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2015 - 2016 League for Innovation Student Literary Competition Judges

   Emily Bernard is a Professor of English and ALANA U.S. Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten (2001), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendship (2004) was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age, 2006. Her essays have been published in several journals and anthologies, such as The American Scholar, Best American Essays, Best African American Essays, and Best of Creative Non-Fiction. Bernard has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. In 2008-9, Bernard was the James Weldon Johnson Senior Research Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs, a book she co-authored with Deborah Willis, was published by W.W. Norton in the fall of 2009. Another book, White Shadows: Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance, was published by Yale University Press in 2010.


Jennifer Militello  Jennifer Militello is the author of A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named one of the top ten books of 2013 by Best American Poetry as well as a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, and Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, and The Paris Review, and been anthologized in Best New Poets and the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion. She teaches in the MFA program at New England College.

 Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is also the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, and Hunger, forthcoming from Harper in 2016.


 Daniella Topol’s productions include: Cori Thomas’ When January Feels Like Summer (Ensemble Studio Theatre/P73/Women’s Proj; NY Times Critics’ Pick), Jessica Dickey’s Charles Ives Take Me Home (Rattlestick) and Row After Row (Women’s Project), Rachel Bonds' Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep), Rajiv Joseph’s Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre), Tony Meneses’ Guadalupe in the Guest Room (Two River), Catherine Treischmann’s How the World Began (South Coast Rep and Women’s Project), Sheila Callaghan’s Dead City (New Georges) and Lascivious Something (Women’s Project), Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India (MaYi and Magic)Willy Holtzman’s The Morini Strad (City Theatre), Janet Allard and Niko Tsakalakos’ Pool Boy (Barrington Stage Company). She has developed new plays and musicals with Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, the Public, the Roundabout, among others, has taught at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and was previously the New Works Program Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and the Artistic Program Director of the Lark Play Development Center.   

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