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  • Barbara Morrison

    Barbara Morrison, who writes under the name B. Morrison, is the author of two poetry collections, Terrarium (2013) and Here at Least (2006), and a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. Her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and speaks on women's and poverty-related issues. She is also the owner of a small press and speaks about publishing and marketing. She has maintained her Monday Morning Books blog since 2006. For more information, visit her website and blog at

    See Barbara Morrison's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Marion Winik

    Marion Winik is the author of Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled through the Joys of Single Living. Her other works include Telling, First Comes Love, The Lunch-Box Chronicles, Rules for the UnrulyAbove Us Only Sky, and The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. She has also published two books of poetry, Nonstop and Boycrazy. Winik's "Bohemian Rhapsody" column appears bi-weekly at, and her essays and articles have been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Sun, the Utne Reader, O, Salon, and Real Simple, among others. Her commentaries for All Things Considered are collected on the website, and she regularly reviews books for Newsday

    A professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore, Winik was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Non-Fiction and has been inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. She has appeared on the Today Show, Politically Incorrect, and Oprah.

    See Marion Winik's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • David Taylor

    David Taylor is an award-winning author and filmmaker. His book about the Federal Writers’ Project, Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America, was named among Best Books of 2009 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He wrote and co-produced the companion Smithsonian documentary, Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story, which received a CINE Golden Eagle, a Best of DC Peer award, and a Writer’s Guild Award nomination.

    See David Taylor's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Patricia Elam

    Patricia Elam is an award-winning writer and commentator who has been widely published in The Washington Post, Essence, The Crisis, and numerous journals and anthologies. She has also provided commentary for NPR, CNN, and the BBC. Elam is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Breathing Room, and currently teaches at Howard University.

    See Patricia Elam's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Madison Smartt Bell

    Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, including All Souls’ Rising, which was a finalist for the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, and two collections of short stories. Born in Tennessee, he is a graduate of Princeton University and Hollins College and has taught in programs including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. Since 1984, he has taught at Goucher College, along with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spires. He has been a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers since 2003. At present he is working to complete The Witch of Matongé, a novel as indescribable as the Golux’s hat.

    See Madison Smartt Bell's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Sarah Pleydell

    A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, Sarah Pleydell is an award-winning writer, performer and playwright who teaches English and writing at the University of Maryland. For the past twenty years, she has been a master teaching artist and arts integration specialist, working with institutions that include The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Luce Institute. In 2000, she won the American Association for Theatre Educators’ award for best book of the year with co-author Victoria Brown. Most recently she wrote the script and played the role of Isadora in Revolutionary: The Life and Times of Isadora Duncan with Word Dance Theater.

    See Sarah Pleydell's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Will Schutt

    Will Schutt is the author of Westerly (2013), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Gilman School, the James Merrill House, the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ conferences and the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. His poems and translations from Italian have appeared in Agni, A Public SpaceFIELD, the New Republic and elsewhere. In 2014 he was awarded a Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize. He lives in Baltimore, MD.

    See Will Schutt's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Susan Richards Shreve

    Susan Richards Shreve is the author of 14 novels, most recently You Are the Love of My Life. She has also written 28 books for children. Shreve is the founder of the Master of Fine Arts Degree at George Mason University where she is a Professor of English, and a former President and present Co-Chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Among other honors and awards, she has been a Guggenheim Fellow, an NEA fellow, and a Jenny McKean Moore Fellow at The George Washington University. She lives in Washington, DC.

    See Susan Richards Shreve's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Paula Whyman

    Paula Whyman is the author of You May See a Stranger, a linked short story collection. A music theater piece based on a story from the book is in development with composer Scott Wheeler. Paula’s stories have been published in many journals including McSweeney's Quarterly, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her fiction was selected for the anthology, Writes of Passage: Coming-of-Age Stories and Memoirs from The Hudson Review, and is part of the curriculum at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem, NY. Her interviews, humor and commentary have appeared in The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Barnes & Noble Review, and on NPR. She was awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, The Corporation of Yaddo, and The Studios of Key West, and she was named a 2014 Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is treasurer of The MacDowell Colony Fellows Executive Committee. Paula continues to serve as a visiting writer for The Hudson Review’s writers-in-schools program in Harlem and the Bronx, New York. Many of her stories are set in the DC area, where she grew up and where she still resides.

    Educators interested in teaching Whyman's stories can contact to receive PDF versions of select stories.

    Photo credit: Curt Richter

    See Paula Whyman's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Nik Korpon

    Nik Korpon is the author of Stay God, Sweet AngelFight Card: Punching ParadiseBar Scars: StoriesBy the Nails of the Warpriest; and Old Ghosts. His stories have ruined the reputation of NeedleNoir NationOut of the GutterShotgun Honey, and Yellow Mama, among others, and he is an associate editor at Dark House Press. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and kids.

    See Nik Korpon's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Sheri Booker

    Sheri Booker is an author, poet and educator from Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of the memoir Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work from a debut author. She was also nominated for the prestigious Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in the nonfiction category. Sheri has been featured in the New York Times, Essence Magazine, Baltimore Sun, The Word Network, TV ONE and NPR. Recently, Sheri opened Book Her Consultants, LLC, an educational consulting firm that specializes in girls programming and development. She has taught journalism in South Africa and a course she designed for middle school girls called Mind, Body, and Soul in Baltimore. She was named one of the Baltimore Sun’s 50 Women to Watch and graced the cover of the Sun Magazine. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and B.A. in Political Science from Notre Dame of MD University.

