Saugatuck StoryFest Participants

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 - Sunday, Oct 14, 2018


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John Adamus is a real-life professional creative coach, working with people who want to create their stories and art in their best way possible. He is also the Executive Editor of Parvus Press, producer of excellent science fiction and fantasy. As a staunch supporter of creatives and stories and people doing their best, he is a tireless resource of writing and publishing knowledge all over social media, but predominantly Twitter, as @awesome_john, and his blog at He lives in New Jersey in a house full of books and games with a little white dog. He is not a fan of headshots, peas, or mayonnaise. 


Ed Ahern sometimes detours into literary fiction and poetry, but he’s best known as an innovative genre writer. He’s tucked away several awards and honorable mentions for nearly two hundred short stories and three books. The stories have appeared in ten countries and, counting reprints, over three hundred publications. His stories can be listened to through Audible and the New York Public Library. And he started writing fiction at sixty-seven. His editorial skills are based on a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and extensive experience at the Providence Journal. Ed’s been honing the skills for several years at Bewildering Stories, where he serves on the review board and as review editor with a staff of five. (Bewildering Stories is widely known for the author-friendly quality of its critiques.) Ed also serves as the newsletter editor for the Connecticut River Salmon Association. He’s a member of several writing groups, including the Fairfield Scribes, where he’s known for his tough-love comments. He has his original wife, but advises that after fifty years together they are both out of warranty. Two children and five grandchildren serve as affection focus and money drain. His work career after university has been an enjoyably demented hopscotch game. U.S. Navy officer (diver and bomb disarmer); reporter for the Providence Journal; intelligence officer living in Germany and Japan; international sales and marketing executive at a Canadian paper company (23 years, 74 countries visited, MBA from NYU); same job for the company that also owns the New England Patriots; and retirement into writing like hell to make up for lost time.



Cristina Alger is a lifelong New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Law, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney for several years before writing her first novel,The Darlings. Her most recent novel, The Banker's Wife, was published in July by Putnam. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. 

Author photo credit: Deborah Feingold



National bestselling author Jamie Beck's realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She is a Booksellers' Best Award and National Readers' Choice Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work "smart," "uplifting," and "entertaining." In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. 



Michael Belanger is a young adult author and high school history teacher. He is a member of the Westport Writers’ Workshop and faculty advisor to Greenwitch, a high school literary magazine that has published talented young writers–including Truman Capote–for over a hundred years. His debut novel, The History of Jane Doe, was published this past June by Dial Press.



Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young adults, including Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition; starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly; and have been published in more than twenty-five countries. Her newest book, Far From the Tree, won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, is a New York Times-bestselling title, and was named as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, and others.


Matthew Binder is the author of the novels High in the Streets and The Absolved. He is also a primary member of the recording project Bang Bang Jet Away.



Andrew Blauner was born and bred in Manhattan, attended Collegiate School, has a B.A. from Brown University, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University School of Business. He founded Blauner Books in 1995. As an anthologist, he has edited the collections: Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference (Hachette); Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry (Wiley); Central Park: An Anthology (Bloomsbury); Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages (Simon & Schuster); and In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs (Blue Rider Press / Penguin Random House); and The Peanuts Papers: Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Gang, and the Meaning of Life (Library of America, 2019). He is also the co-editor of For the Love of Baseball: A Celebration of the Game that Connects Us All.His work has been published in the New York Times, and he has appeared on a wide array of media outlets, including: NPR’s “On Point,” with Tom Ashbrook, The Brian Lehrer Show, and The Leonard Lopate Show, as well as Ben Cheever’s “About Writing.” He is member of PEN American Center, National Book Critics Circle, The Authors Guild, Association of Authors’ Representatives, and SABR (Society of American Baseball Research). Blauner Books Literary Agency has also been named one of “The 15 Most Influential Sports Education ‘Teams’ in America” for representing and publishing high standard books which significantly contribute to sports education. 

His website is:



Peter Blauner's career has spanned several generations of New York City storytelling, and several mediums as well. A native of Manhattan and current Brooklyn resident, he began as an assistant to legendary NYC newspaperman Pete Hamill. He then spent ten years writing for New York magazine, covering cops, politicians, boxers, rappers, and other oddities of urban life. His first novel, 1992’s Slow Motion Riot, inspired by a stint as a volunteer as a probation officer, won the Edgar Award for best first novel. Five more novels followed, including The Intruder, a New York Times bestseller and a bestseller in England. For the past eleven years, Blauner has been writing for television. His credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where one of his teleplays was nominated for an Edgar. He is currently a co-executive producer on the CBS series Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg. Sunrise Highway is his eigth novel, though the second since the start of his television career. Author photo credit Michael Parmelee


Libba Bray is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her family, a very cute rescue puppy, and two cats of questionable intelligence. She feels hopeful about many things, except during deadline weeks. Then it’s a lot of Pink Floyd and Googling, “How to Fake Your Own Death.” You can find her at, on Twitter: @libbabray, and Instagram: libbabray. You can also usually find her any place they serve fried chicken. 



Jamie Brenner grew up in suburban Philadelphia on a steady diet of Norma Klein, Judy Blume, and Judith Krantz novels (more on that here).  After studying literature at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Jamie moved to New York City where she started her career at HarperCollins Publishers, then later Barnes& and before returning to books and becoming an author.  Her novel The Forever Summer is a national bestseller. Her new book, The Husband Hour published this spring with Little, Brown.  Jamie  lives in New York City with her husband and teenage daughters. 



Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children, ranging from board books to young adult novels. Her middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award, and her picture book When Dinosaurs Came with Everything was named Time Magazine's #1 Children's Book of the Year. Her newest novel, The Wolf Keepers, is set in Yosemite and is based on a real historical mystery.


Dr. Rose Brock is a longtime educator and advocate for using audiobooks as a tool for literacy. She is a co-founder of the North Texas Teen Book Festival. She is also the author of Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide, Third Edition, publishing March 2019.


Jeremy K. Brown is the author of the science-fiction novel Zero Limit and co-authored the bestselling novel Ocean of Storms with Christopher Mari in 2016. He has also written a number of books for young readers, including biographies of Amelia Earhart, Stevie Wonder and Ursula K. Le Guin. Additionally, Jeremy has contributed articles to numerous magazines and newspapers, as well as special issues for CBS, Newsweek, and the Discovery Channel. In addition, he has written animated shorts for DreamWorks and dialogue for the WWE2K video game series. He published his first novel, Calling Off Christmas, in 2011.


