December 2017 News and EventS

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Shelter, a Julia Ward Howe Award Finalist, has been described as a gripping family saga, a thriller, and haunting page turner as well as “a sharp knife of a novel.” It’s an unforgettable read, all the more remarkable as a debut novel by Jung Jun. In this month’s feature interview, Jung talks about coming to grips with her book’s dark themes, finding a publisher, and her willingness to write (and discard) hundreds of pages to transform her characters into fully developed people.

Q> Shelter is your first published novel. Was there a particular catalyst that inspired you to write this book?

A> I'd been thinking about a character like Kyung for many years—someone unlikeable but understandably, maybe even justifiably, so. I just couldn’t figure out the right story for him until 2007. I was living in Massachusetts at the time, and there was a highly publicized home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut, which was about an hour-and-a-half away. A man survived a night of violence at the hands of two career criminals, but his wife and daughters were killed. Quite honestly, I didn't understand how someone could ever recover from losing his loved ones that way. I began to question how a family with a long history of violence might respond to being the victims of violence themselves, and over time, that seemed like a question that Kyung could answer.

Q> Shelter includes powerful, dark themes from violent home invasion to domestic abuse. Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult for you to write? How did you work your way through them?

A> One of the most challenging scenes to figure out how to write was the one in which Kyung learned what happened to his parents during the home invasion. It was absolutely necessary for him to know the details, but it seemed unlikely that he would hear those details from either of his parents. Over time, it made more and more sense for Connie, Kyung's father-in-law and a police officer, to intervene. By twice filtering the events of that day (from Kyung's parents to Connie, and then from Connie to Kyung), it allowed me to establish some necessary distance from the violence, and also create a more neutral quality of reportage to the details of the home invasion. This seemed in keeping with all of the characters’ personalities, and it had the added benefit of making the writing of this particular section a little less grueling. 

Q> There are multiple plot twists and character revelations, right up to the book’s conclusion. Could you describe how you approached the plotting and writing? Did you outline the main threads of the plot and each character’s behavior in advance, or did you start with characters and scenarios and let the story unfold as you wrote (or something in between)?

A> My approach to writing is fairly unstructured. I'll start with a question that I want to answer, a character I'm interested in, and maybe a couple of key plot points, but not much more than that. Then I'll draft a large number of scenes that will probably never make it into the final manuscript. In Shelter’s case, that added up to a couple hundred pages. I know that may seem like a waste of energy, but this process allowed Kyung to emerge as a person instead of a character, a creation. Once I began to hear myself say "Kyung wouldn't do that" or "Kyung would never say that," I had to revisit those early plot points and think critically about whether he’d really find himself in the situations that I’d originally imagined for him, or if he was going to lead me in some new directions. It turned out to be a little of both.

Q> Once the writing was done, what was your experience in finding a publisher? 

A> My agent set up a phone conversation with Elizabeth Bruce from Picador, who had read my manuscript and wanted to talk about it. I remember we had such an easy, engaging discussion, and at one point, Elizabeth said something that made me pump my fist in the air: “Sometimes a darker story just feels more true.” That’s when I knew she’d be the right person to help guide this book into the market. It was just that instantaneous and intuitive, so when I hung up, I thought Oh please, please, please, let her be my editor. Elizabeth ended up making a pre-empt offer on Shelter a few days later, and I'm really happy to report that my initial instincts weren’t wrong. She and her colleagues were never afraid of this novel’s darker side. They could see the light in it that I did, and that was really important to me.

Q> Were you expecting the book to be such a resounding success? Is there anything that has surprised you in post-publication reviews or in the response from the audience when you do book readings?

A> Last night, while I was working on these questions, I asked my husband if I was a pessimist or a pragmatist during the lead-up to Shelter’s publication. He laughed and refused to answer the question, which should give you a sense of how difficult I was to live with back then. I honestly expected the book to come out and fail to be noticed because lots of wonderful books have done the same for reasons that no one really understands. Of course, it was a shock when Shelter received a good amount of publicity and attention, and I'm grateful to Picador for drumming all that up on the book's behalf. I suppose the thing that surprised me most at public events was the fact that people showed up. I'd spent so much of my time writing this book in isolation, so it was a strange, almost surreal experience when total strangers came to talk about something that had been locked up in my head and my heart for such a long time.

Q> Are you working on a new novel? If yes, could you tell us something about it and what stage you are at in the writing?

A> I’m in the early stages of writing my second novel, which is set in North Dakota, the state where I grew up. I’ve always wanted to set a work of fiction in that landscape, and while the plot is still evolving, my intention is to explore themes like otherness and the American Dream, which are also present in Shelter.

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Citizen Read Program for 2018    

ArtsEmerson and American Repertory Theater invite individuals and groups from Boston, Cambridge, and beyond to join us in a dynamic project exploring the construction of race and identity in America.

Citizen Read will include facilitated conversations of Rankine's 2014 New York Times bestselling book of poetry Citizen: An American Lyric in book clubs throughout Boston and Cambridge, a public dialogue featuring Claudia Rankine and book club participants, and an opportunity to attend the world premiere of Rankine’s new play,  The White Card.

For questions, call (617) 824-3005 or email

BAC Member News

The BAC newsletter is published the first week of every month.  Please send news about your activities, speaking, and new books (along with related pictures) to by December 27 for publication in the JANUARY 2018 newsletter.            

Historian Anthony Sammarco, author of the recently published Jordan Marsh: New England’s Largest Store  will be speaking at the BPL in Copley Square on Tuesday, December 5, at 6 p.m. about Boston's holiday traditions, from the introduction of the Christmas tree in the nineteenth century to hand-bell ringing on Beacon Hill in the twentieth century.

