Newburyport Literary Festival

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

Listed in alphabetical order

Russell BanksRussell Banks

The Art of the Short Story — Saturday 10:30 AM

RUSSELL BANKS is the internationally acclaimed author of eighteen works of fiction, including the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, The Book of Jamaica and Lost Memory of Skin, and six short story collections, as well as several works of non-fiction, most recently Voyager: Travel Writings. Two of his novels, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, have been adapted into award-winning films. Banks has been a PEN/Faulkner Finalist (Affliction, Cloudsplitter, Lost Memory of Skin) and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist (Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter). His work has received numerous other awards and has been widely translated and anthologized. Banks is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was New York State Author (2004-2008). He lives in upstate New York with his wife, the poet Chase Twichell. Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia

Jenna BlumJenna Blum

The Lost Family — Saturday 9:00 AM
A Readable Feast: Food in Fiction — Saturday 2:30 PM

JENNA BLUM is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us (Harcourt, 2002) and The Stormchasers (Dutton, 2010) and novella “The Lucky One” in the collection Grand Central (Berkeley/ Penguin, 2014). Jenna’s third novel, The Lost Family, will be published by Harper Collins June 5, 2018. Jenna is one of Oprah’s Top 30 Women Writers. Her first novel Those Who Save Us, a New York Times bestseller, the #1 bestselling novel in Holland in 2011, and the 2005 “Winner of the Ribalow Prize, awarded by Hadassah Magazine and adjudged by Elie Wiesel. Jenna is based in Boston, where she has taught fiction and master novel workshops at Grub Street Writers since the school’s founding in 1997. From 1993-1997, Jenna interviewed Holocaust survivors for the Steven Spielberg Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Jenna is a professional public speaker, traveling nationally and internationally to speak at universities, libraries, events, and bookclubs – for Those Who Save Us, Jenna visited over 800 book clubs in the Boston area alone! Jenna has written the screenplay for Those Who Save Us, currently under option, and is working on her fourth novel.

Patricia BracewellPatricia Bracewell

Perilous Tides — Saturday 9:00 AM
When One is Not Enough: Why a historical-fiction series keep us coming back for more! — Saturday 1:00 PM

Patricia Bracewell taught high school English before embarking on her writing career. Her debut novel, published in 2013, was Shadow on the Crown. The first book of a trilogy about the 11th century queen of England, Emma of Normandy, it was released in the U.S. and U.K. and was translated into Italian, German and Russian. The second novel of the trilogy, The Price of Blood, was released in 2015 and continued the gripping tale of Emma of Normandy during the viking conquest of England. The final book of the trilogy, Perilous Tides, is slated for release in 2020. Patricia served as Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library in Wales in 2014 where she took part in the Hearth Literary Festival. She has been a panelist at writing conferences in the U.S. and the U.K., and has spoken to numerous book groups and school groups about her historical novels. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband in Oakland, California.

Nana Kwame Adjei-BrenyahNana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Black — Saturday 9:00 AM

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guer-nica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black is his first book. Photo credit Limitless Imprint Entertainment.

Andre Dubus IIIAndre Dubus III

Gone So Long — Saturday 1:00 PM
A Father’s Story: The Legacy of Andre Dubus II — Saturday 2:30 PM

Andre Dubus III is the author of The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times “Editors Choice”. His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His novella collection, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and was listed as a “Notable Book” by The Washington Post and The New York Times, and was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice”, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. His new novel, Gone So Long, published in October 2018, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and has been named on many “Best Books” lists, including selection for The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018” and “The Best Books of 2018”, “Top 100”, Amazon. Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, Two Pushcart Prizes, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

Monica DuncanMonica Duncan

Debut Novel Preview: Twine — Saturday 10:00 AM

Monica Duncan is a writer of literary fiction, musician, wife, and mother. Her debut novel “Twine” will be released Summer 2019 by Crowsnest Books. Originally from Michigan, she finds herself continually drawn to the hidden richness of the places she comes from. Now living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, she is still at home, by the water. Monica holds music degrees from Michigan State and Indiana University, and is active as a freelance musician and teacher in the Greater Boston area. She’s pretty sure she’ll always be in love with the soundtrack from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, and has discovered that her favorite skill as a writer she learned from her life in music: Be a good listener. Photo credit: Jesika Theos

Anne Easter SmithAnne Easter Smith

When One is Not Enough: Why a historical-fiction series keep us coming back for more! — Saturday 1:00 PM

Award-winning author Anne Easter Smith’s books “…grab you, sweep you along with the story, and make you fall in love with the characters…” (Historical Novels Review). Her series of five books featuring the York family during the Wars of the Roses are published by Touchstone at Simon & Schuster. The King’s Grace won the 2009 Romantic Times Best Historical Biography award, and Queen By Right was nominated in the same category in 2011. A native of England, Anne has lived in various states in the US for fifty years, settling in Newburyport in 2000 with husband, Scott. Her other passion is theater, and has frequently acted and directed on the Firehouse stage.

Elisabeth EloElisabeth Elo

Finding Katarina M.— Saturday 11:00 AM
Clues and the Clueless: Mystery Writers Talk About How Much Can Be Divulged—And When— Saturday 2:30 PM

Elisabeth Elo is the author of FINDING KATARINA M., hailed as “a tour de force” by one of her idols, Elizabeth George. Her previous suspense novel, NORTH OF BOSTON, was chosen by Booklist as a Best Crime Novel Debut of the Year. Published in six countries, it was also an Indie Next Pick and a Book of the Month/Literary Guild selection. A humorous literary novel, SAVE YOUR OWN, published under the name Elisabeth Brink, was an Indie Next Pick and a People Magazine “Great Read.” Elisabeth grew up in Boston, attended Brown University, and earned a PhD in American Literature from Brandeis. She worked as a magazine editor, a high-tech product manager, and a halfway house counselor before beginning to write fiction. A Newburyport resident for seventeen years, she now lives in Brookline, MA. Photo credit: Sean Sliney.

Sam Graham-FelsenSam Graham-Felsen

Green — Saturday 1:00 PM

Sam Graham-Felsen’s debut novel, Green, was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, an Indie Next selection, one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month,” and one of “Six Debuts to Watch for in 2018” by Barnes and Noble. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Nation, and elsewhere. From, 2007-2008, he worked as the chief blogger on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Jane HealeyJane Healey

The Beantown Girls — Saturday 4:00 PM

Jane Healey left a career in high tech to become a freelance writer. Her passion for historical fiction became her new career when her debut novel, The Saturday Evening Girls Club, was published in 2017. Based on the true story of a group of Jewish and Italian immigrant women in Boston’s North End at the turn of the twentieth century, the Amazon bestseller was hailed by Redbook as “a breathtaking ode to female empowerment and the American dream.” With the release of The Beantown Girls, she continues to fulfill her dream of writing about lesser-known stories of women in American history. She shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, cooking, and going to the beach. For more information about the author or to schedule a book club visit, please go to Photo credit for Sharona Jacobs.

Edwin HillEdwin Hill

Little Comfort — Saturday 1:00 PM
Clues and the Clueless: Mystery Writers Talk About How Much Can Be Divulged—And When— Saturday 2:30 PM

Edwin Hill is the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a division of Macmillan. His first novel, LITTLE COMFORT, was nominated for an Agatha award for best debut and received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The second in the series, THE MISSING ONES, will be available in September. He lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his partner Michael and his favorite reviewer, their lab Edith Ann, who likes his first drafts enough to eat them. Photo Credit: Thomas Bollinger.

Elinor LipmanElinor Lipman

Good Riddance — Saturday 9:00 AM

Elinor Lipman is the author of 13 books of fiction and nonfiction, including Then She Found Me, The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel’s Bed, I Can’t Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays, The View from Penthouse B, and On Turpentine Lane. Her rhyming tweets were published in 2012 as Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Cir-cus. Good Riddance, her newest novel, will be published in February. Then She Found Me became a 2008 feature film, directed by and starring Helen Hunt, with Bette Midler, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick. She was the 2011-12 Elizabeth Drew professor of creative writing at Smith College, and lives in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Michael Benabib.