    See Sheri Booker's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Winifred Conkling

    Winifred Conkling is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. Her books include Sylvia & Aki, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Literature Award and the Tomás Rivera Award; Passenger on the Pearl, winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award from the National Council of the Social Studies; Radioactive! How Irene Curie & Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World. Her book Votes for Women! will be released by Algonquin Young Readers in 2018. Conkling studied journalism at Northwestern University and received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

    See Winifred Conkling's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Eugenia Kim

    Eugenia Kim is the daughter of Korean immigrant parents who came to America shortly after the Pacific War. An MFA graduate of Bennington College, she has published short stories and essays in journals and anthologies, including Echoes Upon Echoes: New Korean American Writings. The Calligrapher’s Daughter is her first novel.

    See Eugenia Kim's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Derrick Weston Brown

    Derrick Weston Brown received his MFA in creative writing from American University. He graduated from the Cave Canem Summer workshop for black poets and participated in the VONA summer workshop. His work has appeared in Warpland, Mythium, Ginsoko, DrumVoices, The Columbia Poetry Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Howard University’s Amistad, LocusPoint, and MiPOesias. He currently sells books at Busboys and Poets, which is operated by Teaching for Change, a nonprofit organization that give teachers and parents the tools to teach students how to read and write.

    See Derrick Weston Brown's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Leslie Pietrzyk

    Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of two novels, Pears on a Willow Tree (Avon Books) and A Year and a Day (William Morrow). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in more than fifty journals and magazines, including The Iowa Review, New England Review, Washington Post Magazine, The Sun, Gettysburg Review, River Styx, TriQuarterly, and Shenandoah. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for Arts, and the Hambidge Center. She teaches in the graduate writing program at Johns Hopkins in Washington, DC, and is a member of the core faculty at the low-residency MFA program at Converse College. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

    See Leslie Pietrzyk's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Sonsyrea Tate

    Sonsyrea Tate is the author of Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam, selected by the American Library Association as a "Best Books", and author of Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam. She is a veteran journalist, who has published articles in The Washington PostThe Washington TimesThe Virginian PilotThe Washington Informer, and other publications. She loves, loves, loves literature - reading and writing it - for its transformative powers. She is currently working on her first novel, and third non-fiction book.

    See Sonsyrea Tate's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Alan King

    Alan King is a poet, journalist and a blogger on art and domestic issues. In addition to teaching creative writing throughout the DC/Baltimore region, he is a part-time poetry instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the senior program director at the DC Creative Writing Workshop at Charles Hart Middle School in DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood. A Pushcart Prize nominee, a Cave Canem fellow, and VONA alum, King lives in the DC metropolitan area.

    See Alan King's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • James Grady

    James Grady is an author of screenplays, articles, and over a dozen critically acclaimed thrillers. He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in journalism. In 1973, after years of acquiring rejection slips for short stories and poems, Grady sold his first novel: Six Days of the Condor, a sensational bestseller which was eventually adapted into a film starring Robert Redford. After moving to Washington, D.C., Grady worked for a syndicated columnist, investigating everything from espionage to drug trafficking. He quit after four years to focus on his own writing, and has spent the last three decades composing thrillers and screenplays. His body of work has won him France’s Grand Prix du Roman Noir, Italy’s Raymond Chandler Award, and Japan’s Baka-Misu literary prize. He and his wife live in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

    See James Grady's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Jen Grow

    Jen Grow’s debut collection, My Life as a Mermaid, won the 2012 Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Competition. She is the Fiction Editor of Little Patuxent Review. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Writer’s Chronicle, Other Voices, The Sun Magazine, GSU Review, Hunger Mountain, Indiana Review and others. She’s received two Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and her stories have earned nominations for Best New American Voices and a Pushcart Prize. 

    See Jen Grow's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Jennifer Close

    Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and now lives in Washington DC and teaches at George Washington University.

    See Jennifer Close's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Jessica Anya Blau

    Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the novels The Wonder Bread Summer, Drinking Closer to Home, and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties. The Wonder Bread Summer was featured on NPR's All Things Considered as a Thrilling Summer Read, and was selected as a Thrilling Beach Read by Drinking Closer to Home was selected as a featured title in Target stores Breakout Author series, while The Summer of Naked Swim Parties was chosen as a Top Ten Summer Read by the Today Show, the New York Post and New York Magazine. The San Francisco Chronicle and the Rocky Mountain News chose The Summer of Naked Swim Parties as a Best Book of the Year. She lives in Baltimore, MD. 

    See Jessica Anya Blau's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Mary Kay Zuravleff

    Mary Kay Zuravleff has a new novel, Man Alive!, released in the fall of 2013 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. She is also the author of The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, both published by FSG. She has received the American Academy’s Rosenthal Award, the James Jones First Novel Award, and has been nominated for the Orange Prize. Mary Kay has taught writing in many graduate programs, including American University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Mason University, and she was the first Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School for Boys. She serves on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is a cofounder of the DC Women Writers Group. She currently lives in Washington, DC.

    See Mary Kay Zuravleff's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Sarah Wildman

    Sarah Wildman writes on the intersection of culture and politics, history and memory in Europe and America. Over the last decade, she has lived in and reported from Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Washington, Jerusalem and Berlin. She was the 2010 Peter R. Weitz Prize winner, from the German Marshall Fund, a prize awarded for excellence in European coverage. Her book Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind (Riverhead) was published in late 2014. 

    Wildman has received numerous grants and competitive fellowships that have bolstered her work  including an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship in Berlin, an American Council on Germany Fellowship in Berlin, a Milena Jesenska Fellowship in Vienna, Austria (the first North American to receive this honor), and a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now called the International Reporting Project).  Her work in America has focused on our culture wars and how we export them.

    Wildman has also been on staff at The New Republic, a senior correspondent at The American Prospect and the Washington correspondent for The Advocate. Her stories have appeared in the The New YorkerDaily BeastGuardiab NewsweekThe NationThe Washington PostThe Christian Science Monitor, among others.

    See Sarah Wildman's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • David Ebenbach

    David Ebenbach was born and raised in Philadelphia. His poetry, fiction, and essays have been published in a wide variety of magazines, and in two collections of fiction, Between Camelots, and Into the Wilderness. He is also the author of the poetry collection Autogeography and a volume of essays called The Artist’s Torah. David has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. He lives in Washington, DC.

