Three accomplished biographers who have worked with other writers to help bring their biographies to life answer your questions about proposal writing and promotion. You don’t have to be a first-time biographer to ask a question, but please send questions to email@example.com by 11/27.
Moderator Marlene Trestman is the author of Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin, and is now writing Most Fortunate Unfortunates: New Orleans’s Jewish Orphans’ Home, 1855-1946 for LSU Press. She is the former Special Assistant to Maryland’s Attorney General.
Panelist Gretchen H. Gerzina is the Paul Murray Kendall Professor of Biography at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst. Previously she was the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography at Dartmouth College. Four of her nine books are biographies of people who crossed lines of geography, culture, and/or race. She has held grants or fellowships from NEH, Fulbright, and Oxford University, and twice served on the Pulitzer Prize jury for biography, once as chair.
Carla Kaplan, Davis Distinguished Professor of American Literature at Northeastern University and Founding Director of its Humanities Center, has received fellowships from the NEH, Guggenheim Foundation, Schomburg Center, and others. Her seven books include Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance and Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (Doubleday, 2002), both New York Times Notable Books. Her biography of Jessica Mitford is forthcoming from HarperCollins.
Anne Boyd Rioux is a member of BIO’s Board of Directors. Her books include the biography Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist (Norton, 2016). She is a two-time recipient of the NEH Public Scholar Award, currently working on a biographical narrative of the American writer Kay Boyle.