2021 Conference Faculty & Guests
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Emma Walton Hamilton
Denne Michele Norris
Linda Sue Park
- Mateo Askaripour
Mateo Askaripour ’s work aims to empower people of color to seize opportunities for advancement, no matter the obstacle. He was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn. His debut novel, BLACK BUCK, was published in January 2021.
- Melissa Bank
Melissa Bank is the author of the best-selling story collections T he Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot . She received the Nelson Algren Award for short fiction from the Chicago Tribune and holds an M.F.A. from Cornell University. Her work has been translated into 33 languages.
- Sarah Bedingfield
Sarah has been an agent with Levine Greenberg Rostan since 2016. She represents high-concept, genre-busting literary novels, domestic and psychological suspense, upmarket, big-hearted family epics, unique historical fiction, and international, diverse voices.
She reads most types of literary and upmarket commercial fiction, especially novels that show powerful imagination, compulsive plotting and unexpected points of view that say something important or new. Family dramas, cross-genre narratives with light speculative elements, darker narratives that may lead to nightmares and twisty psychological suspense are her favorite kinds of stories, particularly those set in interesting places. She loves books that highlight nature or the environment, especially in extremes.
A southerner at heart, she can’t help but gravitate toward books set in the south, but she’s a die-hard for any world immersive enough to make her miss her stop on the train or cry in public. Hailing from North Carolina, Sarah graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in Psychology and English. She spent her first three years in New York teaching 11th grade English in the Bronx. She began her publishing career almost ten years ago, initially in editorial at Crown and Hogarth.
- Stephanie Cabot
Stephanie Cabot is half French, half American and grew up in London, Paris and New England. She attended Harvard, where she studied History, and first worked in New York and London with JP Morgan. Her career as an agent began at WME in London, where she spent nine years and ran the office for the last five, before relocating to the US and to The Gernert Company in NYC, where she worked for fifteen years. Stephanie joined SLA in the Spring of 2020.
Stephanie’s interests are a reflection of her own reading tastes which have always been wide and far ranging. She represents authors from all over the world and is drawn to the international narratives whether told in story, memoir or essays as well as literary fiction reflecting diverse, global voices, speculative fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, crime and thrillers.
Stephanie has spent the past ten years involved with a small internationally focused social justice NGO, World Connect, whose mission is to empower grassroots leaders to initiate change in their communities.
Billy Collins is the author of 12 collections of poetry, most recently The Rain in Portugal (Random House, 2016). Others titles include Aimless Love, Horoscopes for the Dead, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Nine Horses, Ballistics and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Bird Poems. His poems have been published in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, and his work appears regularly in Best American Poetry. A Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Public Library Literary Lion, he is a former Distinguished Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He served as New York State Poet (2004-5) and United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- Lilly Dancyger
Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the author of Negative Space , a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards; and the editor of Burn It Down , a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press. Her writing has been published by Longreads, BOMB, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. She lives in New York City, and you can find her on twitter at @lillydancyger .
- Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is the author of two poetry collections and two chapbooks and, with Johanna Domokos, co-translator of Underfoot by Sami poet Niillas Holmberg (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2021). Mentioned in The New York Times and the recipient of the Association of Asian American Studies Award in Creative Writing: Poetry, Interrogation Room is her latest book (White Pine Press, 2018). Most recently, Kwon Dobbs has published work in Crazyhorse , jubilat , The Massachusetts Review , Pleiades , and Poetry International and received fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is professor of English and creative writing at St. Olaf College, where she directs Race and Ethnic Studies, and a guest lecturer at Universität Bielefeld. She serves on the Coffee House Press board of directors and is poetry editor of AGNI.
- Molly Gaudry
Molly Gaudry is the author of the verse novels Desire: A Haunting and We Take Me Apart, which was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award and shortlisted for the PEN/Osterweil. She holds master's degrees in fiction and poetry, and a PhD in experimental prose from the University of Utah. She is the founder of Lit Pub.
- Suzanne Gluck
Suzanne Gluck is the Co-Head of WME’s Worldwide Literary Department, the largest provider of authors to major publishing houses in the United States. In 2002, a year after she joined the company, she was one of the first two women elected to the William Morris Board of Directors. Over her thirty-year career in the industry, Suzanne has represented over one hundred New York Times-bestselling books across a wide variety of genres. Her books have changed the way we think about the world and have become a part of our popular culture, from groundbreaking literary fiction to works of nonfiction about history, science, and contemporary life.
