JESSICA ALEXANDER lived in and worked in the past decade’s most prominent international disasters. She is currently getting her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on improving aid during humanitarian disasters. She is at work on her memoir, WELCOME BACK TO CIVILIZATION!, about an American girl who grew up in the sheltering cradle of an upper middle class Connecticut town and ended up managing a 24,000-person refugee camp in North Darfur.

SARA FAITH ALTERMAN is a writer, editor, and theater producer. She is a longtime producer of Mortified, a stage show and Radiotopia podcast wherein adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids. She is the author of two novels and the upcoming comic memoir THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SEX AND

MATTHEW AMSTER-BURTON is a freelance food writer and stay-at-home dad. He co-hosts Spilled Milk, a podcast about food and comedy with Molly Wizenberg. His work appears regularly in the Sunday Seattle TimesSeattle Magazine, and on He has been selected for the annual Best Food Writing anthology three times (2003, 2004, and 2006). He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter, who is the subject of his first book, HUNGRY MONKEY, a memoir about feeding an opinionated child from birth to age four, a process which has involved spicy enchiladas, duck legs, two lobsters, hundreds of potstickers, and not a single jar of baby food. His second memoir, PRETTY GOOD NUMBER ONE, which has been optioned for film, follows the story of his family as they eat their way through Tokyo.

MICHAEL ARCENEAUX is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir I CAN’T DATE JESUS. Additionally, he is a regular contributor to Esquire, Elle, Essence, NBC News’ THINK, MTV News, among others. He’s also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Complex, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Wired, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, them., Time Ideas, New York magazine’s Vulture, Salon, The Atlantic, NPR, Comedy Central Online, and numerous additional outlets.

ELENA AZZONI is a writer and actor, performing at venues throughout New York City and the San Francisco Bay area. She has appeared on the LOGO channel’s Big Gay Sketch Show and is the writer/performer for the comedic, one-woman show, This Is the Way I Pray: Confessions of a Yearning Heart on a Sugar High. Her work has been published in Make/Shift magazine. Elena received an MFA from New College in San Francisco and a BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from UMASS, Amherst. She is the author of A YEAR STRAIGHT, in which she humorously chronicles her first year of dating men after identifying as a lesbian for over a decade, and is currently at work on a new memoir.

KEN BAKER is the E! Chief News Correspondent, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a former hockey player for Colgate University. He is the author of MAN MADE, which chronicles his battle with a brain tumor that, over a period of 10 years, gradually sapped his masculinity; THEY DON’T PLAY HOCKEY IN HEAVEN, which describes the season he spent playing hockey for a minor league team; FANGIRL, his first YA novel, about a girl who meets and falls for the pop star she idolizes; HOW I GOT SKINNY, FAMOUS, AND FELL MADLY IN LOVE, a YA novel following a girl who loses weight and becomes famous at the price of losing herself; and FINDING FOREVER: A DEADLINE DIARIES EXCLUSIVE, a YA novel about a teen celebrity blogger-turned-sleuth. He is also the co-author with Olympic Gold medalist Scott Hamilton of THE GREAT EIGHT: HOW TO BE HAPPY (EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE EVERY REASON TO BE MISERABLE). He is currently at work on the next Deadline Diaries book, I KNOW WHO HACKED YOU, as well as a new nonfiction project for adults, MAY THE FORCE BE WITH ME.

http://www.kenbakernow.comJACK BARSKY will make his debut with his memoir DEEP UNDERCOVER, which will be published by Tyndale in 2017. Recently profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Barsky was sneaked into the U.S. from his native East Germany as a KGB-trained spy at the height of the Cold War. Eventually tracked down by the FBI after the Velvet Revolution, Barsky now tells his incredible story.

JOSEPH BASTIANICH opened Becco and Lidia’s in Pittsburgh and Kansas City with his mother, Lidia Bastianich. With Mario Batali he opened Babbo, Lupa, Otto, and Eataly in New York. His latest venture with Mario and chef Mark Ladner is Del Posto, which he describes as “the ultimate expression of what we think an Italian restaurant can be.” With David Lynch, Joe wrote James Beard nominee and IACP award-winner VINO ITALIANO: THE REGIONAL WINES OF ITALY, its follow-up, VINO ITALIANO BUYING GUIDE: THE ULTIMATE QUICK REFERENCE TO THE GREAT WINES OF ITALY, and his most recent wine book, GRANDI VINI. His bestselling memoir, RESTAURANT MAN, charts Joe’s culinary adventures from working with his parents to operating his own highly renowned restaurants.

BRYAN BATT appeared throughout the first two seasons of “Mad Men” as Sal, the closeted ad executive. Batt’s true story of his madcap relationship with his Southern-belle mom, SHE AIN’T HEAVY, SHE’S MY MOTHER, was published by Crown in 2011.  He is also the author of BIG EASY STYLE, a coffee-table guide to home decorating with a New Orleans flair.

JOSEPH BERGER is a features writer at the New York Times and the author of THE YOUNG SCIENTISTS. His most recent book is DISPLACED PERSONS, a highly praised memoir of growing up in America after the Holocaust. Joe’s latest book is THE PIOUS ONES and he is currently at work on A PROPHET FOR HIS TIME, a biography about Elie Wiesel.

R. DWAYNE BETTS has been appointed a member of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He is also a graduate student at Warren Wilson College, where he has been awarded the Holden Fellowship. Shortly after his release from prison in 2005, the Washington Post published a feature article about him and a book club he founded for at-risk young men called Young Men Read. He teaches poetry at several public schools in the D.C. metro area, has a published book of poetry, has his poetry published in many national literary journals, and contributed an essay to the anthology IT’S ALL LOVE. His latest is a memoir entitled A QUESTION OF FREEDOM, and he is currently at work on THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF A PRISON, in which Betts will unravel the complex relationships a prison sentence creates and how one crime affects a range of people’s lives.