Karen Bruce has a BFA in Puppetry, University of Connecticut and is on the Board of the Connecticut Guild of Puppetry. She has worked for 16 years as a children’s librarian developing programs with puppetry at the Westport Library, ranging from early literacy storytimes to middle school children building and performing various types of puppets. (Not to mention her expertise with large-scale Harry Potter parties!)



Alisyn Camerota is a journalist and anchor of CNN's morning show "New Day.” In her almost three decades in journalism, Camerota has covered stories nationally and internationally, earning various awards, including two Emmy-award nominations for her breaking news reporting.

Camerota has been at the forefront of today’s most pressing news events, including the Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, and the Parkland, FL school shooting. Her recent interviews with the student survivors, as well as the NRA, became integral parts of the national conversation on gun safety. In addition, Alisyn has moderated dozens of voter panels with Trump supporters that have become must-see television moments. As a leading voice of the #MeToo movement, Alisyn has helped give the #SilenceBreakers a platform to tell their stories.

Outside of her role on “New Day,” Camerota has anchored a number of primetime specials, including “Tipping Point: Sexual Harassment in America” and "The Hunting Ground: Sexual Assault on Campus." As a member of the National Advisory Council to The News Literacy Project and an Advisory Member of Press Forward, Alisyn is outspoken on fighting workplace harassment and First Amendment Rights.

Prior to joining CNN, Camerota worked for many years at the Fox News Channel, most notably as part of their morning show, Fox & Friends. Her first novel, Amanda Wakes Up, about an idealistic cable news anchor who tries to navigate through a minefield of ethical dilemmas during a crazy presidential race, was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of the year, and by Oprah Magazine as “a must read.” The paperback of Amanda Wakes Up was released on June 12th.

Alisyn lives with her husband and three children in Connecticut.

Author photo credit Mike Cohen



Christa Carmen’s work has been featured in myriad anthologies, ezines, and podcasts, including Unnerving Magazine, Fireside Fiction, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 2, Outpost 28 Issues 2 & 3, Tales to Terrify, Lycan Valley Press Publications' Dark Voices, Third Flatiron’s Strange Beasties, and Alban Lake's Only the Lonely. Her debut collection, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, is available August 2018 from Unnerving.



Elizabeth Chatsworth is a British author and actor (SAG-AFTRA) based in Connecticut. She primarily creates voice-overs for commercials, videos, and computer games. If there's an elf, a witch, or an aristocrat in a video game, it might be her! Writing is Elizabeth’s passion. In 2018, she became an RWA® Golden Heart® finalist in the Mainstream Fiction category. Her novel The Brass Queen won first place in The Catherine and On The Far Side and is currently a finalist in The Molly and Pages From The Heart. Elizabeth is a Pitch Wars alumna, and a member of the Women's National Book Association, the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal chapter of the RWA, CTRWA, and the Authors Guild. She is represented by Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary Management. For more information, and to be the first to receive exclusive news and giveaways, please visit Elizabeth’s website at



Gabi Coatsworth is an award-winning British-born writer and blogger, who has spent half her life living in the United States. Her essays, short fiction and poetry have been published in the anthology, Tangerine Tango: Women Writers Share Slices of Life, E-chook's literary memoir app, and literary journals, both in print and online. You can find her blog for writers, and her personal blog, online at Her memoir, A Handprint on My Heart, is currently with editors and due out in 2019. She has never wanted to travel back in time to change the past.



May Cobb grew up in the piney woods of East Texas where her debut thriller, Big Woods, is set. After college, she moved to San Francisco where she studied Victorian Literature for her Master's and then lived in Los Angeles for a few years where she worked for filmmaker/writer Ron Shelton and his wife, the actress Lolita Davidovich. For the past twenty years, she's been working on a nonfiction book about the late, great, jazz artist, Rahsaan Roland Kirk (forthcoming). Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Austin Monthly, and Edible Austin. Cobb now lives in Austin with her husband and son.

Big Woods is inspired by an eerie, true story, and A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window offered this glowing praise: "Stephen King's Stand by Me collides with Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects in this exceptional thriller. Gutsy, gripping—and pitch-perfect in its resurrection of an era long gone."


Lynne Constantine is the USA Today and WSJ bestselling co-author of The Last Mrs Parrish written under the pen name Liv Constantine. The Last Mrs Parrish was a December pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club and has sold in 22 foreign territories. Lynne is also the author of The Veritas Deception and the co-author of Circle Dance. She has a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University.



Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His middle grade graphic novel, New Kid, will be released by HarperCollins on February 5, 2019. Jerry has earned recognition from the Junior Library Guild, and has won five African American Literary Awards. He is the creator of Mama's Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 - 2013. He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 40,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. 

Author photo credit Hollis King



Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, is the director of the Connecticut Writing Project and an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP). Dr. Crandall has 18+ years of urban education experience during which he has inspired youth to publish, perform, and educate others through the power of oral and written communication. In 2007, he was offered doctoral fellowship at Syracuse University; his dissertation, “A Responsibility To Speak Out”: Perspectives On Writing From Black African-Born Male Youth With Limited and Interrupted Formal Education," received a doctoral prize for research in 2012. Dr. Crandall publishes and presents on teaching writing to adolescent youth, 21st century literacies, young adult literature, issues in urban education, and working with immigrant and refugee youth. Crandall has served on the Board of Directors for Hoops 4 Hope since 1995.



Mark Crandall is the founder and executive director of Hoops 4 Hope. In 1984 at age 15, Crandall traveled to Zimbabwe as a Rotary Exchange student – the trip forever changed the path of his life. In addition to being captain of his high school basketball and soccer teams, he received a BA in sociology from the University of Vermont and went to the School for International Training in Melbourne, Australia. Crandall is currently the director of East Hampton Sports Camp at Sportime in New York. Crandall founded Hoops 4 Hope in 1995 to provide sports, fun, education and opportunity for all young people. He has two daughters Zola and Inez.


Patty Dann is the author of three non-fiction books, The Butterfly Hours: Transforming Memories into Memoir, The Goldfish Went on Vadation: A Memoir of Loss and The Baby Boat A Memoir of Adoption. She has also published three novels, Mermaids, Starfish and Swwet & Crazy. Her work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Mermaids was made into a movie, starring Cher, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci.

Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine and other publications. 



Don D’Auria: My entire adult life has been dedicated to writers and writing. I spent more than twenty-five years evaluating, acquiring and editing fiction for New York publishers, ranging from some of the largest houses in the country to small independents. Most recently, as executive editor, I edited and directed the thriller, horror and western lines for Dorchester Publishing, and the horror line for Samhain Publishing. I’ve also edited, among others, thrillers, adventure, military and historical fiction for Bantam Doubleday and romance for Harlequin. Over the years I’ve edited quite a few books that have won or been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award or the Spur Award. I have been a speaker, panelist or guest at dozens of national, international and local writers’ conferences and conventions.



Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of The Masterpiece, The Address, and The Dollhouse. She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Fiona is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City. For more info, visit

Author photo credit: Kristen Jensen



Kenneth C. Davis is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Don’t Know Much About® History and America’s Hidden History, along with many other works of history. His book In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavey, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives (2016), was an ALA (American Library Association) “Notable Book,” and a finalist for the Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award presented by YALSA (Young Adults Service Library Association) and named one of the best Young Adult books of the Year by the Washington Post. His most recent book is More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War. A frequent guest on national radio and television, Mr. Davis also speaks frequently to teachers and librarians and has visited hundreds of classrooms via Skype and in person. Mr. Davis is a longtime resident of New York City. His website is 
Author Photo Credit: Nina Subin



Kayla Erickson is a television and film actress who stars in the animated PBS KIDS series "Pinkalicious & Peterrific." Kayla started acting at the age of 4 and has booked numerous commercials and voice-overs (including the role of Little Fish on Bubble Guppies). She made her on-screen debut in the feature film, Most Beautiful Island, and has appeared on Saturday Night Live numerous times. When Kayla isn’t acting, she enjoys drawing, singing, reading and writing.


Abby Fabiaschi is a human rights advocate interested in economic solutions to social/cultural problems. In 2017 she co-founded Empower Her Network, an organization that paves a path for survivors of human trafficking with a will for independence by breaking down housing barriers, financing education, and uncovering employment opportunities. You can learn more about her practice of systematic giving here.

When her children turned three and four in what felt like one season, she resigned from her post as a high tech executive to pursue writing. I Liked My Life (St. Martin’s Press) is her debut novel. She and her family divide their time between West Hartford, Connecticut and Park City, Utah. When not writing or watching the comedy show that is her children, she enjoys reading across genres, skiing, and hiking. Oh, and travel. Who doesn’t love vacation?



Paul Ferrante is an award-wining secondary school educator who has been writing professionally since 1992. He is a long time columnist for Sports Collectors Digest on the subject of baseball ballpark history. He has also authored five volumes in the young adult T.J. Jackson Mysteries series, the adult baseball novel The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway, and his latest work, a historical fiction thriller entitled The Beatles Must Die, for ages teen through adult. Paul's writings have let to numerous television and radio appearances, and he has spoken at Gettysburg's 150th battle commemoration and the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th anniversary celebration. He teaches in the Westport, CT school system and lives in Fairfield with his wife Maria and daughter Caroline, a screenwriter/director.



Gayle Forman is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the young adult novels I Have Lost May Way, If I Stay, Where She Went, the Just One series, and I Was Here and of the adult novel Leave Me. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.



Karen Fortunati is the winner of the Young Readers Category for The Weight of Zero, Delacorte Press. She is a former attorney whose experiences on the job with children and teens and personal experiences witnessing the impact of depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide inspired her to write The Weight of Zero, a story of hope for those who struggle with mental illness. She wanted them to know that they are not alone in navigating the shame, stigma, and anxiety that often complicate the management of this chronic condition. Karen attends graduate school at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and works part-time as a museum educator. She lives in Connecticut with her family and rescue dogs.



Franco and his forehead have traveled the world and he writes and draws stuff and sometimes throws paint around on canvas. He is the creator, artist and writer of Patrick the Wolf Boy and Aw Yeah Comics! He has also worked on The Dino-Mike book series and comic titles for various Comic companies including critically acclaimed Superman Family Adventures, Young Justice, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, and the New York Times bestseller, multi Eisner award winning series Tiny Titans and Supermans for DC Comics! He has also worked on Grimiss Island and itty bitty Hellboy with Dark House Comics! Franco is currently working on Encounter for LionFORGE and creator-owned project The Ghost and the Owl. Twitter: @awyeahfranco,,


Heather Frimmer is a physician by day, specializing in diagnostic radiology and breast imaging, and an avid reader and writer at all other times. A published book reviewer across multiple websites, including Books, Ink and Booktrib, and a member of the Westport Writers’ Workshop, she lives in Weston, Connecticut with her husband and two sons. Bedside Manners is her first novel. In this mother-daughter story, Joyce Novak must abandon her caregiver role and become the patient after a breast cancer diagnosis. Her daughter, Marnie, just completed medical school and is looking forward to her surgical internship and upcoming nuptials. But when one of her patients dies, she must learn to strike a balance between doctor and daughter.


Ramin Ganeshram is an award-winning journalist who holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. For eight years she worked as a feature writer for the New York Times and another eight years for New York Newsday as a feature writer and food columnist. A professionally trained chef, Ganeshram has specialized in writing about multicultural communities as a news reporter and about food from the perspective of history and culture.

Ganeshram has written culture and travel articles for NPR, Forbes, Islands (as contributing editor); National Geographic Traveler; Forbes Traveler; Forbes Four Seasons, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appetit and and many others. She is also the author of a number of cookbooks and is the recipient of the 2015 IACP Cookbook Award. Ganeshram has contributed articles on historical America, immigrant foodways and colonial New York cuisine and commerce to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink In America (2014) and Savoring Gotham (Oxford University Press 2015). Ganeshram has also been a peer reviewer for the Journal of Food, Culture & Society.

Ganeshram is also the ghostwriter of the best-selling Welcome To Sweetie Pies Cookbook (Harper Collins/Amistad, 2015) by Robbie Montgomery, based on the award-winning reality show, Welcome To Sweetie Pies on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her 2016 book Cooking With Coconut is a 2017 Readable Feast Cookbook Award nominee and her book The Art of the Perfect Sauce written with Iron Chef America veteran Lorilynn Bauer was published January 2018 by Page Street Publishing.

