board and literary council
board of directors
Linda Button is principal and creative director at Tooth+Nail, an agency that helps top media brands express their personality. Cruise the TV listings; that's pretty much her client list: CNN, Food Network, HBO, Travel Channel, and A&E, among others. Her favorite local client, The Peabody Essex Museum, has been a partner in transforming the way museums advertise. Button also conducts creativity workshops, speaks internationally on writing and branding, and has been guest speaker at Harvard and Emerson Universities. Linda majored in studio art at Dartmouth College. She has two addictions: Writing and Taekwon Do. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christy CashmanChristy Cashman is a writer, producer, filmmaker and advocate for story telling in all its forms. Her pursuit of acting and writing lead her to Los Angeles, where she studied acting under Janet Alhanti who taught the Sandy Meisner technique. During this time, she also read scripts for a producer at Paramount which gave her insight into the anatomy of a screenplay and story in general. At the age of twenty-four she wrote, directed and produced a short film called “The Little Things.” The film went to more than forty festivals and won several awards. She then created and produced a pilot called “The Carrie White Show”. Shortly thereafter, she starred in a short film, “Night Deposit” that won the audience award at Slamdance in 2000. This myriad of experiences showed Christy that she was interested in all aspects of film making, and lead to her forming Saint Aire Productions, her own company. Through Saint Aire, she creates, writes, options and produces projects. The “Open Book Club” was created when a conversation inspired her while hosting the PEN New England Event at her home. Several notable authors and guests engaged in a discussion that she knew was worth capturing on film. The combination of her background in film and her love for story allowed a natural segue for this project. Christy has written three more feature length scripts and her latest, “Sunny Side Up,” was completed this year. She continues to act and has participated in over twenty feature films. In 2007 she produced a short animation with Whoopi Goldberg in which they also did the voiceover. In 2010, she produced "The Kids are All Right" starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. Christy is also a central player in the New England independent film community. She has held fundraisers for: The Boston Underground Film Festival, The Coolidge Corner Theatre, The Longy School of Music, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She has hosted the Nantucket Film Festival where “The Kite Runner” was prescreened. In addition to be on the board at Grub Street, Christy is on the board of “No Kidding Me Too,” Joey Pantaliono’s organization, the MA Sports and Entertainment Commission, the Woods Hole Film Festival and the board of Overseers at Epiphany School.
Ethan Gilsdorf, Clerk
Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, his travel memoir investigation into fantasy and gaming subcultures. A poet, teacher, critic and journalist, Gilsdorf has worked as a freelance correspondent, guidebook writer, and film, book and restaurant reviewer in Paris and the U.S.. Now based in Somerville, Massachusetts, he publishes travel, arts, and pop culture stories regularly in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Christian Science Monitor, and has been published in dozens of other magazines, newspapers, websites and guidebooks worldwide, including wired.com, Salon.com, Playboy, National Geographic Traveler, Psychology Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Washington Post and Fodor's travel guides. He is a book and film critic for the Boston Globe and the film columnist for Art New England. His blog "Geek Pride" is seen regularly on PsychologyToday.com, and his Forces of Geek blog is called "Hip Points." He also contributes to blogs at wired.com's "Geek Dad"; Boston.com's Globetrotting; Tor.com; and TheOneRing.net.
Gilsdorf has also been a guest as a fantasy and escapism expert on radio programs such as the CBC's' "Definitely Not the Opera"; Public Radio International's "To the Best of Our Knowledge"; Air America's "Inside Story"; and NPR's "Around And About" and "Radio Boston." He has given lectures at universities such as MIT, Notre Dame, and the University of Southern California; appeared at numerous conventions, trade shows, book festivals and libraries nationwide.
As a poet, he is the winner of the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Competition and the Esme Bradberry Contemporary Poets Prize, and has published poems in Poetry, The Southern Review, The North American Review, Exquisite Corpse and several anthologies such as Short Fuse: A Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry, Outsiders: Poems About Rebels, Exiles and Renegades and 100 Poets Against the War, among others. He is co-founder of Grub Street's Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), volunteers as a guest speaker in the Boston Public Schools and leads journalism, feature writing, travel writing and creative writing workshops at Grub Street, Emerson College, Media Bistro and, for younger students, in schools and community centers. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Grub Street.
