TW Staff Writers

David Biddle Sept 2012Columnist: Talking Indie

David Biddle is the author of the novel Beyond the Will of God and several collections of short stories. As a freelance writer, he has published articles and essays in such publications as Harvard Business Review, Philadelphia Inquirer, Katori Magazine, and BioCycle. You'll find information about his novel and other digital fiction on

Last June, after nearly four months of nitty-gritty editing toil, I posted my first novel online at Amazon’s Kindle Store. I was officially an independent author! An indie writer! I had no idea what I was doing.

"Sorry, Your Buddies Won't Buy Your Books"

Steven LewisColumnist: Yawping Wild

Steven Lewis is a longtime mentor at SUNY-Empire State College, a member of the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute faculty, and an active freelance writer. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and a biblically long list of parenting magazines. His books include a recent collection of poems, A Month on a Barrier Island (Millrock Writers).

My work as a writer is to get myself back to the primitive wordless understanding of what it means to walk upon this earth.

— "A Nature Writer Lets the Outside In"

Judith A. RossColumnist: Talking Art

Judith A. Ross is a freelance writer who has written about topics ranging from "spreadsheet safety" to how to communicate with adult children. Her byline has appeared in Harvard Business Review and other publications at Harvard Business Publishing. She currently writes for Moms Clean Air Force and Women's Voices for Change. She blogs at Shifting Gears.

I’m not sure what I expected of an artist who mixes an X-ray of her mother’s abdomen with Google maps from her hometown of Johannesburg. But once we started talking, it was clear we had more in common than art.

"Portraits of the Interior"

Emily TothColumnist: Nothing but the Toth

Emily Toth is professor of English and Women’s Studies at Louisiana State University. She is dedicated to writing about women’s lives, humor, and food.

She is the author of eleven published books, including biographies of Kate Chopin and Grace Metalious and two advice books (Ms. Mentor’s Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia and Ms. Mentor’s New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia). She also writes the Ms. Mentor online advice column for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Women who write books have to have enough sitzfleisch to work the computer, but most of our composing is really in our heads. I 'write' when I swim or teach or cook, and I didn’t write this column by sitting down at the computer and yodeling, 'Muse, come to me!'

"We Can't Sit Still"

John Michael BellContributing Writer

John Michael Bell is a freelance writer in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the Harvard Extension Journalism program. His love of pop culture, along with his need to make sense of it through writing, often drives him to the brink of insanity, which he resolves by making a pilgrimage to the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square.

He blogs about film and television at The Sixth Station.

If only Luhrmann had cut down the constant narration, allowing the scenes to breathe on their own. But his film keeps telling, telling, constantly telling, never mind that we can see perfectly well what’s going on.

"Nick, Old Sport, Would You Just Shut Up?"

Fran Cronin

Contributing Writer

Fran Cronin is a freelance writer and editor who writes about women’s lives, adoption, health, and medical issues. In November 2013, she was elected to the Cambridge School Committee in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

When my hair started to gray at a somewhat respectable age, my dying mother—who finished all her sentences to me with 'don’t ever tell anyone your age'—did not leave this earth until she said with her last breath, 'And please dye your hair.'

"Eileen Fisher's Got My Back"

Wendy GlaasContributing Writer

Wendy Glaas received her graduate certificate in the Publishing and Communications Program at Harvard Extension School in 2011. After getting a BA in English from UMass-Amherst, Wendy found herself in development research and nonprofit fundraising, working alongside a small army of former English majors.

She's now a senior research analyst at MIT but wants to maintain a relationship with her old flame, the written word.

Her publishing stints include the Epstein Literary Agency, Harvard Common Press, and Harvard Education Publishing Group. She’s old school when it comes to print media, but has happily resolved Kindle tantrums without calling Amazon. Wendy lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with her husband and continues her quest to find the perfect huevos rancheros.

It’s not so bad that I’ve got piles of books dotting the floor. But now piles have sprouted on my nightstand, radiator covers, and coffee table as well. I admit it: I’m a bookstore junkie.

"My Name is Wendy, and I'm a Bookstore Junkie"

Contributing Writer

William Gray is a communications specialist in Washington, D.C., for one of the oldest investigative journalism organizations in the country—the Center for Public Integrity. He's also been a producer at C-SPAN and an assistant editor at Talking Writing.

In his free time, Bill is the king of government props and charts, which he collects at Floor Charts. He loves YA fantasy writers like Tamora Pierce for introducing him to his obsession with reading and can't wait for the next history book to hit his Kindle.

Literary writers know in their bones that all human beings are not just a sum of journalistic tag lines. A good novelist could do something with a protagonist who ordered the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, bought a home brewing kit for a White House beer, and has a dog named Bo.

"Barack Obama, Fictional Character"

Jeremiah HorriganContributing Writer

Jeremiah Horrigan is an award-winning newspaper reporter who has spent his professional life telling other people’s stories in several daily upstate New York newspapers. Over the years, his ​freelance essays, columns, and features have appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and the Miami Herald.

These days, he prefers to tell his own story and has done so in Salon, Memoir Journal, Narratively, and in several national anthologies, including Woodstock Revisited and Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine. He writes a bylined blog for the Huffington Post and is the author of a memoir, Fortunate Son: A Dying Father, an Angry Son, and the War on the Home Front.

In truth, Sister Jeanne and the other black-draped Sisters of Mercy who taught at St. Martin’s were as big a mystery to me as the Russian Communists. Most of us boys weren’t even sure if nuns were women like the lay teachers or our moms.

"The Holy Terror"

J.p. Lawrence; photo credit: Sahiba ChawdharyContributing Writer

J.p. Lawrence is a reporter for the San Antonio Express News. He was most recently a reporter at the Albany Times Union. He is an Iraq War vet (serving in southern Iraq in 2009 with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division), a Filipino immigrant, and a graduate of Bard College and Columbia University. He has interned at ABC News and Fox Sports North and is the recipient of a 2013 regional Emmy award. Photo Credit: Sahiba Chawdhary.

The next time I see a student reporter force gonzo with lines like 'The details of the rally itself were a blur,' I’ll pull out the real thing. Insight can’t be forced. And another author’s voice can’t be worn like a ratty sweater from the thrift store. After all, as Thompson wrote in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 'Jesus, man! You don't look for acid! Acid finds you when it thinks you're ready.' 

"The Perilous Influence of Hunter S. Thompson"

Laurie WeiszContributing Writer

Laurie Weisz lives with her family on a farm in New Hampshire. She earns a living doing graphic design, silk-screening, and training horses for the sport of eventing. She is working on a collection of short stories set around the sport of polo, and, like everyone else in the brave new world, scrambles for time to write.


At 11 p.m., when my son has finally relinquished my laptop, I sit down at the kitchen table. It is like going back into the ocean: the intimacy, the fluctuations, the rightful home for wayward mental images. The other side of a phantom tollbooth, where colloidal shafts of reality, hoisted by crane, bump and settle in places they never were, but actually belong. Another kingdom altogether.

— "The Phantom Tollbooth"

Theresa WilliamsContributing Writer

Theresa Williams is the recipient of an Individual Excellence Grant from the Ohio Arts Council and was recently selected for a summer writing residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her novel, The Secret of Hurricanes (MacAdam/Cage 2002), was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize.

Her short fiction and poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including The Sun, Chattahoochee Review, and Hunger Mountain. Her chapbook The Galaxy to Ourselves was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press.

How good writing happens: We think we’re presenting facts, like, 'I’m in a courthouse.' But we’re really writing of deeper things. Gradually, meaning hovers over our pages, little ghosts of our primordial selves.

— "On Writing"