    See David Ebenbach's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Marita Golden

    Marita Golden is an award-winning novelist, nonfiction writer, distinguished teacher of writing and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African-American writers. Marita Golden was born in Washington, D.C. in 1950 and attended the city’s public schools. After graduating with an M.SC. in Journalism from Columbia, she worked in publishing and began a career as a freelance writer, writing feature articles for many magazines and newspapers including Essence Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Her first book, Migrations of the Heart (1983), was a memoir based on her experiences coming of age during the 1960s and her political activism as well as her marriage to a Nigerian and her life in Nigeria where she lived for four years.

    See Marita Golden's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Bill Beverly

    Bill Beverly is author of Dodgers and On the Lam: Narratives of Flight in J. Edgar Hoover’s America. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter and teaches English and writing at Trinity University in Washington, DC.

    See Bill Beverly's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • H.G. Carrillo

    H.G. Carrillo is the author of Loosing My Espanish, a novel, published by Pantheon Books and in paperback by Anchor Books. His short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, The Iowa Review, Glimmer Train, Ninth Letter, Slice and other journals and publications. He received the Arthur Lynn Andrew Prize for Best Fiction in 2001 and 2003 and also won the Iowa Award in 2004. He has received several grants including the Newberry Library Research Grant. Carrillo lives in Washington, DC where he is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at The George Washington University.

    See H.G. Carrillo's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Tope Folarin

    Tope Folarin won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing for his story "Miracle." In 2014, he was named to Africa39's list of most promising African writers under forty. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in Washington, DC.

    Educators interested in teaching Folarin's stories can contact to receive PDF versions of select stories.

    See Tope Folarin's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Michael Downs

    Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Michael Downs focuses on his hometown in works including House of Good Hope: A Promise for a Broken City, which won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize, and The Greatest Show, a story collection inspired by the historic Hartford Circus Fire. Michael has won literary fiction fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts. He teaches creative writing at Towson University in Maryland and lives in Baltimore. With his wife, who is 17 years older, he writes the blog HimPlus17 about love and age.

    See Michael Downs's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Aaron Hamburger

    Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin's Head (Random House, 2004), also nominated for a Violet Quill Award. His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House, 2005), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.  His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Poets and Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and the Village Voice.  He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi.  He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and the George Washington University.

    See Aaron Hamburger's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez

    Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and she received a DC Commission on the Arts Grant for her forthcoming second novel. A graduate of Harvard University and a forme University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, she teaches writing in the Stonecoast MFA program. She is a member of the PEN/Faulkner Board of Directors, and she lives in Washington, DC with her family.

    See Dolen Perkins-Valdez's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Sarah Blake

    Sarah Blake is the author of two novels, Grange House and The Postmistress, and of a chapbook of poems, Full Turn.

    See Sarah Blake's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Ella Monroe (Amy Reingold & Maz Rauber)

    Ella Monroe is the pseudonym for the Washington D.C.-based writing duo Maz Rauber and Amy Reingold. Maz is a former reporter who covered national politics -- and all its scandals -- for the New York Post. Though born in Australia, Maz has spent most of her adult life in Washington D.C. with her husband and two children. Amy is a textile artist and a classically trained Cordon Bleu chef. Raised in the Midwest, she has lived in London, Hong Kong and Washington, DC. But her favorite place by far is her newest home Montana.

    See Ella Monroe (Amy Reingold & Maz Rauber)'s full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Yolanda Young

    Millions of readers turn to the op-ed page of USA Today for Yolanda Young’s perspective on everything from “Hip-hop putting its best foot forward” to “Blacks’ economic crack-up.” A frequent contributor to the largest newspaper in the USA, her work has also appeared in The Washington Post and Essence Magazine. In 2003 Random House published Yolanda’s memoir, On Our Way To Beautiful, which received widespread critical praise. The Washington, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities honored her with the Emerging Artist Award. The author has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR and Black Entertainment Television (BET). She has testified before the United States Congress regarding domestic violence and was the keynote speaker for the 2011 National Black Pre-Law Conference.

    See Yolanda Young's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Matt Dembicki

    Matt Dembicki is a cartoonist workin' and livin' in the DMV (District-Maryland-Virginia area). He previously edited and contributed to the Eisner-nominated and Aesop Prize-winning Trickster and District Comics, which the Washington Post included in its top books of 2012. Matt's other comics projects include the nature-based graphic novels Xoc: The Journey of a Great White and Mr. Big: A Tale of Pond Life. Matt is co-founder of the D.C. Conspiracy, a local comic creators collective that publishes the semi-annual free comics newspaper Magic Bullet.

    See Matt Dembicki's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Carolyn Parkhurst

    Carolyn Parkhurst is the author of the novels The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found and has published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota Review, Hawai’i Review, and the Crescent Review. Parkhurst received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two children.

    See Carolyn Parkhurst's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Stephen Goodwin

    Stephen Goodwin is the author of three novels: Kin, The Blood of Paradise, and Breaking Her Fall. His short fiction has appeared in GQ, The Sewanee Review, and Shenadoah. He has also written essays for several magazines, including Country Journal, Golf, The New Republic, and Fly Fisherman. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been a member of the writing faculty at George Mason University since 1979, with the exception of two years when he served as Director of the Literature Program at the NEA. A co-founder of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Goodwin served two terms as its president and is currently an emeritus member of its board of directors.

