Judith Lindbergh, Founder & Director | Michelle Cameron, Co-Director
Judith Lindbergh’s debut novel, The Thrall's Tale, about women in Viking Age Greenland, was a Booksense (IndieBound) Pick, a Borders Original Voices Selection and praised by Pulitzer Prize winners Geraldine Brooks and Robert Olen Butler. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Archaeology Magazine, Scandinavian Review, The World & I, the literary journal Other Voices, and more. She also contributed to the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition Vikings: The Norse Atlantic Saga and was an expert commentator on the History Channel’s documentary series MANKIND: The Story of All of Us.
Since 2006, Judith has mentored adult writers through the Writers Support Circle at the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School. In January 2010, she created The Writers Circle, extending her workshops to children and expanding her offerings for adults.
She traces her teaching approach to her background as a professional dancer and actress, and from the lessons learned from one of her greatest writing mentors, Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time.
Judith believes in the uniqueness of each writer’s voice. All writers have something valid to say. Judith’s classes aim to coax that pure, honest expression from each of her students.
Learn more at www.judithlindbergh.com.
Laurie Lico Albanese has published in almost every genre, including fiction, poetry, journalism, creative nonfiction and memoir. Her books include Stolen Beauty, Blue Suburbia: Almost a Memoir, Lynelle by the Sea, and The Miracles of Prato, co-written with art historian Laura Morowitz. Her travel and general-interest pieces appear in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Mothering magazine, and elsewhere.
Laurie is pursuing and MFA at Stonecoast/The University of Southern Maine. She has taught creative and formal writing to all ages, from Montclair elementary schools to her adult workshops at Studio 129 in Montclair, as well as Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School and Wagner College on Staten Island.
Steph Auteri has written about women's health and sexuality for Undark, Narratively, Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, VICE, The Washington Post, Jezebel, Salon, and other publications. She is also the Managing Editor for sexuality education site Good in Bed, and blogs for the Center for Sex Education, Book Riot, and mom.me.
Presently, Steph is also at work on a memoir in essays that tackles the ways in which the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community, and our culture at large are conspiring to pathologize women's sexuality.
Somehow, Steph manages to get all of this done despite the twin distractions of a work-at-home husband and a 2-year-old daughter. She lives and works with them—and their three cats—in Verona.
Ariel Bernstein is a children's book author and short story writer. Her debut picture book, illustrated by Scott Magoon, is I Have A Balloon (Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2017), and her debut chapter book series begins with Warren and Dragon's 100 Friends (Viking Children's, Summer 2018). Ariel's work has been published on the Scary Mommy parenting blog and the Atticus Review online literary journal.
Ariel is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Picture The Books, a group of 2017 debut authors and illustrators.
Donna Baier Stein is the author of Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and Finalist in the 2015 IndieBook Awards-Short Fiction), The Silver Baron’s Wife(forthcoming--and recipient of the PEN/New England Discovery Award), and Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry chapbook). Her stories and poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Confrontation, New York Quarterly, and many other journals and anthologies.
She is the founder and publisher of Tiferet, a non-sectarian journal of literature and spirituality, and Founding Poetry Editor of Bellevue Literary Review. Johns Hopkins University MFA, Bread Loaf Scholarship, three Pushcart nominations, and more.
Paula Balzer is a literary agent and the author of Writing & Selling Your Memoir (Writers Digest Books/July 2011). Her authors include New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins (Pledged, Quarterlife Crisis, Secrets of the Tomb), Oscar-Award winning writer of “Juno” Diablo Cody (Candy Girl), American Idol judge Randy Jackson (What’s Up Dawg?) and Bobby Henderson (Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster).
After working in educational publishing for a decade, both as a writer and editor, he changed course to his current profession as a high school history teacher.
Scott holds a Journalism degree from St. Michael’s College and a Political Science degree from Kean University. He lives in Summit with his wife and two children. Within his family, Scott is known as a weaver of tales, and is at work on a series of fictional children’s books.
Jeff Campbell is the author of two nonfiction books for young adults, the IPPY-award-winning Daisy to the Rescue (Zest, 2014) and Last of the Giants (Zest, 2016), a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. For twelve years, he was a travel writer for Lonely Planet (covering US destinations like Hawaii, California, Florida, and New Jersey), and he has been a freelance book editor for over twenty-five years. He is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Since 2010, Jeff has taught an after-school creative writing program for grade-school students in Morristown, where he lives, and he has been teaching with The Writers Circle since 2014. One day, he hopes that his long-suffering work-in-progress (a coming-of-age sci-fi novel) will see the light of day.
Michelle Cameron's The Fruit of Her Hands: the story of Shira of Ashkenaz relates the life of the author's 13th Century ancestor, Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg. Publisher’s Weekly praised the novel’s “powerful immediacy” and Library Journal its “rich details.”
Her full-length novel in verse, In the Shadow of the Globe, was named the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2003-4 Winter Book Selection.
Michelle taught business and marketing writing at the College of Saint Elizabeth, creative writing at the Poetry & Prose Winter Getaway in Cape May and Seaview, and gave seminars and workshops for Murphy Writing Seminars, the Morris Museum, Drew University’s Shakespeare in Performance Colloquium II, Brandeis University, and at various local libraries and poetry festivals.
Dave Conti is an accomplished writer, book coach, and award-winning editor with 35 years of experience. He co-authored and collaborated on books and book proposals, including personal and business memoirs, and nonfiction books on a variety of topics, winning contracts with some of the most prestigious publishers. Among his work: My Life at Liz Claiborne by Jerome A. Chazen; Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story, by William A. Haseltine; Tough Calls from the Corner Office with Harlan Steinbaum. Dave also writes op-ed, articles and blogs in support of his authors’ platforms.
Robin Cornelison is a certified Elementary School teacher who earned her Masters in Education from Mercy College in New York. Her previous years working as a Television Producer helped her develop a fresh approach to teaching all ages on all different levels. After working as an elementary school teacher in the Bronx, Robin realized the importance of spontaneity and creativity. Her passion, energy and overall love for reading and writing are apparent when teaching her classes. In her spare time she teaches swimming, reads and enjoys traveling with her husband, two children and her dog, Daisy.
Vinessa DiSousa is a freelance writer and book editor. In the past twenty years, she has written and edited for numerous general interest magazines and for NBC and USA networks and has worked as a ghostwriter/editor. She has an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and won the Kinsella award for Excellence in Writing from Rutgers University.
Vinessa is a devoted rewriter, believing in the power of revision to produce your best work. She is currently at work on a novel and loves working with other writers to fine-tune their completed drafts. In addition to writing, she chases after a very active one year old.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Catherine Doty is the author of Momentum, a volume of poems, and Just Kidding, a collection of cartoons. She is widely published in journals and anthologies, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts. Cat will teach in the 2015 Summer Creative Writing Intensives.
Lizzie K. Foley's middle-grade novel Remarkable (Dial Books for Young Readers) was a Kid’s Indie Next List selection, a Horn-Book Summer Reading Recommendation, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist as well as a review in the New York Times. She has an undergraduate degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, and has spent many years happily participating in writing workshops in as both a student and a teacher.
Lizzie’s teaching philosophy is that the best work gets done when individuals are allowed to write what they want and take creative risks without fear. Her goal with any workshop is to create an environment in which writers come together to focus on what’s working and strengthen what’s not through constructive suggestions and discussion.
Sondra Gash's collection of poems, Silk Elegy, (CavanKerry Press, Ltd.) tells the story of a young girl from an immigrant family whose life is disrupted by her mother’s mental illness. The setting is Paterson, NJ, the silk manufacturing capital of the country during the turbulent years of the early 20th century. Silk Elegy was chosen as a Finalist for the 2003 Paterson Poetry Prize.
Margie Gelbwasser has written for many magazines, including SELF, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, and New Jersey Monthly. She's had two YA novels published by Flux. Inconvenient (2010) was named a 2011 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens, and Kirkus called Pieces of Us (2012) “suspenseful, disturbing, and emotionally fraught.”
Her next YA, Violent Ends, is a collaborative novel with sixteen authors including Brendan and Neil Shusterman and Beth Revis and will be published by Simon Pulse in Fall 2015.
She also writes Middle Grade books under the name Margaret Gurevich. Her first MG, Chloe by Design: Making the Cut, billed as a "Project Runway for Teens," was published by Capstone in September, and the sequel, Balancing Act, will be out Fall 2015.
Kristen Kemp is the author of sixteen books for Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and other major publishers. Her latest nonfiction project was Redemption (Random House, paperback March 2012). Recent young adult titles include Breakfast at Bloomingdale's (Scholastic Press, 2007) and This is Push: New Stories from the Edge (Push, 2007). She is also the book reviewer for Parents Magazine.
Kristen has been an editor at Cosmopolitan and Girls' Life magazines, with articles appearing in Parents, Self, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, CosmoGIRL!, Seventeen, Marie Claire, The New York Daily News, Men's Health, Publisher’s Weekly and many others. Her teaching credits include adult novel writing and magazine writing for Ed2010, Mediabistro and The Woodhull Institute with Naomi Wolf as well as kids of all ages through The New York Public Library.
She is co-founder and editor of HealingSisters.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rape and incest survivors. Kristen was health editor at CafeMom.com before founding and then selling her own local parenting website, BaristaKids.com.