Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck: Contributors

About That Word “Contributors”…

Being a live series by nature and a collaborative process by design, the full list of folks who helped give life to these stories is actually considerably longer than just what is listed here. Every one of these pieces, be they one of the foundations of our first season (Kimberlee Soo, “Cover Girl”) or a gem from our most recent season (JC Aevaliotis, “Hollyweird”), has been shaped not only by the writing talents of our individual tellers, but also by the input of countless directors, musicians, sound designers, curators, producers, and of course the rest of any given evening’s storytelling lineup. The author names you see below are the people who wrote these stories; who lived these stories; who shared these stories.

These are the people who did the hard part.

— AR / MS

About The Authors

Randall Albers chairs the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and is Founding Producer of the Story Week Festival of Writers. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Prairie Schooner, F Magazine, Writing In Education, The Writer, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere.

JC Aevaliotis is a Chicago-based writer and performer who holds a master’s degree in religion and theater from Yale Divinity School. He has performed with various Second City-affiliated ensembles and other live-lit outfits in Chicago, and his writing has been seen in Playboy and heard on Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ.

Bobby Biedrzycki is a writer, performer, and social activist. His writing has appeared in various publications and he has performed his stories at the Steppenwolf Theater, the Goodman Theatre and other venues throughout the United States. Bobby is an adjunct faculty member of the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and the Director of Programming for 2nd Story.

Julia Borcherts is a co-founder of Reading Under the Influence and The Chicago Way literary series, a member of the 2nd Story collective, a fiction writing instructor at Columbia College Chicago, a theater columnist for RedEye and a frequent contributor to Time Out Chicago and the Windy City Times.

CP Chang, a company member of 2nd Story, is a writer and software consultant. He received his M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from Columbia College of Chicago and was formerly an Associate Producer for Elephant Rock Productions. He is blessed to be married to Jessica Young, a teacher, performer, and writer.

Amanda Delheimer Dimond is a teacher, writer, and director, and has been 2nd Story’s Artistic Director since 2007. She is an Artistic Associate of Adventure Stage Chicago, where she also teaches and directs. When she’s not running 2nd Story, Amanda works in the Chicago public schools as a teaching artist.

Molly Each is a Minnesota-born, Chicago-based writer, editor and storyteller. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have been featured in Fresh Yarn, Hair Trigger, Annalemma Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, and on Chicago Public Radio. Check it all out at

Byron Flitsch is a writer living in Los Angeles and writes for MTV, Forbes Travel, and a variety of national publications. His creative nonfiction can be seen in Toasted Cheese, Windy City Queer and more. He also founded The Everyday Gay, a publication about everyday gays doing exceptionally great things. Stalk him properly at

Khanisha Foster is a mixed-race actress, writer, teaching artist, the Associate Artistic Director of 2nd Story, an ensemble member of Teatro Vista, a 2009 TCG Young Leader of Color, and has collaborated with the Citizen’s Theatre in Scotland. She is in the film Chicago Boricua and writing her memoir, HEROIN(E).

Julie Ganey is a Chicago-based writer/actor whose work has been featured on stages around the country, including solo shows developed out of 2nd Story: The Half-Life of Magic and Love Thy Neighbor . . . Till It Hurts. She is especially proud of her work as a teaching artist with students of all ages.

Lott Hill is an activist and teacher and storyteller living in Chicago with his husband and pitbull rescue pup.  He regularly writes and performs with 2nd Story.

Sara Kerastas is the Education Director and an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre in Chicago. In 2010, she received a Windy City Times 30-Under-30 Award for leadership contributions to Chicago’s LGBTQ community. She received her B.A. in English-Drama & Theatre and Women’s Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Lawrence Kerns, M.D., is a writer and child psychiatrist who set out one summer to build a replica of Thoreau’s cabin . . . with his four teenage kids . . . in his own backyard. “Foundationalysis” is an excerpt from his longer story “Cabinalysis,” currently being adapted as a stage play.

Deb R. Lewiswork appears in the anthology Windy City Queer, plus many journals including The Everyday Gay, Criminal Class Review, IsGreaterThan, Gertrude, Velvet Mafia, and Blithe House Quarterly. Her unpublished novel, Hades Son, was a Project Queer Lit’s Top-Three Finalist. She’s won Windy City Times’ Pride Literary Supplement Prose Prize.

Eric Charles May is an associate professor in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and a former reporter for The Washington Post. His fiction has appeared in Fish Stories and F magazine. In addition to Post reporting, his nonfiction has appeared in Sport Literate and the Chicago Tribune.

Patricia Ann McNair is the author of The Temple of Air, a Society of Midland Authors Best Book Finalist awardee. She’s received Illinois Arts Council Awards in Fiction and Nonfiction, and was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation US Professor of the Year. McNair teaches in Columbia College’s Fiction Writing Department.

Originally from Kent, Ohio, Matt Miller is a Chicago-based stage director, teacher, and long-suffering Indians fan. His stories have been heard at The Moth (Story Slam Winner, February 2010), Essay Fiesta, Write Club, and 2nd Story, where he is an emeritus company member. Stalk him appropriately at

Kim Morris is a writer, performer, storyteller, and editor. Check out Power Love for more.

J. Adams Oaks is the author of the Booklist-starred novel Why I Fight (Simon and Schuster), a Junior Library Guild Selection included in ALA Best Books For Young Adults. His short work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies and has been featured on WBEZ Public Radio. Check it:

Kimberlee Soo is published by INTHEFRAY, 2D Magazine, and Cell Stories. She has read for Featherproof, MCA’s Literary Gangs of Chicago and Los Angeles’ Mixed Roots Festival. Her acting credits include the Midwest premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child for Silk Road Rising and projects with Goodman, Steppenwolf, About Face, and The Hypocrites.

Ric Walker is an actor, writer, director, improviser and coach. He has performed in numerous plays, films and countless improv shows. He has been a performer with companies such as 2nd Story, ComedySportz, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and The Second City. He is engaged in a struggle to find a truly delicious gluten-free pizza.

Sam Weller’s books include The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury and Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews. Weller is also the co-editor of Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, and an Associate Professor in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago.

About The Editors

Andrew Reilly is 2nd Story’s Director of Publishing. His journalism, essays, photography, and fiction have appeared in a number of fine publications including ALARM, The A.V. Club, and Norman Einstein’s Sports & Rocket Science Quarterly, among others. Visit him online at, or in person in Chicago.

Megan Stielstra is the author of Everyone Remain Calm, a story collection, and the Literary Director for 2nd Story. Her writing appears in Other Voices, Pank, Fresh Yarn, Pindeldyboz, Swink, and The Nervous Breakdown, among others. She teaches creative writing and performance at Columbia College and The University of Chicago.

About The Production Team

Daniel Prazer got his MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2009. His writing has appeared in Fictionary, Hair Trigger 30, Reservoir, Flashquake, New City, Hypertext Magazine, Knee-Jerk Magazine and the anthology Open To Interpretation. He is a freelance editor and Production Manager for Fisheye Graphic Services.

About The Publisher

Jotham Burrello is an arts entrepreneur—writer, video/radio producer, New Yorker caption winner, adjunct professor, and publisher of Elephant Rock Books. He’s also a member of the resident faculty at the Yale Writing Conference. In 2010 he moved his businesses (along with his wife and three boisterous boys) to lovely Ashford, Connecticut to launch another project, Muddy Feet Flower Farm. Always blooming.