Linda Lorelle is an Emmy and Gracie award-winning broadcast journalist who anchored the evening news on Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC-TV for more than 16 years. The Stanford University and University of Missouri journalism graduate is now CEO and Executive Producer of Lorelle Media, her multimedia production and communications consulting firm, based in Houston. In late 2018, she launched the popular podcast, Our Voices Matter, in response to America’s ever-widening political divide and the deterioration of our civil discourse. Her goal is to share intimate conversations that remind us of our common humanity. Linda is working on her first book, set to launch in late 2021.
Chana Porter is an emerging playwright, speculative novelist, and education activist. Her plays have been developed or produced at The Flea Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Catastrophic Theatre, La MaMa, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Cherry Lane, The Invisible Dog, & Movement Research. She is a MacDowell Fellow, a New Georges Audrey Resident, a Target Margin Artist-in-Residence, and the recipient of Honorable Mention for the Relentless Prize. Chana is the co-founder of the Octavia Project, a free summer writing and STEM program for Brooklyn teenage girls and non-binary youth. She has taught her embodied creativity course Writing from the Body at University of Houston, Fordham University, Hampshire College, Goddard College, Weber State, and with Sarah Lawrence’s Global
Classroom. Her debut novel, The Seep, out from Soho Press and Brilliance Audio, with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and Foreword Reviews. The Seep is an ABA Indie Next Pick for February 2020.
Kyle Marvin is a writer, producer, and actor from Portland, Oregon. He has produced both features and short films that played in Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca. Kyle has written a number of projects including The Climb premiering at Cannes in 2019, Conventional Wisdom a TV pilot sold to FOX, an animated feature Amoeba with House of Cool and a thriller called The Quench with Bron Studios.
Mike is a filmmaker and actor from New York. He produced Hunter Gather, which won a Special Jury Prize at SXSW and was nominated for the Cassavetes Award in 2017. He also produced Kicks, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was released by Focus World in 2016, Keep in Touch, which he co-wrote and acted in, and Babysitter, SXSW 2015. In 2016 he was named to Moviemaker Magazine’s “25 Screenwriters to Watch” list. The Climb is his feature directorial debut based on the short film that premiered at the Sundance in 2018.
Josh Inocéncio is a Houston-based writer. After finishing his Master’s at Florida State University, he returned to Houston to tour his solo play, Purple Eyes, across Texas. His most recent appearance was the world premiere of Purple Eyes at Stages Repertory Theatre in 2018. Earlier this year, Josh finished writing a trilogy titled Splintered in Three, and two of the plays—The Little Edelweiss; or, An Immigrant’s Fairytale and Chocolate Gravy & White Jesus—were semifinalists for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference. Edelweiss has received staged readings at the MATCH in Houston and Teatro Milagro in Portland, OR, while Chocolate Gravy has received a reading at Stages Repertory Theatre. Josh has also trained under Migdalia Cruz at the Maria Irene Fornés Playwright’s Working in Chicago. Currently, he’s writing his first novel.
Celebrated for his novels, short stories and essays, Jonathan Lethem is recognized today as one of America’s foremost contemporary writers. His works include nine novels, five short-story collections, six non-fiction books and an array of essays published in such publications as Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine and The New Yorker Magazine. His novel Motherless Brooklyn was named Novel of the Year by Esquire magazine and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger. Fortress of Solitude is perhaps his best known novel.
Lethem makes no secret of his influences. His first published novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, riffed on the hard-boiled detective fiction of Raymond Chandler. He has written an academic novel in the style of Don Delillo (As She Climbed Across the Table), and crossbred E.M. Forester’s Passage to India with John Ford’s film The Searchers, transporting the Western to an alien world in Girl in Landscape. He’s even written about “the ecstasy of Influence,” reminding us that no creative act arrives ex nihilo—it’s all, like his own work, a product of influences and appropriations, conscious and not.
Steve Young is a New York-based comedy writer, author, songwriter, and lecturer. His writing credits include Late Night and Late Show with David Letterman, The Simpsons, Maya & Marty, and the animated holiday special Olive the Other Reindeer, which also feature his song lyrics. Young is the co-author of Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals. He teaches television history at New York University.
Michael Sicinski is a writer, critic, and teacher based in Houston.
Sam Green is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. He received his Master’s degree in journalism from University of California, Berkeley, where he studied documentary with acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Green’s most recent projects are the “live documentaries” The Measure of All Things (2014), The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller with Yo La Tengo (2012), and Utopia in Four Movements, which screened at HCAF2010. His performance work has screened at venues such as the Barbican, Kitchen, TBA Festival, Fusebox Festival, Brighton Festival, and many others. A Thousand Thoughts premiered in 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival and at the Wexner Center for the Arts (The Ohio State University) in Columbus.
Green’s 2004 feature length film, the Academy Award©-nominated documentary, The Weather Underground premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.