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OUR TEAM

Atmosphere Press is a team of editors, publishers, advisors, designers, developers, publicists, marketers, and avid readers. Here are the good people operating behind the scenes.

Nick Courtright, Founder and CEO

nick courtright

With a PhD in Literature, and as the author of the books The Forgotten World, Let There Be Light, and Punchline, Nick has years of experience as a writer, editor, educator, scholar, and publisher. After serving as Co-Executive Editor for acclaimed literary publisher Gold Wake Press, in 2015 he founded Atmosphere Press as an alternative approach to seeing good books into print. His prose and poetry has appeared in such places as The Harvard Review, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Boston ReviewThe Huffington Post, The Best American Poetry, and SPIN Magazine, among dozens of others. With a Doctorate from the University of Texas, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas State University, and a Bachelor of Specialized Studies in Written Expression degree from Ohio University, Nick has been a professor of English at the University of Texas and St. Edward’s, Southwestern, and Concordia Universities. Learn more about him at nickcourtright.com.

Cameron Finch, Book Publicity Director

Cameron Finch has worked with the editorial and marketing teams of various presses and literary journals, including Dzanc Books, Rizzoli New York, Archipelago Books, Hunger Mountain, and Midwestern Gothic, and she actively works with authors on their novels, memoirs, poetry collections, and children’s books from early developmental editing to getting the final product stocked on bookshelves and in readers’ hands. She holds an MFA in Writing & Publishing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Additionally, she is a cross-genre writer whose prose, poetry, and interviews with authors have appeared in The Adroit Journal, CRAFT, Electric Literature, Entropy, Glass, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Kyle McCord, Acquisitions Director

Kyle is the author of seven books including National Poetry Series Finalist Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016) and X-Rays and Other Landscapes (Trio House Press 2019). He has work featured in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He has received grants or awards from The Academy of American Poets, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency. He received his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. He serves as Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press, and teaches at Drake University in Des Moines.

Ronaldo Alves, Art Director

Ronaldo is a multi-disciplinary Graphic Designer born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and despite this, he’s terrible at soccer. Working with a team of dedicated cover designers whose diverse skillsets enliven Atmosphere’s books, Ronaldo has been creating visual experiences for 15+ years. Passionate about helping a book achieve its potential, not surprisingly, Ronaldo does believe a book can be judged by its cover.

Alex Kale, Managing Editor

As Managing Editor for Atmosphere Press, Alex guides every author from early editorial all the way through to the printed finish line. Alex holds an MFA in Creative Writing Fiction from Texas State University, and a BFA in English Literature from Concordia University Texas. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in Coe ReviewWussy Mag, and Porter House Review, and she is currently at work writing a novel about motherhood. When she isn’t helping authors for Atmosphere Press, she can be found spending time with her son and her partner in Austin, Texas.

Trista Edwards, Acquisitions Manager

Trista Edwards holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas as well as an M.A. and B.A. from the University of West GeorgiaHer first book of poems, Spectral Evidence, is forthcoming from April Gloaming Press. She is also the curator and editor of the anthology, Till The Tide: An Anthology of Mermaid Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2015) and has served as an associate editor at Luna Luna Magazine. You can read her poems at 32 Poems, Quail Bell Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, The Adroit Journal, The Boiler, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Bad Pony, Occulum, and more. 

Erin Larson-Burnett, Production Manager

Erin is a round-the-clock literary lover working as a publishing and marketing assistant for a test prep book publisher. She graduated with a degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, where she helped reincarnate and run the school paper. She hopes to one day transition to full-time editing and proofreading, and maybe even publish a book (fantasy, of course) of her own. In the meantime, Erin is an avid Bookstagrammer with a penchant for hoarding and consuming books at a borderline alarming rate, can often be found with a coffee in hand, and tends to a small zoo of pets with her husband in Cypress, Texas.

Cassandra Felten, Production Manager

Cassandra graduated from Indiana University with a Literature BA in December 2020. She has experience with many presses in all aspects of publishing, including acquisitions, editing, copyediting, and design. She also loves to write poetry and fiction and has short stories published in Analecta, Brainchild, and PAN-O-PLY.

Lisa Mottolo, Project Manager

Lisa is a life-long writer with experience in editing poetry collections and lyrical prose, and now she helps Atmosphere operations run smoothly. After years working in insurance and for a Fortune 500 company, she’s glad to be back in the art world. She studied copyediting at UC San Diego, and her writing has been published in Barren Magazine and Coffin Bell Journal. Lisa is from upstate New York and currently lives in Austin, Texas. She loves birds and has four adopted parrots at home.

