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Wednesday, October 10


Searching into the Past & the Self
Two novels tell intertwining stories of the search for the past, and for ourselves. In Everything is Borrowed by Nathaniel Popkin, an acclaimed yet restless architect, Nicholas Moscowitz digs into the history of his newest commission and discovers Julius Moskowitz, a Jewish anarchist who lived in the same Philadelphia streets with the same surname over a hundred years prior. Their dual narratives intersect to create a masterful novel and a poignant meditation on cruelty and regret. Stephanie Feldman calls the novel “an evocative meditation on the bond between a man and the places that formed him.” Twenty years after two sisters are abducted in Andrea Kleine’s novel, Eden, the abductor is up for parole. In order to try and keep him jailed, one sister sets out to find the other in a suspenseful and moving journey of a lifetime. Publishers Weekly calls it “fascinating...a gripping portrait of the lingering effects of trauma.” 

avatar for Andrea Kleine

Andrea Kleine

Andrea Kleine is the author of the novel Calf, which was named one of the best books of 2015 by Publishers Weekly. She is a five-time MacDowell Colony Fellow and the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. A performance artist, essayist, and novelist, she lives... Read More →
avatar for Nathaniel Popkin

Nathaniel Popkin

Nathaniel Popkin is an essayist, novelist, and historian. In addition to the novel Lion and Leopard and three books of non-fiction, Popkin’s essays and literary criticism have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, Tablet, The Rumpus, and the Kenyon Review, among many... Read More →

Wednesday October 10, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


The Heroine's Journey
Female heroes find their power, courage, and humility in Deborah Schaumberg and Kathy Macmillan’s gripping new novels. In The Tombs, Deborah Schaumberg melds history and fantasy, taking readers on sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl’s breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York, and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried? In Dagger and Coin, Kathy Macmillan’s heroine, Soraya Gamo, was meant to be queen of Qilara, until an Arnath slave rebellion destroys the monarchy and the capital city. Now, she sits on the new Ruling Council beside her former enemies, holding the political power she always wanted – but over a nation in ruins. As she works to rebuild Qilara, she can, at last, use what everyone once told her to hide: her brain. 

avatar for Kathy MacMillan

Kathy MacMillan

Kathy MacMillan is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, signing storyteller, and avowed Hufflepuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse (2016) was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award, and its companion novel, Dagger and Coin (2018) has been called... Read More →
avatar for Deborah Schaumberg

Deborah Schaumberg

Deborah Schaumberg was born in Brooklyn, not far from where The Tombs takes place. She grew up renovating dilapidated old houses with her family. She and her father would walk the rooms, floor by floor, making up stories about the inhabitants that were filled with dark secrets, monsters... Read More →


(Un)dead on the Great Plains
The living dead and angry spectres haunt the travelers in two terrifying novels. Alma Katsu’s The Hunger is a supernatural re-telling of the story of the ill-fated Donner Party, a large group of families travelling by covered wagon into the most deadly and disastrous trip west in American history. USA Today says, Katsu “is at her best when she forces her readers to stare at the almost unimaginable meeting of ordinary people and extraordinary desperation, using her sharp, haunting language.” Marianne Kirby’s novel Hogtown Market is the second book in her Feral Seasons series. Picking up where Dust Bath Revival left off, it follows Henrietta Goodness, Hank to everyone who knows her, as she escapes her grim town to help her brother. If the Reborn-- the dead who rose after the great Dust Bowl-- don’t get her, the human predators will. 

avatar for Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is the author of The Taker, The Reckoning, and The Descent. She has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a contributor to The Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Master's writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor's... Read More →
avatar for Marianne Kirby

Marianne Kirby

Marianne Kirby writes about bodies both real and imagined. She plays with the liminal space between vanishing and visibility; she thinks the things that go bump in the night need to spend some time in the sun. Her debut novel Dust Bath Revival was listed as one of the Best Books of... Read More →

Wednesday October 10, 2018 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


An American Marriage: An evening with Tayari Jones
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones follows a newlywed couple as the husband is sent to prison for a wrongful conviction and the wife seeks comfort in the arms of a childhood friend. An instant New York Times bestseller and now an Oprah Book Club pick, An American Marriage has been called “a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward-- with hope and pain-- into the future.” USA Today calls it “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” Sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.

avatar for Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. She serves on the MFA faculty at Rutgers and blogs on writing at www.tayarij... Read More →

