Robert Atwan is the series editor of The Best American Essays, which he founded in 1986. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The St. Petersburg Times, the Boston Review, and the Atlantic Monthly. He has authored studies of popular culture and has contributed criticism and poetry to the Iowa Review, theKenyon Review, the Denver Quarterly, and Image. Atwan edited the college anthologies, Popular Writing in America, Mass Media: Industries and Issues, collections of current journalism in the Our Times series, and political essays in Left, Right, and Center. He edited The Harper American Literature, The Writer's Presence, two collections of poetry inspired by the Bible, and contributed introductions to a new series of Shakespeare plays. He taught the Art of Nonfiction at Seton Hall and recently judged the Sunmag essay contest.

Rick Bragg won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his feature writing in the New York Times. Bragg earlier worked at the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg Times, and Birmingham News. His memoir, All Over But the Shoutin, became a bestseller and New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1997. Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg came out this year.

Donna Britt joined The Washington Post in 1989 as a writer for the Style section. After several first-person pieces, including an essay on her older brother's death that nominated for a Pulitzer, she began writing a column in 1992. Within weeks, Britt received sacks of mail, flowers, and hundreds of phone calls from readers applauding her conviction and knack for addressing difficult subjects. She received an American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and has often spoken at national Writers Workshops. A native of Gary, Indiana, Britt lives in suburban Maryland with her husband, Kevin Merida, and three sons.

Anne Fadiman is the editor of The American Scholar and a visiting lecturer in English and American Studies at Smith College. Her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for current interest nonfiction, among others. Her second book, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, is a collection of essays on reading and language. While a staff writer at Life Magazine, Fadiman won a National Magazine Award for Reporting for her coverage of elderly suicide.

Tom French has been the staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times for 19 years, and, for the past decade, he has worked as project reporter, specializing in serial narratives. For his work on Angles & Demons he received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Other projects have included A Cry in the Night, and South Heaven, both of which were later published as books. This past April, he, Anne Hull, and Sue Carlton combined daily coverage of a murder trial using narrative techniques.

Walt Harrington was a staff writer for The Washington Post Magazine for 15 years. He is the author of Crossings: A White Man's Journey Into Black America, which won the Gustavis Myers Center Award for the study of human rights in the United States. He also wrote American Profile: Somebodies and Nobodies Who Matter, and Intimate Journalism: The Art and Craft of Reporting Everyday Life. He was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award (for an article that led to the return of a kidnapped infant), 2 National Association of Black Journalists awards, Northwestern University's John Bartlow Martin Award and the Lowell Mettle Award for improving journalism through critical evaluation. He is a professor of journalism at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Ubana.

Adam Hochschild is the author of five books, including Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels, which won the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. Among other prizes, he has won the J. Anthony Lukas Award, and his recent book King Leopold's Ghost: a Story of Greed Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also written articles for the New Yorker, Harper's, Mother Jones, and other magazines and newspapers. In 1997-98 he was a Fulbright Lecturer in India.

Steve Holmes , a NYTimes reporter for the past 11 years, has covered Congress, Pat Buchanan's and Ross Perot's presidential runs, the State Department, and lately, race and demographics out of the paper's Washington bureau. He's been a national correspondent for Time Magazine, writing about politics, agriculture, the '84 Olympics, finance, the Supreme Court, and the Justice Department. He's also worked for the Atlanta Constitution, and UPI. He graduated from City College and from the Michele Clark Memorial Program for Minority Journalists. He paid for college by driving a New York Citycab, and calls that his "second best job ever."

Anne Hull is a national reporter for the Washington Post. Hull was a 2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist in both the National and Feature Writing categories, for Una Vida Mejor, a serial she wrote while at the St. Petersburg Times, about a group of Mexican women leaving home and laboring for season in a North Carolina crab house. Hull has written about welfare reform, rookie pro baseball, AIDS and immigration. She was a 1995 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

David Isay, independent radio producer, founded Sound Portraits Productions, a not-for-profit radio production company in 1993. He is a MacArthur Fellow this year, and has received 2 Peabody Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 2 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, and the Prix Italia. His radio documentaries include Tossing Away the Keys, Ghetto Life, Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse, and Sunshine Hotel.

