2015

Support for the 2015 Festival was provided by Millbrook Library, Merritt Bookstore, Bank of Millbrook, Fountain Press, Millbrook Rotary, Millbrook Business Association, Hudson Valley Parent, Millbrook Tribute Garden, Betty Renner, Crisp Architects, Matt Cantele Tent Rentals, Stewart’s Shops, Dactyl Foundation, and Susan Fargione.

Schedule:
10: 00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Rex Smith – Ethical Journalism – in the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library
RexSmith2015Rex Smith, editor of the Times Union and host of WAMC’s Media Project, will share his views on the state of ethical journalism in today’s culture. The digital revolution has transformed how people get information, upending the business model that has sustained American journalism for generations. So how can thoughtful journalism survive in an online environment that values such “clickbait” as cat videos and red carpet photo galleries?

10: 00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Picture the Past – in the Children’s Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Meet award-winning picture book authors Catherine Ciocchi (This Land is Your Land), Doreen Rappaport (Lady Liberty: A Biography), Gary Golio (Bird and Diz), and Susanna Reich (Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles) – talented writers who make history fun. Share the excitement as these gifted wordsmiths bring the people and events of the past to life.

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.Writing Across the Arts – in the Bennett Room at the Millbrook Free LibraryHow does inspiration flow from one medium to another?  How do poets work with images and themes they encounter in visual or musical art forms?  Reading and discussing examples from their own writing, panelists Lucia Cherciu, Raphael Kosek, and Judith Saunders will address the special goals and challenges of ekphrasis:  finding language to evoke and confront a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a sonata,  a ballet , and so on.

11: 00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Authors of Today and Tomorrow– in the Children’s Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Students who entered this year’s young writers’ showcase will read from their work, including those whose stories have been published in a special anthology. Don’t miss this display of the finest young literary talents in the area!

11: 15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Journalism In the Modern World in the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library. Join local journalists as they discuss the evolution of their field amidst today’s world of social media and 24 hour news access. Writer and editor Ann LaFarge will lead a panel consisting of executive editors Whitney Joseph (The Millerton News), Jim Langan (Hudson Valley News), Curtis Schmidt (Northern Dutchess News), Stuart Shinske (Poughkeepsie Journal), and Rex Smith (Times Union).

12: 00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Cookbooks: Trends, Tips, and Tidbits in the Bennett Room at the Millbrook Free LibraryFoodWritingRonaBoyer…The place to be for “Foodies”as cookbook authors Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein (The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book), Robert Sietsema (New York in a Dozen Dishes), and Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, discuss the trends in the booming cookbook industry.  Moderated by Rona Boyer, former Food Editor of The Millbrook Independent.

1: 00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Seana Anderson – American Trust  For the British Library in the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library. Did you know that the British Library is so large that if you saw five of its holdings each day it would take over 80,000 years to view the whole collection? Not only does the library house books, but also manuscripts, maps, music scores, and patents; not to mention the audio recordings in their sound archive. Join Seana Anderson, Executive Director of The American Trust for the British Library, as she discusses this treasured institution and how we can  benefit from it across the pond.

 1: 00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Danger! YA Fiction Can Be Deadly– in the Children’s Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Two time National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer (Threatened), accomplished novelist Laura Wiess (Me After You), and gifted newcomer Kathryn Holmes (The Distance Between Lost and Found) share their cutting-edge fiction involving teens in distress. From the jungles of Gabon, to the Smoky Mountains, and the more hidden perils of suburbia, their characters negotiate the treacherous path to adulthood. Enjoy an up close and personal encounter with three of the finest YA authors.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Marion Roach Smith – The Memoir Project – in the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library. Why Write Memoir? If every rock star is doing it, how good can this genre be? And what is the value of all that self-knowledge, anyway? What relationship does it have to the truth? And whose truth is it? You say your version is true, but your sister says you started the fight. Let’s talk memoir.

