Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Andi Arndt, narrator of over 175 audiobooks, works for authors, audiobook producers, and publishers in her home studio in the Shenandoah Valley. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Top Romance Narrators of 2015.
Lisa Bankoff, literary agent with ICM Partners, represents quality fiction and nonfiction. Clients include present and past Festival participants Carrie Brown (The Stargazer’s Sister), Julia Claiborne Johnson (Be Frank with Me), and Douglas Brinkley (Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America).
Bonnie Bernstein is a letterpress printer, writer, and graphic designer from Lexington, Va., and a member of the Virginia Arts of the Book Center (VABC) coordinating committee.
David Brenin has narrated over forty romance titles and has garnered rave reviews from journalists, bloggers, and listeners. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.
Michael V. Carlisle, the son of two authors, began his career at William Morris Agency before founding Carlisle & Company. His best-selling authors have received the Nobel, Man Booker, and Pulitzer Prizes, among others. His clients include Dava Sobel, John Casey, Elin Hilderbrand, and James Gleick.
John Casteen is UVA’s president emeritus and now a University professor teaching in English, Architecture (cultural history related to Venice), and public policy. He writes primarily about public policy issues, and he sometimes writes short fiction.
Meredith Cole was the winner of the St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic competition and her first book, Posed for Murder, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery Novel. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
Due to unforeseen circumstances and with great regret, Mr. Curtis has had to cancel his participation.
C. Michael Curtis has been an editor at The Atlantic since 1963. Under his direction, the magazine has won numerous fiction prizes, including the National Magazine Award for fiction. He has been widely published and has taught at many colleges; he currently teaches at Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.
Will Damron is a native Virginian with over 150 audiobook credits. When performing steamier romances, he records as Jeremy York, and has voiced bestselling works by Silvia Day, Maya Banks, and C.D. Reiss, among others. He is a two-time Voice Arts Award Winner and he has won multiple Earphones Awards.
Luke Daniels has narrated over 400 audiobooks. He has been the grateful recipient of thirteen Earphones awards and four Audie nominations. His work ranges from Kerouac to Updike, Nora Roberts to Heather Graham, Dean Koontz to Phillip K. Dick. His background is in classical theater and film.
Lulu Delacre, bilingual author of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Olinguito, from A to Z!, has illustrated 37 books, many of which she also wrote. A three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree, she has lectured internationally and exhibited at the Eric Carle Museum, among other venues.
Angela Dominguez, illustrator of Marta! Big and Small, was born in Mexico City, grew up in Texas, and now resides in Brooklyn. She has illustrated several books for children. As a child, she loved reading and making a mess creating pictures, and she is delighted to still be doing both.
Jennifer Elvgren, author of The Whispering Town, received the Andersen Prize, the Américas Award, a Sydney Taylor award, and a Jane Addams award. Her work has appeared on the Children’s Notable Book and Bank Street College Best Books lists.
Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers.
Ann Garvin is an author, speaker, and professor of exercise physiology, psychology, nutrition, and health. Her novels, I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie’s Watch, are about women who struggle to find their way in a world that asks too much of them.
Dallas Hudgens is the author of the novels Drive Like Hell and Season of Gene and the short-story collection Wake Up, We’re Here. He is the founder of the independent presses Relegation Books and Stillhouse Press.
Kevin McFadden is a poet and the chief operating officer of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn, is a two-time Pura Belpré winner for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and her picture book, Mango, Abuela, and Me. She is a contributing author to Flying Lessons & Other Stories, a collection of stories celebrating diversity.
Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. The author-illustrator of One Big Salad and Juana & Lucas, she studied and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and now teaches at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University.
Roye Okupe, author of E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams, is a creative specialist who founded YouNeek Studios in 2012. YouNeek allows him to pursue his dream of creating a diverse library of superheroes through graphic novels and animated productions. Okupe is a featured participant in the 2017 Festival Writer Residency program, a collaboration between the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Tom Tom Founders Festival.