Lynda Cohen LoigmanLynda Cohen Loigman

The Wartime Sisters — Saturday 1:00 PM

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as the best book of the month for March 2016 and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Lynda’s second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

Andrew MartinAndrew Martin

What I Learned: Debut Authors Discuss Publication — Saturday 9:00 AM

Andrew Martin’s first novel Early Work was published in 2018 and received praise from the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Chicago Review of Books, and many other publications. His stories have been published in The Paris Re-view, The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly and elsewhere, and his essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, and VICE. A story collection, entitled Bad Feelings, will be published in early 2020. He has received fellowships from the UCross Foundation and MacDowell Colony, and currently lives in Jamaica Plain, Boston.

William MartinWilliam Martin

Bound for Gold — Saturday 10:30 AM

William Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, a PBS documentary, book reviews, magazine articles, and a cult-classic horror movie, too. His first Peter Fallon novel, Back Bay,established him as “a master storyteller.” He has been following the lives of the great and anonymous in American history ever since, taking readers from the Mayflower in Cape Cod to Ford’s Theater in The Lincoln Letter to the South Tower on 9/11 in City of Dreams. His latest, Bound for Gold, sweeps readers back to California in the legendary year of 1849 and “solidifies his claim as king of the historical thriller” (Providence Journal). He was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, given to an author “whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region.” In 2015, the USS Constitution Museum gave him the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, for “patriotic pride, artful scholar-ship, and an eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime.” And in 2018, the Mystery Writers of America (New England Chapter) gave him the Robert B. Parker Award. He serves on the boards of many of Boston’s historical and cultural organizations, lives near Boston with his wife, and has three grown children.

Edith MaxwellEdith Maxwell

Charity’s Burden — Saturday 9:00 AM
When One is Not Enough: Why a historical-fiction series keep us coming back for more! — Saturday 1:00 PM

Edith Maxwell writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries – set in Amesbury – the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she pens the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Maxwell, with seventeen novels in print and four more completed, has been nominated for an Agatha Award six times. She lives in Amesbury with her beau and two elderly cats, and gardens and cooks when she isn’t killing people on the page or wasting time on Facebook. Please find her at, on Instagram, and at the Wicked Authors blog.

Louise MillerLouise Miller

The Late Bloomers Club — Saturday 10:00 AM
A Readable Feast: Food in Fiction — Saturday 2:30 PM

Louise Miller is a writer and pastry chef who lives, writes and bakes in Boston, MA. Her debut novel, THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING was selected as an Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association, a Library Reads pick by Librarians across the U.S., and was shortlisted by the America Library Association’s Reading List Council for best women’s fiction in 2017. People Magazine said “You’ll want to linger” in her 2nd novel is THE LATE BLOOMERS’ CLUB.

Peter OrnerPeter Orner

Preview of Maggie Brown and Others — Saturday 11:00 AM
A Father’s Story: The Legacy of Andre Dubus II — Saturday 2:30 PM

Peter Orner is the author of two novels and story collections published by Little, Brown: The Second Coming of Mavala Shikon-go, (2006) and Love and Shame and Love, (2010), Esther Stories (2001, 2013 with new foreword by Marilynne Robinson) and Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (2013). His most recent book, an essay collection/memoir, Am I Alone Here? : Notes on Reading to Live and Living to Read (Catapult, 2016) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A new collection, Maggie Brown & Others will be out from Little, Brown in July, 2018. Orner’s fiction and non-fiction stories have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, Granta, and elsewhere, and have been anthologized in Best American Stories and twice received a Pushcart Prize. He has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy in Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. In 2017-2018, Orner was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Namibia where he taught at the University of Namibia. He currently hold the Professorship in English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and is a member of the Norwich, Vermont Fire Department.

