• Writing Downtown RESIDENCY FELLOWS and GUESTS

      Meet the writing fellows joining us in Downtown Las Vegas.

       

      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put a pause on recruiting fellows. Check back later for our newest fellows!

      LaTajh Weaver

      2019 Fellow

      LaTajh Weaver is an award winning Black writer and director based in Oakland, CA. She is dedicated to reclaiming and telling authentic stories of LGBTQIA and Black communities. Her latest project, CYCLES web series follows a youth advocate worker and a young gang member as they search for their purpose while also trying to survive Oakland, Ca., where the murder rate averages at 92 per year. Currently, LaTajh is working on her next script and assisting student filmmakers on their projects.

       

      Her project: A feature length screenplay centered around a group of kids from Oakland, CA and their relationship to the school to prison pipeline.

       

      Partnering Organization: Woodside

      Jennifer Parr

      2019 Fellow

      Jennifer graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa in 2006. As a former elementary school teacher, Jennifer has a passion and gift for working with children. She is also am a contributing author of Amazon bestseller “365 Days of Angel Prayers” and founder of Asheville Writing Collective, a local writing community in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

       

      Her project: THE ROYAL GAMES, a middle grade fantasy novel, currently at approximately 14,000 words and estimated to be 45,000 upon completion.

      Leah Johnson

      2019 Fellow

      Leah Johnson is a writer, educator and hopeless Midwesterner currently moonlighting as a New Yorker. She's the Social Media Editor at Electric Lit and a Contributing Editor at Catapult. Leah received her MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College and was a 2018 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Her work—which can be found at Bustle, Electric Lit, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Establishment and elsewhere—is centered on the miracle and magic of black womanhood. Her debut YA novel is forthcoming from Scholastic in 2020.

       

      Her project: Set amidst a Flint-like water crisis in Lincoln, Indiana, WHO THE EARTH IS FOR is a YA novel that follows 17-year-old Free Jackson as she navigates her senior year in a town that the world seems to have forgotten and a family that can’t survive without her.

       

      Partnering Organization: Catapult

      Sarah Wang

      2019 Fellow

      Sarah Wang is a writer from Los Angeles who currently splits her time between New York and the West Coast. She won a Nelson Algren runner-up prize for fiction in 2016 and has performed at and received commissions from the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, the Biennale de l'Image en Mouvement in Geneva, Switzerland, the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon in France, the New Museum, and the Pomona College Museum of Art. She has written for BOMB, n+1, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Joyland, Catapult, Conjunctions, Stonecutter Journal, Story Magazine, The Third Rail, Ugly Duckling Presse, semiotext(e)’s Animal Shelter, Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, The Shanghai Literary Review, Black Clock, Performa Magazine, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, and The Last Newspaper at the New Museum, among other publications.

       

      Her project: Finishing a draft of a novel, The Artificial Organ, which takes place in Los Angeles.

      Anthony Onah

      2019 Fellow

      Anthony Onah is a Nigerian American filmmaker who grew up in the Philippines, England, Nigeria, Togo and the U.S. His debut feature, THE PRICE, premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival in the Narrative Feature Competition, and was released in theaters in November 2017. Onah graduated from Harvard, where he studied biochemistry and neuroscience, then earned an MFA in film directing from UCLA. He was named to Filmmaker Magazine’s list of “25 New Faces of Film” in 2015, and is an alum of the Sundance Institute Catalyst Forum.

       

      His project: The project is a feature-length screenplay titled GOLIATH. After a brilliant African American scientist discovers a leading pesticide may be harmful, paranoia and rage threaten to consume him as he battles its manufacturer, the most powerful chemical company in the world. Based on a true story.


      Partering Organization: Woodside

      Anna Zeng

      2019 Literary Design Fellow

      Anna Zeng is an illustrator and character designer from Boston, MA with a background in web and graphic design. She has a passion for storytelling in all forms and ardently believes in the limitless power of story as a tool for greater social change.

