Michael Angelella has worked as a screenwriter, documentary writer/producer, author, and print journalist. His feature film writing credits include Mother (1995), starring Olympia Dukakis and Diane Ladd, and Canes (2006), starring Michael Madsen. In 2012 his comedic screenplay I Should Have Stayed Home was selected as a Top 13 finalist in the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition. His numerous broadcast credits include writing programs for The Discovery Channel, The Smithsonian Channel, The History Channel, and senior writer on The Science Channel's eight-part series 100 Greatest Discoveries. Angelella is also the author of Trail of Blood, a true crime book for which he won the Time Magazine fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He is chair of the University of Film and Video Association's Script Caucus and is the Chairperson of the Department of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University.
Before founding Bancroft Press, long considered one of America’s best indie book publishers, Bruce Bortz, as editor-in-chief, helped build Baltimore's The Daily Record into one of the country’s best legal and business daily newspapers. He was a major staffer in William Donald Schaefer’s successful campaign for Maryland governor
in 1986. He started his own newsletter on Maryland government and politics (The Maryland Report), and spun off reference books profiling legislators from Maryland to Pennsylvania, from Florida to New York. For his continuing obsession with book publishing, he blames famed writer/movie director Barry Levinson—Levinson optioned Bancroft's very first book, Lenny, Lefty, and the Chancellor by C. Fraser Smith (1992), the first of nearly two dozen such Bancroft movie and television options to date. Although he has a vibrant practice as a literary and entertainment lawyer, literary agent, and contract book editor, Bortz still considers book publishing his noblest profession. As of the fall of 2016, he has published approximately one-hundred books, in virtually every genre, from Young Adult fiction to memoir and history, and won numerous publishing awards. His most recent book, and what he considers his first true bestseller, is The Missing Kennedy, a memoir about JFK’s oldest sister who was lobotomized at the age of 23. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Patrick Coursey has written and designed interactive narratives for an award-winning mobile game, a nation-spanning digital scavenger hunt, an Alternate Reality Game performed at DragonCon, and several successful independent games. He believes that the role of a game writer and narrative designer is to amplify gameplay with emotionally resonant storytelling. Find him at http://www.pjcoursey.com/.
Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson’s articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in The New York Times, Fast Company, Slate, TriQuarterly, and The Southern Review, among many others. She’s received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She’s been a fellow at Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was a finalist for the Baker Artist Award. Her essay “On Nostalgia” won the 2015 Hrushka Nonfiction Prize. Elizabeth teaches writing at MICA.
Michael Downs's short story collection, The Greatest Show, inspired by the famous Hartford, Conn., circus fire, was published in 2012 by LSU Press. His book of literary journalism and memoir, House of Good Hope, won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. A one-time newspaper reporter, he lives in Baltimore and teaches creative writing at Towson University.
Erin Hagar writes fiction and nonfiction for children and teens. She is the author of Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures and Awesome Minds: The Inventors of LEGO (r) Toys. Her most recent book, Doing Her Bit: A Story of the Woman's Land Army of America was the winner of the Hunger Mountain Literary Journal's Katherine Paterson picture book prize and has been named a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection.
Erin earned her M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently works at the University of Maryland, Baltimore in curriculum and instruction. She grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and lives in Baltimore with her husband, two children, and a few too many pets.
Eleanor Herman, a Towson grad, is the New York Times best-selling author of Sex with Kings, King Peggy, several other historical non-fiction books, and the new Young Adult series on Alexander the Great, Legacy of Kings, which has been optioned by the Warner Brothers Network as a Game of Thrones-type TV series. King Peggy, the true story of a D.C. secretary turned African king, is currently in pre-production as a major motion picture starring Queen Latifah. Eleanor currently lives in McLean, VA with her longsuffering husband, an eight-year-old Black Lab puppy named Charlie, and four extremely important rescue cats.
Kenneth Morrison, also known as "Kenneth Something" is a Baltimore born poet, educator, and organizer. Kenneth is the President of the largest Spoken Word Initiative in Maryland, Dew More Baltimore. Kenneth is also a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art. Kenneth is the 2016 Baltimore Grand Slam Champion, 2016 DC Pride Poetry Slam Champion and the 2016 National Poetry Slam Champion.
Linda Pastan's many awards include the Dylan Thomas award, a Pushcart Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, in 2003. Pastan served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995 and was on the staff of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference for 20 years. She is the author of over twelve books of poetry and essays. Her PM/AM: New and Selected Poems (1982) and Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968–1998 (1998) were finalists for the National Book Award; The Imperfect Paradise (1988) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her recent collections include The Last Uncle (2001), Queen of a Rainy Country (2006) and Traveling Light (2011). She lives in Potomac, Maryland.
