Staff List and Bios

Last updated: February 12, 2020

Management Team

Dr. Mary Anne Mohanraj, Director
Karen Murphy, Managing Director

Grants and Awards

L.D. Lewis, Grants Administrator
Noemi Martinez, Grants Administrator Assistant
Darius Vinesar, Grants Administrator Assistant

Grants Advisory Board

Malon Edwards


Carly Grant, Development Coordinator
Chris Bauer, Reading Series Coordinator


Cara Bogehegn, Financial Director


Ellen B. Wright, Social Media Coordinator 
Irene Bruce, Publicist


Gregory B. Banks
Kaolin Fire
Jeremiah John


Ajapa Sharma, Arts Administrator Intern
Emmanuel Henderson

Chicago SLF Chapter

Chris Bauer, Reading Series Coordinator and Chicago SLF Chapter Chairperson
Dain Broadbent, Chicago SLF Chapter Chairperson
Jeremiah John, Chicago SLF Chapter Chairperson

SF Bay Area SLF Chapter

Rebecca Gomez Farrell, SF Bay Area SLF Chapter President 
Jasmine Wade, SF Bay Area SLF Chapter Secretary
Audrey Williams, SF Bay Area SLF Chapter Treasurer



Gregory Banks

Gregory Banks has worked as moderator for Zoetrope All-Story Writers Workshop, as site administrator for Scrawl: The Writer’s Asylum, and as webmaster for WRITER and MARKET Literary Search Engine. He’s now co-Webmaster for the Speculative Literature Foundation. His recent publishing credits include The Rose & Thorn, Story House,, Creative Brother’s Sci-Fi Magazine, and The Writers Post Journal.His first collection, Crossroads and Other Tales, is available from bookstores worldwide or from:

Chris Bauer

Chris Bauer


Chris Bauer is the author of numerous short stories. His work has appeared in anthologies such as Damnation and Dames, Dead Seas, Sunny With A Chance of Zombies and Abandoned Places. He is a graduate of Viable Paradise and Taos Toolbox and lives in the north suburbs.



Cara Bogehegn

Cara Bogehegn is an all-around awesome lady who handles the finances of the SLF.

Dain Broadbent

Dain Broadbent


Dain Broadbent is a queer writer, community organizer and activist, humanities scholar, and proud cat parent. They are a Chicago transplant from the East Coast and an avid supporter of the arts in Chicagoland. You can find some of their poetry published in peculiar’s fifth issue..



Irene Bruce

Irene Bruce resides in Brooklyn and has been immersed in science fiction and fantasy her whole life. In college, she interned for Analog and Asimov’s. After college, she worked briefly in science publishing and currently serves as the Project Coordinator for the RCHN Community Health Foundation. In her spare time Irene enjoys reading, writing, and trivia nights!  

Malon Edwards

malonMalon Edwards has been writing short stories since he was eight years old. His first story was about two astronauts who take a rocket ship to the Moon, where one decides to stay, all alone.

These days, his stories—sometimes steampunk and urban fantasy, other times horror and cyberpunk—are often set in an alternate or near-future Chicago and feature people of color. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Malon now lives in the Toronto area with his wife and their two children. He has volunteered for the Speculative Literature Foundation since 2008.

Kaolin Fire

Kaolin Fire is the founder of Poemranker, co-founder of NFG, long-term guru and moderator of imaginaries (formerly The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Co-operative), and co-webmaster for the SLF. He enjoys creation with pixels, words, oil paints, and generally any other sort of thing he can get his hands on or wrap his mind around. His favorite topics in fiction (and in life) are consciousness, dreams, social networking, artificial intelligence, and software development. You can sample his existence at, see some of his comic thoughts, or help yourself to some of his tools, like writer’s planner.

Carly Grant

Carly Grant

Carly Grant is a non-practicing attorney with experience in federal litigation (discrimination, civil rights, federal law), and high stakes commercial disputes. She’s also an event planner and fundraiser who flexes those skills for the SLF.  Carly is also a full-time artist who largely paints acrylic on canvas.



Emmanuel Henderson

Emmanuel Henderson


Emmanuel is a junior English Major at UIC and writer, with a mild obsession with anything fae related.




Cara Bogehegn

Cara Bogehegn is an all-around awesome lady who handles the finances of the SLF.

Jeremiah John

Jeremiah John


Jeremiah John is a writer, activist, poet, and coder; he’s the author of the yet-unsigned novel Thinspace. He has written nonfiction for such outlets as Huffpo, Geez, and Nuvo, started a program at a nonprofit to organize communities around their own mutual aid, and served six months in federal prison for his nonviolent act of civil disobedience to close the notorious School of the Americas.


L.D. Lewis

L. D. Lewis

L.D. Lewis is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor, and serves as a founding creator, Art Director, and Project Manager for the World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated FIYAH Literary Magazine. She is the author of A Ruin of Shadows (Dancing Star Press, 2018) and her published short fiction includes appearances in FIYAH, PodCastle, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, and Fireside Magazine, among others. She lives in Georgia with her coffee habit and an impressive Funko Pop! collection. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter @ellethevillain and/or support her Patreon. 

Noemi Martinez

Noemi Martinez

Noemi Martinez is a 1st gen boricua/chicana queer femme crip poet-curanderx writer, mixed media artist and cultural worker living in the militarized borderlands of the Rio Grande Valley. Some of her work has been featured in Doubleback Review, Resistance and Hope: Essays by Disabled People, Rest for Resistance, Bitch, The Deaf Poets Society, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and Stirring: A Literary Collection. They are the assistant managing editor at Raising Mothers and send tweets into the abyss at @hermanaresist.


Mary Anne Mohanraj

mefeb2016_tish-1Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and ten other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change is a Lambda and Rainbow Award-finalist science fiction novella. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica and Wet (two anthologies edited for Random House), Kathryn in the City and The Classics Professor (two erotic choose-your-own-adventure novels, Penguin), The Best of Strange Horizons, Without a Map, (Aqueduct Press, a collection co-authored with Nnedi Okorafor), The Poet’s Journey (picture book), and A Taste of Serendib (a Sri Lankan cookbook).

Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons, and serves as editor-in-chief of Jaggery, a South Asian literary journal ( She received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon and Maneki Neko Con. She serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit ( and the Speculative Literature Foundation (, and directs the Kriti Festival of South Asian arts and literature (

Mohanraj has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mohanraj lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her husband, their two small children, and a sweet dog.

Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy is an Indiana native, who landed in Chicago, then put her roots down in Oak Park.  She has spent the last 13 years raising two awesome kids, who share her love of travel, art, and food.  A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, with a background is in art and design, she works primarily in the non-profit sector with several organizations.

Ajapa Sharma

Ajapa Sharma began her Arts Administrator Internship in November 2018.

Ellen B. Wright



Ellen B. Wright is a book publicist specializing in science fiction and fantasy. She is currently Senior Publicist at Orbit, where her authors include Hugo, Nebula, Edgar, and Philip K. Dick Award winners; World Fantasy and James Tiptree, Jr. Award finalists; and New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. With Faye Bi, she helped fund the first three years of the Diverse Worlds/Writers Grants.



Joining Our Volunteer Staff

If you’re interested in being a volunteer, please send an e-mail to Karen Murphy at, subject line: VOLUNTEER.  If you are interested in serving on our academic advisory board, please also include an indication as to your college/university affiliation. Thank you for your interest!

For more information visit our FAQ section