Please note, the list of participants is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me, has written eight novels. She received her doctorate in English and American literature from New York University. Currently living in New York City, she is a staff writer on HBO’s forthcoming David Simon show, The Deuce.
Kwame Alexander, co-author of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, is a poet, educator, and author of twenty-one books for children, including The Crossover, which was awarded the 2015 Newbery Medal.
The founder of two literacy organizations, he regularly travels the world as a literacy advocate and expert. Currently the poet laureate of LitWorld, Alexander lives in Virginia.
Susan Berres, founder and organizer of the Bus Lines Community Poetry contest, seeks to promote poetry and flash fiction in public spaces and provide opportunities for writers of all ages to share their work.
Bill Beverly grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and studied at Oberlin College and the University of Florida. He teaches American literature and writing at Trinity University in Washington, D.C. Dodgers is his first novel.
Monica Bhide, author of Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken and contributor to Best Food Writing 2016, is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and other publications.
Richard Bonnie directs UVa’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, has chaired several panels on mental health reform in Virginia, and currently chairs a national study on the opioid epidemic. Bonnie was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1991 and received UVa’s Thomas Jefferson Award in 2007.
Eboni Bugg is a therapist & community programs director at The Women’s Initiative where she focuses on improving access to care and helping women make meaningful changes in their lives. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform.
Ashley Christensen, author of Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner, is the chef and owner of seven restaurants in Raleigh, N.C.
She is involved in many charities, including the Frankie Lemmon Foundation and Share Our Strength.
In 2014, she was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.
Stuart Firestein, author of Failure: Why Science Is So Successful, is a professor and department chair of biological sciences at Columbia University. He seeks to reach broader audiences through nonscientific writing and his support of science in the arts.
He is also an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow and an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science.
John Hart is the author of Redemption Road as well as four previous New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child, and Iron House. He is the only author in history to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel consecutively.
Ekua Holmes, illustrator of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, is a fine artist living in Boston. The first children’s book she illustrated was Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom, which was a Caldecott Honor Book and a Sibert Honor Book and for which Holmes also won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award.
Holly Hughes, editor of Best Food Writing 2016, is the seventeen-year editor of the Best Food Writing anthology, former executive editor of Fodor’s travel publications, and author of Frommer’s 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers. She selected 49 contributors for this year’s edition of the Best Food Writing anthology.
Sue Klebold, author of A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two gunmen responsible for the Columbine High School shootings. In a search to understand, she has volunteered for suicide prevention organizations, questioned experts, talked with fellow survivors of loss, and examined the crucial intersection between mental health problems and violence. A passionate advocate, Klebold is dedicated to the advancement of mental health awareness and intervention.
Todd Kliman, contributor to Best Food Writing 2016, is a two-time James Beard Award-winning writer and an essayist whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Oxford American, and many others.
Christina Baker Kline, author of the forthcoming A Piece of the World, has written and edited more than ten books. Her most recent New York Times bestseller, Orphan Train, was chosen as a “One Book” selection by over 100 communities and colleges.
Born in Cambridge, England, Kline is a graduate of Yale (BA in English), Cambridge University (MA in literature), and the University of Virginia (MFA in creative writing), where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing.
Jenée Libby is a writer of food, fiction, travel, and essay. Obsessed with vintage diner ephemera, old cookbooks, and anything Technicolor created in a JELL-O mold, she runs her mouth about all of it on her podcast, Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons.
Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Wilde Lake, began writing novels while working as a full-time journalist, publishing seven books before leaving daily journalism in 2001.
Her Tess Monaghan books have been awarded the Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha Awards, among many others. Lippman lives in Baltimore with her husband, David Simon, and their daughter.
Jeb Livingood is associate director of the UVa Creative Writing Program.
Jon Lohman, Virginia’s state folklorist, directs the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He is the author of In Good Keeping: Virginia’s Folklife Apprenticeships.
Sue London, author of the bestselling romance series, The Haberdashers, has been writing historical romance since her debut novel, Trials of Artemis.