Melissa STEPHENSON

Melissa Stephenson’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in publications such as The Mid American Review, Passages North, The Washington Post, New Letters, and The Rumpus, with work forthcoming in Carve, Mutha, and ZYZZYVA. After earning a B.A. in Creative Writing at The University of Montana, she migrated south to Texas State University where she earned an M.F.A. in fiction. She’s happy to be back in Missoula, and her memoir, Driven, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2018.

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phil schaefer

 Philip Schaefer’s debut collection Bad Summon won the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from the University of Utah Press and will be released in 2017. He is the author of three chapbooks, two of which were co-written with friend and poet Jeff Whitney. He won the 2016 MeridianEditor’s Prizein poetry and has individual work out or due out in Kenyon Review, Thrush, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, Birdfeast, Salt Hill, Bat City, Adroit, Baltimore Review, and Passages North among others. He tends bar in Missoula, MT.

 Co-Director of the Beargrass Writing Retreat, Robin Troy is the author of two novels,  Liberty Lanes , which was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award and the Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novels, and  Floating , which won the MTV prize for fiction. Her short stories and essays have appeared in anthologies and journals nationally, including the Seal Press anthologies  Woman’s Best Friend  and P.S. What I Didn’t Say . She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and was a professor of fiction-writing and MFA Program Director at Southern Connecticut State University for ten years before returning to Missoula. Prior to teaching, Robin worked  journalist at Missoula's  Independent  and  Fitness  magazine in New York. She is currently at work on a non-fiction book titled  Breathing, One Adult. 

Robin Troy

Co-Director of the Beargrass Writing Retreat, Robin Troy is the author of two novels, Liberty Lanes, which was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award and the Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novels, and Floating, which won the MTV prize for fiction. Her short stories and essays have appeared in anthologies and journals nationally, including the Seal Press anthologies Woman’s Best Friend and P.S. What I Didn’t Say. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and was a professor of fiction-writing and MFA Program Director at Southern Connecticut State University for ten years before returning to Missoula. Prior to teaching, Robin worked as a journalist at Missoula's Independent and Fitness magazine in New York. She is currently at work on a non-fiction book titled Breathing, One Adult.

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Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land's work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian; Vox, Salon, and many other outlets. She focuses on social and economic justice as a writing fellow through both the Center for Community Change and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Her memoir, MAID, is forthcoming through editor Krishan Trotman at Hachette Books. She lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband and two daughters.  Follow on Twitter @stepville.

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Sarah Aswell

Aswell received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana in 2006. Since then, she has worked freelance as a journalist, corporate content strategist, humor writer, and stand-up comedian. Her work has appeared in places like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Advocate, National Lampoon, Funny or Die, Splitsider, and many more. She is also a regular contributor of feminist satire to Reductress. Sarah regularly performs stand-up comedy across Montana and is an alum of the Big Sky Comedy Festival. She's married to another UM MFA alum, Ben Fowlkes, who is a fiction writer and sports journalist. They live in Missoula and have two young daughters.