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Diamond Braxton

Editor in Chief   /   Prose Editor

Diamond Braxton is a queer, mixed-race Black-Mexican writer and editor pursuing an MFA at Texas State. She is a Best of the Net and Best Microfiction nominee and has work published in The Forge, Stanchion, Alebrijes Review, Rejection Letters, The Acentos Review, Hellebore Press, The Bitchin' Kitsch, and Mixed Mag and is also a Tin House Summer Workshop Alum. She resides in Houston, Texas where she started as the prose editor and was promoted to the Editor in Chief for Defunkt magazine, and she is also a Copy Editor for the Porter House Review. Learn more about her work at

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Keagan Wheat

Managing Editor / Poetry Editor

Keagan began his love of writing as a musician, but as he moved through the UH Creative Writing Department, he became more interested in poetry. His poetry often focuses on transgender identity and how others, especially family, interact with that identity, though his more recent poetry starts thinking through how congenital heart disease impacts his identity. AT UH, he worked on Volumes 20, 21, and 22 of Glass Mountain. He has been published by Z Publishing in Texas’s Best Emerging Poets, the Fall 2018 issue of The Tulane Review, and Shards Issue 4.

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William Whitmire

Grant Writer / Business Dev

William “Will” Whitmire is a queer fiction writer and graduate candidate in Sam Houston State University’s MFA/MA program in Creative Writing, Editing & Publishing/English. Will enjoys writing about queer experience, music, and the obscure moments that never vanish. When he isn’t writing, he’s researching and experiencing the wide range of queer literature, and spending time with his husband and three dogs. Will aspires to be a professor of English and Creative Writing — something he is sure will make him rich one day.


Elizabeth Soto 

Public Relations Manager

Elizabeth Soto is a whole lotta queer and a whole lotta fiesty in a 4'9 package. She is an Editorial Fellow at Texas Review Press and an MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University with a concentration in fiction. Elizabeth currently lives in Huntsville with her partner. 


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Kaunain Khan

Associate Prose Editor

Graduated from University of Houston with a BA in English. Likes to take the days one at a time, and enjoys anything that's written well. Has a love for stickers and food, and is obsessed with books and holy grail skincare products (unfortunately for her wallet). She dabbles in many creative projects and wishes to one day sit down and just write a book. That day is not today, so for now, she is enjoying her time reading creative stories from all over the world.


Lihem Amlack

Prose Reader

Lihem Amlak is a senior at the University of Houston. She is an English Literature major with a minor in Public Relations, set to graduate in December 2022. Her passion for reading is what led her to the field of publishing, which is what she aims to pursue upon graduation. Some fun facts about Lihem are that she was born and raised in Dallas (she loves H-town though), has a book account on Instagram where she posts reviews, and she spent last summer in London visiting family. 

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Raul Martinez

Prose Reader

Raul Martinez is a horror writer and graduate candidate at Sam Houston State University’s MA program in English. Raul enjoys writing about psychological, atmospheric, and Lovecraftian horror. Besides writing, he enjoys conducting research over literary theory particularly marxist, race, and queer theory. Raul’s big goal is to teach literature at community college, while also working for a horror magazine.


Isabelle Sitchon

Prose Reader

Isabelle Sitchon is an undergraduate at the University of Houston, studying for her B.A. in journalism with a minor in psychology. She has always loved reading and writing ever since she was a child, and she is very excited to read submissions from various voices all over the community. In the future, Isabelle hopes to develop a career in the publishing industry. When she has free time, Isabelle enjoys singing, writing and listening to music. One of her most recent reads is “Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982” by Cho Nam-Joo.


Frederick Williams

Prose Reader

Fredrick Williams is an animator, fiction writer and undergraduate at Sam Houston State University. With a love for all things writing and storytelling, Fredrick has worked as a writing tutor for Sam Houston’s Academic Success Center, as well as the lead fiction editor for the Beacon Literary & Arts Journal. He hopes to publish novels, short stories, and comics with a focus on the culture and experiences of the African diaspora.



Kimberly Wolf

Associate Poetry Editor

Kimberly Wolf is a poet and parent living in Texas. She can often be found driving fifteen hours to see a mountain. You can read her work  at You can follow her on Twitter @KimmieWolf.


Victoria Richards

Poetry Reader 

Victoria Richards received a MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in New York, NY. She is a poet, writer, and educator residing in Houston, Texas by way of Queens, New York. Her work focuses on the evolution of language as a resistance to declassification of Black folks in the United States of America with a specific interest in exploring the beauty of ecology and generations of Black women existing in the deep south. She has been published in Lunch Ticket Journal, Eleven and a Half Journal, and was the 2019 winner recipient of The New School MFA Chapbook Series in Poetry. She was recently supported by Tin House at the 22’ Tin House Summer Workshops.


