The Judges

Our 2021 Panel

Sufiya Abdur-Rahman is winner of the 2020 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction. The University of Iowa Press will publish her memoir, Heir to the Crescent Moon, in fall 2021. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Catapult, The Common Online, Gay Mag, NPR, the Washington Post, and other publications. She is Creative Nonfiction Editor for Cherry Tree, a national literary journal, at Washington College, where she teaches nonfiction. / Twitter

Kamil Ahsan is a doctoral student in history at Yale, with a prior doctorate in biology from the University of Chicago. He is a journalist, writer, and editor-in-chief of the South Asian Avant-Garde. His work has appeared in NPR, the Nation, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Baffler, among others. / Twitter

Nishant Batsha is a writer of fictions and histories. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in Eater, Narrative, and the Believer, among others. He lives in Buffalo, NY. / Twitter

Tobias Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn and writes the Watchlist column about books in translation for Words Without Borders. He is the author of three books: Political Sign, a work of nonfiction in the Object Lessons series; Reel, a novel; and Transitory, a story collection. He lives in Brooklyn. / Twitter

Catherine Chung is the author of The Tenth Muse and Forgotten Country. She has received an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and has been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Granta New Voice, a Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize in poetry. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, Granta, and elsewhere.

Sonya Chung is the author of the novels The Loved Ones—a Kirkus Best Fiction, Indie Next List, BuzzFeed Books Recommends, and Library Journal Best Indie Fiction selection—and Long for This World (Scribner 2010). She has been a staff writer at the Millions since 2009.  Currently she is deputy director at Film Forum, a nonprofit cinema in New York City, adjunct faculty in Warren Wilson’s MFA program, and writer-in-residence at Skidmore College. / Instagram, Twitter

Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, a silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times Book Review editor’s choice. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Cut, the Believer, and elsewhere. A new work of nonfiction, a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds, is coming from Doubleday in 2022. / Twitter

Felicia Davin is the author of five novels, including the queer fantasy trilogy The Gardener’s Hand. The first novel in the trilogy, Thornfruit, was a 2018 finalist for Best Speculative Fiction at the Bisexual Book Awards, and her sci-fi romance Edge of Nowhere was a 2018 finalist for Best Bisexual Romance. Her short fiction has been featured in Lightspeed, Nature, and Heiresses of Russ 2016: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. She has a PhD in French literature and has worked as both a teacher and a translator. She writes a weekly newsletter, Word Suitcase, about the words (mostly romance) and books (mostly romance) that are on her mind. She lives in Massachusetts. / Twitter

Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. / Twitter

Sean Hooks is originally from working-class New Jersey, about 10 miles west of New York City, and currently lives on the Westside of Los Angeles, near LAX. He holds a BA (liberal arts) from Drew University, an MFA (fiction) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an MA (English) from Loyola Marymount University. His stories, essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications.

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, literary critic, editor, and professor living in Austin. He is the author of Zero Saints and Coyote Songs. His work has been translated into five languages, optioned for film, nominated to the Stoker and Locus Awards, and won the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel. His reviews appear in places like NPR, Publishers Weekly, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues. He teaches creative writing and SNHU and offers low-cost online writing workshops. / Twitter

Beatrice Kilat is a writer, editor, and culture critic in the Bay Area. She is the former managing editor of Best American Nonrequired Reading and edited children’s fiction and comics at Lucasfilm. You can read her work in the Cut and elsewhere. / Twitter

ToB 2021 Reader Judge BW Kipnis is the creator and moderator of Moveable Feast book Klub and formerly blogged at Bookisshh. BW spent more than 10 years sharing and delving into books and words with Chicago’s inner city middle schoolers, and has been decolonizing and nudging the patriarchy from bookshelves since before hashtags and viral movements. Before that, BW worked briefly for CNN as a video journalist, produced a couple of cool college documentaries, and created a video/performance installation, “Media-a-Maze.” Today, BW is a native Chicagoan pretending not to currently reside in the Northshore suburbs.

Britta Lundin is an author of queer contemporary YA, including Ship It, and Like Other Girls (coming in 2021). She is also a TV writer for shows such as Riverdale (CW) and Betty (HBO). She spends her time playing basketball badly and practicing the Rubik’s Cube. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, kid, and dog. / Twitter

M.C. Mah is a critic, novelist, and chef of minimal talent at a restaurant where only his wife and child eat. His work has appeared in the Millions, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. He lives in Berkeley, Calif. / Twitter

Grace Perry is a writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in BuzzFeed, the Cut, the New Yorker, Reductress, and elsewhere. Her debut essay collection, The 2000s Made Me Gay, comes out in June. / Twitter

Alexandra Schwartz is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where she writes about books, theatre, and a variety of other subjects that catch her interest. / Twitter

Our Commentators

TMN co-founder Rosecrans Baldwin is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. His next book, a work of creative nonfiction about Los Angeles County, is forthcoming from MCD x Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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. He is also co-screenwriter of the feature film Chasing the Blues.

John Warner is the author most recently of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities, and The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing. He writes weekly for the Chicago Tribune on books and reading and lives in the Charleston, SC, area.

TMN co-founder Andrew Womack is always working on the next installment of his Albums of the Year series.