    See Stephen Goodwin's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman

    Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her works of fiction include The Dark Path to the River and No Marble Angels. She has also published fiction and essays in books and anthologies, including Short Stories of the Civil Rights Movement; Remembering Arthur Miller; Electric Grace; Snakes: An Anthology of Serpent Tales; Beyond Literacy; Women For All Seasons; Fiction and Poetry by Texas Women; The Bicentennial Collection of Texas Short Stories; What You Can Do. Joanne is a Vice President of International PEN and the former International Secretary of International PEN and former Chair of International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee. Past president of PEN Center USA, she currently serves on the boards of PEN American Center, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Poets and Writers, the International Center for Journalists, Human Rights Watch, and the International Crisis Group. She lives in Washington, DC.

    See Joanne Leedom-Ackerman's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Richard McCann

    Richard McCann is the author of Mother of Sorrows, a work of fiction, and Ghost Letters, a collection of poems (1994 Beatrice Hawley Award, 1993 Capricorn Poetry Award). He is also the editor (with Michael Klein) of Things Shaped in Passing: More 'Poets for Life' Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. His fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic, Ms., Esquire, Ploughshares, Tin House, and the Washington Post Magazine, and in numerous anthologies, including The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 and Best American Essays 2000. He is currently working on a memoir, The Resurrectionist, ​which explores the experience and meanings of illness and mortality through a narrative exploration of his experience as a liver transplant recipient.

    For his work, Richard McCann has received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, on whose Board of Trustees he served from 2000-20008. He earned his MA in Creative Writing and Modern Literature from Hollins University and his Ph.D. in American Studies form the University of Iowa, where he was a Rockefeller Fellow. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and he has lived in numerous places, including Sweden, Germany, and Spain. He now lives in Washington, DC, where he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is a Member of the Corporation of Yaddo.

    See Richard McCann's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Angela Pelster

    Angela Pelster received her B.Ed. from the University of Alberta and her MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Her children’s novel The Curious Adventures of India Sophia (River Books, 2005) won the Golden Eagle Children’s Choice award, and Limber (Sarabande Books), her collection of essays about trees, was released in April, 2014. She has also published essays with Hotel Amerika, Granta, Seneca Review, Fourth Genre and The Gettysburg Review amongst others. She was an Iowa Arts fellow from 2009-2011, and now teaches Creative Nonfiction Writing at Towson University in Baltimore.

    See Angela Pelster's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Carolivia Herron

    Dr. Carolivia Herron currently lives in Washington, DC where she is writing fiction, pursuing scholarship, developing multimedia online educational products, establishing writing clubs in Washington, DC public schools, and teaching periodic specialty courses in universities. Herron is also on leave in order to continue a speaking tour related to her controversial book, Nappy Hair, and to introduce her multimedia educational programs to schools and communities nationwide. 

Carolivia Herron has spent most of her professorial career at Harvard University as a professor and as a Visiting Scholar (African American Studies, Comparative Literature, Divinity School, School of Education, Electronic Education.)

    See Carolivia Herron's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Morowa Yejide

    Morowa Yejidé’s novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, longlisted for the 2015 PEN/Bingham award, and a 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. Her short stories appeared in the Adirondack Review, the Istanbul Review, and others. Her short story "Tokyo Chocolate" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, anthologized by Britain's best of the Willesden Herald, and praised by the Japan Times. She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and three sons.

    See Morowa Yejide's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Steve Luxenberg

    Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post, has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter. In his current role as a Post associate editor focusing on special projects, he has directed coverage of in-depth stories on the causes and consequences of the financial crisis that unfolded in the fall of 2008. Annie’s Ghosts was named to The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2009 list and was honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010 by the Library of Michigan. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and on the Diane Rehm Show. Luxenberg is a graduate of Harvard College and grew up in Detroit, where Annie’s Ghosts primarily takes place.

    See Steve Luxenberg's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Tania James

    Tania James was raised in Louisville, Kentucky after a brief stint in Chicago from ages 0 to 4. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in filmmaking and received an MFA from Columbia’s School of the Arts. Her debut novel Atlas of Unknowns was published by Knopf in 2009, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Indie Next Notable, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a Best Book of 2009 for The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. Atlas was also shortlisted for the DSCPrize for South Asian literature. Tania is the recipient of fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. Now she lives in Washington DC.

    See Tania James's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Angela Balcita

    Angela Balcita was born in Massachusetts and raised in Queens, New York and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She received her MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Utne Reader, Iowa Review, and The Florida Review, among other publications. Her essays have been anthologized in Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction and a multicultural essay collection entitled Waking Up American: Growing Up Biculturally. She has received a special mention in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006, edited by Dave Eggers, and is a recipient of the Eda Kriseova Fellowship in Nonfiction.

    See Angela Balcita's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • William Heath

    William Heath was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on June 27th, 1942.  He attended Hiram College, where he majored in history, was president pro tem of the college senate, president of his fraternity, and captain and most valuable player of the soccer team, receiving eleven varsity letters in four different sports.  He has a M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University; his dissertation was a critical study of American novelist John Hawkes.  He taught American literature and creative writing at Kenyon, Transylvania, Vassar, and the University of Seville, where he was a Fulbright professor for two years.  In 1981 he began teaching at Mount Saint Mary’s University and served as faculty advisor for the college’s award-winning magazine, Lighted Corner; in addition, he edited a national literary magazine, The Monocacy Valley Review, which also won awards for excellence.  In the spring of 2007 he retired as a professor emeritus in the English Department.  The William Heath Award in creative writing. is given annually to an undergraduate in his honor.

    See William Heath's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Alexandra Zapruder

    Alexandra Zapruder is the author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust, which won a 2001 National Jewish Book Award. A graduate of Smith College and Harvard University, she began her career on the founding staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC where she served on the curatorial and education team for Remember The Children: Daniel’s Story, the museum’s exhibition for young visitors. She wrote and co-produced I’m Still Here, a documentary film for young audiences based on Salvaged Pages, which aired on MTV in May 2005. The film was awarded the Jewish Image Award for Best Television Special by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and was nominated for two Emmy awards. She lives with her family in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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  • Eric Puchner

    Eric Puchner is the author of the story collection Music Through the Floor and the novel Model Home, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won a California Book Award Silver Medal for fiction. His short stories and personal essays have appeared in GQ, Tin House, Zoetrope: All Story, Narrative, Glimmer Train, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. He has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a 2014 Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is an assistant professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. 

