According to the Chicago Tribune, “Jay Bonansinga has quickly and firmly established himself as one [today's] most imaginative writers of thrillers." His 2004 non-fiction debut The Sinking of the Eastland was a Chicago Reader “Critic's Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. His debut novel The Black Mariah was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as The Writer, Amazing Stories, Grue, Flesh & Blood, Outre, and Cemetary Dance.

Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film "City of Men" was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his Chicago-shot feature-film debut, Stash, won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals. Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (The Unit).

The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University.

Presenter: 2013