Christine Maul Rice, Executive Director Christine's novel Swarm Theory was recently awarded the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention, Traditional Fiction), an Independent Publisher Book Award or ‘IPPY’ (Silver for Best First Book), and a National Indie Excellence Award – Winner (Regional Fiction – Midwest). Swarm Theory also made PANK’s Best Books of 2016, was included in Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup, the Best Books of 2016 So Far, and was called “a gripping work of Midwest Gothic” by Michigan Public Radio’s Desiree Cooper. Christine taught in Columbia College Chicago's Fiction Writing Department for over 20 years and is currently the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine. Christine recently received an 'Emerging Nonprofit Certificate of Training' from Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Community Law Project.

Christine Maul Rice, Executive Director

Christine's novel Swarm Theory was recently awarded the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention, Traditional Fiction), an Independent Publisher Book Award or ‘IPPY’ (Silver for Best First Book), and a National Indie Excellence Award – Winner (Regional Fiction – Midwest). Swarm Theory also made PANK’s Best Books of 2016, was included in Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup, the Best Books of 2016 So Far, and was called “a gripping work of Midwest Gothic” by Michigan Public Radio’s Desiree Cooper. Christine taught in Columbia College Chicago's Fiction Writing Department for over 20 years and is currently the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine.

Christine recently received an 'Emerging Nonprofit Certificate of Training' from Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Community Law Project.

Karen Halvorsen Schreck, Director Karen is the author of the historical novel Broken Ground (Simon & Schuster 2016), called a “masterfully written . . . must-read” by USA Today. Her previously published historical novel, Sing for Me, was described as “impressive…a well-wrought and edifying page-turner” (Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review). Karen’s Young Adult novel, While He Was Away (Sourcebooks), was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She’s also the author of  Dream Journal (Hyperion), which was a 2006 Young Adult BookSense Pick, and the award-winning children’s book Lucy’s Family Tree (Tilbury House). Her short stories and articles have appeared in Hypertext, The Rumpus, Belt, and Image, as well as other literary journals and magazines, and have received various awards, including a Pushcart Prize, an Illinois State Arts Council Grant, and in 2008, first prize awards for memoir and devotional magazine writing from the Evangelical Press Association. Karen received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She works as a freelance writer and editor, teaches writing and literature, and lives with her husband, the photographer Greg Halvorsen Schreck, and their two children in Wheaton, Illinois.

Karen Halvorsen Schreck, Director

Karen is the author of the historical novel Broken Ground (Simon & Schuster 2016), called a “masterfully written . . . must-read” by USA Today. Her previously published historical novel, Sing for Me, was described as “impressive…a well-wrought and edifying page-turner” (Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review). Karen’s Young Adult novel, While He Was Away (Sourcebooks), was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She’s also the author of  Dream Journal (Hyperion), which was a 2006 Young Adult BookSense Pick, and the award-winning children’s book Lucy’s Family Tree (Tilbury House). Her short stories and articles have appeared in Hypertext, The Rumpus, Belt, and Image, as well as other literary journals and magazines, and have received various awards, including a Pushcart Prize, an Illinois State Arts Council Grant, and in 2008, first prize awards for memoir and devotional magazine writing from the Evangelical Press Association. Karen received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She works as a freelance writer and editor, teaches writing and literature, and lives with her husband, the photographer Greg Halvorsen Schreck, and their two children in Wheaton, Illinois.

Sheree Greer, director A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Sheree L. Greer is a writer and educator living in Tampa, Florida. She founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of women writers of color and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Sheree is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. She has completed Creative Capital Core Skills workshops and was awarded an NEA artist grant to support her current work in creative nonfiction. Sheree teaches composition, creative writing, fiction workshop, and African American literature at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

Sheree Greer, director

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Sheree L. Greer is a writer and educator living in Tampa, Florida. She founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of women writers of color and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Sheree is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. She has completed Creative Capital Core Skills workshops and was awarded an NEA artist grant to support her current work in creative nonfiction. Sheree teaches composition, creative writing, fiction workshop, and African American literature at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

 
Chelsea Laine Wells, director Chelsea is a graduate of the Columbia College of Chicago Fiction Department whose work has appeared in Third Point Press, The Other Stories, Litro, Cease, Cows, The Butter, PANK, wigleaf, Heavy Feather, Change Seven, Molotov Cocktail, and others. Honors include first place in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Awards, first place in the Guild Complex Literary Awards, nomination for two Pushcart Prizes and four Best of the Net Awards, and finalist in Heavy Feather’s chapbook contest, among others. Her work is represented by Maria Massie of Lippincott Massie McQuilken. She served twice as a co-editor of Hair Trigger, Columbia College’s yearly literary anthology, as well as a judge in Columbia’s Young Author Writing Competition for many years. She is also founding editor of Hypernova Lit, an online journal dedicated to publishing the writing and visual art of high school students. Chelsea works as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher at Bryan Adams High School Leadership Academy. She lives in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX..

Chelsea Laine Wells, director

Chelsea is a graduate of the Columbia College of Chicago Fiction Department whose work has appeared in Third Point Press, The Other Stories, Litro, Cease, Cows, The Butter, PANKwigleafHeavy Feather, Change SevenMolotov Cocktail, and others. Honors include first place in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Awards, first place in the Guild Complex Literary Awards, nomination for two Pushcart Prizes and four Best of the Net Awards, and finalist in Heavy Feather’s chapbook contest, among others. Her work is represented by Maria Massie of Lippincott Massie McQuilken. She served twice as a co-editor of Hair Trigger, Columbia College’s yearly literary anthology, as well as a judge in Columbia’s Young Author Writing Competition for many years. She is also founding editor of Hypernova Lit, an online journal dedicated to publishing the writing and visual art of high school students. Chelsea works as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher at Bryan Adams High School Leadership Academy. She lives in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX..

Greg Gerding, director Greg is a noted underground poet and publisher. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in English Language and Literature, and then hit the streets to continue his education as a scholar and scrivener of the real world. He has had seven books published: five books of prose poetry, a collection of essays entitled Venue Voyeurisms, and his most recent book I’ll Show You Mine (The Sager Group, 2013), an oral history on the subject of intimacy.

Greg Gerding, director

Greg is a noted underground poet and publisher. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in English Language and Literature, and then hit the streets to continue his education as a scholar and scrivener of the real world. He has had seven books published: five books of prose poetry, a collection of essays entitled Venue Voyeurisms, and his most recent book I’ll Show You Mine (The Sager Group, 2013), an oral history on the subject of intimacy.

Cyn Vargas, director Cyn Vargas’ short story collection, On The Way, (Curbside Splendor, 2015) received positive reviews from Shelf Awareness, Library Journal, Heavy Feather Review, Necessary Fiction among others. Book accolades include: Newcity Lit’s Top 5 Fiction Books by Chicago Authors,  Chicago Book Review’s Favorite Books of 2015, Bustle’s 11 Short Story Collections Your Book Club Will Love, and Chicago Writers Association 2015 Book of the Year, Honorable Mention. Her prose and essays have been published in the Chicago Reader, Word Riot, Split Lip Magazine, Hypertext Magazine, Midnight Breakfast, Bird’s Thumb and elsewhere. She received a Top 25 Finalist and Honorable Mention in two of Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers Contests, is the recipient of the Guild Literary Complex Prose Award in Fiction, is a company member of the award-winning storytelling organization 2nd Story and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently working on her novel based in 1980s Chicago. cynvargas.com

Cyn Vargas, director

Cyn Vargas’ short story collection, On The Way, (Curbside Splendor, 2015) received positive reviews from Shelf Awareness, Library Journal, Heavy Feather Review, Necessary Fiction among others. Book accolades include: Newcity Lit’s Top 5 Fiction Books by Chicago Authors,  Chicago Book Review’s Favorite Books of 2015, Bustle’s 11 Short Story Collections Your Book Club Will Love, and Chicago Writers Association 2015 Book of the Year, Honorable Mention. Her prose and essays have been published in the Chicago Reader, Word Riot, Split Lip Magazine, Hypertext Magazine, Midnight Breakfast, Bird’s Thumb and elsewhere. She received a Top 25 Finalist and Honorable Mention in two of Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers Contests, is the recipient of the Guild Literary Complex Prose Award in Fiction, is a company member of the award-winning storytelling organization 2nd Story and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently working on her novel based in 1980s Chicago. cynvargas.com