Laura (L.A.) Hawbaker is an award-winning writer whose prose explores cultural borders, mental illness, travel, continuity and disconnection, and the search for home. She writes pop culture analyses of film and books through a feminist lens.
Laura is the recipient of the 2021 Friends of American Writers Award and served as the Franz Kafka Fellow at the 2021 Summer in Prague Writers' Program. She's the winner of The Tusculum Review 2021 Fiction Prize. Laura is a staff writer at PopMatters; her pop culture essays have also appeared in Bright Wall/Dark Room, Time Out Chicago, and The Bright Lights Film Journal. She's reported for The Chicago Tribune, Newcity Magazine, and The Chicago Sun-Times.
As the 2020/2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Columbia College Chicago Aesthetics of Research, Laura conceptualized, edited, launched, and now serves as the Managing Editor and Art Director for MASKS Literary Magazine, a publication committed to amplifying emerging creative voices and increasing representation of the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, disabled, multilingual, and other underrepresented communities.
Laura lives in Chicago by way of New Orleans, Hawaii, Poland, and Prague. She attended the 2019 Iowa Writers' Workshop Summer Fiction Program and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Columbia College Chicago.