Laura Cottam Sajbel is drawn to rich, colorful narratives, particularly nonfiction that offers insight into the human condition and perspective on our shared human history. The author of poetry, articles, and two books, Laura has also written and edited for magazines and textbooks. She earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California with concentrations in Nonfiction and Poetry. She has taught Literacy, English, and Creative Writing. Currently, she teaches Rhetoric & Composition and American Experience at St. Edward’s University, as well as an independent workshop called Life Stories as Heirlooms. Active in the writing community, she coordinated the Travis Heights Young Writers’ Workshop, mentored college students, judged contests, assisted with local literary coffeehouses and the early years of the Texas Book Festival. Laura believes that reading and writing empower individuals to share their experiences of the world, and that effective narratives build bridges between disparate ideologies and cultures.
Her most recent book, Pow Wows and Potlucks: Finding an American Indian Population in Los Angeles (Ethnographics Press, 2015), chronicles a swirl of events and interviews in the early 1990s that illuminate how a loose-knit community perpetuates its cultural heritage through dance, regalia, and oral history.
Rod C. Rodriguez (Stryker) began the Sun Poetic Times literary-visual arts magazine in 1994, founded the Sun Poet’s Society in 1995 and co-founded the Sun Arts Foundation in 2004. The Sun Poet’s Society is known today around the world and celebrated its 20th Anniversary in March 2015. Rod mentors people of all ages, backgrounds and genres. He was nominated for the San Antonio Poet Laureate in April 2012, April 2014, and April 2016. His first book, Exploits of a Sun Poet (Pecan Grove Press, February 2003), was awarded the San Antonio Barnes and Noble/Bookstop Author-of-the-Month, February 2003 and also the San Antonio Current Best Book of 2005. His 2nd collection of poetry and art photography, Lucid Affairs, was published by Sun Arts Press. More recently, his 3rd collection of poetry, Native Instincts, was published in January 2016 by Human Error Publishing.
Rodriguez started photography as illustrations for his poetry in both Exploits of a Sun Poet and Lucid Affairs. Soon, he recognized that his photographs started taking on a life of their own. His art photography shows have been held at such galleries as Blue Star Arts Complex, Casa Chiapas and Ruta Maya, Riverwalk.
FLASH FICTION EDITOR
“Flash Fiction is a complete story in which every word is essential to a definable plot told in 500 words or less.” – Andrea Barbosa
Award-winning novelist and poet Andrea Barbosa is an avid reader, soccer fanatic, and a tourist at heart who studied Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.
In addition to her work as a writer for Yahoo Contributor Network she has worked in public relations for an international jewelry company in Brazil, as a tour guide for Space Center Houston, and as a medical interpreter for major hospitals before joining the corporate world. These fine places introduced her to new people, big ideas, and global concepts that helped shape the writer she is today. When not writing or working her full-time job, she travels in search of history, museums, and tourist attractions. She has published two novels and a poetry collection, and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies and in the Southern Pacific Review. Her poetry collection, Holes in Space, won the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Silver Medal and her Flash Fiction piece, The Queen of Carnival, won the 2016 Spider’s Web Prize from Spider Road Press. She has earned other accolades in Flash Fiction and Mystery.
Her work has been influenced by contemporary authors Paulo Coelho, Fernando Sabino, Sylvia Plath, Erica Jong and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. She currently serves as VP and Press Director for the Houston Writers Guild and also writes award-winning romance under Andrya Bailey.
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Follow her on twitter – @andyb0810
Jan Rider Newman is a writer of short stories, poetry and novels. Her work has been published in several literary journals, such as Louisiana Literature and the New Orleans Review. She also published a collection of short stories, A Long Night’s Sing and other stories. Two of her novels are now represented by Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli at JET Literary agency. She has an MA in English and an MFA in creative writing and for three years was editor and publisher of the online literary journal, Swamp Lily Review