLines, and the Asheville Poetry Review.  Alli’s recent collaborative productions include “Flying Clothes & Prose” with The Literary Circus for the 2018 Asheville Fringe Arts Festival; and “Sleeping on Rooftops,” a modern hero’s journey told through spoken word, dance, and experimental cello, performed at the 2018 {Re}HAPPENING. 


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Joanne O’Sullivan’s YA novel, Between Two Skies, was published by Candlewick Press in 2017. She traveled the world teaching English as a Second Language and meeting fascinating characters before settling with her husband and two kids in Asheville, where she writes about books and artists as a journalist, researches science and social studies as a non-fiction author, and armchair travels while planning her next big trip. 



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A native of Georgia, Jude Whelchel joined the Book of the Month Club at age 11. Carting boxes of books, she moved with her family to the mountains in 1996 where she occupied herself as an Episcopal priest, mother, and grower of, among other glories, heirloom tomatoes.  Earning an MFA from Warren Wilson College, Jude is a writer before dawn and reader in every spare moment. Winner of 2016 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, (Co) Winner of the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, she is the recipient of grants from the North Carolina Regional Artist Commission and Money for Women/The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her work has appeared in the Potomac ReviewThe North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Jude is at work on her first novel.