Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Founding Editor
Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of The Silence of Trees (Wolfsword Press, 2010), and the founding editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress. She and her family currently divide their time between Chicago and Frankfurt, Germany.
Savannah Thorne, Managing Editor
Savannah Thorne graduated from the University of Iowa where she studied in the Writers' Workshop. Her poetry and short works have been published in over a dozen literary journals, including Potpourri, The Atlanta Review, The Wisconsin Review, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. She also holds cum laude Master's degrees from De Paul University in Chicago and Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.

Scott Markwell, Senior Editor

Scott Markwell teaches rhetoric and composition at DePaul University. As a long-time writer of essays, book reviews, and fiction, Scott also has been a professional stage and commercial actor for over twenty years in Chicago–and a few points west and east. He continues to merge his editorial, advertising, and performance background toward new opportunities.

Michael von Glahn, Senior Fiction Editor
Enrico Antiporda, Fiction Editor
Enrico Antiporda is both a writer and a visual artist whose works have been exhibited in galleries and art shows in the western United States. He grew up in Manila, Philippines and now resides in Oakland, California. His multicultural novel The Band of Gypsies was published in January 2000 and has received rave reviews from various trade publications. His unpublished suspense thriller, The Oracle, won first place in the suspense/scifi category in the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. He regularly attends the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Mr. Antiporda is the workshop leader of the long standing Rockridge Writers Group. His new novel A Light in the Cane Fields was a top semifinalist in Penguin USA/Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award receiving high accolades from Publishers Weekly with quotes such as “A stylistic tour de force, a riveting epic with masterful and delicate choreagraphy.” In the spring of 2008, Mr. Antiporda joined Conclave, Journal of Character as a fiction editor. He is represented by Eileen Cope of Trident Media Group.
Nina Kokotas Hahn, Fiction Editor
Nina is an independent writer and interactive producer based in Chicago. A long-time lover of fiction, she is also the founder and managing blogger of Fit Lit, a collaborative group blog featuring conversations about remarkable short fiction and prose. Nina received her BA in English Literature from Rhodes College and her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute ofChicago, where she also studied photography. She lives in the western suburbs with her family and is currently trying to squeeze in training for the 2009 Chicago Marathon. To learn more about Nina, visit
John Kersey, Fiction Editor
John Kersey is a Chicago writer and native. He received a BA in English at the University of DePaul in 2005 and is currently working towards his MFAW at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. He spends his time writing, reading, and collecting American soul music.

Jarucia Jaycox Nirula, Fiction Editor & Photography Editor
Jarucia is pleased to have been serving on Conclave's editorial staff since 2008. Her personal, professional, and academic experiences as a writer, reviewer, avid reader and visual artist inform her contributions to this exciting publishing endeavor. In her free time, Jarucia enjoys reading, photography, Yoga, camping, cooking, and, of course, long walks by the seashore. She currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and two geriatric guinea pigs.
Gae H. Polisner, Fiction Editor
Gae H. Polisner is a wife, mother, and family-law mediator by trade, but a writer by calling. Her debut young adult novel, STEINBECK, THE SCOOT AND THE PULL OF GRAVITY is due out Spring 2011 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers (editor Frances Foster, publisher Frances Foster Books). Her other completed novels, Swim Back to Me and The Jetty, both women’s fiction, are currently making the rounds to major publishers, and The Jetty was a Top Semifinalist in the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2007-2008. Gae started writing poetry at age five, her first novel at twelve, and studied creative writing at Boston University and at the Gotham City Writers’ Workshop in New York City. In addition to writing, she’s an avid swimmer, and hopes one day her wetsuit will turn her into a superhero. Until then, she is at work on her second young adult novel.
K.C. Wilson, Fiction Editor
K. C. Wilson lives in North Florida with his wife, Laurel, and two children. He is the songwriter and producer of The Rubes-UNDISPUTED. Formerly a pseudonymous contributor to Cavalier, his more recent fiction is scheduled to appear in Delivered, a U.K. publication. His collection of short fiction, Best Man Complex, was a finalist for the Hudson Prize in 2008. A novella from that collection, Thou Shalt Not, was a finalist for the 2008 Press 53 Open Awards Novella Competition. His screenplay, The Route, adapted from his own novel and co-written by Laurel Wilson, is currently a semi-finalist for the 12th Annual FADE IN Awards.
Julie Ann Weinstein, Senior Flash Fiction Editor
Julie Ann Weinstein is a freelance writer, a prolific short story author with more than seventy stories published, a Pushcart Nominee, and author of the novel, Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries ( Published stories and essays have appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, North County Times, Los Angeles Journal, Pindeldyboz, Sacred Waters/Fire: (Adams Media 2005), Story South, Word Riot, Opium Magazine, Insolent Rudder, Cezzane’s Carrots, Mad Hatters Review, Ghoti Magazine, Spoiled Ink, Void, Elimae, Footsteps to Oxford, Salome, Skive, The 2nd Hand, Millennium Shift, Mega Era Magazine, Science Fiction and Fantasy World, Green Tricycle, Long Story Short, Storyglossia, Static Movement, Bewildering Times, Somewhat, Uber, Moon Dance, The Quarterly Staple, Journal of Modern Post, Rumble, Long Story Short, Cellar Door Magazine (Spring and Summer Issues 2005), Edifice Wrecked, Espresso Fiction, Flash Fiction – Coffee Cup Series Issue I & II, Red, Neon, Steel Moon Publishing, Every Day Fiction, ISM Quarterly and other magazines.
Gavin Craig, Flash Fiction Editor
Gavin Craig is an editor at Revelator Press, a nonprofit, nonrevenue e-chapbook publisher ( and a graduate student in English Literature at Michigan State University. He co-founded the literary journal The Offbeat and served as editor from 1999-2001. His writing has been published in Red Cedar Review, Oats, and The Offbeat.
J. Kevin Neilson, Flash Fiction Editor
Kevin is an unabashed lover of prose fiction. He approaches literature as believers approach the Old Testament. He has read Winesburg, Ohio 11 times and will read it again soon. When he isn't avidly turning pages, Kevin is spending time with his family or backpacking in the High Sierras. He has a black belt in Cormac McCarthy.
Kristi Stokes, Flash Fiction Editor
Kristi Stokes is a wife, mother of four, and writer. Her debut novel, Baby Love, is set to be published in 2009 ( Her short stories and essays have appeared in both print and electronically in Momsense Magazine, The Linnet’s Wings, A Whortleberry Summer Anthology, Vault IX, Cats in Space the Magazine, and Static Movement.
Megan Fergus, Photography Editor
Megan Fergus, photo editor, has spent years photographing the world around her. After brief stints in Houston, TX and New Jersey she returned home to Chicago, IL to resume her role as family documentarian.
Leah Davidson, Senior Poetry Editor
Leah's love of stories and poems springs directly from childhood. She began writing both as soon as she learned to read, and inevitably studied literature in college. Off-and-on study and teaching occupied her early adulthood, with a decade-long foray into bookselling to support her family. Currently working on a series of fantasy novels, Leah is honored to act as poetry editor for Conclave.
G. Thomas Gill, Poetry Editor
G. Thomas Gill, Tom to his friends, is a well traveled adventurer. Having lived in Michigan, Ohio, Wyoming, Louisiana, and the Netherlands, Tom settled in Florida with his wife. An army veteran, he served at a NATO headquarters where he was introduced to counter-espionage tactics. In civilian life, he worked on projects that gave him access to top secret facilities such as Los Alamos, Sandia, and Livermore Laboratories. Tom draws on his travels and experiences to craft stories of suspense and intrigue that transport readers to some of the lesser known corners of the world. A graduate of the University of Toledo with an MBA, he wrote his first published poem in elementary school. DOG ISLAND, his debut mystery novel, is scheduled to be published in 2012.
Melissa Barrett-Traister, Poetry Editor
Melissa Barrett-Traister is a recent graduate of Arizona State University (English Literature, Women and Gender Studies) and is an art enthusiast. Previously published in Maricopa Community Colleges District Creative Writing Competition and Susquehanna Review amongst many others, she is currently submitting new creative works for publication. When not writing fiction or poetry, she is a substitute teacher in classrooms across the valley. In the classroom, she hopes to inspire active learning with young adults. She believes they will be responsible for creating a new art by taking language to a whole new level of expression. She rises to the words of Donald Hall on audio cd, dances with the hummingbirds,and believe that life is a series of joy that is constantly unfolding.
Karen Lea Wolf, Poetry Editor
Karen Lea Wolf is a poet and painter. Her poems have appeared in ACM, California Quarterly, Hunger Mountain, and Quarterly West, among others. Formerly an art and writing instructor at Harrington College of Design, she now works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. She lives in Chicago with her husband, printmaker Duffy O’Connor.

Rebecca Kyle, Senior Creative Nonfiction Editor
Rebecca Kyle received her MSIS from UT-Austin. Her research career spanned fields as diverse as history to highway safety. She currently resides at the foot of the Smoky Mountains with her husband of 27 years and 3 cats. She has publications in nonfiction, academic, and short fiction. She is currently at work on a mystery series of her own based in Tennessee. In addition to Conclave, Kyle serves as admissions coordinator for the online critique group, Deadly Prose. Aside from writing and reading, her interests are music, travel and animal rescue.