AMY BIANCOLLI is an author and journalist with 31 years' experience. From 2004 to late 2012, she served as film critic for the Houston Chronicle; her reviews, published around the country, won her the 2007 Comment and Criticism Award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association. She's currently an arts writer and columnist for the Albany Times Union, and is writing her first book, FIGURING SHIT OUT, about her journey after her husband’s suicide.

ROCHELLE BILOW is a food writer and classically trained cook with a Grand Diplome in Classic Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute. As a staff writer at Bon Appétit, she interviews chefs and covers food trends and seasonal cooking. Her writing has also appeared in Edible Finger Lakes, USA Today, the Syracuse Post-Standard, Food Traveler, and others. She lives in Brooklyn and her memoir, THE CALL OF THE FARM, focuses on her time working on a small farm in upstate New York and the whirlwind romance with her farming mentor that she never meant to happen.

ANNA BROADWAY is the pseudonym of a West Coast editor and blogger. Her book, SEXLESS IN THE CITY, based on her popular blog, follows her exploits as a half-hearted virgin struggling to reconcile the deeply held faith of an evangelical upbringing and life as a Brooklyn denizen and chaste party girl.

ELIN BROCKMAN has written for dozens of publications, including: New York, the New York TimesEsquireLifeMademoiselleCosmopolitanRedbook, and the Wall Street Journal.  She lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with her husband and son, and is currently at work on TANGIBLE BLESSINGS, about her lifelong obsession with having the right stuff, her love-hate relationship with that stuff, and her ongoing quest for material goodness.

COLIN BRODERICK is a carpenter/writer who left home in Northern Ireland at 18 to move first to London, then New York, and recently to Prague. He founded and published a small coffee shop literary magazine called Everyman, worked with The Irish Bronx Theatre Company, and had a play called Father Who produced by Dermot Kenny and The Macalla Theatre Company. His first book is ORANGUTAN, a memoir of nineteen years spent as an alcoholic working in construction and trying to forge a life as a writer. He is currently at work on a new memoir, THAT’S THAT, about his abusive childhood in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

CARA BROOKINSis a writer and a motivational speaker. Brookins is also a partner in MySocialFam, a social media consulting company owned and operated by her and her children. Her forthcoming memoir, RISE:  HOW A HOUSE BUILT A FAMILY is about leaving a domestic violence situation with her four children and building Inkwell Manor, their 3,500 square foot home, from the ground up with their own hands.

DOROTHY BULLITT is the Pacific Coast based author of FILLING THE VOID. She is the co-author, with renowned mountaineer Jim Wickwire, of his memoir, ADDICTED TO DANGER: A MEMOIR ABOUT AFFIRMING LIFE IN THE FACE OF DEATH.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN CAMPION is the frontman / raconteur / songwriter of the seminal downtown NYC indie rock band Knockout Drops. His memoir ESCAPE FROM BELLEVUE: A DIVE BAR ODYSSEY, which recounts his tumultuous past, is based on his one-man off-Broadway show of the same name.

PETER CANNING was working as an aide to Senator Lowell Weicker when he decided to become an Emergency Medical Technician. His book, PARAMEDIC: ON THE FRONT LINES OF MEDICINE, is a memoir of his experiences in knee-buckling emergencies. He is also the author of RESCUE 471, which recounts more memorable tales from the work of Emergency Medical Services, and his most recent title, MORTAL MEN.

LORENE CARY is the celebrated author of BLACK ICE, a memoir of her experiences as a black student at the predominantly white St. Paul’s prep school; THE PRICE OF A CHILD, a stunning first novel about slavery in the pre-Civil War South; and PRIDE, an exuberant tale of lifelong friendships. She is also the founder of Art Sanctuary in Philadelphia, an African-American arts and letters organization devoted to presenting regional and national talent in the literary, visual, and performing arts. Her first children’s book, FREE!: GREAT ESCAPES FROM SLAVERY ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, is a collection of slave escape narratives. Her latest is IF SONS, THEN HEIRS, the story of a family striving to remain whole in the face of racial tensions, inequality, and violence in 1930s and 40s North Carolina and New York.

CECILIA CHIANG was the longtime chef and owner of The Mandarin, the first restaurant in San Francisco to serve the authentic flavors of the Beijing-Shandong and Sichuan-Hunan regions. Her first book was THE MANDARIN WAY, and her latest is THE SEVENTH DAUGHTER: RECIPES AND REMINISCENSES, with Lisa Weiss.

SEAN CONLEY is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh, then began a dramatic, abbreviated career in professional football, playing for the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and finally for the Scottish Claymores in Europe. As a result of overtraining, Sean suffered career-ending injuries and became a dedicated yoga practitioner as a part of his rehabilitation and regrouping, at the suggestion of his wife, Karen, a yoga instructor. He eventually embraced the mindfulness, meditation, and philosophy of yoga as a new life direction, and became a yoga teacher himself. He and his wife now own Amazing Yoga in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with four locations. Sean is the author of AMAZING YOGA (Autumn House Press, 2010) and the forthcoming THE POINT AFTER: MY ROLLERCOASTER LIFE AS AN NFL KICKER IN AND OUT OF THE LEAGUE and lives in Pittsburgh with Karen and their four children.

CAROLINE CLARKE is the host of Black Enterprise Business Report, a weekly, nationally syndicated TV show focusing on black business, careers, and lifestyles.  She is an award-winning journalist and has held several key positions, including senior editor and editor-at-large of Black Enterprise magazine, and was a staff writer at the American Lawyer and several other newspapers. She is currently at work on POSTCARDS FROM COOKIE, about her life changing journey after finding out that her biological mother was Carole Cole, daughter of the iconic crooner and pianist Nat King Cole.