2: 00 p.m. – 2:45p.m.Mystery Solved  in the Bennett Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Authors TJ O’Connor (Dying for the Past), Chris Orcutt (A Truth Stranger Than Fiction), and Louis Romano (You Think I’m Dead) will talk about the latest editions of their detective series and offer clues to crafting an exciting thriller. Carola Lott, managing editor of The Millbrook Independent online, will lead the discussion.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Jim DeFelice – American Sniper– in the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library. Join Jim DeFelice, co-author of American Sniper, as he answers your questions about the best-seller and the Academy Award nominated movie based upon it. American Sniper is the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s life and service. DeFelice will also introduce his new book, American Wife, written with Kyle’s widow Taya about her experiences as a military wife and the faith and friendships that sustained her after her husband was murdered.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.Fiction Truer Than Fact? Historical Novels vs. Non-Fictionin the Bennett Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Writing for young readers, can we present the truth of history better through historical fiction than plain old factual history? Or do hard facts speak best for themselves? Join three prize-winning authors of both fiction and nonfiction; Bryan Bunch (Before Eureka! The Adventures of Young Archimedes), Beatrice Gormley (Friends of Liberty, a novel of the Boston Tea Party), and Tim Tocher (Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, and Bizarre Baseball Moments), to discuss. Author Jenny Tesar will moderate.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Paths to Getting Publishedin the Bennett Room at the Millbrook Free Library. Would you like to get your work published, but aren’t sure which of today’s myriad options are right for you? E-book or paper; self-publish or traditional imprint? Author Victoria N. Alexander (Locus Amoenus) will lead Bill Grogg, owner of NetPub; Ryan Murphy, associate director of Four Way Books; Ivor and Ronnie Whitson of Cogent Publishing; and C.L. Schneider (The Crown of Stones), successful user of CreateSpace, in a discussion of the pros and cons of all of the available avenues to getting published.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Courage Under Fire – Heroes From America’s Military Pastin the Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library. Wars are fought on a grand scale, but it is the individual acts of courageous men that often lead to victory. Authors Jack Kelly (Band of Giants), Jamie Malanowski (Commander Will Cushing, Daredevil Hero of the Civil War), and Richard and John Polhemus (Stark: The Life and Wars of John Stark) will share the stories of some of these men. Shaun Boyce, Marist Partner of the Hudson River Valley Institute and local educator, will moderate.

All Day  Book Signings – on the Front Lawn at the Millbrook Free Library

Authors will be signing their books an hour before and immediately following their program or activity. In addition, non-presenting authors will be in the Book Tent to sign their work and meet visitors all day. 

All Day  Book Sales – on the Front Lawn at the Millbrook Free Library
Books by all authors and illustrators at the festival will be available for purchase.

List of 2015 Authors:
Lori Adams began photographing for science books for children in 2002. Credits include contributions to over 17 books used in the Science 21 curriculum in New York State. She is a professional photographer and artist, experienced teacher and amateur scientist. Adams’ work is on exhibit at the Millbrook Free Library until May 30. Find her online at http://www.loriadamsphoto.com.

Victoria N. Alexander, PhD, is a local author whose latest novel, Locus Amoenus, is set in Amenia. She is the author of three other novels, Smoking Hopes (Washington Prize for Fiction), Naked Singularity (Dallas Observer’s “Best of 2003”), and Trixie, and a work of philosophy, The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature and Nature. She lives on a sheep farm with her husband and son. Find her online at victorianalexander.com.

Seana Anderson is the Executive Director for the American Trust for the British Library.

Bryan Bunch is the author of The History of Science and Technology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003) as well as author or coauthor of many other trade nonfiction books about mathematics and science; reference books and articles on medicine and science, notably The Penguin Short Encyclopedia of Science and Mathematics (with Jenny Tesar); and science textbooks. His specialty in addition to the history of science is mathematics, which he taught at Pace University—his popular mathematics books deal with paradoxes (Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes), symmetry (Reality’s Mirror), and number (The Kingdom of Infinite Number: A Field Guide). Before Eureka! is his first work of fiction.

