FREEING MINDS A Campaign for St. John's College
Laura Oliver is the author of The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers (Penguin Random House). Already in eighth printing, “” was selected by Poets and Writers Magazine as one of the 80 best writing books ever published and by The Writer Magazine as one of the ten best writing books of the year. Oliver has taught fiction and essay writing at the University of Maryland, The Writer’s Center, Washington College, and at St. John’s College. Oliver’s award-winning short stories and essays are published in national newspapers, magazines, and top-tier literary reviews such as: The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, and The Sun Magazine, to name a few. Among other distinctions, she is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, the Anne Arundel County Arts Council Annie Award for Literary Achievement, two Glimmer Train Short Fiction finalist awards, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Oliver also teaches writing as a tool for personal growth and healing at the Hospice of the Chesapeake Life Center, Ridgely Retreat, and has taught related workshops at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
A developmental book project editor, motivational speaker and individual writing mentor, Oliver holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College and has completed writing seminars in creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa.
Lynn Auld Schwartz is a writer, story development editor, and has ghostwritten three books. Schwartz’s plays and staged readings have been performed in Atlanta and New York City, including the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in New York City, which The Village Voice reviewed as “Lively lineups … always smart, never predictable.” Schwartz has received two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council and a 2014 Literary Arts Annie Award from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. Her stories have appeared in literary journals and she has published numerous nonfiction lifestyle articles. She produces and directs the ongoing Page To Stage series in Annapolis, which offers adult and teen writers the opportunity to share their stories on stage. A graduate of The City College of New York (M.A. creative writing/literature), Columbia University, and acting conservatory, The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, Schwartz has taught fiction, flash fiction, and memoir at St. John’s College, The Writer’s Center, and is a Guest Artist for Anne Arundel County’s Performing and Visual Arts High School Magnet Program.
Adam Goodheart is a historian, essayist, journalist, and New York Times bestselling author. His recent book 1861: The Civil War Awakening(Knopf hardcover, Vintage paperback) received widespread acclaim; a front-page review in the New York Times Book Review called it “exhilarating,” “inspiring,” and “irresistible,” adding, “1861 creates the uncanny illusion that the reader has stepped into a time machine.” A national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, 1861 was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History and was named Book of the Year by the History Book Club. Mr. Goodheart teaches at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., where he is director of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
For more information about Adam Goodheart, visit www.adamgoodheart.com/events
Deborah Grosvenor has more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing business as an agent and editor. During her career, she has edited or represented several hundred nonfiction books. As an editor, she acquired Tom Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October.
Her distinguished client list includes nationally prominent writers, New York Times bestselling authors, and prize-winning historians and journalists. Among them are Stephen Coonts, Eleanor Clift, Thomas Oliphant, Henry Allen, Curtis Wilkie, Aaron Miller, Harrison Scott Key, Daniel De Visé, Jonathan Green, Gilbert Grosvenor, Jim McCloskey, Charlie Engle, Scott Wallace, Nina Burleigh, Thomas Fleming, John Sexton, Jay Rubenstein, Steve Kemper, Nora Pouillon, Trita Parsi, Mark Geragos, Peter Cozzens, Meg Noonan and Elizabeth Pryor.
Deborah is interested in narrative nonfiction in the categories of history, biography, politics, current and foreign affairs, memoir, food, health, science, the environment and travel. For fiction, she is simply interested in great storytelling, especially in an historical context.
For more information about Deborah Grosvenor, visit grosvenorlit.com/deborah-grosvenor/
Aaron Hamburger is the author of the story collection, The View From Stalin’s Head (Rome Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the novel, Faith For Beginners (a Lambda Literary Award nominee), and the novel, Nirvana Is Here. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Crazyhorse, Tin House, Subtropics, Poets & Writers, Boulevard, and O, the Oprah Magazine. He has taught writing at Columbia University and the Stonecoast MFA Program.
For more information about Aaron Hamburger, visit aaronhamburger.com/
Ann Hood is the bestselling author of fourteen novels, including The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, and The Book That Matters Most; four memoirs, including Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly and was a New York Times Editors Choice; The Treasure Chest, a ten book series for middle readers; and the YA novel, She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, O Magazine, Real Simple, The Atlantic, National Geographic Traveler, Food and Wine, and many other publications. Hood has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award. Her most recent book, the memoir Kitchen Yarns, was named the best cookbook and the best memoir of the month by Amazon, USA Today, and The Washington Post, was a New York Times Editor Choice, and named by LitHub as one of the best reviewed books of 2018. She lives in Providence, RI and NYC with her husband, writer Michael Ruhlman.
For more information about Ann Hood, visit annhood.us
Photo credit: Rick Reinhard
E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. Miller is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. In recent years, he has been inducted into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame, awarded the 2016 AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, and the 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. In 2018, Miller was appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. His most recent book is If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press.
For more information about E. Ethelbert Miller, visit eethelbertmiller.com
Linda Gray Sexton graduated from Harvard in 1975, and is the daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Anne Sexton. Her first memoir, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back To My Mother, Anne Sexton, was hailed by The New York Times as “powerful and affecting,” and is the story of a daughter who learns how to forgive her mother’s suicide. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, it was also optioned by Miramax Films.
Sexton’s second memoir, Half in Love: Surviving The Legacy Of Suicide, delves into her own bipolar depression, her three suicide attempts and her eventual recovery. Erica Jong says: “Linda Sexton’s beautiful book is a cry for health and sanity. It will bring hope and understanding.” Her third memoir, Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians, looks at the joyful influence dogs have in our lives, and charts Sexton’s voyage from darkness into light.
She has also published four novels, a book of non-fiction, and, as her mother’s literary executor, Anne Sexton: A Self Portrait In Letters. Having recently completed a novel, she is now at work on a fourth memoir, and makes her home in Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and their three Dalmatians.
For more information about Linda Gray Sexton, visit lindagraysexton.com
Amber Sparks is the author of the short story collection The Unfinished World and Other Stories, which has received praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Paris Review, among others. She’s written numerous short stories and essays, which have been featured in various publications. Her next collection, And I Do Not Forgive You, is forthcoming from Liveright in 2020.
For more information about Amber Sparks, visit ambernoellesparks.com