Ganeshram has been a featured speaker at City University of New York, the Fancy Food Show and the American Library Association. Her forthcoming historical novel The General’s Cook tells the story of George Washington’s enslaved chef Hercules, a famed culinary artist who battles the odds for his own freedom.

Ramin Ganeshram is currently the Executive Director of Westport Historical Society.

Author photo credit JP Vellotti 



Sebastian Girner is a German-born, American-raised comic editor and writer. Beginning his career at Marvel Entertainment, Sebastian has gone on to edit a number of critically acclaimed creator-owned Image Comics series including Deadly Class, VS, and the Harvey and Eisner Award-winning Southern Bastards. In 2017 he released two comic writing debuts at Image Comics: the all-ages fantasy/adventure Scales & Scoundrels and the tall-tale action/satire Shirtless Bear-Fighter! He lives and works in Brooklyn. 



Roman Godzich was born at a very early age. The shock of arriving on this planet was such that he didn't speak for almost a year. Eventually, he got over it and now people say it's challenging to get him to shut up.



Chris Grabenstein is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics, The Island of Dr. Libris, Welcome to Wonderland, and many other books as well as the co-author of numerous page turners with James Patterson, including the I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters series. Chris lives in New York City.



Author and James Patterson-collaborator Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don't Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His latest novel, The One Man, is a World War II thriller. Author photo credit Lynn Gross


Rob Hart is the author of the Ash McKenna series. The final entry, Potter's Field, is available now. His next book, Take-Out, a collection of culinary noir short stories, will be released by Polis Books in January—the title story of which will be featured in Best American Mystery Stories 2018, edited by Louise Penny. In summer 2019, Crown will release The Warehouse, a near-future thriller that has sold in 19 countries outside the US and been optioned for film by Ron Howard. By day he's the publisher at and the online writing workshop director at LitReactor. He lives in Staten Island, NY, with his wife and daughter. You can find more at 



Darcy Hicks, M.Ed, is an artist, educator and Visual Literacy Coach. She uses all of these skills to encourage artists/writers to discover their own stories and voices. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher, art teacher, teaching coach for art and literacy with the Yale Center for British Art public school partnership, and is the Education Director for Unload USA, an organization that encourages conversation about gun violence through the arts.



Joe Iconis is a writer and performer. He is a creature of Manhattan and can frequently be spotted banging away on a dirty old piano.

The Shack Sackler Foundation is the primary benefactor of the Library's music series.

As a composer - lyricist - book writer, he has authored the musicals Be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, ReWrite, Theaterworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We The People, and the currently in development Hunter S. Thompson Musical and Love In Hate Nation.

The original cast recording of his musical phenomenon Be More Chill has over 80 million streams, and his song “Broadway, Here I Come!” was hailed by the New York Times as a new entry in the Great American Songbook.

Albums: Be More Chill (Original Cast Recording), Things To Ruin (Original Cast Recording) and The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree all available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. Joe’s songs appeared on Season 2 of NBC’s “Smash” and his writing has been featured in The New York Times and The Dramatist.

His concert act, Joe Iconis and Family, frequently plays The Beechman Theater, 54 Below, and Joe’s Pub. The original cast recording of Joe’s theatrical rock concert Things To Ruin, is out on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight records.

He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, an ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, a Doris Duke Grant, and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award.

Joe is deliriously inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, Martin Scorcese, Sardi’s, The Rolling Stones, whiskey, The Muppets, and The Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with.


Gordon Jack always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, he put that on his “What I want to be when I grow up” list, just behind astronaut and professional dog walker. While working towards this goal, he had jobs as an advertising copywriter, English teacher, librarian and semi-professional dog walker. He is the author of two young adult novels, The Boomerang Effect and Your Own Worst Enemy. He lives in San Francisco with his family.



A native of South Africa, Sophie Jaff is the author of Love is Red: Book One in the Nightsong Trilogy (HarperCollins May 2015), which was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, and has since been published in several languages. Her latest book, Crown of Stars: Book Two in the Nightsong Trilogy (HarperCollins), was published in 2017. Her children's book The Adventures of Julia the Discontented Cow was published in 2005.  She is also a Dramatist Guild Fellow. She is an alumna of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. Sophie was the bookwriter/lyricist for the children's musical A Shelter in Out Car, which was subsequently published by Boosey & Hawkes. Other works include Erika's Wall; Not That We're Bitter; Everything and Story of an African Farm, which won the Frederick Loewe Foundation Grant. Sophie’s work has been performed at Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, The Duplex, The Gershwin, and Goodspeed Musicals. Her essays have been published in the Daily Beast, Bustle and



Sydney Johnson became the 12th head coach to oversee the Fairfield University men's basketball program when he was introduced in April 2011. Johnson joined the Stags program after spending four seasons as the head coach at his alma mater Princeton University. Johnson is the first coach in 40 years to garner four winning seasons in his tenure at the University. During Johnson’s six years at the helm, no MAAC program has more winning seasons than Sydney Johnson except for one (Iona Gaels).



Victoria Kann is the award-winning illustrator and author of the picture book series featuring the whimsical and effervescent character, Pinkalicious as well as the co-executive producer of Pinkalicious & Peterrific on PBS Kids. Victoria co-authored and illustrated the first two books, Pinkalicious, Purplicious as well as the play, Pinkalicious The Musical. She wrote and illustrated Goldilicious, Silverlicious, Emeraldalicious, Aqualicious, Peterrific, and is working on several more books about the adventures and antics of Pinkalicious. You can find out more on the website and follow Victoria on Facebook



Alan Katz is the author of many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Don’t Say That Word!, OOPS!, Karate Pig, The Day the Mustache Took Over, The Day the Mustache Came Back and If I Didn’T Have You. Alan is also a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV series including The Rosie O’Donnell Show, animated series Taz-Mania, Disney’s Raw Toonage and Goof Troop, the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, a ton of Nickelodeon series and specials, plus network series and game shows. He has also created comic books, trading card sets, web videos, TV commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and parents. Alan and his wife have four kids; they live in Weston. 