Stephen Puleo, author of American Treasures and Dark Tide will be speaking at two January programs:

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January 16
Dark Tide
Loring Greenough House
12 South Street

Jamaica Plain MA
7:00 p.m.

(This is a ticketed event, so please contact organization in advance.)

January 25

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American Treasures
Abington (MA) Public Library
600 Gliniewicz Way

Abington MA
7:00 p.m.

Join the Club! Or Renew Your Membership Now for 2018

The BAC is planning more programs and more book awards for 2018 . We hope you will join us!

Full membership dues are $50 annually and Associate memberships are $25 annually for the calendar year. You can join and renew online by clicking here. If you would rather pay by check, please make your check out to Boston Authors Club and mail it to the following address:

Nancy Tupper Ling

Boston Authors Club
1600 Providence Highway #247
Walpole MA 02081

November 2017 News & Events


Newtonville Books on November 16 at 7PM

Three authors talk about their paths to publication and what comes next. Join us for a terrific panel led by novelist and BAC member, Erica Ferencik (The River at Night, Gallery / Scout Press) with Annie Harnett (Rabbit Cake, Tin House Books) and Kelly Ford (Cottonmouths, Skyhorse

Publishing) at Newtonville Books, Newton MA on Thursday, November 16th starting at 7:00 p.m. 

BAC Featured Author Interview: Grace Lin on Writing, Illustrating, and Which Comes First 

Grace Lin’s most recent novel When the Sea Turned to Silver won theBAC’s Julia Ward Howe award for 2016 Young Reader books and was selected as a National Book Finalist. In this month’s featured interview, Lin discusses the interplay of outlining, writing, and illustrating her work.

Q: Readers of When the Sea Turned to Silver are transported to a timeless, magical world that is compelling for all ages. Did you write it with a fixed plot in mind or did the story unfold to lead you in unexpected directions? 

Thanks! Well, I have kind of a plot when I begin. I usually have an outline with idea scenes of how the story will unroll when I begin writing. Unfortunately, once I begin writing, it usually all goes out the window and I have to rework on the fly. However, the ending stayed the same. It was the journey to get there that changed.

Q: Your illustrations are equally magical. Could you describe how the illustrations and text come together in the process of your writing? Do you write the text and then move on to the illustrations? Or do you move between illustration and text as the book evolves?

For me, I began as an illustrator. So when I have to write description, I usually just visualize what an illustration of the scene would look like and write it down. However, because it takes so long to draw and paint and because the writing can change easily, I never do the illustrations until after the writing is done. After all the writing is done, I usually pick the scenes that were most vivid to me as I imagined them and illustrate those.

Q:  When the Sea Turned to Silver has two earlier companion books, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. Do you have a favorite among these three?

Are there more to come?

I think I am proudest of When the Sea Turned to Silver because it was such a bear to write. I can’t believe I was able to muscle through that one! I’m not sure if there will be more to come. I have a couple ideas, but nothing very solid. I’m definitely just going to let any potential ideas just simmer and see.

Q: Could you talk about what projects and books you are working on for 2018?

I have a five-year daughter and with her, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of picture books. So, I’m returning to picture books for a little while. My next book is called A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR, out in August 2018. It’s a big departure for me in terms of art style but I am excited about it. 


Publishers with 2017 titles meeting the BAC Awards Criteria are encouraged to submit their books to be considered for Julia Ward Howe prizes. To enter the competition, publishers must submit two copies of each eligible title, along with a fee of $35 dollars per title. Checks should be made out to the Boston Authors Club. Eligible authors may also submit their books directly, with the same fee.

The submission deadline for eligible books published in 2017 is January 31, 2018. Please send your books and your checks to: Boston Authors Club, Attn: Mary Cronin, 2400 Beacon Street, Unit 208, Chestnut Hill, MA. 02467

Criteria for Julia Ward Howe award eligibility include:

·       The books must be published the year prior to the award being given.

·       Authors must live or work within 100 miles of Boston the year their books are published.

·       Books published in print are eligible unless otherwise noted in the criteria. Edited books, textbooks and reference books are not eligible. Self-published and digital-only books are not eligible.

 Outstanding books that are not selected as category winners may be recognized as Finalists at the Awards program in Fall 2018, with no monetary prizes attached.

BAC Member News

The BAC newsletter is published the first week of every month.  Please send news about your activities, speaking, and new books (along with related pictures) to by November 27 for publication in the December newsletter.

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John J. Ronan, poet, playwright, movie producer, and journalist will be reading his poems at the Aeronaut Brewery 14 Tyler St., Somerville, on November 8, 6:00 - 8:00(sponsored by Porter Sq. Books)

Ronan also read from his works at the Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly Farms, MA on October 12, 2017.

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Alice Hoffman, BAC Julia Ward Howe Winner in 2015, will be reading from her latest novel, The Rules of Magic, at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA at 6PM on November 1 

Join the Club! Or Renew Your Membership Now for 2018 

The BAC is planning more programs and more book awards for 2018 . We hope you will join us!

Full membership dues are $50 annually and Associate memberships are $25 annually for the calendar year. You can join and renew online by clicking here. If you would rather pay by check, please make your check out to Boston Authors Club and mail it to the following address:

Nancy Tupper Ling

Boston Authors Club

1600 Providence Highway #247

Walpole MA 02081

September 2017 News & Events

BAC has a new Facebook page:  

Please visit us on Facebook and share this link with friends and fellow authors

BAC Awards Event at the BPL on September 13 at 4:30PM


Please join us at the Boston Author’s Club annual Julia Ward Howe awards event on September 13, from 4:30-7:00, at the Commonwealth Salon Room of the Boston Public Library McKim Building, 700 Boylston Street, Boston.  The program includes time to socialize over refreshments, meet the honored authors, buy their books, and get a copy signed.  Each author will make brief remarks.

If you have not already responded to the Evite, please send an RSVP if you plan to attend. You are most welcome to bring a guest. Email the number and names of attendees to

The winners of this year’s Julia Ward Howe Prize are Daniel Tobin, From Nothing (Four Way Books) and Grace Lin, When the Sea Turned to Silver (Little Brown Books for Young Readers).


Finalists and Highly Recommended authors and books BAC will honor at the awards event are:


Finalists –General Readers:           

Jung Yun, Shelter (Picador)

Susan E. Maycock & Charles M. Sullivan, Building Old Cambridge (MIT Press)


Highly Recommended –General Readers:              

Nicolson Baker, Substitute (Blue Rider Press)

Chris Castellani, The Art of Perspective (Graywolf Press)

Joshua Bennett, The Sobbing School (Penguin Random House)

Paul Mariani, The Whole Harmonium (Simon & Schuster)

Dava Sobel, The Glass Universe (Viking)


Finalists –Young Readers:

Jacqueline Davies, Nothing But Trouble  (Harper Collins)

Susan Lynn Meyer, Skating with the Statue of Liberty (Delacorte Press)


Highly Recommended – Young Readers:

Heather Lang, Swimming with Sharks (Albert Whitman & Company)

Ellen Wittlinger, Local Girl Swept Away (Merit Press)

Reminder to Renew Your Membership

For anyone who has not renewed their BAC membership in 2017, it’s past the time but still not too late! To make renewal even more convenient, we now provide an option to pay your dues directly through the BAC website at:

Full membership dues are $50 annually and Associate memberships are $25 annually for the calendar year.  If you would rather pay by check, please make your check out to Boston Authors Club and mail it to the following address:

Nancy Tupper Ling

Boston Authors Club

1600 Providence Highway #247

Walpole MA 02081

Board Updates and BAC Thanks to Alan Lawson


After many years, Alan Lawson stepped down as President of the BAC this summer. He will be greatly missed by everyone. We sincerely thank him for his dedication and leadership over the years. We are pleased to announce that Mary J. Cronin has been elected by the Board as the new BAC President. We also welcome Nancy Tupper Ling and Scott Guthery to the BAC Board. For more information on our new Board members, please click HERE

BAC Member News


We are back on schedule for BAC newsletter publication the first week of every month.  Please send news about your activities, publications, and new books (along with related pictures) to by September 27 for publication in the October newsletter.


Judith Beth Cohen recently had a story published in this new online magazine that specializes in issues around disability. The story is called "Pray for Willie," and can be found at


John J. Ronan’s new book of poetry, Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown appeared Jan. 15. He held readings at the AWP conference in D.C. on February 9, SUNY Farmingdale, NY on March 23, Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester on April 8, at the Cornelia St. Café, NYC on May 3. Also, a play of his, The Early Bird Special, was a co-winner in the one-act category at the Fire House Festival in Newburyport and was produced January 27. 


Liza Ketchum’s YA novel about vaudeville, “The Life Fantastic,” (Merit Press) had a lovely launch party at Porter Square Books. Liza joined Karen Hesse and Eileen Christelow for a book talk and a discussion on their decades-long writer’s group on April 29th at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT.


This spring, the MIT Press published Jerome Kagan’s most recent book, titled “Five Constraints in Predicting Behavior.”


Nancy Rappaport’s most recent writing project is a one-woman play, Regeneration. It was just accepted for performance in the United Solo Theatre Festival, the world's largest solo theatre festival. The performance will be on October 5th in NYC. She has other upcoming performances in the Boston area, including a free Public Health Week performance on 4/5 at the Somerville Public Library. More information, including a promotional video and performance details, is here:


Alan E. Foulds, a writer of historical books and articles, made his first foray into fiction. The March/April edition of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine made his short story, "Razor's Edge" the cover feature. With luck it's the beginning of a second direction for the author.


Tracy Miller Geary published two articles - “Tips for Writing the College Essay” (Winter Issue) and “Paying for College” (Spring Issue) - in One Magazine, a print and online magazine (

Patricia Striar Rohner had a successful book party in Huntingdon Valley, PA on May 22, where she sold 25 copies of “Tzippy the Thief,” a novel about an 80- year old Jewish widow, who is also a shoplifter, who wants to change her life in the 11th hour.


Anthony Sammarco’s new book, “Jordan Marsh: New England’s Largest Store” will be out on November 6,  2017. 






March, 2017

Welcome to our new members!  After many years, Betty Lowry is stepping down from writing our monthly newsletters, and I will be taking over the role. Although she is still a valuable member of the BAC, her dedication to the newsletter will be very missed.  To tell you a little about myself, I am a short story writer and writing editor and tutor, living in Lynnfield, MA with my family. I've just started my second year on the Reading Committee of the Julia Ward Howe Awards, and am a member of the Board of the BAC in charge of marketing.  I will do my best to keep the high level of enthusiasm and eye for detail that Betty maintained for so long in our monthly newsletters.

Since some members have not renewed their BAC dues for 2017 yet, I wanted to point out that we now have the option to pay online, directly through the website at As a reminder, membership dues are $50 per year for individuals, and are due in January for the calendar year. If you would rather pay by check, you may send it to me, at the following address:

Tracy Miller Geary

c/o The Boston Authors Club

8 Richards Road

Lynnfield, MA 01940

Please be sure to make the check out to the Boston Authors Club. Kindly include an email address and I will let you know that I have received your check. 

I hope that anyone with news about their writing and publications will reach out to me at soon so I may include you in the upcoming newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you, and to meeting many of you.

Best regards,



October 2016

First of all, welcome to our new members (winners are automatic members their first year) and second, you are all invited to the special events being held by our members this month. It's also the month of Halloween, but you knew that.


