Wesleyan Writers Conference
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Featured faculty and speakers for the 

2014 Wesleyan Writers Conference 

Salvatore Scibona
Amy Bloom Roxana Robinson
Lis Harris William Finnegan  Alexander Chee
Paul LaFarge Johnny Temple
Michael Dumanis 
Tracie McMillan Pamela Dorman Stuart Krichevsky
Vicky Bijur Lisa Weinert Aziz Isham
Patricia Mulcahy Paul Morris  

Please continue to check this site for updates.

Alexander Chee '89 was interviewed for wesconnect while on campus for the 2014 conference. Listen or read here.

FACULTY/SPEAKERS

Amy BloomWriting Fiction

AMY BLOOM is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and she has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her new book Lucky Us is forthcoming from Random House in July 2014.

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AMY BLOOM is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and she has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her new book Lucky Us is forthcoming from Random House in July 2014. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and the Atlantic, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. Her novel, Away, is an epic story about a Russian immigrant. Her recent collection of short stories is Where the God of Love Hangs Out.


Roxanna

Novel and Short Story

ROXANA ROBINSON's most recent novel, Sparta, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post, and it received the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction from the USMC Heritage Foundation.

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ROXANA ROBINSON's most recent novel, Sparta, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post, and it received the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction from the USMC Heritage Foundation. Her other novels include Sweetwater, This is My Daughter, Summer Light, and Cost. Cost was named one of the five best fiction books of its year by the Washington Post, won the Maine Writers Fiction Award and was on the best books of the year list of the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere. Her short story collections include A Perfect Stranger and Other Stories, Asking for Love and A Glimpse of Scarlet and Other Stories. She is also the author of the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of her books have been New York Times Notable Books. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, One-Story, Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. Her books have been published in England, Holland, France, Spain and Germany. She is a regular essayist for the NPR station WSHU, and her fiction has been read on Symphony Space’s “Selected Shorts.” She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation. 


ScibonaSalvatore

Novel and Short Story

Salvatore Scibona's first book, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Yong Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Norman Mailer Cape Cod Award for Exceptional Writing.

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Salvatore Scibona's first book, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Norman Mailer Cape Cod Award for Exceptional Writing. He was awarded a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award. In 2010, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowhsip and was included in the New Yorkers's "20 under 40" list of writers to watch.  

Scibona's short fiction has won a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Award. His work has appeared in The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter Century of the Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, The Threepenny Review, A Public Space, D di la Repubblica, Satisfiction, The New York Times and the New Yorker.


DumanisMichael

Poetry

Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union,and winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry.

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Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union, and a winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. He is coeditor, with Cate Marvin, of the younger poets' anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, and, with Kevin Prufer, of Russell Atkins: On the Life and Work of a 20th Century American Master. His work has been recognized with residencies at Yaddo, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the Civitella Ranieri Center, and grants from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council. Formerly the Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center literary press, he lives in Brooklyn and Vermont, and is a professor of literature and creative writing at Bennington College.


Lis Harris

Nonfiction and Memoir

LIS HARRIS is now at work on a book about three generations of a Palestinian family and three generations of an Israeli family. Her previous books include Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family.

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LIS HARRIS is now at work on a book about three generations of a Palestinian family and three generations of an Israeli family. Her previous books include Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family, Rules of Engagement, and Tilting at Mills: Green Dreams, Dirty Dealings and the Corporate Squeeze, the story of an eight-year struggle to build a paper mill in the South Bronx. Her work appears in a forthcoming anthology, The Stories We Tell: America's Great Legacy of Women in Longform. As a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than two decades, she wrote on a wide range of social and cultural matters, and she has received awards from the Woodrow Wilson, Rockefeller, and J. M. Kaplan foundations. She teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University.


William Finnegan

Writing About Social and Political Issues

WILLIAM FINNEGAN has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He writes about politics, war, poverty, race, organized crime, immigration, counterterrorism, and international trade. He has contributed articles on surfing, the Olympics, and punk-rock music. 

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WILLIAM FINNEGAN has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He writes about politics, war, poverty, race, organized crime, immigration, counterterrorism, and international trade. He has contributed articles on surfing, the Olympics, and punk-rock music. Among his many awards, Finnegan has twice received the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism and has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist. In 2010, his report from Mexico, “Silver or Lead,” won the Overseas Press Club’s award for Best Reporting in Any Medium on Latin America. His piece "Slow and Steady" is cited as a year's outstanding piece in the 2013 editions of both Best American Travel Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. He is the author of four books, Crossing the Line, Dateline Soweto, A Complicated War, and Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country. His new book Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life is forthcoming in 2014.
 

