Wesleyan Writers Conference

Anne Greene

Wesleyan Writers Conference Address:
Downey House
294 High Street, Room 207
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT 06459

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2017 faculty and speakers

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Amy Bloom Lis Harris Salvatore Scibona
Honor Moore Michael Reynolds Hirsh Sawhney
Pamela Dorman Vicky Bijur Lane Zachary
Rob Spillman Elissa Schappell Lisa Weinert


Writing Fiction

Amy BloomAMY BLOOM is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories, a children's book, and an essay collection. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. Random House published Bloom's most recent and best-selling novel Lucky Us, named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and O: The Oprah Magazine. Bloom is currently Wesleyan's Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Novel and Short Story

Salvatore ScibonaSALVATORE SCIBONA is an American novelist and short-story writer. His short stories have been published in Threepenny Review, Best New American Voices 2004, The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize, A Public Space, D di la Repubblica, Satisfaction, the New York Times, and The New Yorker

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The New Yorker named Scibona one of "20 under 40" notable writers in 2010. Scibona's first book, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and 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 also awarded a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award. In 2010, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Scibona's short stories have won him a Puschart Prize and an O. Henry Award. He currently teaches at Wesleyan University.


Honor MooreHONOR MOORE is the author of three poetry collections: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir as well as two memoirs: The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margaret Sargent by Her Granddaughter and The Bishop’s Daughter, named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times, a “Favorite Book of 2008” by the Los Angeles Times, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

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Her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway and published in The New Women’s Theatre: Ten Plays by Contemporary American Women, which she edited.  She has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Her poems and prose have appeared in The New Yorker, Salmagundi, Conjunctions, The New Republic, The American Scholar, Open City, The Paris Review and other journals and anthologies.


Literary Journalism and Memoir

Lis HarrisLIS HARRIS is an American journalist and author. Harris was a staff worker at The New Yorker for 25 years, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The World Policy Journal, and the Wilson Quarterly.

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She is currently a professor of writing at Columbia University and is working 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.

Writing About Social and Political Issues

William FinneganWILLIAM FINNEGAN's most recent book, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. He has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1984 and a staff writer since 1987. Reporting from Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, the Balkans, and Australia, as well as from the United States, he has twice received the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism and twice been a National Magazine Award finalist. 


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His article "Deep East Texas" won the 1994 Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Media; his article "The Unwanted" won the Sidney Hillman Prize for Magazine Reporting. His report from Sudan, "The Invisible War," won a Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club, and he received the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for "Leasing the Rain." His article "The Countertraffickers" won the Overseas Press Club's Madeline Dane Ross for International Reporting, and his report from Mexico, "Silver or Lead," won the Overas Press Club's award for the best reporting on Latin America in any medium. Finnegan is also the author of four previous books: Crossing the Line, which was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best nonfiction books of the year; Dateline Soweto; A Complicated War; and Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country, which was a finalist for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Finnegan has also written several novels-works in fiction.


Fiction and Translation

Ann GoldsteinANN GOLDSTEIN is the head of the copy department at The New Yorker. Her translations from the Italian include novels by Amara Lakhous, Alessandro Piperno, Alessandro Baricco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Elena Ferrante. 

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She edited and translated the Complete Works of Primo Levi (Liverright, 2015), for which she received a Guggenheim Translation Fellowship. Her translation of Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child was named a New York Times Best Book of the Year in 2015. She has received the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award. She currently lives in New York.

Michael ReynoldsMICHAEL REYNOLDS has been at Europa Editions, where he is currently the Editor in Chief, since 2008.read more

Authors he has worked with at Europa include Alina Bronsky, Rebecca Connell, Alessandro Piperno, Amelie Nothomb, Richard Beard, Zane Lovitt, Elena Ferrante, Chantel Acevedo, Jennifer Tseng, and Jonathan Grimwood. He is also an author and a translator. His published translations include three crime novels by Carlo Lucarelli, Daniele Mastrogiacomo’s Days of Fear, and Viola Di Grado’s prize-winning novel 70% Acrylic 30% Wool, all published by Europa Editions. He was born in Australia in 1968 and now lives in New York.

Hirsh SawhneyHIRSH SAWHNEY's writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial TimesOutlook, and numerous other periodicals. 

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He is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction and is on the advisory board of Wasafiri, a London-based journal of international literature. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and teaches at Wesleyan University. South Haven is his debut novel, to be published by Akashic Books.

Editing and Publishing

Pam DormanPamela Dorman, in her more than 25 years at Viking Penguin, acquired and edited the multi-million copy #1 bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Deep End Of The Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which was the first selection of the Oprah Book Club. 

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Dorman founded Pamela Dorman Books in the Penguin Group, which launched in 2008. The imprint focuses on the kind of books Dorman has published throughout her career: debut fiction that is well written and accessible.  

ARIEL LEWITON is a writer and editor. Her essays and stories appear in Vice.com, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House’s Open Bar, Ninth Letter, Wag’s Revue, and elsewhere.read more
She has an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and is a former writing fellow at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Lewiton is also the Director of Marketing and Publicity at Sarabande Books, an independent publisher. Lewiton recently acquired and edited a memoir, which comes out in November. Lewiton is also the interviews editor at Guernica. She lives and teaches in Iowa City.

KRISTEN RADTKE is a writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn. She is currently at work on a memoir forthcoming from Pantheon Books.read more

She is the Managing Editor at Sarabande Books, an independent publisher, as well as the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.

