Rachel Kempster Barry has been an author, publisher marketing exec, indie bookseller, and book festival director. She has co-written several books about creativity and kindness including The Happy Books (Sourcebooks) and This Book Is About You (DK Books). She teaches at The Writing Circle and is the VP of Marketing for global publisher Insight Editions.
Mary Lynn Becza is the Assistant Director of the Morristown & Morris Township Library. She is a graduate of Douglass College and received her Master’s Degree from Rutgers University School of Information and Library Science. Mary Lynn has a special interest in fiction Readers Advisory and can often be found at the Library recommending her favorite new titles to patrons.
Jamie Brenner is the best-selling author of seven novels, including The Forever Summer and her latest, Gilt. People Magazine calls her books “a delightful escape wherever you are.” Publishers Weekly says of Gilt, “This beach read sparkles like a diamond.” After twenty-five years in New York City, Jamie now lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spends her summers traveling to the beach towns that inspire her books.
Cindy Callaghan is the award-winning author of eleven novels including Just Add Magic, which was developed into an Emmy-nominated Amazon Original series. Her award-winning book Saltwater Secrets is set up by a major studio. Callaghan’s most recent releases, The Girl Who Ruined Christmas and My Big Heart-Shaped Fail, are actively being shopped to producers, networks, and streamers, along with her robust portfolio of original projects.
Moderating discussion with James Patterson.
Sarah Cantin is an Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she edits a list of upmarket commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her best-selling and critically acclaimed authors include Therese Anne Fowler, Rachel Hawkins, Carola Lovering, Karin Tanabe, Laurie Albanese, and Lynda Cohen Loigman. Prior to joining SMPG, Sarah spent nine years at Atria Books, where she edited Taylor Jenkins Reid, Lisa Jewell, Jennifer Weiner, and Lucinda Riley, among others. She lives in Manhattan with her husband.
Cherise Fisher began her career in publishing more than 25 years ago. Over the course of her career as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and Editor in Chief of Plume (an imprint of Penguin Random House), she has edited and published several national best-selling and award-winning authors. As an agent, she is interested in working with novelists who have multiple compulsively readable yarns in their head (both historical and contemporary), memoirists who showcase the diversity of human experience, and non-fiction writers who seek to provoke, inspire, and educate. Her intention is that all the books she helps bring into the world are relevant, enduring, and help readers maximize their life.
Carol Fitzgerald is the president of The Book Report Network. The company’s websites, Bookreporter.com and ReadingGroupGuides.com, have become the gathering places for a large and devoted community of booklovers since 1996. Carol is known for her in-depth author interviews. She hosts the “Bookreporter Talks To” video/podcast series, as well as “Bookaccino Live: A Lively Talk About Books,” a monthly book preview program, and the “Bookaccino Live” Book Group series, a book group discussion program with a featured author.
Dr. Sandeep Jauhar is the best-selling author of several acclaimed books on medical topics: Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, Doctored, and Heart: A History, which was named a best book of 2018 by The Mail on Sunday, Science Friday, and the Los Angeles Public Library, and was a PBS NewsHour/New York Times book club pick; it was also a finalist for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize. His forthcoming book, My Father’s Brain, will be published on April 11, 2023.
In conversation with Sara Manning Peskin.
Robin Kall founded Reading with Robin in 2002 as a Saturday morning radio talk show. Marking its 20th anniversary this fall, the Reading with Robin brand has grown to include a podcast, Instagram live, a Rhode Island-based events series, and national speaking engagements. Kall is also a frequent contributor to the Providence Journal and The Ethel from AARP. You can find Robin wherever there are readers. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and beloved corgi, Benny.
Candace Kelley is an Emmy-nominated Journalist and Professor. She teaches a series of television and media law courses at Rowan University’s Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. She also created the course Natural Hair & Tangled Politics for the Africana program, a class that explores the history of the laws and policies that have shaped how the hairstyles of women of color are received. She recently curated The Lighthouse, an exhibit that explores New Jersey’s historic landmark decision about integration in the Morris School District. During her spare time, she commentates for various shows about headlining legal news.
In conversation with Dolen Perkins-Valdez.
Meredith Taylor Kennedy joined the Innocence Project in 2012 to direct the Innocence Network Support Unit, a team of professionals dedicated to strengthening individual innocence organizations working in coalition to free innocent people and redress the causes of wrongful convictions. Meredith provides capacity-building support to innocence organization leaders around the country, helping them identify and achieve goals in the areas of strategic planning, board engagement, and organizational structure.
Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Meredith directed the coalition of 80 chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council. She also served as the manager of special projects for Friends of the High Line. Meredith holds a master’s degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Indiana University’s Lily School of Philanthropy. She lives with her husband and two children in Jersey City, NJ.
In conversation with M. Chris Fabricant.
Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times best-selling author of seven novels including Reconstructing Amelia, A Good Marriage, and most recently the Good Morning America Buzz pick Friends Like These, which she is currently adapting with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. She’s been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex awards and Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage are being developed for television by Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films at HBO and Amazon. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
In conversation with Chris Pavone.
Amy Poeppel is the author of Musical Chairs (winner of the Connecticut Book Award), Limelight, and Small Admissions. Her fourth novel, The Sweet Spot, will be out in February 2023. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, LitHub, the New York Times, Belladonna Comedy, and Working Mother. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she and her husband live in New York City, Litchfield County, CT, and Frankfurt, Germany.
Keith Rosso is the Library Media Specialist at Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown. He has been at FMS for the past 22 years. Keith has been the host of the Morris Education Foundation “Battle of the Books” at FMS for many years. He really gets excited when kids get to show off their reading comprehension skills. Keith enjoys researching new adventures to experience with his family.
Moderating session with James Patterson.
Amanda Toronto is the Children’s Book Buyer for WORD Bookstores in Brooklyn and Jersey City. She has her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. Amanda lives in New York City with her family.
Daron Vaught is a sports broadcaster, reporter, and host who can be found on various outlets for multiple organizations, including USA Baseball, the Durham Bulls, ACC Network Extra, and ESPN’s streamed family of networks. He played baseball as a collegian at Emory & Henry College, where he earned degrees in Mass Communication and Creative Writing, and later achieved his M.A. in Interactive Media from Elon University in NC.
Courtney Zoffness is the author of Spilt Milk, out now in paperback, named a best memoir of 2021 by BookPage and Refinery29, and a “must-read” by Good Morning America. Also a fiction writer, Zoffness won the 2018 Sunday Times Short Story Award, the most valuable international prize for short fiction, and received fellowships from The Center for Fiction and MacDowell. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Drew University.
In conversation with Katy Tur.
Linda L. Hellstrom, Founder
Wendy Supron, Chair
Elizabeth K. Parker
Diane Naughton Washburne