Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson is a cage fighter from Gainseville, FL. She moved to New York to pursue musical theater and improv. She is currently a personal trainer for a hologram of Andre the Giant that has become sentient. She performs various plays and sketches in Theaters across the City and has even done her own one woman show. It's rumored that for that one woman show she had to shave her head but couldn't. Why? Because behind her hair there is no scalp, there is only another fist (Her name for that fist is Harriet "Hammer" Chesterfield). She currently does improv at the Magnet Theater and has studied under the veterans Hannah Chase, Louis Kornfeld, and Allan Fessenden. Jennifer will perform as an improvisor as part of Book Antics: Improvising Stories. 

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker is an editor with over 14 years’ experience in the publishing industry. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Eclectic Flash, Boston Literary Magazine, Newtown Literary Journal, Poets & Writers magazine, Bustle, The Daily Worth, and The Female Complaint (Shade Mountain Press). She is a contributing writer of monthly articles on books, publishing, and the intersections of media for as well as writing instructor and social media director for Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. In addition, Jennifer is a long-time member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books and the creator and host of the podcast Minorities in PublishingJennifer will join us for our panel Mind the Gap: Diversifying the Field. 

Savon Bartley

Savon Bartley is a North Chicago born writer, poet, teaching artist, and global health advocate known for eclectic readings. Featured at venues such as the Apollo Theater, The United Nations, the Auditorium Theater, and Universities across the country his work is a reflection of his experiences with mental illness, social justice, global health, and what it means to be a better man than his father. Placing 3rd in the world in 2013, Savon has coached and represented New York and New Jersey on the international poetry slam level multiple times. He is a youth mentor at Urban Word NYC and an artist for the United Nations NGO I Sell the Shadow Initiative. His work can be found or forthcoming in How to Love an Artist, Great Weather for Media, Slate Magazine, and at the Human Rights Film Festival. Savon will lead the Urban Word Poetry Workshop. 

Amy Virginia Buchanan

Amy Virginia Buchanan is a singer/songwriter, performance artist, and cultural curator. She has recorded three albums, and has produced/written/performed in two original plays, along with a number of smaller works. She is the artistic director at Spring Street Social Society, which she cofounded with her creative partner, Patrick Janelle.  She lives in Brooklyn with her cat, Whenny, and her partner, Carl, both of which encourage her creative process, in their own way. Amy will lead our Performance Workshop. 

Linda Camacho

After a decade in publishing, Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015, where she seeks children's and adult fiction across all genres. She attended Cornell University and her experience since graduation created a great background for a career in publishing. She interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, worked at Penguin in production, and settled into children's marketing at Random House before making the move to Prospect. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and you can follow her on Twitter at @LindaRandomLinda will participate in our YA Grows Up: A Genre for All panel discussion. 

Nina Crews

Nina Crews is a critically acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator. She uses photographs and photocollages to create energetic stories about young children. Her career began in 1995 with One Hot Summer Day, which Kirkus Reviews hailed as “the debut of a welcome new voice and vision.” Two of her books, The Neighborhood Mother Goose and Below were ALA Notable selections.

Nina’s work has explored a variety of themes. She has updated classic material in The Neighborhood Mother Goose, The Neighborhood Sing-Along, and Jack and the Beanstalk. She has written stories of children’s imaginary adventures in BelowSky-High GuyYou Are Here and I’ll Catch the Moon. She has explored simple experiences of urban childhood in One Hot Summer Day and Snowball

Nina is the daughter of children’s book authors Donald Crews – Freight Train; Truck; Ten Black DotsShortcut – and Ann Jonas – Round Trip; The Quilt; Splash; Color Dance. Nina lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. Nina will join us as our Story Circle author. 

Jill Dearman

Jill Dearman is the author of Bang the Keys (Penguin), a book for writers, and Queer Astrology for Men and Queer Astrology for Women (both from St. Martins, recently re-issued by MacMillan). She has worked as an arts journalist for numerous New York City publications, and taught journalism at New York University for ten years. She is an award-winning prose writer whose work has been published in New York Stories, North Atlantic Review, The Portland Review, Lilith, and numerous other publications. Jill runs a successful freelance editing / coaching business and also works as an Editor for the New York City Department of Education. A native New Yorker, mystic-about-town, and lifelong film fanatic, she enjoys taking imaginative forays along the seedy side of the street. Jill will join us for an extended reading and discussion as our headlining prose author. 

