2016 Finalist Judges

Alex Chee
ALEXANDER CHEE is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic and Lit Hub, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR and Out, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He lives in New York City.


Christine Schutt
CHRISTINE SCHUTT Christine Schutt is the author of two short story collections, Nightwork and A Day, a Night, Another Day, Summer. Her first novel, Florida, was a National Book Award finalist; her second novel, All Souls, a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A third novel, Prosperous Friends, was noted in The New Yorker as one of the best books of 2012. Her fiction has appeared in such publications as Harper’s, NOON, The Kenyon Review, and The Oxford American; her stories anthologized in The Vintage Book of New American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and elsewhere. Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O.Henry Short Story Prize. She is the recipient of the New York Foundation of the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowships and has taught at Columbia, Syracuse, UC-Irvine, Sarah Lawrence, Hollins, Barnard, and most recently as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Richmond.


Rubén Martínez
Rubén Martínez, a writer, teacher and performer, is a native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. He is the author of: Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape (Metropolitan/Holt), Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail (Metropolitan/Holt), The New Americans (New Press) and The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond (Vintage).

A journalist with over two decades of experience in print, broadcast and online media, he hosted and co-wrote the feature-length documentary film about the first century after contact between Europe and the New World, When Worlds Collide, shot on location throughout Latin America and Spain, for PBS. He won an Emmy Award for hosting KCET-TV’s politics and culture series, “Life & Times.”

His essays, opinions and reportage have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boom: A Journal of California, Salon, Village Voice, The Nation, Spin, Sojourners, and Mother Jones. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, a Freedom of Information Award from the ACLU and a Greater Press Club of Los Angeles Award of Excellence.

As a musician, he has collaborated with Grammy-winning musicians like Quetzal and La Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia. He is the host of the VARIEDADES “performance salon” in Los Angeles, interdisciplinary shows that focus on topical themes.


Evelyn McDonnell
EVELYN McDONNELL has written or co-edited six books, from Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop and Rap to Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways. A longtime journalist, she has been a pop culture writer at The Miami Herald and a senior editor at The Village Voice. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has won several awards and appeared in publications and anthologies including the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, Travel & Leisure, Billboard, Vibe, Interview, and Option. She has been an Annenberg Fellow at the University of Southern California. She is Assistant Professor of Journalism and New Media at Loyola Marymount University.



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