Tracy Kidder won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, and the National Book Award for The Soul of a New Machine. He's also written House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, and Home Town, and writes for the New Yorker and for the Atlantic Monthly, where he's long been a contributing editor.

Mark Kramer has written articles for the Boston Globe, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, N.Y. Times Magazine, and Outside, etc. His books include Three Farms: Making Milk Meat and Money from the American Soil, and Travels with a Hungry Bear: a Journey to the Russian Heartland. He co-edited the anthology Literary Journalism and is writer in residence and professor of journalism at Boston University.

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc attended Smith College and Oxford University, was fiction editor of Seventeen, went to Yale Law School for a year on a Knight Foundation Fellowship, and was a Bunting Fellow at Harvard. She writes for the Village Voice and Esquire, is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and is completing a book about the South Bronx, part of which has run in the New Yorker.

Ross McElwee has made seven feature-length documentaries and also several shorter films. Sherman's March won Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Time Indefinite (1993) won best film award in several festivals and shown across the U.S. Six O'Clock News was selected for Sundance 1997 and won the best documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival. All have shown on PBS. McElwee's appreciative essay on Walker Percy is in The Last Physician (Duke University Press, 1999). McElwee has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, the American Film Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He teaches filmmaking at Harvard and is currently at work on a film about tobacco and his home state of North Carolina.

Kevin Merida writes political, sports, and pop culture features for the style section of the Washington Post, and a bimonthly column in the Post's Sunday Magazine. He has written for the Milwaukee Journal, and he edited foreign and national news at the Dallas Morning News, where he was part of the news team that was a Pulitzer finalist in 1990. This year he was named "Journalist of the Year" by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He won a NABJ award in 1998 and was named Star Reporter of the year by the Texas Headliner's club in 1999. He is married to Donna Britt.

New Yorker essayist Susan Orlean is the author of the best-seller The Orchid Thief, which details the bizarre underworld of passionate orchid collectors. She also wrote Saturday Night, a New York Times Notable Book of 1990. In addition, her articles have appeared in Outside, Rolling Stone,Vogue, and Esquire. Her new book, The Bullfighter Checks Her Make Up, a collection of profiles, will come out in January.

Chip Scanlan is reporting, writing and editing group leader at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has been a reporter for the Providence Journal, feature writer for the St. Petersburg Times and national correspondent for Knight-Ridder Newspapers. His articles, essays and short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including the Washington Post Magazine,Writer, Mississippi Review, the Boston Globe Magazine, and Salon. He edits Best Newspaper Writing 2000 and is author of Reporting and Writing: Basics for the 21st Century.


Writer, performer, and humorist, Jimmy Tingle, has been telling funny stories for 20 years. He's worked as a contributing satirist for MSNBC and has performed on The Tonight Show, Larry King Weekend, The Late Show with Conan O'Brian, The Late Show with Tom Snyder, The American Comedy Awards, and HBO's One Night Stand Comedy Special. Tingle starred in the 1991 Emmy Award winning documentary, Damned in the USA , and costarred in the PBS Travels series special, America with the Top Down. He set Boston laughing with his one-man show Jmmy Tingle's Uncommon Sense;The Education of an American Comic. He's been featured on National Public Radio, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation and has just been named the new humorist for CBS' 60 Minutes II.

Jan Winburn has worked with narrative writing for more than 20 years, at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hartford Courant, and Baltimore Sun, where she's assistant managing editor for enterprise. In 1997 she was one of Times-Mirror's ten Journalists of the Year. She edited The Umpire's Son's (by Lisa Pollak), which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, and the serial, A Stage in Their Lives (by Ken Fuson), which won the 1998 ASNE Distinguished Writing Award.


Mitchell Zuckoff joined the Boston Globe in 1989 and is now a special projects writer on the national desk. He won the 2000 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors for his series, Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey, and the Livingston Award and Heywood Broun Award for a series he wrote in 1994. As a member of the Globe Spotlight team, he was a finalist for a 1997 Pulitzer Prize and won the 1998 Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award. He lives in Newton with his wife, Globe photographer Suzanne Kreiter, and their two daughters.