Harbor Springs Festival of the Book brings renowned, nationally-published authors to Northern Michigan.

See the presenters from our 2018 Festival below. We will begin announcing 2019 Festival Presenters in the Spring. Sign up for our newsletter here for updates.





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Edward Lee is the author of Buttermilk Graffiti and Smoke & Pickles; chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award–winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. He lives in Louisville and Washington, DC, and you can find him on Instagram and Twitter @chefedwardlee.

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joshua  Mcfadden

Joshua McFadden is executive chef/owner of Ava Gene’s and co-owner of Tusk in Portland, Oregon. Before moving to Portland, McFadden helped define the burgeoning Brooklyn food scene when he was chef de cuisine at Franny’s; he has also cooked at Momofuku, Blue Hill, and Lupa in New York; North Pond in Chicago; and Lark Creek Inn and Roxanne’s in the Bay Area. McFadden also spent time in Rome, cooking at Alice Waters’s project in sustainable dining at the American Academy. He kindled his love of soil, seeds, and seasons during two years as farm manager at Maine’s Four Season Farm, founded by sustainability pioneers Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. Follow him on Instagram at @jj__mc and on Twitter at @joshua_mcfadden.


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rene denfeld

Rene Denfeld is an internationally bestselling author, journalist, and licensed investigator specializing in death penalty work. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is also the author of the award-winning novel The Enchanted and The Child Finder, as well as three works of nonfiction. For more visit www.renedenfeld.com.

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Janet Fitch is the author of the novels White Oleander, an Oprah Book Club selection translated into 28 languages, and Paint It Black, set in the 1980s punk world in Los Angeles. Both books have been adapted into motion pictures. Her current novel is The Revolution of Marina M., the coming of age of a young poet in the firestorm of the Russian Revolution. She lives in Los Angeles. For more visit, www.janetfitchwrites.com.

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brandon hobson

Brandon Hobson is a recipient of the 2016 Pushcart Prize, and his writing has appeared in such places as Conjunctions, NOON, The Paris Review Daily, and The Believer. He is the author of Desolation of Avenues Untold, Deep Ellum, and The Levitationist. He teaches writing in Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe. For more, visit www.brandonhobson.com.

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Debra Jo Immergut

Debra Jo Immergut is the author of the literary thriller The Captives (June, 2018, Ecco) as well as the short fiction collection Private Property. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she worked as an editor and journalist, and has taught writing in various settings, including libraries, military bases, and prisons. Immergut lives in western Massachusetts.

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mark sarvas

Mark Sarvas is the author of the novels Memento Park and Harry, Revised, which was published in more than a dozen countries around the world. His book reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Threepenny Review, Bookforum, and many others. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, PEN/America, and PEN Center USA, and teaches novel writing at the UCLA Extension Writers Program. For more, visit www.marksarvas.com.

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Ray Robertson

Ray Robertson is the author of the novels Home Movies, Heroes, Moody Food, Gently Down the Steam, What Happened Later, David, and I Was There the Night He Died, as well as the non-fiction collections Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), Mental Hygiene:  Essays on Writers and Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, which was short-listed for the Hilary Weston Prize and long-listed  for the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction.  Born and raised in Southwestern Ontario,  he lives in Toronto. For more, visit www.rayrobertson.com.

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tess sharpe

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, author Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a lot of dogs and a growing colony of slightly feral cats. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novel Far from You and the co-editor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist YA anthology. Barbed Wire Heart is her adult fiction debut. For more, visit www.tess-sharpe.com.

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jessica shattuck

Jessica Shattuck is the award-winning author of The Women in the Castle, The Hazards of Good Breeding, a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and of Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, Wired, and The Believer, among others. A graduate of Harvard University, she received her MFA from Columbia University. Shattuck now lives with her husband and three children in Brookline, Massachusetts. For more, visit www.jessicashattuck.com.

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Marisa Silver is the author of six works of fiction including the novels Little Nothing and Mary Coin. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts in 2017 and is currently The Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. For more, visit www.marisasilver.com.

