Dan Adler is the Executive Vice President and Head of Programming at Sharp Entertainment, a part of Sony Pictures Television. In the top programming position at the unscripted production company, he oversees a slate of more than 350 unscripted hours per year. Adler’s credits include some of the biggest franchises on television like TLC’s ratings juggernaut 90 Day Fiancé and WE’s number one series Love After Lockup, as well as the 2022 breakout hits Inmate to Roommate on A&E and Love Off the Grid for Max. In 2023, Adler also oversaw Bravo’s new ballroom dance docuseries Dancing Queens, the second season of Help! I’m in a Secret Relationship! for MTV, as well as TLC’s new ensemble series Last Resort and their forthcoming social experiment Love & Translation. Since he joined Sharp Entertainment in 2009, Adler has produced some of the highest rated, and critically acclaimed, cable programs of the last decade. During his tenure he has overseen thousands of hours of television, repeatedly transforming specials and pilots into hit series and spinoffs like Travel Channel’s Man v Food, National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, Science Channel’s Punkin Chunkin, and TLC’s Extreme Couponing. For Discovery ID his credits include Dates From Hell, Momsters, and The Secret Lives of Stepford Wives. And for A&E and Lifetime he has overseen multiple seasons of Biography, Bad Ink, and Marrying Millions.
Janine Annett is the author of the humor book I Am “Why Do I Need Venmo?” Years Old. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other places. She has taught humor writing for the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, Gotham Writers, Thurber House, and the Hudson Valley Writers Center. She lives in New York with her husband, son, and dog.
Christine Barker is the author of Third Girl from the Left, a New York Times Editor’s Book choice and a Good Morning America “Buzz book.” Her memoir describes her professional life as a dancer performing in A Chorus Line on Broadway at the onset of the AIDS epidemic during the 1980s. Before joining the New York cast, she opened the show in London at the Drury Lane Theatre. In addition to many national tours and off-Broadway productions, she was featured in numerous national television commercials. After retiring from her theatre and film career, she attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she earned an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction. She is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, but she now lives in Connecticut. She is married and has two children.
Lisa Belkin is an award-winning journalist and the author of narrative nonfiction books, including Genealogy of a Murder and Show Me a Hero, made by David Simon into an HBO miniseries. Her career at the New York Times includes stints as a national correspondent, medical reporter, and contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Westchester, New York.
Marcia Bradley, seeking a ‘second life,’ moved from Los Angeles to study at Sarah Lawrence College earning her MFA in 2017 after receiving her BA from Antioch University. Marcia believes many people face untenable situations causing life altering choices to be made; her novel and published pieces focus on these themes. She has received a Bronx Council on the Arts/New York City BRIO Award for Fiction and was a Pushcart nominee in 2022. Her writing has appeared in The Chicago Review of Books, Two Hawks, Eclectica, Drunk Monkeys, The Writing Disorder, Hippocampus, and The Capital Gazette among others. A native of Chicago, Marcia teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in the Bronx. https://marciabradley.com/ Marcia Bradley’s debut novel, The Home for Wayward Girls, published by HarperCollins on April 4th, is on “Goodreads 105 of the buzziest novels of 2023 list.” Growing up in the 1990s, a young girl escapes her abusive parents–and the “ranch” they run for “bad” girls—becoming an advocate for teen runaways and a foe of today’s Troubled Teen Industry where teens are sent to programs in isolated locales and wilderness camps. This heartfelt novel offers hope despite harrowing circumstances and pays homage to the difference teachers and librarians make in students’ lives. Marcia’s novel was written to honor her sister who spent her life in residential programs.
Ari's first play, Scenes From Childhood was staged in early 2020 for a brief run in downtown Manhattan. Set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis in New York City, Scene's From Childhood brings to life a family of performers wrestling with ambition, tragedy and the stories we tell about who we are. Using multiple media, including live VHS video and several piano pieces from the Romantic era, the play spans two generations and thirty years, as Ari portrays the two main characters based on himself and his late father, the concert pianist Natan Brand. Ari has performed on stages on and off-Broadway and across the country under the direction of a number of celebrated theater makers, including Tony Kushner, David Cromer, Bartlett Sher, James Lapine, Mary Zimmerman, Michael Greif and Kathleen Marshall, and alongside acclaimed actors such as David Straithairn, Oscar Isaac, Laurie Metcalf and Tony Shalhoub. He can also be seen on film and television, playing Danny in the FX series Fosse/Verdon with Sam Rockwell and Michelle WIlliams (who won an Emmy for her performance); Jem Moreland on Amazon's multi-Emmy-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; and as a guest on other series including The Other Two, Blue Bloods, FBI, FBI: International, and White Collar. Ari played the title character in My Name Is Asher Lev, the acclaimed off-Broadway play based on Chaim Potok’s novel. He performed the role of Asher Lev 363 times over 11 months at the Westside Theater in midtown Manhattan, in what the New York Times called “a haunting performance as a child who grows into a man, suffering the torture of a talent that offends the world into which he was born.” The play won the Outer Critic's Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. Ari lives in Manhattan with his wife Caitlin, a professor at Rutgers University, and their two children.
