PANEL SESSION I
Truth and Lies: Telling Our Stories in Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction
Liz Bedell is a freelance editor, writing coach, and writer based in Northampton. A longtime English teacher, she is currently working on a novel set during the Great War and THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A WRITER’S SOUL, a nonfiction book about sustaining one’s writing practice. She also facilitates writing workshops locally and teaches at the Hartsbrook School.
Sally Bellerose, author of THE GIRLS CLUB, steadfastly claims the novel is fiction. She recently finished a draft of FISHWIVES. Her claim for FISHWIVES is that this novel about old women behaving badly. Inspiration for the book came from her spouse, her friends, and her mother Alice. Sally is interested in messy, confusing, complicated relationships. She is also drawn to humor and transcendence. THE GIRLS CLUB and excerpts from FISHWIVES have won many awards including an NEA Fellowship and (twice) the Tennessee Williams Saints and Sinners Short Story Prize.
Melanie Brooks is the author of WRITING HARD STORIES: CELEBRATED MEMOIRISTS WHO SHAPED ART FROM TRAUMA, to be published by Beacon Press in February 2017. A graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program, she teaches at Northeastern University and Merrimack College. She is completing a memoir about living with the ten-year secret of her father’s HIV disease.
Jennifer Eremeeva is an American writer, food blogger, photographer and historian based in Moscow, Russia. She is the author of LENIN LIVES NEXT DOOR: MARRIAGE, MARTINIS, AND MAYHEM IN MOSCOW, about her life in Russia, and HAVE PERSONALITY DISORDER, WILL RULE RUSSIA, a non-fiction guide to Russian history. She is the in-house travel blogger for Alexander + Roberts, a leading American Tour Operator. She is currently at work on her third book.
To Group or Not to Group, That Is the Question
Linda McCullough Moore is the author of the novel THE DISTANCE BETWEEN, the short story collection, THIS ROAD WILL TAKE US CLOSER TO THE MOON, and the essay collection, THE BOOK OF NOT SO COMMON PRAYER, as well as hundreds of published poems, essays, stories and reviews. She lives and writes and teaches in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Are You Ready? Submitting to Literary Journals
Joan Axelrod-Contrada is the author of over 15 books for children and young adults. She is also a journalist whose articles have appeared in The Boston Globe and The Writer. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
D M Gordon is the author of FOURTH WORLD and NIGHTLY, AT THE INSTITUTE OF THE POSSIBLE, finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Gordon’s poems and stories have been published widely in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Weber Studies, and The Northwest Review. Prizes include first prize from Glimmer Train, and the Editor’s Choice Award from The Beacon Street Review. She’s a freelance editor and editor for Hedgerow Books.
Naila Moreira’s poetry, essays and journalism have appeared in The Boston Globe, Seattle Times, The Common Online, Cape Rock, Pirene’s Fountain, Silkworm, and other venues. She writes a monthly environment column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Her poetry chapbook, GORGEOUS INFIDELITIES, was published in 2014 as an art book by Impossible Dream Editions in collaboration with internationally-recognized photographer Paul Ickovic.
Vati Sreiberg is a founding editor of Stone Walls II, a literary and arts journal of the hilltowns. She is currently the fiction and non-fiction editor. She resides in the hilltowns of western Massachusetts where she practices acupuncture and writes. She has a BA in Education and Comparative Literature and an MA in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. She is also on the program committee of Straw Dog Writers Guild.
PANEL SESSION II
Writing for Children: The Craft of the Picture Book
Diane deGroat has been illustrating children’s books since 1972, with over 150 books to her credit. She also writes and illustrates the award-winning “Gilbert and Friends” series, which includes ROSES ARE PINK, YOUR FEET REALLY STINK, and TRICK OR TREAT, SMELL MY FEET.
Samantha Hoffman is the Youth and Children’s Services library assistant at Hubbard Memorial Library and a children’s book author/illustrator. She is an alum of Ringling College of Art and Design’s Illustration BFA, and co-founder of Lost Worlds, a handmade faerie artwork, costumery, and accessories retailer. Samantha is currently working on writing a YA fantasy novel and illustrating a graphic novel.
Susan Hood is the author of more than 200 children’s books, with four new picture books hitting bookstore shelves in 2016. Before writing full-time, she was the Children’s Content Director of Nick Jr. Magazine and has worked as an editor at Sesame Workshop and Scholastic.
Next up? A new picture book called DOUBLE TAKE is on its way from Candlewick in 2017, followed by Susan’s first middle grade novel to be published by Simon and Schuster.
Jackie Urbanovic is a New York Times best-selling illustrator, author, and speaker. She has illustrated books for many authors including Erica Perle, Karen Beaumont, and Jack Prelutsky. With the publication of her book DUCK AT THE DOOR in 2007, she became an author/illustrator. Her latest book is titled PRINCE OF A FROG and is a spoof of the well-known fairy tale.
Secrets of the Plot Goddess: How Destiny Drives Your Story
Bestselling author Lisa Papademetriou is the author of A TALE OF HIGHLY UNUSUAL MAGIC, the CONFECTIONATELY YOURS series, MIDDLE SCHOOL: BIG, FAT LIAR (with James Patterson), and many other novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Her books have appeared on many prestigious lists, including the Bank Street Best Books of the Year, the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, and the Texas Lone Star List.
Reading Out Loud: Performance Skills for Writers
Susan Daniels is a professional actor, director, and presentation coach. She has served on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, recently chairing the Department of Theatre Arts and worked as the Public Speaking Faculty for Capstone Initiatives at the Weissman Center for Leadership. The Princeton Review features her as one of the “300 Best Professors” in the U.S. Susan has just completed a memoir about surviving a life-changing event after becoming one of the biggest winners of cash and prizes on The Wheel of Fortune.
Daisy Mathias produces a weekly radio show, Poetry a la Carte, on the UMass radio station, WMUA-Amherst 91.1 FM, where she reads published poems and interviews local poets; the program is live-streamed. She is a hospital-based pediatric speech and language pathologist, specializing in craniofacial disorders. She writes poetry and novels.
Ellen Meeropol is the author of two novels, ON HURRICANE ISLAND and HOUSE ARREST. A former nurse practitioner and part-time bookseller, Ellen’s short fiction and essay publications include Bridges, DoveTales, The Cleaver, Necessary Fiction, Portland Magazine, and The Writers Chronicle. Ellen is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild. Her third novel, KINSHIP OF CLOVER, is forthcoming in early 2017.
Hun Ohm is a partner in the entertainment/intellectual property practice of the Northampton, Massachusetts, law firm Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg LLP. Hun helps authors, artists, filmmakers, video game companies, and others in connection with a variety of legal matters, including intellectual property protection, book publishing deals, merchandising and licensing, and other transactions. He has worked with many authors, including Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Ben Gundersheimer (a/k/a, Mister G), and Archer Mayor. In addition to his work as an attorney, Hun has a keen interest in writing. His flash fiction has appeared in numerous publications, and he is currently working on a cycle of YA short stories, THE FITS AND PIECES OF ST. ANTHONY.
PANEL SESSION III
Put Down Your Garlic and Crucifix: How To Stop Warding Off Poems and Learn To Love Them
Doug Anderson’s first book of poems, THE MOON REFLECTED FIRE, won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and his second, BLUES FOR UNEMPLOYED SECRET POLICE, a grant from the Academy of American Poets. His memoir, KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN: VIETNAM, THE SIXTIES AND A JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY, was published by W. W. Norton in 2009. He has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. His most recent book of poems is HORSE MEDICINE, from Barrow Street Books. He has written critical work for the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the London Times Literary Supplement. He is also a photographer and visual artist. He has taught in the MFA programs at the Pacific University of Oregon and Bennington College, and the English Departments of Smith College and the University of Massachusetts. He lives in Thorndike, Massachusetts.
D M Gordon is the author of FOURTH WORLD and NIGHTLY, AT THE INSTITUTE OF THE POSSIBLE, finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Gordon’s poems and stories have been published widely in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, The Northwest Review, and Poetry Daily. Prizes include first prize from Glimmer Train, and the Editor’s Choice Award from The Beacon Street Review. She’s a freelance editor and editor for Hedgerow Books, a poetry imprint of Levellers Press.
Patricia Lee Lewis holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing/Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a BA from Smith College, Phi Beta Kappa. She is the author of two books of poems: A KIND OF YELLOW, awarded first prize by Writers Digest International; and HIGH LONESOME, published by Hedgerow Books. Patricia was born and raised in Texas and has lived for many years at Patchwork Farm Retreat, on a little mountain in Westhampton, Massachusetts. She leads creative writing workshops and retreats in western Massachusetts, throughout the US and internationally, including in 2017, Guatemala, Mexico, and Scotland.
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