    See Eric Puchner's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Melanie Hatter

    Melanie S. Hatter is the author of The Color of My Soul, winner of the 2011 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize, and “Taking the Shot,” an electronic novelette published by Etopia Press. Her short stories have appeared in The Whistling Fire and Diverse Voices Quarterly, and her short story, “Obsessed with Claudia,” won the First Annual Romantic Tales Writing Contest. Born and raised in Scotland (UK), Melanie received a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and a master’s in writing from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. 

    See Melanie Hatter's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Lauren Francis-Sharma

    Lauren Francis-Sharma, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, was born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Her debut novel, 'Til the Well Runs Dry was an O, The Oprah Magazine summer pick and has been lauded by several publications, including the New York Times Book Review. Ms. Francis-Sharma holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. A former corporate lawyer, she resides in Kensington, Maryland. 

    See Lauren Francis-Sharma's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Allison Leotta

    For twelve years, Allison Leotta was a federal prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and domestic violence in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Michigan State University. She lives with her husband, Michael, and their two sons in Takoma Park, Maryland. Law of Attraction is her first novel, and its sequel, Discretion, was released in July. Allison also blogs about the TV show Law & Order: SVU—what it gets right and wrong, from her perspective as a real sex-crimes prosecutor. The ABA has named her blog, The Prime-Time Crime Review, one of the best legal blogs in America. She lives in Washington, DC.

    See Allison Leotta's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Kathleen Wheaton

    Kathleen Wheaton grew up in California and graduated from Stanford University. She then received an MFA from Boston University. She has worked for 25 years as a journalist and travel writer, and lived for 12 years in Spain and Latin America. Her journalism and interviews have been published in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Francisco Examiner, Town & Country, European Travel & Life, Via, Smithsonian and the Paris Review.

    Since 2005, she has been a regular contributor of profiles and features for Bethesda Magazine, and she has received Society of Professional Journalist awards for profiles of public radio host Diane Rehm and opera singer Denyce Graves as well as for a report on teen suicide.  She is an assistant editor of the online literary magazine, Narrative, and she also works as a Spanish and Portuguese interpreter for the Montgomery County Public School system in Maryland.

    Her short stories have appeared in The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Byline, Flyway, The Baltimore Review, Timber Creek Review, New South, Smokelong Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, artisan, River Oak Review, and Narrative as well as the anthologies Flash Fiction Forward, (Norton, 2005) and Amazing Graces, (Paycock Press, 2012). She has been the recipient of three Maryland Arts Council grants.

    In 2013 she received the Washington Writers Publishing House award for fiction, and her short story collection, Aliens and Other Stories, appeared on October 15, 2013. She enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, and foreign languages. She is married to NPR reporter David Welna and they have two sons. She lives in Bethesda, Md.

    See Kathleen Wheaton's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • D. Watkins

    D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and other publications. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college professor and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including BME Fellowship. He has lectured at countless universities and public events around the country. Watkins has been featured as a guest and commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s The Erin Burnett Show, MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Democracy Now, and NPR’s Monday Morning and Tell Me More, among other shows. Watkins grew up in and will never leave east Baltimore. His debut collection of essays The Beast Side is available now. His memoir The Cook-Up will be released by Grand Central in early 2016.

    See D. Watkins's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Katharine Noel

    Katharine Noel’s first novel, Halfway House, was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of a Ken/NAMI Award for “outstanding literary contributions to a better understanding of mental illness,” a Rona Jaffe Award, and the 2006 Kate Chopin prize for fiction. Her second novel, Meantime, is forthcoming from Grove/ Atlantic. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, she lives in Baltimore, where she teaches at Johns Hopkins University and is at work on a third novel.

    See Katharine Noel's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Deborah Rudacille

    Deborah Rudacille is a freelance journalist and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from Loyola University and an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of three books: The Scalpel and the Butterfly: The War Between Animal Research and Animal Protection (Farrar, Straus & Girous, 2000); The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism and Transgender Rights (Pantheon, 2005); Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town (Pantheon, 2010).

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  • Rachel Louise Snyder

    Rachel Louise Snyder is a writer, professor and public radio commentator. Her first book Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade was published in 2007 by WW Norton. An excerpt of the book –aired on This American Life and won an Overseas Press Club Award. The Library Journal called it one of the “best business books” of the year. Her second book, a novel set in Oak Park, Illinois and entitled What We’ve Lost is Nothing was published in January, 2014 by Scribner. Snyder’s print work has also appeared in the the New Yorker, New York Times magazine, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Men’s Journal, Jane, Travel and Leisure, the New Republic, Redbook and Glamour. She hosted the nationally-syndicated global affairs series “Latitudes” on public radio, and her stories have aired on Marketplace and All Things Considered. Snyder has traveled to more than 50 countries and lived in London and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In the summer of 2009, she relocated to Washington, DC, where she is currently an assistant professor in the MFA creative writing program at American University.

    See Rachel Louise Snyder's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Katherine Heiny

    Katherine Heiny was born in Midland, Michigan, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and an MFA from Columbia University. Her stories have been published in The New YorkerThe Antioch ReviewThe Greensboro ReviewThe Saranac ReviewSeventeen, and many other publications. Her work also appears in the anthology Nothing but You: Love Stories from The New Yorker.  She lives in Washington DC with her husband and two sons.

