Literary Festival
Connect with other writers. Workshop your project.
Learn insider tips for getting published. All online!
July 16 – August 1, 2012
produced by Mediabistro
and GalleyCat


JASON ALLEN ASHLOCK Jason Allen Ashlock is President of Movable Type Management, a bi-coastal author management firm that foster storytelling across platforms, devices, territories and generations.  Working with authors in a variety of categories, Jason oversees in-house multimedia development, leveraging relationships with digital start-ups and veteran producers to add value to an author’s work at every opportunity. He has done graduate work in Religion and American literature, and currently teaches digital publishing at City College.
JASON BOOG As editor of Mediabistro Publishing, Jason Boog curates publishing events and shapes the digital publishing curriculum at He also edits the GalleyCat blog and hosts the daily Morning Media Menu podcast. Before, Jason was an investigative reporter at Judicial Reports and a publishing blogger for Know More Media. His work has appeared in The Believer, Granta,, The Revealer, and Peace Corps Writers.
SUSAN ORLEAN Author and journalist Susan Orlean has written two nonfiction works that have been the basis of films. Her 1998 book The Orchid Thief, about orchid grower John Laroche, formed the basis of the film Adaptation. Susan Orlean was portrayed by Meryl Streep in an Oscar-nominated role. An article she wrote for Women's Outside magazine about young surfer girls in Maui was the basis of the film Blue Crush. Orlean's latest book, Rin Tin Tin, turns the tables to examine the biographical history of the dog actor Rin Tin Tin. In this LitFest opening keynote, she will discuss what drives her as a writer and how her new book came to fruition.
Opening Keynote With Author Susan Orlean July 16, 2012 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
SARAH FINE Sarah Fine is the author of Sanctum (Amazon Children's Publishing), coming out in October 2012, and Scan (with co-author Walter Jury), coming out from Putnam/Penguin in fall 2013. When she's not writing, she's a child psychologist. You can find Sarah on her blog at or on Twitter: @finesarah.
Overcome Obstacles To Become the Writer You Want to Be July 25, 2012 | 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
CONSTANCE HALE Constance Hale, a journalist based in San Francisco, is the author of Sin and Syntax and the forthcoming Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch. She covers writing and the writing life at and contributes to the New York Times series Draft about the art and craft of writing. She is the former copy chief of Wired magazine and author of Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age.
5 Secrets for Wicked Good Prose July 23, 2012 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
MELISSA HOLBROOK PIERSON Melissa Holbrook Pierson is a nonfiction writer, essayist, and life-long motorcycle enthusiast. Her books include The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing; The Place You Love Is Gone: Progress Hits Home; Dark Horses and Black Beauties: Animals, Women, a Passion; and The Perfect Vehicle: What Is It About Motorcycles. She has published articles and essays in Harper's, Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, and The Onion.
SARAH MACLEAN Sarah MacLean’s love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees in history and cultural anthropology from Smith College and Harvard University before she moved to New York City, where she finally set pen to paper and wrote her own book. Since then, MacLean's romance novels have been New York Times and USA Today best-sellers, translated into more than a dozen languages, and nominated for numerous awards, including the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. MacLean burst onto the romance scene with Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake (Avon), the first in her best-selling and critically acclaimed three-book Love By Numbers series. In early 2012, she released the first book in her new, pre-Victorian Rules of Scoundrels series, A Rogue by Any Other Name (Avon). MacLean has been named one of the best new voices in romance by Booklist magazine, which hailed her as a "literary supernova," and she has quickly become one of the genre's rising stars. When she is not writing, MacLean travels the country to discuss the romance genre and its place in both gender and cultural studies. She is also a vocal advocate for issues relating to education and literacy. She lives in New York City with her husband and their dog.
Live Chat Sessions July 24 & 31, 2012 | 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
ERIKA MAILMAN Erika Mailman is the author of the novels The Witch's Trinity and Woman of Ill Fame. She has also published two nonfiction books about Oakland history and is a columnist for the Montclarion newspaper in Oakland. She has taught creative writing at Mediabistro, The University of Arizona, The Tucson Open University, and other institutions.
Live Chat Sessions July 23 & 30, 2012 | 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
KELLY MCMASTERS Kelly McMasters is the author of Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town. The book was listed as one of Oprah's top-five summer memoirs and is the basis for the documentary film The Atomic States of America, a 2012 Sundance selection. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction, Newsday, Time Out New York, and Kelly is the recipient of a Pushcart nomination and an Orion Book Award nomination. She teaches in the undergraduate writing program and Journalism Graduate School at Columbia University.
Live Chat Sessions July 25 & August 1, 2012 | 8:30pm - 9:30 pm Live Chat Sessions July 25 & August 1, 2012 | 9:30pm - 10:30 pm
ELISSA SCHAPPELL Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls and Use Me. She is a contributing editor and the Hot Type book columnist at Vanity Fair, a former senior editor of The Paris Review, and co-founder and now editor-at-large of Tin House magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her family
Keynote With Novelist Elissa Schappell July 18, 2012 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
REBECCA SKLOOT Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer. Her first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks , was one of the best-selling new books of 2010, staying on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 32 weeks and optioned to be made into a movie by Oprah Winfrey. The nonfiction book is about Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line (known as HeLa) that came from her cancer cells in 1951. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was awarded the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, awarded annually to an outstanding work of fiction or non-fiction on the theme of health and medicine. It also was awarded a Salon Book Award, and selected as one The New York Times Notable Books of the Year.
S. KIRK WALSH S. Kirk Walsh has worked at The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Details, Entertainment Weekly, and Self and contributed essays and articles to several anthologies. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Kirk is a graduate of New York University's creative writing program, where she studied with E.L. Doctorow, Peter Carey, and Mona Simpson. Her work has been published in Guernica, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and The International Herald Tribune. During recent years, she has taught undergraduate fiction writing at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Currently, she is at work on a novel.
Live Chat Sessions July 25 & August 1, 2012 | 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi Author Camera Ready @manoushz Manoush Zomorodi is a freelance reporter, moderator, and media consultant. Her multimedia ebook CAMERA READY: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online is the definitive manual for anyone appearing on camera. She is piloting a new public radio show about how innovation is changing New York. She contributes to the BBC’s Talking Movies show and hosts conferences on digital technology (including social media, online publishing, and start-ups). She also conducts private media training/strategy sessions and moderates videos for corporations and non-profits. From 1995-2006 Manoush reported and produced for BBC News, with postings in Washington, Berlin, Brussels, and New York. As a freelance reporter and anchor, she covered business and technology for Reuters Television in New York from 2006-2010. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, NY1 reporter and anchor Josh Robin, and their two kids.
How To Use Video To Capture New Readers July 23, 2012 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
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