Islanders Write checks in with the 2016 panelists

A crowd gathers at Islanders Write 2016 for a discussion between Junot Diaz and Geraldine Brooks. —Lynn Christoffers

Last August, more than 30 writers came together at the Grange Hall to discuss the art, craft, and business of writing at the third Islanders Write. We recently checked in with them to find out what they’ve been up to since, and to encourage you to support their creative efforts this holiday season.

Nancy Slonim Aronie is helping writers find their voices at Kripalu and the Chilmark Writers Workshop. Gift certificates are available.

After the paperback publication of “The Secret Chord” in early October, Geraldine Brooks was sent on a six-week jaunt across the country and back, finishing in New York’s Upper East Side at the beautiful Temple Emanu-El where, she says, “Along with summer resident Alan Dershowitz, we put King David on trial for murder in the first degree. Even Dersh couldn’t get him off: the 4,000 members of the jury returned a resounding ‘guilty’ verdict.”

Since her current historical novel-in-progress, “God’s Follies,” unfolds in Gilded Age Chicago, author LaShonda Katrice Barnett jumped at the one-year guest professorship at Northwestern University. When not teaching, she researches and writes at the Newberry library, one of the nation’s oldest independent libraries. The novel takes on immigration, misguided tycoons, race in America, and the theater world, and of course, there’s a love story at the heart of it all.

Callie Crossley commentaries continue to air during WGBH’s “Morning Edition” at 6:45 and 9:45 am. Her radio show, “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley” airs at 6 pm on Sundays.

Since Junot Diaz says he has nothing new to report, we’ll encourage you to purchase his books for holiday presents.

Halley Feiffer is currently performing in “The Front Page” on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane, John Goodman, and John Slattery. She is developing an original series for FX and writing commissions for Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival, Manhattan Theater Club, and Atlantic Theater Company.

Linda Fairstein (see article on CTK) has just released her first crime caper for young readers.

Nicole Galland is working on a novel inspired by Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, about a reporter who is working undercover for two Island newspapers. She is also plotting and planning, with Chelsea McCarthy, Season 9 of Shakespeare for the Masses.

Meryl Gordon is finishing up work on her next book, about the wealthy philanthropist Bunny Mellon.

Jeff Greenfield is covering politics at, and can be found on “PBS NewsHour Weekend.”

Joshua Hammer’s book “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” is making appearances on numerous best books of the year lists. Mr. Hammer says he’s searching for another book project, and running around the globe for the the NY Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and Vanity Fair.

Tony Horwitz has recently wrapped up 18 months of book research in Appalachia and the South for his next book, and is trying to resist the conclusion that we really are two Americas.

John Hough Jr. is working on a new novel, and will be teaching a class on dialogue at the Grub Street conference in Boston in May.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault recently had two pieces in The New Yorker online, and continues to host “Race Matters” conversations for the “PBS NewsHour.”

Peter Kramer is blogging about topics related to his recent book, “Ordinarily Well,” and working on a new project related to happiness in the workplace.

Avram Ludwig is busy writing his second novel, “American Made,” about Barry Seal, the notorious drug and arms smuggler.

On Dec. 16, Adam Mansbach’s screenwriting debut, “Barry,” was released in theaters and on Netflix as a Netflix Original, earning him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Screenplay. He also signed a development deal with the USA Network for “Rage Is Back,” a TV show based on his 2013 novel of the same name, which Mr. Mansbach adapted with Danny Hoch.

Lara O’Brien is working on “All the Things We Cannot Say,” a novel set in Ireland and Salem, about a woman who must trawl through her memories of growing up in Ireland to find a hidden and horrific memory in order to grieve and begin to live again. She says, “This winter will be dedicated to rewrites and busting the doors of agents and publishers.”

“Fever Swamp,” a collection of Richard North Patterson’s Huffington Post pieces about the 2016 campaign, will be published on Jan. 10, 2017, with annotations and original essays added to provide a comprehensive narrative of this remarkable political year.

Clyde Phillips’s series “Feed the Beast” was canceled by AMC. “Such is show business,” Mr. Phillips said. He’s out pitching a new TV series, and his best-selling crime novels are available on Amazon.

Arnie Reisman’s documentary “The Power and the Glory,” about Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, has been adapted into a musical. “War Paint,” starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, will make its Broadway debut on April 6. Those who cannot make it to New York can find Mr. Reisman at the third season of the Poetry Cafe at the Playhouse on the first Tuesday of each month.

Misan Sagay’s TV series “Guerrilla” has finished shooting, and will air on Showtime in February. This fall, Ms. Misan sat on the Nicholls Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and presented at the awards ceremony. She currently has two series in development.

Walter Shapiro is giving us his take on Trump and all thing politics as a columnist for Roll Call, and casting about for the topic of his next book.

Cynthia Riggs’s 13th book in her Martha’s Vineyard mystery series will be published in the spring of 2017. “Trumpet of Death” was inspired by one of her B & B guests, who suggested a murder caused by a highly prized and delectable mushroom called Trumpet of Death.

Susan Wilson’s new novel, “Two Good Dogs,” will be published in March 2017. She is already at work on her next novel, and contributing to Stay Thirsty, an online magazine.