Sara Johnson Allen received her MFA from Emerson College and is now an associate professor at Endicott College. She received the 2018 Marianne Russo Award for Emerging Writers from the Key West Literary Seminar and won the First Pages Prize at the 2019 Stockholm Writers Festival. Recently, she also received an artistic grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony.
Janella Angeles is a Filipina-American writer who works in children’s publishing by day while penning novels by night. She graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College with a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, but found the most valuable way of learning to write was in creating glorious Harry Potter fanfiction and reading obscene amounts of books. She currently resides in Massachusetts, most likely to be found reading and writing like she’s running out of time. Her debut novel, Where Dreams Descend, will be out in Summer 2020 from Wednesday Books.
Jabari Asim is an associate professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College, where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. He is the former Executive Editor of The Crisis magazine, a preeminent journal of politics, ideas and culture published by the NAACP and founded by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1910. He is the author of 15 books, including We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies and the Art of Survival; The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, And Why; What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future; A Taste Of Honey: Stories; and Only The Strong, a novel. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, the Carter G. Woodson Award from the National Council for the Social Studies, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award, an ALA Notable Children’s Book citation, and two NAACP Image Award nominations.
Susanna Baird serves as Authors Editor at Spine, a magazine devoted to the creative processes that go into making a book. Her work has appeared in the A3 Review, Across the Margin, failbetter and elsewhere. She runs a fiction-focused writing group the second Tuesday of every month, should you be local and looking.
Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Lace Reader, The Map of True Places, and The Fifth Petal, which was chosen #1 of Strand Magazine’s Top 25 Books of 2017. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages and has been an Amazon Best of the Month and a People Magazine Pick. Barry was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strnad Invitational Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in The London Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. Brunonia served as chairperson of the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee, as Director of the Salem Literary Festival, and as a member of Grub Street’s Development Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband, Gary Ward, and their dog, Angel.
Facebook: Brunonia Barry
A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot‘s career spans four decades. Highlights include feature roles in Caddyshack and Showtime’s Brotherhood, and appearances on America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. His voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, documentaries and industrials. He is a prominent acting coach and a regular contributor to the award-winning news program Frontline produced by WGBH in Boston. Peter served as director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth About Cancer. Peter has voiced over 400 audiobooks and more than 250 for children, winning 10 Earphones Awards and a 2012 Audie Award nomination. He received a SOVAS award in 2018. His 2016 Audie Award was as part of a multi-cast performance for The Starling Project, starring Alfred Molina and was part of the ensemble in the Audible Original The X-Files: Cold Cases starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Favorite titles include Toby and the Secrets of the Tree by Timotee de Fombelle, Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith, The Accident by Linwood Barclay, The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters, the Junior Bender series for Timothy Hallinan and Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story in which he is also featured as a character.
Chaya Bhuvaneswar‘s debut short story collection, received the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize, was a finalist for the PEN Robert Bingham Debut Fiction Prize, was selected as a Kirkus Best Book of 2018 as well as a Book Club selection for The Wing and Bookish.com. The book was listed as a “best book” in Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Post, Buzz Feed Books, and other publications. Her work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, The Millions, Joyland, Michigan Quarterly Review, and is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, as well as being selected for the 2019 Best of Small Fictions anthology. She is the Walter Robinson MacDowell Colony Fellow for 2018, recipient of a scholarship to Sewanee Writers Workshop and of a Henfield writing award, as well as finalist for fiction awards from Chattahoochee Review and Cosmonauts Ave as well as poetry prize winner of the Joy Harjo award from Cutthroat Journal.
Jeanne Blasberg is the author of Eden: A Novel, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Women’s Fiction and finalist for both the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction and the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Historical Fiction. After graduating from Smith College, she embarked on a career in finance. Though she worked primarily with numbers, she was always interested in writing. After holding jobs on Wall Street, at Macy’s, and writing case studies at Harvard Business School, she turned her attention to writing memoir and fiction. Blasberg founded the Westerly Memoir Project. She sits on the board of the Boston Book Festival and Grub Street, where she developed her second novel, The Nine. She and her husband have three grown children and split time between Boston, MA and Westerly, RI. She loves to travel, play squash, ski, and take in the glorious sunsets over Little Narragansett Bay.
Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad, is a Pulitzer-prize winning science journalist and director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. She is the author of five earlier books, including The New York Times best seller, The Poison Squad. She has written for publications ranging from The New York Times to Tin House to Wired and is the founding publisher of the digital science magazine, Undark (undark.org). She lives in Boston with her husband, son, and a very spoiled black labrador.
After a career in education as a teacher, career counselor, and evaluator of educational programs, Belle Brett is now an artist and a writer, contributing to her own and others’ blogs and writing fiction that deals with coming-of-age across the life span. She holds a doctorate of education in human development and psychology from Harvard University and is a graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program. Her novel, Gina in the Floating World (She Writes Press, 2018) was inspired by her stint as a bar hostess in Japan in her 20s. Kirkus Reviews called it “a sharply observed and unforgettable debut.” Gina in the Floating World has received several recent honors: the Independent Book Publishers’ Association Benjamin Franklin Awards (Silver Medal in Best New Voice in Fiction), Sarton Women’s Book Awards (finalist in Contemporary Fiction), and the International Book Awards (finalist in Cross-Genre Fiction). Belle and her husband are long-term residents of Somerville, MA.
Nancy Brewka-Clark is a longtime published author of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama who began her career as a feature writer for a chain of daily newspapers on Boston’s North Shore. She’s delighted that this is the fourth FunDead Publications anthology to include her work.
Erin Callahan grew up by a small glacial lake in New Hampshire and, after brief stints in Colorado and Rhode Island, she eventually settled back in the Granite State. As a small child, she told her mother she’d defaced a wall with crayons because she’d been possessed by an imp. She’s convinced that same imp drives her to write. When she’s not at her day job or cranking out novels on her laptop, you can find her listening to podcasts, stalking her favorite musicians on Twitter, and reading picture books with her kiddo. Her debut novel, The Art of Escaping, was published by Amberjack in 2018 and received a starred review from Kirkus.
Twitter and Instagram: @erinpcallahan
Erin Cashman is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. Uncharted was published by Page Street Publishing in fall of 2018, and her debut novel, The Exceptionals, was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book. She is also the coordinator and a mentor at the 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop, through Adventures in YA Publishing. Erin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College, and from Boston College Law School. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, three children, and a very energetic rescue dog.
Kim Chaffee once held the Guinness World Record for the largest game of pick-up sticks ever played (It’s true! Check out pg. 111 of the 2005 edition). She is a former second-grade teacher who loves coffee, chocolate, and writing picture books that kids will want to read again and again. Her debut picture book, Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon, was inspired by her own journey with running. Her second book, Nothing Wee About Me, releases on November 12. Kim is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and now lives not too far from there with her husband, two kids, and two cats.
Steven Jay Cohen has been telling stories his whole life. Professionally, since 1991. An award winning narrator, podcast producer, and audio engineer, Steven is the Chief Creative Officer/Artistic Director at Spoken Realms.
Web: stevenjaycohen.com and spokenrealms.com
Erin Dionne’s latest book for tweens is Secrets of a Fangirl (Scholastic 2019). She’s the author of 6 other books for young readers, including the 2014 Edgar Award finalist Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking (Dial 2013). Her first picture book, Captain’s Log: Snowbound, released in 2018 from Charlesbridge Publishers. She is an Associate Professor of Liberal Arts at Montserrat College of Art and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog.
David Elliott is the award-winning author of over twenty-five picture books and novels for young people, including The New York Times bestselling And Here’s to You! Other books include The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle; Finn Throws a Fit; Baabwaa and Wooliam; the This ORQ series; and the poetry series On the Farm, In the Wild, In the Sea, On the Wing and In the Past. His YA novel in verse, Bull (2017), garnered six starred reviews and has been compared to Hamilton. Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, which the Wall Street Journal referred to as “stunning” and “supple and harrowing”, was released in March of this year. Before becoming a writer, David worked as a cucumber washer in Greece, a popsicle stick maker in Israel, and a singer in Mexico. He is a founding member of Lesley University’s Low Residency Program in Creative Writing, where he still teaches. Currently, David lives in New Hampshire with his wife and a Dandie Dinmont terrier mix, Queequeg.