Thomas Dooley

Thomas Dooley is the author of Trespass, a winner of the National Poetry Series, selected by poet and novelist Charlie Smith. His poetry has been published by The Academy of American Poets, Poetry Daily, The Cortland Review, The Old Stock, Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine, and twice-featured on “PBS NewsHour”. He has garnered fellowships from New York University, The Jentel Foundation, and The Starlight Foundation, and is the creator of SURGE, a literary magazine that exclusively publishes art and poetry by hospitalized teenagers. Thomas is the Founding Artistic Director of Emotive Fruition, a New York-based collective of poets and actors that strives to change the way people experience live page poetry. Earlier this year, Thomas was commissioned by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of NPR’s hit show Radiolab, to produce a live show of poetry celebrating the periodic table of elements. A member of the creative writing faculty at New York University, Thomas lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Thomas will join us for an extended reading and discussion as our headlining poet. 

Madeline Felix

Madeline is a writer in New York City. In 2014, she received her MFA from Columbia University in Nonfiction Writing. While at Columbia, she also taught creative writing in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program and with Columbia's Summer Program for High School Students.  She's currently finishing her first book—Ways to be Lost—which chronicles her time in Vietnam as a U.S. Fulbright Fellow. Her written work has been published with Al Jazeera America, Huffpost Travel, Guernica Magazine, Pennsylvania Game News, xoJane, and others.  She has also been a featured writer on the Catapult podcast. By day, Madeline works in innovation consulting with @whatifglobal. Madeline will lead our Writers Workshop. 

Elizabeth Greenwood

Elizabeth Greenwood is the author of the nonfiction book Playing Dead: A Journey through the World of Death Fraud, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on August 9, 2016.  Her essays, profiles, and criticism have appeared in Atlantic MonthlyThe New YorkerThe BelieverThe New InquiryPoets & WritersAl Jazeera America, and Dissent.  She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation and the Norman Mailer Center among others. She teaches in the creative writing program of Columbia University and the English department of FIT. Elizabeth will join us for our Fall Preview. 

Hook & Eye Theater

Carrie Heitman and Chad Lindsey met on stage . . . in high school in Saginaw, Michigan. Years later, reuniting in NYC, they co-founded Hook & Eye Theater.  Together, they serve as the company’s artistic directors and operate with a core company. Each new piece is built with members of the core alongside a rotation of new and seasoned collaborators pulled from their artistic colleagues and the city’s creative community. Hook & Eye's performance history includes a staged reading of Unlawful Gatherings, an original play about hoarding and the Velvet Revolution; Fidgital Spring, a rhapsody of movement and mobile devices done in homage to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, (performed at the Figment Project on Governors Island, the Stampede Lab at the Chain in L.I.C, and Muffins in the Window at the COW). The Summoners, an impressionistic flip-book of modern small-town America and a stern reminder of the power of the natural world, ran in January 2014 on the Lower East Side. They company just finished a run of GOD IS A VERB, inspired by the mind and myth of R.Buckminster Fuller, at the Actors Fund Art Center in November 2015. Tickets are now available for their current project, She-She-She, as part of the Ice Factory Festival at the NEW OHIO theater opening July 20th, 2016. Click here for more info. 

CORE ENSEMBLE: Cynthia Babak, Jamie Effros, Emily Kunkel, Carrie Heitman, Chad Lindsey, Elizabeth London, Leah McVeigh, and Virginia Venk. Hook & Eye will lead our Story to Stage: Performing Stories event. 

Zareen Jaffery

Zareen joined S&S Books for Young Readers as Executive Editor in February 2011, continuing her focus on commercial and literary young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as teen non-fiction. Zareen works with a number of New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed authors including Jenny Han, Becca Fitzpatrick, Siobhan Vivian, Christina Lauren, Sarvenaz Tash, Lilliam Rivera, Sonya Mukherjee, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne and Octavia Spencer. Her non-fiction acquisitions include The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez, Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall, and Far from the Tree: The Young Adult Edition by Andrew Solomon. In 2016, she began acquiring for Salaam Reads, an imprint that focuses on publishing books about Muslim children and families. Her upcoming projects with Salaam Reads include books by Awakening Media recording artist Harris J, poet and TEDx speaker Mark Gonzales, as well as debut authors Karuna Riazi and H. A. Raz. Zareen served for two years as a member of the CBC Diversity Committee, and is currently a co-chair of the Diversity within ALSC Task Force. Prior to Simon & Schuster, Zareen worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Hyperion books. Zareen is a graduate of New York University. Zareen will join us for Mind the Gap: Diversifying the Field. 

William Johnson

William Johnson is the Program Director of Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to prompting LGBTQ literature. He is also the editor and publisher of Mary Literary, a literary journal dedicated to showcasing queer/gay writings of artistic merit. William will join us for Mind the Gap: Diversifying the Field. 

