The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Picture of Old Main with large yellow moon, blue rays, and sunset sky

Original photograph of Old Main by Deanna Dent / ASU Now. Other original photographs by NASA.

Conference Exhibitors

Celebrating our larger literary community

In addition to regular conference sessions and advanced workshops, the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference hosts a literary fair featuring authors, publishers, and other literary organizations from all over the country to present programs and activities and engage with conference attendees.

Exhibitors for the 2020 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference will be announced in Fall of 2019. 

In the meantime you can meet past exhibitors, view the fair schedule, or learn more about the conference.

Interested in exhibiting? Engage with over 30,000 community members and 300 conference attendees by becoming an exhibitor today! 

Meet Past Conference Exhibitors

Picture of Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Exhibitor Jennifer Spiegel Bell
Jennifer Spiegel is a writer and professor. She is half of Snotty Literati, a book-reviewing gig, with Lara Smith. Love Slave is a NY novel full of acerbic and witty cultural critique and Gen X woe. The Freak Chronicles is a story collection with stories set in the U.S., South Africa, Cuba, China, and Russia. And So We Die, Having First Slept, a second novel, follows an unorthodox marriage involving Sappho, brain injury, and addiction. Currently, Spiegel is working on a memoir, Cancer, I'll Give You One Year: A Non-Informative Guide To Breast Cancer, or Cancer, I'll Give You One Year: How To Get Your Ba-Da-Bing Boobies On The House!

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow 2019 Sarah Leamy
Wanderlust: A Travel Journal, publishes literary explorations of people and place with writers and readers from all over the world.
Wild Dog Press is our sister company, an indie press that published the Best of 2019 and Best of 2020 Anthologies. This micro-press is now actively seeking manuscripts of personal travelogues. http://www
Sarah Leamy is the founder and managing editor of both projects.

Logo for ASU Global Sport Institute

The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines come together to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. We bridge the gap between academic research and real-life implications by translating our findings into meaningful information that is easily understood, and we actively share that knowledge with the audiences who need it.

Picture of a jackalope

Tolsun Books, LLC is a small press based out of Tolleson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. Tolsun Books believes in the cosmic power of strong relationships with authors, artists, partners, and the community. They make daring, energetic books that use separate parts to construct a whole: poetry, short stories, comics poetry, hybrids, photo stories, flash memoir. At Tolsun, the importance of aesthetic and design is paramount: A Tolsun Book will look beautiful on a bookshelf, coffee table, or nightstand. Go ahead, judge our books by their covers!

Picture of a Trapezoid

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years and is the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States. In addition to an annual calendar of special exhibitions, Phoenix Art Museum’s permanent-collection galleries are drawn from more than 19,000 objects of modern and contemporary art, fashion design, and photography, as well as American, Asian, Latin American, and European art.

Logo for Superstition Review

Superstition Review is the online literary magazine produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University. Founded by Patricia Colleen Murphy in 2008, the mission of the journal is to promote contemporary art and literature by providing a free, easy-to-navigate, high quality online publication that features work by established and emerging artists and authors from all over the world. We publish two issues a year with art, fiction, interviews, nonfiction and poetry.

Photograph of Kay Hartford

Kay Hartford writes literary and speculative fiction and mysteries. Her first byline was ‟The Puzzle Cube,” published in 1982 in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. That short story turned out to be a springboard for nonfiction assignments in local magazines and newspapers, which in turn took her to a staff job at a business journal chain and a two-decade newspaper career. Her first novel was published in 1998. After two decades as an editor and writer for regional newspapers, she turned back to writing fiction.

Tahoma Literary Review is an independent literary journal. We publish three issues of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry a year. We pay contributors and support staff, with feedback services available to prose submitters. Issues are available in hard copy and electronically.

Logo for Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at ASU

The Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement serves the Arizona State University community by promoting dialogue, teaching, and research that increases information, understanding, knowledge, and relationships among military, civilian, and academic cultures.