Facebook and Instagram: @daelliott1234
Hallie Ephron is the New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels that reviewers call “deliciously creepy” and “Hitchcockian.” Her books are rooted in reality, and it’s no coincidence that her new novel, Careful What You Wish For, is about a woman who’s married to a man who can’t pass a yard sale without stopping. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “outstanding.” Kirkus wrote: “[her] tidy approach to stowing clues, arousing suspicions, keeping the chaos of the climax under control, then tying up loose ends… in a word—neat.” She is a five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel was an Edgar Award finalist. For twelve years she wrote an award-winning crime-fiction book review column for the Boston Globe. Her Never Tell a Lie was made into a Lifetime movie. A popular speaker and writing teacher, Hallie can be found every day on Jungle Red Writers blog.
Sara Farizan is an Iranian-American writer and ardent basketball fan who was born in and lives near Boston. The award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, she has an MFA from Lesley University and a BA in film and media studies from American University. Here to Stay is her third novel.
Juliette Fay is the award-winning, bestselling author of five novels including City of Flickering Light, available April 2019, and The Tumbling Turner Sisters, a USA Today bestseller and Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick, January 2017. Previous novels include The Shortest Way Home, one of Library Journal‘s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction; Deep Down True, short-listed for the 2011 Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association; and Shelter Me, a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award “Must-Read Book” and an Indie Next pick. Juliette holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
Facebook: Juliette Fay, author
Gary Galone has been acting in TV & film for 30 years, but is relatively new to the audiobook world, having begun narrating in 2015. He has enjoyed reading in several genres including fiction, history, religion & spirituality and self-help. One of his recent books, Dark Site by Patrick Lee has become a bestseller. As an actor he won a SAG award for Best Ensemble for his work in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight and has appeared in numerous films & TV shows including Black Mass, The Americans and many more. He will appear tin the Hallmark film Holiday for Heroes this year.
David R. Gillham is the New York Times bestselling author of City of Women. He studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California before transitioning into fiction. After moving to New York City, Gillham spent more than a decade in the book business, and he now lives with his family in Western Massachusetts. In writing his new novel, Annelies, he has spent six years researching Anne Frank and her world, immersing himself in the available material and traveling to important landmarks of her life.
Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. Her advice column, Love Letters, is a daily dispatch of wisdom for the lovelorn that has been running online and in the paper since 2009. The first season of the Love Letters podcast launched in 2018. Meredith’s books include her memoir, Can’t Help Myself: Lessons and Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist (Grand Central/Hachette); Chemistry Lessons (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a young adult novel about a young woman who uses science to manipulate her love life; and The Singles, a novel about a group of dateless guests at a wedding. Meredith has been interviewed by – and written for – The Washington Post, Bustle, Elite Daily, Apartment Therapy, Shondaland, and Real Simple.
Karlin Gray is the author of the picture books Serena: The Littlest Sister, Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still, and An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth. She lives with her family in Westport, CT.
Jane Healey left a career in high tech to become a freelance writer. Her passion for historical fiction became her new career when her debut novel, The Saturday Evening Girls Club, was published in 2017. Based on the true story of a group of Jewish and Italian immigrant women in Boston’s North End at the turn of the twentieth century, the Amazon bestseller was hailed by Redbook as “a breathtaking ode to female empowerment and the American dream.” With the release of The Beantown Girls, a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller, she continues to fulfill her dream of writing about lesser-known stories of women in American history. She shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, cooking, and going to the beach.
Ashley Hearn is a young adult editor at Page Street Publishing, working with authors such as Candice Montgomery, whose debut Home and Away was named a Kirkus Reviews best YA of 2018, and Addie Thorley, whose debut An Affair of Poisons is a Spring 2019 Discover Great New Writers selection. When she steps away from her desk, she can be found sampling craft beer, armchair-quarterbacking for the Green Bay Packers, or haunting her local coffee shop.
