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for students completing 8th-12th grades

Karen FinneyfrockKaren Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author for Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. She is a former writer-in-residence at Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program.

Favorite book/writer at 15: The Once and Future King by T.H. White.
Most overused word in your writing: heart
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: salty, no sweet, no salty, no wait…sweet.

Roberto AscalonAward winning poet Roberto Ascalon teaches creative writing and slam poetry across the Northwest. In 2013, Roberto helped the city of Seattle revive its beloved Poetry on Buses program. He spends his time between Bellingham, where he is a candidate for an MFA in creative writing, and West Seattle, where he lives in an old school building with a beautiful girl, a blackboard, and a cat.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Stephen King!
Most overused word in your writing: blood or fire
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: cold-roast chicken with rice or slices of salami with dollops of mustard from out of the bottle


for students completing 7th-8th grades

Emily BedardEmily Bedard grew up in Salt Lake City, earned an MFA from the University of Montana, and now writes, reads, and teaches in Seattle. Bedard’s work breaks down the borders between genres, taking a storyteller’s eye into the world of poems and a lyric sensibility onto the highways of narrative. A 2015 Jack Straw Fellow and longtime Scribes instructor, Bedard also teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures at the high-school and elementary-school levels. She is currently at work on a poetry collection called Cargo and a series of tiny mutant essays about convertibles, lice, beekeeper’s hats, and love.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Vonnegut anything! I was a total Vonnegutian.
Most overused word in your writing: little
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: Whatever salty thing I can lay my hands on. Popcorn? Cashews? Chocolate-covered pretzels? Yep, yep, and yep.

Peter MountfordPeter Mountford’s first novel, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, won the 2012 Washington State Book Award in fiction, and his second novel, The Dismal Science, was a New York Times’ editor’s choice and a finalist for the 2015 Washington State Book Award. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The New York Times Magazine, Southern Review, The Sun, and Best New American Voices 2008. In addition to teaching Scribes for the last six years, he is on faculty at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program, and is Hugo House’s events curator.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
Most overused word in your writing: inexplicably
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: #TraderJoesSaltedBlisterPeanuts4ever


for students completing 9th-12th grades

Quenton BakerQuenton Bakeris a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. He is a 2015-16 Made at Hugo House fellow and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. He is the author of This Glittering Republic, forthcoming from Willow Books in 2017.

Favorite book/writer at 15: James Clavell
Most overused word in your writing: oneiric (used it once, but that was one time too many)
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: sleep

Emma Törzs Emma Törzs is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her fiction has been honored with a 2015 O. Henry Prize, a 2015 Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, a 2015 Minnesota Emerging Writers’ grant, and has been published in journals such as Ploughshares, the Threepenny Review, Narrative, the Cincinnati Review, and Salt Hill. She received her MFA in fiction in 2012 from the University of Montana.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Probably it’d be a toss-up between The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, The World According to Garp by John Irving, or The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams. Or anything on my mother’s bookshelf; I read whatever she was reading, and still do.
Most overused word in your writing: “Just.” I just can’t stop myself! It’s just such a useful word. I just did a word-search through the current draft of my novel and found I’d used it 223 times in just 300-odd pages, which is just so excessive.
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: corn tortillas, cheese, and Valentina


for students completing 8th-12th grades

Rachel KesslerRachel Kessler is cofounder of poetry performance collaboration groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Her books include Who Are We? (with seven-inch vinyl EP) and TYPO. Her poems and essays are published in The Stranger, Narrative Magazine, Tin House, USA Today, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Her visual art, performance art, and installation work have appeared in The Open Daybook, Alaska Quarterly Review, the Frye Art Museum, DIA Chelsea, Beacon NY, The Bowery Poetry Club, and concurrent with the 50th Venice Bienale, among other places. Her Public Health Poems can be found in public restrooms throughout the state.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Edgar Allan Poe
Most overused word in your writing: juicy
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: anything with mustard

Corinne ManningCorinne Manning is the founding editor of the James Franco Review, an online journal dedicated to the visibility of underrepresented artists. She writes short stories that have been widely published and she has a story collection about not following rules. Manning is also working on a novel about a queer family and another about a comedian. She’s received grants and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Artist Trust, and the Hub City Writers Project. She co-runs The Furnace Reading Series in Seattle and teaches for Writers in the Schools.

Favorite book/writer at 15: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (because it came out when I was 15. Saw a commercial for the book on MTV, no lie.)
Most overused word in your writing: Seems that it’s seems.
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: I like to sleep at 2 a.m., but I often have a recurring dream where I am eating too many burritos and can’t stop and usually wake up at 2 a.m. afterwards. What does this mean??


for students completing 9th-12th grades

Imani SimsImani Sims is a spicy Chai tea-loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has developed an infinitely rippling love for poetry in all of its forms. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. Sims works to empower youth and adults through various writing courses and interdisciplinary shows all over Washington. She is a 2016 CityArtist Grant recipient, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas curator, and Gay City Arts Fellow. Her book, (A)live Heart, is forthcoming on Sibling Rivalry Press this fall.

Favorite book/writer at 15: At 15, I was reading all of the Black smut novels I could find. At the time I was really into Eric Jerome Dickey (is he even still around?) and Sistah Souljah.
Most overused word in your writing: According to a wordcloud that I did for my latest manuscript, three words are most prominent: Blood, Bone, and Black.
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: If I’m up at 2 a.m., it’s because I was out WAY too late, so after a long night of music and dancing I love to eat a French dip sandwich with Dijon mustard.

Ramon IsaoRamon Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinnis Award for Fiction, as well as a writing fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center. His stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Hobart, and the American Reader, and his screenplay credits include Dead Body, Zombies of Mass Destruction, and Junk (in which he co-stars). He has an MFA from Columbia University, and he teaches creative writing at Hugo House in Seattle. He’s just some guy, you know? It’s like whatever.

Favorite book/writer at 15: Jeeeeeez, what was it?! It was likely Shakespeare’s R + J, which is boring, I know! I remember I memorized the balcony monologue (“but soft, what light through yonder window breaks…”) and the girls in my English class went ooo and aww and I knew this stuff was for me.
Most overused word in your writing: Undoubtedly “just.” I have to do a special sweep during revision to ensure I’ve only used it once. It’s actually pretty maddening. Let’s change the subject.
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: Basically just self-hate and/or a stick of gum. If I’m eating at 2 a.m., something has gone horribly wrong, is my point.


for students completing 9th-12th grades

Jane WongJane Wong‘s poems can be found in places such as Best American Poetry 2015, Best New Poets 2012, Pleiades, Third Coast, and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Squaw Valley, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches Poetry and Asian American Studies at the University of Washington Bothell and Hugo House. Along with three chapbooks, she is the author of the book Overpour (Action Books), forthcoming this fall.
Favorite book/writer at 15: Langston Hughes!
Most overused word in your writing: “ants”
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: a bowl of ramen with an egg cracked into it (I know this is more than a snack, but…)

Michelle PenalozaMichelle Peñaloza is the author of landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias Press) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts). Her poetry and essays can be found in places like New England Review, TriQuarterly, Pleiades, Off Paper, and The Collagist. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the University of Oregon, Kundiman, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, and Hugo House, as well as scholarships from VONA/Voices, Vermont Studio Center, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among others.
Favorite book/writer at 15: I loved Christopher Pike’s horror books and whatever other cheap paperbacks I could trick my mom into buying when we’d go to the grocery store.
Most overused word in your writing: “so”
Favorite 2 a.m. snack: quesadilla