Contributor Bios

Below you’ll find biographies of all contributors and information about their stories or illustrations, in alphabetical order by last name.

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright and performer originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Her most recent play, Men On Boats, was a NYT Critics’ Pick for its Clubbed Thumb Summerworks production and was selected for The Kilroys’ 2015 List. She is the Resident Playwright for TRE and a co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper. Recent credits: the Bull’s Hollow Trilogy (commissioned by Ars Nova), You On The Moors Now, and Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play (both for TRE). Recipient of the Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman Commission for Emerging Playwrights from Playwrights Horizons. Member, 2014-2015 Civilians R&D Group. BFA, NYU. You can listen to Jaclyn’s retelling of “The Story of the Third Mendicant” in Night Sixteen.

Chad W. Beckerman is an award-winning designer and creative director at ABRAMS, where he oversees the design of picture books, novels and graphic novels under the Abrams Appleseed, Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books, and Abrams ComicArts imprints. He is the designer behind such successful children series as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Origami Yoda, NERDS, Frank Einstein and The Terrible Two. You can learn more about Chad on his website. Chad is a contributing illustrator, you can check out his amazing illustration of The Story of the Trader and the Jinn.

Colby Day tells stories about people, robots, and monsters dealing with feelings bigger and older than we can ever understand. He is a playwright and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. His films have screened at festivals around the world, and his plays have been developed here in New York by companies like Pipeline Theatre Company, The Tank, and Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Follow Colby on twitter (@colbyday), find him on Facebook, and read all his work at You can listen to his story “The Story of the Envious Wezir and the Prince and the Ghuleh” in Night Seven.

Marisa Dobson is a storyteller, bibliophile, and voracious collector of new experiences. She’s the founder and principal of Scintillate, LLC, a communications consultancy with clients in Atlanta, Baltimore, New York City, and Boston. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram @marisa_dobson where she posts about travel, food, pop culture and her calico cat, Amber. You can listen to her story “The Story of the Porter and the Ladies of Baghdad” starting in Night Eleven.

Morgan Dubin is co-creator and producer of the 1001 Nights Podcast. She works in children’s book publishing and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She loves to cook, dance, and explore the far corners of New York City. She’s amazing at Connect 4. You can hear Morgan featured on the Introductory episode of the podcast.

Lori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015, Spring 2016). You can visit her at You can listen to her retelling of “The Second Mendicant” in Night Thirteen and Fourteen.

Sheila Grau is a writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and four children. Her first book, Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, was just released in March 2015 by Amulet Books. It’s a witty, inventive new middle grade mystery series loaded with adventure, friendship, and carnivorous cockroaches. You can follow her @SheilaGrau on Twitter. You can listen to her story “The Tale of the Husband and the Parrot” in Night Six.

Andrew Gretes is the author of How to Dispose of Dead Elephants, a novel which explores epilepsy through fables. His short fiction has been published in various literary journals, including Witness and Fiction Fix. Currently, he is a doctoral student in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Learn more about Andrew at You can listen to his story “The King and the Sage Duban” in Night Five.

Nathan Kane is the co-producer and editor of The 1001 Nights Podcast. He also runs a small tutoring company, regularly practices the Japanese martial art aikido, and is working on his first novel. Nathan is a lover of great stories and he dreams them up daily. The podcast is full of Nathan’s creative influences but you can here one of Nathan’s stories starting in Night One.

David Kane is a writer and communications coach helping people, organizations, and businesses achieve their vision of success. He is also a teller of stories and a lover of stories. You can learn more about David and his company at You can listen to David’s interpretation of “The Second Old Man and the Two Grey Dogs” in the Chapter One episode. 

Meagan Kensil is a comedian, writer, and actor living in New York City. She writes satire for Reductress and I Scream News Cream, sketch comedy for Lady Products, and is one half of the webseries, Roomsies. She’s currently working on her first novella, a comedic spin on erotica for the average broke girl. Follow @Meagan_Pencil on twitter or go to to keep up with all the giggles. You can listen to Meagan’s interpretation of “The Envier and the Envied” in Night Fifteen. 

Claire Kiechel is an author of plays, stories, and weird feelings. She is currently working on her play Pilgrims about space colonists and her devised piece Lulu is Hungry, a feminist adaptation of Wedekind’s Pandora’s Box. You can keep abreast of her work at You can listen to her story “The Story of the Second of the Three Ladies of Baghdad” in Nights Nineteen and Twenty.

Tim Lehey is a writer and musician living in New York City. You can listen to his story “The Third Old Man and the Mule” starting in Night Three.

Maggie Lehrman is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. The Chicago Tribune called her novel, The Cost of All Things, “a cleverly layered debut.” She grew up outside of Chicago and went on to get a degree in English at Harvard. During her decade of working as an editor of books for children, she also earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Visit her online at maggielehrman.comor on twitter @maggielehrman. You can listen to her version of “The Story of the Mistress of the House” beginning in Night Seventeen.

Mircea Lupu is a writer and law student living in New York City. You can listen to his story “The Second Old Man and the Two Grey Dogs” starting in Night Two.

Rachel Music is a playwright and musician living in Brooklyn. Her work has premiered at La Mama, The Kraine Theatre, The Stella Adler Studio, and The Red Room Lounge. Through Pipeline Theatre Company’s Playlab fellowship, she is developing a show about Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s sessions with The Joker at Arkham Asylum. She is also the lyricist and lead vocalist of Oh! Mega!, a rock quintet recording an EP this spring. You can listen to her retelling of “The Ensorcelled Prince” in Night Ten.

Jason R. Poole is a writer, artist, and lover of all things strange. He will soon be heading to Lawrence, Kansas where he will join the MFA program at KU. He is currently at work on a collection of short fiction, stories from which have appeared in A cappella Zoo and The Fourth River.  Learn more about Jason on his You can listen to his retelling of “The First Mendicant” in Night Twelve. 

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