Miriam ParkerMiriam Parker

A Readable Feast: Food in Fiction — Saturday 2:30 PM

Miriam Parker has worked in book publishing for more than nineteen years and is currently the associate publisher of Ecco. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington and a BA in English from Columbia University. Her short stories have been published in The Florida Review and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Brooklyn with her spaniel, Leopold Bloom. The Shortest Way Home is her first novel.

Donna Russo MorinDonna Russo Morin

Gilded Summers — Saturday 11:00 AM
When One is Not Enough: Why a historical-fiction series keep us coming back for more! — Saturday 1:00 PM

Donna Russo Morin is the internationally published author of eight award-winning historical novels including the Da Vinci’s Disciples Trilogy: PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY (hailed by B&N as one of ‘5 Novels that get Leonardo da Vinci Right’), THE COMPETITION (EDITOR’S CHOICE, HNS Review), THE FLAMES OF FLORENCE, and GILDED SUMMERS, an Amazon Bestseller. Other titles include The King’s Agent, (starred review: Publishers Weekly) and The Courtier of Versailles (formerly The Courtier’s Secret). Recently Donna has spread her genre wings; ONCE, UPON A NEW TIME: BIRTH, the first book in a medieval fantasy trilogy released on February 15. A professional editor/consultant, Donna holds a BA from URI, teaches at adult learning centers and for Writer’s Digest University, and is a member of IAPWE.

Hank Phillippi RyanHank Phillippi Ryan

Trust Me —Saturday 10:00 AM
Clues and the Clueless: Mystery Writers Talk About How Much Can Be Divulged—And When — Saturday 2:30 PM

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, winning 34 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Nationally bestselling author of 10 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense.” Her novels are Library Journal‘s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Hank’s newest book is the acclaimed standalone psychological suspense thriller TRUST ME (August 28, 2018) ‒ the Booklist starred review says “a knockout!” It’s named one of the Best Thrillers of Summer 2018 by New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine and CrimeReads.

Whitney ScharerWhitney Scharer

The Age of Light: A Novel— Saturday 9:00 AM
Visionary Women: a History, a Novel and a Memoir
— Saturday 1:00 PM

Whitney Scharer holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous journals including New Flash Fiction Review, Cimarron Review, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was published by Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019, as well as over a dozen other countries. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA. [clearboth]

Sarah St. VincentSarah St. Vincent

Ways to Hide in Winter — Saturday 2:30 PM

Sarah St. Vincent is a human rights lawyer whose work with victims of domestic violence informers her novel, giving it convincing dimension and an emotional depth to her characters. Having grown up in rural Pennsylvania herself, she attended Swarthmore College, Harvard University and University of Michigan Law School. She currently researches national security and surveillance for Human Rights Watch and lives in New York City. [clearboth]

Kem Joy UkwuKem Joy Ukwu

What I Learned: Debut Authors Discuss Publication — Saturday 9:00 AM

Kem Joy Ukwu’s fiction has appeared in PANK, BLACKBERRY: a magazine, Carve, TINGE, Blue Lake Review, Jabber-wock Review, Auburn Avenue, The Brooklyn Quarterly and Day One. Her short story collection manuscript, Locked Gray / Linked Blue, was selected as a finalist for the 2016 New American Fiction Prize and was published by the Kin-dred Books imprint from Brain Mill Press in 2018. As an Institute Scholar, she led a workshop each for the 2016 and 2018 Writing from the Margins Institute at Bloomfield College. Born and raised in the Bronx, she currently lives in New Jersey with her husband. More of her work can be found at

Meghan Maclean WeirMeghan Maclean Weir

The Book of Essie — Saturday 2:30 PM

Meghan Maclean Weir was raised in the rectory of her father’s church in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and later moved with her family to Buffalo, New York. Her memoir, Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency, chronicles her years in training at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She continues to live and work as a physician in the Boston area. This is her first novel. Photo Credit: Michael Lionstar. [clearboth]