       

      Her project: Illustrating and designing covers for Recovering the Classics

      Regina Kanyu Wang

      2019 Fellow

      Born in 1990, Regina Kanyu Wang is a bilingual writer from Shanghai, graduate of Fudan University’s MFA program, member of Shanghai Writers’ Association, Shanghai Popular Science Writers’ Association and World Chinese Science Fiction Association. She has been invited as a guest of Shanghai-Taipei Literary camp, Melon HK, Shanghai International Literary Week and Euro-Asia Economic Forum. Her short story, “Back to Myan,” won the SF Comet international short story competition in Feb, 2015. Her novella, “Of Cloud and Mist” won the Silver Award for Best Novella and Golden Award for Best Film Adaptation of Xingyun Award for Global Chinese SF 2016. Her stories and articles can be found in Mengya, Science Fiction World, Southern People Weekly, ELLEMEN, UNITAS a literary monthly, Mithila Review, Galaxy’s Edge, Clarkesworld and etc. She has published a science fiction story collection and a non-fiction book on food.

       

      Her project: A second short story collection, The Seafood Restaurant and others. It will be a series of speculative fiction trying to explore intercultural communication, identity recognition, relationship between human beings and Others in a near future setting

      Emma Best

      2018 Writing Fellow

      Emma Best is a journalist known for her work with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Her work has landed her at the top of the FBI's list of "vexsome" requesters and resulted in her being investigated by the Bureau for filing too many FOIA requests. She is best known for her role in helping MuckRock push CIA to put their declassified database online in a timely manner.

       

      Her project: "I'm Afraid To Say These Things," a biography of Henry Kissinger using quotes and excerpts from his conversations and papers, as declassified and released through FOIA etc.

       

      Partnering Organization: Muckrock

      José Olivarez

      2018 Literary Fellow

      José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants, the co-author of the book of poems Home Court, and the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors. A recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, & the Conversation Literary Festival, his work has been published in the BreakBeat Poets, the Adroit Journal, The Rumpus, & Hyperallergic, among other places. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, will be released in September 2018 from Haymarket Books. He lives in Chicago.

       

      His project: Editing two manuscripts. One is the BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4, which will compile the work of 70 Latinx poets and one is a critical analysis of Latinx poetry. Also he will be working on drafting and editing poems for his second collection of poems.

       

      Paul Tran

      2018 Literary Fellow

      Paul Tran is a 2018 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize winner. They live in Missouri, where they are Poetry Editor at The Offing Magazine and Chancellor's Graduate Fellow in The Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Their work appears in The New Yorker, POETRY, and elsewhere, including the anthology Inheriting The War (W.W. Norton, 2017) and movie Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate, 2017). A recipient of fellowships and residencies from Kundiman, Poets House, Lambda Literary Foundation, Napa Valley Writers Conference, John Ashbery Home School, Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Miami Writers Institute, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and Eliza So Fellowship, Paul is the first Asian American since 1993 to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing Top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and Top 2 at the National Poetry Slam.

       

      His project: Paul will be working on their first full length poetry collection. To be acquired by One World/Random House, the collection examines intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and U.S. Empire following the Vietnam War.

       

      Partnering Organization: Asian American Writers' Workshop

      Melissa Gira Grant

      2018 Literary Fellow

      Melissa Gira Grant is the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso) and a senior staff reporter at The Appeal. She has been a contributing writer for the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and long before that, at Gawker Media's Valleywag. Her reporting on sexuality, gender, and technology has appeared in The Guardian, BuzzFeed, VICE, and The Nation, and her culture writing has been published in Bookforum, Dissent, Rhizome, the Washington Post, and the New York Review of Books. Her writing has also been collected in Best Sex Writing (Cleis Press), The Feminist Utopia Project (Feminist Press), and Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo (Verso).

       

      Her project: Melissa will be working on a book about early 21st century technologies of desire.

      Sheree Winslow

      2018 Literary Fellow

      When the medicine man of her Northern Cheyenne tribe met Sheree, he named her Many Trails Many Roads Woman. She’s moved more times than she cares to admit and wandered through forty-nine states and many countries. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Beecher’s (2018 non-fiction contest runner-up), Past Ten, and Wanderlust Journal. She’s reported for the Orange County Register and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and served as an expertise columnist for Savvy Auntie. Sheree received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

       

      Her project: Feeding Myself, a memoir about her relationship with my body and recovery from food addiction.