Jeff Mayersohn is co-owner, along with his wife, Linda Seamonson, of Harvard Book Store, an independent bookstore founded in 1932. Since Jeff and Linda assumed ownership in 2008, the bookstore has initiated same-day “green” delivery and print-on-demand via an Espresso Book Machine. Jeff spent three decades working on the development of the Internet, holding research and executive positions at several technology companies including Internet pioneer, Bolt Beranek and Newman. At BBN, Jeff served as Senior Vice President in the Communications Division, where he was responsible for the design of some of the earliest electronic mail networks and the deployment of the America Online network. From 1998 until 2008, Mr. Mayersohn was an executive at Sonus Networks, a venture-funded start-up that became a market leader in Internet telephony. A physicist by training, Jeff has degrees from Harvard and Yale. He also serves on the boards of 826 Boston and the Boston Book Festival.
Glenn Morris, Vice Chair
Glenn Morris is Chairman of Morris Architects, Strategic Facilities Partners and ArtisanCollaborative LLC. Morris Architects provides architecture, interior design, landscape design, urban planning and agency liaison services to business clients including Boston Medical Center, BAE Systems, AstraZeneca, Federal Express, Public Consulting Group, Ann Taylor Loft and others. Strategic Facilities Partners provides facilities and move management services for corporate tenants. ArtisanCollaborative is a manufacturer of exceptional corporate furniture. He was the founder and the first Chair of the College of Interior Design at the Boston Architectural College and taught for more than 25 years at the BAC, Iowa State University, Vanderbilt University and Suffolk University. He has served on a number of corporate, institutional and non-profit boards and was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Charles River Consortium (a Federally-funded non-profit that managed school-to-career programs in Newton, Wellesley, Brookline and Waltham), President of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Newton Urban Design Commission.
Tim Oliveri is CEO and co-founder of Piperi Restaurants, a venture he began with his business partner in 2011 after eleven years spent as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Au Bon Pain Corporation. While Tim was Planning Director at Au Bon Pain in the 1990's, the company launched Panera Bread and in 1999 spun off Au Bon Pain to Compass Group, a UK food service company. As CFO, Tim led a leveraged management buy-out of Au Bon Pain from Compass Group in 2005. He worked to refinance the debt and eventually recapitalize the company with a sale to a private equity group in 2008. Prior to Au Bon Pain, Tim had Financial Management roles at Pepsi-Cola and was the Controller at the Walking Company Magazine. Tim has served on the boards of Au Bon Corporation and the Massachusetts Chess Association. He earned a BSBA in Accounting at Suffolk University and attended the MBA program at Babson College.
Hillary Hedges Rayport, Chair
Hillary Hedges Rayport has been a Director of Grub Street since 2004. Hillary has over 10 years of experience investing in and guiding small firms through periods of growth, including seven years of venture capital investing experience in the U.S. and in London, focused on the technology sector. Most recently, Hillary was a Senior Consultant at Cambridge Associates, a global investment consulting firm, where she advised client endowments worth over $2 billion in investment strategy, asset allocation, and investment manager selection. Prior to joining Cambridge Associates, Hillary was Vice President of Cytel Software Corporation, where she was responsible for strategic planning, business development, and general management. Hillary earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA, cum laude, in English from Princeton University. Hillary is also a Director of The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts Land Bank, where she serves on the Investment Committee and Finance Committee.
Kathy Sherbrooke is an entrepreneur turned writer. In 1996 she co-founded Circles, a loyalty marketing company which private-labels Concierge and Event Services for Fortune 500 brands and nationwide employers. In her capacity as President, Kathy oversaw the call-center operation in the US and Canada, client services, technology, legal, strategy and finance. Her real passion was in building a values-based and vibrant culture supported by a strong company-wide leadership philosophy. Circles was acquired by Sodexo, a multinational corporate services provider, in 2007. Kathy spent the next two years helping develop an expanded global concierge platform through international acquisitions and leveraging Sodexo’s vast internal capabilities. Since leaving Circles at the end of 2009, Kathy has turned her energy to her her life-long passion for great stories, books and writing. She self-published her first book, Finding Home, a true story about the complexities of family and the power of the love in 2011. She is currently at work on a novel. Kathy is also on the Board of RAW Art Works in Lynn, MA. She lives in Cohasset with her husband, two children and one black lab.
Anita Shreve is the author of over 13 novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot's Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, and Body Surfing.
In 1998, Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, she received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey, and The Pilot's Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah's Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters. And in 2010 she was awarded the John P. Marquand Prize in American Literature.
