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Margaret Hutton

Margaret Hutton’s short fiction has appeared in several magazines, including The Sun, The Chattahoochee Review, Artful Dodge, The South Carolina Review, and, most recently, in the fiction anthology Abundant Grace. She graduated with honors in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned an MFA from George Mason University where she was named the Heritage Writer for distinguished fiction. Currently, she’s working on a novel. She lives in Chevy Chase with her husband and teenage daughter. 


Ian Blake Newhem

Ian Blake Newhem is a veteran ghostwriter who founded The Ghost of the Future, LLC, a full-service writing, editing, and platform-building corporation after years in journalism education.  Among other projects, he’s the co-author of the successful health titles in the 30-Day Diabetes Miracle books series (Penguin-Perigee 07, 08); the ghostwriter of 77 Questions for Skillful Living as well as Slow Medicine with celebrity doctor Michael Finkelstein (William Morrow 13 & 15); the parenting title Dream So Big (Adams 09); as well as the textbooks Managing the College Newsroom (Associated Collegiate Press, Int. 03); & Things Unattempted Yet in Prose or Rhyme (Cognella/University Readers 11).  His new titles drop soon—I’m Every Woman, a memoir with the troubled daughter of soul singer Chaka Khan (Karen Hunter 17); and The Mind of God with renowned behavioral neurologist Dr. Jay Lombard (Crown 17).  He’s working now on From the Ground Up, a well-known NY politician’s take on using the lessons gleaned in the aftermath of 911 to solve the country’s greatest challenges; and The Ghost of the Future, a guide to 21st Century ghostwriting for Writer’s Digest Books’ 2018 line.  He’s worked with distinguished personalities including Patrick Kennedy, Lynn Cheney, Barney Frank, Rudy Tanzi, Bill Cosby, Raven Symoné, Andrew Weil, Curtis Sliwa, Henny Youngman, The Farrelly Brothers, & Pop Band BBMak.  He’s placed in competitions and published more than 100 books, articles, stories, and essays for several major publishers and the publications Utne Reader; North Dakota Quarterly; Writer’s Digest; Story; MadHat Lit; Origins; White Ash; Iconoclast; Gannett’s Journal News; News Corp’s Times Herald-Record; Brain, Child; Quiddity; Genre; and Really.  Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he’s seen his work anthologized and produced for NPR, and he’s appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows in support of his authors and his own work.  Newhem’s firm also manages social media platforms including regular blogs, as well as a speakers’ bureau for a host of author-clients in the corporate, celebrity, health, business, and politics spaces.  He’s a longtime union activist, on the National Writers Union Service Organization board, and he’s one the NWU’s most experienced contract advisers.  He has also served as the magazine program chair for the College Media Association, International where he won the “Distinguished Adviser of the Year” award in ’05 and ’12.  He worked as a Literature and Journalism professor in the SUNY system from 1999–2015.  A dynamic and sought-after speaker, he travels extensively in the US and abroad, lecturing and conducting workshops on publishing, journalism, ethics, and health, as well as judging national and international writing competitions.  He’s been featured in The Examiner and The Writer.  He also rescued orphan elephants in Kenya, climbed Kilimanjaro in the winter after surviving a rare cancer, and won awards for firefighting.


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Stewart Moss

Stewart Moss is the former Executive Director of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the largest literary centers in the USA. There he helped establish creative writing programs for adult immigrants and members of the military. Prior to that, he worked as an educator and fundraiser in educational institutions around the country. He has taught literature and creative writing in both the USA and abroad; Scotland, Greece, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Nepal are among the countries in which he has lived and worked. Moss has an essay forthcoming in "Retire the Colors: Veterans & Civilians on Iraq & Afghanistan" (published this fall by Hudson Whitman/Excelsior College Press). He has also been featured in "The Poet and the Poem" podcasts at The Library of Congress.  He was educated at Union College (NY) and Harvard University. A native of Boston, MA he resides in Annapolis, MD. 


Dini Karasik

Dini Karasik is the owner and operator of The Writer's Loft. She's also the founding editor and publisher of Origins Journal, a literary magazine that examines the art of narrative through the lens of identity. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in several literary journals, including The Más Tequila ReviewKweli JournalBartleby SnopesThe Butter, and Literal Magazine. Her short fiction is anthologized in Abundant Grace (Paycock Press, November 2016), and her story "Amalia on the Border" was a finalist in The Texas Observer's 2013 Short Story Contest judged by Dagoberto Gilb. She is also the recipient of a 2016 Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Individual Artist Award.


Lisa Schamess

Lisa Schamess is a novelist (Borrowed Light, SMU Press, 2002), essayist (Creative NonfictionModern LossDefunct, TOSKA), and longtime teacher of teens and young adults. She developed her outside-the-box approaches to teaching writing during 12 years of work in high school and community college classrooms. Olivia is her role model in always writing what's "pretty all true."