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Joanne Vruno

Joanne Vruno grew up in Maplewood, Minnesota, just houses away from Battle Creek Regional Park, where she spent most of her childhood days hiking and exploring. Her love for nature and the wooded parkland bordering Battle Creek created the magic of the Seasons of Elves series, just as her love for the lakes created her first novel, Loon Child. Today Joanne lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband. It isn’t unusual to find her working in her yard, walking her two dogs, exploring new places for another novel, or having a picnic while spoiling her five grandchildren.

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Elliott Foster

Elliott Foster is an emerging Minnesota writer of memoir and fiction. He is particularly drawn to stories of the Upper Midwest. In addition to his longer published work, Elliott’s short stories, poems and essays have appeared in the Green Blade literary journal, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Journal of Southern California. He lives in Saint Paul.

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Natalie Fowler

Once a practicing attorney, Natalie Fowler is an author, a freelance editor (for FATE Magazine), paranormal investigator (for Ghost Stories Ink) and a psychic medium. Fascinated by good ghost stories from a very young age, now she writes her own stories inspired by her work as a ghost hunter and psychic medium. An avid researcher and self-proclaimed history nerd, Fowler’s works are also influenced by the dark depths of history.

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Brittany Chaffee

Brittany Chaffee is an avid storyteller, professional empath, and author. On the daily, she gets paid to strategize and create content for brands. Off work hours, it’s all about a well-lit place, warm bread, and good company. She lives in St.Paul. Her first book, Wild Morning was released in 2017. Her second book, Borderline is available for purchase. She lives happily in St.Paul.

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Maren Cooper

Maren Cooper, an avid reader and keen observer of human nature throughout her career as a health care executive in the Midwest, now resides in Minnesota. She writes best on the shore of Lake Superior where she retreats frequently. Her debut novel, A Better Next, will be coming May of 2019 from She Writes Press.

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Susan Thurston

Susan Thurston’s grandfather loved a poem she wrote in second grade, and within the glow of his appreciation, she decided to become a writer.

Later, a well-meaning adult mentioned that as a journalist, she could earn her living. She became a reporter and editor, but wouldn’t really say what she earned was a living. She did get to work with some of the finest people she has ever known. Along the way, she has created and produced programs for adult education, travelled in search of her soul-deep home, mothered two fabulous kids, learned to make really good bread, flown in a hot air balloon, and a lot of other things. And always–writing. She has published, performed, and earned awards for a lot of her poetry and some of her prose, co-authored a cookbook, published the novel Sister of Grendel, and taken a few plays from page to stage. She is also the executive editor of The Black Hat Press, assumed from dear friend and fellow writer Beverly Voldseth.

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Rob Jung

Born in the wine country of California; grew up in a beautiful, little Mississippi River town in Wisconsin; educated in the Minnesota state university system and Harvard Law School, Rob Jung now lives the writer’s life in suburban St. Paul with his wife, Kathy.

A newspaper writer for seven years while getting his undergraduate degree at Winona State University, Jung has practiced law for 47 years. He began working on his fiction-writing craft more than a decade ago. A life-long student of history, geography and religion, Jung has traveled in every continent except Antarctica, and his stories often find their origins in historical events from countries outside the U.S. Jung also lists among his “credits”: inventor, entrepreneur, gourmet chef, master gardener, fishing guide, and storyteller. His best work: three grown children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

He has written four novels, the first two of which are safely tucked in the back of a drawer so as not to injure either reader or the literary world. His third novel, Cloud Warriors, is published by John Hunt Publishing (UK). The Reaper, his fourth novel, is currently in publication with an expected release date of June 1, 2019. He has also had nonfictional work published in newspapers, legal forums, and periodicals of limited distribution.

*Rob Jung is the pen name of Robert W. Junghans. He also writes limericks and tells stories under the name “C.J. Rakham”.

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Mary DesJarlais

Mary DesJarlais is the author of two fiction novels, Dorie LaValle and The Cutter’s Widow, published by Calumet Editions. DesJarlais lives and works in Saint Paul.

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Gary Eldon Peter

Gary Eldon Peter’s short stories have appeared in Water~Stone Review, Great River Review, and other publications. His debut linked short story collection, Oranges, won the 2016 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition in Prose and was published by New Rivers Press in 2018. Oranges was also a finalist for the 2019 Minnesota Book Award. Peter’s other awards include a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers/Loft Award in Creative Prose as well as two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College as well as a JD from William Mitchell College of Law. He has worked as a judicial law clerk and as a lawyer in private law practice, and spent many years working in the legal publishing industry. He is currently a faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

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Sammi Jones

Sammi Jones got her start in roller derby in 2010 when she joined the Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls. She quickly fell in love with the sport and has been skating the flat track ever since. Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead and has written for a variety of publications. She currently resides in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where she works as an editor for a trade magazine and skates for North Star Roller Derby.

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