Newburyport Literary Festival

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

Listed in alphabetical order

Anne Easter SmithAnne Easter Smith

Closing Ceremony: Women’s Voices – Four Fiction Writers Discuss Their Work — Saturday 7:00 PM Award-winning historical novelist Anne Easter Smith’s love of history began during her first 25 years in England, where she grew up with London on her doorstep. Known for her medieval-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 as well as at several Historical Novel Society national conferences. Anne’s six books focus on the Yorkist perspective during the Wars of the Roses in the 15th Century and were the culmination of 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 and Daughter of York. She has worked as a features editor for an upstate NY daily newspaper and has been published in several U.S. magazines. Anne is celebrating her 50th year 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 on local stages including the Firehouse Center for the Arts, where she helps organize the annual New Works Festival.

Aine GreaneyÁine Greaney

Closing Ceremony: Women’s Voices – Four Fiction Writers Discuss Their Work — Saturday 7:00 PM Áine Greaney is an Irish-born author living in Newburyport. As a fiction and nonfiction author, her literary works have been published and broadcast in the U.S., Ireland, the U.K. and Canada. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, NPR/WBUR, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, The Literary Review, Natural Bridge, The Drum, The Fish Anthology and other outlets. She is the author of an instructional writing book, Writer with a Day Job (Writers Digest Books). Among other keynotes, lectures and workshops, she has presented at the National Writers Digest Conference. Among her rewards and shortlists are a citation in “Best American Essays” and a nomination for a Pushcart Prize. Her second novel, “Dance Lessons” was one of 20 books selected by the Women’s National Book Association. Her fifth published book, “Green Card and Other Essays” is forthcoming in 2019. Greaney is currently completing her third novel, “Poor Banished Children” and a memoir, “I Can No Longer Stay.” Author Website | Twitter handle: @AineGreaney

Hanna HarlowHannah Harlow

Flash Fiction and the Art of Vulnerability — Saturday 1:00 PM Hannah Harlow earned her MFA at the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her writing has appeared in The Maine Review, Vol. One Brooklyn, CHEAP POP, and elsewhere. Her story “The Farmers’ Market,” originally published in SmokeLong Quarterly, was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2017. For her day job she promotes books as a the Marketing Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She lives in Ipswich, but you can find her online at

Laura HarringtonLaura Harrington

A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington— Saturday 2:30 PM Laura Harrington is the 2008 Kleban Award winner for most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England. Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Harvard/ Radcliffe, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, the Joseph Kesselring Award for Drama, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award. Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She is also a frequent guest artist at Tufts, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of Iowa. Her first novel, Alice Bliss, (Viking/ Penguin) is a Boston Globe bestseller and the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Alice Bliss has been lauded as a “Discover Great New Writers” at Barnes & Noble, “Best Books of the Summer” at Entertainment Weekly, a “People Pick” at People Magazine and “Best Books of 2011” by the School Library Journal. Her most recent novel is A Catalog of Birds. Read more at:

Cate HolahanCate Holahan

Page Turners: Writing the Suspense Novel — Saturday 1:00 PM Cate Holahan is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Widower’s Wife, Lies She Told, and Dark Turns, all published by Crooked Lane Books. In a former life, she was an award-winning journalist that wrote for The Record, The Boston Globe, and BusinessWeek. She lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters, and food-obsessed dog, and spends a disturbing amount of time highly-caffeinated, mining her own anxieties for material.

Ann HoodAnn Hood

Opening Night Ceremony: Ann Hood — Friday 6:00 PM [br]The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier — Saturday 9:00 AM [br]The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood — Saturday 1:00 PM Ann Hood is the author most recently of the novel The Book That Matters Most and the memoir Morningstar: Growing Up with Books. Her other books include the bestsellers The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, The Red Thread, and Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. She’s received a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Paris Review, Tin House, More, Real Simple, Bon Appetit, and National Geographic Traveler, with regular columns in Self, Glamour, Parenting. She became an avid knitter in 2002 to help get through the grief of losing her daughter, Grace, to a virulent form of strep. Through knitting, Hood was able to pick up her craft again and share her painful journey with the world. She was born in the mill town of West Warwick, Rhode Island, and now splits her time between Providence RI and NYC with her husband, the writer Michael Ruhlman.

Christopher IrvinChristopher Irvin

Ragged: or, The Loveliest Lies of All — Saturday 4:00 PM Christopher Irvin is the author of Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All. His debut collection, Safe Inside the Violence, was a finalist for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection. He lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two sons. [clearboth]

Rachel KadishRachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish — Saturday 9:00 AM [br]Traveling Abroad: Novels Set in Distant Places — Saturday 2:30 PM Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story, as well as the novella, I Was Here. Her work has appeared on National Public Radio and in the New York Times, Ploughshares, Salon, and Tin House. She has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a writer in residence at Stanford University, and currently teaches fiction in Lesley University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Her most recent novel, The Weight of Ink, was one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2017.

Jessica KeenerJessica Keener

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener — Saturday 10:30 AM [br]Traveling Abroad: Novels Set in Distant Places — Saturday 2:30 PM Jessica Keener is the author of the bestselling novel Night Swim and a collection of award-winning short stories, Women in Bed. Her work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, the Boston Globe, Agni, and others. She has taught English literature and writing at Brown University, Boston University, the University of Miami, and GrubStreet. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. Learn more at (Photo credit: Roger Gordy)

Stephen McCauleyStephen McCauley

My Ex Life by Stephen McCauley — Saturday 9:00 AM Stephen McCauley is the author six novels. His seventh, My Ex-Life, will be published in May 2018. Three of his novels have been made into feature films, and he was admitted to the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. He currently serves as a Co-Director of Creative Writing at Brandeis University. The Los Angeles Times has said: “McCauley is a social satirist in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Oscar Wilde—and like them, he’s a serious writer indeed” and Kirkus Reviews called My Ex-Life “A gin and tonic for the soul.”

Jennifer McMahonJennifer McMahon

Burntown: A Novel — Saturday 10:30 AM [br]Page Turners: Writing the Suspense Novel — Saturday 1:00 PM Jennifer McMahon is the author of eight novels, including the New York Times bestsellers, Promise Not to Tell and The Winter People. She graduated from Goddard College and studied poetry in the MFA Writing Program at Vermont College. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella. (Photo ©Michael Lionstar) [clearboth]

Meg Mitchell MooreMeg Mitchell Moore

The Captain’s Daughter — Saturday 2:30 PM [br]Closing Ceremony: Women’s Voices – Four Fiction Writers Discuss Their Work — Saturday 7:00 PM Meg Mitchell Moore the author of the novels The Arrivals (2011), So Far Away (2012), The Admissions (2015), and The Captain’s Daughter (2017). The Admissions was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. Her next novel will be out in summer 2019. 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.

Kate MorettiKate Moretti

Page Turners: Writing the Suspense Novel — Saturday 1:00 PM Kate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of four novels and a novella, including Thought I Knew You, While You Were Gone, Binds That Tie, The Vanishing Year, and Blackbird Season. Her first novel Thought I Knew You, was a New York Times bestseller. The Vanishing Year was a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards Mystery/Thriller category for 2016 and was called “chillingly satisfying.” (Publisher’s Weekly) with “superb” closing twists (New York Times Book Review). Kate has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for twenty years as a scientist. She lives in Pennsylvania in an old farmhouse with her husband, two children and no known ghosts. [clearboth]

Catherine ParnellCatherine Parnell

Flash Fiction and the Art of Vulnerability — Saturday 1:00 PM Catherine Parnell, senior associate editor for Consequence magazine, is an independent consultant and teacher. Her nonfic-tion chapbook, The Kingdom of His Will, explores the culture of war, and her publications include blog posts, reviews, inter-views, essays and stories. [clearboth]

Tom PerrottaTom Perrotta

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta — Saturday 10:30 AM Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO series. His other books include Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The Abstinence Teacher, Nine Inches, and his newest, Mrs. Fletcher. His work has been translated into a multitude of languages. Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and lives outside of Boston. Photo credit: Ben E. King / courtesy of HBO.

Holly RobinsonHolly Robinson

Closing Ceremony: Women’s Voices – Four Fiction Writers Discuss Their Work — Saturday 7:00 PM Holly Robinson is a novelist, journalist and celebrity ghost writer whose newest novel is FOLLY COVE. Connect with her at, on Twitter at @hollyrob1 and on Facebook. [clearboth]

Peter SwansonPeter Swanson

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson — Saturday 10:30 AM [br]Page Turners: Writing the Suspense Novel — Saturday 1:00 PM Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear; and All the Beautiful Lies, which will be published in April 2018. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife.

Joan WilkingJoan Wilking

Flash Fiction and the Art of Vulnerability — Saturday 1:00 PM Joan Wilking’s short fiction has been published in The Atlantic, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Barcelona Review, Other Voices, The Mississippi Review, Ascent, The MacGuffin, Hobart, Clackamas and many other literary journals and anthologies online and in print. Her story, “Deer Season”, was a finalist for the 2010 Nelson Algren Short Story Competition of The Chicago Tribune. Her story, “Clutter” received a special mention in the 2016 Pushcart Prize XL Anthology. Her novella, Mycology, winner of the 2016 Wild Onion Novella Prize, was published in 2017 by Curbside Splendor.

Steve YarbroughSteve Yarbrough

Two Writers Under One Roof — Saturday 9:00 AM [br]The Unmade World by Steve Yarbrough — Saturday 1:00 pm [br]Traveling Abroad: Novels Set in Distant Places — Saturday 2:30 PM Steve Yarbrough is the author of three short-story collections: Family Men (LSU Press); Mississippi History and Veneer (University of Missouri Press); and a nonfiction book, Bookmarked: Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show (Ig Publishing). He has also published seven novels: The Oxygen Man (MacAdam/Cage), winner of the Mississippi Authors Award, the California Book Award, and an award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters; Visible Spirits; Prisoners of War, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award; The End of California; Safe from the Neighbors; The Realm of Last Chances (Alfred A. Knopf); and most recently, The Unmade World (Unbridled Books). He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the 2010 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, and the 2015 Robert Penn Warren Award. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a professor at Emerson College, he lives with his wife in Stoneham, Massachusetts.