2021 Moderators | Speakers

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Moderators |

Listed in alphabetical order
Elizabeth Abraham

Elizabeth Abraham

Displacement: A Conversation with Graphic Novelist Kiku Hughes — Sunday, 1:30 PM

Elizabeth Abraham is a technology startup executive, artist, and educator. She is non-monogamous when it comes to books, and can often be seen reading multiple books at once, in a variety of formats. She can be found discussing all things books and creative journaling on YouTube @ kisiwa82.

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Sarah Cantin

Sarah Cantin

Inspiration to Publication: The Journey of a Debut Author — Saturday, 2:30 PM

Sarah Cantin is an Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan, where she edits upmarket commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. Prior to joining SMP in 2018, she spent nine years at Atria Books / Simon & Schuster. Over the course of her career, she has published bestselling and critically acclaimed authors including Jennifer Weiner, Lisa Jewell, Therese Anne Fowler, Rachel Hawkins, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Carola Lovering, Lili Reinhart, and Sarah Pekkanen. Originally from the Boston area, Sarah received her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and now lives in New York City with her husband.

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Christopher Cevasco

Christopher M. Cevasco

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 — Sunday, 3:45 PM

Christopher M. Cevasco writes fiction inspired by history. For the past few years, Chris has been the assistant se-ries editor of the annual Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, and he was also the founding editor of the award-winning Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction from 2003 to 2009. A graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and Taos Toolbox, his own short fiction has appeared in such venues as Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the Prime Books anthologies Shades of Blue and Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War and Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages. Chris lives in Myrtle Beach, SC, with his wife and two children.
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Imogen Church

Imogen Church

Listen Up! Audiobooks turn up the volume for the publishing industry — Saturday, 11:00 AM

Imogen Church has worked everywhere, from theatre to film, commercials to cabaret, but her favourite work is in audio, particularly audiobooks, largely so she can eat cake and not bleach her teeth. She has won awards for it and plans to do it to death. Photo Credit: Andy Fisher.

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Susanna Einstein

Susanna Einstein

Inspiration to Publication: The Journey of a Debut Author — Saturday, 2:30 PM

Susanna Einstein (she/her/hers) has worked as a literary agent since 2005, and launched E.L.M. in 2015. In addi-tion to Virginia Hume, her clients include Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman), David Ellis, Jennie Fields, Rachael Herron, Yona Zeldis McDonough, Newburyport’s own Holly Robinson, and Daniel Stashower. She has worked in publishing since 1995, first in the publicity and editorial departments at what was then called Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) and then as a literary scout at Maria B. Campbell Associates. A native New Yorker, she graduated with distinction from Northwestern University. She lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Photo Credit: Lisa Hancock Photography.
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Mark Feeney

Mark Feeney

Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing — Saturday, 3:45 PM

Mark Feeney is an arts writer at The Boston Globe. He has held various editorial positions there since joining the paper, in 1979. A finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, in 1994, he won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, in 2008. He is the author of Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and is currently working on a book about the 1970s. A lecturer in American Studies at Brandeis, he has also taught at Princeton, Yale, Brown, and Boston College.

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Emily Fine

Emily Fine

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power — Saturday, 9:00 AM

Emily Fine is producer and co-host of the podcast the Book Cougars: Two Middle-Aged Women on the Hunt for a Good Read, along with her friend and fellow booklover, Chris Wolak. When not engaged in the world of books or embarking on literary adventures, she spends her time as a Philanthropic Consultant and Grant Writer. Originally from the Midwest, Emily now lives in Connecticut, where she spends as much time as she can reading, writing, and paddling the Long Island Sound.
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Carol Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzgerald

Listen Up! Audiobooks turn up the volume for the publishing industry — Saturday, 11:00 AM

Carol Fitzgerald is the president and founder of The Book Report Network (TBRN) — a group of websites about books and authors, including Bookreporter.com and ReadingGroupGuides.com, that have become the gathering places for a large and devoted community of booklovers since 1996. Carol is known for her in-depth author interviews. In 2019, the company launched the “Bookreporter Talks To” video/podcast series, which she hosts. In 2020, “Bookaccino Live: A Lively Talk About Books” and “Bookaccino Live: A Live Book Group Event” were added to the company’s video programming. In addition, the company’s Authors on the Web division provides website design and development, newsletter design and strategy, as well as marketing consultation for authors and publishers. To date, the company has built websites for more than 350 authors and continues to maintain more than 100 websites.

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Russell Gray

Russell Gray

Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In — Sunday, 1:30 PM

Russell Gray has a YouTube channel under the handle Ink and Paper Blog. For the last 4 years, his channel’s mission has been to champion own voice authors across all genres. Since 2020, with his bookish friend Ryan, they created a ZOOM bookclub to celebrate novels written by women of the 20th century. He and his husband live in the San Jose, CA with their two dogs and two cats.

