Juanita E. Mantz (“JEM”) is a writer, performer and deputy public defender in Riverside, California specializing in mental health law. Her stories and essays have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines including The Acentos Review, Inlandia, Lifetime (online), Mutha and Bitch magazine, amongst others. JEM is a four-time participant in VONA and was honored to attend the 2018 Macondo Writers Workshop. She is finalizing a draft of her memoir titled, “My Inland Empire: Hometown Stories” about growing up in a chaotic household in the Inland Empire region of Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s. JEM performed at Burbank’s Colony Theater in the 2016 cast of “Listen To Your Mother”. You can read her blog at http://wwwlifeofjemcom-jemmantz.blogspot.com. She is a proud resident of San Bernardino and loves punk rock music. Find her on Twitter @lifeofjem.