McMillanTracie Writing About Social and Political Issues

 Tracie McMillan is Wesleyan’s 2014 Koeppel Journalism Fellow and author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table, a New York Times Bestseller.

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Tracie McMillan is Wesleyan’s 2014 Koeppel Journalism Fellow and author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table, a New York Times Bestseller. Her recent work appears in Best Food Writing 2013 and she has received a James Beard Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism and other national awards for her writing about food, class, consumers’ choices and other social issues. She has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper’s Magazine; Saveur; and Slate. She is Senior Fellow with Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.
 

Paul LaFarge

New Fiction

PAUL LA FARGE is the author of four books: the novels The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann or the Distinction, and Luminous Airplanes, and also The Facts of Winter, a book of imaginary dreams.

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PAUL LA FARGE is the author of four books: the novels The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann or the Distinction, and Luminous Airplanes, and also The Facts of Winter, a book of imaginary dreams. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's, and Conjunctions; his essays and reviews have appeared in Bookforum, Cabinet, the Believer and elsewhere. He is recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. He lives in upstate New York.


Alexander Chee

The Novel and Graphic Novels

ALEXANDER CHEE is the author of the award-winning novel Edinburgh. He is the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award and the NEA Fellowship in Fiction.

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ALEXANDER CHEE is the author of the award-winning novel Edinburgh. He is a recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award and the NEA Fellowship in Fiction. He has contributed stories and essays to TriQuarterly, Tin House, The Morning News and Lapham's Quarterly, among others. He has taught fiction writing at Wesleyan University and The Iowa Writers' Workshop, and comics and the graphic novel at Amherst College and Columbia University's MFA in Writing. His new novel, The Queen of the Night, is forthcoming in from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014. He lives in New York City.

 


Johnny TemplePublishing

JOHNNY TEMPLE is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction.

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JOHNNY TEMPLE is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. Temple won the American Association of Publishers' 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing. He plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively and released numerous albums.

 


PamelaDorman

Publishing

Pamela Dorman has her own imprint at Penguin Books, Pamela Dorman Books, which launched its first hardcover list in January 2010. 

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Pamela Dorman has her own imprint at Penguin Books, Pamela Dorman Books, which launched its first hardcover list in January 2010. The imprint focuses on the kind of books Dorman has published throughout her career: fiction—especially debut fiction that is both well-written and accessible–character-driven novels propelled by strong storytelling and rich emotional cores. These are books that are aimed at an upmarket popular audience, both literate and commercial, the kinds of novels that reading groups adopt, that readers treasure, and that will have long lives in trade paperback and e-book formats ahead of them.  Dorman also publishes the occasional non-fiction title, particularly books that have a distinctive voice and compelling narrative drive, including memoirs, psychology and books geared towards women’s interests.


KrichevskyStuartLiterary Agent

STUART KRICHEVSKY has over thirty years experience as a literary agent. Since 1995, he has been president of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.

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STUART KRICHEVSKY has over thirty years experience as a literary agent. Since 1995, he has been president of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. His independent agency represents a distinguished list of fiction and non-fiction authors, with an emphasis on narrative non-fiction, literary journalism and literary and commercial fiction. Clients of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List (23 titles on the printed list in its first 18 years) and have been the recipients of major literary and journalism awards, including the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the George M. Polk Award, the Livingston Award, the Michael Kelly Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Krichevsky is a member in good standing of the Association of Author’s Representatives, is a member of the AAR’s Electronics Committee, and has previously served on its Contracts Committee and its Board of Directors


BijurVickyLiterary Agent

Vicky Bijur started her agency in 1988 after working at Oxford University Press and with the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.  

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Vicky Bijur started her agency in 1988 after working at Oxford University Press and with the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. She represents fiction and non-fiction. Books she represents have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, in the New York Times Notable Books of the Year, Los Angeles Times Best Fiction of the Year, Washington Post Book World Rave Reviews of the Year, and been nominated for the L.A. Times Book Award as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Three of her mystery writers have won Edgar awards. She has served as president of the AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives), the only organization of literary and dramatic agents in North America. She has been a member of the AAR Royalties Committee since 1993 and is currently Chair of its Ethics Committee. Vicky has been profiled in Poets & Writers and in Literary Agents: A Writer’s Introduction by John Baker (Macmillan).