Yvette Chan

Poetry Reader 

Yvette Chan is a poet and screenwriter from Hong Kong. She experiments with the boundaries of writing, using video to combine visual and aural elements to present her poetry. She received a BA from the University of Warwick and served as head editor of their literary magazine Kamena. Her work has been published by the borderline, celestite poetry, Tigers Zine, Variety Pack with more publications awaiting. She was shortlisted by the Wells Festival of Literature in 2021, and is published with Verve Poetry Press as part WHERE ELSE: An International Hong Kong Poetry Anthology. Twitter: @yve__c



Megan McKinley

Senior CNF Editor

Megan M. is an essayist who’s work focuses on feminist topics, queerness, and their mixed-race
heritage. They are an MFA candidate in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing at Sam
Houston State University. You can find their words in Variety Pack, just femme & dandy, and Coffin Bell Journal. They were the 2022 National Book Foundation summer intern. They are currently working as the Publicity Fellow for Texas Review Press and Social Media Manager for SWWIM Miami. They have been the Creative Nonfiction editor for Defunkt Magazine since September 2021.

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Charlene Caruthers

Associate CNF Editor

Charlene H. Caruthers is a fiction writer from San Antonio, Texas. Her short story “Black and Blue” appeared in the 10th ed., of Humid Literary Magazine. She has also written book reviews which can be found at Porter House Review where she serves as the Associate Fiction Editor. She is a third-year fiction candidate at Texas State University and is currently working on her first novel. When she is not reading or writing she can be found walking her dog, Arya, along the nature trails in San Marcos, Texas.  


Sienna Liu

CNF Reader

Sienna Liu is a writer of prose and poetry based in London. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cotton Xenomorph, A Velvet Giant, HAD, Lit 202, Occulum, among others. She is the author of the poetry chapbook ‘Square’ (Black Sunflowers Poetry Press, 2022).


Dominique Leon 

CNF Reader

Dominique Leon is a wife and dog mom, a military brat, a behavioral health care professional, a leadership buff, a lover of nature, animals, and books, a traveler, a dreamer, and at the depths of her soul, a writer. Her short stories have appeared in Roar and Thunder Magazine, The Lorelei Signal, The WiFiles, and Romantic Shorts. She is pursuing a master's degree in English and Creative Writing and working on her debut novel.

CNF Interns
Spring 2023



Jonathon Hinojosa 

Chief of Design

Jonathon Hinojosa is a multidisciplinary artist. He was born in Edinburg, TX, but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Latin America. He earned his bachelor's degree in drama from Trinity University. He has had poems published in the San Antonio Express News and an anthology. He has focused on a wide range of arts through the years, but lately has been concentrating on printmaking techniques, alternative photographic processes, and some woodworking. He draws most of his inspiration from nature, emotion, and the blending of cultures he grew up in. He currently lives in Grass Valley, California with his wife and children.

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Bleah Patterson

Senior Art Editor 

Bleah (Blay-uh) B. Patterson (she/her) was born and raised in Texas. Former evangelical, former homeschooler, former journalist, she believes in honoring every iteration of herself. She is a poet exploring generational and religious trauma, a current MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University, and an editorial intern at Texas Review Press. Her work has been published or is upcoming in The Sagebrush Review, The Albion Review, The Brazos River Review, The Texas Review, and The Bayou Review. When she’s not writing or studying, she’s probably reading the next novel on her ever-growing TBR or watching New Girl and procrastinating.


Lucas Del Pico

Senior Music Editor

Lucas Del Pico resides in Austin, Texas, where he has lived for about two decades. Like many others, he was drawn to Austin by the live music scene. While at the University of Texas, Lucas worked at the college radio station, KVRX 91.7 fm, where he served as editor of the station's zine, The Call Letter, as well as co-hosting popular shows like “Keepin’ It Real with Brian and Lucas” and “Cheesecake in the Forbidden Zone.” More recently, Lucas has worked as a contributor and event coordinator for 2020’s Shock the Vote ATX campaign, which focused on community-building, voter education, and fundraising, while navigating the unique climate of 2020 in which virtual events and drive-in movies became the norm. 



Ash Elliot 

Social Media Associate 


Ashley Elliott is an undergraduate at Sam Houston State University and will graduate in the spring. She currently tutors students in writing at SHSU’s Academic Success Center. She hopes to join the editing field and writes queer poetry in the meantime. Telling dad jokes and bad puns is her red flag, but she does give good music recommendations.

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Elliot Eatinger

Book Reviewer 

Elliot Eatinger is a writer currently based in New York City (with homes in both California and Texas), presently doing COVID safety work with Broadway, and a little bit of everything too - including reviewing books! They received their BA in Theatre Arts (CSU San Bernardino) and MFA in Playwriting (Actors Studio Drama School), and that gave them an excuse to read more and more with every passing year. They are an anxiety-prone horror lover, excited about new literature and theatre around every corner, and are constantly trying to think of new ways to define anything they write. Recent credits include: Rockford New Words 2022 (Poetry); Actors Studio Drama School, One Minute Play Festival (Theatre). Current projects include: reading a whole lot more, and trying to write a lot more.

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