The late NANCY CLARKE worked in the White House for more than 30 years as a volunteer floral designer and for almost 25 years as Chief Floral Designer until her retirement in 2009. Her work spanned six different administrations, and articles about Nancy have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Her book, MY FIRST LADIES, chronicles her time in the White House, with both stories and photos.

ANASTASIA COLE-PLAKIAS is Vice President and Founding Partner of Brooklyn Grange, the leading rooftop farming and intensive green roofing business in the US, which operates the world’s largest rooftop soil farms. A native New Yorker, Cole-Plakias is currently working on BROOKLYN GRANGE, about the naissance and running of the farms with her partners Ben Flanner, Chase Emmons and Gwen Schantz.

MARSHA COLEMAN-ADEBAYO is the founder and president of the No Fear Institute. She served as the executive secretary of the EPA’s Environment Working Group, working with their delegation to the Gore/Mbeki Binational Commission during the Clinton administration. Her victory in the Title VII complaint of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in Coleman-Adebayo vs. Carol Browner inspired the passage of the No Fear Act of 2002 and is detailed in her memoir, NO FEAR: A WHISTLEBLOWER’S TRIUMPH OVER CORRUPTION AND RETALIATION AT THE EPA.

JOANNA CONNORS is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago TribuneLos Angeles TimesMinneapolis Star, and Plain Dealer. She has freelanced extensively for various women’s magazines, including GlamourRedbook, and Seventeen. She is the author of the forthcoming I WILL FIND YOU, a reported memoir following her journey to investigate the biggest story of her life—her own rape.

PAMELA CONSTABLE is a Washington Post staff writer and the co-author, with Arturo Valenzuela, of the critically acclaimed A NATION OF ENEMIES: CHILE UNDER PINOCHET. She is also the author of FRAGMENTS OF GRACE, an account of her four years on assignment for the Post in South Asia. Her most recent book is PLAYING WITH FIRE: WHY PAKISTAN’S DEMOCRACY IS FALLING TO THE TALIBAN, a sweeping account of modern Pakistan, which examines the country’s social alienation, economic inequality, entrenched corruption and religious strife.

KATHLEEN CREMONESI is the author of the romantic memoir LOVE IN THE ELEPHANT TENT in which she tells how she found love in Europe with a handsome Italian elephant keeper—and how she joined his circus, traveled the continent, and eventually married him.

LINDA DAHL has worked as an otolaryngologist in private practice in Manhattan since 2003. Shortly after her residency, she began working with the New York State Athletic Commission as a ringside doctor and in 2007, started her own practice, the Dahl Otolaryngology Center. She has lectured in a myriad of settings, including the Screen Actor’s Guild, Actor’s Equity, lactation conferences, medical conferences and hospitals, and spent over a decade educating residents from Beth Israel Hospital, New York University and Weill Cornell Hospital. She’s also written and co-written articles published in scientific journals and appeared on television and radio shows discussing ear nose and throat issues.

JOIE DAVIDOW is the founder of L.A. Style magazine and co-founder of L.A. Weekly, as well as Si magazine. She is the author of INFUSIONS OF HEALING, a guide to Mexican-American herbal medicine and a frequent lifestyle commentator on many talk shows. Her current book, MARKED FOR LIFE, is a memoir about living with a large port wine stain on her face.

EDITH KUNHARDT DAVIS is a bestselling writer of children's books whose titles include PAT THE BUNNY, PAT THE CAT and a series about Danny the Alligator. Her most recent book is I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER, ANYWAY, a memoir about the tragic loss of her son.

CHAYA DEITSCH earned a BA at Barnard and an MA at Columbia, both in English. After a brief stint in book publishing, working for Penguin and Little, Brown, she found herself unexpectedly working in financial services as a marketing writer. She has been involved in a number of writing groups in New York City and has read her work at KGB Bar in the East Village. She is currently at work on her first book, VISIBLE MARKS AND PECULIARITES, a memoir that explores her loving but regimented Hasidic childhood and the courage it took to defy her family and turn her back on the only community she’d ever known in order to take a new path to a life of her own choosing.

The late BOB DURR, a literary scholar and award-winning author, one-time rising star in the East Coast academic world, former confidant to legendary writer H.L. Mencken, and youngest person to be named full professor at Syracuse University, gave it all up and went searching for paradise, finding it in Alaska. His books, DOWN IN BRISTOL BAY and THE COLDMAN COMETH, chronicle his time there.

JOHN EDWARD is the star of Crossing Over with John Edward. His abilities have made him an in-demand speaker and a comfort to millions. His book, ONE LAST TIME, is about his beginnings as a psychic medium.

JAMES FALLON is a University of California, Irvine, neuroscientist with countless fellowships, grants, and awards to his name. He was the neuroanatomist on the team that discovered the postnatal development of new neurons in the human brain, noted in the New York Times as one of the most startling and important findings of the “decade of the brain.” He is currently at work on his memoir, THE SUCCESSFUL PSYCHOPATH, the story of a brain scientist with a passing interest in serial killers that takes a wild turn into a disturbing self-discovery.

CLAIRE FONTAINE is an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter who writes in a variety of genres. She also coaches parents and kids in crisis. Her first book, COME BACK, is an emotionally powerful memoir written with her daughter, Mia Fontaine, of the time spent trying to save Mia from a path of self-destruction. Claire and Mia speak regularly about their experiences, and receive enormous response to their positive, inspiring message. Chosen as a Target book club pick, it is one of their top sellers and continues to sell well, having already netted over 150,000 copies.

MIA FONTAINE works in publicity at a New York publishing house. She has had an Op-Ed piece published in the Sunday New York Times, interned at National Geographic, volunteered with inner city kids, and worked with scientist Dr. Carol Baldwin at the Smithsonian. She is the co-author with her mother, Claire Fontaine, of COME BACK, which recollects her harrowing experiences in a lock-down boot camp school both here and in the Czech Republic. Mia and her mother speak regularly about their experiences, and receive enormous response to their positive, inspiring message. Chosen as a Target book club pick, it is one of their top sellers and continues to sell well, having already netted over 150,000 copies.

