Diane Brown

Diane Marie Brown is the debut author of Black Candle Women.

Justin Chapman

Journalist Justin Chapman is the author of a book about his travels across Africa called Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia, and has published articles in Alta Journal about Slowjamastan, one of the world's newest micronations on the other side of the Salton Sea from Bombay Beach, and Mad Mike Hughes, the Flat Earther daredevil rocketeer whose fatal rocket launch/crash in February 2020 Justin filmed.

Craig Clevenger

Craig Clevenger is the author of two previous novels, "The Contortionist's Handbook" and "Dermaphoria." He works in the public library system and is currently at work on his fourth novel.

Travis Hedge Coke

Travis Hedge Coke is a mixed Native enby. Editor for About Place Journal and Future Earth Magazine, their books Mutant Thoughts and Us Living in Fictional Cosmogonies are available free online.

Ashley M. Coleman

Ashley M. Coleman is a freelance writer, author, and music industry executive. Her debut novel Good Morning, Love released in June of 2022.

Jackie DesForges

Jackie DesForges is an artist, writer, and bookseller currently based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Air/Light Magazine, Alta Journal, Exposition Review, Off Assignment, Black Mountain Radio, Woman Made Gallery, and more. She published the popular zine On Erotic Fanfiction and founded Blue Room, an online erotica/art bookshop.

Dennis Dimick

Dennis Dimick got his first camera at age 8, photographed for his college newspaper in Oregon, and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. A newspaper photographer and picture editor for six years, he was a picture editor at the National Geographic Society for 35 years and was the magazine’s environment editor for a decade. 

Monica Drake

Monica Drake is the author of two novels and a collection of linked stories, Clown Girl, The Stud Book and The Folly of Loving Life. Her work has appeared in Paris Review, The New York Times, The Rumpus, the Oregonian, The Stranger and other publications.

Rich Ferguson

Pushcart-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman,  and other esteemed artists. He is the lead editor of an anthology of CA poets, Beat Not Beat (Moon Tide).

Amanda Fletcher

Amanda Fletcher is a professional writer, mental health advocate, personal trainer and breathwork practitioner with 20+ years experience in health, wellness and recovery–find her at

Cooper Gillespie

Cooper writes. When she’s not writing, she plays bass and sings in the band LANDROID, which is named after the part of the desert the group calls home, Landers, CA.

Michael Paul Gonzalez

Michael Paul Gonzalez examines what makes a family, what breaks them, the difficulties of communication, and the painful joy of memories in the cosmic horror novel BENEATH THE SALTON SEA.
Visit him online at

T. Greenwood

T. Greenwood is the author of fourteen award-winning novels. She teaches for San Diego Writers, Ink and The Writer’s Center. She splits her time between San Diego and Vermont. 
More info can be found at

Jasmin Iolani Hakes

Jasmin Iolani Hakes was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee. She is the recipient of a 2018 Hedgebrook residency. Her debut novel Hula is out May 2, 2023 with HarperVia. She lives in California.

Lindsay Jamieson

Lindsay published a novel and two short stories that were fictionalized stories from her life. She’s currently writing a contemporary thriller for Harper Collins. She teaches this course at Cabrillo College and was the fiction editor of Kelp Journal and The Coachella Review. She received her MFA from UCR's Low-Residency program.

Brenda Ann Kenneally

Brenda Ann Kenneally is a mother, multi platform documentary maker, Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize Nominee, and retired carnival snake charmer with lived experiences of poverty and incarceration that continue to shape their life and work. Over the past thirty years Kenneally’s long form, immersive collaborations with families who live where social, economic, and emotional marginalization intersect with The America Criminal Punishment Systems have produced visceral portraits of the landscape of intergenerational inequity and trauma that is home to a disproportionate number of low status communities through out the United States. 

lalo kikiriki

lalo kikiriki, born in Oklahoma, raised in Texas is co-author of Old Movies/Other Visions, originator of Dreams of the Everyday Housewife, and plays accordion on the porch in Joshua Tree. 

