Melissa Duclos is the author of the novel Besotted (7.13 Books, 2019). Her nonfiction has appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, and The Offing, among other venues, and in the anthology Two-Way Street: Feminists Reclaim Mentorship (SUNY Press, 2022). She has studied nonfiction at Tin House and received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Guston Fellowship.
Passionate about supporting emerging writers, Melissa worked with first time novelists as a writing coach from 2010 to 2017 and has been a volunteer for Write Around Portland since 2012. She ran a mentoring program in 2015 and 2016 that served 98 established, emerging, and student writers. In 2019, she co-facilitated a writing retreat for women and non-binary writers focused on pitching and submitting books, which offered a full fellowship to a writer of color.
Melissa is a senior marketing manager at Corwin Press, where she supports authors writing about equity and diversity in the field of education to reach their audience. Prior to joining Corwin, Melissa was the senior development officer at Children’s Institute, an organization working to increase access to programs and services for young children in Oregon. She is on the Board of Directors of the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, an organization that provides emergency financial assistance to musicians experiencing medical crises.
Elisa Saphier has loved books and being around books (and talking about books and holding books, and and and) since she was a little girl, home sick from school, and her mother gave her a Nancy Drew book to keep her occupied. Her first job was in a library and she always knew she would eventually open a bookstore. In 2012, after her wife decreed that no more bookshelves were allowed in their house, she was pushed to finally realize her dream, and opened Another Read Through — a new and used bookstore — in North Portland.
Soon after opening the shop, she was struck by the sheer volume of local writing talent in Oregon, but also by how little support there was for emerging authors. She turned her store into a place for local authors to launch their careers. Over the eight years that Another Read Through was a brick and mortar shop, the store became known for its robust and constantly growing local author section and for its weekly local author events.
Elisa also cares deeply about diversity in publishing, and as a literary agent with MacGregor & Luedeke she seeks primarily to represent and sell the work of marginalized writers. She is constantly reading about upcoming releases and publishing, trying to keep an eye out for books and authors that get less attention — especially the small press books and books by underrepresented authors. She is a member of the DEIJ committee at her son’s school, and is currently working with the teachers, staff, and parents to expand and diversify all of the classroom and main libraries, in order to ensure all students can see themselves in the books on their classroom’s shelves and be exposed to stories different from their own.