Lucia Cherciu is a Professor of English at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she writes both in English and in Romanian. Her newest book of poetry is Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2015). Her other books of poetry areLepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language), Editura Vinea 2009, and Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter), Editura Brumar 2010. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net.

Catherine Ciocchi has published several short stories and This Land is Your Land (Arbordale Publishing) is her debut nonfiction picture book. She has a degree in geology and teaches high school earth science. Catherine lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three sons. Visit her website at http://www.catherineciocchi.com.

Dana Cowin, at Food & Wine since 1995, oversees the award-winning print magazine and its website, as well as digital e-reader editions, mobile applications, and branded books. Dana also holds the title of Chief Talent Scout for Chefs Club USA, a restaurant group that features the dishes of Food & Wine Best New Chefs. Under Dana’s leadership, Food & Wine has attracted a total brand audience of more than 14 million people who have a passionate, adventurous approach to cooking, wine, entertaining, restaurants, and travel. The traffic to foodandwine.com has increased by more than 500% over the past five years, and the brand has launched the hugely popular FWx site for millennials. In 2012, Dana was inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, one of the industry’s highest honors. She serves on the board of City Harvest, a New York hunger-relief organization, and Hot Bread Kitchen, which helps train and support foreign-born and low-income individuals looking to work in food service. Dana is the author of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes (Ecco Press, 2014), which has been recognized on five lists as one of the Best Cookbooks of 2014.

S. T. Davis is the author/illustrator of two middle-grade novels about the American Revolution, Summer of Red Rain and Musket and Mobcap. Her third middle-grade novel, One Step from Normal, will be coming out by early May. This story is set in 1955 during the polio epidemic in Boston. Davis lives in the Hudson Valley. She spends her time volunteering at the local hospital and at her grandchildren’s school. In the summer, she gives historical tours at the Van Wyck Homestead and Museum in Fishkill, NY. Visit Davis online at http://www.stdavisauthor.com.

Jim DeFelice has written more than 50 fiction and non-fiction books, including fourteen that have made the New York Times best-seller lists. Gritty realism, meticulous research, and the ability to dig deeply into the human experience of war, geo-politics, and technology characterize his body of work. American Sniper detailed the life and service of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and was the number one best-selling nonfiction title in America during much of 2012 and 2013 and again in early 2015. The movie based on the book was nominated for six Academy Awards and smashed box office records when released in January 2015. It stars Bradley Cooper and was directed by Clint Eastwood. DeFelice just finished writing American Wife, written with Taya Kyle (Chris Kyle’s widow) about her experiences as a military wife and the faith and friendships that sustained her after her husband was murdered. It will be published by William Morrow in May of 2015. Read more about DeFelice at http://www.jimdefelice.com.

Gary Golio is the author of the New York Times bestselling JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow – A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2010 and recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. Golio is also the author of When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan, and Spirit Seeker: The Musical Journey of John Coltrane, named a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Book of 2012 and one of New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing. His newest is Bird & Diz (Candlewick), about the creators and creation of Bebop jazz. Read more about Golio online atwww.garygolio.com.

Beatrice Gormley is the author of many well-received novels and biographies for young people, including Friends of Liberty, a novel of the Boston Tea Party, and Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary. Gormley grew up in Southern California, graduated from Pomona College, and then worked for a publishing company near San Francisco. There she met and married Robert Gormley, and they had two daughters. She now writes in Westport, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and their dog and cat.Visit Gormley online at http://www.beatricegormley.com/

Bill Grogg is the President of Net Pub, a Poughkeepsie, New York based award-winning digital printer offering short-run printing, on-site warehousing & fulfillment services within one facility. They work with authors through every step of the publishing process, through the editorial, design, production and printing of the book. Recent publications include FDR and His Hudson Valley Neighbors, by F. Kennon Moody. Read about NetPub’s full line of services at http://www.netpub.net.

