Ann Beattie has authored nine collections of short stories including Distortions, Secrets and Surprises, The Burning House, What Was Mine, Where You'll Find Me and Other Stories, Park City, Perfect Recall, Follies and her most recent The New Yorker Stories in 2010 of her stories spanning the years 1974-2006. The New York Times Book Review hailed it as one of the top ten books of that year. She has also written eight novels: Chilly Scenes of Winter, Falling in Place, Love Always, Picturing Will, Another You, My Life, Starring Dara Falcon, The Doctor's House, Walks With Men (a novella) and soon to be published, Mrs. Nixon:A Novelist Imagines a Life (November 15, 2011). Ann Beattie won the 2005 Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction; a Guggenheim Fellowship; and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her stories have been included in four of The O'Henry Prize Stories and John Updike's Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Mary Robison won The 2009 Rea Award for the Short Story. She is best known for her collection of short stories which include Days, An Amateur's Guide to the Night, Believe Them, and Tell Me: 30 Stories. She has also published four novels, including Why Did I Ever which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and One D.O.A, One on the Way (2009), chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the "100 Most Notable Books of theYear" and by Oprah Winfrey for her summer reading list in 2009. She has received numerous awards and Fellowships and a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. Robison's stories have appeared in anthologies such as the Pushcart Prize and The O'Henry Prize Stories. The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Esquire, GQ, and Harvard Magazine have all published her stories. She has spent time as a screenwriter and script doctor for various studios and independent filmmakers.

Joy Williams has published three collections of short stories including Taking Care, Escapes, and Honored Guest. She is also the author of four novels: State of Grace, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Changeling,which was reissued after 30 years in 2008 with an introduction by Rick Moody; The Quick and the Dead, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; and Breaking and Entering. Ill Nature:Rants and Reflections on Humanity and OtherAnimals, one of two nonfiction works, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her stories and essays are frequently anthologized. Among her many awards and honors Joy Williams won The Rea Award for the Short Story in 1999 and the prestigious Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008.