    See Katherine Heiny's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Susan Muaddi Darraj

    Susan Muaddi Darraj is the author of The Inheritance of Exile, which was a finalist in the AWP Book Awards Series and named ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year (Short Fiction). She is a fiction editor for Barrelhouse Magazine and co-founder of the annual Conversations & Connections Conference: Practical Advice on Getting Published. Her new book, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named winner of the AWP Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction and the American Book Award, and shortlisted for the Palestine Book Award. She is a two-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. 

    See Susan Muaddi Darraj's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Robert Williams

    Robert J. Williams was born in Augusta, Georgia. He is the recipient of four Larry Neal Writers' Awards given by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for three of his short stories and one screenplay. Educated at Northwestern University and the University of Georgia’s Grady Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he resides in Washington, D.C. where he has worked in digital marketing, advertising and web technology for over 20 years. He has been a participant in the Hurston/Wright Writers Conference at Howard University, the Voices of Nation's Arts Workshop at the University of San Francisco and most recently, was selected for the 2016 Callaloo Literary Journal of the African Diaspora Creative Writing Workshop at Oxford University in England. He is currently at work on a novel.

    See Robert Williams's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Geoffrey Becker

    Geoff Becker is the author of the novels Hot Springs and Bluestown, as well as the story collections, Black Elvis and Dangerous Men. His awards and honors include: the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction, The Nelson Algren Award, an NEA Fellowship, inclusion in the Best American Short Stories anthology, three Maryland Arts Council Awards, and the Parthenon Prize for Fiction. He teaches writing at Towson University and lives in Baltimore.

    See Geoffrey Becker's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Louise Levathes

    Louise Levathes is an editor, author, and multimedia producer with broad experience across all media platforms -- print, radio, TV, film, and the Web -- and has a particular interest in culture, science, and history. She is currently senior editor at two international Internet journals, The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, where she write about theater, art, design, and public spaces. She is also developing a non-fiction Web book.

    As a staff writer and editor for National GeographicHealth magazine, and the Daily News, Louise has 20 years experience reporting on important trends in science and the environment in the US and abroad. She is particularly interested in anything to do with water -- river systems, wetlands, the oceans. She worked on the joint National Geographic/NPR radio shows, such as "The Sounds of the Rainforest." She was a Neiman Fellow finalist in 1984. In addition to her print work, she has had part-time reporting and producing assignments at CNN, CNNI, and WNET, and, from 1997 to 2000, she ran Film Projects for the Arts, a foundation focused on raising money and producing cultural documentary films for public television. She has done freelance development work and scriptwriting for Dreamworks Animation and Summer Productions.

    See Louise Levathes's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Tony Lewis Jr.

    Tony Lewis Jr. is a community leader, youth advocate, and work force development professional specializing in justice involved men and women. His memoir Slugg: A Boy’s Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration is a soulful meditation on the social and political forces that profoundly changed the course of his life, the outlook of his generation, and the prospects of generations to follow. His work and advocacy has been featured on CNN, BET, and in the Washington Post. He is the winner of the Steve Harvey/Ford Motor Company “Best Community Leader” award and the Presidential Call to Service award.

    See Tony Lewis Jr.'s full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Ralph Eubanks

    Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, which Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2003. He has contributed articles to The Washington Post Outlook and Style sections, the Chicago Tribune, Preservation, and NPR. A graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Michigan, he is a recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and has been a fellow at the New America Foundation. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and three children and is the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review at the University of Virginia.


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  • Louis Bayard

    Louis Bayard is the author of several novels including Mr. Timothy—a New York Times notable book and one of People magazine’s 10 best books of the year—The Pale Blue Eye, The Black Tower, The School of Night, and Roosevelt’s Beast. He is also a nationally recognized essayist and critic whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. He has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger awards and has been named one of People’s top authors of the year. He lives in Washington, DC where he teaches creative writing at George Washington University.

    See Louis Bayard's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop

    Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop recognizes that books and creative writing have the incredible power to teach, build community, inspire individuals and change lives. The Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop meets every week at the DC Jail where juvenile inmates come together to discuss a work of contemporary literature —an exciting experience for youths who have often had little meaningful exposure to books. 

    Free Minds serves teenagers who are charged and incarcerated as adults at the DC Jail. Approximately 30 youths are incarcerated every year; of those, ninety five percent are African American and five percent are Latino. The majority come from the city’s most crime-stricken neighborhoods where nearly half of the children live below the poverty rate. At 16 and 17 years old, they read, on average, at a fifth grade level and most have already dropped out of or disengaged from school. 

    Free Minds runs sessions called "On the Same Page," which brings members of their program (known as Poet Ambassadors) into classrooms and other venues to discuss issues of youth violence and incarceration, as well as the healing they've found through creative expression.

    During these sessions, Poet Ambassadors also discuss and read from literary journals published by Free Minds: The Untold Story of the Real Me: Young Voices from Prison and/or They Call Me 299-359: Writings by the Incarcerated Youth of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop.

    See Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Thea Brown

    Thea Brown is a graduate of Cornell University and of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in LitHub, Prelude, REAL, Better, the Volta, TriQuarterly, Web Conjunctions, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook We Are Fantastic and the full-length collection Think of the Danger. She lives in Baltimore, where she is the 2016–2017 Tickner Fellow at the Gilman School.

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  • Jessica Spotswood

    Jessica Spotswood is the author of the young adult historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles: Born Wicked, Star Cursed, and Sisters' Fate. She grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Now she lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She can be found seeing plays, teaching writing workshops for teens, doing yoga, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Some things never change.

    See Jessica Spotswood's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Dora Malech

    Dora Malech is a poet, professor, and visual artist. She is the author of two books of poetry, Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems appear in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry London, the Yale Review, Tin House, the New Census (Rescue Press, 2013), and 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 outreach organization the Iowa Youth Writing Project. She lives in Baltimore, where she joined the faculty of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor of Poetry in 2014.