Ioana Hobai worked as an architect for years before she decided to return to her love of art and pursue children’s illustration. She grew up in Romania and now lives in Massachusetts with her children. She made her debut as an illustrator with Before You Sleep by Annie Cronin Romano, and her debut as an author-illustrator with Lena’s Slippers, both published by Page Street Kids. Her next book, A Whale of a Mistake, will be published in 2020 by the same publisher.
Ann Hood has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. Growing up her favorite books were Little Women and Nancy Drew. Later, she loved Marjorie Morningstar, Les Misérables and Doctor Zhivago, obviously choosing books by size! Born in West Warwick, RI she spent her high school years modeling for Jordan Marsh at the Warwick Mall, then she majored in English at the University of Rhode Island where she fell in love with Shakespeare, Willa Cather, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. She went to work for TWA as a flight attendant because she thought you needed adventures to be a writer. Of course she now knows that all you need, as Eudora Welty said, is to sit on your own front porch.
She wrote her first novel, Somewhere off the Coast of Maine on international flights and on the train to the plane. Since then, she’s published in The New York Times, Paris Review, O, Bon Appetit, Tin House, Atlantic Monthly, Real Simple, and other wonderful places; and she’s won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, Best American Spiritual Writing and Travel Writing Awards, and a Boston Public Library Literary Light Award.
Danielle Jones holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is associate director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Memorious, Southern Poetry Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. She’s a recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.
Marjan Kamali, born in Turkey to Iranian parents, spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies: Tremors and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been. An excerpt from The Stationery Shop was published in Solstice Literary Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel Together Tea was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Marjan lives with her husband and two children in the Boston area.
Crystal King is the author of The Chef’s Secret and Feast of Sorrow, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. She is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet. Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston.
Jakob Kramer studied writing and filmmaking, and went on to work in tech (booo) and on an ice cream truck (coool). He now focuses on community organizing and writing kids books. His work is all about how people can band together to build power and change their world. If you must know a fun fact, know this: he and Penelope Taylor trained Bags, the cat, to use the toilet using the Mingus Method.
Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and is the author of Salt & Storm (YALSA 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices pick), Drift & Dagger, and the novella Saltwater Heart. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in History and Literature. She grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, daughters, and dog.
Ryan La Sala has always lived on the partition between the real and unreal. He writes about surreal things happening to real people, and his stories are almost always queer. His first book, Reverie, focuses on the worlds we build within ourselves—our dreams and our delusions—and how they warp our reality. You can read an interview about it here.
Ryan grew up in a quaint suburb of Connecticut with his three siblings and three parents. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University and now works atop an antique movie theater at a digital design agency in Somerville, MA. He lives in a house festooned in decorations from past theme parties, where the TV alternates between Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kingdom Hearts, and Sailor Moon. If not writing, Ryan is doing arts and crafts with his roommate, lounging around on gym equipment while listening to publishing podcasts, or listening to NPR while cooking. He loves CATS the musical unironically. And, for those wondering, Ryan writes about drag queens but is not regularly in drag himself. He just doesn’t have the nose for it, and that’s okay.
Rajani Larocca was born in Bangalore, India and immigrated to the U.S. as a baby. Her family moved around, but she grew up mostly in Louisville, Kentucky, attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, and trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has worked as a primary care physician since 2001 and lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, and an impossibly cute dog. Always an omnivorous reader – cereal boxes, comic books, fortune cookie fortunes, and of course, novels—what she read as a child helped shape who she is today in ways she’s still discovering. Books inspired her to pursue a career in medicine; books made her yearn to live in different worlds; books helped her consider what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. She believes that promoting diversity in children’s literature leads to empathy, and empathy makes the world a better place. She currently writes middle grade novels and picture books. Some of her books explain medical topics to kids; some reflect experiences as an immigrant, book nerd, or foodie. Some are just ideas that pop into her head and won’t go away. And that’s only the beginning of the story…
Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. Her short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Atlas Obscura, the Boston Globe, Crixeo, and the Newport Review, among others, and she is the winner of the Penn-New England Susan P. Bloom Award. Her novel, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, was a New York Times bestseller and an ABA bestseller, earned five starred reviews, was a #1 Indie Next Pick, and received a 2018 Stonewall Book Award Honor and a New England Book Award. The sequel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is currently working on a series for Marvel, kicking off with Loki: Where Mischief Lies. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three with her dog Queenie.