      Dominica Phetteplace

      2018 Fellow

      Dominica Phetteplace writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in Asimov's, Zyzzyva, Clarkesworld and Lightspeed. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship at San Jose State University.

       

      Her project: A series of short stories set in the near-future Southwest. The world is called Robot Country.

      Kyle Lucia Wu

      2018 Literary Fellow

      Kyle Lucia Wu is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is the Programs and Communications Manager at Kundiman, a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing Asian American literature, and the co-publisher of the literary journal Joyland. She was awarded the Asian American Writers Workshop Margins fellowship in 2017, and has received residencies from the Byrdcliffe Colony and the Millay Colony. She has an MFA in fiction from The New School, and teaches at Fordham University. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, Guernica, Electric Literature, Interview Magazine, and elsewhere.

       

      Her project: Revising a draft of my first novel. "Win Me Something" is a voice-driven literary novel that explores mixed-race identity, class tensions, and blended families.

      Joshua Baldwin

      2018 Fellow

      Joshua Baldwin's dispatches from Las Vegas have appeared at The Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New York Times. He is the author of The Wilshire Sun, a novella, and his short fiction and poetry have appeared at n+1, The Brooklyn Rail, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Born and raised in New York City, he lives in Los Angeles.

       

      His project: Joshua will be working on a book-length project that expands on the dispatches from Las Vegas he's written over the past two years — an impressionistic, walking chronicle that excavates the past, present, and future of the city.

      Alex Marx

      2018 Screenwriting Fellow

      Alex Marx is an actor, writer, filmmaker and philanthropist born and bred in London. After graduating with an MA in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh he trained as an actor in New York before returning home to continue his training in Meisner technique (which he now teaches). For the last decade he has worked as a jobbing actor in West End theatre, BBC television and international independent cinema. He has also written, directed and produced four short films - and is currently working on his debut feature Miraculous Isabella (due to shoot 2019), as well as a number of other projects.

       

      His project: Miraculous Isabella is a dramatic biopic about style icon Isabella Blow, famous for her discovery of some of the leading names in fashion and her lifelong, losing battle with the demons of mental illness.

       

      Partnering Organization: Woodside

      KL Pereira

      2018 Literary Fellow

      KL Pereira's debut short story collection, A Dream Between Two Rivers: Stories of Liminality was published by Cutlass Press in September 2017, and her chapbook, Impossible Wolves, was published by Deathless Press in 2013. Pereira's fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in LampLight, The Drum, Shimmer, Innsmouth Free Press, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Bitch, and other publications. She's a member of the New England Horror Writers Association and has taught creative writing in high schools, domestic violence shelters, colleges and universities, and writing institutions throughout New England for over ten years. She's been awarded grants and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and Writing Downtown.

       

      Her project: Her novel, Becoming Alien. This epistolary novel (complied of pages from diaries, zines, cassette liner notes, newspaper articles and other documentary ephemera) is told from the point of view of a teenage girl in the early 1990s, who, with her twin sister, migrates with a coyote to the United States from Mexico City after the death of their mother.

       

      Partnering Organization: Grub Street

      Corey Asraf

      2018 Screenwriting Fellow

      Corey has a multidisciplinary background working as a graphic artist, editor, writer, and director. At the age of 13 Corey wrote and directed his first short film. Since that time he has collaborated with various artists and musicians to create a variety of music videos, commercials and short films. After the Cannes premiere of his short film Judas' Chariot (2014), he went on to direct his first feature film, Let Me Make You A Martyr ( ft. Marylin Manson, Michael Potts, Mark Boone Jr, Niko Nicotera) - which was acquired by Filmrise and released June 6th in theaters and on VOD.

       

      His project: A screenplay based on the rise and fall of his father's criminal empire in 1990's Miami. After a hurricane in Miami, Corey's father faked his death, fled the country and lived in exile in Morocco. Soon after his disappearance, Corey was employed by his father to smuggle conflict diamonds into the United States. This is Corey's story.