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Hannah Harlow

Hannah Harlow

Authors who Own Bookstores: Talking Shop with Ann Patchett, Alex George, and Kelly Link — Sunday, 12:15 PM

Hannah Harlow has an MFA in fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars. After working in publishing for 17 years, most recently at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Executive Director of Marketing, she left in January 2020 to purchase the Book Shop of Beverly Farms in Beverly, MA. She lives on the north shore of Massachusetts with her husband and two boys.
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Leslie Hendrickson

Leslie Hendrickson

Medical Ethics in the Time of COVID — Saturday, 2:30 PM

Leslie Hendrickson is a freelance writer covering architecture, real estate, art and news. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, MarketWatch and Mansion Global, among others. She also teaches writing classes for Newburyport Adult Education and has been involved in the festival for all of its 16 editions.

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Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys

Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys

Visit Jazz Age San Francisco: Artists and Crooks, Chinatown, and Fiery Women — Sunday, 11:00 AM

Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys are the co-creators of Strong Sense of Place, a podcast and website dedicated to armchair travel and books with vivid settings. Each episode of their show focuses on one destination: They discuss what makes that place different than anywhere else, then recommend five books that took them there on the page. They’re introverts who love travel adventures and exploring new places. In 2017, they sold almost all of their stuff and moved from the U.S. to Prague, in the Czech Republic, with their laptops and their cat Smudge.

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Robin Kall

Robin Kall

Cocktail Party with the Authors of Alone Together — Saturday, 5:30 PM

What first began back in 2002 as an AM radio program on Saturday mornings has since blossomed into a bookish and philanthropic empire. Robin blended her passion for a good book and natural curiosity to create The Reading With Robin Show, where she spoke with authors, readers, and literacy-adjacent professionals on a weekly basis. The show was the first of its kind, giving readers unprecedented access to the authors they love and Robin continues to cultivate this community through online events and interviews. In 2016, with the assistance of her cohort and daughter Emily, Robin added to her literary tale as they launched the award-winning monthly author series The Cardigan Connection. Robin lives in Rhode Island with her family.

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Christina Koliander

Christina Koliander

The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the America Supermarket — Sunday, 2:30 PM

Christina Koliander is a freelance writer and editor living in Vermont. An avid reader, Chris is a Festival regular, with this year marking her sixth time as a moderator. You can learn more about her on her website, www.christinakoliander.com
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January Lavoy

January LaVoy

January LaVoy is an Atlanta-based theatre, television, and voice actress. She has performed on and Off-Broadway, and in regional theaters across America. She has been seen on television in “Blue Bloods”, “N0S4A2”, “Elementary”, and “Law & Order” (classic, CI and SVU), and played the role of Noelle Ortiz on the long-running ABC day-time drama “One Life to Live”. Her voiceover work includes many national commercial campaigns, promos, documentaries, and hundreds of audiobooks. In 2013, she was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year by Publishers’ Weekly. She has been nominated for 18 Audie Awards, receiving 7, and has garnered nearly three dozen Audiofile Magazine Earphones Awards. In the spring of 2019, she was honored with Audiofile’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Golden Voice. She shares a 2021 GRAMMY nomination with Meryl Streep and the cast of the Charlotte’s Web audiobook, in which she plays the title role of Charlotte. January is a full-time faculty member at Emory University, teaching acting and scene study in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Suzanne Leopold

Suzanne Leopold

The Lions of 5th Avenue — Saturday, 9:00 AM

Suzanne Leopold is the creator of SuzyApproved.com which is her website for sharing book reviews. Her platform is active across many social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where she has accumulated over ten thousand followers. She is also the founder of SuzyApprovedBookTours.com where she aggregates her community of bloggers across social media platforms to support authors with book launches. Suzanne has prior work experience as an accountant for Viacom and Unilever where she put her CPA and MBA to good use. Suzanne has been a Westport resident for over twenty years and enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage sons. When she isn’t reading, she can be found at local spin or pilates classes.

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Ryan Ludman

Ryan Ludman

Black Buck: A conversation with author Mateo Askaripour — Saturday, 1:30 PM

Ryan Ludman is a technical writer in Silicon Valley. With his friend Russell, he is a host of the Spilling Tea book club with virtual meetings discussing books by women from the 20th century. With a passion for books and writing, he can be found chronicling his reading journey on Instagram @ReadByRyan.

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Natalia Martinez

Representation in YA — Sunday, 3:45 PM

Natalia Martinez was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. As a young adult, she moved to the United States and earned a BA in philosophy and psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She is a former public school teacher and now works with the Cambridge Public Health Department as an early literacy coach. Despite her close relationship with board and picture books, Young Adult literature is her favorite genre. She is not an author, but she is an eager reader!
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Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore

Writers and Lovers: Lily King in Conversation with Meg Mitchell Moore — Sunday, 10:00 AM

Meg Mitchell Moore is the national bestselling author of six novels. The latest, Two Truths and a Lie, takes place in and around Newburyport. Before turning to fiction she wrote and edited for a variety of magazines and newspapers. She lives in Newburyport with her husband and their three daughters, and after thirteen years in town, the longest stretch she’s lived any single place, she has unofficially adopted the Port as her hometown.

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Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff

Listen Up! Audiobooks turn up the volume for the publishing industry — Saturday, 11:00 AM

Robert Petkoff has appeared on film and TV in Elementary, The Good Wife, Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. He has starred on Broadway in Ragtime, All The Way with Bryan Cranston, Anything Goes, Spa-malot, and Fiddler on the Roof. He has appeared in London with Dame Judi Dench and Emily Blunt in The Royal Family and in many touring, Off-Broadway, and regional theater productions. Mr. Petkoff has narrated over 250 audiobooks and is a multiple Audie and Audiophile Earphones Award winner and twice nominated as Male Narrator of The Year. Some of his more prominent audiobooks include Bob Woodward’s Fear and Rage, multiple Michael Koryta thrillers including the award winning Those Who Wish Me Dead and 30 Star Trek audiobooks.

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Holly Robinson

Holly Robinson

Inspiration to Publication: The Journey of a Debut Author — Saturday, 2:30 PM

Novelist, journalist and ghostwriter Holly Robinson is the author of The Gerbil farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir and six novels. Her articles and essays appear regularly in national publications, and she is currently working on a new novel.

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Jennifer Romanello

Jennifer Romanello

Inspiration to Publication: The Journey of a Debut Author — Saturday, 2:30 PM

Jennifer Romanello began her career in book publishing as a publicity assistant at Macmillan and its imprints, Scribner and Atheneum. She then moved on to Dutton, where she eventually rose to Associate Director of Publicity and worked with a roster of critically acclaimed authors including Julia Alvarez, Joyce Carol Oates, and Jamaica Kincaid. In 1995 she joined Warner Books, now Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette. She was VP, Executive Director of Publicity there for many years and worked with a wide range of bestselling authors including Nicholas Sparks, David Baldacci, Nelson DeMille and Brad Meltzer, among others. She was most recently VP, Director of Publicity at Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing and oversaw the publicity for the following imprints: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, Atheneum, Margaret K. McElderry, Aladdin, Simon Pulse, Paula Wiseman, Beach Lane Books, Little Simon and Simon Spotlight. Jennifer is currently a Lecturer in the MS in Publishing Program at Pace University. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Hofstra University and her poems have been published in Ovunque Siamo and VIA: Voices in Italiana-Americana. Her poems “Omphalos” (2018) and “I terri” (2015) received first place in the Concorso Internationale di Poesia held in Messina, Sicily. She is working on a novel and poetry collection.

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Lorna Ruby

Lorna Ruby

Did the Butler do it? A Conversation with Three British Crime Masters — Saturday, 11:00 AM

Lorna Ruby was born to talk about books, an avid reader she began working in bookstores as a college student at Framingham State University in 1978 and went on to manage three bookstores for the former Lauriat’s chain before becoming a book buyer. She has been in the book business in New England in one way or another ever since and joined Wellesley Books in 2003. Growing up with a book always in her hand she reads mysteries, fiction and still enjoys children’s books. Some of her favorite authors include Willa Cather, Kate DiCamillo, Mark Helprin, Kate Braestrup and Alexander McCall Smith. She lives in North Attleborough, the town she grew up in and listens to lots of books in her car on her way to work.

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Joanne Serling

Joanne Serling

The Happiest Girl in the World: A conversation with author Alena Dillon — Sunday, 9:00 AM

Joanne Serling’s debut novel Good Neighbors was published by Twelve/Grand Central publishing in February 2018. A former magazine editor, she is a graduate of Cornell University and studied and taught fiction at The Writers Studio in New York City. Joanne lives in New Jersey with her husband and children and is at work on her second book.

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Ray Smith

Ray Smith

HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style — Saturday, 1:30 PM

Ray Smith is a lifestyle reporter for the Personal Journal section of The Wall Street Journal. He was a fashion reporter for The Wall Street Journal from 2005 to 2020. He still writes the occasional fashion story but his beat has expanded to cover how individuals are navigating lifestyle during the pandemic and as we emerge from the pandemic.

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John Tavano

John Tavano

Melopoia — Saturday Evening, 7:00 PM

John Tavano is a classical guitarist in Newburyport Massachusetts.
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