Jen Malone is the author of over a dozen children’s and young adult titles, including The Arrival of Someday (HarperCollins, 2019), The Sleepover (Simon & Schuster, 2017), Wanderlost (HarperCollins, 2017), and Follow Your Art (a collaboration with Dreamworks Animation and Penguin Random House on a companion story to the animated film Trolls). She once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books.
Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella, as well as the chapbook, After Bird, which won the Grey Book Press Chapbook Competition. She was the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for her poetry and is co-poetry editor of Mom Egg Review.
FB: Jennifer Martelli Poetry
In addition to her novels How to Hang a Witch and Haunting the Deep, Adriana Mather is also a full-time producer and actor. She owns a production company called Zombot Pictures, which has produced the award-winning Honeyglue, among other films. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
Twitter: @AdrianaMather or @adrianamatherauthor.
Agatha- and Macavity-nominated Edith Maxwell writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she pens the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Maxwell lives in Amesbury with her beau and two elderly cats, where she gardens, cooks, and wastes time on Facebook under both names.
Wicked Authors blog
Kim McLarin is the author of three novels, the memoir Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood and Midlife and her most recent book Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Life and Love. She is a former staff writer for The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post, The Root, the New England Review, the Sewanee Review and many other publications. She is an associate professor and Graduate Program Director of the MFA in popular fiction at Emerson College.
Randy Susan Meyers‘ novels are informed by over twenty years working with criminal offenders and families impacted by emotional and physical violence. With Waisted she tackles an issue both personal and political: body image. Waisted has been chosen as a Top 2019 Summer read by Parade Magazine, Pop Sugar, BookBub, Women.com, Get Literary, and Brit.Com and was featured on Today.com. Library Journal said, “Meyers delivers a timely examination of body image, family, friendship, and what it means to be a woman in modern society. It will appeal to anyone who has ever dreaded stepping on a scale; even those who haven’t will learn from it. Culturally inclusive and societally on point, this is a must-read.”
Colleen Michaels directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art, where she’s been hosting the Improbable Places Poetry Tour for 10 years. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, on the ceiling of the PEM, on the stairs to Crane Beach, and on bar coasters under pints.
Louise Miller is the author of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living and The Late Bloomers’ Club. She is a professional pastry chef who lives, writes and bakes in Boston, MA.
Joseph Moldover is a writer and clinical psychologist who lives and works in the Boston area. He has written a number of short stories (often under the name Joseph Sloan), as well as works of nonfiction focusing on issues of health and disability. He is the grandson of the novelist Sloan Wilson, author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Every Moment After is his debut novel, and was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April, 2019.
Hillary Monahan is the New York Times bestselling author of Mary: The Summoning and, under the Eva Darrows name, the critically acclaimed The Awesome and Belly Up. Hillary writes everything from horror and comedy to SFF and romance, for young adult and adult audiences alike. 2020 sees her twelfth novel in print.
Laurie Moran is a lover of the macabre, quirky, and cute, and she wishes it were Halloween every day. When she isn’t writing or editing for FunDead Publications, she likes to make costumes and tiny cemeteries.
Amber Newberry is the head of FunDead Publications, and she writes as often as the muse gives her opportunity. She published her first novel, Walls of Ash, in 2012. Amber is working on a follow-up, if her ADHD would just allow her to stop taking on new projects and finish one of the manuscripts currently collecting dust. Amber also runs Die With Your Boots On, an alternative fashion boutique in Salem, and organizes the annual Daughters of Darkness Night Market and Write Like A Girl events.