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Heidi Sopinka

Heidi Sopinka has worked as a bush cook in the Yukon, a travel writer in Southeast Asia, a helicopter pilot, a magazine editor, and is co-founder and co-designer at Horses Atelier. She is widely published as a journalist in Canada, where she won a national magazine award and was The Globe and Mail's environment columnist. She has also written for The Believer. For more, visit www.heidisopinka.com.

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Merilyn Simonds

Merilyn Simonds is the author of 18 books, including Gutenberg’s Fingerprint, a 2017 Globe Best Book, The Holding, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and the Canadian classic work of creative nonfiction, The Convict Lover, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her latest novel, Refuge, is published this fall. She grew up in South America and now divides her time between Kingston, Ontario, and Mexico. For more, visit www.merilynsimonds.com.

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Laura van den Berg is the author of The Third Hotel (August, 2018, FSG), two story collections, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, and the novel Find Me. She is the recipient of a Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, an O. Henry Award, and a MacDowell Colony fellowship. Born and raised in Florida, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and dog. For more, visit www.lauravandenberg.com

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Steve Yarbrough is the author of eleven books, most recently the novel The Unmade World. His other books are the nonfiction title Bookmarked: Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, the novels The Realm of Last Chances, Safe from the Neighbors, The End of California, Prisoners of War, Visible Spirits and The Oxygen Man, and the short story collections Veneer, Mississippi History and Family Men. His work has been published in several foreign languages, including Dutch, Japanese and Polish, and it has also appeared in Ireland, Canada, and the U.K. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. For more, visit www.steveyarbrough.net.



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Karen Dionne is the author of 2018 Michigan Notable book The Marsh King's Daughter, a dark psychological novel suspense set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. An international bestseller, The Marsh King's Daughter has been published in 25 languages and was named a "Best of 2017" by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and many other booksellers and reviewers. In addition, The Marsh King's Daughter has been nominated for a Barry and Macavity Award, the Dashiel Hammett prize, and is currently in development as a major motion picture. Karen has been honored by the Michigan Humanities Council as a humanities scholar, and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs. For more, visit www.karen-dionne.com.


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A native of Maine, bestselling author Paul Doiron attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English. The Poacher’s Son, the first book in the Mike Bowditch series, won the Barry award, the Strand award for best first novel, and has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity Awards in the same category. He is a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife, Kristen Lindquist. For more, visit www.pauldoiron.com.

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Bryan Reardon

Bryan Reardon is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Finding Jake. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Bryan worked for the State of Delaware for more than a decade, starting in the office of the governor. He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife and kids.



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Thomas C. Bailey

Thomas C. Bailey has been Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy since November, 1984. Before joining the Conservancy, he spent six years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and several seasons as a Ranger with the US National Park Service. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Lake Superior State University by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in 2016 and to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Michigan State Parks and Outdoor Recreation in 2011. He previously served on the National Land Trust Council as well as other government appointments and non-profit boards, and is co-founder of Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy and the Top of Michigan Trails Council. He received his Bachelor's degree in Park and Recreation Resources from Michigan State University, where he also pursued graduate studies in land use, resource economics and environmental law. In the 1970s, he worked as a citizen representative and lobbyist for several local, state and national conservation groups.

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Deborah blum

Deborah Blum is director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, and editor of Undark magazine, (undark.org). In 1992, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a series on primate research, which she turned into a book, The Monkey Wars. Her other books include The Poisoner's Handbook, Ghost Hunters, Love at Goon Park, and Sex on the Brain. She has written for publications including the New York Times, Wired, Time, Discover, Mother Jones, the Guardian and the Boston Globe. Blum is a past president of the National Association of Science Writers, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a lifetime associate of the National Academy of Sciences. For more, visit www.deborahblum.com.


Porter Fox

Porter Fox is the editor of Nowhere and the author of Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, and The Best American Travel Writing. Raised in Maine, he lives in New York. For more, visit www.porterfox.com.



Michael Gustafson is the co-editor of Notes from a Public Typewriter, published by Grand Central Publishing. He is also the co-owner of Literati Bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Hilary. 

