Please note, the list of participants is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and American Rose. She also contributes to Smithsonian magazine’s history blog, Past Imperfect, and writes for Disunion, the New York Times series about the Civil War.
Michael Abraham, author of War, WV, is a businessman and author of five books about the people, history, and culture of Southwest Virginia and Southern West Virginia, including two non-fiction travelogues and three novels. He lives in Blacksburg with his wife, two dogs, and four motorcycles.
Patricia Aburdene, author of Conscious Money: Living, Creating, and Investing with Your Values for a Sustainable New Prosperity, is one of the world’s leading social forecasters and author of the Megatrends 2010. She collaborated with John Naisbitt on the publishing phenomenon Megatrends.
A.X Ahmad, author of The Last Taxi Ride, was raised in India, educated at Vassar College and M.I.T., and has worked as an international architect. His first novel in the Ranjit Singh trilogy, The Caretaker, was published last year.
Dan Albergotti, author of Millennial Teeth, is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University. His previous collection, The Boatloads, won the Poulin Poetry Prize from BOA Editions, and his chapbook, The Use of the World, came out from Unicorn Press in 2013.
Leslie Alexander, co-author of Dental Herbalism: Natural Therapies for the Mouth, is a clinical herbalist, educator and author. She teaches about the varied uses of medicinal herbs and encourages people to support their oral health, and their systemic health, through targeted herbal interventions.
Kwame Alexander, author of the 2015 Newbery Medal winning-novel The Crossover, has written 18 books, including Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, a picture book, and He Said She Said, his debut YA novel and a Junior Library Guild Selection. He is an NAACP Image Award nominee and has created 3,000 student authors through his Book-in-a-Day program.
Jen Alluisi is the organizer of the Good Reads and Good Eats book club in Charlottesville. She is a lifelong book-lover who spends most of her free time reading at home with her husband and daughter and watching Gilmore Girls re-runs.
Steve Almond is the author of eight books, most recently the New York Times bestseller Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto. His short stories have been anthologized in the Best American Short Stories and his journalism appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine.
Bob Anderson, author and illustrator of Costa Rica: A Little Rhino Coloring Book, was raised in Hawaii where he became interested in rain forests. Most recently he has been the “artist-in-residence” at the Piro Biological Research Center on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.
Jacob M. Appel, author of the novels The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up and The Biology of Luck, has published more than two hundred short stories in leading literary journals. He was most recently writer-in-residence at Yeshiva University and an instructor at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.
Andi Arndt is an Audie-nominated narrator of over fifty titles, including Invisible City by Julia Dahl, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, and The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi. She records in her Harrisonburg, Virginia, home studio.
Blake Bailey is the author of acclaimed biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson, and he is at work on the authorized biography of Philip Roth. His most recent book, The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait, is a memoir.
Taylor-Alexis Barber of Rock Hill, South Carolina is author of Tales of Riley The Mouse. Taylor is a 12 year old 7th grader in Rock Hill, SC. She lives with her parents, Twan & Sherille Barber and her older sister, Tiffany Barber.
LaShonda Katrice Barnett, author of Jam On the Vine, won the College Language Association’s Award for short fiction. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence and Brown University, and holds a PhD in American Studies from The College of William and Mary.
Jim Beall is a professional nuclear engineer with more than forty years of experience including operations, nuclear officer, USN; design, Duke Power; construction, United Engineers & Constructors; inspection, USNRC; and energy policy, USNRC Commissioner Assistant.
David Bearinger is director of Grants and Community Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox, won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize; her other titles include Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of allergy, and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Prize. She lives in Washington, DC.
Gay Beery, founding chef and owner of A Pimento Catering, enjoys bringing the love she felt at family meals growing up to the tables of those she serves today. She has worked as chef, designer, event planner and mentor to children, young adults and anyone else eager to learn and work in her kitchens.