The Judges

Our 2018 Panel

Rumaan Alam’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novel Rich and Pretty. His novel That Kind of Mother will be published in 2018.

Angela Chen is a science journalist at The Verge and a columnist at Catapult. Her reporting and essays have also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the Paris Review Daily, Hazlitt, and more. Her book Ace is forthcoming from Beacon Press.

ToB 2018 Reader Judge Lauren Cohen lives in her reading chair in a Boston apartment. She met most of her friends and her boyfriend in book clubs, and if you ask her how many book clubs she’s in, she’ll plead the fifth. When not in her reading chair, she works in cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Jeffrey Cranor created the podcast Within the Wires. He also co-writes the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, live shows, and novels. He makes theater and dance and lives in New York state.

Ruth Curry is a writer whose work has appeared in Bookforum, n+1, the Paris Review Daily, Esquire, Nylon, and Buzzfeed. She is, with Emily Gould, the co-founder of Emily Books.

Joseph Fink is the creator of Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead, and I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats. He co-wrote, with Jeffrey Cranor, the novels Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! He is also the author of the upcoming Alice Isn’t Dead novel.

Ashley C. Ford lives in Brooklyn by way of Indiana. She is (mostly) a writer. She is currently working on a memoir, and hosting Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show and podcast, 112BK.

Patrick Hoffman is a private investigator and author of the novels The White Van and Every Man a Menace. He lives in Brooklyn.

Maris Kreizman is a writer and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed Books, Longreads, Vulture, Esquire, GQ, and more. She’s the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and book (Flatiron Books, 2015) that celebrates the intersection of literature and pop culture. She was previously the editorial director of digital content at B&N.com, and a publishing outreach lead at Kickstarter. As a former book editor and editorial director of Book of the Month, she very much enjoys critiquing her own writing.

Juliet Lapidos is the op-ed editor of the Los Angeles Times. Previously she worked at the New York Times and Slate. She has written for The Atlantic, the New York Times Book Review, and the websites of the New Yorker and the New Republic, among other publications. Her first novel, Talent, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in January 2019.

Bryan Mealer is a journalist and the author of four books, including the bestselling The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (with William Kamkwamba), soon to be a major film, and The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream. He lives in Austin.

Ismail Muhammad is a writer and critic living in Oakland, where he’s a staff writer for The Millions and contributing editor at ZYZZYVA. His writing has appeared in Slate, the Los Angeles Review of Books, New Republic, and other publications. He’s currently working on a novel about the Great Migration and queer archives of black history.

Meaghan O’Connell’s writing has appeared in New York magazine, Longreads, and The Billfold, where she was an editor. She lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and young son. Her book of essays, And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in April 2018.

Shelly Oria is the author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (FSG & Random House Canada, 2014), which earned nominations for a Lambda Literary Award and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction among other honors. Most recently, she co-authored a digital novella, Clean, commissioned by WeTransfer and McSweeney’s; the novella received two Lovie awards. Oria’s fiction has appeared in the Paris Review and elsewhere, has been translated to other languages, and has won a number of awards, including the Indiana Review Fiction Prize. A recipient of grants and fellowships from MacDowell, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria, she co-directs the Writer’s Forum at the Pratt Institute and has a private practice as a life & creativity coach.

Caitlin Roper is the special projects editor at the New York Times Magazine. She creates new sections of the newspaper like the Kids section, Puzzle Mania, and the annotated constitution. Before joining the Times, Roper was the articles editor at WIRED, and before that, the managing editor of the Paris Review.

Jaya Saxena is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in GQ, ELLE, The Toast, The Daily Dot, the New Yorker, Catapult and more. She is the co-author of Basic Witches, and lives in Queens with her husband and two ungrateful cats.

Merritt Tierce is the author of the novel Love Me Back (Doubleday, 2014) and a staff writer on the Netflix show Orange Is the New Black. Love Me Back was shortlisted for the PEN/Bingham debut fiction prize and won the Texas Institute of Letters’ prize for first fiction. Tierce is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” author and a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She has been a fellow at the Yaddo, MacDowell, Willapa Bay, Omi, and Can Cab artist residencies. Her essays, reviews, and fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Oxford American, Paris Review, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications.

Our Commentators

Kevin Guilfoile is the author of two novels, Cast of Shadows and The Thousand, that have been translated into more than 20 languages. His latest book, a memoir, is A Drive Into the Gap.

John Warner is the author of The Funny Man, and, as his alter ego, The Biblioracle, a weekly columnist for the Chicago Tribune Printers Row book supplement. He teaches at the College of Charleston.

(More to come.)