2020 Fiction Participants

Listed in alphabetical order

Christopher CastellaniChristopher Castellani

Christopher Castellani’s fourth novel, Leading Men — for which he received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the MacDowell Colony — was published by Viking in February 2019. Leading Men was featured in Publishers Weekly, People, Entertainment Weekly, Interview, The Washington Post, and was an Editors’ Choice of the New York Times. His collection of essays on point of view in fiction, The Art of Perspective, was published by Graywolf in 2016. Castellani is on the fiction faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA Program and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He lives in Boston, where he is artistic director of GrubStreet, the country’s largest and leading independent center for creative writing.
Photo Credit: Michael Joseph


Alena DillonAlena Dillon

Alena Dillon’s debut novel, Mercy House, was released by William Morrow of Harper Collins in February 2020. Her work has also appeared in The Rumpus, Scary Mommy, Slice Magazine, The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, and Bustle. She earned her MFA from Fairfield University and now lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and their dog.


Melissa DuclosMelissa Duclos

Newburyport native Melissa Duclos is the author of Besotted, a novel about two American women living in Shanghai. Melissa is also an essayist whose non-fiction has appeared in The Washington Post, The Offing, Bustle, and Electric Literature among other venues, and was chosen as Salon’s Best Personal Essay of 2015. She is the founder of “Magnify: Small Presses, Bigger” a monthly newsletter celebrating independent presses, and the co-founder of “Amplify: Writers’ Voices, Louder” an organization that offers classes, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers looking to build their careers. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her two children and is at work on a new novel and a collection of essays.


Stephen P. KiernanStephen P. Kiernan

As a journalist and novelist, Stephen P. Kiernan has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work garnered more than forty awards — including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. Stephen’s newest novel, UNIVERSE OF TWO, will be out May 5, 2020. He is also author of the novels THE CURIOSITY (now in television series development), THE BAKER’S SECRET (a regional Indie bestseller), and THE HUMMINGBIRD. He has also written two nonfiction books, LAST RIGHTS and AUTHENTIC PATRIOTISM. His work has been translated into many languages. Stephen was born in Newtonville, NY the sixth of seven children. A graduate of Middlebury College, he received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has chaired the board of the Young Writers Project, served on the Vermont Legislative Committee on Pain and Palliative Care, and served on the advisory board of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative. He has spoken and consulted around the country about hospice, palliative care and advance directives. A performer on the guitar since he was ten years old, Stephen has recorded 3 CDs of solo instrumentals, and composed music for dance, the stage and documentary films. He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons.


Catherine McKenzieCatherine McKenzie

Catherine McKenzie is the bestselling author of 10 novels, including Hidden, The Good Liar and I’ll Never Tell. Her most recent novel, I’ll Never Tell was a Globe & Mail bestseller, a #1 Amazon bestseller, was shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was a Goodreads Nominee for the Best Thriller of 2019. She lives and writes in Montreal, Canada, where she is also a practicing lawyer.


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