The Judges

Our 2022 Panel

Atom Atkinson is a writer and consultant who has served as the Director of Writing Programs at Catapult and the inaugural Director of Literary Arts at Chautauqua Institution.

Alex Barasch is an editor at the New Yorker. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, and elsewhere.

Carole V. Bell is a book critic and communication scholar with an unquenchable love of politics and popular culture. A former professor, her writing and research explore the intersection of social identity, media, and politics. She has been interviewed on these topics by NPR, WGBH, WCVB, FiveThirtyEight and the Atlantic, and has written for radio, print, and online media, including the New York Times, NPR, BookPage, Book Riot, Publishers Weekly, Shondaland, and theGrio.

Jenny Bhatt is a writer, literary translator, and book critic. She is the founder of Desi Books and teaches creative writing at Writing Workshops Dallas. Her debut story collection, Each of Us Killers, won a 2020 Foreword INDIES award in the Short Stories category and was a finalist in the Multicultural Adult Fiction category. Her literary translation, Ratno Dholi: The Best Stories of Dhumketu has been shortlisted for the 2021 PFC-VoW Book Awards for English Translation from Regional Languages. Her writing has appeared in various venues including NPR, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Dallas Morning News, Literary Hub, the Atlantic, BBC Culture, Poets & Writers, and more. Having lived and worked her way around India, England, Germany, Scotland, and various parts of the US, she now lives in a suburb of Dallas.

Olivia Craighead is a writer based in Brooklyn. She’s currently a staff writer at Gawker, where she writes mostly about celebrities and occasionally about soup. She has been published in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Fader, and more.

Fiona Dourif is an actress and producer living in Los Angeles. She was educated in Ireland and began her career producing History Channel documentaries. Recently, she is best known for her work in Tenet, the Child’s Play franchise, Stephen King’s The Stand, and various other television series. She loves old cars and good books.

Anita Felicelli is the author of the short-story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent and Chimerica: A Novel. Anita is the editor of Alta Journal’s California Book Club. She is on the board of the National Book Critics Circle and currently serves as its VP of Fundraising.

Fernando A. Flores is the author of Tears of the Trufflepig and Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas. His story collection Valleyesque is forthcoming.

Megan Giddings is an assistant professor at Michigan State University and a mentor in Antioch University’s (Los Angeles) low-residency MFA program. Megan’s first novel, Lakewood, was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Lakewood was an NPR Book of the Year, one of New York Magazine’s 10 Best Books of 2020, and a Michigan Notable Book for 2021. Megan’s second novel, The Women Could Fly, will be published by Amistad in August 2022. You can learn more about her at

Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times-bestselling author of eight books, across a variety of genres, most recently Beowulf: A New Translation, and The Mere Wife, both from McD x FSG. She is the winner of the 2021 Harold Morton Landon Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the World Fantasy Award, and her work has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Shirley Jackson Awards, among others. She grew up in rural Idaho, plucking the winter coat from her father’s wolf.

Crystal Hana Kim is the author of If You Leave Me, which was a Booklist Editor’s Choice title and named a best book of 2018 by over a dozen publications. Her work has been published in the Paris Review, Elle Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Guernica, and elsewhere. A 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Finalist and a 2017 PEN America Dau Short Story Prize winner, Crystal teaches at Columbia University and at Randolph College’s MFA Program.

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in the Nation, Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Ore.

Rosa Lyster is working on a book about the global water crisis.

Blair McClendon is an editor, filmmaker, and writer. His film work has screened at festivals around the world. His writing has been published in n+1, the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. Like many others he lives in New York.

Jennifer Murphy is the author of the memoir First Responder, a Time Magazine pick for best new books of April 2021. Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, as well as the New York Times, Salon, the New York Daily News, and other media outlets. She lives in Brooklyn.

Matthew Schneier is a features writer at New York Magazine and The Cut. Previously, he was a reporter for the New York Times, and his writing has also appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications.

Lynn Steger Strong is the author of the novels Hold Still and Want. Her third novel, Flight, will be published in late 2022.

Our Commentators

TMN co-founder Rosecrans Baldwin is the bestselling author of Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. Other books include The Last Kid Left and Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down. His debut novel, You Lost Me There, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Meave Gallagher used to work in journalism; today she is working toward her master’s in library science. She isn’t on social media, but her cats and many foster kittens are.

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 of a number of different books about a number of different things, most recently about how we could better teach students who to write and the need to change our structures of public higher education. He writes weekly for the Chicago Tribune on books and reading, and invites you to join him and many other passionate readers at his weekly newsletter, The Biblioracle Recommends, where he’ll be happy to tell you what you should read next based on the last five books you’ve read.

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