Books Alive! 2017 Schedule of Events

(All events take place at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Hyattsville, MD.)


Friday, April 28th

6-7:30 p.m.: Meet-and-Greet (cash bar)
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Panel: "How to Pitch an Agent"
​Audrey Bastian, moderator
Malaga Baldi, Baldi Literary Agency
Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group
Roger Williams, Roger Williams Agency

Saturday, April 29th

8-9 a.m.: Registration/Coffee
8-8:45 a.m. (concurrent with registration): “Publicizing your book”: A Talk and Workshop with Phyllis Heller

(Pitch sessions start at 10 a.m.)

Morning Plenary Sessions:

8:45 a.m.: Welcome (introduced by Jenny Yacovissi)
David O. Stewart, president of the Washington Independent Review of Books and author, most recently, of The Babe Ruth Deception.

9-9:50 a.m.: “The State of Books” (introduced by Jenny Yacovissi)
A conversation between novelist Susan Coll, author of The Stager, and Washington Post Book World editor Ron Charles.

10-10:50 a.m.: "The Art of Ghostwriting" (introduced by Eugene L. Meyer)
Tom Shroder, whose ghostwriting credits include the newly published The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Robert O'Neill, in conversation with Barbara Feinman Todd, author of Pretend I'm Not Here: How I Worked with Three Newspaper Icons, One Powerful First Lady, and Still Managed to Dig Myself Out of the Washington Swamp.

11-11:50 a.m.: “Across the Cultural Divide”
Moderator: Dana Williams, chair of the Howard University English Department
Alice Stephens, columnist and reviewer at the Washington Independent Review of Books
Carolivia Herron, author of Nappy Hair
Tara Bahrampour, author of To See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America
Neely Tucker, author of Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided)
Keynote Speaker: bestselling author Judith Viorst (introduced by Gene Meyer)

Concurrent Afternoon Panels:

1:45-2:35 p.m.: "Great Lives Reconsidered: Rehash, Revision, or Revelation" 
Moderator/panelist: David Stewart
John Aloysius (Jack) Farrell, author of the forthcoming Richard Nixon: The Life
Kate Buford, author of Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe  
Ken Ackerman, author of Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution 

1:45-2:35 p.m.: "Illness and Disability as a Device in Literature"
Moderator/panelist: Marita Golden, author of the forthcoming The Wide Circumference of Love
Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive!
Morowa Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust


2:50-3:40 p.m.: "The Twilight Zone: Between Memoir, Fiction, and Family History"
Moderator: Chloe Miller, a memoir-writing instructor at Politics and Prose
Tom Shroder, author of The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived: A True Story of My Family (named a Best Memoir of 2016 by the Washington Post)
Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and author of Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books 
Jenny Yacovissi, author of Up the Hill to Home

2:50-3:40 p.m.: "The Words of War: Beyond the Battlefield"
Moderator: James A. Percoco, author of Summers with Lincoln: Looking for the Man in the Monuments
Steve Twomey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The 12 Days to the Attack
Ron Capps, author of Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years and founder of the Veterans Writing Project
Kelly Kennedy, author of They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq


3:55-4:45 p.m.: "Kid Lit – To Market, To Market"
Moderator: Holly Smith, managing editor of the Washington Independent Review of Books
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, author of 140+ books, including the Newbery-winning Shiloh
Jennifer Keats Curtis, author of the Children’s Choice Book Award-winning Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue
Mary Alice Garber, children’s-book buyer at Politics and Prose

3:55-4:45 p.m.: "Short Stories – Big Impact"
Moderator: Tara Campbell, author of TreeVolution
Tara Laskowski, author of Bystanders: Stories
Rion Amilcar Scott, author of Insurrections: Stories
Leslie Pietrzyk, author of This Angel on My Chest

5 p.m.: Conference concludes

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Schedule of Events