Still in love with the novel form, Shreve writes only in that genre. "The best analogy I can give to describe writing for me is daydreaming," she says. "A certain amount of craft is brought to bear, but the experience feels very dreamlike."
Shreve is married to a man she met when she was 13. She has two children and three stepchildren, and in the last eight years has made tuition payments to seven colleges and universities.
Michelle Toth divides her time between New York City and Boston. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Harvard Business School, Michelle works as an executive coach and leadership development director for D.E. Shaw. Her first novel, Annie Begins, was published on April 4th, 2011 by (sixoneseven) books.
Jason Allen Ashlock
President of Movable Type Management, Jason Allen Ashlock founded the company in the spring of 2009, after completing graduate studies in Religion and in American literature. In its first two and a half years, he inked 70 deals with major publishers, and grew the company to manage more than 150 authors across categories. His client list is populated by non-fiction authors in history, biography, memoir, current affairs, politics, and pop culture. Advocating for radical mediation as an agent philosophy, Jason leads Movable Type to partnerships with an array of digital developers and marketing specialists and oversees the development of new books and digital properties by the company’s authors. He teaches Digital Publishing at CUNY, City College.
Steve Almond is the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently the story collection God Bless America. Read more at stevealmondjoy.com.
Julie Barer established her own agency in 2004 after six years at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Barer Literary is a full-service boutique agency that represents a variety of writers across a literary spectrum, with an emphasis on fiction. Clients include National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris, award winning short story writer Gina Ochsner, bestselling novelists Paula McLain, Helen Simonson and Kevin Wilson, and prize winning crime writer Zoe Ferraris. Writing by her clients has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Best American Non-Required Reading, New Stories From the South, Best New American Voices, Tin House, Granta, and various other publications, and has received numerous awards and honors, including grants from The National Endowment of the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Los Angeles Times First Book Award, and the Flannery O'Connor Award. Before becoming an agent Julie was a bookseller at Shakespeare & Company in New York.
Jenna Blum is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Stormchasers and Those Who Save Us, which is also a Dutch bestseller and in 2011 was the # 1 bestselling book in Holland. Jenna is one of Oprah’s Top Thirty Women Writers. Jenna has taught fiction at Grub Street Writers for fifteen years and is proud to be one of Grub’s longest-standing instructors. Jenna contributes to Grub’s Friday Five-0 advice blog and writes the monthly column Writer On The Road. Jenna is currently researching Book 3 in Wichita, Kansas and writing the screenplay for Those Who Save Us. She is based in Boston and has a house in rural Minnesota, in the town where her mother and grandmother were born. For more information, please visit Jenna at www.jennablum.com.
Jaime Clarke is a graduate of the University of Arizona and holds and MFA from Bennington College. He is the author of the novel We're So Famous (Bloomsbury USA), editor of Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Huges (Simon & Schuster), Conversations with Jonathan Lethem (University Press of Mississippi), and co-editor of No Near Exit: Writers Select Their Favorite Work from Post Road Magazine (Dzanc) as well as Boston Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic) with Dennis Lehane. He is a founding editor of the literary magazine Post Road and has taught creative writing at UMass-Boston and Emerson College. He is co-owner of Newtonville Books.
Mary Cotton is a graduate of Williams College and holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine and an MA in English Literature from Boston University. She is the pseudonymous author of nine novels for young adults, six of them New York Times bestsellers. She's also a fiction editor for the literary magazine, Post Road, and is co-editor of No Near Exit: Writers Select Their Favorite Work From Post Road Magazine (Dzanc) as well as Boston Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic) with Dennis Lehane. She is co-owner of Newtonville Books.
Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III grew up in mill towns on the Merrimack River along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. He began writing fiction at age 22 just a few months after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. He is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days, and memoir Townie. He is a New York Times bestselling author and his work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters. An Academy Award-nominated motion picture and published in twenty languages, his novel House of Sand and Fog was a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Booksense Book of the Year, and was an Oprah Book Club Selection and #1 New York Times bestseller. A member of PEN American Center, Andre Dubus III has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is a full-time faculty member.
