Contributors

Alison Agosti has written for Rob Dyrdek’s Ridiculousness on MTV and is a writer for the sketch team New Money, which performs a monthly show at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in L.A. She is also a sketch writer for John Moe’s popular public radio show WITS, which is syndicated on American Public Media. Through WITS, she has been lucky enough to write for Maria Bamford, Kristen Schaal, Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney and John Hodgman. Alison also contributes regularly to the Atlantic Monthly.

Sara Barron is the author of two essay collections, People Are Unappealing and The Harm in Asking (out in March, 2014). Her work has appeared on NPR, This American Life, and Vanity Fair.com. She’s a host of the Moth Storyslams in New York, and she teaches Humor Writing at Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Sara Benincasa is a comedian and author who has appeared on MTV, VH1, CNN, Fuse, the History Channel, FX, NBC’s Today Show, CBS, Japan’s TV-Asahi, Russia Today TV, and Norwegian national television. Her memoir, Agorafabulous: Dispatches From My Bedroom, was released by William Morrow/HarperCollins in 2012. Her most recent TV credits include FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and The History Channel’s I Love the 1880s. She hosts the storytelling show “Family Hour with Auntie Sara” at the Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the essay collection, Legs Get Led Astray. Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, Nylon, Men’s Health, and The Sun. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Cindy Chupack is an author, storyteller, relationship columnist and Emmy-winning comedy writer whose credits include Modern Family, Sex and the City, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Her first book, The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, was a New York Times bestseller that was translated into nine languages. She’s writing and producing a pilot for Fox based on her comedic marriage memoir, The Longest Date: Life As a Wife, which will be released in January 2014 by Viking Press.

Meghan Daum has been an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times since 2005. She is the author of the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and the memoir Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House. She has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine and Vogue.

Anna Davies has written about her love life for The New York Times, Elle, Glamour, Salon and others, which is why she never reveals her full name until date number three with a guy. In addition to occasional oversharing, Anna has written three YA novels: Wrecked, Identity Theft, and Followers, and has worked as an editor at Redbook and Cosmo. Currently, Anna is working on her “grown up” novel. A graduate of Barnard College, she sort of lives in Brooklyn but makes it a priority to travel and explore new places whenever she gets a chance.

Amy Dresner is an L.A. native who graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College, then moved to San Francisco where she performed spoken word poetry at clubs and concerts. As a stand-up comic, she’s appeared at the Comedy Store, the Laugh Factory, The Improv and many clubs you’d be ashamed to be at. She’s been published in Salon, Alternet, AfterPartyChat and more, completed a screenplay about celebrity rehab and is working on her first novel about the story of a life going nowhere.

Samantha Dunn is the author of the novel Failing Paris and the memoirs Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life and Faith in Carlos Gomez. Her essays are widely anthologized, including the short story collection she co-edited, Women on the Edge: Writing from Los Angeles. Her writing has been featured in many national publications, including O the Oprah Magazine, Ms., Glamour, InStyle, Shape and Redbook. An active member of PEN Center USA, she has served as advisor to its fellowship programs for developing writer, Emerging Voices and The Mark. She works as a staff writer at the Orange County Register, and teaches memoir at the UCLA Writers Program, where she was named Instructor of the Year in 2011.

Fielding Edlow has had her plays developed/produced with Naked Angels, NY Stage & Film, PSNBC, Circle X Theatre Co, NY & LA Fringe Festival and Comedy Central Stage. Her solo show, Coke-Free J.A.P., won Backstage’s Best of Fringe award at the NYC Fringe Festival before a four-month, sold-out run in L.A. Her full-length play, The Something-Nothing, was produced at the Lounge Theatre. She has performed in the live shows Sit N Spin, Show n Tell, and Afterbirth. Her newest solo play, “Sugar Daddy,” was performed at the Comedy Central Stage and she’s currently developing a comedy series for Showtime. She frequently does stand-up and lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and husband.

Janie Haddad Tompkins is a Los Angeles-based actress who was born in West Virginia and grew up in Charleton, SC. Some of her credits include Modern Family, Happy Endings , various Funny or Die shorts and she is the voice of Margaret on the Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning Regular Show. In addition to acting, she loves podcasting, and she co-hosts the charming “Janie & Aaron Does Hollywood” with her best friend, TV writer Aaron Ginsburg. She lives with her husband, the comedic genius Paul F. Tompkins, and yes, she does laugh all the time at home. You will see her soon as an ensemble member of a critically acclaimed television drama…because that’s her dream and she won’t give it up.

Laura House is a comic, writer and meditation teacher. She starred in MTV’s Austin Stories, is a writer on CBS’ Mom and has also written on Samantha Who?, Blue Collar TV, The George Lopez Show, and Rosie O’Donnell’s OWN show. You may have seen her on a campaign of Sprint commercials, opposite Natalie Portman as a hillbilly slut in Where the Heart Is, or hoarding M&M’s from any number of craft service tables.

