Sunrise in Indian Wells by Barbara Weightman Oil painting

“Sunrise in Indian Wells,” by Barbara Weightman

Alaina Bixon is a freelance writer, editor, and coach based in Palm Springs, California. She leads writing workshops and, as founder of Tilton Bass Publishing, helps clients take their work from first draft to published book. Bixon has led Inlandia Institute creative writing workshops, including memoir and food writing, and attended A Room of Her Own writers’ retreat in New Mexico. She has written and lectured on pseudoscience, travel, food history, and New Age San Francisco gurus. She and her husband are certified BBQ judges. Bixon completed her MFA in creative writing at University of California, Riverside at Palm Desert, with a focus on creative nonfiction.
fiction and nonfiction editor

Ellen Estilai received her BA in art from the University of California, Davis, and her MA in English language and literature from the University of Tehran. She served as executive director of the Riverside Arts Council and the Arts Council for San Bernardino County. Estilai has taught English language, literature, and writing at universities in Iran and California. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has published poetry and essays in several journals and anthologies, including Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing; Ink & Letters; Heron Tree; (In)Visible Memoirs, vol. 2; Home: TallGrass Writers Guild Anthology; Lady/Liberty/Lit, Shark Reef: A Literary Magazine, and A Short Guide to Finding Your First Home in the United States: An Inlandia Anthology on the Immigrant Experience. Her memoir about Iran, Exit Prohibited, is forthcoming from Inlandia Books in 2023.
art, nonfiction, and poetry editor

Cait Johnson is a poet, editor, intern, and lover from the Inland Empire. When not working, Johnson spends time holding open mics, studying astrology, and hanging out with friends (but mostly watching YouTube videos). Johnson received a BA in creative writing from California State University, Long Beach, and is planning to go back to school for an MFA in poetry.
poetry editor

A long (really long) time ago, Linda Rhoades learned to read, and she’s had a voracious desire to consume words ever since. A passionate collector of paperbacks, she finally realized her bookshelves were unable to accommodate every book ever published. Now, instead of hoarding, she supports other writers by buying books, which she reads and donates. As a companion to reading, Rhoades turned to writing things others might enjoy. Her issues-driven fiction finds her characters dealing with homelessness, sexual harassment, huge lotto jackpots, and much more. From an Inlandia Institute workshop participant to an editor for the online journal Inlandia: A Literary Journey, Rhoades is dedicated to the craft and art of the written word. She has a retired husband, three adult children, two world-destroying cats, and a neurotic dog, who won’t go outside after dark.
art and fiction editor

Alexandra Rigores is a twenty-five-year-old illustrator based in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has drawn and painted since she was a child. Though she almost made the mistake of going to dental school, Rigores realized that art was something she wanted to do for a living. She is in her third year of college for a graphic design degree and wants to grow in the field, especially as an illustrator. She has been published in Inlandia: A Literary Journey, featured in Create Magazine, and is in charge of creative aspects of the “Dicen Que No Sabemos” podcast.
art editor

Ash Romero is an eighteen-year-old poet and writer who believes in the power of language to educate and unite. Having been published twice by Inlandia, he’s pleased to be editing Inlandia’s fall issue for the first time. Going into his first year at the University of California, Irvine, he hopes the new and diverse environment will broaden his artistic horizons and allow his poetry and writing skills to grow in the process.
poetry editor

Victoria Waddle’s work has been published in literary journals and anthologies, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and included in Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest, 2016. A collection of her short fiction, Acts of Contrition, was published by Los Nietos Press in 2021. Formerly the managing editor of Inlandia: A Literary Journey, she can be found at and
fiction and nonfiction editor

After hibernating several seasons, Erin Michaela Sweeney again writes, speaks, and teaches about the healing potential of mindful creative self-expression. Her word for 2022 — audacity — propels her to share creative nonfiction, formal poetry, shorter fiction, and (maybe) graphic medicine as a cancer prevailer. For twenty years, Sweeney was an editor on the east coast but returned to inland Southern California in 2011 to hang out at City of Hope for spa days (aka life-saving blood cancer treatments). Yes, there’s a memoir. She supports other creatives during their adventures with the Inlandia Institute’s online literary journal, loves her child unconditionally, and forever humbly serves Rexi the cat queen.
managing editor

A longtime resident of the Inland Empire, Cati Porter has lived in Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Moreno Valley, and Riverside. She is the author of ten books and chapbooks, most recently Slow Unraveling of Living Ghosts, with Inlandia Board President Johnny Bender, and Novel from Bamboo Dart Press. Porter has been executive director of the Inlandia Institute since 2013. In addition to founding the Ontario creative writing workshop and Inlandia: A Literary Journey, she is also founder and editor of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry. She holds an MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles.
founding editor