Kate Brandt is a writer, adult literacy teacher, traveler, and student of Buddhism. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has appeared in literary anthologies and a number of publications, including Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Literary Mama, The Westchester Review, and Redivider. Hope for the Worst is her first novel--a book about being in love, despair, magic, and the redemption of female friendship. To read more of Kate's writing, go to her website, Katebrandt.net. You can also find her on instagram and twitter @Kbrandtwriter.
Heather Cabot is an award-winning journalist, author and speaker. She is currently co-authoring LEVEL UP (Penguin Portfolio, 2022) with voting rights champion Stacey Abrams and Now Corporation CEO Lara Hodgson. She is the author of THE NEW CHARDONNAY (Crown Currency, 2020) and co-author of GEEK GIRL RISING (St. Martin’s Press, 2017). A former ABC News correspondent, Heather also serves on the alumni board of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a trustee of Community Synagogue of Rye. She and her husband, Neeraj Khemlani, president and co-head of CBS News, are proud parents of twins Ian and Samantha.
Margot Clark-Junkins has written about art and culture for the Rye Record and she has curated exhibits and led art tours for the Rye Arts Center. Her book on WWII will be published by Roman & Littlefield in 2024. Margot is one of the directors of the Literary Festival.
Vanessa Cuti's fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2021, The Kenyon Review, AGNI, West Branch, Indiana Review, Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Shenandoah, The Rumpus, and others. She received her MFA from Stony Brook University and lives in the suburbs of New York. The Tip Line (Crooked Lane, 2023) is her debut novel.
Karen Dukess is the author of the novel The Last Book Party, which was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers and IndieNext pick. She hosts the Castle Hill Author Talks, a series of in-person and virtual interviews with notable contemporary writers, who have included Gabrielle Zevin, Patrick Radden Keefe, Robert Jones, Jr., Miranda Cowley Heller, and Elizabeth McCracken. She teaches writing at Truro Center for the Arts on Cape Cod and the Wainwright House in Rye, New York. She has a degree in Russian Studies from Brown University and a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University. She lives with her family in Pelham, New York, and spends as much time as possible in Truro on Cape Cod.
Patricia Dunn (aka T. M. Dunn) is author of Her Father's Daughter (Crooked Lane, July 2023), Last Stop On The 6 (Bordighera Press, 2021,) Rebels By Accident (2014). She has served as Senior Director of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, where she holds an MFA in creative writing. She coaches aspiring and established writers and teaches creative writing workshops. She is a co-founder of Key to the Castle Workshop and the co-host of the Westport Library's podcast, "Go Ahead, Write Something." She lives in Stamford, Connecticut where she is currently working on her next novel, with Blanqui, her rescue puppy and biggest fan, snuggled at her side. TikTok @tmdunnauthor Instagram @patriciadunnauthor
Katherine Dykstra is the author of WHAT HAPPENED TO PAULA: An Unsolved Death and the Danger of American Girlhood (W.W. Norton), which was on Best Books of Summer lists in the New York Times Book Review, People magazine, and the Chicago Tribune among others. She served as senior nonfiction editor at Guernica for many years and was recently a Writer in Residence at Monmouth University. Her essays have been published in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Guernica and Poets and Writers among others. She is at work on a novel that takes place in a maternity home in the 1960s.
BK Fischer is the author of Ceive, a finalist for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award, and four other books of poetry—Radioapocrypha, My Lover’s Discourse, St. Rage’s Vault, and Mutiny Gallery. Also the author of Museum Mediations, a critical study of ekphrasis, Fischer has published poems and reviews in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Jacket2, Boston Review, WSQ, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, FIELD, The Account, and elsewhere. She teaches the Comma Sutra in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University and is currently the poet laureate of Westchester County, New York and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. You can find her @bk_on_hudson or www.bkfischer.com.