About Us: Nancy Rappaport's one woman show at the Story Chapel, Mt. Auburn cemetery 3pm Oct 1 and 2. Ellen Wittlinger will be reading from her new book, "Local Girl Swept Away", at the Sunderland Library, Sunderland, MA on October 18 at 6:30pm. The Sept 8 edition ofThe Fictional Cafe, a weekly online magazine, featured six of Paula Bonnell's poems. Lois Lowry's newest book is "Looking Back: A Book of Memories." Ben Mezrich's nonfiction "The 37th Parallel" is out.  Helen Marie Casey read with the Plein Air Poets at Old Frog Pond Farm & Studio in Harvard, MA, and her work appears in the 2016 Plein Air Poetry chapbook, Splash. Northshire Bookstore is hosting Whitney Stewart's on her new book collaboration "Feldpost: The War Letters of Friedrich Reiner Neimann: A German Soldier on the Russian Front"  Oct 23 4pm Manchester Center, VT. Patricia Striar Rohner's debut novel "Tzippy the Thief" will be out Oct l6. Barbara Shapiro will be talking about "The Muralist" now in paperback at - Oct 6 Brookline Booksmith, 7pm, Oct 15 2pm Attleboro Art Museum, Oct l8 Natick Library 7pm, Oct 26 Porter Sq Books, Cambridge 7pm. Oct 27 Concord Book Festival 7pm.



Oct 1: Friends Book Sale, Boston Public Library, Central 10am.

through Oct 2: "Hometown Boston's Chinatown A Place of People," Rose Kennedy's Chinatown Park.

through Dec 31: "Ernest Hemingway Between 2 Wars," John F. Kennedy Museum.

Oct: Hispanic Heritage Month at the BPL.

Oct. 13: Dinner & Discussion, 6 pm, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth, Reserve 617-536-9510

Oct 14 opening: Shakespeare Unauthorized includes rare first & early editions of the plays, author talks and more at the BPL.

Oct. 15: 8th Annual Boston Book Festival, Copley Square, More than 200 authors and events. Free.

Oct. 18: 12:30 Lunch & Literature, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth, Reserve 617-536-9510

Oct 20-Nov 6: Concord Festival of Authors

Oct 27: History of Horror Films, BPL Central

All Boston Authors members will get a 50% discount on any books at Peter Reynolds' bookshop, The Blue Bunny, which now has books for all ages, 577 High St, Dedham, MA.  Just mention this newsletter at checkout. 


Out of Our Past: Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) was considered "fearful and withdrawn" by other members of BAC. Maybe he identified with the protagonists in his famous poems "Richard Cory" and "Miniver Cheevy" or maybe it was because he joined in 1929 as the nation lurched into the Great Depression. Before all that, he was said to be President Theodore Roosevelt's favorite poet and won three Pulitzer prizes for "Collected Poems" (1921), "Tristram" (1927), and "The Man Who Died Twice (1924).,





September 2016

We'll look forward to seeing you at our annual awards meeting Sept 27, 11am-2pm, Commonwealth Room, Boston Public Library Central, 700 Boylston, followed by a light lunch (our treat).

New Member:

June Fabre joins us from Exeter,  New Hampshire. She is the author of"Smart Nursing--Nurse Retention and Patient Safety Improvement Strategies" (2nd Edition 2009) and promises to come to our big Sept meeting.

About Us

Sy Montgomery will accept the New England Independent Booksellers Association's NonfictionBook of the year award for "The Soul of an Octopus" at a banquet at its annual meeting, Sept 21. Ellen Wittlinger reads from her new book "Local Girl Swept Away," on September 27 at 6:30pmat the Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, MA. Joining her will be Jeannine Atkins and Jo Knowles, also reading from newly published novels. B.A. Shapiro will be promoting the paperback release of "The Muralist": Sept 12 Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord MA; Sept 22 Brookbreeze Festival 7pm, Duxbury MA; Sept 27 6:30pm, Ames Free Library, Easton MA.  Ballpark Mysteries Super Edition,  “The World Series Curse”  features a world series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs (it’s fiction!) by David Kelly. Another book in his Most Valuable Players (MVP) series. “The Football Fumble” comes out this month. Stephen Puleo's "American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address" (St. Martin"s Press) was published Aug 31. Christine Ammer's "Unsung: A History of Women in American Music" will appear in a new edition available as en e-book and POD. Sharon White 's collection of short fiction "Boiling Lake (On Voyage)" is out from Jaded Ibis Press. Whitney Stewart and Denis Havel have just released "FELDPOST: The War Letters of Friedrich Reiner Niemann," which recounts Stewart's search for her husband's German uncle who went missing on WWII's Russian Front. Two large pastel paintings by Pat Lowery Collins have recently been accepted into the permanent collection of the Cape Ann Museum. “Into the Grey,” a new book by Clea Simon will be published Sept 1 by Severn House. An essay by Lisa Braxton, “Short Distance Romance,” has been chosen for a second place prize and publication in Finding Mr. Right, an anthology featuring the true stories of 20 authors about love lost, gained, and hoped for. The prize included a monetary award. The new season of his access television show, "The Writer's Block with John Ronan," begins this month on Cape Ann TV.  This is the 27th consecutive year, making the series one of the longest running in New England.  David McCann gave a reading in July from his new book of poems, "Same Bird" (Moon Pie Press) at Longfellow Books in Portland Maine, and a reading and then a haiku/sijo workshop at the Scarborough Public Library in Aug. JWH winner Nancy Rappaportwill present a one woman show "Regeneration"  3pm Sat & Sun Oct 1 and 2Story Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. $20 ticket  proceeds benefit the Friends of Mount Auburn. Science writer Lyle Miller died last month in Cambridge.