Her client list includes Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt of Freakonomics; Sarah M. Broom, author of the National Book Award-winning The Yellow House; Min Jin Lee, acclaimed author of Pachinko; radio host and author Kurt Andersen; acclaimed writer and director Adriana Trigiani; Peggy Orenstein, author of the groundbreaking Girls & Sex; John Berendt, author of the record-breaking bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; MSNBC host and author Joy-Ann Reid; Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of The Female Persuasion and The Wife; and generation-defining children’s author Judy Blume.
- Emma Walton Hamilton
Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children's author, editor, producer, and arts educator. She has co-authored over thirty children's books with her mother, Julie Andrews, seven of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list, including the #1 bestselling series The Very Fairy Princess . Emma’s own book for parents and caregivers, Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on Amazon.com in the literacy category and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, silver medals from the Living Now and IPPY Book Awards, and Honorable Mention from ForeWord Magazine 's Best Book of the Year. Walton Hamilton’s most recent project is as co-creator, writer and executive producer of Julie’s Greenroom , a children’s television program about the arts created for Netflix. Emma is a faculty member and directs both the Southampton Children’s Literature Fellows program and YAWP (the Young Artists and Writers Project). She is married to actor/producer/director Stephen Hamilton. More information can be found at www.emmawaltonhamilton.com .
- Matthew Klam
Matthew Klam was named one of the twenty best fiction writers in America under 40 by The New Yorker. He’s a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts. His first book, Sam The Cat and Other Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in the category of first fiction, was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Kansas City Star, and by the Borders for their New Voices series. His second book, Who Is Rich?, was selected as Notable Book of the Year by The New York Timesand The Washington Post, and was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, GQ Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Hollins College, and has taught creative writing in many places including Johns Hopkins University, St. Albans School, American University, and Stockholm University in Sweden.
- Donika Kelly
Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook Aviarium and the full-length collections The Renunciations and Bestiary . Bestiary is the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. A Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the collective Poets at the End of the World, Donika has also received a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a summer workshop fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center. She currently lives in Iowa City and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches creative writing.
- Major Jackson
Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019 , Renga for Obama , and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems . A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House , and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry . Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review .
- Marissa Levien
Marissa Levien is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. She received her MFA from Stony Brook University in 2019. Her forthcoming debut novel, The World Gives Way , will be published by Orbit in June 2021 under the editorial guidance of Angeline Rodriguez.
- Denne Michele Norris
Denne Michele Norris is the author of the chapbook Awst Collection—Dennis Norris II , named a best book of 2018 by Powell's. A recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Tin House, VCCA, and Kimbilio Fiction, their stories have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and named a finalist for the Best Small Fictions Prize. They currently serve as Assistant Fiction Editor at The Rumpus and co-host of the critically acclaimed podcast Food 4 Thot. Based in Brooklyn, they are hard at work on their debut novel. You can learn more at www.dennisnorrisii.com .
- Linda Sue Park
Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard and the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water . Her most recent title is Prairie Lotus , a historical fiction middle-grade novel. When she’s not writing, speaking, teaching, or caregiving for her two grandchildren, she spends most of her time on equity/inclusion work for We Need Diverse Books and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. She is also on the advisory board of the Rabbit hOle national children’s literature museum project.
Linda Sue has served as a panelist for several awards and grants, including the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Award, the PEN Naylor grant, and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award. In her travels to promote reading and writing, she has visited more than 30 countries and 49 states. Linda Sue knows very well that she will never be able to read every great book ever written, but she keeps trying anyway.
- Julia Phillips
Julia Phillips is the debut author of the nationallly bestselling novell Disappearing Earth, which is being published in twenty-three languages and was a finalist for the National Book Award. A Fulbright fellow, Julia has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review. She lives in Brooklyn.
- Roger Rosenblatt
Roger Rosenblatt, whose work has been published in 14 languages, is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and three Times bestsellers, including the memoirs Kayak Morning , The Boy Detective and Making Toast , originally an essay in the New Yorker . The Story I Am , a collection on writing and the writing life was published in April of 2020 and Cold Moon : On Life , Love , and Responsibility was published in October. He has also written seven off-Broadway plays, notably the one-person Free Speech in America , that he performed at the American Place Theater, named one of the Times’s “Ten Best Plays of 1991.” In 2019, The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor produced "Lives in the Basement, Does Nothing," his one-person musical play about the writing life, for which he played jazz piano .
The Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook, he formerly held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in creative writing at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. Among his honors are two George Polk Awards; the Peabody, and the Emmy, for his essays at Time magazine and on PBS; a Fulbright to Ireland, where he played on the Irish International Basketball Team; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement; and the President’s Medal from the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work.
Recently, he was honored by the Fulbright Association on its 75th anniversary. In 2021, he created Write America, a weekly national reading series, to foster the healing of political and racial divisions in the country.
- Matthew Salesses
Matthew Salesses is the author of the bestsellers The Hundred-Year Flood , an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015 and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed , Refinery29 , and Gawker , among others, and Craft in the Real World , an Esquire Best Book of the 2021, which explores alternative models of craft and the writing workshop, especially for marginalized writers. His latest novel is the PEN/Faulkner Finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear , a Thrillist.com Best Book of 2020. Previous books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying ; Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity ; and The Last Repatriate .
Matthew was adopted from Korea. In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers. His essays can be found in Best American Essays 2020 , NPR Code Switch, The New York Times Motherlode, The Guardian , and other venues. His short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction , PEN/ Guernica , and Witness , among others. He has received awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, [PANK], HTMLGIANT , IMPAC, Inprint, and elsewhere.
Matthew is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA/PhD program at Oklahoma State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Emerson College. He serves on the editorial boards of Green Mountains Review and Machete (an imprint of The Ohio State University Press), and has held editorial positions at Pleiades, The Good Men Project , Gulf Coast, and Redivider . He has read and lectured widely at conferences and universities and on TV and radio, including PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera America, various MFA programs, and the Tin House, Kundiman, and One Story writing conferences.
- Paul Tremblay
Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the best selling author of Survivor Song , Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland . His essays, reviews, and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times , Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly online, and numerous year’s-best anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his family. www.paultremblay.net
- Frederic Tuten
Frederic Tuten has published five novels including The Adventures of Mao on the Long March and Tintin in the New World as well as a book of interrelated short stories, Self-Portraits: Fictions.
His memoir My Young Life spans the journeys from his Sicilian immigrant family’s kitchen table in the Bronx, to the politically volatile corridors of The City College of New York, to the arms of Mexico’s art world and finally to the dangerous, exciting streets of Alphabet City in the 1960s.
He taught film and literature at the University of Paris 8, acted in a short film by Alain Resnais, co-wrote the cult film Possession, and conducted summer writing workshops with Paul Bowles in Tangiers. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction and was given the Award for Distinguished Writing from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been awarded three Pushcart Prizes as well as the O. Henry prize.
- Meg Wolitzer
Meg Wolitzer’s novels include The Female Persuasion , The Interestings , The Uncoupling , The Ten-Year Nap , The Position , and The Wife , which was made into a film that garnered Glenn Close an Academy Award nomination. Wolitzer, who has also written books for young readers, was guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017. Her short fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s , Ploughshares , The Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Short Stories . She has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Skidmore College, and the 92nd Street Y, and along with singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, Wolitzer was a guest artist in the Princeton Atelier at Princeton University.
- Maryrose Wood
Maryrose Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed middle-grade series about a teenaged governess and her three raised-by-wolves pupils, published by Balzer + Bray. Titles in the six-book series have appeared on “Best Children’s Books of the Year” lists from NPR, Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus, and others. They’ve been Junior Library Guild selections and received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Booklist. The series has a worldwide following and is currently being developed for television.
Maryrose has also published seven novels for young adults, including My Life: The Musical (Delacorte) and Why I Let My Hair Grow Out (Berkley Books). Her personal essays and short fiction appear in Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green (Random House), Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins), Who Done It? (Soho Teen), and Starry-Eyed (Running Press). Her newest book, Alice’s Farm: A Rabbit’s Tale ( Feiwel & Friends), was pubished in Sept. 2020.
Maryrose started her career in the original Broadway cast of Merrily We Roll Along, the cult flop-turned-beloved Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical featured in the 2016 documentary, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (now streaming on Netflix). She studied film and television writing at NYU, and comedy writing and improv with the Groundlings. Her work as a lyricist/librettist for musical theatre has made her a three-time winner of the Richard Rodgers Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Maryrose coaches writers privately and as a guest teacher at writing workshops nationwide. She taught fiction writing at CUNY-Lehman College and NYU’s Gallatin School, and is currently on the faculty of the Stony Brook Children’s Literature Fellows program.