Stesha Brandon, Interim Executive Director
Stesha Brandon is a long-time advocate for the literary arts. As Program Director at Town Hall Seattle Stesha developed compelling programs focused on arts and ideas, in partnership with national and community partners. During her long tenure at University Book Store, she oversaw more than 500 events annually, and conceived of, edited and produced 110/110: A Collection Celebrating the One Hundred Tenth Birthday of University Book Store. She has also worked as an acquisitions editor, a reader for a literary agent, and served on numerous committees, including the Bumbershoot Task Force and the Washington State Book Awards jury.
Stesha graduated summa cum laude from the University of Washington with a degree in English Literature. When she's not reading, Stesha keeps chickens, knits and bakes tasty treats.
Board of Directors
Bob Redmond, President
A former writer-in-residence for the Richard Hugo House and past editor of Real Change newspaper, Bob's credits also include creating and producing the guerilla haiku installation SLUG, the theater project Fringe the Puyallup!, the New Orleans-Seattle arts exchange Bilocal, and the visual arts (and conservation) project Flight Path. As an arts presenter, Bob co-founded the Seattle Poetry Festival, curated literary and other arts programs for Bumbershoot (2004-2009), and was Program Director at Town Hall Seattle.
Bob holds a BA from Georgetown University in English Literature, and was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist for Washington State in 1989. He currently runs the small business Urban Bee Company and the non-profit The Common Acre, which works to synthesize arts and agriculture.
Didi Kader, Secretary
Didi Kader is a public relations professional and non-fiction writer in Seattle. Her work has been published in the Seattle Times, Pacific Northwest Magazine, SOUND Magazine, Women’s eNews, and The Windy Citizen. She enjoys reading and writing stories about urban green spaces, environmental issues and cultural relations. You can find her writing about these subjects in northwest Seattle whilst nibbling on the city’s best almond croissant.
Didi holds a master’s degree from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington. She was the Opinion Editor and a columnist at The Daily of the University of Washington. She received the Farhat Ziadeh Distinguished Community Service Award in 2009. Didi is a born and bred Seattleite.
Garth Stein is the author of four novels: A Sudden Light, The Art of Racing in the Rain, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, and Raven Stole the Moon. The Art of Racing in the Rain has sold more than 4 million copies in 35 languages, and spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list. It has inspired a Young Reader edition as well as a children’s picture book adaptation, a stage adaptation by Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle, and is currently in development with Universal Studios for a major motion picture.
Garth is also the author of a full-length play, Brother Jones, which had its premiere in Los Angeles at Theater of Angels in 2005, and was described as “brimming with intensity,” by The Los Angeles Weekly. Brother Jones served as inspiration for Garth’s latest novel, A Sudden Light. Before turning to writing full-time, Garth was a documentary filmmaker, directing, editing, and/or producing several award-winning films, including The Lunch Date, winner of the Academy award for live action short in 1990, and The Last Party, starring Robert Downey, Jr. Garth is co-founder of Seattle7Writers, a non-profit organization dedicated to energizing readers and writers and their communities by providing funding, programming, donations of free books to those in need, and generally inspiring enthusiasm for the written word.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle, Garth’s ancestry is diverse: his mother, a native of Alaska, is of Tlingit Indian and Irish descent; his father, a Brooklyn native, is the child of Jewish emigrants from Austria. After spending his childhood in Seattle and then living in New York City for 18 years, Garth returned to Seattle in 2001, and lives there currently with his family.
Eric Reynolds is the associate publisher of Seattle’s beloved Fantagraphics Books, where he acquires and edits over 20 books a year. A native of Southern California (where he graduated from UC Irvine with a BA in English), Reynolds moved to Seattle in 1993 to become news editor for Fantagraphics’ long-running magazine of comics news and criticism, The Comics Journal, and has remained with the company ever since. A cartoonist, critic, and editor, his writing and drawing has appeared in The Stranger, The New York Times, The New York Press, The Ganzfeld, Juxtapoz, and other publications. He has edited over a hundred books for Fantagraphics, by authors such as Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb, Robert Pollard, Peter Bagge, Crockett Johnson, Walt Kelly, Esther Pearl Watson, Robert Williams, and many others. His projects for Fantagraphics have earned multiple Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz comics awards, as well as Society of Illustrators medals, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize and, most recently, the Los Angeles Times book prize (in the graphic novel category, for Jaime Hernandez’s The Love Bunglers). He has also taught cartooning to local kids in Seattle via 826 Seattle (now The Bureau of Fearless Ideas) and Coyote Central.
Though primarily focused on publishing and editing these days, he still does the occasional art commission, such as his 20-foot-high illustration of runner Steve Prefontaine that graces the Nike company store in Beaverton, OR. In 2000, Reynolds was immortalized as a character on The Simpsons by then writer/producer Dana Gould.
Alix Wilber, Vice President and Treasurer
Alix Wilber is a writer and nonprofit arts professional in Seattle, Washington. Her novel, The Wives’ Tale (W.W. Norton), won the 1992 Governor’s Writing Award. A short story, "Romance Languages," was adapted for theater by Book-It in 1995. In addition, she has co-produced two documentary films (Voices in Wartime, and Beyond Wartime, 2004). In addition to fiction, Alix has published essays, articles and book reviews in publications including The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, and The Seattle Times. She was also lead writer on two Microsoft CD-ROM products (remember those?): Ancient Lands and Dogs (yes, Dogs). She is a former literary editor at Amazon, and was Program Director at Richard Hugo House from 2006 to 2011.
Following graduation from Syracuse University with a B.A. in English, Alix spent four years in the Peace Corps teaching English as a foreign language, first in Morocco and then Senegal. Among her claims to fame is getting deported from fourteen African airports in two days. She received her Masters in Teaching from the School for International Training in 1988. She is currently the Grants and Communications Officer at the University of Washington’s presenting arts organization, the UW World Series. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs.
Born and raised in Skagit Valley, Fleetwood Robbins graduated from the Evergreen State College in 1993. After various sojourns in different parts of the world, he landed in New York City where he began a career in publishing as a publicist for Del Rey Books. He later moved into an editorial role with the Random House Publishing Group before returning to the Northwest to work as a developmental story editor for Wizards of the Coast.
In his current position as an agent with Waxman Leavell Literary Agency, he channels his abiding love of literature into a search for new and exciting literary voices. With Seattle City of Literature, Fleetwood sees an opportunity to establish an enduring force in the city’s development as a creative cultural center.
JC Sevcik holds degrees in writing from Emerson and Goddard College. As a digital journalist, he’s covered US News for the Daily Dot and United Press International and likes to write about social justice, the surveillance state, same-sex marriage, gender equity, the legalization of marijuana, politics, protestors, and the police behaving badly. His work has also appeared in the Stranger. He’s currently finishing his first book, a memoir about his experience in the troubled teen industry.
Colin was born and raised in Wickenburg, Arizona, before moving to Seattle in 2004. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2003 with a Bachelors Degree in Electronic Media and held positions as a Research Assistant for the Arizona State Senate, radio personality in South Bend, Indiana, and janitor in Seattle. He received a Graduate Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington and has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006.
Colin has also worked as an actor, with a co-starring role in the 2014 short film Because We’re Being Spies Right Now.
Colin is currently an educator and is receiving an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell.