Allison Gruber’s work has appeared on stage and in a number of print journals including, Flashquake, Pindeldyboz, and Windy City Queer: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Her memoir/essay collection, Trouble, has recently been selected for publication. She writes and teaches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Amber Ponomar is a tree-loving, bike-riding writer living in Chicago. When she isn't staring into the glowing eyes of the Internet, she's unleashing her "wicked dance moves," learning new neighborhoods by foot, or fantasizing about biking through the forest preserves of Northern Illinois, where she grew up. She is finishing up a BFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago.
Marcia Brenner is an adjunct in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. She has published short stories, essays, nonfiction, garnering awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Better Business Bureau. In 2006 she’d had enough with being overweight; she joined Weight Watchers, lost over 90 pounds, rediscovered her long-abandoned bicycle and fell in love with Pilates. She now combines her love of metaphors with bodywork by teaching Classical Pilates at Chicago’s Frog Temple, where she is a certified Pre and Postnatal Specialist. She explores the battle for life and health balance on her website, GreatBalancingAct.com
C.C. Carter is a seasoned Chicago Slammer and performance poet who brings the house down whether performing to an intimate crowd of 10 or in a public arena of 10,000. Her poetry and performances have garnered her opening credits for Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Cheryl Clarke and Dorothy Allison. C.C. has received numerous awards and honors for her arts and activism, including the induction into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Her work is currently anthologized in over 15 collections of poetry and prose including Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Black Women's Erotica, Does Your Mama Know and Women Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution.
Chai Wolfman is an artist, writer, cellist, yogi, partner and mother trying to stay balanced, enjoy life, and give back. She is a regular contributor to Oy!Chicago, a blog about living Jewishly—or Jew-ishly—in Chicago and one of her essays appears in the anthology Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation. She spent seven years raising money to help people in need and now she is raising her twin daughters in Chicago. www.chaiwolfman.com
Chelsey Clammer received her MA in Women's Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She has been published in The Rumpus, Atticus Review, Coachella Review and Make/shift among others. She received the Nonfiction Editor's Award 2012 from both Revolution House and Cobalt for her essays “BodyHome” and “I Have Been Thinking About,” respectively. She is currently finishing up a collection of essays about finding the concept of home in the body.
Dana Goldberg is a national touring comedian, an advocate and voice for the LGBT community, and has raised over a half a million dollars in the fight for equality, as well as, HIV/AIDS education and prevention. She is a regular entertainer on Olivia Vacations and can be seen performing at theaters, festivals, and Universities all over the country. Dana holds a degree in Physical Education from the University of New Mexico.
Gaylon B. Alcaraz is an activist, organizer and Executive Director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, working within the reproductive justice/rights/health movement to advocate for low-income women seeking to control their reproductive freedom. For more than ten years, she has worked on behalf of sexual minority women, anti-violence, gender equity, health prevention, reproductive rights, as well as race and culture issues.
Germania Solórzano teaches, writes and practices aikido in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois. On the mat, she likes to throw big guys as it feeds her feminine Napoleon complex. On the page she fights with complex story lines and wishes they were much smaller.
Marian Sherrell Haas is a 2001 graduate of the Fiction Writing Program of Columbia College Chicago. She has since explored various talents and professions, and currently enjoys the role of Mama for the precocious and adorable Sofia. She engages in many creative pursuits, and in private considers herself an accomplished writer/artist/chef. When not entertaining toddlers, experimenting in her Chicago Bungalow mini-kitchen, or raising a glass for some reason or another, Marian tortures herself with bootcamp classes, half-marathons, Pilates, and other such “healthy” activities
Josephina Gasca believes in the transformative power of story and dance. She’s a graduate of Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. She began studying Belly Dance shortly after beginning her undergraduate studies, continued through her graduate studies and her move to Maine. She’s taught writing at Columbia, USM and through MWPA. She’s been teaching belly dance to women from fifteen to eighty-four years young in Midcoast Maine. Currently, she’s seeking an agent for her novel.
Kathie Bergquist is publisher and editor-in-chief of Ms. Fit Mag. She also teaches writing at Columbia College Chicago and is the Managing Director of the Story Week Festival of Writers. Pulled reluctantly into a fitness lifestyle by her wife and partner of many years, Bergquist is now a runner, a boot camper, and a yogini. Her popular blog, “Kathie on the Run,” chronicles her experiences training for the 2012 Prague International Marathon.
Stephanie Kuehnert was raised as a health-conscious feminist. She went vegetarian at 13 and vegan at 17. She hated gym class, but learned to enjoy working out in her late 20s when she realized how fun and empowering it can be to punch and kick imaginary opponents. She also writes for Rookie (rookiemag.com), an online magazine for teenage girls, and has published two novels, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia. Find out more about her writing at stephaniekuehnert.com.
Liz Baudler writes for Examiner.com and Chicago Literati. Her Ms.Fitty characteristics include genuine loves both of tofu and bike riding. Find her on www.lizbaudler.virb.com.
Megan Stielstra is the Literary Director of 2nd Story and co-editor of their print anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck. Her story collection, Everyone Remain Calm, was a Chicago Tribune Favorite of 2011, and her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, PANK, Make Magazine, F Magazine, Other Voices, The Nervous Breakdown, Fresh Yarn, and elsewhere. She teaches writing and performance at Columbia College and The University of Chicago.
Meredith Grahl Counts lives and writes in Chelsea, Michigan with her husband, daughter and dog. She has taught writing in Michigan and Chicago and studied at Columbia College Chicago, Oakland University and the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Her recent essays and reviews have appeared in Bust, Hypertext, The Journal of Need & Want, and the Manistee News Advocate.
I live in Oak Park, IL with my husband, Mike, and our 2 peeps, Mick and Chance. I've been a print & web designer for a million years and this is by far the most fun project I've done in a long time. I'm thoroughly excited to be working on a project like this with such smart, creative women. Kathie Bergquist and I used to be roommates and I'm hoping that one day she'll give me her goulash recipe. It's Fierce.
A writer with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for media including The Chicago Sun Times, Pop Matters and afterellen.com. Her fiction has appeared in literary magazines such as kill author and Underground Voices. Her debut novel, Herself When She’s Missing, was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. When not writing, Sarah supports herself as a figure model, spinning instructor and creative writing teacher at Chicago’s Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it, actually.
Searah Deysach is a sex educator and the owner of the feminist sex shop Early to Bed. In addition to running her shop, she lectures frequently to community groups and colleges around the state on topics relating to positive sexuality. She is committed to working to create a culture where everyone has access to honest information about sexuality and all women have access to the services they need to protect their reproductive rights. She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their kid and thinks everyone should masturbate more.
The last kid picked in gym class, anti-violence expert and certified personal trainer Lynne Marie Wanamaker claimed her athletic destiny when she fell in with a scrappy bunch of feminist karatekas in Brooklyn in 1988. Since then she’s amassed a collection of martial arts black-belts, sweaty tee-shirts and political rants. She is committed to making fitness and personal safety skills accessible to everyone. She writes about self defense, parenting and the spiritual life at: http://blog.mindbodymama.com
Jessica Young has a degree from Northwestern University and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She’s performed her stories with 2nd Story, at the Mixed Roots Literary and Film Festival in LA, and she was recently a contributing blogger for WBEZ’s summer series, “Race Out Loud.” When she’s not writing or teaching, Jess enjoys yoga, gluten-free vegan cooking, and learning how women can take care of themselves and each other through healthy choices and practices.