Logo for Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University

Established in 1988 , Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University is a selective four-year residential college offering special honors courses, study abroad, research opportunities, and merit scholarships to academically outstanding undergraduates at all four ASU campuses. In 2015, The New York Times called Barrett “the gold standard” among honors colleges in the nation.

Cover of Write On, Downtown

Founded in 2007, Write On, Downtown (WOD) is the journal of student and community writing produced on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus (DPC). For years, the journal’s mission was simply to showcase the creative and investigative work of students on the DPC.

Logo of Institute of American Indian Arts
For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing, now entering its sixth year, and its successful BFA in Creative Writing, IAIA is continuing its legacy of graduating successful writers who contribute to the body of Native American and world literatures.

Logo for Iron City Magazine
Iron City Magazine is an online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal growth, and pride in their accomplishments. Prisoners are, first and foremost, people. They own stories worthy of telling and sharing.

Logo for The Literary Review
The Literary Review (TLR) publishes the best new fiction, poetry, and prose from a broad community of international writers and translators, both emerging and established, whose commonality is literary quality and urgency of voice and artistic conviction. It is this genuine community of readers, writers, and publishers that distinguishes us.

Picture of Hayley Rose
Hayley Rose is a #1 best-selling, award-winning author, dedicated to bringing fun, educational and inspiring books to children. Hayley has been entertaining and educating children across the country since 2002.

Logo for Read Better Be Better

Read Better Be Better (RBBB) is a nonprofit that helps children improve literacy skills and become better learners. We are the only nonprofit that inspires and equips youth to help solve Arizona’s literacy crisis.

Logo for Hoot n Waddle
Hoot n Waddle is a publishing and digital audio company run by Jared Duran and Janell Hughes. Started in 2016, HnW began as a platform for Phoenix, AZ-based arts and culture podcasts. In March of 2018, the company entered the publishing world.

Logo for Cardboard House Press

Cardboard House Press is a 501c3 nonprofit organization devoted to the creation of spaces and media for cultural, artistic, and literary development through the publication and circulation of writing, art, and contemporary thought from Latin America and Spain and through bilingual events, community projects and workshops. Our work serves as a platform to exchange ideas and highlight meanings that stimulate diverse human connections and social actions. 

Logo for the University of Texas at El Paso

The only one of its kind in the U.S., the MFA at The University of Texas at El Paso offers a fully bilingual (Spanish and English) course of study in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, literary translation and non-fiction. We understand bilingualism not as the requirement that our students speak Spanish and English but rather as the coexistence of both languages in the classroom. Students from Latin America, Spain, and the USA come to our department to develop as writers under the guidance of an award-winning faculty.

Logo for Heard Museum

The Heard Museum is a private non-profit, 501 (c) (3). Founded in 1929 the museum has emphasized the study, presentation, and public programs centered around American Indian art and culture.

Logo for Red Hen Press

Red Hen Press is committed to publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy in our local schools. We seek a community of readers and writers who are actively engaged in the essential human practice known as literature. 

Logo for Book of Kell's Press

Books of Kell's Press is a small, independent fine art publisher that aims to celebrate the interplay of art and science through the book arts.  We also raise funds for organizations that contribute to world literacy by providing food, medicine, and books for children around the world.  We create and distribute fine press limited edition books, original art, and educational materials celebrating our shared humanity and promoting the humanistic view that all living things are related and interdependent.

Historic Photograph of Hayden's Ferry

Founded in 1986, Hayden's Ferry Review is internationally recognized as one of the leading literary journals in the field. Pieces have been featured in prestigious collections like Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Previous contributors include George Saunders, Haruki Murakami, Rita Dove, Joseph Heller, Peggy Shumaker, Raymond Carver, John Updike, TC Boyle, Lydia Davis, and more. 