Sept 5 - Labor Day (as in work hard on your next book)

Sept 5 - 2-5pm, Plymouth, VT 12th annual folk & blues festival, Coolidge Historic Site. Free.

Sept 8 - 6pm Dinner & discussion, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth, Reserve 617-536-9510

Sept 13 - 6pm Authors Talk Series begins at BPL with former JWH winner Michael Patrick MacDonald

Sept 15 -  6pm-8:30pm Speaker Series at College Club of Boston, The Art of Jackson Pollock, 44 Commonwealth, Reserve 617-536-9510
Sept 20 - 12:30 Lunch and Literature, College Club of Boston; reserve 617-536-9510

The 2016 RELEVANT READS Story of the Year Contest by the Story Shares Literacy Hub aims to provide struggling readers in middle school, high school and beyond with readable stories. The contest has 5 distinct categories and runs from August 23rd to December 31, 2016. Winners will be announced March 1st, 2016. Prizes $1,000-$3,000. Details from

Our of Our Past: Charles Gibson (1874-1954), poet, travel writer and bon-vivant Bostonian (he wore a full length fur coat to the Ritz for tea) lived in the Gibson House, 137 Beacon Street, now a National Historic Landmark and Museum of Victoriana. From the brochure: “Charles also served as the chairman of the Boston Authors Club of which he was a charter member.” [Actually, he joined in 1903.],




Summer 2016 Newsletter

September 27 (Tuesday) is the date of our awards this year -- The Commonwealth Room, Boston Public Library Central is the place and the time is 11am followed by a light lunch. So when you get back from your summer jaunts around the world you can put it on your calendar.

New Members: Peter Brannen is an award-winning science journalist with a book on major mass extinctions in earth's history coming out in 2017 (Ecco) and a current feature in the Atlantic on the prospect for a major earthquake in the middle of the country.  Dick Pirozzolo, international public relations exec and co-author of a novel, "Escape from Saigon" (to be published next year), has also written 4 nonfiction books on home design and numerous newspaper articles.

About Us: Ellen Wittlinger will be reading and signing her new book "Local Girl Swept Away" Aug 5 at 6pm at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Sy Montgomery returned from he second trip to Africa in as many months of Jul 7, having spent time with spotted hyenas in Kenya's Masai Mara and in Serengeti following the wildebeest migration for 2 new books. Her "The Soul of an Octopus" was a finalist for the New England Independent Bookseller Association's Nonfiction Award. Robert Kuttner's latest book is "Debtors Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versis Possibility." Stephen Puleo's newest book "American Treasures" (St Martin's Press) will be out Aug 30. Nathaniel Philbrick's latest novel is "Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution."  A Kevin Young short story and poem appeared in The New Yorker.

Shirley Moskow's article on the Hess Art Collection in Napa, California, is featured in the autumn issue of Antiques and Fine Arts, which will be launched at the Newport Antiques Show. Paula Bonnell "Canoe Trip" is online in The Poetry Porch, and her "The Poet, Drinking from a Cup" is in the 2016 issue of Spillway. A short story in Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea, co-edited by Andrew McAleer, has received a Shamus Award nomination from the Private Eye Writers of America. Darlene Arden has an article on sleeping with your pets in the summer issue of Animal Wellness. She continues to do numerous radio interviews and to write her blog perPETuallySpeaking. “For Better, For Worse,” an essay by Lisa Braxton, has been published in Soul Survivors: From Trauma to Triumph an anthology of inspirational and uplifting stories, published this summer. Susan Lynn Meyer's second novel, ”Skating with the Statue of Liberty" (Random House) is out. 



Concerts in the Courtyard: Boston Public Library in Copley Square, at noon and 6 pm through the summer. Free. Afternoon tea from 11:30am to 3:30pm Mon through Sat. $35 (sandwiches & sweets included)

Aug 18-21 - Blessing of the Fishing Waters at Christopher Columbus Park. 6pm Fri;  feast from noon Sat and Sun; Grand procession Sun 1pm.

Aug 26-28 - St. Anthony's Feast Sun noon parade; feast opens 7pm Fri; noon Sat & Sun. Pushcarts. Endicott, Thatcher and N. Margin Streets.

Aug 31 - 12:30-1pm Congregational Library & Archives, "A History of Slavery in Massachusetts." Free.





Boston Authors shelves in the BLP's Rare Books Dept. hold copies of your books. Send them to the attention of Beth Pringle.






Midyear Reminder for those who still owe their dues. You can  pay with a credit card online at or send a check for $50 (made out to Boston Authors Club) to Boston Authors, 79 Moore Road, Wayland MA 01778. 



Albert Payson Terhune (1872-1942) wrote books about animals—especially collies—and joined BAC in 1910, the same year as his mother Mary Hawes Terhune (pseudonym Marion Harland). His early books were written in collaboration with his mother, but only his name appeared as author. His first book "Lad: a Dog" was credited with raising popular demand for the breed, and readers wrote asking for a collie in every story. ‘Sunnybank,’ the family home in northern New Jersey known as ‘The Place’ in his books, is now Terhune Sunnybank Memorial Park. 

May 2016

What you've been waiting for--



Julia Ward Howe Award: Alice Hoffman for "The Marriage of Opposites"


Young Readers Award: M. T. Anderson for "Symphony for the City of the Dead"



Julia Ward Howe: Nigel Hamilton for "TheMantle of Command: FDR at War 1941-1942;" Alan Hirshfeld, "Starlight Detectives; How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe"


Young Readers: Padma Venkatraman for "A Time to Dance;"

Terry Farish for "Either the Beginning or the End of the World"



Julia Ward Howe: Christian Appy for "American Reckoning"

Rennie McQuilkin for "Going On" Matthew Neill Null for "Honey
from the Lion" Nick Littlefield & David Nexon for "Lion of the Senate"


Young Readers: Marika McCoola for "Baba Yaga's Assistant"

John Macfarlane for "Stormstruck!" Nancy Tupper Ling for "The Story I'll Tell"



Site and date of our awards program will be sent in a special newsletter--watch for it!