Susanna Leonard Hill is the award-winning author of a dozen books for children. She teaches an online picture book writing class – Making Picture Book Magic – offers picture book critiques, and does frequent school and library visits. She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs. Find out more about Hill’s writing class at http://www.susannahill.com/making_picture_book_magic.html.

Kathryn Holmes grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was an avid reader and an aspiring writer from an early age. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and piles upon piles of books. A graduate of The New School’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Kathryn works as a freelance dance journalist, among other writing gigs. The Distance Between Lost and Found is her debut novel. Find her online at http://www.kathrynholmes.com.

Walter Keady was born in County Mayo, Ireland. He grew up on a farm and was employed in the Irish Civil Service before studying for the Catholic priesthood. He completed a degree at University College Dublin and four years theology study at Holy Ghost Missionary College, Kimmage before being ordained a priest and serving as a missionary in Brazil. When he resigned the priesthood he came to the United States and worked for IBM as a software engineer. He is the author of five published novels and a memoir. He lives in upstate New York with his wife Jennifer.

Jack Kelly is a journalist and historian. He is the author of five critically acclaimed novels. His latest book is Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence, which historian John Ferling called “a sprightly and illuminating history of the Revolutionary War.” Critics praised his history, Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards & Pyrotechnics as “evocative, brilliantly succinct and excruciatingly powerful.” He lives in Milan, NY, not far from the scene of much of the Revolutionary War action. Find him online at bandofgiants.org.
Raphael Kosek’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Still Point Arts Quarterly, Commonweal, The Chattahoochee Review, Catamaran and is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review and Poetry East. She lives in the Hudson Valley where she graduated from Vassar College and now teaches American lit and creative writing at Marist College and SUNY Dutchess Community College. Her 2009 chapbook, Letting Go, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her new chapbook, Rough Grace, just won the 2014 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition and will be published in the fall of 2015. She has written and published many ekphrastic poems inspired by O’Keeffe, Homer, Rousseau and Inuit stone cut prints. She is fascinated by the relationship of art and life.

Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. A member of the original staff of Spy, Jamie has also been an editor at Time, Esquire, and Playboy. The recipient of the 2012 Folio Award for Feature Writing. Jamie has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Washington Monthly, and many other publications, including The New York Times, where he was the lead writer for Disunion, the award-winning series about The Civil War. He is the author of the novels Mr. Stupid Goes to Washington and The Coup; the monograph The Book of Levon: The Trials and Triumphs of Levon Helm; And the War Came, about the six months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War; and Commander Will Cushing, Daredevil Hero of the Civil War. Jamie lives in Westchester County NY with his family.

G. A. Mudge lived next to Central Park for 35 years. He now lives in Wassaic, NY with his wife and can be reached at GAMudge@aol.com. Alice in Central Park – Statues in Wonderland introduces all statues in Central Park. Photographs focus on the statues, minimizing distractions in the foreground and background. Text identifies the subject, sculptor, donor and location of each statue, with historical comment. The statues appear in the order of their dedication in Central Park, beginning with the 1859 bust of German poet Johann C. F. von Schiller. The book tells the stories of all statues in the park through the lens of Mudge’s camera and the whimsy of Alice, from Alice in Wonderland, of whom there are two statues in the park. Alice in Central Park is for New Yorkers and ex-New Yorkers, young and old, visitors to the park, students of sculpture, photography and the park, and Lewis Carroll enthusiasts, who will be fascinated by the greatest concentration of Carrollian statuary in the world. The book recommends six walks to meet the statues face-to-face in Central Park. See http://www.aliceincentralpark.com.