Logo for Normal Noise

Normal Noise is a semesterly magazine supported by Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Each issue provokes conversation about the complexities of everyday life through essays, creative nonfiction, journalism, poetry, photography and art. Our print publication seeks to examine the role that the arts and humanities play in shaping cultural, social, and political life in Arizona and especially in the ASU community. We hope to cultivate a space of resistance against the shrinkage of intellectual life and critical perspectives within the university.

Logo of Lux


Lux Undergraduate Creative Review encourages the emerging talent of all undergraduate students by providing a creative outlet for their literary and artistic work. The review is produced with the help of Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Lux accepts poetry, fiction, visual art, song lyrics, screenplays, creative non-fiction, music, film, and other modes of expression beyond the bounds of traditional genres. We value originality, individuality, artistry, diversity, and passion.

Photograph of Charissa Lucille

Wasted Ink Zine Distro (WIZD) is a small-press distribution center, storefront, and library located at The Hive that houses local and international zines. WIZD represents over 250 artists and provides a hub for creativity and community impact. WIZD contains an on-site zine library with over 700 titles to read through. WIZD hosts zine and literary events such as zine workshops and the Phoenix Zine Fest.

Photograph of Susan Stolz

Susan Stoltz has had many writing opportunities throughout her varied career including journalism, editing, autobiography, short story, newsletter and magazine publishing, and children's books. Her experience in front of classrooms is extensive, with nationwide tours presenting to over 15,000 K-4th grade students.

Photograph of Howard Gershkowitz

Debut novelist Howard Gershkowitz’s work has appeared in print and online, in such prestigious publications as Michigan State University’s quarterly The Offbeat, and the Arizona Consortium of the Art’s Blue Guitar. Most recently, “Window on the Square” took first place honors in the 2018 Tempe, Arizona, creative writing contest, judged by Arizona State University’s Creative Writing Department.

Photograph of editors of Holum Press

Holum Press is an independent publisher in Phoenix, Arizona organized by a group of anti-capitalists. We believe in the emancipatory potential of art and the imagination, and in that spirit we strive to realize healthier futures without pernicious inequality, discrimination, and objectification. We publish critical essays, fiction, poetry, works of art, and personal reflections that engage us in this struggle against a perverse political economy.

rinky dink press logo

rinky dink press — a Phoenix-based publisher of micropoetry in microzine form — is on a mission to get poetry back in the hands of the people. Each of our single author collections can fit in your pocket, but we never sacrifice craft, and despite the tiny format, we refuse to sacrifice style. In short, we believe in marrying a DIY attitude with skilled poetics and fine-art aesthetics, creating accessible micro-books for $1 each that are unlike anything on the market.

Logo for Palabras: flowering prickly pear cactus coming out of open book

Palabras is Arizona's only bilingual bookstore with a carefully curated selection of titles in Spanish and English that hosts a variety of community events and workshops focused on cultural representation and diversity.

Photograph of Sandra Marinella by Jennifer Bowen

Sandra Marinella, MA and MEd, is an award-winning writing teacher and author. She has taught thousands of workshops and speaks at community venues on the power of story. Her articles have appeared in The English Journal, Seventeen, Well Being Journal, and Psychology Today’s blog. While working with patients and veterans at Mayo Clinic, she wrote The Story You Need to Tell. It has been lauded as a transformational guide to writing our personal stories.

Logo for Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden has a rich history, dating back to 1939 when a group of cactus enthusiasts found beauty in desert plants and wanted to preserve them. The Garden is continuing that work today through education, research, exhibition and conservation not only on location but around the world. Visitors to the Garden can enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran desert, fun events, and educational classes for children and adults.

Photograph of Jessica McCann

Jessica McCann is a published novelist and has worked as a professional freelance writer and editor for magazines, universities, corporations and nonprofits for 30 years. Her creative nonfiction and reporting has appeared in Business Week, The Writer, Phoenix, ASU Research and more than 50 other publications. She also is a frequent speaker/presenter at writers’ conferences and book-related events. Her debut historical novel, All Different Kinds of Free, won the Freedom in Fiction Prize from The Mackinac Center for Public Policy.