Dakota Reed, Children’s Book Editor

Dakota Reed holds an MFA in Poetry from the College of Charleston, where she was a Woodfin Fellow, and earned her BA in English from the University of Georgia. She’s worked as senior editorial assistant for Crazyhorse as well as editorial intern for The Georgia Review. Her work has been published by Blood Orange Review and is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review. She has also been awarded the Nancy Walton Pringle Memorial Prize by the Poetry Society of South Carolina and received honorable mention in AWP’s 2020 Intro Journals Prize.

Kevin Stone, Cover Designer

Kevin is a graphic designer by trade, and an avid consumer of books and knowledge in practice. Finding the right image to convey the nuance and complexity of a book is a challenge that Kevin relishes. Kevin has spent the entirety of his career (outside of one year at Tower Records) as a visual artist. Besides book covers, he’s designed logos and campaigns, posters, and even illustrated and published a comic book series. When he’s not designing and illustrating, Kevin travels, reads, and (sometimes) writes.

Evan Courtright, Digital Director

Evan handles the digital presence for Atmosphere books, making sure every Atmosphere book is represented well both on the Atmosphere site, and also on the individual websites he builds for Atmosphere authors. With a degree from Kent State University, Evan also navigates the increasingly important terrain that is ebooks and audiobooks, ensuring that Atmosphere authors books are enjoyed not just on paper, but elsewhere.

Colleen Alles, Developmental Editor

Colleen is an award-winning writer living in Michigan. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of places, including Red Cedar Review, The Michigan Poet, The Write Michigan Anthology, Peninsula Poets, and others. Two chapbooks of her poetry have been published by Finishing Line Press, and her most recent chapbook, So What to Say to a Bird, was selected as the State of Michigan winner in the 2020 Celery City Chapbook Contest. She holds a B.A. in English with an Option in Creative Writing from Michigan State University, and a Master’s degree from Wayne State University. She is a contributing editor for short fiction at Barren Magazine. A former teacher and part-time librarian, Colleen wrangles her young kids and her hound dog Charlie when she isn’t writing. She loves good beer, the Oxford comma, distance running, and her family.

Dan Gutstein, Developmental Editor

Dan is the author of four books — non/fictionBloodcoal & Honey, Buildings Without Murders, and Metacarpalism (forthcoming) — as well as poems and stories that have appeared in more than 100 publications, including PloughsharesPrairie SchoonerBest American PoetryThe Penguin Book of the SonnetPANKFICTION, and The Iowa Review. He has taught creative writing at George Washington University and the Corcoran College of Art & Design, among other schools, and has received grants and awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among other organizations. He holds an MFA degree from the University of Michigan. In other creative activities, he is vocalist for punk band Joy on Fire, who have been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered, and co-director of the forthcoming documentary project Li’l Liza Jane: The Story of America Through the History of a Song. For more information, please visit www.dangutstein.com

Shelley Lee, Acquisitions Editor

Shelley is a small-town girl who has done big-town things. From spending many months on an aircraft carrier working directly with F18s on the flight deck to jumping out of a plane to driving a race car, she’s done some crazy stuff! All these life adventures have lead to the creation of six novels with two more in the works. Shelley has studied creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and when not working or reading, Shelley enjoys traveling with her husband and kids, finding life’s next big adventure, and, of course, writing about it all.

Hayla Alawi, Book Publicity Manager

Hayla assists authors in the post-publication process by crafting tailored outreach and marketing plans. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, where she studied creative writing and Asian studies. Her writing spans both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has appeared in The Susquehanna Review, The RC Review, and Xylem. Hayla’s hopelessly addicted to fantasy novels, black tea, and video game music soundtracks.

Claire Denson, Book Publicity Manager

Claire holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She reads poetry for The Adroit Journal and has interned for Foundry Literary + Media and The Greensboro Review. Her work can be found in Massachusetts ReviewSalt HillBoothHobart, and other such journals. She lives in the NYC metro area.

Pasquale di Falco, Acquisitions Editor

Before joining our team as an Acquisitions Editor, Pasquale was one of our authors. A lifelong reader and writer, his career began in politics and law. Then he saw the light. Soon after passing the bar exam, he left his native Chicago and embarked upon a spiritual pilgrimage across the American West. During that time, he wrote the first installment of the award-winning Duskborn Radiance series. Now, he is more yogi and mountain man than anything else, with a distinctive Italian flavor. He loves plants and animals, and he thoroughly enjoys both cooking and gardening, yet being a dad is his absolute favorite.

