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Guests include: Susan Shapiro Barash, Jennifer Weis, Neil Nyren, Jim Alkon, Lucy Antek Johnson, and Richard “Deej” Webb

Susan Shapiro Barash

Susan is an established writer of thirteen nonfiction books about women including, Tripping the Prom Queen, Toxic Friends, and You’re Grounded Forever but First Let’s Go Shopping and fiction under her pen name Susannah Marren. Her recent novels Between the Tides, A Palm Beach Wife, and A Palm Beach Scandal were published by St. Martin’s Press. 

Her books focus on the gender divide, how women are positioned in our society and their innermost feelings about themselves as daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, wives, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, rivals, colleagues, and lovers.

Susan has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Chicago Tribune, Elle, ‘O’, and Marie Claire.  She has appeared on national television including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC. She has been a guest on NPR and Sirius Radio and speaking appearances include Credit Suisse, Bayer Diagnostics, UBS, United Way, and the Society of the Four Arts. Several of her titles have been optioned by Lifetime and HBO.

For over two decades she has taught in the Writing Department at Marymount Manhattan College and has guest taught in the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. She has served as a literary panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, as a judge for the International Emmys and as Vice Chair of the Mentoring Committee of the Women’s Leadership Board at the JFK School of Government, Harvard.

Jennifer Weis

Jennifer recently left St. Martin’s Press, where she was Executive Editor for 30 years, to move to the other side of the desk when she joined Ross Yoon. Many things have changed for her, but one thing has remained constant: her excitement when engaged in the hunt for page-turning fiction of all kinds as well as compelling nonfiction. With bestsellers like B.A. Paris’ BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and the nationally bestselling BABY TEETH during the past few years, as well as critical successes like CLIMATE OF HOPE by Michael Bloomberg and the current STRESSED YEARS OF THEIR LIVES (a Ross Yoon book repped by Gail), Jennifer brings to the table an ability to offer editorial guidance and development as well as an advanced understanding and knowledge of the inner workings of publishing houses and the publishing landscape today.

In her role as agent, the goal is to identify the stars of tomorrow and help to place them at publishers where they can attract attention, shine, and grow. She is seeking high-concept, cleverly plotted book club fiction — all categories, including psychological and domestic suspense, women’s fiction, and selected young adult, series and stand-alone. A novel has got to have a hook and a consistent voice that brings the reader right in to grab her attention.

In nonfiction, she is looking for new voices and authors preferably with a platform. Areas of specialty include but are not limited to health, psychology, memoir, current events, and narrative nonfiction of special interest to women.

Jennifer is the co-chair of Project Lyme, a non-profit based in NYC that focuses on awareness, education, and advocacy. She also serves on the Yale Public Health board, and the UJA Executive Committee for Publishing. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale University (M.A. in English) and lives in NYC, where she is based, with her husband and 4 children.

Neil Nyren

Neil Nyren was the Executive VP, associate publisher, and editor in chief of G.P. Putnam's Sons. He is the winner of the 2017 Ellery Queen Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Among his authors of crime and suspense were Clive Cussler, Ken Follett, C.J. Box, John Sandford, Robert Crais, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Frederick Forsyth, Randy Wayne White, Alex Berenson, Ace Atkins, and Carol O'Connell. He also worked with such writers as Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Daniel Silva, Martha Grimes, Ed McBain, Carl Hiaasen, and Jonathan Kellerman. He is currently writing a monthly publishing column for the MWA newsletter The Third Degree, as well as a regular ITW-sponsored series on debut thriller authors for BookTrib.com; and is an editor at large for CrimeReads.

Jim Alkon, Editorial Director

Jim is responsible for all editorial operations, content, and strategy at BookTrib.com while developing new marketing programs to help authors get on the literary radar. As a veteran of the business-to-business media and marketing worlds, he has extensive experience in business and content development. He is an avid reader (shocking!), lover of dogs, sports and music (he plays the piano by ear), and he is a writer at heart, whether a book review, corporate communication, blog or white paper — it doesn’t really matter as long as his words are making someone happy somewhere.

Lucy Antek Johnson

Lucy Antek Johnson, Samuel Antek’s daughter, was born and raised in New York City, she is the author of This Was Toscanini - The Maestro, My Father, and Me.  After studying music, fine art, and ballet, she was drawn to the world television production and spent her entire career in the entertainment industry, working with such producers as Martin Charmin, Harry Belafonte, David Susskind, and Roone Arledge. When she moved to Los Angeles in 1978, she produced movies for television, then joined the ranks of NBC as a network executive. She soon worked her way up to senior vice president of daytime and children’s programs for CBS, a position she held for fourteen years.

Lucy and her husband Bill Klein, live in Connecticut, where she has served on the Westport Library’s board of trustees and continues to work with the library on special programming projects. She paints, writes, and every so often – gets up the nerve to sit at the piano and play a favorite Bach or Chopin prelude

Richard “Deej” Webb

Webb is an author, documentary filmmaker and historian. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he is a multiple award-winning educator who has taught at the high school and university level for more than 25 years. A featured presenter in the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Prohibition documentary Connecticut Goes Dry, Webb is co-creator and co-producer, along with Robert Williams, of Gatsby in Connecticut, an F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald documentary that is a companion piece to Boats Against the Current. Considered a local authority on Westport history, he is a consultant to the local historical society and has given talks throughout Fairfield County on the Fitzgeralds’ time in Westport.

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