    See Dora Malech's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Cristin Terrill

    Cristin Terrill has a bachelor of the arts degree from Vassar College and a master of the arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches creative writing workshop for kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.

    See Cristin Terrill's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Andrew Wingfield

    Andrew Wingfield’s main interest as a writer and teacher is exploring the ways that people and places shape each other. Like his 2005 novel, Hear Him Roar, much of his creative nonfiction deals with the human and environmental costs of the “development” that has denatured this home landscape dramatically over the past three decades. He is currently an Associate Professor at New Century College (NCC), the integrative studies program at George Mason where he teaches courses on writing, conservation, and sustainability. He directs George Mason’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies degree program and co-directs the Sustainability Studies Minor.

    See Andrew Wingfield's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Jung Yun

    Jung Yun is the author of Shelter, published by Picador in 2016 and long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her work has appeared in Tin House (the “Emerging Voices” issue); The Best of Tin House: Stories, edited by Dorothy Allison; The Massachusetts Review; and The Atlantic Monthly. She is the recipient of two Artist Fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and an honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at the George Washington University. 

    See Jung Yun's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Rafael Alvarez

    Rafael Alvarez is an American author based in Baltimore. From 1977 through 2001, Alvarez worked at the Baltimore Sun before leaving to work on ships as a laborer. He has written for the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Wire, and is the author of the story collections The Fountain of Highlandtown, Orlo & Leini, and Tales from the Holy Land. In 2010, he was nominated for an Edgar Award for The Wire: Truth Be Told, an encyclopedic companion to the television series.

    See Rafael Alvarez's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Shout Mouse Press

    Shout Mouse Press is a nonprofit writing program and publishing house for unheard voices. This nonprofit organization partners with other nonprofit organizations serving communities in need and designs custom book projects to benefit those communities. Through this work, Shout Mouse Press aims to:

    * Amplify the voices of the marginalized and under-represented by empowering them to write and publish their stories.
    * Amplify the missions of the nonprofits with whom we partner by creating tangible, marketable products that diversify and innovate their outreach and fundraising.

    When you request a visit with Shout Mouse Press, the young authors* of Shout Mouse Press titles will be available to come to your classroom and talk to your students about their work.

    *All Shout Mouse Press authors are either currently enrolled in a DCPS high school, or have recently graduated from a DCPS high school. 

    See Shout Mouse Press's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Wil Haygood

    A Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and the Karl and Helen Weipking Visiting Distinguished Professor at Miami University, Ohio, Wil Haygood has been described as a cultural historian. He is the author of a trio of iconic biographies. His King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., told the story of the enigmatic New York congressman and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. That was followed—after publication of a family memoir—by In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr., which was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Music Biography Award, the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Legacy Award, and the Nonfiction Book of the Year Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. In 2009, he wrote Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, which told the story of the famed New York pugilist known as much for his prowess in the ring as his elegant style outside of it. Haygood's 2008 article about Eugene Allen in the Washington Post inspired Lee Daniels's movie The Butler, of which Haygood is an associate producer.

    See Wil Haygood's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • David Nicholson

    David Nicholson is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia and the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. A former editor and book reviewer for The Washington Post Book World, he is the founding editor of the magazine Black Film Review. Nicholson'sstories have appeared in Stress City: A Big Book of Fiction by 51 D.C. Guys, Kiss the Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix, Best Stories from New Writers, and Best African American Fiction 2010. His essays have been anthologized in Black Men Speaking and Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream. He has worked as a journalist for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and in the San Francisco and Milwaukee bureaus of the Associated Press. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., David Nicholson now lives in Vienna, Va., where he is at work on a biography of A.M.E. Bishop William David Chappelle and a family history/memoir, “The Simonses of S Street: The Story of an American Family.”

    See David Nicholson's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • E. Ethelbert Miller

    E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of several volumes of poetry including Whispers, Secrets, and Promises and First Light. He has also edited many anthologies, including the highly acclaimed In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African American Poetry and Women Surviving Massacres and Men. He is also the author of the memoirs Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer and The Fifth Inning. His awards include the Columbia Merit Award and the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. In 1979, the Mayor of Washington, DC, proclaimed September 28, 1979 as “E. Ethelbert Miller Day.” He is the founding Director of the Ascension Poetry Reading Series, one of the oldest literary series in the Washington area, and the Director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, a position he has held since 1974. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

    See E. Ethelbert Miller's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Valerie Patterson

    Valerie O. Patterson was raised in the Florida panhandle where the Gulf of Mexico inspired a love of blue and a fascination with the horizon and what lies beyond. Valerie graduated in May 2008 with an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University, where she twice received the Shirley Henn Award for Creative Scholarship. She has also received a Work-in-Progress grant from the Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators (SCBWI). In addition to SCBWI, she is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Children’s Literature Association, and the Authors Guild. Her first novel, The Other Side of Blue, was a finalist for an Agatha Award. Valerie lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband.

    See Valerie Patterson's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • M.K. Asante

    A teenager lost on the mean streets of “Killadelphia,” MK Asante sought refuge in the poetry of hip-hop giants — from Tupac, to Jay-Z, to Nas — and later, in the words of Kerouac, Whitman, and Orwell. His memoir BUCK is the unforgettable story of Asante’s rise from dealer and delinquent to writer, filmmaker, poet, and professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

    See M.K. Asante's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Michelle Brafman

    Michelle Brafman is the author of Washing the Dead and Bertrand Court. Her work has appeared in Slate, Tablet, the Los Angeles Review of Books, LitHub, and elsewhere. She teaches at the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing Program and speaks widely throughout the area about her books, the writing process, and the craft of fiction writing. 

