Meredith Counts’ earliest memories are of trying to understand death while it was happening.  She is an editor at the Great Lakes Review, and is co-editing a book of selected poetry by the late Detroiter Jim Gustafson, her uncle. She's at Chicago Literati, Hypertext, and her own site.

Lisa Schamess lost eight loved ones during an era of epic fuckery whose years roughly coincide with the Clinton era. She does not blame Bill, but is side-eying Hillary and taking her vitamins. She has written about her living and her dead at Beliefnet, Modern Loss, TOSKA, Creative Nonfiction, and Defunct, among other venues. She also blogs occasionally at CheapBohemian.


Ashley Nicole Black is a staff writer on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and former contributor to and The Second City Network. She dropped out of her PhD program to do comedy so her mother is super proud. You can follow her @ashleyn1cole.

Maia Butler is a Ph.D. candidate in Southwest Louisiana, where she lives with her beloved husband, teenaged daughter, and watermelon-loving cat. She teaches literature and writing and is the founding VP of the Edwidge Danticat Society. Her research addresses diaspora, migration, and home in the works of Africana women writers. She has endless opinions on books and popular culture, many of them scholarly, some of them petty. You can find them at her blog, Migratory Subjects.

Jacqueline Bryant Campbell, a recovering economist, is now a quilt artist and doll maker whose work can be seen at She is writing a series of children's books based on her maternal grandmother's childhood in Texas. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two children, and an embarrassment of fabric and thread.

Nichole Cordin is a Chicago writer, felt crafter, mother, and an expert in the art of mourning. She enjoys taking photos of her geriatric Boston Terrier and can be found @NicholeCordin

Jennifer Cumby is a writer & bricoleur living in rural Virginia with her husband, three children, three dogs, and eleventy-million cats. She is really good at kittens. Really good. Perhaps, too good. 

Stefanie Le Jeunesse is a mostly erstwhile ghostwriter of titles you have definitely read and will guess at futilely until disinterest grips the conversation and it turns to her children, garden, chickens, or the delight of summer in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives. Her many dead reside in shelves and mantels full of dusty tchotchkes, records, Polaroids and mixtapes. 

Erica Hoskins is a freelance writer and editor. Besides personal essays detailing her life as an introverted middle kid, bewildered but kickass mother and special needs parent, she also writes short fiction. Proudly an alum of Howard University in Washington, D.C., Erica created the online writer's community known as yeah write in April 2011. She has had essays published in Salon, The Houston Chronicle, PANKand other print and online publications. Her fiction and other writing can be found on her personal blog at Follow Erica on Twitter @freefringes.

Shabnam Nadiya grew up in Jahangirnagar, a small college campus in Bangladesh. She is currently working on her collection titled Pye Dogs and Magic Men: Stories and translation of Shaheen Akhtar's novel Beloved Rongomala from Bangla. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to negotiate the too-thin line between love and loss. Her work can be found at

Deborah Pintonelli is the author of Meat and Memory and Ego Monkey. She has won awards from the Illinois Arts Council, PEN Midwest, and the National Association of Arts and Letters. Her stories and essays have been published by Gargoyle, Conjunctions (website), Tribes, Autonomedia, Criminal Class Press, Chicago Literati, Noir Nation, Vida, the “First Time I Heard” series, and Sensitive Skin, and included in anthologies by NYU Press, Autonomedia, Thin Ice Press, and Arbre a Cames Editions in France. She is currently working on a novel, To The Last Gay Man I Will Ever Love, represented by Curtis Brown, Ltd. She lives in Chicago with her two children.

Asha Rajan is a South Asian writer and editor who has called some far flung places home and who now lives in her home town in Western Australia. When she’s not writing, editing or judging writing competitions, you’ll find her walking her teacup schnauzer (that her husband insists is more a teapot schnauzer) or having conversations with her dead she wishes she'd had when they were alive. She is currently working on a novel set in the Perth hills. Asha is published in a variety of places including Modern Loss, PANK, and SheKnows. You can find more of her work at