2018 Conference Contest Judges


Robbie Ciara received both his B.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He is a long-time fixture on the spoken word scene in Hampton Roads as both poet and host. He also serves as Poetry Editor for Barely South Review and host of Old Dominionís annual Poetry Slam. You can also find Robbie acting in and producing independent film and television projects for Motion Arts Media. His long awaited poetry collection The News Reel is set to be released in Fall of 2018.


Alissia J.R. Lingaur, professor of creative writing at Northwestern Michigan College, is the author of the novel, The Trainstop, available on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Her stories and poems have appeared in The Villa, the Crab Orchard Review, The Offbeat, and the NMC Magazine, for which she is the literary adviser.

Alissia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Writing with an English minor from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and her Master of Fine Arts in fiction from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She has taught at the university and community college levels for over ten years, and she specializes in creative writing, English and writing tutoring, resume and cover letter building, grammar skill developing, and proofreading. Additionally, she has taught English to nonnative speakers, as well as academic literacy skills for traditional and nontraditional college students. And as a mom to three children, she understands the need for a positive educational experience. Above all, she loves working with people of various backgrounds and abilities, helping them reach their learning goals, and celebrating their success.Along with teaching writing and advising, Alissia lives in northern Michigan with her husband, children, an aging cocker spaniel, three chickens, and a hamster.


Dr. George H. Jensen is a Professor with the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, where he teaches courses in rhetorical theory and creative nonfiction. He received his PhD from University of South Carolina in 1977. His books include Personality and the Teaching of Composition (with John K. DiTiberio, 1989), Storytelling in Alcoholics Anonymous: A Rhetorical Analysis (2000), and Identities Across Texts (2002). In addition to these scholarly books, he has written Some of the Words Are Theirs: A Memoir of an Alcoholic Family, which was published with Moon City Press in 2009. He is currently publishing a series of essays on The Federalist Papers on Democratic Vistas, his blog and Homo Academicus, a serial novel about self-absorbed professors.

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