Allison Hoover Bartlett is the author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession (Riverhead Books). She has written on a variety of topics, including travel, art, science and education, for the New York Times, the Washington Post,, the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Magazine, and other publications. Her original article on book thief John Gilkey was included in the Best American Crime Reporting 2007.

Leslie Crawford has been a Bay Area-based writer and editor for the past 20 years. She started her editing career at Passion magazine in Paris, went on to Frisko magazine in San Francisco, and then to San Francisco Magazine as a senior editor. For 12 years, she worked as a freelance writer and editor for, among other publications and sites,, Garden Design, Metropolis, Wondertime Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsweek.  She’s currently a senior editor at

Frances Dinkelspiel is the award-winning author of the bestselling Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. A long-time reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, Frances’ freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, and other publications. She has taught at the Graduate School of Journalism at the UC Berkeley and is the co-founder of  Berkeleyside, an on-line news site about Berkeley, CA. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two daughters.

Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons. Her latest book, a new memoir titled Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention (Hyperion Voice), is an intriguing account of life with a high-spirited child, combined with a journalist’s overview of the controversies surrounding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and how best to manage it. Ellison’s other books are The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter, The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable, and Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines. Over the past decade, as an independent journalist, she has written articles on neuroscience and the environment for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Time, and Fortune.

Sharon Epel is a writer and psychotherapist in San Francisco. She’s been an editor at Parents, San Francisco Magazine, Parenting and  She’s written for many publications, including Parenting, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping, and has been syndicated by the New York Times.

Susan Freinkel is the award-winning author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story published in 2011 and American Chestnut: The Life, Death and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree, published in 2007. She calls herself a science writer, but often strays into other fields. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Smithsonian, Health, Reader’s Digest, and Discover.

Katherine Neilan is a physician at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where she works as an internal medicine hospitalist physician. She received her MD from Stanford School of Medicine and residency training at UCSF. While her left brain is focused on medicine, her right brain remains firmly in the world of humanities, with an undergraduate degree in International Relations/Economics from UC Davis. Her writing was featured in Medical Economics magazine, where she won a doctor writing award, and she has performed at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco, doing monologues about her doctoring life. She is working on a memoir.

Lisa Okuhn has written dance reviews, features and columns. She is the founder of Okuhn Public Relations, an independent public relations firm specializing in the arts. Her short fiction has been published in Fourteen Hills, and she is currently working on a novel. Lisa’s blog, That’s Empress to You, in which she documents the life of an urban single mother, is featured as a column on Daily Casserole.

Julia Flynn Siler is the author of The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. An award-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent, she was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, became a New York Times bestseller and was named a finalist for a 2008 James Beard Foundation award and a 2008 Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business reporting. Her next book, Lost Hawaii, is forthcoming from Grove/Atlantic in 2012.

Jill Storey is a San Francisco based writer whose essays and articles have appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Zyzzyva, Baltimore Review, Salon, Brain,Child, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications as well as on public radio. One of her essays received a Special Mention for the 2010 Pushcart Prize.

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