LisaWeinertFuture of Publishing

LISA WEINERT has worked in publishing for fifteen years--beginning as The Nation Magazine’s first web intern.

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LISA WEINERT has worked in publishing for fifteen years--beginning as The Nation Magazine’s first web intern. She spent the next eight and half years working at Vintage and Anchor Books, part of the Knopf/Doubleday Group, Random House, Inc as a publicist and editor. During her time at Random House, she worked on PR and marketing campaigns for hundreds of award winning and bestselling authors including: Carl Bernstein, Tavis Smiley, Mary Gaitskill, Chuck Todd, Norman Lebrecht, Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mary Gordon, Dr. Andy Weil, David Shipler, Kay Redfield Jamison, Helen Oyeyemi and Dani Shapiro.  She also acquired and brought to market Josh Neufeld’s New York Times bestselling graphic novel “AD: New Orleans After the Deluge.” Lisa left Random House to join Jane Friedman’s innovative ebook company Open Road Integrated Media to spearhead digital marketing campaigns for their rich backlist authors like William Styron and Iris Murdoch and launch “e-riginals” like Mary Glickman’s bestselling ebook “Home in the Morning”. Based on her traditional and non-traditional publishing experience, Lisa's company LWC nurtures, publishes and promotes a range of authors focusing on topical nonfiction, literary fiction, and with a special interest in women’s leadership, social advocacy and personal narratives.


IshamAzizFuture of Publishing

AZIZ ISHAM has over a decade of experience in interactive media, digital distribution and publishing.

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AZIZ ISHAM has over a decade of experience in interactive media, digital distribution and publishing. His company, Arcade Sunshine Media, was one of the first to produce enhanced ebooks and interactive projects for publishers, including the award-winning Here on Earth, as well as a series of apps for The Smithsonian, The Morgan Library and others. As a TV producer, he has developed and produced hit series for History, Discovery Channel and National Geographic as well as an independent feature on murder and music in New Orleans. His essays have been published in The Huffington Post, The American Reader and Digital Book World, and he's been a featured speaker at Future of Publishing events at NYU, MediaBistro, DC Week and was a member of the faculty for CUNY's first publishing institute. He also created the peer-to-peer digital marketplace, reKiosk, which is used by thousands of independent publishers and record labels as an alternative digital distribution network. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


MorrisPaulFuture of Publishing

Paul Morris is the Director of Membership, Marketing, & Literary Awards at PEN American Center.

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Paul Morris is the Director of Membership, Marketing, & Literary Awards at PEN American Center. He has held positions as a book and magazine editor, and between 2004 and 2011, he oversaw digital strategy and marketing at BOMB Magazine, where he was General Manager. He lives in New York.


MulcahyPatriciaEditing

Patricia Mulcahy formed the editorial consulting service Brooklyn Books after over twenty years in book publishing.

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Patricia Mulcahy formed the editorial consulting service Brooklyn Books after over twenty years in book publishing. She started as a temp at Farrar Straus and Giroux and left as Editor in Chief at Doubleday, where her authors included bestselling crime writer James Lee Burke. Her freelance clients have included musician and impresario Quincy Jones; former White House advisor Karen Hughes; television journalist Andrea Mitchell; Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz; and Room to Read founder John Wood. She is the co-author of It Is Well with My Soul: The Extraordinary Life of a 106-Year –Old Woman, by Ella Mae Cheeks Johnson (Penguin, 2010) and Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS by Rebecca Eaton (Viking 2013). A graduate of Wesleyan University, she lives in Jackson Heights, Queens


Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction

DAVID JAMES POISSANT: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

ERIC BURGER: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

 Eric Burger has received fellowships/awards from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Writers at Work.  His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review Online, Indiana Review, Rattle, Sentence, Phoebe, Best New Poets 2011, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, CutBank, Court Green, Mid-American Review, and Passages North, among others.  He teaches at the University of Colorado and lives in Longmont, CO with his wife Katherine and children Willem and June.

