Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Speak was quickly placed into curriculum at hundreds of middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the country and made into a feature film. Chains also made the Carnegie Medal shortlist in the United Kingdom. In addition to her five best-selling Young Adult novels, Halse Anderson has written four award-winning historical novels and 19 children’s books. Her most recent novel is The Impossible Knife of Memory.
Laurie was the proud recipient of the 2011 Free Speech Defender Award given by the National Coalition Against Censorship and presented to her by her hero, Judy Blume. She has also received the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association, the ALAN Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, and the St. Katharine Drexel Award from the Catholic Librarian Association.
Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, http://twitter.com/halseanderson.
Ursula Hegi, keynote speaker, is the author of The Worst Thing I've Done, Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Children and Fire, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. Hegi’s work has been translated into many languages, and her awards include the Italian Grinzane Cavour, an NEA Fellowship, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Hegi is a German-born American who was raised in Dusseldorf, Germany, and immigrated to the United States at age eighteen. Her perception growing up in post-World War II Germany was that the war was avoided as a topic of discussion despite its evidence everywhere, and The Holocaust was a particularly taboo topic. This had a strong effect on her writing and her feelings about her German identity.
She set her third novel, Floating in My Mother's Palm, in a fictional German town, using her writing to explore her conflicted feelings about her German heritage. She used the same setting for three more books, including her best-selling novel Stones from the River, which was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club in 1997, resulting in a reprinting of 1.5 million hardcover copies and 500,000 paperback copies. Hegi is currently on the faculty of the MFA Program at Stony Brook University, Southampton. She has also taught at Barnard College and the University of California at Irvine. She has served as a juror for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle.
A bi-cultural writer, Ursula did not plan to set nearly half of her work in Germany and the other half in the Americas—but that is how the pages have opened for her, reflecting what it is like to be an immigrant.
Joyce Hinnefeld, associate professor of English and chair of the English Department at Moravian College. She is a published writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Her short story collection, Tell Me Everything and Other Stories (University Press of New England, 1998) won the 1997 Breadloaf Conference Bakeless Prize in fiction, and her stories, poems, and essays have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies. She is the author of the novels In Hovering Flight (2008) and Stranger Here Below (2010).
Workshop Leaders, Craft Talk Presenters and Manuscript Reviewers
G. Bruce Boyer has been a noted men’s fashion writer and editor for more than thirty-five years. He was associated with Town & Country magazine as men’s fashion editor for fifteen years. His feature articles have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Departures, and The Rake, among other national and international magazines. He was the first American fashion journalist to write for L’Uomo Vogue, and he has appeared on national TV, National Public Radio, and as a consultant and commentator on the TV documentary series for American Movie Classics, The Hollywood Fashion Machine.
He is the author of two books on the history and direction of men’s fashion: Elegance (Norton, 1985) and Eminently Suitable (Norton, 1990). Additionally, he is the author of two books on the history of fashion in the cinema: Fred Astaire Style (Assouline Press, 2005), and Rebel Style: Cinematic Heroes of the Fifties (Assouline Press, 2006). He is a co-author of a three-volume study of American menswear in the 1930s, titled Apparel Arts (Gruppo GFT, 1989), and a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Scribners, 2004). His most recent book is Gary Cooper: Enduring Style (PowerHouse Books, 2011), coauthored with Mr. Cooper’s daughter Maria Cooper Janis.
Most recently he has been associated with several exhibitions at The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In 2013, he was asked to co-curate the Ivy Style exhibit and contributed to the accompanying book published by Yale University Press. He is co-curator for the exhibition Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s, presented by The Museum at FIT in February 2014, and co-author of the accompanying book published by Yale University Press.
Beverly Donofrio, called a Master Memoirist by The Daily Beast, has published three memoirs. Her first, the bestselling Riding in Cars with Boys, was made into a popular movie. Her second, Looking for Mary, was a Barnes and Noble Discover pick, and her latest, the critically acclaimed Astonished, is still collecting accolades. She has published three children’s books, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Marie Clair, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, The Village Voice, Huffington Post and Slate. Her award-winning NPR documentaries can be heard through Sound Portraits. She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University and is writing a musical based on Astonished.
Mark Harris is a former environmentalist columnist with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and author of the book on green burial, Grave Matters (Scribner, 2008). His current book project is a memoir organized around notions of home and architecture. Mark is also an adjunct instructor of writing at Moravian College and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Website: www.gravematters.us
Anne Hills has become one of the better known voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances (2009 Bound for Glory live radio show favorite- Ithaca, NY), her unique solo and collaborative recording projects (2001 WAMMIE for duet CD with Tom Paxton, Under American Skies), and her overall artistry and benefit work (2002 Kate Wolf Award, Carole Robertson Award & Kerrville Female Vocalist of the Year 1997). Her song, “Follow That Road,” was the title cut of the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriter Retreat and has enchanted audiences for over a decade. Whether she is singing her own song, the words of 6-year-old Opal Whiteley, or the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, accompanied with her guitar, banjo, or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment.
