Newburyport Literary Festival

A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers
• In-Person & Virtual Events • April 26–28, 2024

Listed in alphabetical order

Myfanwy CollinsMyfanwy Collins

Worth The Wait — Saturday 1:00 PM Dogs, Diapers, and Divorce — Saturday 4:00 PM Myfanwy Collins lives on Plum Island. She has published a novel, Echolocation (2012), a collection of her short fiction, I Am Holding Your Hand (2013), and a YA novel, THE BOOK OF LANEY (2015). She has also published fiction and essays in The Kenyon Review, The Potomac Review, The Cream City Review, AGNI, Quick Fiction, and other venues. For more information, please visit her web site:

Nadine DarlingNadine Darling

Dogs, Diapers, and Divorce — Saturday 4:00 PM Nadine Darling’s debut novel She Came From Beyond! was published in 2015 on the Overlook Press, and she lives in MA with her family, hard at work on a second. Visit her at or at

AnitaDiamantAnita Diamant

Genre Fluid — Saturday 9:00 AM Anita Diamant has written five best-selling novels. Her newest, The Boston Girl, is the coming-of-age story of an immigrant daughter in the early 20th century. Her other novels include The Red Tent, Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night.  Her six guidebooks to contemporary Jewish life, including The Jewish New Wedding and Choosing a Jewish Life, have become classic reference books. She has also published a collection of essays, Pitching My Tent, and her articles have appeared in many national publications.

Mary GaitskillMary Gaitskill

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill — Saturday 1:00 PM Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels The Mare, Veronica, which was nominated for the 2005 National Book Award, National Critic’s Circle Award, and LA Times Book Award, and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. She is also the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998, and Don’t Cry. Gaitskill’s stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction and a Cullman Research Fellowship at the New York Public Library.

Tess GeritsenTess Gerritsen

Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen — Saturday 9:30 AM Crimes of Passion — Saturday 2:30 PM Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D. While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then include Gravity, The Surgeon, The Apprentice, Vanish, The Bone Garden, Die Again, and Playing with Fire, among others. Her books have been published in 40 countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold around the world. Her books have been top-three bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “medical suspense queen.” Her series of crime novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the hit television series “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Now retired from medicine, Tess writes full time. She lives in Maine.

C.C. HumphreysChris Humphreys

Capturing Shakespeare—Historical novelists unmask the Bard — Saturday 1:00 PM Shakespeare and Me: A novelist explores his greatest influence — Saturday 4:00 PM As an actor Chris (C.C.) Humphreys has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood in roles including Caleb the gladiator in the mini series ‘AD – Anno Domini’, Clive Parnell in ‘Coronation Street’, PC Turnham in ‘The Bill’ and as Hamlet. A playwright, fight choreographer and novelist, he has written ten adult novels including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; The Jack Absolute Trilogy; Vlad – The Last Confession; A Place Called Armageddon and Shakespeare’s Rebe’ – which he adapted for the stage and which premiered in Vancouver in 2015. He also writes for young adults, his latest being The Dragon and the Unicorn. His recent novel Plague won Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. His latest Fire is a thriller set during the Great Fire. He is translated into thirteen languages. Website:

Samantha HuntSamantha Hunt

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt — Saturday 9:00 AM Samantha Hunt’s novel about Nikola Tesla, The Invention of Everything Else, was a finalist for the Orange Prize and winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. Her first novel, The Seas, won the National Book Foundation’s Five under Thirty-five prize. Hunt’s work has been published in the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, the New York Times, Tin House, A Public Space, Cabinet, Blind Spot, the London Times and in a number of other fine publications. Her books have been translated into ten languages. She has performed with Jim Jarmusch and Luc Sante at All Tomorrow’s Parties, at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum and REDCAT, with the National Theater of the United States of America (NTUSA) at PS122, in the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series, at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and as part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Her work has been performed on This American Life and on WNYC’s Selected Shorts program. She lives in Tivoli, New York, and teaches at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Photo credit: Nina Subin

Christopher IrvinChristopher Irvin

Fifty Shades of Violence: Writing about Crime and Horror — Saturday 9:00 AM Christopher Irvin is the author of Safe Inside the Violence, Burn Cards and Federales, as well as short stories featured in several publications, including Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, and Shotgun Honey. He lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two sons.

Tara LaskowskiTara Laskowski

Fifty Shades of Violence: Writing about Crime and Horror — Saturday 9:00 AM Tara Laskowski is the author of Bystanders (forthcoming from Santa Fe Writers Project in May 2016) and Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons (Matter Press 2012). She grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and now navigates traffic in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. Her fiction has been published in the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and numerous other journals, magazines, and anthologies. She was awarded the Kathy Fish Fellowship from SmokeLong Quarterly in 2009, and won the grand prize for the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Series. She has been the editor of SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University.

Tara MasihTara L. Masih

Best Small Fictions: The Art of Compression — Saturday 1:00 PM Tara L. Masih is editor of two ForeWord Books of the Year–The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays–and is author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories (a National Best Books Award finalist). Her flash is anthologized in Word of Mouth, Brevity & Echo, BITE, and Flash Fiction Funny, was featured in Fiction Writer’s Review for National Short Story Month, and received Wigleaf Top 50 recognition. Awards for her work include The Ledge Magazine’s Fiction Award, a finalist fiction grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations. She is Series Editor for the annual Best Small Fictions anthology, published by Queen’s Ferry Press.

Joyce MaynardJoyce Maynard

Under the Influence by Joyce MaynardSaturday 9:00 AM C A N C E L L E D Joyce Maynard is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including the novel Labor Day and To Die For, adapted for film, and the memoir At Home in the World, which has been translated into fifteen languages. Her latest, Under the Influence, has been getting rave reviews. (Wally Lamb called it “ riveting”.) Maynard’s essays have been published in numerous collections. In addition to writing, Maynard performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City. A fellow of both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, she is the founder of the Lake Atitlan Writing Workshop, at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, where her particular focus and love is assisting other writers in telling their stories.More about Joyce Maynard, and her work, can be found at

Yona Zeldis McDonoughYona Zeldis McDonough

Genre Fluid — Saturday 9:00 AM Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of seven novels, the most recent of which, The House On Primrose Pond, was released in February by New American Library. Additionally, she is the editor of two essay collections, and has written twenty-six books for children. Her articles, short fiction and essays have appeared in many national and literary publications, and she is the Fiction Editor of Lilith Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and their two children.

Meg Mitchell MooreMeg Mitchell Moore

The Admissions — Saturday 2:30 PM Meg Mitchell Moore the author of the novels The Arrivals (2011), So Far Away (2012), and The Admissions (2015). The Admissions was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. She worked for many years as a journalist for a wide variety of consumer and business publications before exchanging fact for fiction. Moore has a B.A. from Providence College and an M.A. in English Literature from New York University, and she lives with her husband and their three daughters in Newburyport.

Howard Frank MosherHoward Frank Mosher

Where Does Fiction Come From? — Saturday 11:00 AM Howard Frank Mosher is the author of eleven novels and two travel memoirs. Born in the Catskill Mountains in 1942, Mosher has lived in Vermont’s fabled Northeast Kingdom since 1964. He has won many awards for his fiction, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the American Civil Liberties Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the New England Book Award and, most recently, the 2011 New England Independent Booksellers Association’s President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Four of his novels, Disappearances, A Stranger in the Kingdom, Where the Rivers Flow North, and Northern Borders have been made into acclaimed feature movies by the Vermont independent filmmaker Jay Craven. Howard and Phillis, his wife of 51 years, have a grown son and daughter. (Photo credit: Jake Mosher)

Carla PancieraCarla Panciera

Worth The Wait — Saturday 1:00 PM Carla Panciera has published two collections of poetry: One of the Cimalores (Cider Press) and No Day, No Dusk, No Love (Bordighera). Her collection of short stories, Bewildered, received AWP’s 2013 Grace Paley Short Fiction Award. Her work has appeared in several journals including The New England Review, Nimrod, The Chattahoochee Review, Painted Bride, and Carolina Quarterly. A high school English teacher, Carla lives in Rowley, MA.

Dawn RaffelDawn Raffel

Best Small Fictions: The Art of Compression — Saturday 1:00 PM Dawn Raffel is the author of four books, including two collections of very short stories (In the Year of Long Division, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe) a novel (Carrying the Body), and a memoir in vignettes (The Secret Life of Objects). Her stories have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, Conjunctions, Black Book, Fence, Open City, The Mississippi Review Prize Anthology, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Quarterly, NOON, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies—most recently The Best Small Fictions and Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms. Her work has been cited in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is currently writing a biography of Dr. Martin Couney for Blue Rider/ Penguin.

Dwight RitterDwight Ritter

Growin’ Up White — Saturday 1:00 PM Dwight Ritter was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended the John Herron Art Institute and graduated from Indiana University. He has spent his entire career as a writer, graphic designer and lyricist. Ritter wrote, produced and directed the PBS documentary Being Amish and is the author and illustrator of the novella, Emerson The Magnificent, in addition to twelve other books, numerous magazine articles and K-6 education curricula. Ritter lives in Cape Cod with his wife, artist Jo Ann Ritter, where he serves on the Board of Directors of the Cape Cod Writer’s Center and spends many hours walking the beaches and listening to the terns and gulls. Growin’ up White is his first novel. For further information visit

Holly RobinsonHolly Robinson

Genre Fluid — Saturday 9:00 AM Worth The Wait — Saturday 1:00 PM Novelist, journalist and celebrity ghost writer Holly Robinson is the author of several books, including The Gerbil farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir and the novels Beach Plum Island, Haven Lake, and Chance Harbor. Her articles and essays appear frequently in The Huffington Post, More, Parents, Redbook and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. Holly is also a commentator for NPR. She and her husband have five children and a stubborn Pekingese in Rowley, MA, where they’re fixing up a creaky old house one shingle at a time.