Stephanie Feuer, Creative Nonfiction Editor
Stephanie Feuer is a New York City-based writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Boston Herald, Sojourner, The Mom Egg, on, and in numerous anthologies including The Democrat Soul and Love after 70. She's read at the East Village literary bar, KGB and in the essay show, "See Me, Hear Me." Her first novel was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breathrough Novel Awards. She is currently working on a new novel. You may visit her website here:
Megan Moles, Creative Nonfiction Editor
Megan Moles is a freshman at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she plans to major in Political Science. Megan is an active member on the writing site where she writes under a penname. Also on Helium, she is the sub channel steward for the Songs department and heads up the songwriters collaborative. To her name, Megan has written one novel and currently in the midst of another. She submitted her historical western fiction novel Lasso My Heart in the first annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She also has had a short story published on-line on a mystery solving website.
Patricia O’Sullivan, Creative Nonfiction Editor
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Patricia O'Sullivan resides in Oxford, Mississippi where she teaches religion and writing at the University of Mississippi. After fifteen years of writing non-fiction on various topics in the history of religion, Patricia turned to creative fiction in
2006. Her first novel, Hope of Israel, was a top-100 finalist in's Breakaway Novel Award in 2008. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and a frequent public speaker in her community.
Juliet Ulman, Creative Nonfiction Editor
Juliet Ulman is a freelance editor located in Brooklyn, NY. For eleven years, she worked at Bantam Dell Publishing Group as a Senior Editor specializing in the acquisition and editing of speculative fiction and unusual literary fiction.

Books edited by Juliet have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the World Fantasy Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Nebula Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and the Mythopoeic Award, among others. Her titles have been named Best of the Year by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The Village Voice,,, and, and honored as New York Times Notable Books. Juliet herself has personally been longlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor three times. You can find her at
Jesaka Long, Editor
Jesaka Long is a full-time freelance writer and editor living in Denver, Colorado. As a drama major at Colorado College, she focused on directing and writing for the stage while also completing a literary drama curriculum. She has produced and directed productions by playwrights ranging from Charles Busch and Christopher Durang to Wendy Wasserstein and Sam Sheppard. After courting both theatre and writing – her two loves – for most of her life, she moved to Seattle and pursued her love of words, finding new adventures in marketing and communications. Jesaka avidly attends and supports the theatre.
Mary Anne Rooney, Editor
Mary Anne is a Chicago improviser, actor, and sketch comedy writer. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. In addition, Mary Anne is a graduate of Second City’s Beginning Improvisation and Conservatory Programs and has had her work produced on the Chicago stage. During weekdays, you can catch Mary Anne playing the recurring role of “Human Resources Professional.”

Karen Zabaloui, Editor
Karen Zabalaoui has had a stage bio and a work bio, but has never considered a writing bio until Conclave. Up until recently, she’s lived a double life. In her twenty years on stage, she’s performed a number of roles from Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan to Cha-Cha in Grease. You’d never guess that her degree is in Physics and she’s spent most of her daytime work life in IT pounding the keyboard while she trod the boards on stage at night. She currently works for Northrop Grumman as a Contract Operations Manager. Karen lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two daughters. Hobbies include reviewing for and private investigating for lost security blankets.
Chris Baglin, Contributing Editor
Chris Baglin joined Conclave in 2008. Her studies at Wellesley College included French and Chinese literature as well as short narrative. She works in law and public policy, with a J.D. and M.P.H. from Boston University. Chris has written a novel and lives in the Washington DC area with her husband.
John Everett, Fiction Reader
John Everett is a 2008 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is currently living in Chicago.
Sarah Salcedo Samudre, Poetry Reader
Sarah Salcedo Samudre is a writer living in Seattle, Washington with her husband, a fellow writer and filmmaker. She is currently finishing her degrees in Cinema Studies and English at the University of Washington. Between finishing her degrees and completing her first book, The Ashes, Sarah and her husband are also working on their first independent film. Sarah has been writing fiction and poetry all her life, and is an ardent audiophile, obsessive foodie and a lover of all things film and TV related. When not in Seattle, she is often traveling to London and LA, but can always be found on her Twitter or at
Jade Siminitus, Fiction & Nonfiction Reader
Jade Siminitus was born and raised in Florida but as of 2003 now resides in Arizona. The reason? It sounded like a great adventure and Arizona State University offered her a full scholarship. By day, Jade is a clinical laboratory specialist for a nonprofit organization. Otherwise she can be found snowboarding, acting like a field botanist, tutoring undergraduates in Chemistry, shooting zombies in video games and bending herself into yoga pretzels. Sometimes she can also be found at the local In-N-Out Burger contemplating if the meaning of life is contained within their strawberry milkshakes. All signs point to yes.