Steinbeck Fellows 2010-2011

Leah Griesmann grew up in Northern California and American Samoa. She earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature at Brandeis University and her M.A. in Creative Writing at Boston University. She has taught writing and literature at Boston University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Hanyang University in Ansan, South Korea.  Griesmann has received grants for her fiction writing from the Humboldt Arts Council, the North Coast Cultural Trust, and the Caldera Arts Colony. Her short stories have appeared in The Cortland Review, Fourteen Hills, Toyon, Paradigm Volume 3: The Best of Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry 2009, Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and Swink. She is currently finishing a novel, A Distant Territory, set in American Samoa, and a collection of short stories set in Las Vegas. Her story "Desert Rats" was performed at Sacramento Stories on Stage in October 2011, "The Slave" will appear in J Journal: New Writing on Justice, and "The Knothole" is appearing in the UK's Litro Magazine's "Ones to Watch." Read an interview with Leah.

Julie Reynolds has been a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard, an Institute for Justice and Journalism Fellow at the University of Southern California and a Frank McCulloch Investigative Reporting Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Reynolds was editor of the Latino literary journalism magazine El Andar from 1998 to 2002, and is currently a staff writer at The Monterey County Herald.  She reported and co-produced the PBS documentary “Nuestra Familia, Our Family,” about gangs in a farm community, which won Investigative Reporters and Editors’ highest honor, the Tom Renner Medal for Crime Reporting, as well as Best Documentary awards from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Chicano Film Festival in Mexico City. She is now writing a literary nonfiction book called The Cause, which explores ten years in the lives of Norteño gang members in California’s idyllic Salinas Valley.