Christopher Landis

Return to Eldorado is the newest chapter in a Forty-year work at the Salton Sea. The project includes Landis pictures from the eighties, new images from around the Sea, oral history, essays, maps and the most complete collection of historic images yet published. 

Alex Maceda

Alex Maceda (she/her) is a Filipina-American visual artist and writer. She has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for creative nonfiction and is writing her first memoir.

Meredith Maran

Author of 14 books, mostly nonfiction. Book critic for WaPo, O Mag, LA Times. Garden grower, birthday cake baker, mer-malade maker, halftime desert dweller, lover, justice fighter.

Uwe H. Martin

Uwe H. Martin is an independent visual storyteller, slow journalist, researcher, and educator. Together with his partner, Frauke Huber, Uwe documents global agriculture's social and environmental consequences. Using a slow journalism approach, they bridge traditional journalistic publications, linear web documentaries, interactive apps, spatial installations, and performances. 

Ruth Nolan

Ruth Nolan is author of After the Dome Fire; No Place for Puritans: Literature of California's Deserts; & Fire on the Mojave: Stories from Deserts & Mountains of Southern California.

Felicitas Nunez

Pro environmentalist, co editor of Teatro Chicana book published by UTP 2008, member of MALCS -  active women for letters and social change, retired Registered Nurse, BA from SDSU in Chicana/o Studies,

Patrick O'Neil

Patrick O'Neil is a former junkie bank robber and the author of the memoirs Anarchy At The Circle K, and Gun, Needle, Spoon. And the co-author of Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives, and The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison.

David M. Olsen

David M. Olsen​ (he/him) is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and poet. He is a graduate of Stanford’s OWC program in novel writing and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside Palm Desert. David is a former fiction editor at The Coachella Review and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Kelp Journal.  His work has appeared in in various magazines and publications. He lives in Carmel, California and surfs regularly.

Ted Quinn

Ted Quinn aka Teddy is a singer, songwriter, painter, journalist, actor, dj, producer, recording artist with over a dozen “albums” and community/cultural activist, originally from Hollywood and residing in Joshua Tree for most of the past three decades. 
Instagram: @tedquinn11 @tedquinnsopenmic

Ana Reyes

Ana Reyes is the New York Times Bestselling author of Reese's Book Club pick The House in the Pines.

Susan Rukeyser

Susan Rukeyser co-created the Desert Split Open for literary work that is feminist, queer, or otherwise radical. Her novel, The Worst Kind of Girl, is forthcoming from Braddock Avenue Books. 

Jim Ruland

Jim Ruland is the author of the LA Times bestseller Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records. His new novel, Make It Stop, comes out in April.  

John Schimmel

John Schimmel is currently executive producer at Cloud Imperium Games as well as a film writer/producer. Former Hollywood studio executive, current professor of screenwriting at UC Riverside.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart is the CEO of the Library Foundation in San Diego, past ED of literacy and literary arts organization Words Alive, CEO of Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of San Diego Center for Jewish Culture. Currently the chair of San Diego Writers, INK, Treasurer of ARTS: A Reason To Survive, and Treasurer of Horton Plaza Theatres Foundation, Patrick has made supporting and advancing the arts and humanities the cornerstone of his personal and professional missions. 

Susan Straight

Susan Straight has published ten books, most recently Mecca, a novel, and In the Country of Women, a memoir.  She is a native Californian.

Kim Stringfellow

Kim Stringfellow is an artist, educator, writer and independent curator based in Joshua Tree, CA. Her work bridges cultural geography, public practice and experimental documentary into creative, socially engaged transmedia experiences. She is a 2016 Andy Warhol for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography. 

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of three books: Battleborn; Gold, Fame, Citrus; and I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. She is a professor in the Programs in Writing at UC Irvine and lives in Tecopa, California.