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Meet the 2017 New Voices!

The 2017 Authors

Chanelle Benz
Yewande Omotoso
Chaitali Sen
Bob Proehl
Debora Kuan
Nick Gandiello
Allen Gee
Lauren Slaughter

Nick Gandiello (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, and teaching artist based in New York. His plays include The Blameless (The Old Globe), Oceanside (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), The Wedge Horse (Fault Line Theatre), Sunrise Highway (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Black Fly Spring (Xavier University), Swept (Williamstown Theatre Festival), At the Finish (Smith and Kraus’s The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014), and Teeming Shore (The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2015). Mr. Gandiello was the 2015 Page 73 Productions Playwriting Fellow and was the winner of the 2016 Marin Theatre Company David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. He is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Play Group. His work has been developed or presented by Manhattan Theatre Club, Lark Play Development Center, The Flea, Samuel French’s Off Off Broadway Festival, Capital Stage, Premiere Stages, and Wide Eyed Productions, among others.  Mr. Gandiello was the Literary Manager of Young Playwrights Inc. from 2012 to 2015 and is the Associate Artistic Director of Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival. He received his M.F.A. from The New School for Drama.

Debora Kuan is the author of XING (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and Lunch Portraits (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016). She has been awarded a U.S. Fulbright creative writing fellowship, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop Graduate Merit Fellowship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference work-study scholarship, and residencies at Yaddo, Macdowell, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Atlas Review, The Awl, The Baffler, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, Fence, Gigantic, Hyperallergic, Indiana Review, New American Writing, Pleiades, The Iowa Review,and other journals. She has also written about contemporary art, books, and film for Artforum, Art in America, Idiom, Modern Painters, Paper Monument, and other publications. A former fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center Writers’ Institute in fiction and nonfiction, she received an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA in English from Princeton University. In the past, she has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Iowa, The College of New Jersey, and New York Institute of Technology. She is currently a director at the College Board and lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, NY.

Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions, 2015). Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Brooklyn Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, and numerous other journals. She has over twenty years of experience as an elementary school teacher and has led writing workshops for youth and adults in various cities. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Hunter College MFA program in Fiction, where she studied with Peter Carey. Born in India and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and stepson. Her website is

Yewande Omotoso is an architect, with a masters in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. Her debut novel ‘Bomboy’ (2011 Modjaji Books), won the South African Literary Award First Time Author Prize and was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She was a 2015 Miles Morland Scholar. Yewande’s second novel ‘The Woman Next Door’ (Chatto and Windus) was published in May 2016.

Chanelle Benz is the author of The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead (Ecco Press, 2017).  Her fiction appears in Guernica,, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The American Reader, Fence, and others, and she is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize. She received an MFA at Syracuse University and BFA in Acting from Boston University. 

Allen Gee holds an MFA from the Iowa Workshop and a PhD from the U. of Houston.  He currently serves as the Director of the MFA/Creative Writing Program at Georgia College, where he is a Professor of English, and Flash Fiction Editor for the literary journal Arts & Letters.  He is a former Editor of Gulf Coast.  In January, 2017 he became the Editor of 2040 Books, a multicultural imprint in partnership with SFWP.  Twitter: @2040Books FB:  Allen is the author of the essay collection, My Chinese-America, which has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly,, and Kirkus Reviews,  He is currently finishing a novel, The Iron Road, and is the late James Alan McPherson's designated biographer.  An essay on McPherson is forthcoming in Ploughshares' Solo Series.  Allen lives in Milledgeville, GA with his wife, novelist Renee Dodd.  They have two daughters, Ashley and Willa.  (FB: Twitter: @allenrgee)

Bob Proehl grew up in Buffalo, New York, where his local comics shop was Queen City Bookstore. He has worked as a bookseller and programming director for Buffalo Street Books, a DJ, a record store owner, and a bartender. He was a 2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction and a 2013 resident at the Saltonstall Arts Colony. He has written for the 33⅓ book series and worked as a columnist and reviewer for the arts and culture site Proehl currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, stepson, and daughter.

Lauren Goodwin Slaughter is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is the author of the poetry collection, a lesson in smallness, which was a finalist for the Rousseau Prize for Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Carolina Quarterly, Raleigh Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among many other places. She is an assistant professor of English at The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she is also Editor-in-Chief of NELLE, a literary journal that publishes writing by women. Her website is

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