Ryan Murphy is the Associate Director of Four Way Books. Since 1993, Four Way Books has been dedicated to producing and promoting excellent literary publications and to creating opportunities for writers of merit. They are the publisher of Gregory Pardlo, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry. Murphy is the author of The Redcoats and Down with the Ship. He holds a masters degree from Columbia University. He has received grants and awards from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Chelsea Magazine, The Fund For Poetry, and The New York State Foundation for the Arts. You can read more about Murphy and Four Way Books at http://www.fourwaybooks.com.

Anthony Musso completed a 38-year career as a writer, editor and media spokesperson for the government in 2008. In addition to his primary career, Musso worked as a freelance correspondent for Middletown, New York’s Times-Herald Record and later as a journalist and weekly columnist for Gannett Newspaper’s Poughkeepsie Journal, a position he still maintains. He is the author of six books ranging from Franklin D. Roosevelt and his lifetime association with the Post Office Department, the accurate stories regarding the infancy of rock and roll (based on personal interviews with 100 top artists from the 1950s and 1960s), and a look at Staatsburg, NY, once a thriving village along the main route from New York City to Albany prior to the construction of the Rt. 9 bypass. Find Musso online at http://www.mussobooks.com.

TJ O’Connor is the 2015 Gold Medal winner of the independent publishers book awards for mysteries and the author of Dying to Know and Dying for the Past, available in books stores and e-books from Midnight Ink. His third paranormal mystery, Dying to Tell, will be released January 2016. He is currently working on a traditional mystery and a new thriller. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also a Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist. Learn more about O’Connor atwww.tjoconnor.com.

Chris Orcutt is a professional writer based in Millbrook, NY. He has worked as an adjunct professor of literature and communications, a corporate communications consultant and as a journalist. Orcutt started publishing his book-length fiction in November 2011 on Kindle, beginning with his first PI/mystery novel, A Real Piece of Work (2011), featuring Manhattan–Millbrook detective Dakota Stevens. The second Dakota novel, The Rich Are Different, came out in June 2012. He has also written a collection of short stories, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, which was awarded by IndieReader as “One of the Best Books of 2013.” In 2014 he published a modern pastoral novel, One Hundred Miles from Manhattan, which was recognized by IndieReader as a “Best Book of 2014,” and in its review of the novel Kirkus Reviews favorably compared Orcutt to Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Cheever. A Truth Stranger Than Fiction, the 3rd novel in the critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, delves into the bizarre, interconnected world of foreign spies and fangirls, mobsters and murderers, government bureaucrats and corporate profiteers. In the end, Dakota exposes a secret that literally has the power to change the world. For more information, please visit http://www.orcutt.net.

Karen Kaufman Orloff has written seven books for children: I Wanna Iguana (G.P. Putnam, 2004), If Mom Had Three Arms (Sterling, 2006), I Wanna New Room (G.P. Putnam, Dec., 2010), Talk Oscar, Please! (Sterling, March 2011), and two “Nightlight Detective” books from Peter Pauper Press (June, 2013). A third “I Wanna…” book, titled I Wanna Go Home was published by Putnam in September 2014. Orloff also writes a column for The Poughkeepsie Journal. Visit her websitewww.karenkaufmanorloff.com or contact her at orloff@bestweb.net.

John Polhemus is an engineer who graduated from MIT with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics and spent his working life in that field. Richard Polhemus is an attorney who graduated from Princeton with a degree in American history. Their first book, Up on Preston Mountain: The Story of an American Ghost Town (Purple Mountain Press, 2005) celebrated their native hills in eastern New York.

Doreen Rappaport is an award-winning author of 50 fiction and non-fiction books that celebrate multiculturalism, the retelling of folktales and myths, history, the lives of world leaders and the stories of those she calls ‘not-yet-celebrated.’ Learn more about her online at doreenrappaport.com.

