Keynote Speaker

Marie Myung-Ok Lee, keynote

Marie Myung-Ok Lee is an acclaimed Korean-American writer and author of the novel Somebody's Daughter. Her next novel, on the future of medicine, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster. She graduated from Brown University and was a Writer in Residence there before she began teaching fiction at Columbia University's Writing Division. She has been a guest speaker at Yale Medical School and Columbia’s Narrative Medicine Program, and was a TEDMED Front Line Scholar.

She has written about a range of health topics, including advocacy for her son and other children with autism, and her stories and essays have been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, Salon, Guernica, and The Guardian, among others. She was the first Fulbright Scholar to Korea in creative writing and has received many honors for her work, including an O. Henry honorable mention, the Best Book Award from the Friends of American Writers, and a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fiction fellowship. She has been a Yaddo and MacDowell Colony fellow and has served as a judge for the National Book Award and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. In addition, Ms. Lee is a founder of the Asian American Writers' Workshop.

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Workshop Leaders

Nina Angela McKissock, Memoir Workshop (Saturday, March 17, 9:00-11:30 AM)

Nina Angela McKissock is a registered nurse, former pilot, world explorer and writer. She was featured on the Spirituality Channel’s three-part television series, “From Hospice to Heaven,” created hospital-based programs on Death and Dying and Bereavement; and was founder of Serenity House and Hospice Support of Doylestown. These stories recounted in her book From Sun to Sun: A Hospice Nurse Reflects on the Art of Dying were intended for her three children to read after her death, but a curious friend kidnapped them, and the literary journey began. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Learn more at

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Mary Heather Noble, Creative Nonfiction Workshop (Saturday, March 17, 9:00-11:30 AM)

Mary Heather Noble is an environmental scientist and writer whose work is inspired by social and environmental issues, and informed by her former career as an environmental regulator. Her writing has been recently honored with two 2017 Pushcart Prize nominations, the Editor’s Prize in Creative Nonfiction’s Learning from Nature issue, and as a finalist in the Bellingham Review’s 2016 Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction. She has also been recognized with a 2015 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, first prize in Creative Nonfiction’s 2014 The Human Face of Sustainability contest, and the 2014 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. Noble’s work has appeared in several literary outlets, including AboutPlace Journal, Barrelhouse, Fourth Genre, Hippocampus Magazine, Minerva Rising, Orion, Quartz, and Utne Reader, among others. She is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from The Ohio State University, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She lives with her family in Vermont. Learn more at

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Gillian Pidcock, Narrative Medicine (Reflective Writing and Poetry) Workshop (Saturday, March 17, 9:00-11:30 AM)

A recent graduate of The Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, Gillian Pidcock is a passionate promoter of this emerging field, offering reflective writing workshops and education for health care professionals, patients, and caregivers. She is an adjunct in the English Department at Cedar Crest College, where she teaches a non-fiction course Narrative Medicine: Writing the Body. After an early career in radiation oncology she studied literature and has been a community volunteer in the Lehigh Valley for many years, including as a docent at the Allentown Art Museum. She is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild and has presented at the LVHN Ethics Symposium, the Phoebe Institute on Aging Conference, and the Health Humanities Consortium. Learn more at

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Fran Quigley, Writing and Advocacy Workshop (Saturday, March 17, 9:00-11:30 AM)

Fran Quigley is the coordinator of People of Faith for Access to Medicines, and a clinical professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. A longtime human rights activist and active member of faith-based advocacy groups, Fran is the author of four books, including Prescription for the People: An Activist’s Guide to Making Medicines Affordable to All (Cornell University Press, 2017). He is also the author of dozens of mass media and academic articles focusing on access to medicines. Those articles have been published in the New York Times and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. Links to his recent work can be found at

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Vince Mondillo, Writing and Advocacy Workshop (Saturday, March 17, 9:00-11:30 AM)

Vincent Mondillo has been making film and videos in the Lehigh Valley since graduating from film school at Temple University. At the heart of all of his productions is powerful communication grounded in designing works that inspire, persuade and entertain. Over the years he has created a range of work, including television programs, documentaries, museum videos, dramas, music videos and commercials. He's been producer and editor on productions that have aired on the History Channel, A & E, and the Biography Channel. Mondillo has collaborated with executive producer Richard Master on Fix It, a documentary advocating for single-payer health care, and Big Pharma, advocating for pharma price review and negotiation. Their new documentary is about money in politics.

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