Arthur Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at Harvard College, where he received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Japanese history from Columbia University, where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. Following a summer at Beijing University, he worked in Tokyo, and, after returning to the United States, earned an M.A. in English from Boston University. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children. Memoirs of a Geisha, Golden's brilliant debut novel and sensational bestseller, tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is a novelist and philosopher. She was educated at Barnard College and Princeton University (Ph.D. in philosophy). She has received many prizes for her fiction and scholarship, including a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Her first novel was the critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind-Body Problem, and there have been six more works of fiction since, including The Dark Sister, Mazel (winner of the National Jewish Book Award), and Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics. She is also the author of Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, which was chosen as one of the best science books of the year by Discover Magazine, and of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, which won the Koret International Award for Jewish Thought. She has been awarded several honorary doctorates, Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been chosen as the Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association. Her latest novel, entitled 36 Arguments for The Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, was published in January, 2010. She is currently a research associate at Harvard University.
Jennifer Haigh is the author of four novels – Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers, and Mrs. Kimble. She has won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England writer. Her short stories have been published in The Atlantic, Granta, and many other magazines.
Esmond Harmsworth is a founding partner of the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. Born in London, he was educated in England before graduating magna cum laude from Brown University and cum laude from Harvard Law School. As a literary agent, Harmsworth represents fiction and nonfiction.
Alice Hoffman was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. She received her BA from Adelphi University and the Mirrellees Fellowship and subsequently her MA in Creative Writing from the Stanford University Creative Writing Center. She wrote her first novel, Property Of, at the age of 21 while studying at Stanford. Hoffman has published a total of 21 novels, three books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel Here on Earth is an Oprah Book Club choice, her novel Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and money from her novel Local Girls was donated to help create the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Her recent books include New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Publishers Weekly chose her 2007 novel Incantation as one of the best books of the year. Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay “Independence Day,” a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her teen novel Aquamarine was made into a film starring Emma Roberts. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and other magazines.
Ann Hood is the author of eleven books, most recently the national bestsellers The Red Thread and The Knitting Circle; the memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was selected as one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly and was a New York Times Editor's Choice. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Op-Ed page in the series, “Home Economics”. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, Bon Appetit, The Atlantic Monthly, Glimmertrain, O, and other publications. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Tim Huggins is originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi, a place and area known famously as “The Delta.” Most significantly, he is the founder and former owner of Newtonville Books & the Lizard’s Tale, an award-winning independent bookstore in Newton, Massachusetts (now owned by Mary Cotton and run with her husband Jaime Clarke). While running Newtonville Books, Huggins founded the award-winning events programs Books & Brews, Earfull (with Jen Trynin and Mike Denneen), and Cover2Cover (with Steve Almond). Huggins has a BA in Finance and earned an MBA with high honors from Boston University. Huggins’ latest venture is Samurai for Hire where he consults people and organizations on such areas as book projects, feasibility studies, business plans, product development, marketing guidance, and strategic thinking. He currently lives in Watertown, Massachusetts with his partner Eliza, her son Aidan, and his daughter Ilana.
Bret Anthony Johnston
Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of internationally acclaimed Corpus Christi: Stories and the editor of Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. Named a best book of the year by The Independent of London and The Irish Times, Corpus Christi has received numerous awards. Johnston’s work appears in magazines such as The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, The Oxford American, and Tin House, and in anthologies such as New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best for 2003, 2004, and 2005. He is a graduate of Miami University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the recipient of the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He has written essays for Slate.com and is a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered. In 2006, the National Book Foundation honored him with a new National Book Award for writers under thirty-five. A skateboarder for almost twenty years, Johnston is currently the director of the Creative Writing Program at Harvard University.
Pagan Kennedy is the author of ten books and has won numerous literary prizes. Her publishers include Viking Press, Simon & Schuster, and Bloomsbury. Pagan has been a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The NYT Book Review, The Village Voice, Dwell, Details, Ms., Playboy, The Nation, Boston Magazine, and The Boston Globe Magazine. In 2009, Pagan was Dartmouth College’s visiting writer of nonfiction. She has also taught writing — both fiction and nonfiction — at the Warren Wilson MFA program, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, and many conferences and residencies.
Elinor Lipman is the author of ten works of fiction, including The Family Man, The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel's Bed, and Then She Found Me, which was adapted into a 2008 feature film. Her essays, book reviews and op-ed columns have appeared in The Boston Globe, Gourmet, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Salon, The Huffington Post, The New York Times' “Writers on Writing” series and its "Modern Love" column. Her honors include the 2001 New England Book Award and the Poetry Center’s 2007 Paterson Fiction Prize. A fiction judge for the 2008 National Book Awards, the 2006 National Endowment for the Arts and the 2001 PEN Hemingway Award, she has taught at Simmons, Hampshire and Smith colleges, and currently holds the Elizabeth Drew Chair in Creative Writing at Smith. Her next two books, a novel and a collection of personal essays, will be published in 2013. She is an Officer Trustee of PEN American Center and a mentor with "Visible Ink," a one-on-one writing program for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center patients.
