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Recent Professional Highlights

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James Patterson

Acts of courage amid danger inspiring years later by James E. Patterson Albany Times Union Aug. 28, 2021 Summary: In October 1963, the Albany Committee on the Observation of the 100th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation announced that Joyce Ford, an Albany High School graduate, had won its essay contest. She wrote movingly about her respect for Dr. Ralph Bunche, the first African-American . to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I commented on her essay, adding more accomplishments by Bunche. He marched with Dr. King at Selma is 1965. My dad served with Alabama's Army National Guard for the Selma march. Associated website


Tanja Hester's second book, Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change, will be published November 16 by BenBella Books. While she was thrilled to get the chance to publish Work Optional in 2019 with Hachette Books, this book marks her full pivot out of personal finance and into the social change, climate action, and activism space. Associated website

Kristine Hansen

Kristine Hansen's second book with Globe Pequot Press--Wisconsin Farms and Farmers Markets: Tours, Trails and Attractions--published in July, showcasing the state's agri-tourism, including vineyards, farm stays, farm stands, farmers markets, pizza farms and more.

Jennifer L.W. Fink

Jennifer L.W. Fink's first book, The First-Time Mom's Guide to Raising Boys: Practical Advice for Your Son's Formative Years, was published on July 6, 2021. Michael Gurian, NYT best-selling author of The Wonder of Boys, calls her book "a powerful and practice handbook for overwhelmed parents of tween boys." Jennifer is currently working on her second book, which is tentatively titled Building Boys: How to Raise Great Guys in a World that Misunderstands Males.

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates recently completed the National Critics Institute fellowship where she worked with New York Times critics covering culture, food, music and theater. Time Magazine also featured her profile of Accra, Ghana in the World's 100 Best Places 2021 issue. Associated website

Barbara Ensrud

book: published 2021 J. B. Rhine: Letters 1923-1939, ESP and the Foundations of Parapsychology Barbara Ensrud, co-editor The story of how J. B. Rhine pioneered ESP research at Duke University in the 1930s. "....….one of the most gifted consciousness researchers the world has produced. We are in his debt. In his letters, you will see why." from the Foreword Associated website

Susan Johnston Taylor

Susan Johnston Taylor published nonfiction articles in the June and July issues of Highlights for Children. For both issues, she profiled kids giving back to their communities in creative ways. Associated website

Amy Waters Yarsinske Amy Waters Yarsinske

Several years in the making, Amy Waters Yarsinske has a new book, ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA: A HISTORY OF THE LAND OF THE SKY (Fonthill Media, 352 pp.). Beloved Asheville author and historian Lou Harshaw once observed that Asheville has always been a place apart. "It is not really a southern city, but always of the South. Its differences make for a fascinating whole. In this time, more than two hundred years after the first Europeans came over the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge to take up land and make new homes, the concern for the future has never been greater. Asheville," she opined, "is absorbing new human values, new technology. There are new ways in which to live, and to relate to one another. In later years," she continued, "the decades over the turn of this century will be very important in Asheville history - a time of seeking control of destiny." As she so aptly noted, looking back at Asheville's rich history can enrich what lies ahead -- and it should. Amy Waters Yarsinske is the author of several best-selling, award-winning nonfiction books, notably An American in the Basement: The Betrayal of Captain Scott Speicher and the Cover-up of His Death, which won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Non-fiction in 2014. To those who know this prolific author and Renaissance woman, it’s no surprise that that she became a writer. Amy’s drive to document and investigate history-shaping stories and people has already led to publication of over 85 nonfiction books, most of them spotlighting current affairs, the military, history and the environment. Amy graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics, and the University of Virginia School of Architecture, where she earned her Master of Planning and was a DuPont Fellow and Lawn/Range resident. She also holds numerous graduate certificates, including those earned from the CIVIC Leadership Institute and the Joint Forces Staff College, both headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Amy serves on the national board of directors of Honor-Release-Return, Inc., and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Authors Guild, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association (NCLHA), and the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA). Associated website

Julie Vick

Julie Vick's humorous advice book for introverted parents Babies Don't Make Small Talk (So Why Should I?) comes out from Countryman Press in August 2021. With a mix of personal anecdotes, satire, and even some actual advice for surviving the years from pregnancy through preschool, this book shares hard-earned wisdom from the trenches, such as tests to prepare for parenthood (“Set up your laptop on one end of a ping-pong table and set up a ping-pong robot on the other end. Turn on both the robot and your computer and then try to send some work emails”) and advice on ending a playdate that has gone on too long: (“Do whatever it takes to get your toddler to have a meltdown”). Perfect for parents who may not be cherishing every moment of parenthood. Associated website

Brette Sember

Brette Sember is the author of the newly released WWII Battle Trivia for Kids: Fascinating Facts about the Biggest Battles, Invasions, and Victories of World War II, published by Ulysses Press. The fun Q&A format is geared to kids ages 10 and up. Associated website

Beryl Lieff Benderly

Beryl Lieff Benderly's article "Secret Shabes: How the 'Sabbath Delight' HId an Astonishing Archive" in B'nai B'rith magazine won two prizes in the American Jewish Press Association's 40th annual Simon Rockower Awards: second prize for writing about Jewish heritage and Jewish peoplehood in Europe and honorable mention for excellence in feature writing. "This is a sad, moving, and graceful story that pays homage to true visionaries and their heroic acts," the judges wrote. Associated website

Joan Detz

The Boston Globe interviewed Joan Detz (author, How To Write & Give A Speech) for an article on commencement speeches.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson