Born in Wisconsin, Victor Yañez-Lazcano has spent the last 11 years of his life learning and working in Chicago.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2008 from Columbia College Chicago. Since then he has juggled a freelance career in the commercial and fine art worlds. For the last 7 years he has also been a teaching artist through the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s after school Picture Me program. He is currently developing a body of work, titled de, which investigates his family’s identity as first generation Mexican-Americans living in the rural Midwest.

A child of Palestinian immigrants in Chicago, Sahar Mustafah is very honored to be a contributor to LDOC which helps in her mission to bring stories of “others,” Arab and Muslim Americans, to her hometown audience. Her short story “Code of the West” is a finalist for the 2015 American Fiction Prize and will be published by New Rivers Press. Her work has also appeared in Story, Great Lakes Review, Word Riot, and Chicago Literati. She teaches at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in south suburban Illinois and she’s co-founder and fiction editor of Bird’s Thumb. You can visit her at

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