I’m Sheryl Kayne, writer, adventurer, performer, educator, and public speaker. I’ve lived in Connecticut since age 19 and raised my children here as well. I literally began writing my first travel book, Immersion Travel USA, and creating the concept of Immersion Travel when I was in elementary school. My father was a traveling salesman and let me ride along on his day trips to service clients. He knew everything imaginable about the people and places; which taught me that there was a lot more to traveling than what I could only see with my eyes. My favorite Immersion Travel Trip of all time was driving to Denali National Park, Alaska from Weston, Connecticut in my Toyota Corolla. I wrote Volunteer Vacations Across America because I wanted people to know we do not have to cross oceans to volunteer. This was the first book of its kind devoted solely to volunteering in the United States with more than 200 trips helping people, communiti es, wildlife, the environment and national treasures. I also do ghostwriting, book doctoring and editing and have written children’s books, including Queen of the Kisses and Queen of the Kisses Meets Sam Under a Soup Pot, created five national columns; wrote The Weigh It Is food, fitness and diet humor column for the CT Post for twenty years, and contributed to national and international publications and websites. I am currently launching a new series of books “Journaling to Communicate” (with toddlers, adolescents, teens, through difficult times and more). Fully media trained, I’m comfortable in all venues, with large and small groups performing my children’s books for schools and festivals, storytelling to seniors, or facilitating workshops for corporations on business presentation and communication skills. I love all that I do, particularly writing and living here in Connecticut.



Born in the far-off days of the Second Millennium, P.C. Keeler spends his days writing detailed instructions for very dim but precise silicon brains to follow and finds it a relaxing change of pace to write more conversationally for charming, handsome, intellectual readers like you. He enjoys past, present, and future, preferably all at once. Steampunk and Ren Faires work well for this.Currently residing in the wilds of Fairfield County, Connecticut, he grew up in New Hampshire and as such has never quite gotten used to sales tax. His first published work was a short poem printed by a local newspaper at the tender age of six. Him, that is. The newspaper was considerably more well-established. He has continued writing since, most recently appearing in Diabolical Plots with “Do Not Question The University.”When not writing code at the day job, writing fiction after hours, or visiting Ren Faires in a vaccuum-tube-bedecked top hat, P.C. can be found trying frantically to catch up on sleep. He is pondering a trip into Mad Science simply so as to be able to build a device to slow the rotation of the planet and create the 28-hour day for this purpose. Donations welcome.



Gwendolyn Kiste is the author of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated collection, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, and her debut horror novel, The Rust Maidens. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Shimmer, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, and LampLight, among other publications. A native of Ohio, she resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. You can find her online at



Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. His personal essays, poetry, short fiction, book reviews, and film analysis have been published in Popmatters, The Rumpus, Entropy Mag, and Quiet Lunch Magazine.



Ann Lineberger is the author of The Adjustments (Full Fathom Five Digital, 2016) and New Spaces, Old World Charm (McGraw-Hill, 2004). Her new book, Sunday Best, a darkly comic mystery, will be out on September 21, 2018. Ann has worked as a reporter, editor, and writer for numerous publications, including Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, Cottages & Gardens, and Home Remodeling. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from New York University and an associate’s degree from the New York School of Interior Design. Her independent studies program undergraduate degree is from Providence College.  She enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, running, photography, and escaping to Maine in the summers. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters, and two very silly dogs. She can be reached at



Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is now a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, NY. The Two-Family House is her first novel.



New York Times bestselling author Michaela MacColl attended Vassar College and Yale University earning degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. She has written about a teenaged Queen Victoria (Prisoners in the Palace, Chronicle 2010) and Beryl Markham’s childhood (Promise the Night, Chronicle 2011). She is writing a literary mystery series for teens featuring famous writers such as Emily Dickinson, the Bronte sisters, Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen. She has recently begun a new middle-grade series with Boyd’s Mill/Highlights called Hidden Histories about odd events in America’s past, including orphan trains, Dred Scott’s daughter and the Carlisle Indian Boarding School.  



Joyce Markovics is an editor and a writer who lives near the Hudson River in Ossining, New York. She has written more than 100 nonfiction children’s books—on topics ranging from tsunamis to Tasmanian devils—and has edited countless others. She’s passionate about crafting compelling narratives that excite young readers. When she’s not reading or writing, she helps to clean and preserve gravestones in Ossining’s historic cemeteries. 



Jacqueline Masumian is the author of Nobody Home: A Memoir. She grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and has enjoyed careers as actress, performing arts manager, and landscape designer. Her stories have appeared in Brilliant Flash Fiction, Indiana Voice Journal, andGravel, among others. Visit her at



Liz Matthews is a writer and editor who received her   M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts (2008) and M.A. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Liz began her professional career in publishing, both at a literary agency and as an Editorial Assistant at Random House before teaching middle and high school English at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town & Country, Literary Mama, Brain Child, Mothers Always Write, and The Rumpus. She is in the process of polishing her first novel, Horseplay Hill, based on the photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. Liz lives in Fairfield with her family and is on the board of Shakespeare on the Sound



Alice Mattison is a widely acclaimed author and longtime writing teacher. Her seventh novel, Conscience, will appear in August, 2018. The Kite and the String: How to Write with Spontaneity and Control—and Live to Tell the Tale appeared in 2016. Her earlier novels include The Book Borrower, Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn, and When We Argued All Night, and she is also the author of four books of stories and a collection of poems. Twelve of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, and other work has been published in The New York Times, Ploughshares, and Ecotone and anthologized in The Pushcart Prize, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Short Stories. She has held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has taught at Brooklyn College, Yale University, and, for more than twenty years, in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the MFA program at Bennington College.

Author photo credit: Sigrid Estrada



Diversity is one of Alison McBain's passions. With dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, a Japanese-American mother and a B.A. in African history and classical literature, she has an eclectic background and a wide range of experience. She grew up in California and moved to the East Coast in her mid-twenties. Currently, she lives in Connecticut, where she is raising three girls and her husband. She started her writing career at age four with a "self-published" horror story about the monster in the closet. The story was highly lauded by her closest family members. Since then, she's received a number of writing awards and accolades from people not even vaguely related to her, but she still has a soft spot for that first short story. Her interest in diversity also extends to fiction. With over seventy publications to her name, her stories and poems range in tone from serious to silly. They cover nearly every genre, including literary, romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy, history and adventure.When not writing fiction, she follows her own personal mantra of, "Do something creative every day." She serves as the Book Reviews Editor at the magazine Bewildering Stories. She also blogs about local events, showcases her art and conducts author interviews on her website, When life gets a little too hectic, she does origami meditation or draws all over the walls of her house with the enthusiastic help of her kids.