Susan Oleksiw is the author of three mystery series. Chief Joe Silva solves crimes in the New England village of Mellingham. In the Anita Ray series, Susan explores the clash between traditional and modern India. Felicity O’Brien, farmer and healer, copes with sudden death in Below the Tree Line, first in the Pioneer Valley series. Susan served as co-editor for The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing and has written extensively on crime fiction. She was co-founder and editor of The Larcom Review (1998-2003) and The Larcom Press.
Matthew Phillion is the Salem, MA-based author of the Indestructibles YA-superhero novel series, the spinoff series Echo and the Sea, as well as the new Dungeon Crawler series of novellas. He is a member of the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers Committee and worked on the opioid awareness and prevention stage play Stories of Substance. A former journalist and film director, he wrote and produced the indie comedy Certainly Never (2013) and has appeared in numerous films.
Joey Phoenix is a professional faerie with Moonrise Fae and the Managing Editor for Creative Collective, where they use their tendency towards manic scribbling to tell stories about exciting things happening in the creative community. They are working on a memoir in between dancing in clouds of glitter and conducting interviews with professional artists.
Rebecca Podos is the author of Like Water, winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult fiction, The Mystery of Hollow Places, named one of the best books of 2016 by Barnes & Noble and MPR, and the recently released The Wise and the Wicked. A graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, Rebecca lives in Connecticut, and works by day as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.
Annie Cronin Romano is a writer specializing in picture books and middle grade novels. Her debut picture book, Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Gratitude, released in 2018. Her second picture book, Night Train: A Journey from Dusk to Dawn, came out in April 2019. Annie graduated from Boston College and went on to earn her teaching certification and a master’s degree in communication disorders. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and an extremely sweet (and always hungry) dog.
Michael Ruhlman attended the Culinary Institute of America as a journalist in whites in order to write a book about what you need to know in order to be a chef. Since The Making of a Chef, Ruhlman has written more than twenty-five books of non-fiction, fiction, memoir and cookbooks, the latter both on his own and as a collaborator with chefs such as Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert. He’s best known for his writing about food and cooking, both at home (Ratio, Ruhlman’s Twenty: Twenty Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto) and in professional kitchens (the trilogy Making of a Chef, Soul of a Chef, Reach of a Chef), and for writing about the craft of charcuterie in three books (Pâté, Rillette, Confit, in 2019, all with chef Brian Polcyn). A contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other publications, his most recent book is From Scratch: 10 Meals, 150 Recipes, and Techniques You Will Use Over and Over, October 2019. He lives in Providence, RI, and New York City with his wife, the writer Ann Hood.
Hank Phillippi Ryan is on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She’s won 36 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of 11 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense” and “a superb and gifted storyteller” and she is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal’s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her highly-acclaimed first standalone psychological suspense, Trust Me, is an Agatha Nominee and was also named a Best Thriller by New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine, CrimeReads and Criminal Element. Hank’s newest book is The Murder List. NYT bestseller Liv Constantine calls it “an exhilarating thrill ride,” A.J. Finn says, “exciting, explosive, relentless,” and B.A. Paris says it’s “her best yet.” Hank is a founder of MWA University and past president of National Sisters in Crime.
Whitney Scharer holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous journals including New Flash Fiction Review, Cimarron Review, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was published by Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019, and is forthcoming from over a dozen other countries. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA.
Katrin Schumann is the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Forgotten Hours, and the forthcoming This Terrible Beauty (2/18/20). Born in Germany, she lives in Boston and Key West. Katrin teaches writing at GrubStreet in Boston, was an instructor in PEN’s Prison Writing program, and is now the program coordinator for the Key West Literary Seminar. She studied languages at Oxford and journalism at Stanford, and is also the author of several nonfiction books. She has been granted numerous fiction residencies, and her work has been featured on TODAY, Talk of the Nation, and in The London Times, among others.
J.D. Scrimgeour’s most recent book of poetry is Lifting the Turtle. He’s also the author of two books of nonfiction, including Themes for English B, which won the AWP Award for Nonfiction.
After a career in undergraduate counseling, Laura Sibson pursued an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing in a local coffee shop, you can find her running the neighborhood streets or hiking with her dog. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their two sons. The Art of Breaking Things is her debut novel.
Diane Stern, whose 40-year broadcasting career included anchoring the news at WBZ Radio from 1983 to 2016, was among the team that won the 2017 Regional Edward R. Morrow Award for Best Newscast. While at WBZ, her reporting focused on research and new technologies in medicine. Stern is trustee of, and ESL tutor at the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, a Trustee of the Salem Athenaeum, and she emcees and moderates at charitable and other events. Stern, a graduate of Boston University (BA German Language and Literature), is a voice-over artist and currently the “Voice of Health Information” for Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Laurie Stolarz is the author of several popular young adult novels including the Dark House series, the Touch series, Project 17, Shutter, and Bleed, (all published by Disney/Hyperion Books for Children), as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series (Flux Publications). With well over a million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been translated into thirty languages, been named on numerous award lists, including the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list and the Top Ten Teen Pick list, both through the American Library Association, and have been optioned for TV. Her newest book, Jane Anonymous, will be released in January, 2020 with Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press. She is currently working on its companion book.
Cheryl Suchors is the award-winning author of 48 PEAKS, Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains, the story of a woman determined to heal from breast cancer and the loss of her best friend by immersing herself in nature and mountains, despite her fear of heights. Women’s friendships play a pivotal role in her quest. Kirkus Reviews called the book, “An inspiring yet relatable true story with exciting scenes and plenty of heart.” She lives with her husband in Cambridge, MA, and wishes their grown daughter lived nearby.
Facebook: Cheryl Suchors- Author
Haitian-born poet, educator, publisher, and social advocate Enzo Silon Surin is the author of several chapbooks and the forthcoming full-length poetry collection, When My Body Was A Clinched Fist, (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He is the recipient of a Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation and is a PEN New England Celebrated New Voice in Poetry. He is currently Professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College and founding editor and publisher at Central Square Press.
E. F. Sweetman is a writer living in Beverly, Massachusetts. She is a thriller, crime, and noir reviewer for SPINE. Her stories have appeared in noir, crime, flash, horror, and gothic anthologies Microchondria II, One Night in Salem, Switchblade V, Sixx, and Stiletto Heeled, EconoClash Review, and Broadswords and Blasters. She lives with her husband, two sons, and three rescue dogs. When she is not working on her noir novel, which she hopes to finish before she turns 95, you can find her glaring out the window at her neighbors.
Alexandra Villasante has always loved telling stories—though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA in Combined Media (that’s art school speak for making work out of anything). Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Alex has the privilegio of dreaming in both English and Spanish. When she’s not writing, painting or chasing chickens around the yard, Alexandra plans conferences and fundraisers for non-profits. She lives with her family in the semi-wilds of Pennsylvania.
Instagram and Twitter: @magpiewrites.
J.R. Walcutt is a former microfinancier, chicken farmer and tarot card reader. He’s searched for lost Native American tribes in the deserts of Mexico, hitchhiked around the south of Spain, worked as an aid worker in the slums of Mumbai, lived on a sinking boat in the port of Jaffa-Tel Aviv, and started an export business in Beijing. His debut novel, Gaia Hunted, is set partially in Salem and is a thriller with elements of fantasy and reincarnation. He lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
James Weinberg is an illustrator and designer creating everything from murals to silkscreened posters to his debut picture book Contrary Creatures. He fills some of his spare time by riding his bike around Somerville, MA, where he lives.
Elisabeth Weiss teaches writing at Salem State University. She’s taught poetry in preschools, prisons, and nursing homes, as well as to the intellectually disabled. Her chapbook, The Caretaker’s Lament, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.
Rebecca Kim Wells is the author of the Indies Introduce and Indies Next pick Shatter the Sky, an angry bisexual dragon young adult novel out now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Storm the Earth, forthcoming in 2020. She holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Simmons College. When not writing, reading, or talking about writing or reading, she sells books at a fiercely independent bookstore in Massachusetts. She can also be found drinking tea, singing along to musicals, or playing soccer. (Usually not all at once.) If she were a hobbit, she would undoubtedly be a Took.
Instagram and Twitter: @rebeccawriting