Lois Duncan grew up in Sarasota, FL, the daughter of internationally renowned magazine photographers Joseph and Lois Steinmetz. Throughout her high school years, she wrote regularly for young people's magazines, particularly Seventeen. She attended Duke University in Durham, NC from 1952 to 1953, In 1962, she began teaching for the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico, where she also earned a B.A. in English, while continuing to write articles for such magazines as Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest. She is also the author of more than 45 books, among which the best known are young adult suspense novels. Her books “Hotel for Dogs” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” have both been adapted into feature films. Many of her books have won Young Readers Awards and have been selected by the American Library Association as "Best Books for Young Adults."
Eleanora E. Tate
Randall Kenan was born in Brooklyn, NY, but grew up in Chinquapin, NC. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in English and Creative Writing. He has worked for Random House in New York. From there he transferred to the editorial staff of Alfred A. Knopf, while also teaching courses at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. He is now an Associate Professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill, and he writes fiction based on the meaning of being black and gay in the US. His books, including the novel A Visitation of Spirits and the collection of short stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, takes place in the fictional town of Tims Creek, which is based on the rural community of Chinquapin, NC. He also writes nonfiction, including James Baldwin: American Writer and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. He has won many awards for his writing, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rome Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a noted film enthusiast with a particular interest in literary cinema.
Eleanora E. Tate was born in Canton, MO and grew up in Des Moines, IA. She graduated from
Drake University in Des Moines with a degree in journalism. She has worked as a children's book author, folklorist, creative writing teacher and newspaper reporter. She has taught children's literature at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC and at the Institute of Children's Literature in West Redding, CT. She is also a part-time assistant professor Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, in the Graduate School of Liberal Studies' low-residency master's program "Writing for Children and Young Adults." Several of her publications have received awards, including Celeste's Harlem Renaissance, which was named the 2007 American Association of University Women North Carolina Book Award Winner in Juvenile Literature. She has won the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the highest honor given by the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc., of which she is a former national president. She has also won the Dr. Annette Lewis Phinazee award from NC Central University, and the Iowa Author award from the Des Moines Library Foundation. Her book, Just an Overnight Guest, was adapted for a short film starring Richard Roundtree. The film was put on the "Selected Films for Young Adults 1985" list by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.
Jeffrey Franklin is the poetry editor for the North Carolina Literary Review and holds an MFA and PhD from the University of Florida. He has a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and taught at ECU from 1996 to 2000. His poems have appeared in such journals as The Hudson Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, NCLR, Poet Lore, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Tar River Poetry, and Third Coast, as well as in Best American Poetry (2002). A manuscript of his poems, For the Lost Boys, was co-recipient of the 2001 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. He teaches Victorian literature and creative writing and is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Colorado at Denver.
Daniel Wallace was born and raised in Birmingham, AL, but has lived in Chapel Hill, NC, longer than anywhere in his life, graduating in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, where he is currently the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English. He is the author of four novels, including Big Fish: A novel of Mythic Proportions, and a children's book, Elynora. His work has been published in over two dozen languages, and his stories, novels and non-fiction essays are taught in high schools and colleges throughout this country. His illustrations have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Italian Vanity Fair, and many other magazines and books, including Pep Talks, Warnings, and Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers, by George Singleton, and Adventures in Pen Land: One
Writer's Journey from Inklings to Ink, by Marianne Gingher.
James Dodson is a native of Greensboro, NC, where his journalism career began in 1976. He received a B.A. in English from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and in 2002, the university awarded him with the Distinguished Alumni Award. He recently served as the Distinguished Charles Rubin Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University in Virginia. His journalism awards include the prestigious William Allen White Award for Public Affairs Journalism from the University of Kansas. In May 2011 , he was awarded the prestigious Donald
Ross Award for his lifetime contributions to golf literature. His bestselling books include Faithful Travelers; Ben-Hogan: An American Life, which won the USGA International Book Award; and A Son of the Game, which was named the 2010 Top Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf.
Timothy B. Tyson is a North Carolina native, and received his MA and PhD degrees in history at Duke University in Durham, NC. He is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke University's Divinity School. Blood Done Sign My Name, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Christopher Award and the North Carolinian Book Award, was the 2005 selection of the Carolina Summer reading Program at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, assigned to all new undergraduate students. Tyson's previous book Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power won the James Rawley Prize and was co-winner of the Fredrick Jackson Turner Prize. He also
co-edited, with David S. Cecelski, Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and
Its Legacy, which won the 1999 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.
Dante James, an Emmy-
award-winning independent filmmaker, was named an artist-in-residence instructor/
filmmaker at Duke University in 2006. That year he received three Emmy nominations for his work as writer and director on the PBS series Slavery and the Making of America, and he was awarded an Emmy for his work as series producer. The following year he conceptualized, produced, and directed The Doll, a dramatic short film based on a story by Charles W. Chesnutt which has screened at film festivals around the world, including the Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes, France. James was recognized as a distinguished alumnus by Grand Valley State University in 1994, and in December 2007 the university awarded him a Doctorate of Humane Letters following his recognition as one of the university’s Distinguished Alumni. He has also earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Duke University.
Elisabeth Benfey has been acting, writing and directing for the past twenty years. She has lectured at Boston College, directed plays at the Summer Program at Middleburry College (French Program) and at the M.I.T. Theater in Cambridge, MA. Her films have been shown at the Toronto and Tel Aviv Film Festivals. She has also worked as a multi-media producer at the New York Botanical Garden and is the co-author of Gene Discovery Lab, a virtual lab in Molecular Biology for undergraduates. She has been a Communications Trainer in a New York-based communications firm specializing in teaching writing, presentation, and negotiations skills to executives and lawyers. She currently is a Lecturing Fellow in the Theater Studies department at Duke University where she teaches classes on screenwriting and directing.