Albert Liau, Developmental Editor

Albert Liau enjoys working on literary projects across various genres and is particularly keen to bring his scientific training at MIT and UC Berkeley to speculative fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. With literary sensibilities honed through workshops led by Joe Haldeman, Anita Desai, Steve Almond and Laura van den Berg, Albert engages in editorial work with critical perspectives as well as empathetic concern. Albert is a contributing editor at CRAFT Literary where he provides feedback on submissions and co-authors the column “The Art of the Opening,” an ongoing series that examines how the beginnings of stories achieve their effects.

Bryce Wilson, Developmental Editor

Bryce has worked as a professional writer for fifteen years. He was a film columnist and feature writer for The San Luis Obispo New Times, and his work has also been featured in magazines and websites such as Paracinema, ScreenRant, Cinema Blend, Arts Decades Magazine, and inReads. His fiction has been published in anthologies such as Texas Horror Vol. 2 & 3, This Book Is Cursed, The Edge: Darkness, Switchblade Magazine, and Smoke & Flame.

BE Allatt, Developmental Editor

BE Allatt is an award-winning scholar of the fantastic genres and is a published academic and flash fiction author. BE holds a BA with highest honors in English literature and political science, as well as an MA-Lit with a concentration in science fiction studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. They have worked as a freelance editor for many years, assisting first-time, self-published, and NYT-bestselling authors alike. In their freetime, BE enjoys travelling the world and being silly with their nieces and nephews, while also being an avid reader, gamer, and occasional performance artist. Most importantly, at least as far as the cat is concerned, BE is a dedicated slave to a bossy tuxedo cat named Eimear.

Tammy Letherer, Developmental Editor

Tammy is a Chicago author, writing coach, and developmental editor with a long and varied professional writing career. After earning a degree in journalism from Indiana University, she began as a copywriter, marketing things like Big Macs, dog food, and Jim Beam whiskey, before trading taglines for full-length manuscripts. Her latest book, The Buddha at My Table, is an award-winning memoir that was named the 2019 Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association. Her work can also be found on Huffington Post, Grok Nation, She Does the City, Eden Magazine, Brazen Women, and more. She is currently writing her second novel. Please visit her at TammyLetherer.com.

Chandler Kidd, Social Media Manager

Chandler Kidd is a Brooklyn-based journalist. Growing up in Oklahoma, she entertained herself by always having a stack of books with her. Her love for books led her to become a journalist. Chandler went to college at The University of Oklahoma and moved to New York City to obtain her graduate degree from The Columbia Journalism School. After finishing her degree, Chandler stayed in NYC and became a reporter at a local paper. Currently, Chandler is working as a reporter covering misinformation. She also enjoys covering the Brooklyn culture and electronic music scene. When not writing or reporting, she can be found DJing or going to concerts.

Sam O’Neil, Acquisitions Editor

Sam O’Neil is a writer and editor from Garland, TX. He fell in love with reading at an early age and soon began to write. His first books were written on primary paper and staple-bound between sheets of construction paper. He’s currently the Managing Editor for The Sunday School Store and owner of OneWheelOneil Writing and Editing. He lives in Plano, TX with his wife, two sons, and dog. You can learn more about him at onewheeloneil.com/about. 

Matthew Fielder, Cover Designer

Matthew is a graphic designer, illustrator, reader, and a cinephile. Given the number of unfinished, but beautifully bound books on his shelf, he understands the captivating power of a strong book cover design. Besides his work for Atmosphere Press, he has also created posters and other marketing materials for the Star Wars documentary, The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey, which he also produced. If he’s not at his computer making art, he’s probably outside riding his bike and enjoying the Texas Hill Country.

Robin Speer, Acquisitions Editor

Robin Speer is a writer and editor from Saskatchewan, Canada. As a lifelong lover of literature and creative writing, his first work of fiction, Saint Lazarus Day and other stories, was published by Atmosphere Press in 2020. Outside of the literary world, Robin is a public policy and communications professional with more than twenty years of experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors across Canada. For more than a decade, Robin has been actively involved in numerous volunteer capacities to help improve outcomes for those touched by cancer, receiving the Local Hero Award for 2019 for contribution and dedication to Prostate Cancer Canada.  Robin holds a B.A. (Saskatchewan), M.A. (York), and a PGCert. in creative writing (Edinburgh). 

