Adult Programs

Adult Programs


In the Company of Paula Fox

Meet New York State Writers Hall of Fame inductee Paula Fox, author of novels for adults and children and two memoirs. Her novel The Slave Dancer (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. More recently, A Portrait of Ivan won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2008.

Joe Donahue, of WAMC’s Roundtable, will engage her in a discussion about her life andwork.

Book Collecting 101

Will the printed word survive the onslaught of digital books, online news, emails, tweets and blogs? How are book collectors impacted? Who collects, why do we collect and how and where does the novice collector begin? Join Albany bookseller Dennis Holzman discussing such questions with antiquarian booksellers/collectors John DeMarco and Garry Austin. Questions from the audience will be encouraged.

Insider’s Guide to Getting Published—Meet the Publishers!

This is your opportunity to hear from publishers in the field today.  Learn the Trade Secrets!  Debbie Allen of Black Dome Press, Bruce McPherson of McPherson & Co., and James Peltz of SUNY Press will address submissions, agents, editing, design, production, marketing, and more.  Q&A will follow.

Olde New York: NYC Historical Fiction

A teen-aged girl who can outpitch Major League baseball players becomes a Coney Island sideshow attraction in the Roaring Twenties. A dentist is brutally murdered in Lower Manhattan in 1857, and a beautiful young widow becomes a suspect. A young Italian immigrant navigates the streets of Little Italy at the turn of the 20th century, where she struggles to make a living as a midwife.  A science-loving 16-year-old girl finds a job at the New York City Department of Health, where she helps track down Typhoid Mary. Discover how three adult authors and one young adult author—Joseph Wallace (Diamond Ruby), Ellen Horan (31 Bond Street), Laurie Fabiano (Elizabeth Street), and Julie Chibbaro (Deadly) — dug through the past to expose real slices of NYC life, weaving historical figures into their fictional narratives. Moderated by Chuck D’Imperio, local historian and author.


Pets and Their People

Publishing is going to the dogs (and cats). Ever since Marley and Me hit the bestseller lists in 2005, the reading public can’t get enough of the pet memoir. Join Julie Klam, John Zeaman, and Gwen Cooper for an engaging discussion about the unique and enduring bonds between us and our furry friends, and find out how our pets make us better people. Moderated by author, pet columnist, and award-winning freelance writer, Peggy Frezon.

Kick-Ass Women on the Case

Detective heroes were exclusively male until the past 30 years or so. The popularity of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone and Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski inspired publishers to seek out other fictional female detectives, and the field has grown steadily since.  Editor and mystery-book doctor Michele Slung will lead this discussion featuring Hollis Seamon, Robert Knightly, S. J. Rozan, and Julia Pomeroy, all creators of unforgettable kick-ass female detectives.

Best American Poetry

April is National Poetry Month!  David Lehman, editor and founder of Best American Poetry, will discuss the genesis of the series, including its history, eligibility rules, and why he has succeeded –where others have failed—in publishing an annual poetry anthology. Several featured poets, including Cara Benson, Mark Bibbins, Stacey Harwood, Daniel Nester, and Kathy Ossip, will read from their work.


Writing Under the Covers: Breaking into Romance

Learn what you need to know to break into the 21st century world of romance publishing.  Penny Watson will moderate this panel from the Albany chapter of Romance Writers of America.  Ebooks are the fastest growing segment of the romance market, and several of these authors have had bestselling titles for the Amazon Kindle. Hear from Lydia Storm, Jean C. Gordon, K.A. Mitchell, and Lisa Lewis.

Genre, Gender, and Race: Break out of the Box

If you think all you need is a great story to make it in publishing, think again.  While definitions like genre, gender and race help to market books to niche audiences, they can also be too limiting.  In the new publishing paradigm where book reviews are scant and readers are building their own communities with blogs, social networking and other technologies, is there an opportunity to break out of this box and get good stories into the hands of willing readers? Join us for a panel discussion moderated by author Teri Coyne, with voices from all aspects of the writing life including Jennifer Weltz, Kami Wikoff, Ron Hogan, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant.

Short Story: Tall Order

The short story has experienced a renaissance in the past several years, with the rise of blogs and online literary magazines. How does the author contain the entire arc of the narrative in a piece that can be read in one sitting? Hear from four emerging authors with newly published collections of short stories: Emma Straub (Other People We Married), Matt Debenham (The Book of Right and Wrong), Mary-Beth Hughes (Double Happiness), and Ben Greenman (Celebrity Chekov). Moderated by novelist Frank Delaney.


Watch Your Language

Calling all logomaniacs! Join Merriam-Webster lexicographer Peter Sokolowski along with fellow language mavens Joseph Pickett (editor, American Heritage Dictionary), Robert Lane Greene (You Are What You Speak), and Ben Zimmer (executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and former On Language columnist for The New York Times) for a conversation about informal and offensive language.

Cozy up to a Mystery

What makes a mystery a cozy? Is it the quirky, amateur sleuth? The likeable characters? The village setting? Join the discussion with Donna Andrews, Rosemary Harris, and Robin Hathaway—respective creators of a sleuthing blacksmith, professional landscaper, and cardiologist. Moderated by mystery-writer Hollis Seamon.

The American Dream: Fiction and Prosperity

Tales of wealth and privilege, boom and bust…three stories of chasing the American Dream highlight in different ways the ethical quandaries that success can bring.  Jonathan Dee (The Privileges), Martha McPhee (Dear Money), and Teddy Wayne (Kapitoil) will participate in this discussion moderated by Michele Filgate, indie bookseller, freelance public radio producer, writer and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.


The American Songbook

Since the days of Tin Pan Alley, America has taken the lead in popular song. In this discussion moderated by music critic David Hadju, Mark Rotella (Amore: The Story of Italian-American Song), David Lehman (A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Song), and Sara Marcus (Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution) will discuss different strands of 20th century American music, and examine how our musical identity intersects with social and cultural forces.

Romance: The Red-Headed Stepchild

Romance is like the red-headed stepchild of commercial fiction publishing, if the red-headed stepchild were the member of the family that covered the household expenses. Critics can barely bring themselves to acknowledge its existence, but it’s responsible for nearly 15 percent of all paperback fiction sales… and its stake in the ebook world is growing! Join Ron Hogan, the host of New York’s only monthly reading series dedicated to romance fiction, as he talks with novelists Lauren Willig and Cara Elliott and editor Leah Hultenschmidt about who their audience is, what the most popular trends are, and where the genre is headed as digital publishing gains traction.

She Blinded Me with Science Fiction

According to Rod Serling, “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.” Three authors representing a range of science fiction/fantasy subgenres—Michele Lang, Pamela Sargent, and Jackie Kesslerwill discuss the creative process as well as the contemporary state of the genre. Moderated by Joe Berlant of the Latham-Albany-Schenectady-Troy Science Fiction Association (LASTSFA).


Rosanne Cash will talk about her fascinating life as a writer, singer-songwriter, mother, wife, daughter (and accidental internet celebrity) and will read from her New York Times bestselling memoir, COMPOSED.

For thirty years as a musician, Rosanne Cash has enjoyed critical success, from her Grammy Award and multiple nominations, including for her latest record, THE LIST, to multiple songwriting awards.  She has published an acclaimed short story collection, BODIES OF WATER, a picture book, PENELOPE JANE, and edited an anthology of fiction by songwriters.  Her essays have been published in “The New York Times”, “Rolling Stone”, Time Magazine, The Oxford American and New York Magazine.  Online, she has contributed pieces to, The Huffington Post, and has an ever-multiplying number of followers on Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: