2022 Moderators | Speakers

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Moderators |

Listed in alphabetical order
Sam Evans-Brown

Sam Evans-Brown

Sam Evans-Brown leads Clean Energy New Hampshire in its effort to create a cleaner, more affordable, and more resilient energy system in the Granite State. Sam grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Prior to joining Clean Energy New Hampshire in 2021 he was a podcast host and radio journalist for nearly ten years, during which he wrote stories about New England energy issues extensively and won several regional and national awards. He’s an excellent bike mechanic, a Spanish speaker, and a father of two. Sam graduated with a B.A. from Bates College in Politics and Spanish in 2009.
Pia Catton

Pia Catton

Pia Catton wrote about the performing arts and a variety of subjects during her 20-year career as a journalist. As a Wall Street Journal reporter from 2010 to 2016, she created the “Let’s Talk Arts” podcast and a data-driven project to analyze Broadway ticket sales. She was also Culture Editor of the New York Sun newspaper, as well as a dance critic and reporter. She has written for the New York Times, the New York Post and ArtNews, among other publications, and has written two books, “The Comfort Diner Cookbook” and “Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less.” Pia is now a fundraising professional focused on the nonprofit performing arts. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and the Mercersburg Academy.
Julie Carrick Dalton

Julie Carrick Dalton

Julie Carrick Dalton’s debut novel Waiting for the Night Song has been named to Most Anticipated 2021 book lists by numerous platforms including CNN, Newsweek, USA Today, Parade, and Buzzfeed, and was an Amazon Editor’s Pick for Best Books of the Month in January. Her second novel, The Last Beekeeper, will be released in early 2023. As a journalist, Julie has published more than a thousand articles in publications including The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Chicago Review of Books. A Tin House alum, 2021 Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference fellow, and graduate of Grub-Street’s Novel Incubator, Julie holds a master’s in literature and creative writing from Harvard Extension School. She is the winner of the William Faulkner Literary Competition and a finalist for the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature and the Caledonia Novel Award. Julie is a member of the Climate Fiction Writers League and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader on the topic of Fiction in the Age of Climate Crisis. Mom to four kids and two dogs, Julie also farms a piece of land in rural New Hampshire. You can connect with Julie on Twitter @juliecardalt, on Instagram @juliecdalton, or at juliecarrickdalton.com. Photo credit: Sharona Jacobs.
Featured Book
Julie Carrick Dalton Book
Bethany Groff Dorau

Bethany Groff Dorau

Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury, A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and a primary contributor to the Defining Documents in American History Series. She is the execu-tive director of the Museum of Old Newbury, and a recipient of the Preservation Leadership Award from the Newburyport Preserva-tion Trust, the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission, and the North of Boston CVB Leader-ship Award. Bethany sits on the executive board of the North of Boston CVB, Lowell’s Boat Shop, and the planning committee of the Newburyport Literary Festival. She has published articles in the New York Times, New England Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of American History, and Historic New England Magazine. She holds an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, and lives in West Newbury with her family. Photo credit: Amanda Ambrose.
Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent novel, Gone So Long, 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 a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of 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. Photo credit: John Hauschildt.

Mason Engel

Mason Engel

In 2019, Mason Engel took a road trip around the country to 50 independent bookstores in 50 days. His goal was to promote his self-published novel, 2084, but his conversations with booksellers shifted his focus. He decided to take a second trip. He would no longer be walking into bookstores with his book; he’d be walking in with a camera and a question: why should we shop indie? The resultant documentary: The Bookstour, premiers on public television this spring. Mason continues to work on his books—and book-ish films—from his home in Los Angeles.
Carol Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzgerald

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.
Janet Geddis

Janet Geddis

Janet Geddis is a business owner, writer, speaker, and community leader. The owner of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia, Janet is involved with regional and national book industry organizations, presenting at least twice a year at conferences and volunteering her time for advisory boards. Janet holds an M.Ed. in educational psychology from UGA with an emphasis in creativity studies. Using the moniker “The Migraine Girl,” Janet is a nationally recognized patient advocate and spokesperson at WebMD, Migraine.com, and other outlets. Janet has established a robust speaking career, presenting original speeches, commencement addresses, and talks to audiences of all sizes. Known for her inventiveness (she was the first bookstore owner to use crowdfunding to gather some startup funds in 2010!) and positivity, Janet volunteers in Athens and in the book world whenever possible. Janet and Avid have been subjects of case studies and documentary films focused on leadership, neurodivergence, chronic illness, and—of course!—bookstores. She is honored to have Avid Bookshop included in Mason Engel’s The Bookstour. You can find her at her bookshop (https://www.avidbookshop.com/), traveling with friends and family, at home reading with her two cats nearby, or at JanetGeddis.com

Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein is the author of a short story collection, The Best of Animals, and four novels, including the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything and the New York Times bestseller A Friend of the Family. Her short stories, essays, and reviews have been widely published, and her writing has been translated into Italian, French, Turkish, German and Hebrew, among other languages. Lauren’s new novel, We Must Not Think of Ourselves, will be published in spring, 2023. Lauren teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Rutgers-Camden, where she is a professor of English. She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Peter Guralnick

Peter Guralnick

Peter Guralnick has been called “a national resource” by critic Nat Hentoff for work that has argued passionately and persuasively for the vitality of this country’s intertwined black and white musical traditions. His books include the prize-winning two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love. Of the first Bob Dylan wrote, “Elvis steps from the pages. You can feel him breathe. This book cancels out all others.” Ta-Nahisi Coates named Sweet Soul Music as “one of the ten books he couldn’t live without.” Guralnick won a Grammy for his liner notes for Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club as well as writing the scripts for the Grammy-winning documentary Sam Cooke/Legend and Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary Feel Like Going Home. His biography of Sam Cooke, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, was hailed as “monumental, panoramic, an epic tale told against a backdrop of brilliant, shimmering music, intense personal melodrama, and vast social changes.” His 2015 biography of Sam Phillips, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times and was a finalist for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography of the Year. Of his latest book, Looking to Get Lost, Michael Eric Dyson wrote, “Peter Guralnick is one of the 3 or 4 greatest writers in the country today. His searching intelligence, his unquenchable curiosity, and his stunning scope of knowledge are all on display in this breathtaking volume.” Rosanne Cash meanwhile described Looking to Get Lost as the work of “a dedicated explorer, a writer of great sensitivity and intuition, who lyrically un-tangles the network that exists between artist and art, persona and humanity, rhythm and melody, the mortal desires that underscore it all, and, crucially and seamlessly, his own relationship to everyone and everything he contemplates.”

Liberty Hardy

Liberty Hardy

Liberty Hardy is a senior contributing editor for Book Riot and host of the popular All the Books! podcast. She lives in the great state of Maine, where she reads 500-600 books a year and hangs out with her three cats, who hate to read.

Hannah Harlow

Hannah Harlow

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.
Leslie Hendrickson

Leslie Hendrickson

Leslie Hendrickson is a New York City and Connecticut-based journalist. She is also a puppet maker, an Agatha Christie aficionado and has been involved in every Newburyport Literary Festival. She leads a monthly writing group and volunteers for Girls Write Now, mentoring a high school student on writing.

Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys

Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys

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.

Donna Paz Kaufman

Donna Paz Kaufman

After managing one of the country’s leading independent bookstore cafes and working in publishing, Donna Paz Kaufman founded The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates in 1992 with the mission of helping booksellers build skills and insights so that they may lead healthy, life-driven, profitable independent bookstores. Today, Donna and her husband Mark also own Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, a 4,500 bookstore cafe on Amelia Island, Florida and this year launched the private operating foundation Story & Song Center for Arts & Culture. She holds a business degree and is a certified trainer in customer service and leadership.
Christina Koliander

Christina Koliander

Christina Koliander is a writer and editor living in Vermont. A home cook, for many years she authored the nationally-recognized food blog, My Vermont Kitchen, introducing a new recipe to readers each week. Chris is a regular Festival moderator and also has moderated at the Boston Book Festival. You can learn more about her on her website, www.christinakoliander.com.

Laura Szaro Kopinski

Laura Szaro Kopinski

Romance by the Book – Sunday, 2:30 PM

Laura Szaro Kopinski is a local librarian and podcaster. She hosts A Bookish Home, featuring “behind the book” interviews with bestselling authors. Laura is currently on the Newburyport Literary Festival programming committee and has served as a lead judge for the Massachusetts Book Awards, a reviewer for the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Artist Fellowships, and as a Boston Book Festival moderator. You can find her at ABookishHome.com.
Suzanne Leopold

Suzanne Leopold

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 plat-forms 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.
Martinez Natalia

Natalia Martinez

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!
Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore is the bestselling author of six novels and an integral member of the programming committee for the Newburyport Literary Festival. Her seventh novel, Vacationland, will be out in June 2022 from William Morrow. She lives in Newburyport with her husband, their three daughters, and a much-doted upon golden retriever.

Heidi Pitlor

Heidi Pitlor

Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays, The Daylight Marriage, which was optioned for film, and Impersonation. A former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, she has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is also the editorial director of the literary studio, Plympton and an executive editor at Verto Literary. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Lit Hub, Ploughshares, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives outside Boston.

Kate Rope

Kate Rope

Kate Rope is an award-winning freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and CNN. She is the author of Strong as a Mother: How to Be Happy, Healthy and (Most Im-portantly) Sane From Pregnancy to Parenthood and co-executive producer of “Soldiers of Science: The Vietnam War, Anthony Fauci & the Doctors Who Revolutionized American Medicine,” an Audible Original documentary that she co-wrote with narrator Alan Alda. Kate lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.

Hank Phillippe Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the genre’s most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. Book reviewers call her “a master of suspense.” Her newest is HER PERFECT LIFE, a chilling psychological standalone about fame, family, and revenge. It received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, calling it “a superlative thriller.” It’s now nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. Her next is THE HOUSE GUEST, coming January 2023.

Kate Tuttle

Kate Tuttle

Kate Tuttle writes about books for the Boston Globe and heads the paper’s books coverage. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere.

Wendy Walker

Wendy Walker

Books that Thrill – Sunday, 11:00 AM

Wendy Walker is the USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of psychological suspense. Her books have been published in over 23 foreign languages and optioned for film and television. Her latest novels include Don’t Look for Me and the Audible Original, American Girl. Prior to writing, she worked as a lawyer, investment banker, and trained for competitive figure skating. Having recently launched the youngest of her three sons into the world, Wendy lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, writing and contemplating her next adventure.

Featured Book
Wendy Walker Book
Beth Welch

Elizabeth Welch

Elizabeth (Beth) Welch is a professional editor who specializes in history. Along with numerous U.S., Western civilization, and world history textbooks, she has edited multiple entries in the widely acclaimed Bedford Series in History and Culture.

Lee Woodruff

As co-author of the best-selling In an Instant, Lee Woodruff garnered critical acclaim for the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq. Appearing together on national media since the February 2007 publication of their book, the couple founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist wounded service members and their families. To date, they have raised more than $80 million to help veterans successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive care. Woodruff has been a contributing reporter for “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.” Her best-selling book “Perfectly Imperfect – A Life in Progress,” was followed by her first novel “Those We Love Most.” A freelance writer and print journalist, Woodruff has penned numerous articles, including features and essays about her family, parenting and caregiving. She currently runs a media/speaker training business.

Monika Woods

Monika Woods

Monika Woods is a literary agent, writer, editor, and founder of Triangle House. She is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and the Columbia Publishing Course, a board member of the AALA, and has worked closely with leading voices in contemporary literature over her decade-long publishing career. Her interests include literary fiction and compelling non-fiction in cultural criticism, food, popular culture, journalism, science, and current affairs.