LAUREL SNYDER is the author of several novels for children, including her newest, My Jasper June (Harper Collins), which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her novel Orphan Island was long-listed for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature in 2017. She has also written many picture books, including Charlie and Mouse, The Forever Garden, and The King of Too Many Things. In addition to her books for children, Snyder has written two books of poems, Daphne & Jim: a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse (Burnside Review Press, 2005), and The Myth of the Simple Machines (No Tell Books, 2007). She also edited an anthology of nonfiction, “Half/Life: Jew-ish tales from Interfaith Homes” (Soft Skull Press, 2006) A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Michener-Engle Fellow, Laurel has published work in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Utne Reader, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Revealer, Salon, The Iowa Review, American Letters and Commentary, and elsewhere. She is an occasional commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, and she teaches in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University, and also in the creative writing department at Emory University.
A Baltimore native, Snyder now lives in Atlanta.
(Keynote talk; keynote panel: Heroes!)
JOSEPH J. CAPISTA'S collection Intrusive Beauty was selected by Beth Ann Fennelly for Ohio University Press’s 2018 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. Poems by Capista have appeared in Agni, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, and Ploughshares, and he has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College, teaches at Towson University, and lives with his family in Baltimore. (Poetry Craft–Lifelines: Transforming Lived Experience into Lyric Art; Poetry Quick Critiques)
JESSA CRISPIN is the author of The Dead Ladies Project, The Creative Tarot, and Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto. She runs the podcast Public Intellectual. (The Ten of Swords: The Tarot and Other Thoughts on Creativity; New Views on Book Reviews)
Award-winning writer RONALD L. SMITH'S most recent book for young readers is The Owls Have Come To Take Us Away, a Junior Library Guild Selection.
He is also the author of The Mesmerist, a supernatural Victorian fantasy, and Black Panther: The Young Prince, published by Marvel/Disney.
His first novel, Hoodoo, earned him the 2016 Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Author Award and the ILA Award for Intermediate Fiction from The International Literacy Association. Before he became a full-time writer, he worked in advertising and wrote TV commercials for big corporations. He is much happier writing children’s literature. (Keynote panel: Heroes!; Why I Write for Kids)
STEPHEN RYAN was a senior acquisitions editor for more than fifteen years at Rowman & Littlefield, one of the largest independent publishers in North America. During that period, he acquired more than 600 titles in the areas of performing arts, literary criticism, popular culture, young adult nonfiction, and sports, among others. Before his role as editor, he was a buyer for a national bookstore chain and taught introduction to composition and literature courses. Stephen is the coauthor (with his brother Paul) of The Essential James Garner, published in 2018. (An Acquisitions Editor’s Guide to Publishing; Nonfiction Quick Critiques)
RION AMILCAR SCOTT is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn't Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. (Fiction Craft; fiction quick critiques)
Born and raised in Richmond and currently living in Baltimore, JACK CARNEAL spent much of his twenties and thirties as the drummer in the Anomoanon (rhymes with phenomenon), a band that frequently backed musician Will Oldham on various tours. His memoir of that time, Destroy Your Safe and Happy Lives, will be released in November 2019 by Rare Bird Books. Married and the father of two boys, Carneal is a writer and Lecturer in English at Towson University. He no longer owns a drum set. (Writing about Music is like Singing about Literature; Driving Outside Your Lane: Writing in More than One Genre)
TYRESE L. COLEMAN is the author of the collection, How to Sit, a 2019 Pen Open Book Award finalist published with Mason Jar Press in 2018. Writer, wife, mother, attorney, and writing instructor, she is a contributing editor at Split Lip Magazine. Her essays and stories have appeared in several publications, including Black Warrior Review, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, and the Kenyon Review. She is an alumni of the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Find her at tyresecoleman.com or on twitter @tylachelleco.
ELISE LEVINE is the author of the story collection This Wicked Tongue, the novels Blue Field and Requests and Dedications, and the story collection Driving Men Mad. Her work has also appeared in publications including Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, and Best Canadian Stories, and was a finalist for The Best Small Fictions 2018. She has taught creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, American University, and Towson University, among others, and lives in Baltimore. (Driving Outside Your Lane: Writing in More than One Genre)
SUJATA MASSEY is the author of fourteen novels, two novellas and numerous short stories that have been published in eighteen countries. Her novels have won the Agatha, Lefty and Macavity awards and been finalists for the Edgar, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark prizes. Sujata writes mystery and suspense fiction set in pre-Independence India, as well as a modern mystery series set in Japan.
Born in England to parents from India and Germany, Sujata was raised primarily in St. Paul, Minnesota, although her home for almost thirty years has been Baltimore, Maryland. She earned a B.A. in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and wrote features for the Baltimore Evening Sun newspaper before becoming a novelist. (The Complexities and Woes of Writing a Series)
DEBORAH RUDACILLE is a science journalist and author of three books. Since 2012, she has been a professor of the practice of journalism at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In 2017, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue research and reporting on addiction and inheritance. Her books include Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town about Baltimore’s Dundalk neighborhood and Sparrows Point, The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism and Transgender Rights, and The Scalpel and The Butterfly: The War Between Animal Research and Animal Protection. (The Nuts and Bolts of a Nonfiction Book Proposal)
STEPHEN ZERANCE is the author of Safe Danger (Indolent Books 2018). His poems have appeared in West Branch, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Assaracus, and Knockout, among other journals. Find him on Twitter @stephnz, or on Instagram @stephenzerance and @lvcifers_revenge. (Poetry Quick Critiques; # Brand-building)
Special Critique Faculty:
GEOFF BECKER is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Hot Springs, a novel (Tin House), and Black Elvis (U. of Georgia Press), a collection which won the 2009 Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction. He is a professor at Towson University. (Fiction Quick Critiques)
MICHAEL DOWNS is the author most recently of The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist, his debut novel from Acre Books. Earlier works include The Greatest Show: Stories, inspired by the true story of the Hartford, Conn., circus fire, and House of Good Hope: A Promise for a Broken City, named a finalist in memoir for the Connecticut Book Award. He lives in Baltimore and directs the professional writing graduate program at Towson University. (Nonfiction Quick Critiques)
LESLIE HARRISON'S second book, The Book of Endings (Akron, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement (Mariner, 2009) won the Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She is a 2019 Baker Artist Awardee in Literary Arts. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming from The New England Review, West Branch, Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She is at work on her third and fourth books. (Poetry Quick Critiques)
ANN QUINN'S poetry was selected by Stanley Plumly as first place winner in the 2015 Bethesda Literary Arts Festival poetry contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ann lives in Maryland with her family where she teaches reflective and creative writing and music and plays clarinet with the Columbia Orchestra. Her degrees are in music performance; she fell in love with poetry in mid-life. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University, and her chapbook, “Final Deployment,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. www.annquinn.net. (Poetry Quick Critiques)