A Vietnam veteran, former casino dealer, and law enforcement officer, Barnes has taught at the College of Southern Nevada since 1997. He has published more than thirty short stories and is author of the collections Gunning for Ho (2000), Talk to Me, James Dean (2004), and Minimal Damage (2007), as well as the novel The Lucky (2003) and a work of nonfiction, Dummy up and Deal (2005). He will be inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in November 2009.
Raised and educated in Texas, John H. Irsfeld is a longtime UNLV English professor and member of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. He is the author of several novels and story collections, including Night Moves (2007), Radio Elvis and Other Stories (2002), Rats Alley (1987) Little Kingdoms (1976) and Coming Through (1975).
Brian Rouff was born in Detroit, raised in Southern California, and has lived in Las Vegas since 1981, which makes him a longtimer by local standards. When he’s not writing articles, screenplays and Las Vegas-based novels such as Dice Angel (2002) and Money Shot (2004), he runs Imagine Marketing, an advertising and public relations firm in Henderson.
A playwright, fiction writer and journalist, Canadian Leah Bailly has just returned from several years abroad, including extensive sojourns in Africa and India. Her work has appeared in publications such as Prism, subTerrain, Room, Forget and Parlour Magazine, and her nonfiction was recently nominated for an Alberta Literary Award for travel writing. Her play titled Some Reckless Abandon (based on early travels to Latin America) was performed on a seven-city tour across the United States and Canada. Leah is pursuing an MFA in fiction at UNLV, where she is deputy editor of the literary journal Witness. In 2010, she will begin a four-month writing project with Journalists for Human Rights in Sierra Leone.
A fourth-generation Nevadan, John L. Smith is an award-winning columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the author of eleven nonfiction books, including Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn, No Limit: The Rise and Fall of Bob Stupak and Las Vegas’ Stratosphere Tower, and Of Rats and Men: Oscar Goodman’s Life from Mob Mouthpiece to Mayor of Las Vegas. His latest book is Amelia’s Long Journey, a collection of his newspaper columns about his daughter’s battle with cancer.
Constance Ford is the original Schaeffer Fellow at UNLV, where she earned her Ph.D. in English. Previously, she earned an MA in fiction from Hollins University, and in 2001 received the Melanie Hook Rice Award. Ford’s short stories have been published in several literary magazines. Her story “Little Bird” was a finalist for the 2005 Nelson Algren Award. She is a full-time instructor at the College of Southern Nevada, and is putting the finishing touches on her debut novel, for which she was awarded the Nevada Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in 2009.
Vu Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised in Oklahoma. His stories have appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009, The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007, The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, Fence, and other publications. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Schaeffer Fellow in Fiction at UNLV, where he currently teaches literature and creative writing. His first novel, This or Any Desert, is forthcoming from WW. Norton & Company.
Geoff Schumacher is an author, columnist, book editor and newspaper executive. He was a reporter, editorial writer, and city editor for the Las Vegas Sun for ten years and editor of Las Vegas CityLife for three years. He founded and edited the Las Vegas Mercury. Today he is the director of community publications for Stephens Media and writes a weekly column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is the editor of CityLife Books, an imprint of Stephens Press. Schumacher has authored two works of history: Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue (2008) and Sun, Sin & Suburbia: An Essential History of Modern Las Vegas (2004).