Local Rye author and business leader Elizabeth (Libby) Connolly Alexander personifies the true meaning of the "American Dream.” Over the course of 30 years, Libby along with her brother and husband built a nearly $5 billion business, Connolly, Inc., from the ground up. As Connolly, Inc.’s former CEO, Libby reflects in her recent book– Figuring It Out: A Memoir About Connolly, Inc.’s Journey To The Top— on how incredibly a business can be transformed by “figuring it out” along the way. In her book, Libby shares many valuable business lessons that can serve as a “down to earth” guide for those looking to succeed at beginning or expanding their business.
Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Maureen Mancini Amaturo, New York based fashion/beauty writer/columnist, has an MFA in Creative Writing, teaches writing, leads Sound Shore Writers Group, which she founded in 2007, and produces literary events. Her fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, poetry, and comedy are widely published. Once named “America’s next Flannery O’Connor,” Maureen later was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and TDS Fiction Award in 2020. At the 2009 Edgar Awards, she received a Certificate of Recognition for her efforts in promoting the works of Edgar Allan Poe. A handwriting analyst diagnosed her with an overdeveloped imagination. She’s working to live up to that.
Janine Annett is the author of I Am "Why Do I Need Venmo?" Years Old: Adventures in Aging. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker's Daily Shouts, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The New York Times, Real Simple, The Rumpus, and many other places.
Ann Banks' writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, Harper's, and Vogue, among other places. Her story about connecting with a woman whose great-grandfather was enslaved by my great-great-grandfather was published last year in Smithsonian. In 2019, she founded the website, Confederates in My Closet: Reckoning with Ancestors on the Wrong Side of History. It is now a sponsored blog on History News Network. She has also published eight books for children as well as First Person America, an anthology of oral history collected by the Federal Writers Project.
Kim Berns is an American humorist, standup comic, writer, and producer of comedy shows and charity events. Kim is a radio host and podcast host of ‘What’s the Story’ and ‘Cook and Comic’. She has a BS in Journalism and Communications from the University of Texas and a MS in Business Communications from Northwestern University. After 14 years in corporate telecommunications in Chicago and WashDC as a regulatory expert, state lobbyist and lobbyist to the FCC, Kim started her design firm, still known as Kim Berns Design. She resides in Rye, NY with her nuclear family.
Kristina Andersson Bicher
Kristina Andersson Bicher is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Brooklyn Rail, Harvard Review, Hayden’s Ferry, Plume, Narrative, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She is author of the poetry collection She-Giant in the Land of Here-We-Go-Again (MadHat Press 2020) and Just Now Alive (FLP 2014), as well as a translation of Swedish poet Marie Lundquist’s I Walk Around Gathering Up My Garden for the Night (Bitter Oleander Press 2020). She holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
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.
Joy Callaway is the international bestselling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, Secret Sisters, and The Greenbrier Resort (May 17, 2022). She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, John, and her children, Alevia and John.
Melanie Cane & Baby Bop
Melanie Cane, a retired child psychiatrist, who has covered stories for The Rye Record for over 15 years, has written a children's picture book, Dippy’s Great Adventure(www.dippysgreatadventure.com). She is hard at work on its sequel, Dippy Pays it Forward. The inspiration for the Dippy series came from her rescue dogs, her column about Rye rescue dogs, her work in animal shelters, and her personal foray into a previously unrecognized creative side of herself. She observed, while interviewing several women for her new column about Rye moms who became accidental entrepreneurs, that many people--especially women--are discovering and exploring their previously unknown, or at least untapped, creativity during the pandemic, and also as they grow older.
Margot Clark-Junkins graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in English Literature and Studio Art (Bronze Sculpture). She received a MA degree in the History of Design & Curatorial Studies from the Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Design Museum. Over the last 2 decades, she has written articles for the Rye Record on art and culture and curated art exhibitions and led art tours for the Rye Arts Center. Recently, her love for writing has overtaken her love for art and she is happily at work on 3 manuscripts at once—history, memoir, and YA fiction. Margot is one of the directors of the Literary Festival.
Caroline Cupp is a progressive Christian pastor and bioethicist living outside of Philadelphia with degrees from Davidson, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on the intersection of spirituality, health, and justice. Along with Jessica Slice, she is the co-author of the upcoming This Is How We Play (Dial), a picture book focusing on families with disabilities. Caroline lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and four-year-old son.
Kathy Curto teaches at The Writing Institute and Montclair State University, as well as several nonprofit organizations and community centers in the NY metropolitan area. She is the author of Not for Nothing-Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood, published by Bordighera Press. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, on NPR, in the essay collection, Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in Barrelhouse, Toho Journal, The Mom Egg Review, HerStry, La Voce di New York, Drift, Talking Writing, The Inquisitive Eater, among others. Kathy also serves on the faculty of the Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy and she lives with her family live in the Hudson Valley. Please visit her site: www.kathycurto.com.
Katherine Dykstra is the author of WHAT HAPPENED TO PAULA: ON THE DEATH OF AN AMERICAN GIRL. Published by W.W. Norton, WHTP was a New York Times Best Book of Summer and a People magazine Best Summer Read among other superlatives. Creative Capital named her an "artist to watch" for her work on the Paula Oberbroeckling story. For many years, she served as senior nonfiction editor at Guernica and taught narrative nonfiction in NYU's continuing studies program. Her essays have been published in The Washington Post, Crab Orchard Review, The Common, Shenandoah, Gulf Coast, Brain, Child, Poets and Writers, Real Simple and the Random House anthology 20 Something Essays by 20 Something Writers, among other places, and her work has been included in the "Notables" section of both the 2015 and 2016 Best American Essays collections.
Maureen Farrell is a reporter covering initial public offerings and capital markets for the Wall Street Journal in New York. She previously covered Wall Street, banking, and M&A for the MoneyBeat blog. Prior to joining the Wall Street Journal in 2013 she worked as a reporter at various publications, including Forbes and CNNMoney. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in English literature and the Columbia School of Journalism. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
B.K. Fischer is the author of Ceive, which will be released in September 2021 from BOA Editions, and four previous collections of poetry—Radioapocrypha (2018), My Lover’s Discourse (2018), St. Rage’s Vault (2013), and Mutiny Gallery (2011). Also the author of a critical study, Museum Mediations: Reframing Ekphrasis in Contemporary American Poetry (2006), she has published poems and reviews in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry Northwest, Boston Review, Jacket2, FIELD, WSQ, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, Los Angeles Review of Books, Modern Language Studies and elsewhere. She holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and a PhD in English and American Literature from New York University. A former poetry editor of Boston Review, she teaches The Comma Sutra in the School of the Arts at Columbia University. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, with her husband and three children, and is currently the poet laureate of Westchester County.
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 a gubernatorial recall in California. Lori is also an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College where she received her MFA in Creative Writing.
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.
Laurie Gelman is a former journalist/talk show host who spent 25 years in Broadcasting before trying her hand at writing fiction. She started her career as a video jockey on a Canadian show called Rock n Talk then moved to Miami to work as a reporter for the Fox station. WSVN. Her next job was as co-host of the f/X morning show Breakfast Time with Tom Bergeron. She also spent time as a correspondent for Good Morning America and the CBS Early Show. Laurie set her sights on writing seven years ago and has written three best-selling books, Class Mom, You’ve Been Volunteered and Yoga Pant Nation. Laurie lives in New York City with her husband Michael and two daughters, Jamie and Misha.
Virginia Hume graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in History. She spent the first few years of her career in marketing before she was bitten by the political bug, after which she spent a couple of decades in politics and public affairs communications. They say truth is stranger than fiction - at some point, Virginia decided politics had gotten a little TOO strange, and she turned to fiction. Haven Point, her debut novel, was published in June by St. Martin's Press. Virginia lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and Chester, an 11-pound bichon who thinks he's a German Shepherd.
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.
Robin Jovanovich is Publisher of The Rye Record, a community newspaper founded in 1996. She has worked as an editor at The Westport News, Family Weekly, Good Housekeeping and Self and as a freelancer for Conde Nast, Us magazine, The San Diego Tribune, The Westchester Wag and The Patent Trader. She is the author of a children’s mystery.
Tom McDermott contributed columns and reporting to Rye’s community newspaper, The Rye Record, before being named Editor in 2013. Prior to that, he roamed the globe as an administrative executive at Time Inc//Time Warner. He was raised in Forest Hills Gardens, NY and is grateful to his mother for weekly trips to the public library and a lifetime of reading.
Annabel Monaghan is the author of two novels for young adults, A Girl Named Digit and Double Digit (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012, 2014). She is also the author of Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big? (Fischer Press 2016), a collection of essays based on her column that appears in The Rye Record. Her first novel for adults, Nora Goes Off Script, will be published in June 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. She lives in Rye, NY with her husband and three sons.
Eileen Moskowitz-Palma, a former elementary school teacher, is an alumna of Sarah Lawrence College’s The Writing Institute, where she subsequently taught novel writing for the past seven years. Eileen has combined her love of teaching and writing to bring virtual and in-person writing programs to kids through partnerships with public libraries and the Girl Scouts. School Library Journal called Camp Clique, the first book in Eileen’s middle grade series, “a powerful middle grade novel about the difficulty of both forgiveness and trust, as well as the nature of true friendship.
Amy Nathan is an award-winning author of nonfiction for adults and young people, including A Ride to Remember, co-authored with Sharon Langley, a follow-up to Amy’s book for adults, Round and Round Together. A graduate of Harvard with master’s degrees from Harvard and Columbia, she also wrote books for young people on women’s history, civil rights, music, dance, homework, and allowances.