Managing Editor

At the heart and soul of Flying Ketchup Press ® is our managing editor, Polly Alice McCann, who is responsible for the direction of each publication process, and who makes sure our authors receive ongoing support. Polly is an author, artist, and illustrator with a passion for helping creatives reach a wider audience with their work. Her family has been in the book business in the Kansas City area since the 1970s. She received her MFA in writing from Hamline University with an emphasis in short fiction and poetry. Polly Alice has been published internationally, including the journals Naugatuck River Review, arc24, 356 days, and more. Much of her work is inspired by her research on the creative writing process which won her the 2014 Ernest Hartmann award from the International Association for the Study of Dreams from Berkeley, CA. As a poetry editor since 2018, she’s seen her poets gain awards and international audiences for their work. About publishing, she says, "Isn't it time to create a new 21st-century publishing model that works for today's writers and artists? It's time to catch up!"



Advising Editor / Dialogue Coach

A true bibliophile, Dr. Alice Hixson has a passion and dedication which tirelessly helps our team find the best ways to promote books to new audiences. Dr. Hixson began her career in publishing in Minneapolis, MN then became a lifelong music educator.  Her resume includes dozens of productions of world music, American folk songs, and original operas created with elementary school students. Her work won many grants for students in the arts. After working for the Department of Defense as an administrator of music and art education, she came home to find Kansas City rocking and rolling with arts and decided to jump in for the ride. She defines her job as “looking for cool and fabulous ways for authors and artists to connect to their audience.” You may find her out and about or with extended family, coffee cup in hand, or attending an arts event, staying at the home to write, and, of course, advising or editing projects with Flying Ketchup Press.



Assistant Editor / Copy Editor

Hope Houtwed, originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, recently earned a B.A. in English with a focus on Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University. She also completed two minors in both French and Astronomy. She enjoys reading and writing Dystopian Fiction, baking delicious cookies, playing with her zippy cats Percy and Arthur, and exploring various cultures. She's so excited to be a new part of the Kansas City writing and publishing scene at Flying Ketchup Press! If you need copyediting assistance, don't hesitate to check her out at

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Picture Book Editor / Audio Producer

Nina Bricko is an author and voice artist. She has an MFA in Creative Writing for Children from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.  She has worked for Amazon Publishing for the Crossing Imprint as an Associate Editor and Project Manager, which is the translation imprint dedicated to bringing diverse voices to English speakers. A tireless advocate for children and nature, she is the former director of an outdoor forest school. Nina teaches at Madison College, The Loft, and hosts and narrates a storytelling podcast for kids called The Story Tree.



Poetry Editor in Residence

Samantha Malay was our first Poetry Editor in Residence, a program that was developed to empower poets to pass on their publishing and editing skills to new authors. Samantha was born in Berlin, Germany, and grew up in rural Northeastern Washington State. She is a graduate of Seattle University’s sociology program, a theatrical wardrobe technician by trade, and a mixed-media textile artist. Her poem, Yelm, titled with the Coast Salish word for mirage. was recently published in our book, The Very Edge: Poems.  Yelm is also the name of a small town where her family visited relatives one Thanksgiving. Samantha’s published poetry can be found at



Mystery Editor / Braille Editor

When not at her day job translating physics into braille or building small robot dogs, Christa Miller enjoys writing fiction and poetry. She loves to take the seemingly mundane activities of life and imbue them with laughter and fun. With two engineering degrees in her back pocket, she relaxes by reading fiction, making crafts, constructing cakes (the kind only an engineer with a math degree could bake), and being with family. She lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two children, and two ginger tabby cats.

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Poetry Editor / Outreach Director / Volunteer Training

Araceli Esparza is a Latinx Poeta with strong migrant farmer roots. An MFA graduate from Hamline University in writing, she has published several books and was most recently published in The Astri(x) Journal. She was named in Brava Magazine's 2015 Women to Watch. Araceli is the founder and owner of Wisconsin Mujer a multi media social engagement company that specializes in cultivating content and connecting hearts. "We help companies and nonprofits build bridges with donors and audiences to create authentic connection strategies which have a positive impact on minority and marginalized communities." You can hear Araceli Esparza tell more stories at her new project podcast:

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Art Director

Kēvin Callahan, author, artist, and traveler hails from Drake University, and both the Chicago and San Francisco Art Institutes. Kēvin is an “accidental poet," and the author of many published short stories, as well as a novel. His award-winning artwork hangs in collections throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, and Israel. Kēvin has won numerous awards for his publication designs as well as his award-winning writing, paintings photography, poems, and sculpture. His writings include the novel, Morris’ Code; two anthologies of non-fiction short stories, A Prairie Wind Blowing Through My Head, and a collection of stories about his youth on an Iowa farm, A Day Remembered, as well as a collection of stories of his years in the field pursuing upland game. His fictional Chinese Checkers Run is an exciting adventure story of flight and pursuit.  (All available on Kindle.) His most recent book,  Road Map: Poems, Paintings & Stuff is available through Flying Ketchup Press and on Amazon. Kēvin currently works and resides with his wife in Parkville, MO, and both of his sons are accomplished artists. For more info contact the designer at He maintains a studio and gallery, the Elegant Line, in Parkville, MO.