SARAH WILDMAN  Barach Fellow in Nonfiction

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 and originality in European coverage, a 2011 Rockower Award winner from the American Jewish Press Association for commentary, and a 2008 Lowell Thomas Award Winner for travel writing. She is a regular contributor toThe New York TimesThe New Yorker on lineThe Guardian, The Washington Post and Slate, among many others, as well as  a contributing editor at The Forward.  A former New Republic staffer, Wildman's book - Paper Love - for Riverhead/Penguin Press on the lover her grandfather left behind when he fled Vienna is expected Fall 2014.

Wildman has also received numerous grants and competitive fellowships 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.  In March 2013 she received a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant to report on the future of Jerusalem.  From 2011 through 2014 she has been a visiting scholar at the International Reporting Project, based at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

 

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Fellows in previous years: Amy Bloom, Amanda Davis, Paul LaFarge, Suji Kwok Kim, Bruce Bond, Judy Jordan, G.E.Patterson, Tom Hallman (Pulitzer winner), John D'Agata, Beverly D'Onofrio, Jennifer Haigh, Daniel Handler (author of Lemony Snicket), Wendy Rawlings, Jess Row, Jim Tomlinson, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Ravi Shankar, Alexandra Peers, and Roya Hakakian, Michelle Hoover, Jonathan Thirkield, Alta Ifland, Miranda Kennedy, Irina Reyn, Jeff Jones, Steve Almond.


 2014 Joan Jakobson Fellows 

CINDY WOLFE BOYNTON

Cindy Wolfe Boynton is an award-winning writer and editor whose background includes more than fifteen years as a regular correspondent for the New York Times and nine years as editor of Better Health magazine. Her one-woman plays Right Time to Say I Love You and Dear Prudence both made their premieres at New York City's United Solo Theatre Festival, with Right Time continuing on for performances that took her to Brighton, England, and one of the largest theater festivals in the world. A Connecticut resident, Cindy an English and communications instructor at the Yale School of Medicine and Housatonic Community College, as well as host of the weekly Literary New England Radio Show podcast. She is also the author of two books written for The History Press,  Remarkable Women of Hartford, published this past March, and Connecticut's Witch Trails: The First Panic in the New World, to be released this coming October. 

ALEXANDRIA MARZANO-LESNEVICH

bio coming

 

JILL SISSON QUINN

Jill Sisson Quinn's essays have appeared in Orion, Ecotone, OnEarth, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Her work has been reprinted in Best American Science and Nature Writing and received special mention in the Pushcart Anthology 2011. She has won the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, the John Burroughs Award for Outstanding Published Nature Essay, a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and a fellowship from the National Science Foundation's Think, Write, Publish program. Her collection of essays on sense of place, titled Deranged, was published by Apprentice House in 2010. She has an M.A. in environmental studies and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction. A regular commentator for Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life program, Jill lives and writes in Scandinavia, Wisconsin.

 

ANNITA SAWYER

Annita Sawyer is a psychologist in practice over thirty years, a member of the clinical faculty at Yale. Inspired by her first writers conference (Wesleyan!) in 2003, a gift for her 60th birthday, she has worked to develop herself as a writer. A local writers group, national writers’ conferences, and generous artists' residencies have provided her literary education. She has been awarded scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan Writers Conferences and has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, VCCA, and Hambidge Center for the Arts. Her work has appeared in both literary and professional journals and been included among Notables in Best American Essays. Her book, Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass: A Psychologist’s Memoir, was selected by Lee Gutkind for the 2013 Santa Fe Writers Project nonfiction grand prize. It will be published by SFWP in May 2015.

 

TRACY STRAUSS

Tracy Strauss has published narrative nonfiction and essays in The Huffington PostSalonPoets & Writers MagazineWriter’s Digest Magazine, CognoscentiThe Feminist WireThe DodoThe Southampton ReviewThe Briar Cliff ReviewSolstice Literary MagazineBeyond the Margins, and other publications. She received the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award for her as-yet-unpublished memoir, Notes on Proper Usage. Tracy is a manuscript editor for Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 2nd Draft Critique Service and has taught writing at Boston University, Emerson College, New England Conservatory of Music, Lesley University, Grub Street, and Writer's Digest University, and has been a guest speaker in memoir at Harvard University. She was the 2013-2014 Vice President of Communications & Internship Mentor for the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Boston Chapter, and a judge for the 57th Annual New England Book Show. She is currently at work on a novel.