Margot Livesey was born and grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She has taught in numerous writing programs including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Boston University, and the Warren Wilson MFA program, and is the author of a collection of stories and six novels, including Eva Moves The Furniture and most recently The House On Fortune Street which won the LL Winship/PEN New England award. She lives in Cambridge and is a distinguished writer-in-residence at Emerson College in Boston. Her novel, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, was published early in 2012.
Stephen McCauley is the author of five previous novels, including The Object of My Affection, True Enough, and Alternatives to Sex. Two of his novels have been made into feature films. He teaches at Brandeis University and can be visited online at stephenmccauley.com.
Mameve Medwed (named for two grandmothers, Mamie and Eva) is the author of the novels, Mail, Host Family, The End of an Error, How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life (2007 Massachusetts Book Awards Fiction Honor), and Of Men and Their Mothers. Her stories, essays, and book reviews have appeared in, among others, The New York Times, Gourmet, The Boston Globe, The Hartford Courant, The Missouri Review, Newsday, Yankee, Redbook, Playgirl, and The Washington Post. Born in Bangor, Maine (and claiming the title: “Bangor’s other novelist”), she and her husband have two grown sons and live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her website is mamevemedwed.com.
Sue Miller is the best-selling author of the novels The Senator's Wife, Lost in the Forest, The World Below, While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, and The Good Mother; the story collection Inventing the Abbots; and the memoir The Story of My Father. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Asya Muchnick is an Executive Editor and has been at Little, Brown since 2001. She acquires literary and upmarket crime fiction, as well as narrative nonfiction, including history, biography, cultural history, and popular science. Among the authors she has worked with are Jo Ann Beard, Mark Childress, Michael Connelly, Zoë Ferraris, Janet Fitch, Pete Hamill, Alice Hoffman, Richard Lange, James E. McWilliams, Stephenie Meyer, Robert Mrazek, Carolyn Parkhurst, Sebastian Rotella, Alice Sebold, Åsne Seierstad, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, and Peter Trachtenberg.
Susan Orlean is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of several acclaimed books, including the best selling Orchid Thief, which was made into the film “Adaptation.” Her article “Life’s Swell” was the basis for the film “Blue Crush.” A prolific journalist, Susan has written for and worked for countless publications, including two local favorites, The Boston Globe and the Boston Phoenix. Her most recent book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, traces the life of the canine star from his humble roots in Europe through international stardom.
Pamela Painter's first collection of stories, Getting to Know the Weather, won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and was reissued as A Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary in 2008. Her second collection of stories, also from Carnegie Mellon, is titled The Long and Short of It. Painter is co-author, with Anne Bernays, of the widely-used textbook What If? Fiction Exercises for Fiction Writers. Painter's individual stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Ploughshares, and in numerous anthologies, including Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Forward, and Microfiction. The winner of three Pushcart Prizes and Agni's John Cheever Award for Fiction, Painter has received grants from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her stories have been produced by Word Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, and Stage Turner. Additionally, her story titled "Reading in His Wake" was recorded for the CD Love Hurts, by W.W. Norton. Her newest book is a collection of "very short stories," published by Carnegie Mellon, titled Wouldn't You Like to Know.
Tom Perrotta is the author of seven books, including The Leftovers, The Abstinence Teacher, Joe College, Bad Haircut, and the The Wishbones. His novels, Election and Little Children, were turned into acclaimed movies, and Perrotta was nominated for an Academy Award, along with director Todd Field, for their screenplay for Little Children. Perrotta's work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Best American Short Stories 2005. He lives with his family outside of Boston.
Heidi Pitlor was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts. She received her BA in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal in 1992, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston in 1997. Her fiction has been published in Ploughshares. Heidi is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston, where she worked for ten years. Starting with the 2007 volume, guest edited by Stephen King, she became the new series editor for The Best American Short Stories. Since then, she has worked alongside Salman Rushdie, Alice Sebold, and is currently working with Richard Russo.
Ayanna Pressley is a Boston City Councilor At-Large whose career has been marked by history-making campaigns and a relentless determination to advance a political agenda focused on breaking cycles of poverty and violence. Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009. In doing so, Pressley became the first woman of color ever elected to that position. During her time in office, Pressley created and is chairing a new standing committee, the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities. The committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, combating poverty and addressing issues which disproportionately impact women and girls. The Boston Globe Magazine named Pressley one of its 2011 Bostonians of the Year. BET recognized her with its 2011 Leading Woman Award. The Urban League honored Pressley as a Woman of Power at its 2011 national convention.
