Introducing the 2012 Emerging Voices Mentors


Ron Carlson’s latest book is the novel The Signal, published by Viking Press. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, the New Yorker, and other journals, as well as the Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Prize Series, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, and other anthologies. Ron Carlson Writes a Story, Carlson’s nonfiction book on writing, is taught widely. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, the McGinnis Award at Iowa Review, the Aspen Literary Award, and his novel Five Skies was selected for One Book Rhode Island in 2009. Carlson is Director of the Graduate Program in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine. Red Hen Press will publish his book of poems, Room Service, in spring 2012.

Ben Ehrenreich is the author of two novels, Ether and The Suitors. His journalism, essays, and short fiction have appeared in many publications, including Harper's, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and McSweeney's. In 2011 he won a National Magazine Award for feature writing.

Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, and raised in suburban Los Angeles. He earned his MFA from UC Irvine. His first novel, Still Water Saints (Random House 2007), appeared simultaneously in English and Spanish and was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Salon, and the American Book Review. He was a 2009 fellow in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is also a frequent participant in Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Writers Workshop. He currently teaches English and creative writing at Fresno State and just completed his second novel, tentatively titled The Other Stranger (forthcoming from Random House).

Richard Lange is the author of the short story collection Dead Boys and the novel This Wicked World. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Iowa Review, and Best American Mystery Stories, and as part of the Atlantic Monthly's Fiction for Kindle series. He was the 2008 recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009. Mulholland Books will publish his novel, Gather Darkness, in spring 2013. He lives in Los Angeles.

Jillian Lauren grew up in suburban New Jersey. She attended New York University before dropping out to work in downtown theater, where she performed with Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theater, among others. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume/Penguin in April 2010. It has since been translated into fifteen different languages. Her novel, Pretty, was released by Plume in 2011. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Opium Magazine, Society, Pale House: A Collective, and in the anthologies My First Time and Tarnished. She has appeared at spoken word and storytelling events across the country and has been interviewed on such television programs as The View, Good Morning America, and Howard Stern. She was a featured dancer with the infamous Velvet Hammer Burlesque. As a performer, she has worked with directors as diverse as Robert Cucuzza, Steve Balderson, Lynne Breedlove, Austin Young, Michelle Carr, and Margaret Cho. She recently premiered her one-woman show "Mother Tongue." Jillian blogs at TODAYMoms and She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, musician Scott Shriner, and their son.

Victoria Patterson is the author of the novel This Vacant Paradise, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Drift, her collection of short stories, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the 2009 Story Prize, and was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of 2009. Her work has appeared in various publications and journals, including the Los Angeles Times, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. She lives with her family in Southern California and teaches at Antioch University’s Master of Fine Arts program and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. For more information, visit

Richard Lange Photo Credit : Beth Coller
Ron Carlson Photo Credit: Christine Byrd