SANDS HALL is the author of the memoir, Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology (Counterpoint), Finalist for the Northern California Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction, and a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book in Religion and Spirituality. Blackstone Audio produced the audio book, read by the author. Sands is also the author of the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Random House Reader’s Circle selection and Finalist for the Willa Award (Woman Writing the West) in Contemporary Fiction. She also has a book of essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Her stories and essays have appeared in such journals as New England Review, Iowa Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and, forthcoming, in Alta. She brings her extensive theatre experience as playwright, actor, and director, as well as her work as a singer/songwriter and performer, to her teaching. Professor Emeritus (English and Creative Writing) at Franklin & Marshall College, she works as a writing coach and teaches privately and for a number of conferences and workshops, including the Community of Writers and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California.
The HerStories Project
The HerStories Project is a writing and publishing community for women. We offer online courses, writing resources, and calls for submission, and we have published five essay collections. Our goal is to have a meaningful conversation about what it means to be a female writer at midlife, and to create a space for expression, sharing, celebrating women’s voices, and supporting each other during a complicated stage of life. Our anthology topics have ranged from our roots in women’s friendship—The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship, and specifically, friendship breakups, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends to motherhood—shedding light on postpartum mood disorders with Mothering Through the Darkness (She Writes Press, 2015) and getting real about motherhood in So Glad They Told Me. We published The Pandemic Midlife Crisis in late 2021. www.herstoriesproject.com
STEPHANIE SPRENGER is a writer, editor, producer, podcaster, and music therapist. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, O Magazine, The Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the anthology A Letter To My Mother (Erspamer, 2015) Mutha Magazine, Cosmopolitan.com, Redbook.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, Motherwell Magazine, and other places. She is the Executive Producer of Listen To Your Mother Boulder, a live storytelling show featuring local writers’ original compositions about motherhood. She co-hosts The Mother Plus podcast and teaches early childhood music classes and voice lessons for adolescent girls. Stephanie lives in Colorado with her husband, tween and teen daughters, and two rescue dogs.
JESSICA SMOCK is a writer, educational consultant, and editor. She has been a classroom teacher, writing instructor, academic researcher, writing curriculum coordinator, and ghostwriter. Her academic research and publications have been about social stratification, educational inequality, and gender. She lives in western New York with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a cat. www.schoolofsmock.com
Kathy Izard is an award-winning author and speaker who helped bring transformation to Charlotte, NC, in homelessness, housing and mental health. Her first memoir The Hundred Story Home released in 2016, received a Christopher Award for outstanding inspirational nonfiction. In 2019, she created a children’s book, A Good Night for Mr. Coleman with artist Evelyn Henson, written to encourage kids to dream big and do good. The Last Ordinary Hour is a new inspirational nonfiction book for people who have been shattered by untimely death or unexpected diagnosis live in faith not fear. As an author who has self-published and traditionally published, Kathy loves coaching other writers to help get their words in the world. Kathy has been recognized as a William J. Clinton Distinguished Guest Lecturer and her work has been featured on NPR as well as the Today Show inspiring people to be changemakers in their communities. www.kathyizard.com
Novel, short story and memoir writer Carolyn Dawn Flynn was longlisted for the Mslexia International Memoir Prize for You’ve Gone Too Far, a becoming-of-age memoir, and shortlisted for the Elixir Press First Novel Prize for Searching for Persephone. Her essays and short stories have been published in Fourth Genre, The Colorado Sun, The Tampa Review, The Whitefish Review (Montana Prize for Fiction), Albuquerque Journal, Sage Magazine, Albuquerque the Magazine and Wilde Frauen. A TEDx speaker (“Tell A Better Story, Live a Better Life”), she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find out more at carolynflynn.com.
She works with the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and is completing her first novel. She teaches in the honors program at the University of New Mexico and is in the MFA in Writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Find out more at jonathakottler.com.