Literary Agents

LANE ZACHARY is a founding partner of The Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. 

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She represents writers of serious literary fiction and nonfiction, providing them with extensive editorial guidance and helping them to create a body of work that spans a long and successful writing career. Zachary established her literary reputation when she represented A Long Fatal Love Chase, an unpublished handwritten novel by Louisa May Alcott. Zachary represents New York Times bestselling author, Ha Jin, who won the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, Waiting (Pantheon), as well as the PEN Hemingway Award for Ocean of Words (Zoland), and a second PEN/Faulkner Award for War Trash (Pantheon). As an agent of nonfiction, Zachary is particularly interested in memoir, current events, history, biography and psychology. Zachary looks for nonfiction and fiction books that are beautifully crafted and change the way we see and live in the world.


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

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She represents fiction and non-fiction books that 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, and Washington Post Book World Rave Reviews of the Year. Bijur has served as president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, the only organization of literary and dramatic agents in North America.



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Elizabeth Poliner: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Elizabeth Poliner's new novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, has been named an Amazon Best Book for March 2016.  She is also the author of Mutual Life & Casualty, a novel in stories, and Sudden Fog, a chapbook of poems. Her stories and poems have been published in literary journals nationwide, and her awards include numerous individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, and residencies at Yaddo and the Virginia Center in the Creative Arts.

Catina Bacote: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Catina Bacote’s nonfiction has appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Sun, The Common, Heart & Soul, The Southern California Review, and Trace: Transcultural Styles + Ideas. She wrote a companion guide to the documentary Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Catina holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was admitted as a Dean’s Fellow and subsequently served as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. She is a professor of creative writing at Warren Wilson College.

Kathryn Nuernberger: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Kathryn Nuernberger was born in St. Louis,  Missouri, on August 1, 1980. She earned a BA from the University of Missouri, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and a PhD from Ohio University.

Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2016), which received the 2015 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, given to recognize a superior second book of poetry by an American poet. She is also the author of Rag & Bone, which won the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and was published in 2011.

Her honors include fellowships from The American Antiquarian Society and The Bakken Museum. Nuernberger teaches creative writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she also serves as the director of Pleiades Press. She lives in Columbia, Missouri.


Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Pamela Erens: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Pamela Erens' most recent novel, The Virgins, was a New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Editors' Choice and was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New Yorker, The New Republic, Library Journal, and Salon. She is also the author of The Understory, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of literary, cultural, and mainstream publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, The Millions, Aeon, Chicago Review, Boston Review, New England Review. For many years Pamela was an editor at Glamour magazine. Her third novel, Eleven Hours, will be published by Tin House Books in May 2016.

William Klaber: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

William Klaber is a part-time journalist who lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short ways upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago. The old farmhouse that he bought with his wife Jean in 1980 (and where they raised three children) had a history with Lucy's legend, but he didn't know that till years later when he sat down with Jack Niflot, a long-time local historian. Jack told him Lucy's story and showed him a leather satchel filled with recollections and articles about her, gathered over years. What Jack hadn't found with his searching was the memoir that Lucy had promised. Saying that he no longer felt up to writing a book of his own, Jack handed the satchel to the author. Following the gift of Jack's research, Klaber made his own effort to find Lucy's memoir. When nothing came of it, he decided that the finding would have to be by way of echoes and dreams. Mr. Klaber is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is best known for producing the public radio documentary, "The RFK Tapes," and co-authoring the book Shadow Play (St. Martins, 1997). The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is his first foray into fiction.

Karin Lin-Greenberg: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Karin Lin-Greenberg's story collection, Faulty Predictions, won the 2013 Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals including The Antioch Review Bellevue Literary ReviewBerkeley Fiction ReviewEpochFive ChaptersKenyon Review Online, and North American Review. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA from Temple University, an AB from Bryn Mawr College and has been awarded fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught creative writing at Missouri State University, the College of Wooster, and Appalachian State University. Currently, she lives in upstate New York and is an assistant professor in the English Department at Siena College.

Lisa Reisman: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Lisa Reisman is currently a Connecticut freelance reporter whose work has appeared in The Shoreline Times, The New Haven Register, The Middletown Press, Connecticut Magazine, The New Haven Advocate, and Poets & Writers Magazine. She has written copy for The New Yorker and Conde Nast Traveler.  Reisman studied Ancient Greek and Latin at Haverford, Oxford and Yale, and law at the University of Virginia. She practiced law in New York City for four years. A Dean's Fellow at Columbia University's School of the Arts, she has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and a work study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her first book, 5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours, was published in March 2015.


Rebecca Morgan Frank: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of The Spokes of Venus and ;Little Murders Everywhere, one of the three finalists for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her next manuscript-in-progress. Her poems, essays, and stories have recently appeared in such places as Ploughshares, New England Review, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, Literary Imagination, Guernica, 32 Poems, Los Angeles Review of Books, Five Chapters, and Washington Square, and have been reprinted in Best New Poets 2008, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA), Catwalk, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her poems have been set as art song by composers Eric Malmquist and Brian Baxter, as well as by Aaron Stepp, with whom she recently collaborated on a work of digital music as joint fellows at VCCA. Her poem "Caught," which first appeared in New England Review, has been made into a film by Jay Buim through Motionpoems.



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, 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.


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.