Thursday, October 11


Literature of the Chinese-American Experience
Two writers explore the generational, familial, and cultural bonds in Chinese and Chinese-American life. Yang Huang’s interconnected story collection My Old Faithful, which won the Juniper Prize for Fiction, follows one family from China to America over the course of thirty years. Huang paints “a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage.” Vanessa Hua’s novel A River of Stars follows a pregnant Chinese woman as she makes her way to California trying to claim her own American Dream. Celeste Ng calls it “an utterly absorbing novel about the ruthless love of parenthood and the universal truth that sometimes family runs deeper than blood alone.”

avatar for Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities. For nearly two decades, she has been writing about Asia and the diaspora in journalism and fiction. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers... Read More →
avatar for Yang Huang

Yang Huang

Yang Huang grew up in China’s Jiangsu province and participated in the 1989 student uprisings. Her debut novel, Living Treasures, won the Nautilus Book Award silver medal in fiction, and her essays and short stories have appeared in The Margins, Eleven Eleven, Asian Pacific American... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 10:30am - 11:45am
Dewberry Hall, Ground Floor of the Johnson Center 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Global Literature: Israel, Dhaka, & The Frozen North
Cheuse Center Director Matt Davis facilitates a panel of authors with novels set in different corners of the globe. The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg tackles jealousy, obsession, and revenge, as it shrewdly explores the gender expectations of men as lovers, as fathers, and as Israelis and Palestinians. Tiger Trails by Helena Thorfinn tells the story of a Swedish woman who once worked for the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and - after a recent terror attack - she has returned with her husband to continue her work in human rights. The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sopinka details the life and work of a 90-year-old British woman who abandoned her love, her art, and her home in Paris during WWII to conduct research of animal languages in the “frozen North.” 

avatar for Evan Fallenberg

Evan Fallenberg

Evan Fallenberg is an author and translator of films, plays, and books, including Meir Shalev's A Pigeon and a Boy, winner of the 2007 National Jewish Book Award for fiction. He is the recipient of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Stonewall Book Award for Literature... Read More →
avatar for Heidi  Sopinka

Heidi Sopinka

Heidi  Sopinka is  the  founder  of  renowned  fashion  label  Horses  Atelier,  and  has  also  worked  as  a  cook,  a  pilot,  and  a  literary  journalist,  in  her  native  Canada.  In  2009  Sopinka  spent  several  days  with  Leonora  Carrington... Read More →
avatar for Helena Thorfinn

Helena Thorfinn

Helena Thorfinn is a Swedish writer and development professional currently living in Washington DC. Helena moves between writing, journalism and development issues with a passion for people and how people strategize to live their lives, personally, politically and practically.For... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Dewberry Hall, Ground Floor of the Johnson Center 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Laugh Out Loud Reads
Hilarity surrounds two main characters who have a lot expected of them: a single mother and an investigative journalist. Inman Majors’ novel Penelope Lemon: Game On follows the title character, who is a recent divorcée, closet Metallica fan, and accidental subversive, as she navigates the expectations of suburban motherhood. In Jill Orr’s The Bad Break: A Riley Ellison Mystery, a librarian-turned-journalist is faced with a murder investigation and a bridezilla as she desperately tries to prove she can handle the increasing demands of her new job. Author Lian Dolan says, “I loved this fresh page-turner―it’s fun, funny, and moves like lightning.”

avatar for Inman Majors

Inman Majors

Inman Majors’s writing has been compared to that of Charles Portis, Barry Hannah, and Kingsley Amis. In his last novel, Loves Winning Plays, he took on SEC football, and the Wall Street Journal called the results “delightful”; Publishers Weekly called the novel “funny, irreverent... Read More →
avatar for Jill Orr

Jill Orr

Jill Orr is the author of The Good Byline, the first in the Riley Ellison mystery series. A graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School, she lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband and two children, and also serves on the board of the Unbound Book Festival. The... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Dewberry Hall, Ground Floor of the Johnson Center 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Translating the Classics
Learn about the swashbuckling adventure of translating the classics. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis’ journey with the clever d’Artagnan have been given new life by Lawrence Ellsworth in his edition of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Ellsworth then keeps the drama of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII going in his new translation of the sequel, The Red Sphinx

avatar for Lawrence Ellsworth

Lawrence Ellsworth

Lawrence Ellsworth is the pen name of Lawrence Schick. He began his career as a writer at TSRHobbies, where he was instrumental in the early popularity of the role-playing game “Dungeons& Dragons.” An authority on historical adventure fiction, Ellsworth is the editor of The Big... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room G 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Wanting More: Coming-of-Age Novels
The coming-of-age novel is a staple of great literature. Silver Girl, by Leslie Pietrzyk is set in the American Midwest with a main character itching to leave her poor family behind in exchange for a rich best friend and a few frat parties. Then, as the relationships she forms begin to define her, the girl is faced with greed, desire, and a local psychopath called the Tylenol Killer. Jon Pineda’s novel, Let’s No One Get Hurt takes place in the American South. 15-year-old Pearl is squatting on a houseboat with her father and his three friends when she meets the rich teenage boy whose parents own that very property. They become unequal friends as Pearl learns about how differences in race and socioeconomics can result in violence and humiliation. 

avatar for Leslie Pietrzyk

Leslie Pietrzyk

Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of Silver Girl, released in February 2018 by Unnamed Press, and called “profound, mesmerizing, and disturbing” in a Publishers Weekly starred review. Her collection of unconventionally linked short stories, This Angel on My Chest, won the 2015... Read More →
avatar for Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda is the author of the novel Let's No One Get Hurt (FSG).  His other books include the memoir Sleep in Me, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the novel Apology, winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize.  His recent poetry collection Little Anodynes... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Dewberry Hall, Ground Floor of the Johnson Center 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award Ceremony
The three finalists for the inaugural Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award will each read from their books before the grand prize is awarded. Hernán Díaz is the author of the novel In the Distance, Elena Georgiou is the author of the story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator, and Renee Macalino Rutledge is the author of the novel The Hour of Daydreams. This post-publication book prize was created to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. Helon Habila, Madeleine Thien, and Maaza Mengiste judged. When speaking about the prize, Habila said: “if America is a country of immigrants as it is often described, then the quintessential American literature would be the literature of immigration…  Hopefully these new voices will make us step back and look at ourselves with new eyes, and new hope and new meaning.” Sponsored by the Institute for Immigration Research.

avatar for Hernán Díaz

Hernán Díaz

Hernán Díaz is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury 2012), managing editor of RHM, and associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.
avatar for Elena Georgiou

Elena Georgiou

Elena Georgiou is the author of the short-story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator (GenPop Books), and the poetry collections Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants (Harbor Mountain Press) and mercy mercy me (University of Wisconsin), which won a Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist... Read More →
avatar for Renee Macalino Rutledge

Renee Macalino Rutledge

Renee Macalino Rutledge was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area from the age of four. A long-time local journalist, her articles and essays have appeared in ColorLines, Filipinas Magazine, Oakland and Alameda Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts George Mason University


Love, Loss, and Finding New Life
Both Sarahlyn Bruck and Orly Konig’s novels weave tales of love and loss, and how to pick up the pieces afterwards. In Sarahlyn Bruck’s Designer You, a newly-widowed mother challenged with grieving the loss of her husband and co-owner of their DIY empire learns how to be a single parent. In Orly Konig’s Carousel Beach, a granddaughter connects with her deceased grandmother’s first love, a 90-year-old carousel horse carver suffering from Alzheimer’s and, in doing so, “untangles the intertwined secrets of love, heartbreak, and misunderstandings between three generations of strong willed women.” Sponsored by Friends of the Oakton Library.

avatar for Sarahlyn Bruck

Sarahlyn Bruck

Sarahlyn Bruck writes contemporary women’s fiction and lives in Philadelphia with her husbandand daughter. She is the author of Designer You, published by Crooked Cat Books on August 31,2018. She has an MA in English from Cal State Los Angeles and teaches writing and literature... Read More →
avatar for Orly Konig

Orly Konig

After years in the corporate world (most of it in the space industry), Orly Konig took a leap into the creative world of fiction. She is the founding president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an active member of the Tall Poppy Writers, and a quarterly contributor to... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Oakton Library 10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton, VA 22124


Virginia is for Lovers (& Romance Novelists)
One moment changes everything in Tracey Livesay’s Love Will Always Remember. After waking from a coma, Leighton Clarke faces her amnesia with her fiancé by her side. Sparks fly as her memory returns and she discovers he’s not her fiancé after all. Kirkus Reviews describes it as “Scandal meets While You Were Sleeping in a D.C.–set romance.” Love Will Always Remember is the third novel in Livesay’s Shade of Love series.

avatar for Tracey Livesay

Tracey Livesay

Tracey Livesay’s latest release is Love Will Always Remember with Avon/HarperCollins. She writes smart, sexy and emotional contemporary romances where strong, successful heroines find love with powerful, passionate heroes. She's past president of Virginia Romance Writers, volunteers... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Patrick Henry Library 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180
Friday, October 12


Grace In Darkness: D.C.’s Women Writers
D.C.’s Politics and Prose Bookstore runs the “Grace and Gravity” series, a literary journal showcasing vibrant female writers living in the D.C.-area. Grace in Darkness is the eighth volume of this beloved series, edited by Melissa Scholes Young. Young’s website explains that “Her vision for the eighth volume is a platform in which women speak - shout, whisper, bellow, and sing - unapologetically and with a confidence so often stripped from women and girls in a society built from a blueprint with a glass ceiling.” Melissa Scholes Young leads the discussion among five of the twenty-five unstoppable writers featured in this anthology: Carmelinda Blagg, Lisa Couturier, Ariel M. Goldenthal, Wendy Besel Hahn, and Leslie Hsu Oh.

avatar for Carmelinda Blagg

Carmelinda Blagg

Carmelinda Blagg has published her short fiction in a number of journals, including Halfway Down the Stairs, the anthology Best of the Web 2009, The Lindenwood Review, Barrelhouse and, more recently, The Noctua Review. In 2010, she was the recipient of an Individual Artist Award... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Couturier

Lisa Couturier

Lisa Couturier, author The Hopes of Snakes & Other Tales from the Urban Landscape (Beacon Press), is a 2012 Pushcart Prize winner for her essay “Dark Horse,” a contributing editor for Pushcart, and was named a notable essayist in Best American Essays in 2004, 2006, and 2011. Her... Read More →
avatar for Ariel M. Goldenthal

Ariel M. Goldenthal

Ariel M. Goldenthal is an assistant professor of English at George Mason University, where she previously received her MFA in creative writing. Her short story, "The Wendy" was included in the Grace in Darkness anthology, and her work has received an Honorable Mention from Glimmer... Read More →
avatar for Wendy Besel Hahn

Wendy Besel Hahn

Wendy Besel Hahn received an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University ('08). She attended Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Creative Nonfiction in 2016. Her work appears in The Washington Post, Sojourner, Redivider, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in... Read More →
avatar for Leslie Hsu Oh

Leslie Hsu Oh

Leslie Hsu Oh is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, whose work has been named among the distinguished stories of the year by Best American Essays. She is a Champion of Change for the White House: AAPI Storytelling and Art program, a Schweitzer Fellow, and the Outdoor Editor for... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young is the award-winning author of the novel Flood. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and Poets & Writers. She’s a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review and Editor of Grace in Darkness: D.C... Read More →

Friday October 12, 2018 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Finding Life After (Almost) Death
Three novels explore the allure of death when life has become too much, and the desire to keep on living. In Katharine Weber’s Still Life With Monkey, a successful architect becomes severely paralyzed after a car wreck. In order to revitalize him, his wife brings home a highly trained helper monkey named Ottoline, whose funny Nutella-gobbling ways bring brightness back to his life. Tayari Jones calls it “a brilliantly crafted novel, brimming with heart.” Jacob M. Appel’s novel Millard Salter’s Last Day follows the book’s namesake on his journey to tie up loose ends with his estranged family. When it comes to Delilah, the widow whom he’s fallen in love with, the approaching end becomes a little more complicated. In Thomas Pierce’s novel The Afterlives, when Jim Byrd dies and is revived without ever catching a glimpse of lights or angels, he wonders if there’s an afterlife. When a ghost shows up, Jim and his wife employ holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond, trying to answer their question.

avatar for Jacob M. Appel

Jacob M. Appel

Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City.  He is the author of seven collections of short fiction, five novels and a collection of essays.  His short stories have been published in more than two hundred journals and have been short-listed for... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Pierce

Thomas Pierce

Thomas Pierce was born and raised in South Carolina. He is the author of the novel, The Afterlives, and the acclaimed story collection, Hall of Small Mammals. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Oxford American, and elsewhere. A recipient of the National Book... Read More →
avatar for Katharine Weber

Katharine Weber

Katharine Weber is the author of seven books, including Triangle, Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, The Music Lesson, and The Little Women; the last three were New York Times Notable Books.  The Washington Post called her novel True Confections “succulently inventive... Read More →

Friday October 12, 2018 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030


Searching for Life and Jazz in Philadelphia
Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, which tells the story of one day in the lives of three characters whom are all drawn to the jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas. NPR says it’s “Inventive, gorgeously written and unforgettable,” while The Millions calls it “enchanting.” Bertino is also the author of the story collection Safe as Houses. Her work has received The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellowship in Cork, Ireland, The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, and has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.

avatar for Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS and the story collection SAFE AS HOUSES. Her work has received The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellowship in Cork, Ireland, The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, The Iowa Short Fiction Award... Read More →

Friday October 12, 2018 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Research Hall, Room 163 10401 York River Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Anything is Possible: A Talk with Elizabeth Strout
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout is back with a new work of fiction. Anything is Possible follows an unforgettable small town cast -- two sisters living vastly different lives, a janitor whose faith is tested, and an adult Lucy Barton-- as they grapple with love and loss. Called “radiant” by Kirkus Reviews, and “stunning” by Vogue, Anything is Possible reverberates with the deep bonds of family, and the hope of reconciliation. Sponsored by the George Mason Friends.

avatar for Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge; the #1 New York Times bestseller My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles... Read More →

Saturday, October 13


Fantastical Four: SciFi, Fables, Folklore, & Film
Two writers blend fantastical fiction with science fiction, fables, folklore, and cinema. The Science of Lost Futures by Ryan Habermeyer is an award-winning short story collection showcasing a unique sense of humor and an intellectual absurdity. Inspired by urban legends, internet scams, and medical folklore, Habermeyer’s fabulist stories extend beyond science fiction and magical realism to celebrate the bizarre. Vanishing Streets: Journeys in London by J.M. Tyree details the writer’s two-decade-long love affair with Britain’s capital city and the cinema created there. As Tyree wanders through the streets of London, he rediscovers and reimagines the London of the past using movie madness and postcard-like annotations on the magical properties of a great city. He is also the co-author of Our Secret Life in the Movies, a linked short story collection inspired by classic and cult cinema. 

avatar for Ryan Habermeyer

Ryan Habermeyer

Ryan Habermeyer was born and raised outside of Los Angeles. He earned his MFA from the Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts and his PhD from the University of Missouri. His work has appeared in Cream City Review, Carolina Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, and... Read More →
avatar for J. M. Tyree

J. M. Tyree

J. M. Tyree is the coauthor of Our Secret Life in the Movies, a short story collection selected by NPR for its annual Best Books feature. His writing on cinema has appeared in The Believer, Lapham's Quarterly, Film Quarterly, and in the BFI Film Classics series of books from the... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 10:30am - 11:45am
Merten Hall, Room 1202 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Short Stories, Big Voices
Short stories leave big impacts on their readers. In Locked Gray / Linked Blue: Stories, Kem Joy Ukwu details the lives of New Yorkers haunted by intense family dynamics, toxic romance, first-date awkwardness, and financial troubles. All Roads Lead To Blood by Bonnie Chau is a story collection from the unique perspective of second-generation Chinese-Americans balancing success, failure, memory, and heritage. 

avatar for Bonnie Chau

Bonnie Chau

Bonnie Chau is from Southern California, where she formerly ran writing programs at thenonprofit 826LA. She received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University, with a jointconcentration in translation, focusing on French and Chinese fiction. A Kundiman fellowand former bookseller... Read More →
avatar for Kem Joy Ukwu

Kem Joy Ukwu

Kem Joy Ukwu's fiction has appeared in PANK, BLACKBERRY: a magazine, Carve, TINGE, Blue Lake Review, Jabberwock Review, Auburn Avenue, The Brooklyn Quarterly and Day One. Her short story collection manuscript, Locked Gray / Linked Blue, was selected as a finalist for the 2016 New... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 11:30am - 12:45pm
Merten Hall, Room 1202 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Solving the Riddle: Historical Female Detectives
New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn is the author of the Veronica Speedwell mystery series. The latest installment, A Treacherous Curse, follows the Victorian adventuress as she learns of an ancient Egyptian curse walking the streets of London. Raybourn is also the author of the Lady Julia Grey series. Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister has been called “exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving” by author Erika Robuck. In this “Spunky Spy Saga” as NPR describes it, Kate Warne, America’s first female Pinkerton detective hits the Civil War-era Chicago streets, where respect is hard to come by, but danger is not. Macallister’s debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller and Target Book club selection.

avatar for Greer Macallister

Greer Macallister

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet, short story writer, and playwright who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection... Read More →
avatar for Deanna Raybourn

Deanna Raybourn

New York Times bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 11:30am - 12:45pm
Merten Tent 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA


The Fallout: Living in the Aftermath
Two writers share stories of what happens when our illusions are shattered. In How To Be Safe by Tom McAllister, high school English teacher Anna Crawford is suspended for a so-called outburst and, while stewing over the injustice at home, she is shocked to see herself named as a suspect in a shooting at the school where she works. Though she is quickly exonerated, her life is nevertheless held up for relentless scrutiny and judgment as this quiet town descends into media mania. Steve Kistulentz, in his powerful debut Panorama, captures the sprawl of contemporary America in the narrative of a young man instantly turned into the single parent to his 6-year old nephew after his sister’s plane crashes on camera. Within the expansive scope of Panorama lies an intimate portrait of human loss rendered with precision, humanity, and humor.

avatar for Steve Kistulentz

Steve Kistulentz

Steve Kistulentz is the author of the novel PANORAMA, to be published in March 2018 by Little, Brown & Co. He has also published two collections of poetry, Little Black Daydream (2012) and The Luckless Age (2010). Kistulentz was born in Washington, DC. He earned a BA in English from... Read More →
avatar for Tom McAllister

Tom McAllister

Tom McAllister is the author of the novels How to Be Safe and The Young Widower's Handbook, as well as the memoir Bury Me in My Jersey. His short fiction and essays have been published widely, and have most recently appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Hobart, The Rumpus... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Merten Hall, Room 1202 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Crime Fiction as Social Commentary
Join five writers from the Mystery Writers of America for a lively discussion of how their work, and crime fiction historically, has been informed by social issues including race, gender, religion, and sexuality. The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories, edited by E.A. Aymar, is an anthology of mystery writers’ stories detailing the night of the first female execution in Pennsylvania’s modern history. Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver explores a post-World War II murder mystery set in Virginia. Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker, also set in Virginia, shares a wedding murder mystery in which the groom is the prime suspect. Dark Streets, Cold Suburbs by Aimee Hix follows a young, female, private investigator in the Willa Pennington mystery series. And, Pray for the Innocent by Alan Orloff is a metafiction mystery thriller featuring a bestselling author whose spy novels inspire real-world crime, violence, and murder. 

avatar for E. A. Aymar

E. A. Aymar

E.A. Aymar's latest thriller is the novel-in-stories The Night of the Flood (in which he served as co-editor and contributor) and his standalone, The Unrepentant, will be published in March 2019 by Down and Out Books. His column, Decisions and Revisions, appears monthly in the Washington... Read More →
avatar for John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver is the recipient an Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for four consecutive years. In 2015, he launched and continues to maintain a crime fiction column for the Lambda Literary website called “Blacklight.” His short fiction has... Read More →
avatar for Aimee Hix

Aimee Hix

An inability to pass the sight requirements, and a deep aversion to federal prison prevented Aimee Hix from lying on her FBI application, so she set her deficient eyes on what most Northern Virginians do for work - the non-law enforcement side of the federal government. After twenty... Read More →
avatar for Alan Orloff

Alan Orloff

Alan Orloff has published eight novels, including his latest thriller, Pray for the Innocent. His debut mystery, Diamonds for the Dead, was an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel, and his story, “Happy Birthday” (Shotgun Honey) was a 2018 Derringer Award finalist in the... Read More →
avatar for LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker is the author of six national bestselling novels of suspense, beginning with the Agatha Award-nominated Front Page Fatality. Reviews have praised her work as “well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced,” and “an edge-of-your-seat ride” with “a spider web of twists... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Merten Hall, Room 1203 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Secrets & Regrets in Paris & Ireland
Two authors prove how a reader’s empathy for heartache crosses time and space. Set in a small village outside of Paris, The Balcony by Jane Delury reveals the secrets kept hidden inside one estate across several generations. The inhabitants experience love and loss, peace and chaos, wealth and poverty, power and persecution becoming a “silent witnesses to a century of human drama.” Straying by Molly McCloskey is set in Ireland in the 1980’s where two young Americans start a life together and then suffer the aftermath of an extramarital affair. Many years later, the wife still struggles to understand what led her to stray.  

avatar for Jane Delury

Jane Delury

Jane Delury's fiction has appeared in Narrative, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The Yale Review, and Glimmer Train. She has received a PEN/O. Henry Prize, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Award, a VCCA fellowship, and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds an... Read More →
avatar for Molly McCloskey

Molly McCloskey

Molly McCloskey grew up in the US but spent 25 years living in Ireland, where parts of her new novel are set. Straying (Scribner, 2018), which the New York Times called lucid, wise, and discomfiting, was published in the UK by Penguin as When Light is Like Water. Molly is also the... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Merten Tent 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA


Surviving as an Outsider
Two writers show how LGBTQ characters can survive in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara is a debut novel that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning. Booklist reviews that “Cassara has done a superb job of re-imagining a world that will be foreign and even exotic to many readers.” Some Hell by Patrick Nathan is a wrenching and layered debut novel about a gay teen’s coming-of-age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide that shows how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life, and how imagination saves us from ourselves. The New York Times Book Review describes Some Hell as “a very different literary thriller, one in which the mystery is not who killed the victim, but how those who kill might live with what they’ve done.”

avatar for Joseph Cassara

Joseph Cassara

Joseph Cassara was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds degrees from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was a 2016-17 writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The House of Impossible Beauties (Ecco, 2018) is his debut novel... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Nathan

Patrick Nathan

Patrick Nathan is the author of Some Hell, published in February 2018 from Graywolf Press. He lives in Minneapolis. Read his writing, ask him about freelance projects, or follow him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Merten Hall, Room 1204 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Magic in Ancient Lands
Magic rules the ancient realms of alternate versions of Rome and Russia. In From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris, elemental magic shapes rules as strongly as law and war. On the verge of the republic collapsing, Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, must fight to become a protector of the people, and her own heart. Lindsay Smith’s Web of Frost is set in the vast and frozen empire of Russalka, a proud empire ruled by royals who work miracles from the saints. As rebellion stirs, a too-young queen must learn to control her powers in order to save her empire. But she wonders if she can trust the only person who’s taught her to use her magical gifts.

avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in... Read More →
avatar for Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith is the author of multiple YA novels, including Sekret and Web of Frost, and a writer on Serial Box's Orphan Black: Manifest and The Witch Who Came in from the Cold.  Her work has appeared in the YA anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats and Toil & Trouble, the comics anthologies... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Merten Hall, Room 1204 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


Romance in the DMV
Just like tattoos, true love lasts forever. Inked Hearts by Lindsay Detwiler follows twenty-eight-year-old Avery who just moved hundreds of miles for a new life, a new career, and new freedom in Ocean City. Determined to live for herself and not for romance, Avery refuses to give another man her heart...until she meets the owner of a local tattoo shop. After waking from a coma in Tracey Livesay’s Love Will Always Remember, Leighton Clarke faces her amnesia with her fiancé by her side. Sparks fly as her memory returns and she discovers he’s not her fiancé after all. Kirkus Reviews describes it as “Scandal meets While You Were Sleeping in a D.C.–set romance.” 

avatar for Lindsay Detwiler

Lindsay Detwiler

Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author with Hot Tree Publishing. Her tenreleased titles fall on the sweeter side of romance. Inked Hearts, book one in her Lines inthe Sand series, was named a Romance Times Book Reviews Top Pick in 2017. Her othertitles include: Voice of... Read More →
avatar for Tracey Livesay

Tracey Livesay

Tracey Livesay’s latest release is Love Will Always Remember with Avon/HarperCollins. She writes smart, sexy and emotional contemporary romances where strong, successful heroines find love with powerful, passionate heroes. She's past president of Virginia Romance Writers, volunteers... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Merten Hall, Room 1202 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030


In The Shadow Land with Elizabeth Kostova
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova is a sweeping journey through the troubled history of Bulgaria-- a beautiful but haunted country. Spanning past and present, one woman grapples with a century of horrors as she unravels a mystery. Publisher’s Weekly praises: “A compelling and complex mystery, strong storytelling, and lyrical writing combine for an engrossing read.” Kostova will be in conversation with critic Bethanne Patrick. Kostova is the author of the bestselling novels The Historian and The Swan Thieves. 

avatar for Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the bestselling novels, The Historian and The Swan Thieves. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress. Her newest novel is The Shadow Land.

Saturday October 13, 2018 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Merten Hall, Room 1201 4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030