Susanna Reich is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults, including Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, José! Born to Dance, Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso, Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin and the forthcoming Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles. Among her honors are the Tomás Rivera Award, International Latino Book Award, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, ALA Notable, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Books, Kirkus Best Young Adult Books, and Booklist Top Ten Arts Books. She lives in Ossining, NY, with her husband, children’s book author Gary Golio. Visit http://www.susannareich.com.

Marion Roach Smith began her writing career at The New York Times and has since published four mass-market books, including The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing–And Life (Grand Central Publishing, 2011). Her personal essays have aired on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her first love is teaching memoir, which she does on various platforms, including online, at her popular blog,marionroach.com.

Jesse A. Saperstein is a best-selling author of Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters, as well as an autism advocate and motivational speaker. His newest book, Getting a Life With Asperger’s: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood, was released in August 2014. Saperstein is currently focusing on educating young people about misunderstood disabilities as well as the psychological and legal consequences of bullying.You can find him online at www.jesseasaperstein.com.

Judith Saunders has published poetry, humor, and creative nonfiction in a wide variety of periodicals and anthologies.  Most recently her work has appeared in The Mathematical Intelligencer, Chiron Review, The Hudson River Valley Review, Blue Unicorn, The Christian Science Monitor, Soundings East, and Snowy Egret.  She is the author of two prize-winning chapbook collections of poetry.

Ellie Savoy is a #1 International Best Selling author of Stop Dieting Start Living: 5 Foundations for Your Health to Permanently Lose Weight Without Dieting, Starvation or Suffering in Silence. She is the founder of Diet Free and Healthy Inc., the revolutionary weight loss system for women. She is also a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach whose message to women all over the world is that they no longer have to resort to harmful dieting practices, deprivation, rules or restrictions to lose weight. Find her online at www.dietfreeandhealthy.com.

C.L. Schneider is the author of The Crown of Stones trilogy, an adult epic fantasy that follows the trials of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Her debut novel, The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price, was published in December of 2013 and spent several months as an Amazon Fantasy Bestseller.  Her newest release, Magic-Scars, is the second installment in the trilogy. You can read more about C. L. Schneider and her work at www.clschneiderauthor.com/.

Eliot Schrefer is the author of Threatened, a 2014 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature, and Endangered (2012), also a National Book Award Finalist. He is also the author of The Deadly Sister, The School for Dangerous Girls, Glamorous Disasters, and The New Kid. Schrefer is a contributor to The Huffington Post and has been profiled in Newsweek and New York magazine among other publications. He lives in New York City. Visit him online at www.eliotschrefer.com and on Twitter @EliotSchrefer.

Madeleine Segall-Marx is a sculptor/painter who lives both in Hyde Park NY and NYC.She is recipient of over 40 awards for sculpture,including the Dutchess County Executive Award to an Individual Artist, 2006, and is a former president of the National Association of Women Artists and instructor of sculpture at the Barrett Art Center. She has made three public sculptures in NYC. She has recently completed an art project on the idea of putting oneself in the enemy’s shoes as an alternative to shooting at him/her. It is about listening to the “other side.”  The Singing Bowl:voices of the enemy is the title of both the project and the book.  The artist collected 25 personal stories from people who live or have lived in conflict areas around the globe. With each story she made a visual artwork whose job it is is to say “I represent the voice of someone’s enemy.”  To tie each story to an artwork, the artist uses food, a universally understood concept,  She takes a recipe from the culture of each story teller and uses something from that recipe within the artwork. This is an anti-war project. Please see www.listeningtotheenemy.com for more on the project and the book.

Award-winning food writer Robert Sietsema has inspired generations to explore the wealth of dining options across the five boroughs of New York City. The restaurant critic for the Village Voice from 1993 to 2013, and a current restaurant critic at Eater.com, he also speaks widely about food and contributes to The New York Times, Lucky Peach, and elsewhere.