RAE FRANCOEUR is a writer, journalist, photographer and editor, and most recently served as the Director of Creative Services for the Peabody Essex Museum. A creative and innovative thinker, Rae has started or restarted a number of publications including the N.H. Sunday Portsmouth Herald, Seacoast Business Digest, and New Hampshire Profiles. During her tenure as editor of North Shore Magazine, Rae wrote a weekly essay that led to the prestigious Boston Authors Society annual best writer award. Her first book is the memoir FREE FALL, an empowering story of late-life passion.

CARRIE FRIEDMAN is a freelance writer with a great sense of humor whose essay Stop Setting Alarms on My Biological Clock was published in Newsweek. It was the basis for her first book, PREGNANT PAUSE: MY JOURNEY THROUGH OBNOXIOUS QUESTIONS, BABY LUST, MEDDLING RELATIVES, AND PRE-PARTUM DEPRESSION, which looks at her personal experiences through her eponymous pre-partum depression.

RACHEL FRIEDMAN is a travel writer whose work has been published in the Arizona Republic, Clever Magazine, Get Lost MagazineTravelmag, and Brave New Traveler, among others. She is the author of THE GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO GETTING LOST, a memoir chronicling the year she spent traveling the world, searching for adventure and meaning in over 20 countries.

DAVE FROMM is an attorney and the author of the memoir EXPATRIATE GAMES: My Season of Misadventures in Czech Semi-Pro Basketball. He lives with his wife and children in western Massachusetts. His first novel THE DURATION is a love story about the bonds we form in childhood and the ways they both encumber and sustain us set in the haunted hills of Berkshire County.

RON GERACI was the writer of the popular “This Dating Life” column in Men’s Health magazine.  He has also served as features editor for Men’s Health and AARP: The Magazine. His book, THE BACHELOR CHRONICLES, is about his quest for love in New York City, one date at a time.

The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, HABEN GIRMA advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change, and Forbes recognized her in Forbes 30 Under 30. Haben travels the world consulting and public speaking, teaching clients the benefits of fully accessible products and services. Because of her disability rights advocacy she has been honored by President Obama, President Clinton, and many others. Haben has been featured extensively in media around the world, including the BBC, NBC, Forbes, NPR, GOOD Magazine, the Washington Post, and many more. Haben grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently lives. Her parents came to America from Eritrea and Ethiopia. Their stories of life during the Eritrea-Ethiopian War and their journey as refugees taught Haben resilience at an early age.

Kevin Grange is an award-winning freelance writer with an emphasis on the medical field, adventure and travel. In June 2015, Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Random House, published Kevin’s memoir LIGHTS AND SIRENSThe Education of a Paramedic, a true account of going through UCLA’s famed Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program—and practicing emergency medicine on the streets of Los Angeles. In 2011, The University of Nebraska Press published Kevin’s travel memoir, BENEATH BLOSSOM RAIN, about his 24-day trek through the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Kevin has also written for National Parks Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Yoga Journal and The Orange County Register, among others. His next book, DIRT MEDICINE, published by Chicago Review Press, will detail his experiences working as a paramedic in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Teton National Parks. Visit him at:

GAEL GREENE helped change the way New Yorkers (and many Americans) think about food through her role as the restaurant critic for New York magazine. She is an award-winning journalist who is credited with elevating the professional level of restaurant criticism and food writing. As co-founder with James Beard of Citymeals-on-Wheels, she has made a significant impact on the city of New York. She is the author of six books, and two of her novels, BLUE SKIESNO CANDY and DOCTOR LOVE, were bestsellers in hardcover and paperback. Her latest work is INSATIABLE: TALES FROM A LIFE OF DELICIOUS EXCESS, a memoir of her life and loves.

MARION GRODIN has, for the last 15 years, been one of the hottest stand-up comics in the country. She is a favorite at New York City’s top clubs, including Stand Up NY and Gotham Comedy Club, where she regularly headlines. Marionhas also been seen on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ABC’s The View, and CNN’s The Joy Behar Show.  In addition, she worked as The Charles Grodin Show’s comedy producer, making regular appearances on the CNBC show as well as conducting comedic celebrity interviews.  Her first book is STANDING UP: A MEMOIR OF A FUNNY (NOT ALWAYS) LIFE, a hilarious and heartbreaking account of her journey toward stepping out of her father’s shadow and into her own light.

BETH HARPAZ is an AP reporter and author of the critically-acclaimed THE GIRLS IN THE VAN, a behind-the-scenes look at Hillary Clinton's historic Senate run and FINDING ANNIE FARRELL, a memoir about growing up with an emotionally fragile mother. Her latest is 13 IS THE NEW 18, a humorous chronicle of a year in the author's life as the mother of a 13-year-old boy.

VALERIE HARPER is best known us as the beloved sitcom character Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. Her first book, written with Catherine Whitney, is TODAY, I AM A MA'AM: AND OTHER MUSINGS ON LIFE, BEAUTY, AND GROWING OLDER.

CRAIG J. HEIMBUCH is an award-winning journalist and author, as well as a content strategistat Barefoot Proximity/BBDO. His most recent book is his memoir of learning to hunt, AND NOW WE SHALL DO MANLY THINGS.

SHEILA HIMMEL and LISA HIMMEL are the authors of HUNGRY: A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER FIGHT ANOREXIA, about Lisa’s struggles with an eating disorder. Sheila has won awards for news, feature, and food writing, including a James Beard award. As the restaurant critic of the San Jose Mercury News, she wrote an award-winning story with Lisa, upon which the book is based. Lisa is a student at the University of California.