Lori Fontanes has written stories for various print and digital media on topics ranging from motorsports and poultry to food, the environment and politics. Her first film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and her award-winning documentary, “The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**” took a comedic look inside her run for governor of California. Lori is also an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College where she received her MFA in Creative Writing. She is currently working on a memoir about the history of bad food in one body—hers.
Avery Carpenter Forrey
Avery Carpenter Forrey is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Cut, Lit Hub, GQ, and elsewhere. As Managing Editor at theSkimm, she cowrote the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Skimm Your Life. She holds an MFA in fiction from NYU and lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Social Engagement is her first novel.
Paula Fung lives in Rye, NY, along with her husband, and three daughters. She produces Writes & Bites in Rye, a reading salon in her hometown. She also produces a show on public access television, Rye Views, and co-hosts a podcast; Cook and the Comic. Her personal essays are on the things she knows, which are; cooking, sailing, and family life. Her work has been published at the blog Sailing Anarchy and Read 650; “The Kids are Alright”, “Holidays”, “ On Mothers”, and “Jew-ish. Paula is one of the directors of the Literary Festival.
Priscilla Gilman is a former professor of English literature at both Yale University and Vassar College and the author of The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy (Harper), and The Critic's Daughter, to be published by Norton in February, 2023. She graduated from Yale summa cum laude, with exceptional distinction in the English major. She went on to earn her masters and Ph.D. in English and American literature at Yale and spent two years as an assistant professor of English at Yale and four years as an assistant professor of English at Vassar College before leaving academia in 2006. From 2006-2011, she worked as a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates, representing a wide range of literary fiction, inspirational memoir, wellness, and psychology/education books. During these years, she also taught poetry appreciation to inmates in a restorative justice program and to New York City public school students and spoke at numerous early childhood and education conferences and events. The Anti-Romantic Child, Gilman’s first book, was excerpted in Newsweek magazine and featured on the cover of its international edition. It received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, was an NPR Morning Edition Must-Read, Slate‘s Book of the Week, selected as one of the year’s Best Books by the Leonard Lopate Show, and chosen as a Best Book of the year by The Chicago Tribune. The Anti-Romantic Child was one of five nominees for a Books for a Better Life Award for Best First Book and was awarded the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, rewarding the best in family-friendly media and literature. Andrew Solomon called it “rapturously beautiful and deeply moving, profound, and marvelous.” Gilman’s second book, The Critic’s Daughter, was published by W.W. Norton on February 7th, 2023; a memoir about her relationship with her brilliant and complicated father, the late drama and literary critic Richard Gilman, it is set in the heyday of intellectual culture in New York of the 1970s and 80s. The Critic's Daughter received starred reviews in Kirkus and Booklist. Gilman has written about literature, parenting, autism, and education and reviewed fiction and literary non-fiction for the Daily Beast, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times’ Motherlode, The Chicago Tribune, MORE, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Redbook, the Boston Globe, and Huff Post Parents. Her New York Times op-ed, “Don’t Blame Autism for Newtown,” was the most shared piece on the site for two days after its publication and her piece for Slate, “’My Spaceship Knows Which Way To Go’: How David Bowie Helped my Autistic Son Become Himself,” has been read by millions of people worldwide after being praised and shared by the official David Bowie website and social media accounts. Since 2011, Gilman has taught literature in countless settings: private book groups, classes for Yale Alumni College, an Asian literature book group for the Asia Society in Manhattan, workshops in high schools and at non-profits for Humanities New York, graduate seminars for medical students at Mt Sinai Medical School, high school English classes at the Collegiate School and Grace Church School. She was the parenting/education advice columnist for #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution website and since 2013, has been a regular book critic for the Boston Globe. She speaks frequently at schools, conferences, and organizations about parenting, education, autism, and the arts. She has received fellowships and grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Speranza Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the New York Council for the Humanities. In 1997, Gilman won the Yale College Graduate Prize Teaching Fellowship; in 2019, she won the Yale Alumni College Distinguished Teaching award. In 2018, she became a certified Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness meditation teacher.