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Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough is an essayist and translator. A native of Poland, she arrived in the United States in 1984. The essays in her debut collection Objects of Affection were published in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, the American Scholar, the Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. The title piece, “Objects of Affection,” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2012; five others were listed among Notable Essays for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Hryniewicz-Yarbrough’s translations of Polish poetry have appeared in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, the Paris Review, and Image. She has also translated a collection of Philip Levine’s poetry into Polish. She divides her time between Boston and Krakow.

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howard markel

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. His books include Quarantine!, When Germs Travel, and An Anatomy of Addiction, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Markel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Sofija Stefanovic

Sofija Stefanovic is a Serbian-Australian writer and storyteller based in Manhattan. She hosts the popular literary salon, Women of Letters New York, and This Alien Nation—a monthly celebration of immigration. She’s a regular storyteller with The Moth, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian.com, and Elle.com, among others. Her memoir, Miss Ex-Yugoslavia, has just been published. For more, visit www.sofijastefanovic.com.


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Pino Coluccio

Pino Coluccio's poems have appeared in The Walrus and three anthologies. His first collection, First Comes Love, came out in 2005. He lives in Toronto.

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Peter Markus

Peter Markus is the author of numerous books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, the most recent of which is Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in Detroit Public Schools. His stories have appeared in such journals as the Iowa Review, Chicago Review, Black Warrior Review, Massachusetts Review, Quarterly West, Northwest Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and others.


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Dean Rader

Dean Rader’s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and Landscape Portrait Figure Form (2014) was named by The Barnes & Noble Review as a Best Poetry Book. His most recent projects, all published in 2017, include Suture, collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench, Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence edited with Brian Clements & Alexandra Teague, and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, which was a finalist for both the Oklahoma Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. He is a professor at the University of San Francisco.

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Nick Twemlow

Nick Twemlow is the author of Attributed to the Harrow Painter, published by the Kuhl House Poets Series of the University of Iowa Press in late 2017, and Palm Trees, which won the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His writing has appeared in A Public Space, Best American Non-Required Reading, Paris Review, and elsewhere. His short films have played Slamdance, SXSW, Tribeca, and other festivals. A former Fulbright fellow, he is a senior editor at the Iowa Review and teaches at Coe College.

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Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells is a poet and nonfiction writer from Portland, Oregon. Her debut collection of poetry, The Fix (2018), won the Iowa Poetry Prize. A new book of nonfiction, Believers, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her work can be found in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, N+1, Best New Poets, the Iowa Review and elsewhere. With Joshua Marie Wilkinson she edits a poetry journal, The Volta, and a small press called Letter Machine Editions. For more, visit www.lisawellswriter.com.


Picture Book & Early Reader

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Abby Hanlon is the author and illustrator of Dory Fantasmagory, a popular chapter book series for young readers. The first two books in the series are published in twenty languages. Abby lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twins. For more, visit www.abbyhanlon.com.

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Heather Ross is an illustrator and fabric designer. She lives in New York City and the Catskill Mountains with her husband, daughter, and dog. For more, visit www.heatherross.squarespace.com.

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gary d. schmidt

Gary D. Schmidt is the author of more than fifteen books for children and young adults including Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor, and The Wednesday Wars, which received a Newbery Honor. He lives in Alto, Michigan.

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Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth, and Growing Up Pedro, as well as Zachary’s Ball, Oliver’s Game, and Mudball. He is the illustrator of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas; Over the River and Through the Wood; Lady Liberty, by Doreen Rappaport; The Gingerbread Pirates, by Kristin Kladstrup; and Jubilee!, by Alicia Potter. Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine. For more, visit www.matttavares.com.

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Chris Van Dusen is the creator of many outstanding books for children, including The Circus Ship and Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit. He is also the illustrator of President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, by Mac Barnett and the best-selling Mercy Watson series, by Kate DiCamillo. He lives in Maine.  For more, visit www.chrisvandusen.com.

Middle Grade

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lindsay eagar

Lindsay Eagar is the author of the novel Hour of the Bees, Race to the Bottom of the Sea, and the forthcoming The Bigfoot Files (October, 2018, Candlewick). She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband and daughters. For more, visit www.lindsayeagarbooks.com.