Kaitlyn Krieg

Kaitlyn Krieg got her start in tile sampling while in high school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She had the honor of portraying Tyler Durden in Fight Club and Corie in Barefoot in the Park. She eventually moved to NYC to further pursue her theater dreams. After many decades of tickling babies, she came to the Magnet Theater after learning about their  free intro classes to see if improv was a place for her to be. After signing up for Level 1, she is still currently studying at the Magnet Theater. Kaitlyn once stared at a batch of tomatoes and, out of fear, the tomatoes cooked themselves into a freshly baked pizza. She has had the privilege to study under Louis Kornfeld, Hannah Chase, Alan Fessenden, and Nick Kanellis. Kaitlyn will perform as an improvisor as part of Book Antics: Improvising Stories. 

Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche is the author of two young adult novels, Five Summers and Like No Other and Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer, a collection of humor essays based on some of her more questionable life choices. She is also a contributing writer for The New York Observer and The Huffington Post, and blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon. Una lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son. You can follow her on Twitter @sassycurmudgeon, and if you pre-order her next book, somewhere up in heaven, a dance circle will form and an angel will successfully jump over its own leg. Una will join us for an extended reading and discussion as your headlining Young Adult author. 

Patricio Machuca

Patricio Machuca is a comedian from New York City. He has been doing comedy for only a few months, but before that he was a fashion icon in Siberia and is responsible for the 10 mile radius trend of polar bear suspenders. Seeking to get away from fame, he came back to New York and has been bartending for the last 8 years. When he isn't doing improv, you can catch him being very shy in large crowds, making awful puns, and people watching. Patricio once saw Barack Obama sneeze on television and he said bless you. Obama looked into the camera and said thank you. He is currently training at the Magnet and has studied under Hannah Chase, Louis Kornfeld, and Allan Fessenden. Patricio will perform as an improvisor as part of Book Antics: Improvising Stories. 

Imbolo Mbue

In 1998, Imbolo Mbue moved to the US from Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University and has published fiction in Threepenny Review. She lives with her husband and two children in Manhattan. Behold the Dreamers is her first novel. Imbolo will join us for our Fall Preview. 

Regina McBride

Regina McBride is the author of four novels including The Nature of Water and Air and The Land of Women. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the New York Foundation for the Arts, she lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Hunter College. Regina will join us for our Fall Preview. 


Miranda K. Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is the author of the upcoming A Girl Walks Into a Book, coming from Seal Press in Spring 2017 - in it, she braids literary criticism, biography, and memoir in pursuit of the Brontë sisters. Her work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar online, The Ploughshares blog, and The Catapult Podcast. Formerly a writing instructor at Columbia University, Touro College, SUNY Empire State, she currently teaches writing workshops for teenage girls with Uptown Stories, and will return to Columbia as a writing center consultant in the fall. She's also a managing editor at Neuwirth & Associates, a publishing services company in Chelsea. Miranda will lead our Kids' Writers Workshop. 

Tom Rizzuto

Tom Rizzuto is a musician/writer/comedian/diaper model from Long Island, New York. His writing has appeared in such publications as History Magazine, Discover Magazine and Curves Gym Editorial. He currently teaches music history and guitar at Molloy College and Nassau Community College. He's appeared as an expert on music for Newsday and The Telecare Network and is an expert on cow tipping for fun. He casually speaks in the third person and his music can be heard as part of the soundtrack to the 2010 independent film, Miserable Man. Tom Rizzuto is an active improvisor and can be seen performing improv across New York City. Tom was once left alone in a small park in Long Island, when his mother picked him up he was wearing lion skin from a lion he himself hunted. No one asked why. He has trained at The Magnet Theater under such improv luminaries as Hannah Chase, Louis Kornfeld, and Alan Fesseden. Tom will perform as an improvisor as part of Book Antics: Improvising Stories. 

Leigh Stein

Leigh Stein is the author of the novel The Fallback Plan, a collection of poetry called Dispatch from the Future, and a memoir, Land of Enchantment, forthcoming from Plume in August. She is the Executive Director of the nonprofit literary organization Out of the Binders, and organizes two conferences a year for women and gender non-conforming writers called BinderCon. You can find her on twitter @rhymeswithbee.  Leigh will join us for Mind the Gap: Diversifying the Field. 

Ashley Woodfolk

Ashley Woodfolk graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and her life-long love of books led her straight to the publishing industry. She's a member of the CBC Diversity Committee and markets books for children and teens at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and pit bull puppy, Winnie. Her debut young adult novel, Unraveling Lovely, is due out in Fall 2017 from Delacorte/Random House Children's books. Ashley will participate in our YA Grows Up: A Genre for All panel discussion. 

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003) and Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the New York Times Magazine, and she has been awarded fellowships from the Library of Congress and Stanford University, among other awards. A former lawyer, she now teaches poetry at Princeton University. Monica will join us for our Fall Preview.