PANEL SESSION I We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Launching Your Book in Cyberspace
Jedediah Berry’s debut novel THE MANUAL OF DETECTION received the Crawford First Novel Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize, and is a finalist for a Strand Critics Award, a Locus Award, and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and works as an editor at Small Beer Press.
Holly Black is the author of bestselling dark contemporary fantasy for kids and teens. Her books include TITHE: A MODERN FAERIE TALE, two related novels, VALIANT and the New York Times bestseller IRONSIDE, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, the short story collection THE POISON EATERS AND OTHER STORIES, and a graphic novel series THE GOOD NEIGHBORS (with artist Ted Naifeh). Her latest novel WHITE CAT is the first of a new series.
Author of popular YA novel ACROSS THE POND, Barry Eva, also known as “Storyheart,” was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. In 2000, he left his beloved country and moved to the USA, following his heart. With his wit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm, Barry is much sought after as both a presenter and interviewee on radio and TV. Barry now lives in Connecticut.
Cheryl Malandrinos is a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion, blogger, and book reviewer. Her first children's book THE LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY will be released in 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing.
The poetry of Jean Marie Ruiz (Moderator) has appeared in print in the Jacaranda Review, West/word, Rain City Review, and the anthology Love's Shadow (Crossing Press). Her short story "Pilgrims' Progress" has lived online since winning MARY's fiction prize in 2004. She holds an MFA in English from UMass Amherst and is working on a novel. She lives in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Not Your Grandmother’s Harlequin: Writing the 21st Century Romance
Linda Cardillo is an award-winning author who began writing romance when she received the unexpected gift of her immigrant grandparents’ love letters and turned them into a story that has resonated around the world. Since then she has drawn upon her fascination with the far-flung places in which she has been lucky enough to live as she explores the complexity and joy of lasting love.
Bestselling, award-winning author Kristan Higgins has been called “one of the most honest and creative voices in contemporary romance.” Author of six romantic comedies for HQN Books (none of which involved ripped bodices), Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two lovely children, and a devoted mutt. Her latest release ALL I EVER WANTED came out in August 2010.
Writing under the pen name Judith Arnold, Barbara Keiler has sold more than eighty-five novels. She’s been a multiple finalist for RWA’s Rita Award and the winner of several Reviewer’s Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews. Publishers Weekly named her novel LOVE IN BLOOM’S one of the best novels of the year.
Julie Winberg (Moderator) holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Ed. from UMass. She has published articles on 19th-century women travelers in the international publication Esperanto; her stories have appeared in the Grapevine (Italy), Welcomat (Philadelphia), and the Daily Hampshire Gazette, as well as the anthology Plumb lines. After ten years in Italy, she returned to Western Massachusetts.
Truth or Consequences in Memoir Writing
Richard Hoffman is author of four books: HALF THE HOUSE: A MEMOIR, the poetry collections WITHOUT PARADISE and GOLD STAR ROAD (Barrow Street), and INTERFERENCE & OTHER STORIES. He is Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.
Katherine Mayfield (Moderator) is the author of SMART ACTORS, FOOLISH CHOICES: A SELF-HELP GUIDE TO COPING WITH THE EMOTIONAL STRESSES OF THE BUSINESS and ACTING A TO Z: THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO A STAGE OR SCREEN CAREER. On her website she blogs on Dysfunctional Families, Spirituality, and Life After Caregiving, and has recently completed a memoir, LIVE WIRE: A DAUGHTER’S LIFE WITH A BORDERLINE MOTHER.
Robert Meeropol was six years old when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed in 1953 after one of the most controversial trials in U.S. history. He is now an attorney; activist; author of the memoir AN EXECUTION IN THE FAMILY; and Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, a public foundation he created to honor his parents’ legacy, where he writes the blog Out on a Limb Together.
Jennifer Rosner is author of IF A TREE FALLS: A FAMILY’S QUEST TO HEAR AND BE HEARD, a memoir about family, silence, and what it means to be heard. Her writing has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Good Housekeeping, The Forward, and Wondertime Magazine. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University and is editor of THE MESSY SELF (Paradigm Publishers, 2007).