DAVE HOLMES is a comedian, columnist, co-host of the podcast Homophilia, and former MTV VJ. His first book, PARTY OF ONE, is a painfully hilarious memoir of his life as a perpetual outsider trying to get in—from the artsy kid in a sporty family and the closeted gay guy at his Catholic college to the quirky MTV VJ in the age of bubblegum pop and the overweight guy in image-conscious LA.

 EVANDER HOLYFIELD is the beloved, renowned boxer and four-time Heavyweight Champion of the World whose life lessons of faith, hard work, and determination are the basis for his longtime attorney, Jim Thomas' memoir, THE HOLYFIELD WAY.

JEFFREY HOROWITZ is a lawyer practicing with the federal government, a certified personal trainer, a USA Track and Field Association Level I certified coach, and a marathoner. He has written for Running Times, MetroSports D.C., and Marathon & Beyond, and been quoted as a fitness expert in Men’s HealthMaxim, and Vogue. He is the author of a memoir, MY FIRST 100 MARATHONS: 2,620 MILES WITH AN OBSESSIVE RUNNER.

RHODA JANZEN is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS and teaches English at Hope College. Her first poetry book, BABEL’S STAIR, was nominated for the 2007 Devil’s Kitchen Award in Poetry, and she held the University of California Poet Laureate Award in both 1993 and 1997. Her second memoir, and most recent book, is MENNONITE MEETS MR. RIGHT.

STEVE KATZ is the author, with Mike Edison, of IS STEVE KATZ A ROCK STAR?, the unlikely story of rock star as nerd and nerd as rock star. Katz is a guitarist and record producer; he started out as an original member of The Blues Project, and later a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Katz played Woodstock, partied with Elizabeth Taylor, and had a fling with Joni Mitchell. His tell-all memoir is forthcoming.

NICOLE C. KEAR is the author of the memoir NOW I SEE YOU, heralded as a Best New Book by People and Amazon, and chosen as a Must-Read by Family Circle, Redbook, Martha Stewart Living, Marie Claire UK and others. Her writing appears in the New York Times, Good Housekeeping, New York, Psychology Today, Parents, American Baby, as well as Salon, The Huffington Post and xoJane. She is currently at work on a chapter book series, THE FIX-IT FRIENDS, about a group of kids learning to solve their own social issues—with hilarious and heartwarming results. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, three children, and two feisty goldfish.

GUS LEE is the author of CHINA BOY, the inaugural selection for San Francisco’s One City, One Book program, and its sequel, HONOR AND DUTY, as well as TIGER’S TAIL and NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. He is also the author of a memoir about his parents’ tumultuous relationship titled CHASING HEPBURN and COURAGE: THE BACKBONE OF LEADERSHIP, about fostering and sustaining courageous action in the business world. He is currently at work on his memoir WITH SCHWARZKOPF, which affectionately chronicles his relationship as a young cadet at West Point in the 1960s with mentor and lifelong friend, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

PRUE LEITH is a renowned food writer and editor in the U.K. She has also been a restaurateur, caterer, telly-cook, and broadcaster, and has written many cookbooks. In addition, she is an acclaimed novelist and the author of LEAVING PATRICKSISTERSA LOVESOME THINGCHORAL SOCIETY; A SERVING OF SCANDAL; andGARDENER. Her forthcoming memoir, RELISH, relates her incredible appetite for life.

MIKE LEONARD is a feature correspondent for NBC News, and his stories appear regularly on Today and NBC Nightly News. He has covered political conventions, inaugurations, the World Series, Super Bowls, and the Olympics, but most often he can be found contemplating everyday life, from "Why Dogs Bark" to "Who Invented Chewing Gum?" His first book is THE RIDE OF OUR LIVES: ROADSIDE LESSONS OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY, about his cross-country RV trip with his eccentric and wonderful elderly parents.

MARDI LINK is the author of three true crime books, WHEN EVIL CAME TO GOOD HART, ISADORE’S SECRET, and the New York Times bestseller, WICKED TAKES THE WITNESS STAND. She is a two-time winner of the Michigan Notable Book Award from the Library of Michigan, and her memoir, BOOTSTRAPPER, won the Elle Reader’s Prize and the Booksellers Choice Award from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. Her work has also appeared in Creative Nonfiction, where she won the Anger & Revenge essay contest, as well as Publishers Weekly, the Detroit Free Press, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, among other places. She writes a monthly column for her hometown newspaper, the Traverse City Record-Eagle

MEG LOWMAN, called the “real life Lorax” by National Geographic and the “Einstein of the treetops” by the Wall Street Journal, is an author, explorer, scientist, arbornaut, mom, and change-agent for conservation. As a child, she built tree-forts and collected wild flowers. In her adulthood, she has devoted over three decades to exploration and research on forest canopies, as one of the first pioneers in the field of treetop science. She has published 8 books and over 140 peer-reviewed publications. Lowman has a BA in Biology, MSc in Ecology, PhD in Botany, and Executive Management certificate from Tuck School of Business. She has received myriad prizes including the Margaret Douglas Medal by the Garden Club of America, Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award, Kilby Laureate, Odum Award for Excellence in Education, and Lowell Thomas Medal by the Explorers Club. CanopyMeg was the founding director of the Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina; Executive Director of Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida; and inaugural Chief of Science and Sustainability at California Academy of Sciences. Her mantra is, “no child left indoors,” and she brings Oreo cookies on all her tree-climbing expeditions.

RYAN MCGEE is an ESPN Senior Writer, five-time Sports Emmy winner, and author of three books, including the 2018 New York Times Bestseller My Race to the Finish with NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In addition to his writing duties, McGee also serves as a field reporter for ESPN's SportsCenter, feature reporter for E:60, analyst for various college sports programs, and co-hosts Marty & McGee on both ESPN Radio and the SEC Network. He lives in Charlotte, NC with wife Erica and daughter Tara.