About Us

Bac winner Meg Rosoff has won the 5 million kroner ($615,000) Astrid  Lindgren Memorial award for children and young adult literature. On March 15, BAC winner Moying Li was the featured author at the Massachusetts Stare House for the Annual Letters about Lit Awards. At the event, Rep. Jay Livingstone presented Moying with a citation from the House of Representatives for her outstanding contribution in literature." Cynthia Levinson will give a reading from her new book "Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can" at 4pm May 1 Brookline Booksmith. Anita Diamant will appear at 7:30pm May 3 at Temple Sinai, Sharon, and May 16 at Pink Pages, Cambridge (more info at Peter Johnson will be on a panel at the RI Library Assn Conference May 14 where he will sign copies of his middle-grade novel "The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez" which all middle schoolers in the Rye-Neck system will be reading in the fall. Sara Pennypacker continues on the top ranks of the NY Times Book Review Children's Best Seller list with "Pax." Eric Jay Dolin's "Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse" publishes this month. David Kelly's new sports-oriented chapter book series for elementary school readers (Random House) will launch two books in May: "The Gold Medal Mess" and "The Soccer Surprise." Adrienne Richard gave 3 lectures on "The Roots of Modernism in America" at the Weston COAin April. Patricia Striar Rohner's debut novel "Tzippy the Thief" won first prize in general fiction at Southeast Book Festival. Judith Beth Cohen has new publications written with colleagues in New Directions for Teaching and Learning and the Journal of International Higher Education and Learning. Chester Brigham, author of "Phoenix of the Seas" lectured on the book at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and was the guest at WBSM and WCAL. Excerpts from Sy Montgomery's "The Soul of an Octopus" were online in Delancey Place. Anne LeClaire will hold a day-long retreat in Chatham on the Sacred Art of Listening May 14 (


May 1 - Art Week Boston free

May 7-8 - Provincetown 9th annual Chocolate Festival, 334 Commercial St., Provincetown (May 76:30-8pm "An evening of chocolate & wine")

May 9 - 6pm BPL Central Paul Lewis "Citizen Poets of Boston: a Collection of Forgotten Poems 1789-1820" and Danielle Legros Georges, Boston Poet Laureate

May 12 - 6pm Dinner & Discussion, The College Club of Boston, RSVP 617-536-9510

May 15 - 2pm Reading/signing "The Dear Remote Nearness of You" a new collection of poems by Danielle Legros Georges, poet laureate City of Boston, free.

May 17 - 12:30 Lunch & Literature, The College Club of Boston. RSVP 617-536-9510

May 27-28-29 - Boston Calling 3 days of live music



Our New Website is up thanks to Moying Li. Very snappy and with many new features including a pay-your-dues-online option. Go on--try it out NOW and be all paid up for 2016.

Out of Our Past

Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), humorist and short story writer, was one of the founding members of BAC. He is forever remembered as the writer of the quatrain “I never saw a purple cow/ I never hope to see one/ But I know this anyhow/ I’d rather see than be one.” He was the creator of such words as “goop” “blurb” and “bromide.” His “Goops” books are still in print. 

April 2016

April is Poetry Month Everywhere. Started a decade ago by the Academy of American Poets it has been gaining momentum until it's now the largest literary celebration in the World. Think about it. Write a poem about it.

About Us

David McCann's book "Same Bird, poems new and selected", has just been published by Moon Pie Press. John Ronan will be reading at the Poetry: The Art of Words group in Plymouth, MA, on Apr 17, noon. Paula Bonnell’s poem “SHOT” and her poem sequence “A Spy at Large in the Printed Matter” are newly published on the web in the Slippery Elm Literary Journal Online Edition. Sara Pennypacker continues to top the NY Times Children's Best Seller list with "Pax." Pat Lowery Collins is publishing a new blog called “Aging and the Creative Process;” scarves and tops based on some of her paintings can be custom made by Vida. A portion of all profits go to the advancement of literacy around the world. Patricia Striar Rohner is now an Amazon Central author for her novel "Tzippy the Thief." Susan Lynn Meyer's second novel "Skating with the Statue of Liberty" about a French Jewish refugee boy in 1942 will be published by Delacorte (Penguin Random House)has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection. Boston Author Club members  are invited to a launch party at Wellesley College's French House on Monday May 2 4:30pm. Susan's picture book, "New Shoes" has been named a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year. Eric Jay Dolin's "Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse" (Liveright)--earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and publishes on Apr 18. Eric has more than 50 talks scheduled in New England and beyond. Anita Diamant appearances in Apr 2016: Apr 2 3:30pm Maynard Public Library; Apr 19 noon, U.Mass Dartmouth Woodland Commons information and tickets; Apr 26, 7pm Beech St. Center, Belmont; Apr 29-30 Newburyport Literary Festival, Newburyport. 


Mar 30-Apr 3 - Harvard College Film Festival, Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge

Apr 2 - City wide used book sale, BPL Central 10am

Apr 10 - JFK Library, winner PEN Hemingway award for debut fiction free but must reserve 617-514-1643

Apr 14 - 6pm Dinner & Discussion, The College Club of Boston Reserve 617-536-9510.

Apr 19 - l2:30pm Lunch & Literature, The College Club of Boston, Reserve 617-536-9510.

