Speakers

Margaret Sartor

Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897-1922

Margaret Sartor, co-author of Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897-1922, is a writer, photographer, and instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Alexis Schaitkin

Saint X

Alexis Schaitkin, author of Saint X, has published stories and essays in The Southern Review, Southwest Review, Ecotone, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and The Best American Short Stories.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Fiction

Jalane Schmidt

Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba

Jalane Schmidt is associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where she teaches courses on race and religion, and social movements. An activist and public historian in Charlottesville, she leads tours of Confederate monuments and plans public events about local history.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Ethan Schrum

The Instrumental University: Education in Service of the National Agenda after World War II

Ethan Schrum, author of The Instrumental University: Education in Service of the National Agenda after World War II, is associate professor of history at Azusa Pacific University. He is a historian of modern American thought and holds a PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Robert Schultz

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials

Robert Schultz, author of War Memoranda, has authored six books. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, Cornell University’s Corson Bishop Poetry Prize, and VQR’s Balch Prize. His artwork is held by the Library of Congress, the University of Virginia, and private collectors.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Genre: Non-Fiction

Rion Amilcar Scott

The World Doesn't Require You

Rion Amilcar Scott, author of The World Doesn’t Require You and Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for debut fiction. His work has been published in journals such as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Fiction

Jon Sealy

The Edge of America

Jon Sealy, author of The Edge of America and The Whiskey Baron, is a freelance writer in Richmond, Va. A South Carolina native, he has an MFA from Purdue University and is an active member of the James River Writers.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Crime Wave

Bellamy Shoffner

Bellamy Shoffner is a writer and equity advocate specializing in fostering thoughtful connection and conversation among communities. Shoffner’s Revolutionary Humans (formerly HTL) produces publications, retreats, and community events for parents and educators committed to social justice.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Susan Richards Shreve

More News Tomorrow

Susan Richards Shreve, author of More News Tomorrow, is the author of fifteen novels, a memoir, and thirty books for children. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment grant, among other honors. She is also a professor of creative writing at George Mason University and former chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Fiction

Carter Sickels

The Prettiest Star

Carter Sickels, author of The Prettiest Star and The Evening Hour, is the recipient of the 2013 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award. His fiction has appeared in Buzzfeed and Guernica, among others.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Fiction

Jeanne Siler

Jeanne Nicholson Siler has been involved with the Virginia Festival of the Book for most of its 26 years, alternately as moderator, driver, author, and a variety of volunteer roles. Currently a staff member at Virginia Humanities, she directs the Fellowship program.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Susan Sleeper-Smith

Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792

Susan Sleeper-Smith, author of Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, is a leading specialist in Native American history during the colonial and early national periods. She has written or edited five other books, and is especially interested in the roles that women and religion played in cross-cultural encounters.

Genre: Non-Fiction

Michael Farris Smith

Blackwood

Michael Farris Smith is the author of Blackwood, The Fighter, Desperation Road, Rivers, and The Hands of Strangers. His novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, Southern Living, Book Riot, and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Fiction

Rachel Louise Snyder

No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises, is a journalist. Her other books include Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, and the novel, What We’ve Lost is Nothing.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Gina Sobel

Gina Sobel is a natural improviser and virtuoso on multiple instruments (flute, sax, voice) who exudes energy and excitement in her live performances and is sought after as a soloist with national and international performers. In 2017, Gina apprenticed with Susan Gaeta in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, to learn the music of Flory Jagoda, the National Heritage Fellow known as “the keeper of the flame” for preserving the Ladino music of Sephardic Jews in the United States, and Susan’s mentor. Together, Gina and Susan have their own Sephardic group, Minnush, and traveled to Cuba in 2019 to participate in a cultural exchange with Cuban musicians.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Genre: Poetry

Rachael Sparks

Resistant

Rachael Sparks, author of Resistant, grew up in Texas and trained in microbiology at Texas A&M University. After a transplant specialist career in Austin, Texas, she joined a start-up fighting healthcare-acquired infections at hospitals nationwide and abroad. She now lives in Asheville, N.C.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Fiction

Lisa Speidel

The Edge of Sex: Navigating a Sexually Confusing Culture From the Margins

Lisa Speidel, coauthor of the The Edge of Sex: Navigating a Sexually Confusing Culture From the Margins, is an assistant professor in the Women, Gender and Sexuality department at the University of Virginia and an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Deb Spera

Call Your Daughter Home

Deb Spera, author of Call Your Daughter Home, was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family, where she owns her own television company, One-Two Punch Productions, and has executive produced Criminal Minds, Army Wives, and more.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Fiction

Bella Stander

Bella Stander is the publisher of Bella Terra Maps. Stander has reviewed books for Publishers Weekly, the Washington PostChicago Tribune and Wall St. Journal; and written eight lighthouse guides.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Maureen Stanton

Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood

Maureen Stanton is the author of Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood, which People magazine called “a blazingly important memoir about the possibility of change.” She has received a Massachusetts Book Award, an NEA fellowship, Pushcart prizes, and a Maine Arts Council grant.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Katherine Stewart

The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers, has been reporting at the intersection of religion, politics, policy, and education for the past 10 years. She has contributed to The New York Times, American Prospect, Washington Post, the Nation, Guardian, The Advocate, Slate, and the Atlantic.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Matt Stoller

Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

Matt Stoller, author of Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, is a Fellow at the Open Markets Institute in Washington, D.C. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The American Conservative, The Guardian, and The Atlantic.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Laura-Gray Street

A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia

Laura-Gray Street, coeditor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia and The Ecopoetry Anthology and author of Shift Work and Pigment and Fume, is associate professor of English and editor of the MFA’s literary journal, Revolute, at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Poetry

Sarah Sullivan

A Day for Skating

Sarah Sullivan, author of A Day for Skating, has written the picture books Dear Baby: Letters from Your Big Brother and Passing the Music Down. She has an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and lives in Williamsburg, Va.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Children/Youth

Liz Swanson

Wondrous Things

Liz Swanson, author of Wondrous Things, is an artist and associate professor of architecture at the University of Kentucky. Her work centers on the social, cultural, and spiritual import of the built environment and exists at the intersection of architecture, art, and storytelling.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Genre: Children/Youth