       

      Partnering Organization: Woodside

      Ethan Gilsdorf

      2018 Literary Fellow

      Ethan Gilsdorf is an American writer, poet, performer, editor, critic, teacher, journalist, and author of "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms" (The Lyons Press). Gilsdorf began his writing career in the 1990s as a poet and fiction writer, publishing in literary magazines such as Poetry, The Southern Review, The Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, The North American Review, The Massachusetts Review and in several anthologies. He is also the winner of the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Competition and the Esme Bradberry Contemporary Poets Prize.

       

      His project:

      "A book-length memoir based on my article “The Day My Mother Became a Stranger,” published in 2015 in Boston Magazine, and named a “Notable” essay in the 2016 Best American Essays anthology.

       

      Partnering Organization: Grub Street

      Jennifer Croft

      2017 Literary Fellow

      Jennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation and a Tin House Workshop Scholarship for her novel Homesick, originally written in Spanish. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a founding editor of The Buenos Aires Review and has published her own work and numerous translations in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, n+1, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, BOMB, Guernica, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere. Her translation from Spanish of Romina Paula’s August was just published by The Feminist Press, and her translation from Polish of Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights was just published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK and is forthcoming in the US from Riverhead.

       

      Her project: Translating fiction by contemporary Argentine and Polish writers and co-translating, with Boris Dralyuk, poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Also, expanding the translation component of my own novel Homesick.

       

      Partnering Organization: Words Without Borders

      Aphee Messer

      2018 Literary Design Fellow

      Aphee Messer is a Nebraska-based graphic designer/illustrator with a passion for literature. Hand-lettered typography, children’s illustration, emoji art, and book design are her specialties. Recently, her designs for emoji proposals have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, and many other news outlets all over the world. Aphee’s future plans include writing and illustrating her own children’s book, visiting all fifty states, and adopting a kitten.

       

      Her project: Book covers for Plympton, other book design-related projects and illustrations.

      Chris Edmond

      2018 Fellow

      Chris Edmonds is a writer and editor living in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and two young sons. His fiction and poems have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Pembroke Magazine, and elsewhere.

       

      His project: A novel about a whale, coastal erosion, and isolation.

      Matt Farwell

      2018 Literary Fellow

      Matt Farwell is a writer. His work has appeared in the Rolling Stone, Playboy, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Men's Journal and other publications. Prior to writing he was an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division and fought in Afghanistan. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with his lovely cat Marie Claire.

       

      His project: American Cipher a book from Penguin Press about the Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl case.

      James Brinkley

      2017 Literary Fellow

      Jamel Brinkley was raised in Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York. He is a Kimbilio Fellow and is an alum of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He has been awarded scholarships from the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. A recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in A Public Space and Gulf Coast, and his debut short story collection will be published in 2018 by Graywolf Press. He is currently at work on a novel.

       

      His project: Night is One Long Everlasting, where a teenage boy named Malik and his mother, Ruby, have returned from New York to Ruby’s hometown in southern Virginia for her father's funeral.

       

      Partnering Organization: A Public Space

      JC Hemphill

      2017 Literary Fellow

      JC Hemphill has more than thirty short fiction publications across a range of mediums. In 2012 he won the Washington Pastime Literary Award and has been fascinated with the art of storytelling ever since. When he’s not writing, he spends his days exploring the great outdoors with his wife, son, and two dogs.

       

      His project: DOWNWARD: a loving mother-son relationship quickly descends into one of extreme possessiveness after a deranged man attacks the Krisch family in their home. Narrowly escaping the encounter convinces Alice that the world is a dangerous place for her son, Charlie, and that she must do whatever it takes to keep him safe.

       

      Partnering Organization: Ember/Spark

      Joanne McNeil

      2017 Literary Fellow

      Joanne McNeil is a writer working on a book called “Lurk” for FSG. She was a digital arts writing fellow at the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation and a resident artist at Eyebeam. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Baffler, Dissent, and other web and print publications.

       

      Her project: Lurk is a book about what it means to be an internet user. Three periods of time are in focus: 90s cyberculture, then blogs and social media in the early aughts, and finally the launch of the iPhone and apps that followed.