Laura Krafft is a comedy writer, performer, and producer. She has worked on various television shows, including The Colbert Report, for which she won an Emmy. An alum of the Improv Olympic Chicago and Second City theaters, Krafft performs regularly around L.A. She’s also written for Vanity Fair, TAR magazine, The New York Post, and Bust Magazine.

Jillian Lauren has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is the author of the novel Pretty and of the New York Times-bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, both published by Plume/Penguin. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Opium Magazine, Salon, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown and The Moth Anthology, among others. She regularly blogs at Jillianlauren.com, which was named a “Top 100 Mom Blog of 2012” by Babble. She has performed at spoken word and storytelling events across the country. Jillian is married to musician Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.

Vanessa Marshall is a graduate of Princeton University with a Masters in acting from NYU and is best known for her extensive voice over career. As a stand up comic and former “plus-size” model, she also created a successful one-woman show “Got Phat?” which ran successfully in both L.A. and New York. She now performs regularly in her monthly storytelling event Show & Tell.

Jill Morley wrote and performed the critically acclaimed play, True Confessions of a Go-Go Girl. It was produced in Manhattan for five years, at San Francisco’s Solo Mio Festival, The Texas Fringe Festival. LA’s HBO Workspace, and opened Women’s History Month at NYU. “True Confessions” is published in The Best Women’s Plays of 1998 and is now a Lifetime Movie of the Week. Jill’s monologues and short stories are published in several anthologies. A contributing writer to The Village Voice, Fresh Yarn, The New York Press, Penthouse, Inside Kung Fu, Martial Arts and Combat Sports and Gear Magazine, Jill also co-produced/co-wrote two radio documentaries for “The World” and “This American Life,” which aired on NPR. Her documentary Stripped garnered good reviews from the New York Times, aired on the Sundance channel, and played theatrically in New York and LA. A late in life boxer, Jill documented her journey as well as the talented women around her in the documentary, Fight Like a Girl.

Taylor Orci is a comedian who’s contributed to The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan and New York Magazine. She’s also appeared on Adult Swim, Comedy Central and IFC. She used to work for NPR. Her comedy sketch, “Bitchy Resting Face,” has over four million hits and became a thing people like Kate Moss talked about in interviews, which was like, wha?

Pamela Ribon is a TV writer, screenwriter and best-selling novelist (Why Girls Are Weird, You Take It From Here). She’s been in comedy rooms for both network and cable, most notably the Emmy award-winning Samantha Who? Pamela has adapted her popular novels for both film and television, and developed original series and features for ABC, ABC Family, Sony, Warner Bros., Disney Channel and 20th Century Fox Productions. She’s currently writing at Walt Disney Animation Studios on a feature in development, and creating a graphic novel for Oni Press. Her comedic memoir of her teen years—Notes to Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public)—is out in early 2014.

Sacha Z. Scoblic is a writer and editor. She is the author of Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety, which is based on her popular essays for The New York Times blog “Proof: Alcohol and American Life.” Sacha is a 2012/2013 Rosalynn Carter fellow for mental health journalism through the Carter Center in Atlanta. Among other things, she writes about mental health, addiction, and pop fiction. Sacha is a contributing editor at The New Republic and a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. Formerly a senior editor at Reader’s Digest, Sacha has written about everything from space camp to pulp fiction. Sacha lives with her husband, Peter; son, Theodore; and terrier, SciFi, in Washington, DC.

Rachel Shukert is the bestselling author of the books Have You No Shame? And Other Regrettable Stories, Everything Is Going to Be Great and most recently, the Starstruck series, a YA trilogy set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine’s Vulture, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s and The Daily Beast, as well as featured on National Public Radio and in numerous print anthologies. Shukert was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Iris Smyles has written for various publications including BOMB, Nerve, Guernica, and The New York Press. She was a humor columnist for Splice Today, edited the collection, The Capricious Critic (Otis Books 2010), and is the author of the novel, Iris Has Free Time (Soft Skull Press 2013).

Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who By Fire and Skinny and of stories in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Esquire, Paris Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a number of writing awards, including a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University, a LABA Fellowship from the 14th Street Y, and a Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellowship. A six-time Moth StorySLAM winner, she has been featured on The Moth podcast and on NPR. She teaches writing in New York City and for Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio.

Emma Straub is the author of the novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures and the short story collection Other People We Married. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in Vogue, Tin House, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other places. She lives in New York City, and will always love the New Kids on the Block.

Claire Titelman is a comedian, actress and writer based in Los Angeles. She was a semi-finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award and performs standup all over town as well as at festivals. She is a regular on Chelsea Lately and a few of her other TV credits include Parks and Recreation, Veronica Mars and Wilfred. Her solo show, “Lemons are for Emergencies Only,” was first produced in L.A. to rave reviews before its sold out run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She performs with her comedy group Wet the Hippo.

Chellis Ying has been published in Best Travel Writing, Mental Floss and Publishers Weekly and was the runner up for the Richard Bausch 2010 short story contest. She received her MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco and a BA in Literature at Kenyon College.