Apr 28 - Boston College Arts Festival, Chestnut Hill

Apr 29-30 - Newburyport Literary Festival, Newburyport


 Boston Literary District presents a 7-day program concerning the problems of identity. Apr 21 7pm Articulations of America, (Boston Athenaeum with Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges); Apr 22 7pm Where I Am From (Modern Theatre, Suffolk U); Apr 29 - May 1 The Drum Literary Magazine's portable story booth looked to America for a reflection of it and of themselves (Park Plaza Hotel, -June 30 other venues throughout Boston). Apr 30 8pm (Villa Victoria Center for the Arts).

Out of Our Past

 Anne Sexton (1928-1974) joined BAC in 1964 as a playwright and won the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry in 1967 (“Live Free or Die” 1966). One of her most famous poems and often paired with Dylan Thomas’ ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’ in college poetry classes is ‘For Eleanor Boylan Talking with God’ from her 1962 collection “All My pretty Ones.” El Boylan (1916-2007), puppeteer, mystery writer and BAC member, was Anne’s neighbor in Newton. Although Anne lived in Boston suburbs and taught at Boston University, her papers are at the University of Texas.




March 2016


It's time for St. Patrick's Day in Boston. That means a parade and an Irish film festival among other things. It's also time for your Super Tuesday vote, when Daylight Savings and Spring begins; then it's Easter Sunday. Are you ready? 

About us

Anita Diamant's "The Boston Girl" was on the BPL's list of The Top Ten Most Borrowed Books for 2015. Kevin Young's "Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015" came out last month. His poem "Money Road" was in The New Yorker. Sara Pennypacker was #1 in the New York Times children's Best Seller List Hardcover Middle Grade with "Pax," the story of a boy and his pet fox. Evelyn Wolfson co-authored "Volare" an article in the Italian magazine Primo. Helen Marie Casey was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Paumanok Poetry Award. Christopher Klein received the Bela Kornitzer Book Award, given to an alumni of Drew University, for his latest book "Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan." Padma Venkatraman's "A Time to Dance" already the recipient of many honors (5 starred reviews), is on the master list for state awards in Indiana and Illinois. Susan Meyer's "New Shoes" has been nominated for the NAACP 47th Image Award. Lois Lowry's "Gooney Bird and All Her Charms" is out. Nathaniel Philbrick's "Valiant Ambition" is due in May and can be pre-ordered now. Read "The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe"  by Elaine Showalter reviewed by Jill Lepore in the February 29 New York Times.  


Mar 1 - Super Tuesday. Vote.

Mar 10-13 16th annual Irish Film Festival, Somerville Theatre, Davis Square

Mar 13 - Daylight Savings begins. Visit Lyman Estate Greenhouses, Lyman Street, Waltham, Mass. to see the camellias in the 1804 camellia house. Free.

Mar 15 - 12:30 Lunch & Literature, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth. Reserve 617-536-9510,

Mar 20 - Boston's St. Pat's Day parade 1pm begins at the Broadway Station (844-478-7287)  

Mar 26 - The 27th Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch at Rosecliff Mansion 548 Bellevue Ave, Newport RI, Reserve: 401-847-1000. More information at

Mar 31 - 6-7pm Opera Night at the BPL: A Party at the End of the World: The Merry Widow


PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Night will be held on May 15th at Simmons College at 6:30 pm.  Committee members will introduce this year's winners (who will be announced in late March) and the winners will read from their promising works-in-progress A reception will follow.  The event is free and open to the public. Call 617-994-5913 for more information.

Writer-in-Residence at the BPL for books for young readers applications currently accepted. Guidelines and application form online at Includes $20,000 stipend to support you as you write; private office space at the Boston Public Library; forum to present finished literary work. Residency term is September 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017


Oops! If you didn't get your February Newsletter blame it on a twice-dropped laptop and let us know. We will send you a copy at once! 

Out of Our Past

Cid Ricketts Sumner (1890-1970) was the author of “Quality” the novel that, in 1949, became the first movie to treat the subject of miscegenation: “Pinky” starring Jeanne Crain. She also wrote the book that inspired the three "Tammy" movies. Although generally considered a southern writer, she earned her MA at Columbia U. and was living in Duxbury when she joined BAC.






February 2016

Hearts are all the rage in February but so are readings whether from your latest book or poem. We congratulate our authors and urge you to attend the events for the love of literature. Note our Out of Our Past selection--many will remember the kind man who was so recently our club's president.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           New member: Brooks Fenno, a marketing consultant and teacher in Babson College's VIBA program, joins us as he is writing a sequel to his "Helping Your Business Grow: 101 Dynamic Ideas in Marketing."


About Us

Dale Peterson will be talking about and reading from his latest book, "Where Have All the Animals Gone?" on Friday, Feb 12 (6:45 pm) at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. Susan Lynn Meyer's "Skating with the Statue of Liberty" is a Junior Library Guild selection. Terri A. DeMitchell's new young adult (ages10 to 16) historical novel, "Chelsea Creek to Bunker Hill: Spring 1775" published in Nov, received Honorable Mention for Young Adult Fiction at the 2015 New England Book Festival. "Same Bird," David McCann's selected and new poems, will be published by Moon Pie Press this month.  One of the haiku poems included in the book was selected for a Touchstone Award John Ronan will be reading, at the Gloucester Writers' Center on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30. Last year his children's fiction manuscript , "Camp Everdeen: Boys Will Be Boys" was the winner in the "Unpublished Manuscript" category of the New England Book Festival. Liza Ketchum’s essay, “Swimming Home” appeared in "River Stories III," an anthology published by the Charles River Conservancy.  In Dec, Liza joined a panel of the anthology’s authors, hosted by the Conservancy at Google’s Cambridge Headquarters. David Kelly Ballpark Mysteries #12 - "The Rangers Rustlers" (Random House Children’s) will be published Feb. 23. Francisco X. Stork published his sixth novel, "The Memory of Light "(Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic) on Jan 26, 2016. It received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and School Library Journal.  P.W. Catanese's new middle grade novel, "Donny's Inferno"(Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), will arrive in bookstores on Mar 8, 2016. Pat Lowery Collins recently launched a new blog, Aging and the Creative Process. Anne Leclair's new column is Cape Eye on Books. Paula Bonnell will be reading at the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain Feb 12 at 7:30 p.m. Anthony Sammarco will speak at 2pm Feb 7 at the Forsyth Series at Forest Hills Cemetery on "Going to Town: Shopping in Boston a Century Ago." Douglas Bauer has an essay titled "Where Does it End?" on the notion, as you might guess, of effective endings, conclusions, in fiction that's just been posted on the blog of the literary magazine, Agni.



