Keynote Speakers

Beth Kephart, keynote

Beth Kephart is the author of eighteen books, publishing memoir, young adult literature, a corporate fairytale, and an autobiography of a river called Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir (Gotham), based in part on Kephart’s teaching at Penn, won the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award (Motivational Category), was featured as a top writing book by O Magazine, and was named a Best Writing Book by Poets and Writers. Small Damages (Philomel), a young adult novel that takes place in southern Spain, was named a 2013 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book and a best book of the year by many publications. Going Over (Chronicle), a young adult novel about the Berlin Wall, was the 2014 Parents’ Choice, Gold Medal Winner/Historical Fiction, named a Booklist top historical novel for youth, and was voted a 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime by Goodreads, among other honors. Kephart’s 2014 Shebooks e-memoir, Nest. Flight. Sky.: On Love and Loss One Wing at a Time, was recently selected for a print anthology. Her 2013 middle grade historical novel, Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent (Temple University Press), was named a top book of the year by Kirkus. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages.

Kephart is a National Book Award nominee and a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize, among other honors. Her essays are frequently anthologized. She writes a monthly column on place and memory for thePhiladelphia Inquirer, is a frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune’sweekly books magazine, has given keynote addresses on the state of literature and teaching, and has judged numerous literary competitions for the National Book Awards and PEN, among others. A frequent workshop leader and the strategic writing partner in a boutique communications firm, Kephart maintains an award-winning literary/photography blog at:

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