DR. JERRY E. MCGEE grew up in the tiny textile village of  Roberdell, NC before becoming a distinguished college educator and president of Wingate University. His college football officiating career spanned 36 years and more than 400 games, beginning in 1973 with a small college game attended by less than 1,000 fans and ending with the 2009 BCS Championship, viewed by nearly 30 million. He was selected for 24 postseason assignments, including the inaugural ACC Championship Game, two Army-Navy games, and 20 bowl games, including the Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, Peach, Holiday, and two each from the Rose, Gator and Citrus Bowls. He lives in Charlotte, NC with wife Marcella.

SAM MCGEE is a nationally-renowned attorney with Charlotte-based Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and a graduate of Wake Forest University, Yale Law School, and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. McGee's practice has included many complex litigation matters in the areas of nursing home abuse and neglect, professional negligence, appeals, class actions, business torts and serious personal injury. A highly skilled trial lawyer, Sam is regularly called upon by other members of the bar to co-counsel high-stakes trials. He lives in Charlotte, NC with wife Marci and two children, Hannah Cole and Brooks.

DR. JUDY MELINEK is a San Francisco-based forensic pathologist and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSFMedicalCenter. She earned her college degree from Harvard and received her medical degree and pathology residency training at UCLA. Her memoir, WORKING STIFF: THE MAKING OF A MEDICAL EXAMINER, written with her husband T.J. Mitchell, was published in 2013.

JULIE METZ is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Perfection, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. Her Julie is a Macdowell Fellow and a two-time fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has written on a variety of topics related to women, parenting, and health for publications including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Salon, Dame, Slice, Glamour, Redbook, Publishers Weekly, Family Circle, Prevention, and Coastal Living. Julie offered relationship advice as a guest on the podcast Dear Sugars, hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, and told a ghost story for the podcast Women of the Hour, hosted by Lena Dunham. Born and raised in New York City, Julie now lives and works in Hudson, New York.

CAYLIN LOUIS MOORE is a recent graduate of Texas Christian University, earning a degree in economics, with minors in mathematics and sociology. He was raised on the border between Compton and Carson, California. He overcame poverty, gang violence, and the lack of a male role model (his father is serving a life sentence for murder) to distinguish himself as a standout high school and college football player and a dedicated student. He was a Division One safety for TCU, and was selected to the Fulbright Summer Institute to study the trans-Atlantic slave trade at the University of Bristol in 2014. The following year, he was chosen to attend the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University. He is the founder and president of SPARK (Strong Players Are Reaching Kids), a youth outreach organization of student-athletes who encourage middle and high school youths to strive to attend college. His role in SPARK built on Caylin’s previous experience as a reading teacher for middle school students as part of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom schools reading program. Caylin was awarded a 2017 Rhodes Scholarship, and is currently attending Oxford University to earn a Masters in Sociology and a Masters of Public Policy. He is newly married.

PATRICK MOORE has worked extensively on gay issues both as an activist and author. He is the author of two novels, IOWA and THIS EVERY NIGHT, and he was the founding director of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS in New York City. Patrick's first nonfiction book is BEYOND SHAME: RECLAIMING THE ABANDONED HISTORY OF RADICAL GAY SEXUALITY, and his latest is the Book Sense pick TWEAKED, a memoir about his crystal meth addiction.

RAY MUNGO is a '60s counterculture icon whose first book, FAMOUS LONG AGO, has become a cult classic and is currently being made into a feature film. His other titles include PALM SPRINGS BABYLONQUESTIONS THAT DEFINE YOU; and SAN FRANCISCO CONFIDENTIAL. His latest is an update of his financial classic, NO CREDIT REQUIRED.

BRIAN PATRICK O'DONOGHUE is a broadcast journalist and sledding enthusiast. MY LEAD DOG WAS A LESBIAN recounts his adventures and mishaps during the 1991 Iditarod. His follow-up is HONEST DOGS, the story of his return to dog sled racing.

BARACK OBAMA is the 44th President of the United States. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE.

QAIS AKBAR OMAR (whose first name is pronounced "Kice") is the author of A FORT OF NINE TOWERS, which has been published in over twenty languages. Omar was born in 1982 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He holds a BA in journalism from Kabul University. He studied business at Brandeis University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. In 2007, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado, and he was 2014-2015 Scholars at Risk Fellow at Harvard University. For the 2012 anthology, THE MAD GAME: GROWING UP IN A WAR ZOME Omar contributed the lead essay,"A Talib In Love". He has also written articles for The Atlantic, op-eds for The New York TimesThe Sunday TimesThe Times ofLondon, and The Cairo Review of Global Affairs. He is the co-author, with Stephen Landrigan, of SHAKESPEARE IN KABUL, and A NIGHT IN THE EMPEROR'S GARDEN.  Omar serves as a goodwill ambassador for Aschiana Foundation in Kabul and for the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. Connect with Omar on Facebook or via his website ( to learn more.

JOE OESTREICH is an Associate Professor of English at Costal Carolina University, where he directs the M.A. Writing Program. He is the singer, bassist, and a songwriter for the long-running band Watershed, whose exploits he related in his memoir HITLESS WONDER: A LIFE IN MINOR LEAGUE ROCK AND ROLL. His most recent book, co-authored with Scott Pleasant, is LINES OF SCRIMMAGE: A STORY OF FOOTBALL, RACE, AND REDEMPTION.