Ladette Randolph is editor-in-chief of Ploughshares and the author of three books of fiction, two novels Haven’s Wake (forthcoming, spring 2013) and A Sandhills Ballad and the award-winning short story collection This Is Not the Tropics. In addition, she is the editor of two anthologies: A Different Plain and The Big Empty. Dr. Randolph is on the faculty of the Writing, Literature, and Publishing department at Emerson College in Boston. Prior to joining the staff at Ploughshares she was an acquiring editor and associate director at University of Nebraska Press. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe grant, the Virginia Faulkner Award, a Best New American Voices citation, and four Nebraska Book Awards.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. A television journalist since 1975, she has won 27 Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards for her work. A best-selling author of four mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards for her crime fiction. She’s on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America (and an instructor at MWA-U) and vice president of National Sisters in Crime. Her newest suspense thriller, The Other Woman, is the first in a new series beginning in 2012 from Forge Books. Her website is www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.
Sebastian Stuart has written novels, plays, screenplays, and has ghostwritten in every genre imaginable. As a playwright, he was dubbed “the poet laureate of the Lower East Side” by Michael Musto in The Village Voice. His first novel, The Mentor, is a psychological thriller. 24-Karat Kids, written with Dr. Judy Goldstein, was published in eight countries. Charm! by Kendall Hart was a New York Times bestselling tie-in with the soap opera "All My Children." The Hour Between was a National Public Radio Season’s Reading pick and won the Ferro-Grumley Award as best LGBT novel of 2009. To the Manor Dead, the first in a mystery series set in the Hudson Valley, was published in 2010; the second book in the series, Dead by Any Other Name, was released in October 2011.
Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review and the author of Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All, a memoir of her years in the South Pacific. She holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the NEA, NEH, Australia Council, and Arts Victoria. Her essays have appeared in Vogue, the American Scholar, the London Times, New Zealand Geographic, and other publications. She teaches in the writing program at Harvard University Extension.
Elisabeth Weed formed Weed Literary LLC in 2007. Elisabeth has worked in the publishing industry for 10 years, at Curtis Brown, Kneerim and Williams, and Trident Media Group, before opening her own agency. Elisabeth’s commitment to working with authors not just on individual titles, but for the long term—both in developing writing careers and in building platforms in their areas of expertise—continues. Weed Literary is a full service agency, representing a diverse list of authors. The agency is always on the lookout for both commercial and literary fiction with a focus on up-market women’s fiction as well as an eclectic mix of non-fiction, with an emphasis on narrative, memoir, investigative and women’s issues from the humor driven to the thought provoking. Most of all, we are looking for innovative ideas paired with excellent writing.
Ike Williams is a founding Director of The Kneerim & Williams Agency, LLC, a literary and dramatic rights agency, with offices in Boston, New York and Washington, DC., where he specializes in biography, history, politics, natural science and anthropology. Authors he represents include Howard Gardner, Michael MacDonald, Joseph J. Ellis, the late David H. Donald, E.O. Wilson, Nicholas R. Burns, Richard Wilbur, Tim Berners-Lee, Charles Ogletree, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Nigel Hamilton, James MacGregor Burns, the late Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Michael Porter, Drew Gilpin Faust, and Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot.
He represents book to movie and screenplay and teleplay writers in the placement of their dramatic rights. Recent successful projects include Public Enemies based on the book The Vendetta: FBI Hero Melvin Purvis’s War Against Crime and J. Edgar Hoover’s War Against Him by Alston Purvis as a feature film produced by Misher Films and Universal Studios, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, and Fox 2000’s feature series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid based on the books by Jeff Kinney. He has also worked with the late Howard Zinn to complete The People Speak, a dramatic series based on A People's History of the United States and co-produced by Chris Moore, starring Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, Marisa Tomei, Danny Glover, etc., which aired on the History Channel in the late Fall of 2009 and its British spin-off produced by Colin Firth will air in October of 2010, and I.M. Pei: Building China Modern which premiered on American Masters in the early Spring of 2010.
Mr. Williams is admitted to the federal and state bars in Massachusetts and the United States Supreme Court and is a 1965 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a 1960 graduate of Harvard College.