Marie Cassell, Acquisitions Editor

Avid reader and quintessential storyteller, Marie brings with her an eclectic background of experiences. Her original career path took several turns. She has been a teacher, university professor, counselor, health and fitness coach, entrepreneur, copywriter and editor. In all career adventures Marie leans in to the creative aspects and is inspired to write a variety of narratives to engage her audiences. She has an Ed.D in Special Education, as well as a MA in Counseling and BA in Health & Fitness. As a copywriter, Marie loves to write content for innovative educational programs that will support schools.  Also an animal lover, she creates materials and writes articles for the Humane Society. She is excited to be part of Atmosphere Press and help authors publish their written works of art.

Asata Radcliffe, Developmental Editor

Asata is a writer and multimedia artist. A California native, Asata received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She writes speculative fiction and essays. Her creative work culminates as multimedia collections of speculative art installation, merging writing, film, and form. Her work invites one to experience the interstitial spaces of speculative landscapes and surrealist futures. Concerned about the planet, her research includes topics of land ethics, futurism, and the nonlinear narratives of human existence.

Megan Turner, Developmental Editor

Megan Turner graduated from the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. She has taught online, overseas, and in college and college prep programs. She also served as a foreign rights coordinator at HarperCollins Publishers in New York. More recently, she worked as a digital editor for a nonprofit in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in WitnessRio Grande ReviewAtticus ReviewFiction International, and others. (photo by Leila Jacue)

Meg Schader, Copy Editor

Meg has a BS in agriculture from Cornell University and an MPS in environmental studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Along with freelancing as a writer and copy editor, she also teaches Kripalu yoga and runs a small farm and bakery with her family in Central New York. She enjoys walking with her dogs, growing and eating good food, and discovering something new through every piece of writing she works on.

Senhor Tocas, Cover Designer

Since his childhood, Senhor’s father taught him that money was only well spent on Books and Travels and that’s probably why he followed that wise advice and became a proud book cover designer and also a digital nomad. Senhor’s professional life outside the Books World was as an art director, having worked for many of multinational advertising agencies. He also has experience and training as a graphic designer and illustrator, and has maintained regular collaboration with American and European house publishers.

Justin Bigos, Acquisitions Editor

Justin Bigos is a founding editor of the literary journal Waxwing, and the author of the story collection Double Clothesline (PANK, 2022), and the poetry collection Mad River (Gold Wake, 2017), which was a finalist for the Emily Dickinson/Poetry Foundation First Book Award. His writing appears in publications such as Ploughshares, Indiana Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Rumpus, The Seattle Review, and The Best American Short Stories 2015. Justin earned his MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and has taught creative writing in the MFA programs at Northern Arizona University and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He currently lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

Travis Schilling, Digital Assistant

With an ever-increasing attention to detail and quality, Travis works on individual websites for Atmosphere authors as well as converting their novels into digital eBooks. He’s dabbled in many roles over the years, from occasionally successful bar trivia patron to extremely amateur ghost hunter. Originally from small-town Michigan, he now spends his time in Portland, Oregon, unwinding by playing video games and seeking out the most unique cuisine the area has to offer.

Sarah van Hoose, Copy Editor

Sarah spent her childhood buried in books – so much so that her mother asked on more than one occasion that she take a break from reading while shopping at the grocery store. Although she never perfected the art of reading and walking, she went on to earn her B.A. in History with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. When she isn’t proofreading with her assistants George the cat and Rupert the dog, she enjoys rock climbing, drinking good cider, and studying other languages. She currently resides in Austin, TX.

Beste M. Doğan, Cover Designer

Beste is a graphic designer who loves to design books. She has been doing it quite a while. She lives in Brooklyn, loves paper, makes up projects, trains WT Kung Fu, and watches birds in Prospect Park.

Josep Lledó Xungarro, Cover Designer

An expert in the skillful redeployment of archival images, Josep has studied Fine Arts and worked in television as a video editor. Over the years he hasn’t lost his penchant for media as a means of telling stories, and this is revealed in his book cover designs. A collaborator in independent film, he also freelances as an illustrator and poster-designer, as well as writing and editing speculative fiction with authors from around the globe.

Erin Stalcup, Developmental Editor

Erin Stalcup is the Editor-in-Chief of Defunct. Born and raised and educated in Flagstaff, on occupied Diné and Hopi land, Erin first left to live in Brooklyn, and has never since changed her (917) cellphone number. Erin has taught in community colleges, universities, liberal arts schools, prisons, state schools, and MFA programs in Manhattan, Asheville, Denton, her alma mater in her hometown, Montpelier, and now she’s back in Brooklyn. She is a co-founder of Waxwing, and served as Editor of Hunger Mountain. Her books include the story collection And Yet It Moves, and the novels Every Living Species and Keen. You can read and hear some of her work at erinstalcup.xyz.