Brent RydinBrent Rydin

Best Small Fictions: The Art of Compression — Saturday 1:00 PM Brent Rydin is a writer and editor who lives in Boston with his wife and their dog. His work can be found (or is forthcoming) in publications such as WhiskeyPaper, CHEAP POP, Cartridge Lit, The Mondegreen, Synaesthesia Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Lockjaw Magazine, and more, as well as the inaugural The Best Small Fictions anthology from Queen’s Ferry Press. He is also the founder of Wyvern Lit and an MFA candidate at Emerson College.

B.A. ShapiroB. A. Shapiro

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro — Saturday 10:00 AM Crimes of Passion — Saturday 2:30 PM B. A. Shapiro is the author of seven novels, including the award-winning New York Times bestseller, The Art Forger, and most recently, The Muralist. She’s also written four screenplays (Blind Spot, The Lost Coven, Borderline and Shattered Echoes) and the non-fiction book, The Big Squeeze. She has taught sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. Barbara lives in Boston with her husband, Dan, and their dog, Sagan.

Mary SharrattMary Sharratt

The Dark Lady’s Mask by Mary Sharratt — Saturday 9:00 AM Capturing Shakespeare—Historical novelists unmask the Bard — Saturday 1:00 PM Mary Sharratt is the author of five acclaimed novels, including Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen, which won the 2013 Nautilus Gold Award and was a Kirkus Book of the Year. An expat American, she lives in the Pendle region of northern England, the dramatic setting of her novel, Daughters of the Witching Hill. A passionate Shakespeare enthusiast and a regular theatre goer, her explorations into the hidden histories of Renaissance women compelled her to write her latest book, The Dark Lady’s Mask: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Muse. Mary’s articles and reviews have appeared in Publisher’s Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and on

Anne Easter SmithAnne Easter Smith

Capturing Shakespeare—Historical novelists unmask the Bard — Saturday 1:00 PM Award-winning historical novelist Anne Easter Smith’s love of history began during her first 20 years in England, where she grew up with London on her doorstep. Known for her period detail, she has twice given workshops on researching historical fiction and been a panelist at the San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference and Literary Festival in Mexico. Anne’s six books focus on the Yorkist perspective of the Wars of the Roses, and grew from a life-long study of King Richard III and his family. Her five-book contract with Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone Books include The King’s Grace, which won the Romantic Times Best Historical Biography award in 2009 and Queen By Right, which was nominated in the same category in 2011, and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown. She has worked as a features editor for an upstate NY daily newspaper and has been published in several U.S. magazines. Anne has lived for 44 years in U.S., on both coasts, but is now settled in Newburyport, MA with her husband, Scott. When she is not writing, Anne can be found acting and directing at the Firehouse Center for the Arts or Actors Studio.

Sarah SmithSarah Smith

Capturing Shakespeare—Historical novelists unmask the Bard — Saturday 1:00 PM Sarah Smith’s Chasing Shakespeares has been called “the best novel about the Bard since Nothing like the Sun” (Samuel R. Delany) and has been turned into a play. Her young adult ghost thriller, The Other Side of Dark, won both the Agatha (for best YA mystery of the year) and the Massachusetts Book Award for best YA book of the year. She has just finished a book about the Titanic, starring series characters Alexander von Reisden and Perdita Halley. The earlier books in the series have been published in 14 languages, have been named New York Times Notable Books twice, and have just come out in eBooks. The Vanished Child, the first book in the series, is being made into a musical in Canada. Sarah lives in Boston and can be reached through her Web site, She’s on Facebook as sarahwriter. Photo Credit: Picture by Augusten Burroughs.

Elizabeth StroutElizabeth Strout

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout — Saturday 10:00 AM Why Fiction Matters — Saturday 2:30 PM Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City. Photo Credit: Leonardo Cendamo

Paul TremblayPaul Tremblay

Fifty Shades of Violence: Writing about Crime and Horror — Saturday 9:00 AM A Head Full of Ghosts — Saturday 4:00 PM Paul Tremblay is the author of the critically acclaimed A Head Full of Ghosts, The Little Sleep, No Sleep Till Wonderland, and the forthcoming novel Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. He is a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous “year’s best” anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.; Twitter: @paulgtremblay

Steve UlfelderSteve Ulfelder

Crimes of Passion — Saturday 2:30 PM Steve Ulfelder is the award-winning author of the Conway Sax mysteries, a hard-boiled series set in Massachusetts. Ulfelder’s Purgatory Chasm was nominated for Edgar and Anthony Awards, and Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage was named Best PI Novel of 2014 by Sons of Spade. The Associated Press said that book “solidifies Ulfelder’s place as one of the best crime novelists to come out of Massachusetts since Dennis Lehane.” An avid amateur race car driver, Steve co-owns Flatout Motorsports Inc., a company that builds race cars. Learn more at

Sarah YawSarah Yaw

Worth The Wait — Saturday 1:00 PM Sarah Yaw’s novel You Are Free To Go (Engine Books, 2014) was selected by Robin Black as the winner of the 2013 Engine Books Novel Prize. Sarah received an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and is an assistant professor at Cayuga Community College. She lives and writes in Central New York. [clearboth]