Stuart Dybek is the author of two collections of stories, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods and The Coast of Chicago, and a volume of poetry, Brass Knuckles. His work has been widely anthologized and has received numerous awards, among them three O.Henry Prizes including a first place award, the Nelson Algren Prize, and a Whiting Writers Award. He has been awarded fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic. Harper's, Antaeus, and many other magazines. He teaches writing at Western Michigan University.

Deborah Eisenberg is the author of two collections of short stories, Transactions in a Foreign Currency and Under the 82nd Airborne. Several of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker. She is the author of a play, Pastorale. produced by the Second Stage in New York City in 1982. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Foundation Award in 1987, and, in 1993, an Ingram-Merril Foundation Award. She has taught at Washington University in St. Louis, at the University of Utah and at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She lives in New York City.

Jack Miles, a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board, has been director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes since 1985. He was editor of the Times Book Review from 1985 to 1990. Before joining the Los Angeles Times, he was executive editor of the University of California Press. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University. In 1990, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a book now under contract to Alfred A. Knopf, entitled The Lord God: An Introduction for the Common Reader. He is a member of the board and past president of the National Book Critics Circle and was recently named chair of the five-member jury for the newly-established Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.