Russell Banks is the author of the novels Family Life, Hamilton Stark, The Book of Jamaica, The Relation of My Imprisonment, Continental Drift, Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter. His collections of short stories are Searching for Survivors, Trailerpark, The New World and Success Stories. He has contributed poems, stories and essays to The Boston Globe Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire and Harper's. He is a professor in the creative writing program at Princeton University

Ann Beattie is the author of four novels, Chilly Scenes of Winter, Falling in Place, Love Always and Picturing Will. She has written five collections of short stories, Distortions, Secrets and Surprises, The Burning House, Where You'll Find Me and What Was Mine: Stories. She served as editor for Best American Short Stories (1987) and is the author of a monograph entitled Alex Katz by Ann Beattie. She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Award in 1977, a Doctor of Humane Letters from the American University in 1982 and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980.

L. Rust Hills has been Fiction Editor of Esquire magazine "off and on," as he says, since 1956, and during that time has published work by most of America's major fiction writers in the magazine. He has edited many anthologies of contemporary fiction. He is the author of a trilogy of books of autobiography and humor, How To Do Things Right, How To Retire at 41 and How To Be Good, which will be re-issued in one volume by Godine in 1992. His "informal textbook," Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular, is much used in undergraduate and graduate writing programs. He has published non-fiction in most of the major magazines and taught fiction writing at many colleges and universities around the country.