Upcoming Special Guests

Sheela Chari, Winter 2019 Residency

© Keerthana Chari

Sheela Chari is the author of Finding Mighty, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Amazon Best Book of the Month selection; and Vanished, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar finalist for best juvenile mystery, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. She teaches creative writing at Mercy College and lives with her family in New York. Visit her online at www.sheelachari.com.

Lucy Cleland, Winter 2019 Residency

© Tessa Johnson

Lucy V. Cleland is a literary agent and dramatic rights manager at Kneerim & Williams, where she works with both new and established authors on a range of projects from groundbreaking “big idea” nonfiction to upmarket fiction and select YA/children’s titles. A Southern transplant to Boston, Lucy graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College where she studied English and studio art. Lucy enjoys beautifully written stories that surprise her and loves working with authors whose passion for their subject is contagious. She represents unconventional social and cultural history, literary narrative nonfiction and memoir with a contemporary slant. She’s looking for novels with rich, distinctive atmosphere and a powerful plot engine that keeps her turning pages. In YA, she’s drawn to a smile-worthy hook, quick banter, and rebellious protagonists who push boundaries and grapple with tough questions, in our world or another. She also represents select quirky children’s nonfiction that nourishes curiosity. Across the board, she is actively seeking underrepresented voices.

Angela Dominguez, Winter 2019 Residency

© Jeff Samaniego

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now resides on the East Coast. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children including Maria Had a Little Llama, which received the ALA Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. In 2016, she received her second Pura Belpré Honor for her illustrations in Mango, Abuela, and Me (written by Meg Medina). Her debut middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something to Say, was published January 2018. When Angela is not in her studio, she teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and is represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She’s delighted to still be doing both.

John Florio, Winter 2019 Residency

© Donna J. Pallotta

John Florio is the author of One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, and One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title. His young adult book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between America and Hitler, will be released in the spring of 2019. John’s debut novel, Sugar Pop Moon, received a starred review from Library Journal; his follow-up, Blind Moon Alley, received the same from Publishers Weekly. Kirkus Reviews says his fiction is “hardboiled enough to remind readers of Hammett and Chandler.” John has contributed to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Sports Illustrated. He has also produced and written television documentaries for Ovation TV, and children’s programming for PBS stations. John received his MFA in writing from the University of Southern Maine (Stonecoast). He holds a MA from New York University, and a MBA from St. John’s University. He has taught writing at St. John’s, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Lee Hope, Winter 2019 Residency

© Lou Jones

Lee Hope is the author of the novel Horsefever (New Rivers Press), which made its mark on the Small Press Distribution Bestseller List when it was published in 2016 and went on to be a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. Lee is also is editor-in-chief of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices. Her fiction has received grants from both the Maine and the Pennsylvania Arts Commissions. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, such as Witness, The North American Review, Epiphany, and Sou’wester. Her short story “What to Take In Case of Fire,” received an honorable mention in American Fiction, Vol. 13 (winner of the 2015 Midwest Book Awards in the anthology category). Founder and former director of a low-residency MFA program in Maine, Lee also helped to found Pine Manor College’s Solstice Low-Residency MFA program. She is currently president of the nonprofit Solstice Institute for Creative Writing and teaches for Changing Lives Through Literature, which brings literature to people on probation.

Crystal King, Winter 2019 Residency

© Wayne E. Chinnock

Crystal King is a 25-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. She is the author of The Chef’s Secret (Feb 12, 2019), about the famous Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi, and Feast of Sorrow, about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Currently, Crystal works as a social media professor for HubSpot, a leading provider of Inbound marketing software. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, UMass Boston, and GrubStreet. Crystal received her MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in media res. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website: crystalking.com.

