Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.

Jane Alison

Nine Island

Jane Alison, author of Nine Island, has written three other novels,The Love-Artist, The Marriage of the Sea, and Natives and Exotics; a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes; and a translation, Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid. She is a professor and director of creative writing at UVa.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Genre: Fiction

Jeffery Renard Allen

Song of the Shank

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books including the novel Song of the Shank, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; the short story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Jennifer Alluisi

Jennifer 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.

Speaker's Twitter Genre: Fiction

Hannah Assadi


Hannah Lillith Assadi, author of Sonora, received her master of fine arts degree in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts, where she was granted a Woolrich Award. Raised in Arizona by her Jewish-American mother and Palestinian father, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Marie Coles Baker

Marie Coles Baker, an avid reader, is a member of the African American Authors Book Club. She retired from Howard University School of Social Work and is interested in education and social justice issues.

Genre: Fiction

Robert Bausch

The Legend of Jesse Smoke

Robert Bausch, author of The Legend of Jesse Smoke, was born in Georgia and raised near Washington, D.C. He earned his BA, MA, and MFA degrees at George Mason University. He has received the Fellowship of Southern Writers Hillsdale Award and the John Dos Passos Prize.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Clare Beams

We Show What We Have Learned and Other Stories

Clare Beams, author of We Show What We Have Learned, has appeared in One Story, n+1, Ecotone, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and currently blogs for Ploughshares.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Speaker's Twitter Genre: Fiction

John Benditt

The Boatmaker

John Benditt is the author of The Boatmaker, his debut novel, which received the 2016 Goldberg Prize, the National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. Before embarking on his fiction-writing career he was an editor at Scientific American and Science and then served as editor-in-chief of Technology Review: MIT’s Magazine of Innovation.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Genre: Fiction

Michelle Brafman

Bertrand Court

Michelle Brafman is the author of novels Bertrand Court and Washing the Dead. Her work has appeared in Slate, Tablet, the Los Angeles Review of Books, LitHub, and elsewhere. She  teaches fiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing program.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Twitter Genre: Fiction

Carrie Brown

The Stargazer's Sister

Carrie Brown, author of The Stargazer’s Sister, has written six other novels and a collection of short stories. Among her awards is a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. She lives in Virginia with her husband, the novelist John Gregory Brown.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Genre: Fiction

Elizabeth Cox

A Question of Mercy: A Novel

Due to unforeseen circumstances and with great regret, Ms. Cox has had to cancel her participation.

Elizabeth Cox, author of A Question of Mercy, has also written poetry and short story collections and four other novels: The Ragged Way People Fall out of Love, Night Talk (recipient of the Lillian Smith Award and a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), Familiar Ground, and The Slow Moon.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Marcy Dermansky

The Red Car

Marcy Dermansky is the author of The Red Car, a NYT Editor’s Choice Pick, and two other novels, Bad Marie and Twins. Her short fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, Guernica, The Indiana Review, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward Albee Foundation.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Twitter Genre: Fiction

Viet Dinh

After Disasters: A Novel

Viet Dinh, author of After Disasters, received his MFA from the University of Houston and currently teaches at the University of Delaware. He is an O. Henry Prize Winner, has received a NEA fellowship, and his stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Witness, and Threepenny Review, among others.

Genre: Fiction

Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves

Emily Fridlund‘s most recent novel is History of Wolves: A Novel. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva, FiveChapters, New Orleans Review, Sou’wester, New Delta Review, and Portland Review. She currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Genre: Fiction