Her work is featured often on XM/Sirius Folk Radio, The Midnight Special & many other folk shows, and she has just begun touring extensively, winning over audiences with her warm, lively and humorous performances. The AllMusic Guide says, “A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary music’s premiere vocalists…her knack for writing heartfelt songs [has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.” And Tom Paxton says, “Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”
Carmen Machado is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, The American Reader, Tin House's Open Bar, Five Chapters, VICE, Los Angeles Review of Books, and many other publications. She has blogged for The New Yorker and The Paris Review, was the recipient of the Richard Yates Short Story Prize in 2011, and was a finalist for the CINTAS Foundation Fellowship in 2013. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner.
Ruth Knafo Setton is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Road to Fez, as well as the recently completed Young Adult novel, Darktown Blues. She is the recipient of literary fellowships and awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and PEN, and writers’ colonies, including Yaddo and MacDowell. Her poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Women Writing Desire, Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female, The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature, Best Contemporary Jewish Writing, Arts & Letters, and The North American Review. She teaches courses in Creative Writing, Young Adult Literature and Fairy Tales at Lehigh University. Her website is: www.ruthknafosetton.com/.
Jordan Sonnenblick was a public school teacher for fourteen years, but always wanted to be a writer, so in 2003 he sat down and started his first young adult novel, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. Drums was published in 2004. Jordan was as surprised as anybody when the book took off: it received several starred reviews, was named to the American Library Association’s Teens’ Top Ten List, sold over 500,000 copies, and has been translated into twelve foreign languages. Jordan’s second novel, Notes from the Midnight Driver, was published in 2006, and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. The Italian translation of Notes won the prestigious Premio Cento prize. Jordan’s third book, Zen and the Art of Faking It, was a BookSense Pick and a Family Circle Book of the Month; his fourth, After Ever After, won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award. Sonnenblick’s fifth teen novel, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, was published by Scholastic in March 2012, and is an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and a spring 2012 Junior Library Guild selection. His sixth teen book, Are You Experienced? (Macmillan, 2013), is a fall 2013 Junior Library Guild selection.
Jordan has also written the Dodger and Me trilogy of funny fantasy books for middle-grade readers, which includes Dodger and Me, Dodger for President, and Dodger for Sale, all published by Macmillan. He lives in Bethlehem, PA with his supportive wife and lovable children, plus a lot of drums and guitars in the basement. His website is the cleverly-named www.jordansonnenblick.com.
Lee Upton is the author of thirteen books, including the collection of essays Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition Boredom Purity & Secrecy; the novella The Guide to the Flying Island; five books of poetry, including Undid in the Land of Undone; and four books of literary criticism. She won the second annual BOA Short Fiction Prize for her short story collection The Tao of Humiliation (BOA Editions, Spring 2014). Her poetry has appeared in editions of The Best American Poetry and has been included in many anthologies as well as in American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Harvard Review, Poetry, The New Republic, and numerous other magazines.
Upton’s awards include the Lyric Poetry Award and The Writer/Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America; the Pushcart Prize; the National Poetry Series Award; and the Miami University Novella Award. Her collection of essays, Swallowing the Sea, received ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Award in the category of books about writing. She is the Writer-in-Residence and a professor of English at Lafayette College.
B.J. Ward is the author of Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems, 1990-2013, published in September 2013 by North Atlantic Books/Random House as part of the IO Poetry Series. His other books are Gravedigger’s Birthday, 17 Love Poems with No Despair, and Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands. His poetry has been featured on National Public Radio’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” New Jersey Network’s “State of the Arts,” and the web site Poetry Daily, as well as in publications such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly, Puerto Del Sol, Mid-American Review, Controlled Burn, The Sun, 5 A.M., The Literary Review, and dozens of other journals.
His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Inside Jersey, The Worcester Review, and Teaching Artist Journal, as well as on the American Library Association’s main library advocacy web site (www.ilovelibraries.org) during National Library Week. Anthologies featuring his work include In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare, The Poets of New Jersey, The Random House Treasury of Friendship Poems, Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11, I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems of Ohio, and The Breath of Parted Lips II: Voices from the Frost Place. One of his poems (“For the Children of the World Trade Center Victims”) has been cast in bronze and acquired as part of the permanent collection at Grounds for Sculpture, an outdoor sculpture museum in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Mr. Ward is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for Poetry and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He lives along the Musconetcong River in Asbury, NJ, with his six-year-old son.
Panelists and Moderators
Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for elementary school, middle grade and teen readers. Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, VOYA, Kirkus, and others have praised his novels including Defining Dulcie, Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face, and his newest book, I Kill the Mockingbird (Roaring Brook 2014), which is a comedy caper/conspiracy theory/literary love story about friends who sabotage their summer reading list. A member of the SCBWI and the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, Paul leads writing workshops for college and K-12 students, builds giant robots out of cardboard, and manages the popular THIS DAY IN DOG HISTORY on twitter (@historymutt). You can find more about Paul at www.paulacampora.com.