Jay Miletsky is a reformed business author who has shifted gears completely and loves his new life writing children’s books. Combining a unique lyrical style with an engaging ability to tell a story, Jay creates books that are fun to read, heartwarming, even silly at times, often with valuable moral and life lessons hidden in the subtext.

His best-selling first book, Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll, has kicked off a series of “You Rock!” stories, with the eagerly awaited Tad, the Tin that Wanted to Rock slated for publication in early 2019. Other books soon to be released include The Bear and the Fern, Beware of the Nose-Biting Monster! and Roger Ripley and the Penny Book.

A graduate of Brandeis University, he currently lives in northern New Jersey, and gets his creative inspiration from his daughter, Bria Paige, who embarrassingly prefers to read children’s books written by Josh Funk….



Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of women’s fiction and suspense novels. Her newest book, In Her Bones, was published September 2018. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter: @KateMoretti1 or Facebook: /KateMorettiWriter.



Douglas Moser is a novelist, memoirist, screenwriter, playwright, and journalist. His YA novel Pussy Boy was developed at the Yale Writers’ Workshop and the Westport Writers’ Workshop. His adaptation of Dickens “A Christmas Carol” received the Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award when performed at the Westport Country Playhouse. “Elegy for Ebenezer” was later workshopped at Long Wharf Theatre. “Reborn Again,” a screenplay co-written with Pat Watkins, was optioned for production in 2010, and is currently being developed as a 10-part comedy series. Doug spent over 15 years as a corporate journalist, producer, and internal communications coordinator for a global management consulting firm. Beyond his ever-growing writing career, he continues to work as a professional theatre director. In addition to directing plays and musicals in New York and regional theatres, he made his opera debut directing the world premiere of Paula Kimper’s and Wende Person’s “Patience & Sarah” at Lincoln Center. This groundbreaking opera, based on Isabel Miller’s book about two women who find love in early 19th Century New England, is the first lesbian-themed opera. Doug has worked with a number of playwrights and composers to develop Broadway-bound musicals and plays, with extensive workshop experience including the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the New York Theatre Workshop at Dartmouth. Moser’s acclaimed short film “Glacier Bay,” starring James Noble and Dorothy Bryce, screenplay by Frederick Stroppel, received numerous awards on the festival circuit.



Myrmidon is a chapter of Dagorhir Battle Games Association based out of Norwalk, Connecticut. Dagorhir is fast-paced full-contact medieval style combat with padded weapons. We use swords, shields, spears, axes, grappling, offensive shield work, archery, and more! No spells or classes, just straight up sword bashing.


Okey Ndibe is the winner of the Fiction Category for Never Look an American in the Eye, Soho Press. He first came to the US to act as founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published by Chinua Achebe. He has taught at Brown University, Connecticut College, Simon’s Rock College, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He is the author of two novels, Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., and his award-winning journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Hartford Courant. Mr. Ndibe lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.



The festival kick-offs with Sheila Nevins, former president of HBO Documentary Films and author of You Don't Look Your Age...and Other Fairy Tales.

Sheila Nevins was president of HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, and responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys® and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards®, the most recently of which was “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” in 2016. Other Oscar® winners include “Citizenfour” (2015), “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” (2015), “Saving Face” (2012), “Strangers No More” (2011), “Music By Prudence (2010), “Smile Pinki” (2009), “The Blood of Yingzhou District” (2007), “Born Into Brothels” (2005), “Chernobyl Heart” (2004), “Murder on a Sunday Morning” (2002), “King Gimp” (2000), “One Survivor Remembers” (1996), “I Am a Promise” (1994), “Educating Peter” (1993) and “You Don’t Have To Die” (1989). The series “Cinemax Reel Life” has featured a number of award-winning documentaries including “Big Mama,” winner of the 2001 Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, “The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years” (1999) and “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien,” an Oscar® winner in 1997.

Nevins has been honored with several prestigious career achievement awards including, most recently, the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and was made an NYU Tisch School of the Arts Honoree. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Gotham Awards Tribute; a 2005 Emmy® Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy awarded a Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian; and a Personal Peabody in 1999 in recognition of her work and ongoing commitment to excellence. In 2003, Women in Film presented Nevins with a Lucy Award for her outstanding achievements in advancing documentary filmmaking. In 2002, the National Board of Review presented her with the Humanitarian Award for her contribution to the advancement of social reforms and the promotion of human welfare through film. In 2000, Nevins was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, and in 1998 she garnered the IDA Career Achievement Award and the New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award for Outstanding Vision & Achievement.

Nevins photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe



Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally published author of 175 children’s and adult books which range from the Divine to the feline and reflect her two main passions, God and cats. Titles include the awarding winning WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU, and the bestsellers CAT CONFESSIONS: A KITTY COME CLEAN TELL ALL BOOK, and THE JOY OF BEING FIFTY, illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. Her latest book in association with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, LAUGH OUT LOUD:40 WOMEN HUMORISTS CELEBRATE THEN AND NOW…BEFORE WE FORGET takes readers on a journey from hot pants to hormones, and as bestselling author, Lisa Scottoline says, “celebrates the voice of women who are smart, strong and funny.” Learn more at:



Christine Pakkala is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop MFA. She was a Fulbright Scholar (1994) in Helsinki, Finland, where she translated modern Finnish poetry. She taught 7th and 9th grade English at Horace Mann and has published essays in Salon, BrainChild and Serendipity and is the 2013 winner of the Ladies Home Journal essay contest. She’s the author of Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green, which was the winner of the Santa Monica Public Library's Green Prize, and a novel for teens, Jasmine and Maddie, which was a VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocate) Top Shelf pick and a Bank Street Best Book.
Christine is working on a memoir and the first chapter of it will be published as an essay in "The Seventh Wave", an arts and literary magazine this fall.



Danielle Pieratti is the winner of the Poetry Category for Fugitives, Lost Horse Press. Her first book, Fugitives (2016, Lost Horse Press), won the 2016 Idaho Prize and the 2017 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry. She is the author of two chapbooks: “By the Dog Star" (Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press), the 2005 winner of the Edda Chapbook Competition for Women, and “The Post, the Cage, the Palisade," published by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. Danielle holds an MFA from Columbia University and is working towards her Ph.D. in English at the University of Connecticut. She currently teaches secondary English and runs regular writing workshops and retreats for teacher-writers through the Connecticut Writing Project. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two young children.


