Peter Heller

Peter Heller

Fiction

Peter Heller is the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, The Painter, and Celine He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in both fiction and poetry. An award-winning adventure writer and a longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Kook, The Whale Warriors, and Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet’s Tsangpo River. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Note: Peter is not available for critiques.

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Middle Grade / Fiction

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of the Louisiana Girls children‘s book trilogy, which includes Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic. Her children’s books have received the Parents’ Choice Foundation Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, and the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award, among others. Towers Falling, her latest middle grade novel, was published in July 2016. She is also the author of adult novels, including Voodoo Dreams.

Jewell grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Drama Criticism, a Master of Arts in English, and a Doctor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) from Carnegie Mellon University. Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University

Jewell will also lead off our second Kids Writing Camp on June 27.

Note: Jewell will not be available for critiques.

Craig Welch

Craig Welch

Creative Nonfiction

Craig Welch covers the environment and natural resources, with a focus on climate change and oceans. He started at National Geographic in 2015 after 15 years with The Seattle Times. He was part of a team that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the deadliest landslide in U.S. history, and has won journalism awards from the National Academy of Sciences, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the Overseas Press Club, among others. HarperCollins published his book, Shell Games: A True Story of Cops, Con Men, and the Smuggling of America’s Strangest Wildlife, a nonfiction detective story about wildlife thieves. It won the national Rachel Carson Environment Book Award in 2011. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Welch has reported from all seven continents. He enjoys fly fishing and, when not injured, trail running. He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.

Photo by Mark Thiessen

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl

Fiction

Nancy Pearl speaks about the pleasures of reading to literacy organizations and community groups throughout the world and comments on books regularly on NPR’s Morning Edition. On her monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl, she has interviewed authors as diverse as E. L. Doctorow, Elizabeth Strout, and Terry Pratchett. Her first novel, George & Lizzie, was published in 2017 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.

Among her many honors and awards are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal; the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association; the 2011 Literary Lions Award from the King County Library System.

Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Creative Nonfiction

Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her newest book is Mozart’s Starling (Little, Brown, April, 2017).

Lyanda’s previous books include: The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild, (Little, Brown in fall, 2013), finalist for the Orion Book Award; Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness, (Little, Brown in July 2009), winner of the 2010 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award; Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks, (Little, Brown, 2004); and Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (Sasquatch), winner of the 2002 Washington State Book Award.

Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda

Poetry | Fiction | Creative Nonfiction

Jon Pineda is the author of three poetry collections: Little Anodynes, winner of the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Award, The Translator’s Diary, winner of the Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose, and Birthmark, winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition. His memoir Sleep in Me was a 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and named a “Best Books of 2010” by Library Journal. His debut novel Apology won the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. His second novel Let’s No One Get Hurt is due out in early 2018 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Jon teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and is on faculty at the University of Mary Washington. He lives in Virginia.

Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt

Screenwriter

Michael Arndt received an Oscarr for his original screenplay Little Miss Sunshine, and was nominated for his screen adaptation of Toy Story: 3. He also wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens and, under the pen name of Michael deBruyn, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Oblivion, and under the pen name of Rick Kerb, A Walk in the Woods.

Nina Swamidoss McConigley

Nina Swamidoss McConigley

Fiction

Nina Swamidoss McConigley is the author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which won the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and an MA from the University of Wyoming. She was named by Glamour Magazine as one of ‘50 Phenomenal Women Making a Difference’ in 2014, and her book was named one of 2014’s Best Prize Winning books by O, Oprah Magazine. She has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and held scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for The Best New American Voices. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the MFA program at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.