ROB PAULSEN is one of the most successful and prolific voice actors in Hollywood, voicing such iconic TV animation characters as Pinky from “Pinky and the Brain,” Yakko from Animaniacs, Carl Wheezer from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and both Donatello and Raphael from Teenage Ninja Turtles. Warm, outgoing, and always ready to whip out a voice, Rob’s appearances at Comic-Con conventions and other events attract thousands. His freewheeling Talkin’ Toons live shows at The Improv regularly sell out and his podcast is a must-listen for any fan of animation. His acting, singing and comedy chops provided the perfect foundation for a career as a voice actor, starting with such animated shows as G.I. Joe and Johnny Quest and hitting it big with Teenage Ninja Turtles and Animaniacs.  He now works on the new incarnation of Turtles, among many shows. He has returned to live performing and soon will be voicing Pinky again on TV after nearly 20 years in the all-new, Steven-Spielberg-produced Animaniacs.

MATT PAXTON is the founder of Clutter Cleaner, and has been a featured cleaner/organizer on A&E’s most watch series, Hoarders. He will also star in his own A&E spinoff series, Extreme Clean. His first book is THE SECRET LIVES OF HOARDERS, with Phaedra Hise, about his experiences assisting those with obsessive-compulsive hoarding problems.

JESS PHOENIX is a volcanologist, natural hazards expert, and the Executive Director and co-founder of the environmental scientific research organization Blueprint Earth studying lava flows and natural hazards, climate research on glaciers, environmental studies, and more. She works with major research institutions like the United States Geological Survey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the California State University system, the University of California system, and private and public universities across the country. Jess Phoenix is a Fellow in The Explorers Club and Royal Geographical Society, a featured scientist on the Discovery and Science Channels, an invited TEDx speaker, and has appeared in Popular Science magazine, on National Public Radio, on CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and more. Her writing has appeared in the BBC online, in Face The Current magazine, on DailyKos, Medium, and in local print publications. Jess has delivered invited talks for Mother Jones, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the March For Science, and is the host of the upcoming Catastrophe! podcast. Her first book MISS ADVENTURE: MY LIFE AS A GEOLOGIST, EXPLORER, AND PROFESSIONAL RISK TAKER is forthcoming from Timber Press.

DR. CHARLOTTE PIERCE-BAKER holds a Ph.D. in Speech and Sociolinguistics and is a professor of Women’s Studies and English at Duke University. Her first book, SURVIVING THE SILENCE, is an important document about black women and rape. Her latest is a memoir entitled THIS FRAGILE LIFE that recounts her own family’s struggle with bipolar disorder.

WILLIAM POWERS has worked in development aid and conservation for more than a decade, and his essays and commentaries on global issues have appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, and on National Public Radio. He is the author of BLUE CLAY PEOPLE and WHISPERING IN THE GIANT’S EAR, and he is currently at work on THE SOFT WORLD, based on his experience of living in a 12’x12’, off-the-grid, permaculture cabin in North Carolina.

GLEN RETIEF is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. The winner of numerous awards, including the AWP Intro Journals Award for Creative Nonfiction, Glen has been published extensively, including in Virginia Quarterly ReviewMassachusetts Review, and New Contrast. Before becoming a writer and professor, Glen worked as a human rights researcher, adult educator, needle exchange advocate, and high school English teacher. His memoir, THE JACK BANK, tells of his childhood growing up in South Africa.

RENÉE RICHARDS, M.D., successfully sued the US Tennis Association after they barred her from participating in tournaments following the discovery of her sexual reassignment surgery in the 1970s. In her memoir, NO WAY RENÉE, she tells of the 30 years since she became famous for fighting for transsexual rights and her experiences as a woman, her continuing work as a renowned ophthalmologist, and her relationship with her son.

DAN ROCHE, an alumnus of the Iowa Writers Workshop, is the author of LOVE’S LABORS: A MEMOIR OF A FIRST MARRIAGE. The book chronicles one man’s experience with a “starter marriage” and his search for a new definition of the institution itself. His latest is GREAT EXPECTATION: A FATHER’S DIARY, about a man’s perspective on what it means to start and expand a family relatively later in life.

MICHAEL VAN ROOYEN, MD, MPH, is the co-founder and director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a multidisciplinary center at Harvard University that is dedicated to relieving suffering in war and disaster by advancing the science and practice of humanitarian response. He is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and the vice chairman of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Over the past twenty-five years, he has served as an emergency physician in conflict zones and disaster areas in more thirty countries including Bosnia, Chad, Darfur-Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Iraq, North Korea, Rwanda, and Somalia. His book, THE WORLD’S EMERGENCY ROOM:  A Life in Humanitarian Medicine is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan.

MARK RUDD was the leader of the 1968 Columbia University strike against racism and the Vietnam War, the last National Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, and a founder of the Weather Underground. He spent seven and a half years as a fugitive after a bomb intended for a social dance at the army base in Fort Dix, New Jersey, exploded in a Greenwich Village townhouse. His memoir, UNDERGROUND: MY LIFE WITH SDS AND THE WEATHERMEN chronicles his experience during this turbulent period of American history.

ARAM SAROYAN is an internationally known poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist and playwright. His books include GENESIS ANGELS: THE SAGA OF LEW WELCH AND THE BEAT GENERATION; LAST RITES, a book about the death of his father; TRIO: PORTRAIT OF AN INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP; a memoir, FRIENDS IN THE WORLD: THE EDUCATION OF A WRITER; and the true crime Literary Guild selection RANCHO MIRAGE: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY OF MANNERS, MADNESS AND MURDER. His novel THE ROMANTIC was a Los Angeles Times Book Review Critics' Choice selection. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts poetry awards and a current faculty member of the Masters of Professional Writing Program at USC. His most recent publication is DOOR TO THE RIVER: ESSAYS AND REVIEWS.

STEPHEN B. SEAGER, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist, a former Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and a multiply published author. His work has been featured on national television and radio shows including OprahGMANPR, and Larry King, among others. His latest book, BEHIND THE GATES OF GOMORRAH: A YEAR WITH THE CRIMINALLY INSANE, is forthcoming.