      Melissa Sipin

      2017 Fellow

      Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, CA. She won Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open and the Washington Square Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things, an anthology on Philippine myths (Carayan Press 2014), and her work is published/forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Prairie Schooner, Guernica Magazine, PEN/Guernica Flash Series, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Eleven Eleven Magazine, and Amazon’s literary journal Day One, among others. Melissa is a cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine. Her fiction has won scholarships and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Poets & Writers Inc., Kundiman, VONA/Voices Conference, Squaw Valley’s Community of Writers, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is represented by Sarah Levitt at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.

       

      Her project: Scorched-Earth follows Dolores, an ambitious immigrant daughter of an ex-meth addict and ex-prostitute. After returning home from a five-year absence and winning a prestigious artist fellowship at the newest contemporary museum in downtown Los Angeles, she finds herself excavating her family’s past for answers.

       

      Partnering Organization: Submittable

      Calvin Gimpelevich

      2017 Fellow

      Calvin Gimpelevich is an author and organizer based in the Pacific Northwest. His fiction appears in Electric Literature, Plentitude, Glitterwolf, cream city, THEM, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of awards from Artist Trust, Jack Straw Cultural Center, and 4Culture, in addition to residencies through Writer’s Block and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. A founding member of the Lion’s Main Art Collective, Calvin has organized shows at venues throughout Seattle and performed at Henry Art Gallery, where he was also a featured speaker. A transgender first-generation American, his work deals with immigration, politics, subcultures, gender, and class.

       

      His project: Tenderloin is a literary multi-perspective ghost story I’ve been working on for the past years, set in the San Francisco Bay Area, exploring history, politics, and subcultures.

       

      Partnering Organization: Electric Literature

    • WRITING DOWNTOWN Guests

      We've hosted some literary guests in the past

      Glynnis MacNicol

      Literary Guest

      Glynnis MacNicol is a writer and co-founder of TheLi.st. She is the author of the forthcoming memoir NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS (Simon & Schuster, 2018). Her work has appeared in print and online for publications including ELLE.com, where she was a contributing writer; The New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, The Cut, New York Daily News, W, Town & Country, The Daily Beast, Shondaland, and Capital New York.

      MacNicol co-wrote HelloFlo: The Guide, PERIOD.: The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl (Dutton, 2017), a guide to puberty, with HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom. She co-edited and contributed to the best-selling Amazon Kindle essay collection The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women. Her series of articles for Chase's award-winning ""From the Ground Up"" package on Brownsville, Brooklyn won a 2015 Contently Award. ​She lives in New York City.

       

      Her current project: I just completed a memoir for S&S, titled NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS, set to publish in July. Am in the early stages of figuring out my next book project(s).

      Garance Franke-Ruta

      Literary Guest

      Garance Franke-Ruta is working on a memoir about coming of age in New York City as an AIDS activist during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most recently Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Politics and Washington Editor of Yahoo News, she has been a journalist in Washington, D.C. since 1997 and worked as a senior editor and columnist at The Atlantic, national online politics editor at The Washington Post, and a senior editor at The American Prospect magazine. Born in the South of France, Franke-Ruta grew up in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico; New York City; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She can be found on Twitter @TheGarance.

       

      Her project: Working on a memoir telling the story of how Garance came to be the youngest member of ACT UP New York's Treatment + Data Committee and a full-time AIDS activist during the worst years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

      Mitra Parineh

      Literary Guest

      Mitra Parineh was born in California and lives in New York City. "Two Nights in a London Hotel" is her first novel.

       

      Her current project: The end of my novel, a comedy titled "Two Nights in a London Hotel". I have to get it back to patiently awaiting agent soon, and also it has to be good.

      Walter Miller

      Literary Guest

      Walter Miller is an adjunct professor of international affairs at Columbia University. He is also a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, and most recently worked at the United Nations leading a team of negotiators at the UN Security Council on Middle East, Asia and Latin America policy. He also led the political-economic section of the embassy in South Sudan, coordinated economic development efforts in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, reported on economic and political issues in Iraq, and worked on human rights in Mexico. Walter is working on his first novel.

       

      His current project: I am writing a novel that follows the consequences of a series of attacks on peacekeeping forces in East Africa and the Middle East. The story focuses on the crisis as it unfolds at the United Nations, particularly the political calculations and power plays among members of the Security Council.