Jimin Han was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island; Dayton, Ohio; and Jamestown, New York. Her work has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. She is the author of A Small Revolution and has written for American Public Media's Weekend America, Poets & Writers, and Catapult, and other media outlets. She teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, Pace University, and community writing centers. She lives outside New York City with her husband and children. Her book THE APOLOGY: in South Korea, a 105-year-old woman receives a letter. Ten days later, she has been thrust into the afterlife, fighting to head off a curse that will otherwise devastate generations to come. Jeonga Cha has always shouldered the burden of upholding the family name. When she sent her daughter-in-law to America to cover up an illegitimate birth, she was simply doing what was needed to preserve the reputations of her loved ones. How could she have known that decades later, this decision would return to haunt her—threatening to tear apart her bond with her beloved son, her relationship with her infuriatingly insolent sisters, and the future of the family she has worked so hard to protect? Part ghost story and part family epic, The Apology is an incisive tale of sisterhood and diaspora, reaching back to the days of Japanese colonialism and the Korean War, and told through the singular voice of a defiant, funny, and unforgettable centenarian.
Jared Harél is the author of Let Our Bodies Change the Subject, which was selected by Kwame Dawes as the Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry (University of Nebraska Press, 2023) and Go Because I Love You (Diode Editions, 2018.) He’s been awarded the ‘Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize’ from American Poetry Review, as well as the ‘William Matthews Poetry Prize’ from Asheville Poetry Review. Recent poems have appeared in such venues as Electric Literature, Lit Hub, Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, Southern Review, The SUN, and Westchester Review. Harél teaches writing, plays drums, and lives in Westchester, NY with his wife and two kids.
Iman Hariri-Kia is an Iranian-American writer, editor, and author born and based in New York City. A recipient of the Annabelle Bonner medal and a nationally acclaimed journalist, she covers sex, relationships, identity, and adolescence. Iman previously served as the Deputy Editor of Her Campus, where she acted as an editorial site lead and relaunched the brand for a Gen Z audience, as well as the Sex & Relationships Editor of Bustle and Elite Daily, where she hosted the YouTube series "No Shame Sex-Ed." Her work has appeared in Vogue, NY Mag’s The Cut, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, and other outlets. Apple Books named Iman one of its writers to watch in 2022. Her debut novel, A Hundred Other Girls, a smart, modern story about the shifting media landscape and one Middle Eastern-American writer finding her place in it, was published in summer 2022 to critical acclaim. It was named Barnes & Nobles' August Fiction Pick, as well as one of the best books of the summer by Good Morning America, USA Today, the New York Post, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and more. Kirkus Reviews calls A Hundred Other Girls "a refreshing take on the classic media-insider-insider novel, championing the value of passion and thoughtfulness over career." Her sophomore novel, The Most Famous Girl In The World, will be published in May 2024.
Andrea Atkins Hessekiel
Andrea Atkins Hessekiel, a journalist working in both the newspaper and magazine industries, has freelanced for more than 30 years for national print and digital publications. Hundreds of her articles and essays have appeared under the byline Andrea Atkins in O, The Oprah Magazine; AARP, The Magazine; The Washington Post, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, NextAvenue.com and EverydayHealth.com to name just a few. Over the last decade, Andrea has taught personal essay writing to adults at the Scarsdale Adult School and coached hundreds of high school students on their college essays through her company My College Essay Coach.
VP, Executive Editor at Henry Holt & Co, Serena Jones joined Holt in 2010 after working at HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and NAL. Her list is mostly narrative nonfiction, with special interests in current events, politics, biography, social justice, science, true crime, and adventure, though she makes the occasional foray into fiction. Favorite recent titles include Pelosi by Molly Ball, Black Wave by Kim Ghattas, and The Book of V. by Anna Solomon, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick. Serena has worked with, among others, Stacey Abrams, Jimmy Carter, Lenny Kravitz, Skip Hollandsworth, Tim Weiner, Gretchen Morgenson, Bill O’Reilly, John Pomfret, Diane Guerrero, Nathan Wolfe, Michael Grunwald, Taylor Branch, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Walter Isaacson, and Bob Woodward.
Nicole Graev Lipson
Nicole Graev Lipson is the author of the forthcoming memoir-in-essays Mothers and Other Fictional Characters. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, Gettysburg Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among other publications. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and has been shortlisted several times for The Best American Essays. You can find her at www.nicolegraevlipson.com.
After completing her BA in Japanese Language and Literature and Spanish Studies at the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Ivey Business School in Canada, Ann spent time working in marketing and consulting. Since 2010 she has been working as a parent educator, most recently with the London-based The Parent Team. She is on the Board of 5 Steps to Five, is a Trustee for Wainwright House and has served on the Heard in Rye committee. She loves meeting with her writing group - The Ten - each week. Ann has lived in Rye since 2013 and is thrilled to be part of the Watershed organization team.