Vanessa Willoughny, Editor of Kindred Books

Vanessa Willoughby

Editor and Publisher, Kindred Books

Vanessa Willoughby holds a BA in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College. She attended The New School and earned her MFA in creative writing. She has been an intern, a literary agency consultant, and a senior acquisitions editor. Her bylines have appeared but are not limited to the following print and online publications: Bitch, Book Riot, Bookslut, The Hairpin, Hazlitt, Hello Giggles, The Toast, and Vice. Despite the conspiratorial nature of industry gatekeepers, she is determined to push for diverse authors, literature, and an overall diverse publishing industry.


Yen Ooi, Editor of the Brain Mill Press Ab Terra Series in International Science Fiction

Yen Ooi

Editor and Publisher, Ab Terra Books

Yen Ooi is a writer and editor—2023 Hugo Award finalist—whose works explore cultural storytelling and its effects on identity. She is obsessed with science fiction, where she excavates stories to expose and explore permutations of culture across the genre. Yen is author of Rén: The Ancient Chinese Art of Finding Peace and Fulfilment, narrative designer on Road to Guangdong, as well as author of Sun: Queens of Earth (novel) and A Suspicious Collection of Short Stories and Poetry (collection). When she hasn’t got her head in a book, Yen also lectures, mentors, and plays the viola.

Alisa Kwitney

Editor, Liminal Comics

Alisa Kwitney has a BA in English from Wesleyan University, where she received the Horgan Writing Prize for Fiction, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, where she received a scholarship of merit. Her debut novel, Till the Fat Lady Sings (Harper Collins), was called “imaginative and quirky” in the Sunday New York Times. Alisa was an editor at the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, where she worked closely with Neil Gaiman on his landmark Sandman comic series and discovered author Mike Carey in the slush pile and helped him develop the first Lucifer series.

Alisa is also the author of nine published novels, numerous comics and graphic novels, and several nonfiction titles. Some of her books include The Dominant Blonde, the acclaimed YA graphic novel Token, the nonfiction titles Sandman: The King of Dreams and Vertigo Visions: Art From the Cutting Edge of Comics, the DC series Mystic U, and the YA novel Cadaver and Queen (Harlequin Teen). Her work has been translated into German, Japanese, Turkish, and Russian, among other languages. Alisa has taught graphic novel writing at Fordham University and The Kildonan School, which caters to students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities. She loves working with new writers and artists and developing their prose and visual storytelling skills.


C. Kubasta headshot

C. Kubasta

Series Editor

C. Kubasta writes poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. She lives, writes, & teaches in Wisconsin. Her most recent books include the poetry collection Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press) and the short story collection Abjectification (Apprentice House). Find her at and follow her @CKubastathePoet.


Ruth Homrighaus headshot

Ruth Homrighaus


Ruth Homrighaus began her career in publishing in 1997 as a summer intern at an academic press. While earning a Ph.D. in modern European history, she worked in scholarly press acquisitions editorial until 2001, when she opened her own business, Ruthless Editing, providing developmental editing and copyediting services primarily to nonfiction humanities and social science scholars. With ten years’ experience as a small business owner, she took on an additional editorial acquisitions role at Entangled Publishing for their Indulgence line. In 2013, she left editing to focus on her career as a writer. Now a New York Times bestselling author (as Ruthie Knox), Ruth has published over a dozen titles in adult contemporary romance and New Adult romance (writing as Robin York). Nominated for four RITA awards in her first two years as a published author, Ruth has been translated into German, French, Italian, and Portuguese and has made multiple best-of lists in romance, including Library Journal’s list for 2014.


Mary Ann Hudson headshot

Mary Ann Hudson


Mary Ann Hudson received her MFA in creative writing as both a Hogrefe and university fellow. As a graduate student, she co-founded one of the first literary journals that operated digital-first in 1998. After a turn at the helm at the literary journal Fugue, she worked as a consulting acquisitions editor. Her acquisitions went on to nominations and wins for Pushcarts, PEN awards, National Poetry Series Awards, the Robert Olen Butler Prize, and The Story Prize. In addition, she has won multiple awards for her own poetry. In 2012, Mary Ann launched her career in fiction with a romance novella, which Library Journal recognized as among the best ebooks of 2012. She has since released the award-winning Snowfall (translated into German) and her Burnside Series, which received recognition from Library Journal.


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