Jamie Pope is a teacher, writer and the author of over twenty romance and women's fiction novels. She first fell in love with reading when her mother placed a romance novel in her hand at the age of thirteen. When she's not working her day job or writing, she loves binge watching her favorite shows or shopping for a new pair of shoes. 



Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds was the American Booksellers Association’s 2017 spokesperson for Indies First, and served as the national spokesperson for the 2018 celebration of School Library Month in April 2018, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Jason’s many works of fiction include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, For Every One, Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at
Reynolds photo credit: Kia Chenelle


Sara Richard is an Eisner-nominated artist and illustrator. Her art can be seen on 80+ covers of IDW's My Little Pony, and featured on the covers of Jem and The Holograms, Bob's Burgers, Rick and Morty, Miraculous Ladybug, Clue, Ghostbusters and Deadpool. Sara is also the illustrator of the DC Collectibles' Justice League Tarot Card Set. Sara is also the illustrator of the new book, The Ghost, The Owl written by Franco and published by Action Lab. 


Bella Rizzi lives in Westport CT. She is a junior at Staples
High School. She enjoys science, cooking and acting.
She is a first-degree black belt in Kempo Karate. One
of her most inspirational book series is the Michael
by Richard Paul Evans. She likes characters that
overcome obstacles, embrace differences and
perform heroic deeds.

Bella was born with Down syndrome. It has never
stopped her from achieving anything she puts her
mind to. “I believe we all have special powers, we just need
to trust in ourselves and work together”.

Time Travel Girls is an adventure about three great
friends who discover that when faced with obstacles
they can summons special powers and accomplish
anything, even save the earth.



Charlotte Rogan studied architecture at Princeton University and worked for a large construction firm before turning to fiction. She is the author of The Lifeboat, which was nominated for The Guardian first book award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Goldsboro Books and Historical Writers Association debut historical fiction prize. It was included on The Huffington Post’s 2015 list of “21 books from the last 5 years that every woman should read,” is in development as a motion picture starring Anne Hathaway, and has been translated into 26 languages. Rogan’s second novel, Now and Again, continues to explore issues of morality and justice.



Susan L. Ross is the author of two middle grade novels. Kiki and Jacques (Holiday House, 2015) explores the friendship between a Somali refugee girl and boy from Maine, and the upcoming Searching for Lottie (Holiday House, 2019) is a contemporary Holocaust mystery about a girl searching for the relative she was named after. Susan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Westport Library and teaches fiction at Westport Writers Workshop. She graduated from Brown University and New York School of Law and lives with her family in Westport.



Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the author of Lift and Separate, winner of the Star Award presented by the Women's Fiction Writers Association for Outstanding Debut. Husbands And Other Sharp Objects is her second novel. Marilyn grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years. Marilyn received an MA in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and an MA in Judaic studies from the University of Connecticut. She enjoys speaking at book festivals and community events.



Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the "forbidden" romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin' with the boy next door. 



Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name. Now a full-time author, Riley's first thriller, Final Girls, was a national and international bestseller that has been sold in 25 languages. A film version is being developed by Anonymous Content and Universal Pictures. His most recent book, The Last Time I Lied, was recently published. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. 
Sager author photo credit Jesse Neider


Nina Sankovitch is the author of the bestselling memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, and two histories, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing, which explores the history of letter writing, and her latest book, The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family, a multi-generational biography of one of New England’s most influential families. She has written for the New York Times and Huffington Post, and was a judge for the Book of the Month Club. She lives in Westport with her family. 



Julie Sarkissian is the author of Dear Lucy, published by Simon and Schuster and nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her essays, short fiction and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, The Huffington Post, The New York Observer, and Flavorwire, among others. Born and raised in Southern California, she has a BA in English from Princeton and an MFA from The New School. She worked for Sackett Street Writers in Brooklyn, NY as a fiction instructor and manuscript consultant before moving to Westport, CT with husband and two young children.



Gregg Schigiel's worked as a penciller and assistant editor at Marvel Comics, character artist for Nickelodeon Consumer Products, and has illustrated of a litany of licensed story/chapter/coloring books. He is a regular contributor to SpongeBob Comics. In 2014, he self-published (under his Hatter Entertainment imprint) Pix: One Weirdest Weekend, the first of a series now published by Image Comics. In addition to making comics, Gregg produces and hosts the comics-centric podcast Stuff Said and produces and co-hosts the Tom Cruise movie-centric podcast "Cruisin’ Together”. He likes doughnuts, enjoys comedy, and makes sure he drinks plenty of water.



A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related e-mails way more than she was probably supposed to. After trying her hand penning children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing smart, sassy romantic comedy, women’s fiction, and contemporary young adult fiction. She secures much inspiration from her day job as a hard-working trademark paralegal and her still single (but looking) status. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan, an avid runner, and an unashamed television addict. To learn more, visit her at



Alex Segura is the author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novels, which include Silent City, Down the Darkest Street, Dangerous Ends, and Blackout, all via Polis Books. Blackout was listed as one of the most anticipated mystery novels of 2018 by CrimeReads, MysteryPeople and Bookbub, and included in The Boston Globe’s Summer Reading List.

He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed Archie Meets Kiss storyline, the “Occupy Riverdale” story, and the Archie Meets Ramones one-shot and The Archies ongoing series.

Alex will be co-writing Lethal Lit, a new fictional crime podcast launching this fall from iHeart Media.

His work has appeared in the anthologies Protectors 2, Waiting to be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak Inspired by the Replacements, Unloaded 2, Apollo's Daughters, and Florida Happens the Bouchercon 2018 anthology, and in publications including The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Strand, Mental Floss, LitReactor, and more.

A Miami native, he lives in New York with his wife and son.



Taylor Sharp resides in North Carolina, where he studied the philosophy and business of sport as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and is the producer of the film Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters. He has a wide variety of experience in the nonprofit, entrepreneurial, and sport industries. His endeavors often focus on how sport both affects and reflects society, and many of his projects originate at the intersection of social impact and sport. Outside of this film, he currently offers nonprofit consulting, video production, and does part-time project work for the NBA. Taylor’s vision for this film stemmed from the relationships and experiences he has amassed over the years throughout the basketball world.



Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.



