Kelp Journal Team

David M. Olsen was born in Riverside, California and grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley. He is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and poet. He is an alumnus of Stanford’s OWC program in novel writing and holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside.


​He is at work on a collection of linked short stories, a novel, and a chapbook. David is a former fiction editor at The Coachella Review and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Kelp Journal.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Catamaran Literary Reader, The Rumpus, The Coachella Review, Close to the Bone, Scheherazade, and elsewhere. He resides on California's central coast where he surfs daily.



AM Larks writes fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Her writing has appeared in Scoundrel TimeAssay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and the Zyzzyva and Ploughshares blogs. She has performed her stories at Lit Up at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette, California. She is the current Fiction Editor at Please See Me literary magazine, the Photo Editor at Kelp Journal, a multimedia literary revue, and she is the former Blog Editor of The Coachella Review. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Juris Doctorate, and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University California Riverside Palm Desert's low residency program. She lives in Northern California.

Connect:, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,


Oliver Brennan is a Writer and Editor. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two children, two dogs, one cat, one lizard (Bearded Dragon), and one horse. His work can be seen at Close to The Bone Publishing and Out of The Gutter Online. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at UC Riverside.

Connect: FacebookInstagram,  Twitter


A.E. Santana is a Southern California native who grew up in a farming community surrounded by the desert. A lover of horror and fantasy, her works can be found in Demonic Carnival III, Weird Ales Vol. II, and other horror anthologies. She received her MFA in fiction from the UCR Low Residency program and was the drama editor for The Coachella Review, their online literary journal. Her perfect day consists of a cup of black tea and her cat Flynn Kermit.

Connect: @foxflur


Chih Wang graduated from the University of California, Riverside in Palm Desert with a Masters Degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She also holds a certificate in Copyediting from the University of California, San Diego Extension. She served as Fiction Editor and Copyeditor at The Coachella Review and currently copyedits for Kelp Journal. She runs her own freelance copyediting business, CYW Editing, specializing in fiction. A San Diego native, she spends her free time working on her novel, a contemporary fantasy, or hanging in the air, practicing aerial silks and hammock.



Maria Duarte is a poet and writer who received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside--Palm Desert. She has published poems in Verdad Magazine from Long Beach City College and in the anthology The Good Grief Journal: A Journey Toward Healing. She is currently the poetry editor for Kelp Journal.

Connect: @AngieDuarte


Kira Star is a well-healed traverser of the planet who enjoys adventure more than most. She spent her twenties as a nomad and often picks up a pen to write about the experiences. When she is not busy planning her next adventure, she is searching for and editing quality travel pieces for Kelp Journal. In the photo to the left, she takes a moment to enjoy the cool coastal waters of California. 

Connect: @kstar519


Ben Mooney is a documentary filmmaker and history student based at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. Although he now mostly takes an interest in international relations, his films have ranged in subject matters, from Spanish colonialism to scuba diving to a biography of John Steinbeck. He has recently completed a thesis, analyzing United States foreign policy in Latin America and is also currently writing a book about university life in Britain during the 1960s


Leslie Gonzalez is a fiction and content writer, editor, and certified copy editor from Indio, California. Her work is published in LOCALE magazine, OK Whatever magazine, FLAUNT magazine, and History 101. She is a hardcore lover of all things fantasy and science fiction (with the acceptance of the occasional ghost story). She performed for The Desert Sun and was the former Blog Editor for The Coachella Review. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from California State University, Northridge and earned her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from UC Riverside Low Residency program in Palm Desert.   


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