Joelle Schumacher won the second place in The Short Story Project’s competition My Best Story, 2018.  She is 22 and lives in southern California, where she entertains herself by procrastinating on her college assignments, reading philosophy, doing a lot of yoga, and forgetting to water her herb garden. she also leads a creative writing recovery workshop designed to reconnect college students with their innate inner artist. you can find more of her writing at


Gabriel Monteros is the winner of The Short Story Project’s competition “My Best Story”, 2018. He is a Latino American from Southern California. He describes the neighborhood he grew up in as a working class, multi-ethnic, and sometimes violent place. He studied Mandarin Chinese in college and spent most of his 20’s working in Zhejiang, China for a local company. Through his travels, he developed deep personal and emotional ties to Asia and Africa, and he tries to convey the meaningful experiences he collected there through his writing.


Becky Adnot-Haynes grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati, where she worked as an editor for The Cincinnati Review. Her stories have appeared in literary journals such as The Missouri Review, The Indiana Review, The Literary Review, West Branch, and PANK, and she was the winner of Hobart’s Buffalo Prize for short fiction. Her short story collection, The Year of Perfect Happiness, won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize and was published in 2014 by the University of North Texas Press. She lives in Cincinnati.

Tehila Lieberman is an American writer, editor and coach at Harvard Business School. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and a Masters degree in Psychology. Her short story collection Venus in the Afternoonwas published in 2012, and won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. She has won the Stanley Elkin Memorial Prize and the Rick Dimarinis Short Fiction Prize and her fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including Nimrod, the Colorado Review, Salamander, and Cutthroat. Her nonfiction has been published in and in Travelers’ Tales Guides anthologies, including Best Women’s Travel Writing 2007. Originally from New York, she lived in Jerusalem before settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she consults as a writing coach for Harvard Business School.


David Jauss (1951) is an American fiction writer and poet. He is the author of four collections of short stories, two collections of poems, a collection of essays, and a monograph on closure in literature and the arts. His work has been published in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies. He was awarded, among others, the O. Henry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, the Best American Short Stories selection, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He taught creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1980 until his retirement as a professor emeritus in 2014. He continues to teach in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he have taught since 1998. He lives in Little Rock with his wife Judy and their dogs Libby and Sammy. 


Liz Prato is an American author and editor. Her short story collection, Baby’s on Fire, was published in 2015; and her stories and essays have appeared in dozens of journals–including Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Rumpus, and Salon. She is the Editor at Large for Forest Avenue Press, where she edited the 2014 anthology, The Night, and the Rain, and the River. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.  


Karen Brennan is an American author who has written seven books in various genres–including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her most recent collection of stories, Monsters, was published by Four Way Books in 2016. Her work has appeared in anthologies from Norton, Penguin, Graywolf, and Spuytin Duyvil among others. A National Endowment of the Arts recipient, she is Professor Emerita at the University of Utah and teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.


K.L. Cook is an American author, born in Texas. He is an Associate Professor of English at Iowa State University, where he teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Environment Program. Since 2004, he has been a member of the graduate faculty of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program. Cook is the author of three books of fiction. His book, Love Songs for the Quarantined (2011), a collection of thematically linked stories, won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and was a Longlist Finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize. His novel, The Girl from Charnelle (2006), won The Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and was named a Southwest Book of the Year, an Editor’s Choice selection from the Historical Novel Society, and was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Prize, among other honors. Cook’s first book, Last Call 2004), a short story cycle chronicling three decades in the lives of a West Texas family, won the inaugural Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. K.L. Cook’s stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines, including Glimmer Train, One Story, Poets & Writers and Prairie Schooner. His work has also been widely anthologized, among others in Best American Mystery Stories, The Prairie Schooner Book Prize: Tenth Anniversary Reader, and Best of the West 2011: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri. Cook regularly gives readings, workshops, lectures, and seminars at colleges, universities, and literary organizations around the US and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Prairie Schooner Book Prizes, and from 2009-2011 was a judge for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. He lives with his wife, the playwright and director Charissa Menefee, and their children, in Ames, Iowa.

Jason DeYoung is an American writer.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, New Orleans Review, Painted Bride QuarterlyGargoyleHarpur Palete, Corium, Marco Polo Quarterly, and Monkeybicycle, among others.  His story “The Funeral Bill” was included in The Best American Mystery Stories 2012.  He is formerly the Reviews Editor at Numéro Cinq.  He was a contributing editor to Not For Tourists: Guide to Washington, DC, a former Managing Editor of Poet Lore, and an Assistant Fiction Editor at upstreet. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Nathan Oates is an American writer and professor and director of undergraduate writing studies in Seton Hall University in New Jersey. His collection of stories, The Empty House, won the 2012 Spokane Prize. His stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, the Antioch ReviewCrazyhorseCopper Nickel, and elsewhere. His stories have been anthologized in The Best American Mystery Stories and Forty Stories. Oats has been teaching creative writing and literature courses in the Department of English at Seton Hall University since 2008. Before arriving at Seton Hall, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in English and Creative Writing and his M.A. in Fiction Writing from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.