    See Michelle Brafman's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Roy Kesey

    Roy Kesey's latest books are the short story collection Any Deadly Thing (Dzanc Books 2013) and the novel Pacazo (Dzanc Books 2011/Jonathan Cape 2012). His other books include the short story collection All Over, the novella Nothing in the World, and two historical guidebooks. He has received an NEA creative writing fellowship, the Paula Anderson Book Award, and the Bullfight Media Little Book Award. His short stories, essays, translations and poems have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and New Sudden Fiction.

    See Roy Kesey's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Ron Capps

    Ron Capps is the author of Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years, his memoir of service in Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Darfur as a soldier and Foreign Service officer. Ron’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Time Magazine, The American Interest, and other venues. Three of his essays have been listed in Best American Essays (2102, 2013, 2015). Ron holds a Master of Liberal Arts and a Master of Arts in Writing both from the Johns Hopkins University. He is at work on a novel.  

    See Ron Capps's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Jen Michalski

    Jen Michalski was voted one of the best authors in Maryland by CBS News, one of "50 Women to Watch" by the Baltimore Sun, and named "Best Writer" by Baltimore Magazine (2013). She is the author of the novels The Tide King, which won the 2013 Big Moose Prize from Black Lawrence Press, and The Summer She Was Under Water. In addition, she has published two collections of fiction, Close Encounters and From Here, as well as a collection of novellas, Could You Be with Her Now. She is the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore, which Baltimore Magazine called "Best of Baltimore" in 2010. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, hosts the monthly reading series Starts Here! in Baltimore, and interviews writers at The Nervous Breakdown.

    See Jen Michalski's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Christopher Mannino

    Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. 

    See Christopher Mannino's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Maud Casey

    Maud Casey is the author of three novels, The Shape of Things to Come, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Genealogy, a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book, and The Man Who Walked Away, as well as of the story collection, Drastic. She has received fellowships from the Fundacion Valparaiso and the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers, and was the recipient of the 2008 Calvino Prize. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland where she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program. She lives in Washington, DC.

    See Maud Casey's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Kayla Williams

    Kayla M. Williams is a former sergeant and Arabic linguist in a Military Intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). During her deployment to Iraq, Williams was at the forefront of troops' interaction with Iraqis while also navigating the challenges of being part of the 15% of the Army that is female. Kayla is the author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army, a memoir about her experiences negotiating the changing demands on today's military. Ms. Williams graduated cum laude with a BA in English Literature from Bowling Green State University, and earned an MA in International Affairs with a focus on the Middle East from American University. She is a former member of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans and a current Truman National Security Project Fellow and member of the Army Education Advisory Committee. Kayla currently lives near Washington, D.C. with her husband, a combat-wounded veteran, and their two children. Her second book, Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War, about their family's journey from trauma to healing, was recently released by W. W. Norton. 

    See Kayla Williams's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Elissa Brent Weissman

    Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for 8-to-12-year olds. Her most recent books, Nerd Camp 2.0 and Nikhil and the Geek Retreat, are follow-ups to the critically acclaimed Nerd Camp, which was named a best summer read for middle graders in The Washington Post. The Short Seller, about a seventh grade stock-trading whiz, was a Girls’ Life must-read and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” She’s also the editor Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, a Junior Library Guild selection, which comes out in July of 2017. Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in Baltimore, where she teaches creative writing to children, college students, and adults.

    See Elissa Brent Weissman's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Lia Purpura

    Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of poems (King Baby, Stone Sky Lifting, and The Brighter the Veil), three collections of essays (Rough Likeness, On Looking, Increase), and one collection of translations, (Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch and Taste of Ash). In addition to a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, Purpura has also been awarded an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, three Pushcart Prizes, a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, and multiple residencies and fellowships at the MacDowell Colony. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

    See Lia Purpura's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Glenn Blake

    Glenn Blake’s first story collection, Drowned Moon, received The PEN Southwest Award for fiction. His story, “The Bottom,” was made into an award-winning short film. He has served as Chair of PEN Houston. He lives in Baltimore and graduated from Johns Hopkins where he is now teaching in the Writing Seminars. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of the Hopkins Review. The title story of his second collection, Return Fire, was recently filmed in Texas and Louisiana.

    See Glenn Blake's full profile, books, and lesson plans
  • Emily Mitchell

    Emily Mitchell was born in London and immigrated to the Unites States as a teenager. Her first collection of short stories, Viral (W. W. Norton) was chosen as one of’s five Best Short Story Collections of 2015. Her first novel, The Last Summer of the World (W. W. Norton, 2007) was a finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Harper’sNew England ReviewPloughshares and other magazines. Her non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times and New Statesman. She has received fellowships from the Ucross Foundation, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Maryland.

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  • Susi Wyss

    Since completing her debut book, The Civilized World, a novel-in-stories set in Africa (published by Henry Holt in April 2011), Susi Wyss has been balancing her creative writing with her work as an editor at Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international health organization. Her stories, including several from The Civilized World, have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Bellevue Literary Review, Bellingham Review, and The Massachusetts Review. She has served as an associate editor for the Potomac Review, and her writing has been recognized by awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

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  • Jean McGarry

    Jean McGarry is the author of eight books of fiction, among them the novel The Courage of Girls and the short story collection Dream Date. Her 2006 novel, A Bad and Stupid Girl, received the University of Michigan Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, Boulevard, The Southwest Review, and others. She lives in Baltimore where she is the co-chair of the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

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  • Tim Wendel

    Tim Wendel is the author most recently of Summer of ‘68: The Season When Baseball, and America, Changed Forever, (Da Capo). The narrative nonfiction work was a Top 10 choice by Publisher’s Weekly and a Notable Book for 2013 by the State of Michigan. 

His previous book— High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time—was an Editor’s Selection by The New York Times Book Review.

 Of his nine books, Tim has published several novels, including Castro’s Curveball (Ballantine/ U of Nebraska) and Red Rain (Writers’ Lair). 
 His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, Washingtonian, National Geographic Traveler, Huffington Post, The Potomac Review, Gargoyle, GQ and Esquire.

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