Kathryn Rhett has written Souvenir (essays), and Near Breathing (memoir). She edited the anthology Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis, and has taught trauma writing at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, the Examined Life Conference, and the Power of Words Conference. Her work has appeared in Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, River Teeth, and elsewhere. A professor of English at Gettysburg College, she also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. Visit her website at kathrynrhett.com.
Clare Banks is associate editor for Smartish Pace. A 2014 recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, her poems have appeared in JMWW, Greensboro Review, and Squaw Valley Review, among others. She has an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and lives in Baltimore City.
The Trouble with Lexie, Jessica Anya Blau’s newest novel, came out in July and is already in the third printing. Her previous books are The Wonder Bread Summer; Drinking Closer to Home; and the national bestseller The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, all of which have been optioned for film and television. Jessica collaborated on the memoir, Girl Unbroken, and is the co-writer of the movie, Love on the Run. Her essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies.
Betsy Boyd is a fiction writer, journalist and copywriter. She serves as editor-in-chief of Baltimore STYLE Magazine and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA program at the University of Baltimore. Betsy spent more than a decade as a contributor to Daily Variety; she also served as senior editor of Baltimore's PaperDoll Magazine and of the news and entertainment site Baltimore Fishbowl, both published by Susan Dunn. She is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council award, an Elliot Coleman Writing Fellowship, a James A. Michener Fellowship and residencies through Fundación Valparaíso, the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Betsy’s fiction has been published most recently in Sententia, Shenandoah, Eclectica and Loch Raven Review. Her short story "Scarecrow" received a Pushcart Prize.
Originally from the Hudson Valley in New York, Thea Brown is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Recent poems can be found in LitHub, Prelude, REAL, Better, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook We Are Fantastic (Petri Press) and the full-length collection Think of the Danger (H_NGM_N). She lives in Baltimore, where she'll be the 2016–2017 Tickner Fellow at the Gilman School.
Jeanine Cummins was born in Spain, but calls Gaithersburg, Maryland her home town. She studied creative writing at Towson University before living in Belfast for several years. After ten years working in the publishing industry her first book, A Rip in Heaven, became a bestseller, and she turned to writing full time.
Jeanine's fiction is deeply influenced by Ireland, where both her novels are set. Her stories draw on her Irish and Puerto Rican heritage, and the blend is uniquely American. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Faerie Magazine, and The New York Times. She lives in New York with her husband and their two daughters.
Poet and journalist Celeste Doaks is the author of Cornrows and Cornfields, Wrecking Ball Press, UK, March 2015. Cornrows was listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2015” by Beltway Quarterly Poetry. Her poem “For the Chef at Helios…” received a 2015 Pushcart Prize nomination. A Lucille Clifton Scholarship to attend Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, the 2010 AWP WC&C Scholarship, and residencies at Atlantic Center of the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown are among her multiple accolades. Her journalism has appeared in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, Time Out New York, and QBR (Quarterly Black Book Review). Most recent poems can be found in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems an Anthology. Celeste received her MFA from North Carolina State University; she currently teaches creative writing at Morgan State University.
Leslie Harrison's debut book of poems, Displacement, won the 2008 Bakeless prize in poetry and was published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin, in July of 2009. She holds graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Irvine. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including the Best of the Web and Best of the Net anthologies,The New Republic, Poetry, Memorious, Barn Owl Review, and elsewhere. She has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a Bakeless Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She is an assistant professor at Towson University.
Don Lee’s newest novel, Lonesome Lies Before Us, will be released in 2017. He is also the author of the novels The Collective, Wrack and Ruin, and Country of Origin, and the story collection Yellow. He has received an American Book Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, an O. Henry Award, and a Pushcart Prize. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, GQ, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. He is the current director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Dora Malech is the author of Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems appear in publications that include The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry 2015 (Simon & Schuster, 2015). She has been the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and a Writers' Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center, and she has served as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California. She is a co-founder and former director of the arts engagement organization the Iowa Youth Writing Project. She is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she recently received the 2016 Crenson-Hertz Award for Community Based Learning and Participatory Research. In 2017, she will be in residence at The Amy Clampitt House.
Susan Perabo's new novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, will be released by Simon & Schuster in March, 2017. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Why They Run the Way They Do and Who I Was Supposed to Be, and the novel, The Broken Places. Her fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, and New Stories from the South, and has appeared in numerous magazines, including One Story, Glimmer Train, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, and The Sun. She is Writer in Residence and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.
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