Stuart Dybek is the author of three short story collections, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, and I Sailed with Magellan. He has also published two volumes of poetry, Brass Knuckles and Streets In Their Own Ink. His work is widely anthologized and regularly appears in publications such as The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and The Paris Review. He is the recipient of many literary awards and honors which include the PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize for "distinguished achievement in the short story", a Lannan Award, the Academy Institute Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and four O'Henry Prizes. In 2007, he was awarded both a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant and The Rea Award for the Short Story. He currently teaches at Northwestern University as Distinguished Writer in Residence. Dybek is a permanent faculty member of The Prague Summer Writing Program.

Bill Henderson founder and editor of the Pushcart Press, has earned national recognition for the annual Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. The anthology has featured award winning fiction, poetry and essays for 37 years. Pushcart Press was honored by Publishers Weekly as one of America's most influential publishers with the 1979 Carey Thomas Prize for Publisher of the Year. Henderson received the 2006 Poets & Writers/Barnes & Noble "Writers for Writers" Citation and the 2005 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle. He is the author of the memoirs: His Son, Her Father, Tower, Simple Gifts, All My Dogs, and the novel The Kid That Could. Bill Henderson lives on Long Island and in Maine.

Lorrie Moore published her first collection of stories in 1985 with Self Help, establishing her as an original new voice in contemporary fiction. Subsequent collections include Like Life and Birds of America, which enjoyed a several week run on the New York Times Bestseller list. Other stories have been published in Best American Short Stories 1991, 1992, and 1993. She has also authored several novels, Anagrams, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, and A Gate at the Stairs. She also published a children's book, The Forgotten Helper: A Christmas Story (illustrated by T. Lewis). Moore won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story "People Like That Are the Only People Here". She is also the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and The Rea Award for the Short Story. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006, and is a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Her 2009 novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and for the Orange Prize. Moore is the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she teaches creative writing.