Jessica Speart is an investigative journalist whose focus is on wildlife law enforcement and endangered species issues. She is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative nonfiction book Winged Obsession about the world’s most notorious butterfly smuggler. The book was an Indie Next pick and has been featured on the CBS News Blog, CBS Weekend Roundup, National Geographic Weekend, the Huffington Post, the NY Post, the Miami Herald and numerous NPR stations. Film rights have been optioned. Jessica also penned the ten-book Rachel Porter Mystery Series featuring U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter. The series was created after years of investigating wildlife and drug-trafficking crimes for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, National Wildlife, Audubon, Mother Jones, Travel & Leisure and Omni Magazine Jessica has lectured at the American Museum of Natural History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, chapters of the Audubon Society, League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. She recently appeared in the Discovery Channel special Extreme Wildlife Smuggling.




National Book Award-nominee Nic Stone author of Odd One Out and the New York Times bestselling and William C. Morris award finalist Dear Martin, was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Spelman college, she worked extensively in teen mentoring, and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work. 



Craig Tello is WWE’s Vice President of Digital & Social Content, leading strategy and day-to-day operations around the programming, development and production of all editorial, original video and social content on WWE's multiscreen platforms. He manages WWE's creative content initiatives and presentation across the web, branded apps, YouTube (the #2 most watched channel on the platform) and all social channels, from Facebook to Snapchat.

A New York Times Bestselling author, Craig is focused on the communication of ideas and narrative in storytelling. His contributions beyond WWE include several globally recognized media mainstays, including Marvel Entertainment, A+E Networks and NPR.



R J Theodore is hellbent on keeping herself busy. Seriously folks, if she has two spare minutes to rub together at the end of the day, she invents a new project with which to occupy them. She lives in New England with her family, enjoys design, illustration, podcasting, binging on many forms of visual and written media, napping with her cats, and cooking. She is passionate about art and coffee. Flotsam Theodore’s debut novel, was released in March 2018 in print, digital, and audio from Parvus Press.


Robert Tomaino is writer, editor and consultant. For more than seventeen years, he has provided editorial support, guidance and strategic consultation to medical nonprofits, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Robert has extensive experience writing about rare disorders for both patients and physicians. At one time, Robert oversaw the development and expansion of the National Organization for Rare Disorder’s Rare Disease Database. Robert also understand the unique needs of patients in the rare disease community and works to foster better communication and understanding between these diverse groups and the industry representatives who work with them. Robert has served as a Managing Editor for the National Organization for Rare Disorders and

He was an assistant editor for the textbook, The Complete Directory for with Rare Disorders. 1998-1999, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Robert has edited news stories, feature news stories, physician reports, patient narratives, medical reports, brochures, pamphlets, presentations, medication inserts and more. He has provided developmental critiques for several fiction novels and numerous medical reports, brochures and textbooks that have gone on to be published.

When he breaks away from deciphering medical jargon, Robert writes fiction, from the fantastical to the urbane. The occasional poem may worm its way onto a blank canvas as well. Robert is also a fully ordained online minister who has officiated three weddings, including one in Zimbabwe. He spends time regaling his niece and nephew with stories of his youth before pumping them full of ice cream and shipping them back to their parents.


Wendy Walker is the bestselling author of All is Not Forgotten and Emma In The Night. Her next novel, The Night Before, will be released in May, 2019. Prior to her writing career, Wendy practiced family law, having earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from Brown University. Wendy also worked as a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Wendy is currently writing her fourth thriller and managing a busy household in Southern Connecticut.

Author photo credit: Bill Miles


Sam Weller is a national bestselling author, a two-time Bram Stoker Award winner and the authorized biographer of the legendary Ray Bradbury. Weller worked with Bradbury closely for 12 years and was granted unprecedented access to his inner-sanctum.

Weller's books The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury and the recently released Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews received rave reviews from critics around the world.



Hans Wilhelm has written and illustrated over 200 books for children and adults. Many have been translated into more than thirty languages and have become successful animated television series that are enjoyed by children all over the world. The total sales of his books have exceeded 42 million copies worldwide.



Ashley Woodfolk has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and works in children’s book publishing. She writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment, where she lives with her cute husband and her cuter dog. The Beauty That Remains is her debut novel.




Brooklyn-based author Chavisa Woods was born and raised in a rural farm-town in Southern Illinois.Her work primarily focuses on the lives of the working-class and rural poor, and those who find themselves in places where they very much do not belong; often, the places they were born and raised. Chavisa Woods’ third work of fiction, Things to Do when You’re Goth in the Country (short stories, 200 pages) was released by Seven Stories Press in May of 2017. She is the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award winner for Novelette (“Take the Way Home That Leads Back to Sullivan Street,” from Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country)


Nikki Woolfolk is a Professional Chocolatier, Author and active member of Sister in Crime, Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. Nikki enjoys pulling readers into a humor-filled into a spectacular cogged and geared world. While sought after for her informative Chocolate Tasting sessions at conventions, Nikki also uses her polymath talents to pen articles on the craft of writing, apply her computer science training to her New Adult Blerd Grrl series (Now That Your Joystick’s Broke), and her culinary and aviation knowledge to create a sleuth chef that cooks up Steampunk adventures under a digirible filled sky. (Mise en Death- a Bittersweet Mysteries series, Riveted: a Collection of Steampunk Tall-Tales). Get the scoop on upcoming books, chocolate and appearances. Add your email to our Books & Chocolate monthly newsletter NikkiWoolfolk .com. Get answers. Get chocolate. Get hooked!




Ibi Zoboi is the author of the 2017 young adult novel, American Street, which was nominated for the National Book Award and received five starred reviews. Her young adult novel, Pride, arrives in 2018 and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice-Cream Sandwich, will be here 2019. Ibi’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Horn Book Magazine, and The Rumpus. She is also the founder of the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project (DAWP). Born in Port-au-Prince Haiti, Ibi immigrated to New York when she was four. Raised by her mother first in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn and then the Cambria Heights section of Queens, Ibi grew up surrounded by the realities of the 1980s – poverty, violence, and crack. In college, Ibi studied journalism, but it wasn’t until she began participating in poetry slams and became part of the New York City spoken word community that she truly began to find her voice. Ibi then went on to earn an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Of course, Ibi loves reading and writing, especially science fiction, fantasy, and mythology. For fifteen years, Ibi worked as a writer-in-residence and teaching artist in the New York City public schools through organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Community-Word Project, and the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. These days, Ibi is easy to find. She’s usually the one wearing the bright colors and eating a mango or avocado. She lives in a messy house in Brooklyn with her husband, her three children, and three pet turtles named Lucky, Jade, and Leo.



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