Lit Fest Visiting Authors at a Glance (Nonfiction)

Get those applications ready, nonfiction writers! The deadline to apply for advanced workshops at Lit Fest is March 14. Learn more about the talented, award-winning, genre-bending writers leading those workshops below. 

Steve Almond is the author of eleven books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak ("strangely endearing") and Against Football ("a thoughtful, provacative examination") and, most recently, William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life ("A moving celebration"). His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize, the Best American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Almond teaches at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and Wesleyan University.

He's the longtime co-host (with bestselling author Cheryl Strayed) of the advice podcast Dear Sugars and absolutely loves Halloween (sensing a theme yet?).

His weekend intensive will help participants drill down to smart decision-making while writing. Learn more here.

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir ("the story of writing as salvation"); Hollywood Notebook ("like spending an intimate afternoon with an old friend"); and the genre-breaking dreamoir Bruja ("vivid and dark"). In 2016 Bustle named her one of “9 Women Writers Who Are Breaking New Nonfiction Territory.” Wendy’s work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles TimesPoets & Writers MagazineLos Angeles MagazineThe RumpusLos Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles.

She recently talked about writing as a cathartic process and wrote about gatekeeping in publishing.

Her weekend intensive will help participants experiment with the nonfiction genre. Learn more here.

Sarah M. Broom is the author of the memoir The Yellow House ("forceful, rolling, and many-chambered"), which won the National Book Award in 2019. Her work has appeared in the New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineThe Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. 

Her book was on President Obama's best-of list and she's a big fan of her mom

Her weeklong workshop will help participants use archive materials to make their manuscripts richer. Learn more here.

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of Losing My Cool ("a very talented writer") and Self-Portrait in Black and White ("intellectually sophisticated and prosperous"). He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, a columnist at Harper's and a 2019 New America Fellow. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and elsewhere, and has been collected in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing.

He's talked about "unlearning race" and written about how race can mean something different depending on where you live.

His weeklong workshop will help participants order the chaos of writing about lived life. Learn more here.

Lacy M. Johnson is the author of Trespasses: A Memoir ("beautiful, haunting, and compelling"), The Other Side ("extraordinary"), and The Reckonings ("philosophy in disguise, equal parts memoir, criticism, and ethics"). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum. 

She recently spoke with Rebecca Solnit and wrote a haunting piece on climate change.

Her weekend intensive will help participants tell the truth and work through their fear. Learn more here.

Hanif Abdurraqib is the author of This Crown Ain't Worth Much ("stunning"), They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us ("It's magic"), Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest ("a seemingly limitless capacity"), and A Fortune For Your Disaster ("resonant"). He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. 

He's written about Disney sidekicks and hip-hop, his dog Liebchen, and sneakers

His weeklong workshop will help participants incorporate other genres/forms into a cohesive whole. Learn more here.

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir ("supple, revelatory, involving and generous") and The Still Point of the Turning World ("fearless and vulnerable"). Her work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in VOGUE, the New York Times, Die Zeit, The Times-London, the Sydney Herald, Salon, O the Oprah Magazine, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Redbook, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review. 

She recently collaborated on an art exhibition and spoke about resilience

Her weeklong workshop will help participants structure their book-length memoirs. Learn more here.