Rex Smith is Editor and Vice President of the Times Union, the dominant communication medium in New York’s Capital Region. He has led the Albany newspaper since mid-2002 to national recognition for writing, reporting, photography and design, both in print and on the Web. Smith has received numerous professional citations and awards, including the Distinguished Service Award of the national Society of Professional Journalists, a Pulitzer Fellowship and a Rotary Fellowship. For more than two decades, Smith has hosted a nationally syndicated weekly program, “The Media Project,” from Northeast Public Radio. He is past president of the state press association and vice chair of the state Fair Trial/Free Press Conference. He has been a national leader in efforts to build a news literacy curriculum in high schools and colleges. He is in demand as a speaker and contest judge, and has twice been a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. Smith lives in Rensselaer County with his wife, the author Marion Roach Smith; their daughter, Grace, is a student at Georgetown University.

Timothy Tocher is the author of four sports themed novels for middle grade students. Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me(Cricket Books, 2004) was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. The sequel, Bill Pennant, Babe Ruth, and Me (Cricket Books, 2009) received a starred review from Kirkus. His latest book, Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, and Bizarre Baseball Moments (Marshall Cavendish, 2011) is his first work of non-fiction. Tocher lives in the Hudson Valley. Read more about him athttp://sites.google.com/site/tochertales

Iza Trapani is the author and illustrator of a best- selling series of nursery rhyme extensions, in which she starts with the traditional verse then adds additional stanzas to create a story. Among her titles are The Itsy  Bitsy Spider (which was featured on PBS Storytime), Row Row Row Your Boat, Froggie Went A-Courtin’, The Bear Went Over the Mountain and many more. Her books have received the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Awards, Bank Street Best Books of the Year,  ABA Pick of the Lists and the Oppenheim Toy Portolio Gold Book Awards. Most importantly, her books are widely used in schools and libraries to help children learn to read. Iza’s 24th book, Old King Cole,  will be released on August 4, 2015 and she has two more titles in the works for 2016 and 2017 publication. She is online at www.izatrapani.com.

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the authors of 25 cookbooks. Their most recent book, The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, was Publishers Weekly’s best selling book in the country in February 2015. Their previous book,Vegetarian Dinner Parties, was a 2015 James Beard award nominee. In addition to their books, Weinstein and Scarbrough also write a monthly column on weightwatchers.com and regularly appear on television. Learn more about them atwww.bruceandmark.com.

Carol Weston is the author of fourteen books, and has been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist at Girls’ Life Magazine since 1994. Her new book is Ava and Taco Cat (April, 2015). The New York Times Book Review called Ava and Pip(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, 2014), “a love letter to language.” These are diary novels about a fifth grader. Carol’s first book, GIRLTALK: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You (HarperCollins), now in a fourth edition, has been in print since 1985 and was translated into a dozen languages. Her first novel, The Diary of Melanie Martin (Knopf), became a four-book series. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale with a master’s from Middlebury, Carol has appeared on Today, The View, 48 Hours, Oprah, and given talks at scores of schools around the country. Newsweek calls her a “Teen Dear Abby.” Carol has had 40 letters published in The New York Times. Find her online atwww.carolweston.com.

Laura Wiess is the author of twenty young adult novels including the critically acclaimed S&S/MTV Books title Such a Pretty Girl, Leftovers, How It Ends, Ordinary Beauty and her latest release, Me Since You. Originally from central NJ, Laura now lives in a charming cottage in the woods in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains region. Visit Laura Wiess at www.laurawiess.com or find her on Facebook.
The Whitson Group, Inc. a publishing services company that includes three components —  a literary agency, publishing company and digital consulting services. We publish both digital and print books under three imprints —  Cogent Publishing, CenterLink Information Services and Kravis Publishing. For some books we use print-on-demand and, where justified, we use traditional printers to produce our books. As a literary agency we represent a number of successful authors. A major segment of our consulting work is done for the Foundation for Inner Peace, publisher of A Course in Miracles, which has sold almost 3 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 24 languages. Our work for them involves planning and developing the digital offerings of the Course.

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