Marika McCoola, Winter 2019 Residency

© self portrait

Marika McCoola is an illustrator, educator, and the Eisner-nominated and New York Times bestselling author of Baba Yaga's Assistant. She studied illustration, art history, creative writing, and ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and received her BFA in Illustration in 2009. Marika then went on to study creative writing and children's literature at Simmons College, receiving an MFA in Writing for Children in 2012. In addition to writing and illustrating, Marika is an adjunct professor for various undergraduate programs, manages Porter Square Book Fairs, and teaches art and writing classes for kids and adults. When not in danger of being squashed by books, Marika may be found skiing, cycling, or dancing. She currently resides in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Diane Mello-Goldner, Winter 2019 Residency

© Tamar Petler

Diane Mello-Goldner earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from Lehigh University and a B.A. from Boston College. Her publications and scholarly work focus on the self-concept and the strategy of self-handicapping. More broadly, her research interests and numerous conference presentations have focused on goal attainment, leadership, and pedagogical effectiveness. She has taught at Pine Manor College since 1994 and has served as the Dean of the College since 2014. Along with teaching a variety of psychology courses through the years, she also teaches an interdisciplinary detective fiction course with a member of Pine Manor College’s undergraduate English program.

Wendy Mnookin, Winter 2019 Residency

© Sharona Jacobs

Wendy Mnookin’s most recent book of poems, Dinner with Emerson (Tiger Bark Press, 2016), won a “Must Read” Award from the Mass Center for the Book. Her previous books are The Moon Makes Its Own Plea, What He Took, and To Get Here, all from BOA Editions, and—with Deborah Davison—Guenever Speaks, a book of persona poems (Round Table Publications). She is widely published in anthologies and journals, including Harvard Review, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner and Solstice, and her poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. Wendy is the recipient of a book prize from the New England Poetry Club and a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught poetry at Boston College, Emerson College, and Grub Street, as well as at various summer workshops. She lives with her husband in Newton, Massachusetts, where they raised their three children.

Alex Meyers, Winter 2019 Residency

© Lexi Adams

Alex Myers is a teacher, writer, speaker, and advocate. Alex was the first openly transgender student at Phillips Exeter Academy and subsequently at Harvard University. He has worked as an English teacher in private high schools and also as an advocate and educator for supporting transgender students in schools. Alex’s debut novel, Revolutionary, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2014; it tells the story of his ancestor, Deborah Sampson, who ran away from home in 1782, disguised herself as a man, and fought in the Revolutionary War.

Rubin Pfeffer, Winter 2019 Residency


Rubin Pfeffer served as President and Publisher of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Trade, working with world-renowned writers and illustrators of adult and children’s literature including Alice Walker, Umberto Eco, Virginia Hamilton, Mem Fox, Wendell Minor, Don Wood, among many others. As SVP and Chief Creative Officer of Pearson, Inc. Pfeffer coordinated programs between the Penguin imprints and Pearson’s educational products and services. Later, he joined Simon & Schuster as SVP and Publisher of Children’s Books overseeing such fine imprints as S&S BFYR, Atheneum, McElderry Books and the launching of Beach Lane Books. Rubin founded Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC, a literary agency focused on children’s content, representing industry luminaries, award-winners, and exciting new talents. Among his distinguished clients are Susan Cooper, Patricia MacLachlan, Steven Kellogg, Marion Dane Bauer, Arree Chung, Elana K. Arnold, Ekua Holmes, Carole Boston Weatherford, Judy Sierra, and others whose many books are in the publishing pipeline as we speak. He lives and works in the Boston area and speaks about the publishing industry at such venues as Simmons College Masters courses, the SCBWI, Highlights, and Syracuse University. Rubin has found his passion in working closely with authors and illustrators, in strengthening and nurturing their work, and in helping writers and illustrators demonstrate their potential to publishers.

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Winter 2019 Residency

© Iden Ford

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV. She's won 34 Emmys and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of 10 mysteries, Hank is also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and—for The Other Woman—the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Called “a master of suspense” and “a superb and gifted storyteller” by critics, she is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal's Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Hank's newest book is the standalone psychological suspense thriller Trust Me (August, 2018), which a Suspense Magazine's reviewer calls “By far one of the best thrillers I've read in years.” The Booklist starred review says “A knockout!” and the New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine, and CrimeReads named it one of the best thrillers of summer 2018. Hank is a founder of MWA University and past president of National Sisters in Crime. Visit her online at HankPhillippiRyan.com.