SARAH BAMFORD SEIDELMANNM.D. is a fourth generation physician turned Shamanic healer and Life Coach and lives with her husband and four children in Duluth, MN near the shores of Lake Superior. She loves to inspire humans to connect with the messages of the Beasties so they can live courageously and enthusiastically. Her memoir, SWIMMING WITH ELEPHANTS, is forthcoming.

JOAN SEWELL is the author of the laugh-out-loud funny memoir, I’D RATHER EAT CHOCOLATE: LEARNING TO LOVE MY LOW LIBIDO. She has a master’s degree in philosophy and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.

SHIRLEY SHERROD is the former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture who resigned from her post in a high-profile story following a false charge of reverse racism. She played an important role in the civil rights movement during her college years, and she now lectures nationally and vigorously promotes empowerment strategies for economically and socially disadvantaged people. Her memoir, THE COURAGE TO HOPE, tells the story of her resignation and its aftermath.

ANNE THOMAS SOFFEE has written for many music publications and held numerous jobs, from gas station attendant to voice dubber for kung fu movies. She is the author of SNAKE HIPS, a memoir about her experiences as a belly dancer, and NERD GIRL ROCKS PARADISE CITY, about her adventures and misadventures in the punk rock scene.

KIM STAGLIANO is a working mother who managed to pull an autism hat trick: All three of her children are on the deep end of the spectrum.  Miraculously, she tells her story with remarkable grace and humor in ALL I CAN HANDLE: I’M NO MOTHER TERESA.

SHREVE STOCKTON is a writer and photographer, and the creator of the popular blog, Daily Coyote, which chronicles (with beautiful photography) the author’s remarkable experiences of rescuing and raising a newborn coyote. She is also the author of EATING GLUTEN FREE, and a memoir based on the Daily Coyote blog entitled THE DAILY COYOTE, which was excerpted in People magazine.

ROBERT STRAUSS is a former Sports Illustrated reporter and has taught writing and journalism courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware. He has been a feature writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, a TV critic for the Asbury Park Press, and a news and sports producer for KYW-TV. His latest book is DADDY’S LITTLE GOALIE, a delightful collection of humorous and poignant vignettes about his experiences watching his daughters, both jocks, succeed and fail at sports from the sidelines.

AMY THOMAS is a New York–based writer and blogger. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) and the forthcoming Brooklyn in Love: A Delicious Memoir of Food, Family and Finding Yourself, both from Sourcebooks. In addition to working as an advertising copywriter, she writes about food, travel, design, and fashion for various publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Town & Country, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is slightly obsessed with sweets.

AMES J. THOMAS, II, is a successful litigator and sports attorney based in Atlanta. Jim is the author of THE HOLYFIELD WAY, an inspiring memoir about the important life lessons learned from his longtime client and friend, Evander Holyfield.

MICHAEL TUCKER is best known for his eight-year stint as Stuart Markowitz on L.A. Law. His first book, I NEVER FORGET A MEAL, is a memoir of his work and his marriage to actress Jill Eikenberry. He has also written LIVING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, which recounts his adventures with his wife as they restore a house in Umbria, Italy, after checking out of the Hollywood scene. His most recent memoir, FAMILY MEALS, recounts how his family united to care for Jill’s aging mother. His first novel is AFTER ANNIE, about an actor coping with the loss of his beloved wife and falling in love again.

NANCY VERDE BARR worked closely in many capacities with Julia Child, serving as Executive Chef for live demonstrations as well as the culinary producer for the PBS series Baking at Julia’s. She is the author of numerous titles including LAST BITE: A CULINARY ROMANCE and BACKSTAGE WITH JULIA: MY YEARS WITH JULIA CHILD, a memoir of their long friendship and professional collaboration. Her most recent book, written with Mary Flynn, is THE PINK RIBBON DIET, a diet plan designed for the overweight breast cancer patient and those concerned about developing the disease.

LEE H. VYBORNY has been involved with the U.S. Navy submarine force for more than 30 years, serving aboard a fast attack submarine. His first book is DARK WATERS, an account of his experiences as one of the original 12 crew members on the NR-1.

JIM WICKWIRE was one of the first two Americans to climb K-2, the world's second highest peak. His climbing career has been profiled on 60 Minutes, in the Emmy winning documentary In the Shadow of the Mountains, and in numerous books, newspapers and magazines. His first book, ADDICTED TO DANGER: A MEMOIR ABOUT FACING DEATH AND FINDING LIFE, is co-authored by Dorothy Bullitt.

The late MARCELLUS BEAR HEART WILLIAMS was a full-blooded member of the Muskogee Nation, Creek Tribe in Okemah, Oklahoma, where his uncles taught him traditional tribal ways and his mother taught him Christian values. He was an advisor to and roadman in the Native American Church, an American Baptist Minister, and a multi-tribal spiritual leader. His first book was THE WIND IS MY MOTHER: THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF A NATIVE AMERICAN SHAMAN.

MOLLY WIZENBERG is the writer of the popular food blog, Orangette, which has received rave reviews from the Seattle Times, USA Weekend and the Chicago Tribune. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller A HOMEMADE LIFE. Currently, Molly is working on her latest book, DELANCEY, her memoir about opening a restaurant, a young marriage, and finding what really matters.

G. PASCAL ZACHARY is a writer, teacher, and researcher. He is a former foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and columnist for the New York Times. He has taught writing and reporting at Stanford University and the University of California Graduate School of Journalism and is the author of four books, including ENDLESS FRONTIER: VANNEVAR BUSH, ENGINEER OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY and THE DIVERSITY ADVANTAGE: MULTICULTURAL IDENTITY IN THE NEW WORLD ECONOMY. His most recent book, MARRIED TO AFRICA, is a memoir about his interracial relationship with a Nigerian woman who would become his wife.