PANEL SESSION II Inspiration Throughout the Writing Process
Set in a dictionary company, Emily Arsenault’s first novel THE BROKEN TEAGLASS was a New York Times Notable Crime Book of 2009. Her second novel, about two young girls on a paranormal investigation, will be released by HarperCollins in 2011. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
David Anthony Durham is the author of the fantasy novels THE OTHER LANDS and ACACIA: THE WAR WITH THE MEIN, as well as the historical novels PRIDE OF CARTHAGE, WALK THROUGH DARKNESS, and GABRIEL’S STORY. His novels have been published in the UK and in nine foreign languages. Three of them have been optioned for development as feature films.
Jo Knowles is the author of the young adult novels: LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL, JUMPING OFF SWINGS, and PEARL (coming 2011). She teaches writing for children in the MFA program at Simmons College. Jo lives in Vermont with her husband and son. To learn more about Jo, visit her blog.
Annie Parker (Moderator) has worked as a carpenter, waitress, ship’s cook and most often, and most vilely, as a secretary. Her adventures have included volunteering in Ecuador, studying in Korea, and motherhood. She recently graduated from Smith College with honors and is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children through Simmons College. She blogs with humor at The Sunday Hiker.
Frederick Reiken is the author of three novels, most recently DAY FOR NIGHT, published in May of this year (Little, Brown). Reiken’s debut novel THE ODD SEA won the Hackney Literary Award, and his follow-up THE LOST LEGENDS OF NEW JERSEY was a national bestseller. His short stories have appeared in publications including The New Yorker. He currently directs the graduate writing program at Emerson College.
Bringing Characters to Life: How to Overcome Writers’ Challenges
Joan Axelrod-Contrada (Moderator) began her career as a journalist, writing articles for The Boston Globe and various other publications. She then started writing books for the school and library market. Her most recent titles include POVERTY IN AMERICA (Marshall Cavendish, 2010) and GHOULISH GHOST STORIES (Capstone Press, 2010). She recently completed her first novel BLOOD ALCOHOL, a young-adult mystery.
Elinor Lipman is the author of ten works of fiction: the novels THE FAMILY MAN, MY LATEST GRIEVANCE, THE PURSUIT OF ALICE THRIFT, THE DEARLY DEPARTED, THE LADIES' MAN, THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE, ISABEL'S BED, THE WAY MEN ACT, THEN SHE FOUND ME, and a collection of stories INTO LOVE AND OUT AGAIN. She has taught writing at Simmons, Smith, and Hampshire colleges, and will hold the Elizabeth Drew Chair in Creative Writing at Smith in 2011-12.
Ellen Meeropol holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Southern Maine. Her stories have appeared in The Drum, Bridges, Portland Magazine, Pedestal, and The Women's Times. Her first novel HOUSE ARREST is forthcoming from Red Hen in early 2011.
Richard Michelson is a poet and children’s book author whose fifteen books for children have received many honors. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies, including The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Clemson University named Michelson the R. J. Calhoun Distinguished Reader in American Literature for 2008, and new work has recently appeared in The Harvard Review.
How Much Do You Want It? -- Carving Out Time and Space to Write
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor specializing in time management and organization. She is a regular contributor for Writer2Writer, an online bi-weekly magazine. Ms. Malandrinos is also a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Her first children’s book THE LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY will be released in 2010.
Ann McNeal (Moderator) lives in Pelham, Massachusetts. After teaching physiology at Hampshire College for three decades, she retired to write, dance, and paint. She credits Amherst Writers & Artists workshops for jump-starting her poetry. Her poems appear in Equinox, Peregrine, Paper Street, and other periodicals, as well as several anthologies.
