1897655_10200734207516284_816446305_nMelanie Nichole Figueroa
Editor-in-Chief | Anaheim, California

Melanie studied English rhetoric and composition and technical writing at California State University, Long Beach, and earned a MS in writing and book publishing from Portland State University. During her second year at PSU, she was a project manager at Ooligan Press, the program’s student-run publishing house, overseeing the press’s annual publishing conference, Write to Publish. Her final graduate paper, Blogs and Book Promotion: Measuring Success, can be found here.

Upon graduation, Melanie spent a year working for the Southern California educational art and children’s publishing house, Walter Foster Jr., as an editorial project manager, working on books covering a little bit of it all—everything from cardboard crafts to literary dinosaurs and more. Now Melanie is a full-time freelancer offering editorial and marketing services. For more information, please visit melnichole.com.

Melanie’s poems have been published in Pathos Literary Magazine and the Pomona Valley Review. In November 2016, Melanie will be reading some of her published poetry on a panel titled, “Poetry in (Digital) Process: A Poetry Reading and Publishing Discussion with Pomona Valley Review,” at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference in Pasadena, along with her co-editor, Amanda. Melanie will be the one pretending to know what the hell she’s talking about (and since Melanie is the one typing this, that’s okay to say), but here on this blog, she gets to admit that she, in fact, is just like you—struggling and sometimes succeeding at living a “creative” life.

You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells.

1908256_10203436821587427_73818686_n (1)Amanda Lyn Riggle
Managing Editor | Pomona, California

Amanda graduated from Cal Poly Pomona as an English education major with a minor in political science and is currently enrolled in the MA program with an emphasis in literature. In her first quarter at Cal Poly, she was awarded the Lillian Wilds Shakespeare Scholarship for demonstrating her enthusiasm for Shakespeare. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, she traveled to China and Taiwan to teach English pronunciation. She has also been awarded second place in the 2014 Ted Pugh Poetry Scholarship. In addition to winning awards, Amanda has presented research twice at La Verne University as well as at UC Berkeley. In November of 2016, Melanie and Amanda will be presenting their published poetry on an editorial panel at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference in Pasadena.

Her first real job at the tender age of nineteen was as the music director of a free alternative music magazine which included writing CD reviews, show reviews, doing band interviews, and doing live photography. She currently writes poetry and short fiction. She has also had three poems published in the Pomona Valley Review, 7th and 8th editions. In the future, she hopes to be a professor that engages and inspires her students, much as she wishes to engage and inspire writers within this blog.

When she is not writing, studying, or researching, she is working on campus as an Advisor for the McNair Scholars Program, and as the Special Events Coordinator for The Office of Undergraduate Research. She is also a former McNair scholar, the president of Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honors Society) Rio XI chapter, and co-creator and editor of this blog. Outside of work and school, she enjoys volunteering with the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, going to The Socialist Party USA L.A. Local meetings, going to concerts of the punk persuasion, getting tattoos, being vegetarian while trying to go vegan, and writing biographies (because she kicks ass at them).

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research and CV on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.