Feb - Black History Month

Feb 6 - 10-4 City-wide Friends Book Sale, BPL

Feb 5-13 - Science Fiction Film Festival, Somerville Theater

Feb 14 - Valentine's Day - bring a new book (you can read it together).

Feb 16 12:30 lunch and literature, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth, Reserve 617- 536-9510.

Feb 25 - 6pm Opera Night BPL Abbey Room.

Feb 29 - extra day for anything you wish


BPL Cleanup Done. The Rare Books Dept. of the BPL has emerged from its cleaning by vacuum, dry sponge and hand. Known as the keeping place of works by Boston Authors (yes, your books belong here) we will let you know when the new keeper of the books is appointed.


It's Payback Time: Your dues are due so those who haven't already done so, please send your check for $50 made out to Boston Authors Club to Boston Authors, 79 Moore Road, Wayland MA 01778. Thank you!


Our ot Our Past - Arthur Walworth (1904-2005), writer on American and diplomatic history and twice president of BAC, taught at the Yale School of Changsha, China in 1925 (at the time of his death he had the title of "Most Senior Bachelor" for the Yale-China Group). He wrote "Black Ships Off China: the Story of Commander Perry's Expedition" (1946 ­­­­­Knopf) and received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1959 for his two-volume "Woodrow Wilson: American Prophet." At 91 he completed "The Historical Significance of the House Diary" for the Yale University Library. Long a Boston Red Sox fan, he celebrated his 100th birthday at Fenway Park. His father had taken him to Fenway when it opened in 1912. 







January 2016

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was known as the "Queen of Clubs" when she was approached by Tom Higginson and Helen Winslowwith their idea for a Boston Authors Club. She was immediately enthusiastic. "And it will be a good one too!" she said, offering her home for the first meeting. It was held in 1900 and, well, the rest is history.


About us

Bob Curtiss our longtime volunteer webmaster, has retired.

Peter Johnson's middle grade novel, "The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez", was nominated for the RI Teen Book Award, which will be voted upon in the months of January and February. He'll be visiting Dartmouth Middle School in March, where the kids will be reading his "The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr. AKA HOUDINI". Susan Lynn Meyer's new picture book "New Shoes" has been named an CTE Charlotte Huck Honor Book and is an NAACP Image Award Nominee and an ALA Notable Nominee. John McAleer's "The Real Diary of a Real Boy from of the Great Depression and Greatest Generation" Compiled by Andrew McAleer " was released in December on Kindle. In December Andrew contracted with Down & Out Books to edit a new volume of "Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea."  Volume One of the Coast to Coast series, Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea, was released in October. An essay by Lisa Braxton, "The World I Didn't Know Existed," is included in Inspire Forgiveness, an anthology published by Inspire Press. On January 5, Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins will publish Cynthia Levinson's biography for 8-12-year-olds titled"Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can." Helen Marie Casey read with the poets published in the Paterson Literary Review #43 on November 7th at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in New Jersey. Chaim M. Rosenberg's "Yankee Colonies Across America: Cities Upon The Hills" was publishedDecember 2015 by. Lexington Books. Suzanne Berne's novel "The Dogs of Littlefield will be published by Simon & Schuster in January. Grace Lin's newest "Ling and Ting Together in All Weather " is out Patricia Striar Rohner  has signed a book contract with She Writes Press for her novel, "Tzippy. the Thief," and it will be published in October 2016. Stephen Puleo's " American Treasures: The Unknown History of the Struggle to Save our Priceless Documents", will be published by St. Martin's Press in the fall of 2016.




Jan 19 12;30 Lunch& Literature, The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth. RSVP 617-536-9510


How Your Book Is Sold: Panel discussion at the Coolidge Corner Library, 31 Pleasant St., Brookline (MA) Sunday, January 10, 2016 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Two bookstore owners and one representative of book distributors will talk and answer questions about the process of how books are distributed and sold, and how this matters to established publishers and self-publishing writers. The panelists will be Jeffrey Mayersohn of the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge (MA); Willard Williams of the independent chain of Toadstool Bookshops in southern New Hampshire; and Stephen Williamson of New England Book Reps. Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the National Writers Union and the Women’s National Book Association.

Out of Our Past

Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) author, critic, abolitionist, co-founder ofthe Boston Authors Club, its first vice president and second president upon the death of Julia Ward Howe, is probably best known as the man who advised Emily Dickinson not to try and publish her poems. But he was more than that. He was the author of “Army Life in a Black Regiment” (1870), an advocate of taking “obey” out of a woman’s marriage vows, and one of his essays inspired Sophia Smith to found Smith College. His Collected Works were published in 7 volumes in 1900.     

Helen Maria Winslow (1851-1938) cofounder of the club was the great-granddaughter of Abigail Adams, a freelance journalist and a free spirit. She was president of the New England Women’s Press Association, department editor ofDelineator Magazine for 17 years and the author of 13 books (including the controversial “The Woman of Tomorrow” in 1905) as well as innumerable articles and poems.