A partial list of confirmed speakers and their biographies follows:
Tom Acitelli (AK-i-tell-e) is probably the only person to talk about beer on-air for both Fox News and the BBC. He’s written on the subject—and on wine and whiskey—for the Wall Street Journal, Eater.com, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg View. He is the author of The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution (now in its second edition); American Wine: A Coming-of-Age Story; and Whiskey Business: How Small-Batch Distillers Are Transforming American Spirits. Tom’s American Wine got him to the finals of the top James Beard Award (for best book) in 2016, which he promptly lost to the sommelier who handles wine for Buckingham Palace. He is an oft-cited expert on beer, spirits, and wine. A North Carolina-raised New York native, Tom, 41, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jabari Asim is the author of five books for adults and nine books for children. His most recent works are Only The Strong, a novel; Preaching To The Chickens: A Story of Young John Lewis; and A Child’s Introduction To African American History. His next book, We Can’t Breathe, will be published in October. His other books include Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice and Life (editor); The N Word: Who Can’t Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why; and What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future. His byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Essence Magazine, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, among others. Asim also served for 10 years as the executor editor of the Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, culture, and ideas. His awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, and a Massachusetts Book Award Honor. He is an associate professor at Emerson College, where he directs the graduate program in creative writing.
Sarah Bedingfield has been an agent with LGR since 2016 and represents high-concept, genre-busting literary novels, domestic and psychological suspense, big-hearted family epics, upmarket historical fiction, and international, diverse voices. Sarah began her publishing career at Crown and Hogarth where she worked with many bestselling writers, including Man Booker International Prize winner, Han Kang, and New York Times bestsellers Nina George, Herman Koch, Koren Zailckas, Blake Crouch and Andy Weir. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and now lives in Brooklyn.
Jamie Brenner is a novelist living in New York City. She started her career at HarperCollins Publishers and later worked at Barnes&Noble.com and Vogue.com before returning to books and becoming an author. Her novel The Forever Summer, set in Provincetown, is a national bestseller. People magazine calls The Forever Summer, “A captivating tale of family secrets and strong women.” Her latest book, The Husband Hour, published in April with Little, Brown. She is currently writing a new novel set in Provincetown that will publish with Little, Brown in 2020.
James Carroll is the author of eight works of non-fiction, including Constantine’s Sword, the classic study of Christian anti-Semitism; and twelve novels, most recently The Cloister, which The New York Times called “incandescent.” His work has received the Scripps-Howard Journalism Award, the National Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the PEN-John Kenneth Galbraith Award, The Thomas Merton Award, and the Peace Now Award. He is an Associate of the Mahindras Humanities Center at Harvard University. He lives in Boston, with his wife the writer Alexandra Marshall.
Justin Chapple is the Culinary Director of FOOD & WINE and host of their weekly morning show, Mad Genius LIVE, as well as their video series Mad Genius Tips, for which he was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. Justin is the author of Just Cook It! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2018) and Mad Genius Tips (Oxmoore House, November 2016). Justin joined FOOD & WINE in 2010, helping produce the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. He’s a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Justin appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show.
Adam Chromy is the president of Movable Type Management and has been a literary agent for over fifteen years. After receiving a management degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business and running computer companies for nearly a decade, Adam decided to embrace his creative side and become an agent. Since then he has sold hundreds of books, had dozens of bestsellers, and managed the career of many notable authors, including: best-selling novelist Jamie Brenner (The Forever Summer at Little, Brown), acclaimed chef/novelist Donia Bijan (The Last Days at Cafe Leila at Algonquin), screenwriter and author Janna King (The Seasonaires at Pegasus Books and optioned by Blumhouse TV), infamous polemicist James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency at Grove Atlantic) and many others.
Jay Coles is a graduate of Vincennes University and Ball State University. When he’s not writing diverse books, he’s advocating for them, teaching middle school students, and composing for various music publishers. His debut novel, Tyler Johnson Was Here is based on true events in his life and inspired by police brutality in America. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, and invites you to visit his website, jaycoleswriter.com.
JAMES MELIA, Flatiron Books Editor. Melia previously worked at Doubleday before joining Flatiron Books, where he edits and acquires upmarket commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, and pop culture. Notable books he has edited include The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder (an Entertainment Weekly Summer Must-Read), James Rebanks’s The Shepherd’s Life (which was named one of the top ten books of the year by Michiko Kakutani), and Marc Maron’s Waiting for the Punch. In 2018, James will publish Ron Stallworth’s memoir Black Klansman, the basis for the forthcoming film produced by Jordan Peele and directed by Spike Lee.
Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist and art journalist. Evolution (poems) will be out from Grove in fall, 2018. Afterglow (a dog memoir) came out in 2017. Other books include Cool for You, I Must Be Living Twice (new & selected poems) and Chelsea Girls, re-released in 2015. They have received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, The Foundation for Contemporary Art and in 2016 were awarded the Clark Prize for Excellence in Art Writing. They live in NYC and Marfa TX.
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, winning 34 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of ten mysteries, Ryan is also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, two Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a superb storyteller.” Her novels are in Library Journal’s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her Say No More is also a Mary Higgins Clark, Daphne and Agatha Award nominee. Ryan is a founder of MWA University and 2013 president of National Sisters in Crime. Watch for Trust Me, August 2018.
Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels: Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, was published in 2018. Her books have been selected by the New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate and on “This American Life.” A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” CBS’s “Early Show,” and PBS’s Newshour; and twice been a strangely easy “Jeopardy!” answer.
Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Commencement, Maine and The Engagements. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine, and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. The Engagements was one of People Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year. It is soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon and distributed by Fox 2000, and it will be translated into 17 languages. Courtney’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many others. She is a co-editor, with Courtney Martin, of the essay anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ellen Wittlinger is the author of 17 books for young adults and middle-grade readers. Among numerous awards are a Lambda Literary Award and a Michael L. Printz Honor Award from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into French, German, Turkish, Croatian, Korean and Danish. She has taught writing at Emerson College and for the graduate writing program at Simmons College. Currently, she is returning to her roots as a playwright
Martin Wilson grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where both of his novels take place. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida, and his work has appeared in Tin House, One Teen Story, and other publications. His first YA novel, What They Always Tell Us, was the winner of an Alabama Author Award and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His second novel, We Now Return to Regular Life, is also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. He currently lives in New York City, where he works as a publicist at a publishing house.