Dori Ostermiller left her native California to complete an MFA in writing at the University of Massachusetts. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Grant and a Tobias Wolff fiction award, and is the founder and director of Writers in Progress, a literary arts center in the Pioneer Valley. Her first novel OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD (MIRA, 2010) was released in August.
Pat Schneider has authored nine books including WRITING ALONE & WITH OTHERS (Oxford University Press), WAKE UP LAUGHING: A SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY, and five volumes of poems, most recently ANOTHER RIVER: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Amherst Writers & Artists Press). Her work has been featured on NPR and fourteen times on Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac. Pat is founder of Amherst Writers & Artists.
Michele Wick Ph.D. is a writer, lecturer, licensed psychologist, and research associate in the Smith College Psychology Department. She has worked with clients in community mental health centers, hospitals, and several college counseling centers. Her recent project, the website Woolf, Creativity, and Madness: from Freud to fMRI focuses on the links between creativity and emotional well-being.
PANEL SESSION III How Agents Think
Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in March 2009, after six years at Trident Media Group, most recently as a Vice President. She specializes in fiction, from the very literary to the very commercial, as well as memoir, women’s lifestyle, and humor. Her New York Times bestselling clients include Jacqueline Sheehan, Lynsay Sands, Julia London, Michael Farquhar, John Kasich, and Laurie Notaro.
Ellen Meeropol (Moderator) holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Southern Maine. Her stories have appeared in The Drum, Bridges, Portland Magazine, Pedestal, and The Women's Times. Her first novel HOUSE ARREST is forthcoming from Red Hen in early 2011.
Colleen Mohyde, an agent since 1992 after a decade as an editor at Little, Brown & Company, represents an eclectic list of authors, including Pulitzer Prize winners, PEN Award recipients, and New York Times bestsellers. She is first and foremost interested in gifted storytelling, whether in literary fiction or narrative non-fiction, and is interested in biography, business, psychology, health, sports, music, history, and politics.
Jon Sternfeld joined the Irene Goodman Agency after a stint in both the creative and the development sides of the film world. He has taught English Literature and Creative Writing and considers himself a book-lover, first and foremost. His favorite authors are David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Alain de Botton, all geniuses at getting readers to think differently.
A literary agent in the Boston area since 1992, Christina (Kit) Ward was previously an editor with Little, Brown & Company. After more than 18 years as sole proprietor of Christina Ward Literary Agency, Kit and a longtime friend and colleague, Richard Balkin of The Balkin Agency, have joined forces to become The Ward & Balkin Agency, Inc., effective July 1, 2010.
Writing the Narrative Poem, Stories that Sing
Crystal Senter Brown is a mother, wife, poet, singer, and songwriter. She is the recipient of the 2010 Harold Grinspoon Award for her children's book GABBY SATURDAY. Crystal has been a performance poet for over ten years and is currently working on her first novel THE RHYTHM IN BLUE.
Lori Desrosiers (Moderator) calls Westfield, Massachusetts, her home. Her chapbook of poetry THREE VANITIES was published by Pudding House Press in 2009 and her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is the publisher of Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry. She teaches English at Westfield State College.
Magdalena Gómez is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Springfield's Teatro V!da, a multidisciplinary theater dedicated to training across generations for leadership, literacy, and an enduring love of learning. She has been selected as a 2010-2011 National Endowment for the Arts American Master Artist, selected by NEA American Masterpieces Presenter, Pregones Theater of New York City.
Ellen LaFleche has published poems in Many Mountains Moving, Juked, Harper Palate, and Naugatuck River Review, among many others. She has a special interest in writing narrative poetry that celebrates women and working class people. She has served as a guest editor for NRR, and won the Poets on Parnassus Prize in 2005 for poetry about the medical experience.
Kimberley Ann Rogers of Easthampton, Massachusetts, earned her B.A. in English from Smith College and worked with Ellen Watson at the Poetry Center. Currently she’s an MFA candidate in Drew University's MFA in Poetry /Poetry in Translation Program. Kim has published work in several magazines, including American Writing, Naugatuck River Review, Silkworm, and APJ.
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