Craig Atwood is the Charles D. Couch Associate Professor of Moravian Theology and Ministry at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is the Director of the Center for Moravian Studies. Craig is the author of numerous books and articles, most notably Community of the Cross: Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem (Penn State University Press, 2005), which analyzed the radical theology and lived experience of the Moravians in Pennsylvania. Craig holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Moravian Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at Moravian Seminary since 2010.
Shane Burcaw is a student at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, studying English. He writes a blog with over half a million readers, and his book, Laughing at My Nightmare, will be out in Fall 2014. His passion for making people laugh inspired him to start Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. to show people how humor can help them cope with adversity. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing sports in his motorized wheelchair, and spending time with his girlfriend.
A few years ago, Theresa happened upon Schuchard’s book about William Blake and discovered Blake’s mother had a connection to the Moravians. Theresa herself comes from a long lineage of Moravian ancestors, starting with Jacob Greter who emigrated from Upper Alsace in 1727. She began researching the early Moravians and discovered the controversial teachings of Nikolaus Zinzendorf, early leader of the Moravian Church. Theresa felt a spiritual affinity to Zinzendorf’s way of thinking and read all she could about the period. Her imagination was fired. She wrote a piece of speculative fiction, pretending that this period had continued in secret. What would it be like today? She mixed history with a lot of fiction. Her novel, The Star Family, is the result.
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Theresa Crater holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington and currently teaches British literature and creative writing at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has three novels published along with a gaggle of short fiction and literary articles. She lives in Colorado with her husband Stephen, their feline overlords and a breath-taking view of the mountains.
Stacia Decker joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2009. A former editor at Harcourt and Otto Penzler Books, she began her career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux after earning an MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia University. She represents noir, crime fiction, thrillers, literary fiction, literary suspense, and cross-genre fiction with speculative elements. Among her clients are Frank Bill, Joelle Charbonneau, Adam Christopher, Cassandra Rose Clarke, John Hornor Jacobs, Owen Laukkanen, Fiona Maazel, Matthew McBride, Jon McGoran, Dan O’Shea, Todd Robinson, Shya Scanlon, Kieran Shea, Jeff Shelby, Jay Stringer, Steve Weddle, Chuck Wendig, and Frank Wheeler, Jr.
Elizabeth A. Dolan, associate professor of English at Lehigh University is author of Seeing Suffering in Women’s Literature of the Romantic Era (Ashgate 2008), editor of Vol. 12 of The Collected Works of Charlotte Smith (Pickering & Chatto 2007), and co-editer of Anna Seward’s Life of Erasmus Darwin with Philip K. Wilson and Malcolm Dick (Brewin Books 2010). Her most recent articles address social issues in Charlotte Smith’s children’s literature, and a current book project explores Charlotte Smith's family's involvement in slavery, abolition, and emancipation.
Scott Paul Gordon, professor of English and chair of the Department of English at Lehigh University, has written two books, The Power of the Passive Self in English Literature, 1640–1770 (2002) and The Practice of Quixotism: Postmodern Theory and Eighteenth-Century Women’s Writing (2006). His current project explores religion, race, and patriotism in colonial Pennsylvania, pieces of which have been published in the Journal of Moravian History, the William and Mary Quarterly, and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.
Jon McGoran is the author of Drift, an ecological thriller about genetically engineered food, and its sequel, Deadout, coming out August 2014, both from Forge Books. His short fiction includes the science fiction/horror novella “After Effects,” coming in 2014 from Amazon StoryFront, and two stories in the anthology “Zombies Vs. Robots: No Mans Land,” from IDW. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is the author of the forensic crime thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison, and Freezer Burn.
He has been writing about food and sustainability for more than twenty years, as communications director at Weavers Way Co-op and editor of The Shuttle, and as editor in chief at Grid magazine. As an advocate for urban agriculture, cooperative development and labeling of genetically engineered foods, he helped found Philadelphia’s Campaign for Greener Spaces and Healthier Foods, and works with groups including Just Label it/Right to Know, Food & Water Watch, and GMO-Free PA.
He is a member of the Mystery Writers Association, the International Crime Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, and is a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to promotion, networking, and service work.
Seth Moglen is Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is the author of Mourning Modernity: Literary Modernism and the Injuries of American Capitalism (2007) and has published an edition of T. Thomas Fortune's Black and White: Land, Labor and the Politics in the South (2007), a neglected masterpiece of the African American freedom struggle. He is currently at work on a book, “Bethlehem: American Utopia, American Tragedy,” which employs modernist literary techniques to explore the 270-year history of one iconic American city.
Tina Wexler is a literary agent at ICM Partners, representing authors in the children's and adult marketplace, with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction. Current and forthcoming titles include Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, Croak by Gina Damico, Death by Toiletpaper by Donna Gephart and Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wheaton College, she holds an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College and currently serves on the board of the Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature. @tina_wexler