Ketchupedia Radio Show / Poet in Residence 2019

Poet T.L. Sanders – The Language Artist, is a modern-day renaissance man who lives to build minds and loves to body build. He speaks French. He plays bass. He is a cage-fighting martial artist. He educates. Give him a stage, he articulates. Lend him an ear, and he motivates. He was Flying Ketchup Press' 2019 Poet in Residence Recipient, and is a Prairie Lands Writing Project Teacher Consultant, a Missouri Writing Project Network Teacher Consultant, a member of the National Writing Project Writers Council, a current curriculum director, and former elementary, middle, and high school English teacher.  He embraces the value of our shared stories in all the work he does. Whether he is public speaking, teaching, writing, or breathing, he has a passion for empowering people.  ​Find him on YouTube under Bethephenom, on Twitter and Instagram @PoetTLSanders, and on Facebook: 



Poet in Residence 2020-2021

Hasna is an architect by profession and has lived in Kansas since 2002. She credits her post-graduate studies from Harvard in landscape architecture for her current work in sculpture.  Her work translates her observations and study of nature into glass forms--forms which encompass casting, kiln formed glass, Fritography, and torchworking. As an artist and poet, she identifies herself as the raconteur; bringing to light stories that are overlooked, forgotten or uncomfortable. Hasna believes art must step beyond the liminalities of aesthetics and transcend into the realm of social reformation. Hasna studied fine art for four years in England and Wales, and completed a five-year professional degree program in architecture and urban design in Boston, MA. Throughout her journey as an artist, she has worked in pastels, watercolors, oils, acrylics, glass and more.  Her paintings appeared in an exhibition of watercolor renderings at the Royal Cornwall museum in 1997. Her glass sculptures are available for viewing and purchase at Glass Concepts 360 (  

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Poetry Editor

Beth Gulley lives in Kansas City and teaches writing at Johnson County Community College. She has an MA from UMKC and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She recently published a chapbook, $!*# Hole Countries: A Find and Replace Meditation. Her poems also appear in the Bards Against Hunger Anthology, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, The Thorny Locust, and The Gasconade Review Presents: Storm A’Comin’. She loves thrift store shopping, traveling, and drinking coffee.



Editorial Intern / Short Story & Video Editor

Sonti Grady was born and raised in L.A., and came to the Midwest for a change of scenery to play basketball at Greenville University, Illinois–just short drive from St. Louis. Sonti is receiving his B.A. in English with a history/political science minor. He says he’s a former “troublemaker” who found out he loved writing when he turned in a short story for an English Lit assignment to the wrong professor. That’s when he was told he had “raw talent” that shouldn’t go to waste. He takes his future one day at a time, and now that he is back in L.A., he hopes to write the Great American Novel.

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Editorial Intern / Teen Program

Jordan Carr is a digital artist, content creator, and author who moonlights in music production. She is a junior in High School with the Northland Caps Internship Program in the digital media and design strand. She has a popular digital artist Instagram following @blueerror03 where she creates OC’s (original characters). Her favorite book is #MurderTrending, a mystery by Gretchen McNeil. Jordan enjoys writing mysteries and fantasies in her spare time.



Consulting Designer

Haley is a 2021 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in Graphic Design. As our Sprint 2020 intern, she really added great work to our branding and logos. Thanks Haley! Haley pushes the boundaries of design to match her passion for creating, entwining that work with her philosophical desire to make the world a better place. She was part of a team lead by renowned artist Emory Douglas in the Revolution in our Lifetime Exhibition Project. Her student work received a prize for Fundamental Desktop Publishing from the Business Professionals of America, Kansas State Competition. Visit her


Sci-Fi Serials Editors / IT 

M.W. Hixson works as a professional chemist by night in a KC-area medical lab and writes in a java-fueled page count by day. After twenty years steeped in hard sci-fi and epic fantasy, he wants to invite readers on an exploratory cruise through the planes of imagination--worlds where they can encounter intriguing worlds, cultures, and characters.


@JBird is a poet, song producer, and our IT and sound guy, a.k.a regular genius, and also one of our founders. On sabbatical just now, he created our style for our calls for submissions, our motto "epic acceleration" and wrote the original scores in our videos Flail and Full Day. He'll be back soon!

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Poetry Juror

Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and started writing poetry as a child. She spent a few years in California, Oregon, and England, and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land (Spartan Press, 2019) and The Eden of Perhaps (Spartan Press, 2020), and her poems have appeared in a variety of journals and magazines.