Black Lawrence Press

January 28, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City.  He is the author of more than two hundred published short stories and is a past winner of the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize, theSycamore Review’s Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review’s Short Fiction Prize, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award in four different years, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant.  His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Mystery Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology on numerous occasions.  His first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012.  Jacob holds graduate degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics.  He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

B.C. Edwards is a producer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and attended the graduate writing program at The New School in New York. The winner of the 2011 Hudson Prize for Fiction, he is the author of the collected stories The Aversive Clause (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) as well as a chapbook To Mend Small Children, (Augury Books, 2012) and full length collection of poetry From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes(Black Lawrence Press, 2014). His work has appeared in Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Mathematics Magazine, Hobart and others.  He was raised in Newburyport, Massachusetts and lives in Brooklyn.

Betsy Robinson’s novel The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg is winner of Black Lawrence Press’s 2013 Big Moose Prize and was published in September 2014. This will be followed by the February 2015 publication of her late mother, Edna Robinson’s, novel, The Trouble with the Truth (edited by Betsy) as the debut book of Infinite Words, a new imprint of Simon & Schuster. Betsy’s first novel, Plan Z by Leslie Kove, was published by Mid-List Press in 2001 as winner of their First Novel Series Award. Betsy has been a working journalist for over a decade; she was managing editor of Spirituality & Health magazine for almost seven years and she currently freelances for Betsy is a former actor (appeared in John Sayles films Return of the Secaucus Seven and Lianna) and present book editor, specializing in self-help and spiritual psychology. Her awards include winner literary (short story) award, Chronogram magazine, 2003; a Writers Guild East fellowship to write two screenplays (The Love Convention and Ms. Manhattan, mentored by Writers Guild-assigned mentor David Rayfiel); and first prize winner Dubuque Fine Arts 1-Act Contest in 1984. (For a complete bio, see

Russel Swensen earned his MFA in fiction from the California Institute of the Arts and his doctorate in poetry from the University of Houston. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Black Clock, Quarterly West, Prick of the Spindle, The Collagist, and elsewhere. In 2009 he was the recipient of the American Academy of Poets/Brazos Award. His poetry chapbook, Santa Ana, was a finalist for the 2010 Gold Line Chapbook Contest and is the winner of the Spring 2011 Black River Chapbook Contest. He is currently at work on a book titled The Magic Kingdom. He lives in Houston with his rat terrier, Zulu.