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jo watson hackl

Jo Watson Hackl is the author of Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe (July, 2018, Random House)She is also founder of outdoorosity.org and a lawyer with Wyche, PA. She received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Jo lives in Greenville, South Carolina  with her husband and three children. They all take to the woods whenever they can. For more, visit www.johackl.com.

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katherine marsh

Katherine Marsh is the Edgar Award-winning author of The Night Tourist; The Twilight Prisoner; Jepp, Who Defied the Stars; and The Doors By the Staircase. Katherine grew up in New York and now lives in Brussels, Belgium, with her husband and two children. For more, visit www.katherinemarsh.com.

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Ilyasah Shabazz

Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, is an educator, activist, motivational speaker, and author of multiple award-winning publications, including X: A Novel. She is also an active advocacy worker and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. For more, visit www.ilyasahshabazz.com

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Colby Sharp is a fifth grade teacher in Parma, Michigan. He is the co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club, and the literacy conference Nerd Camp Michigan. His debut book, The Creativity Project, is a celebration of reading, writing and creating. For more, visit www.mrcolbysharp.com.

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Liesl Shurtliff

Liesl Shurtliff is the author of the New York Times bestselling (Fairly) True Tales series, including Rump, which was awarded an ILA Children’s Book Award. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, she now lives with her husband and four kids in Chicago. Visit her at LieslShurtliff.com @LieslShurtliff.

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Greg van Eekhout

Greg van Eekhout lives in San Diego, California with his astronomy/physics professor wife and two dogs. He’s worked as an educational software developer, ice cream scooper, part-time college instructor, and telemarketer. Being a writer is the only job he's ever actually liked. For more, visit www.writingandsnacks.com.

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Kat Yeh

Kat Yeh is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novels The Truth About Twinkie Pie and The Way to Bea. She grew up reading, writing, and dreaming in Westtown, Pennsylvania. She currently lives with her family on Long Island. Learn more about Kat at www.katyeh.com.


Young Adult

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David Arnold

David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland, and his books have been translated into a dozen languages. For more, visit www.davidarnoldbooks.com.

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Patrick Flores-Scott

Patrick Flores-Scott currently teaches struggling elementary readers and math students. He's written for theatre and the slam poetry stage. Jumped In is his first novel, and American Road Trip will be released in late 2018.  He lives Seattle with his wife and two young boys. For more, visit www.patrickfloresscott.com.

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Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier has a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon and a masters in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she studied literature for children. Isle of Blood and Stone was released in April 2018. For more, visit www.makiialucier.com.

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L.L. McKinney

L.L. McKinney is a writer, a poet, and an active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests. She’s also a gamer girl and an adamant Hei Hei stan. A Blade So Black is her debut novel. For more, visit www.llmckinney.com.

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Leah Thomas frequently loses battles of wits against her students and her stories. When she's not huddled in cafés, she's usually at home pricking her fingers in service of cosplay. Leah lives in San Diego, California and is the author of the William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist, Because You'll Never Meet Me, its sequel, Nowhere Near You, and her latest novel, When Light Left Us.


Good Hart Artist in Residence

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The Harbor Springs Festival of the Book is excited to announce a cooperative partnership with the Good Hart Artist in Residence program. The program offers 2-3 week residencies dedicated to visual artists and writers. The first writer selected to participate in the program and present during the Festival's Fridays Soup & Stories is Bryna Peebles Cofrin-Shaw.  Originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, and currently living in Brooklyn, New York, Bryna is a graduate of Brown University (BA Environmental Studies) and Hunter College (MFA in Fiction). In addition to writing and teaching, Bryna is an amateur bread-maker, moose lover, and competitive cyclist.  Bryna plans to use her time at Good Hart working on a novel-in-stories that grapples with intimate politics and queer family-building, as well as the interplay of ecology, climate psychology and sexuality. She plans to spend as much time as she can in the varied, splendid habitats of northern Michigan, and to allow these landscapes to shape and infect her creative work, especially as she considers the relationship between human and environmental traumas. For more information about the residency, visit www.goodhartartistresidency.org.