New officers and council members also elected
April 5, 2023
April 5, 2023 (New York): Members of the largest organization of published book authors in the U.S. elected Maya Shanbhag Lang as president of the Authors Guild at its annual meeting on March 23. They also elected or re-elected Mary Bly and W. Ralph Eubanks as vice presidents, Amy Bloom as secretary, and Peter Petre as treasurer.
“Each of us has an individual story to tell,” said Shanbhag Lang. “But we are also in a unique position, as members of this powerhouse organization, to shape a collective story—one that can ensure writers everywhere, from all walks of life, can be represented. Literary culture will be richer for it.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Maya as she takes the helm as president of the Authors Guild,” said CEO Mary Rasenberger. “Now thirteen thousand strong and with a membership that is more active than ever, the Guild is poised to do great work under her leadership. Her passion and deep connection to the community of working writers, combined with her experience as a teacher, editor, and fierce authors’ advocate, will be an incredible resource and help guide us in our continuing efforts to advocate for authors, copyright, and writing as a livelihood. While not the first woman to serve in this role, Maya is notably our first person of color, the Indian American daughter of immigrants, who brings an acute understanding of the need for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in our industry, and who is committed to helping us achieve those aims.”
Guild members also newly elected authors Sarina Bowen, Christopher Castellani, Roxane Gay, Mira Jacob, Jaron Lanier, Courtney Maum, and Jaunique Sealey to serve on the Authors Guild Council.
Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry, named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a “Best Of 2020” by Amazon. She is also the author of The Sixteenth of June, a modern reinterpretation of Ulysses that was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Lang’s essays been widely published and anthologized. In 2021, the American Civil Rights Museum named her a “Woman You Should Know.” Winner of the Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction, she serves as President of the Authors Guild. After graduating magna cum laude from Swarthmore College, Lang earned her M.A. from NYU and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. Her dissertation, “The Hypochondriac: Bodies in Protest from Herman Melville to Toni Morrison,” won the Mildred and Herbert Weisinger Award. A passionate teacher, editor, and author advocate, she enjoys working with established and aspiring writers alike. Lang is the daughter of South Asian immigrants and lives outside of New York City with her daughter. She is also a competitive-class weightlifter.
Mary Bly is the author of Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans on the Early Modern Stage (Oxford, 2000). She is currently working on The Geography of Fashion; some of this work has been published in the PMLA and the collection City of Vice. Other articles include “Defining the Proper Members of the Early Modern Theatrical Community” in Renaissance Drama 40 and “The Lure of a Good Satin Suit: London’s Sartorial Seduction” in A Handbook of Middleton Studies (Oxford, 2012).As Eloisa James, Prof. Bly writes popular fiction and memoir. Her latest novel is The New York Times bestseller Four Nights with the Duke (Harper Collins, 2015). Earlier work includes 24 historical romances and a memoir, Paris in Love (Random House, 2012). Articles in the popular press have appeared in The New York Times Book Review (2014); Redbook (2013); Good Housekeeping (2012); NPR.com & Weekend Edition (2012,2013); The Wall Street Journal (2012); Fordham Magazine (2012); Salon.com (2012, 2011); CNN.com & The New Yorker.com (2011); TV Guide (2011); More Magazine (2007); The New York Times (2005). Her website is eloisajames.com.
Amy Bloom is the author of four novels: White Houses, Lucky Us, Away, and Love Invents Us; and three collections of short stories: Where the God Of Love Hangs Out, Come to Me (finalist for the National Book Award), and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Her first book of nonfiction, Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitudes, is a staple of university sociology and biology courses. Her most recent book is the widely acclaimed NY Times bestselling memoir, In Love. She has written for magazines such as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Elle, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Salon, and her work has been translated into fifteen languages. She is the Director of the Shapiro Center at Wesleyan University.
Sarina Bowen is a 24-time USA bestselling author, and a Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance novels. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.A New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country in the 1760s, Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. She lives with her family on a few wooded acres in New Hampshire.Sarina’s books are published in over a dozen languages with fifteen international publishers.
Christopher Castellani has published five books, most of which center on the Italian, Italian-American, and/or queer experience. His first novel, A Kiss from Maddalena (Algonquin, 2003) won the Massachusetts Book Award in 2004; its follow-up, The Saint of Lost Things (Algonquin, 2005), was a BookSense (IndieBound) Notable Book; the final novel in the trilogy, All This Talk of Love (Algonquin, 2013), was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award.
The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, a collection of essays on point of view in fiction, was published in 2016 by Graywolf Press, and is taught in many creative writing workshops. His most recent novel is Leading Men, for which he received Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, MacDowell, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Leading Men was published in February 2019 by Viking Penguin. Leading Men is currently being adapted for film by Peter Spears (Oscar-winning producer of Nomadland) and acclaimed Italian director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name). Christopher is the current Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University. He is also on the faculty and academic board of the Warren Wilson MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Since 2019, he has chaired the Writing Panel at YoungArts, formerly the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. For nearly twenty years, Christopher was in executive leadership at GrubStreet, where he founded the Muse and the Marketplace conference and led the development of numerous literary programs for adults, teens, and seniors; he continues to work with GrubStreet in the role of Senior Advisor to the national conference.The son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, DE., Christopher was educated at Swarthmore College, received his Masters in English Literature from Tufts University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University. He lives in Boston and Provincetown, MA.
Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects. She also has a newsletter, The Audacity and once had a podcast, The Roxane Gay Agenda.
Mira Jacob is a novelist, memoirist, illustrator, and cultural critic. Her graphic memoir Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award, nominated for three Eisner Awards, and named a New York Times Notable Book, as well as a best book of the year by Time, Esquire, Publisher’s Weekly, and Library Journal. It is currently in development as a television series. Her novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata Literature Life First Book Award, longlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize and named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Electric Literature, Tin House, Literary Hub, Guernica, Vogue, and the Telegraph. She is currently as Assistant Professor at the Creative Writing MFA Program at The New School, and a founding faculty member of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Randolph College.
Jaron Lanier is one of most celebrated technology writers in the world, and is known for charting a humanistic approach to technology appreciation and criticism. He was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2014. His book Who Owns the Future? won Harvard’s Goldsmith Book Prize in 2014.His books are international best sellers. Who Owns the Future? was named the most important book of 2013 by Joe Nocera in The New York Times, and was also included in many other “best of” lists. You Are Not a Gadget, released in 2010, was named one of the 10 best books of the year by Michiko Kakutani, and was also named on many “best of year” lists. He writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. In recent years he has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, one of the 100 top public intellectuals by Foreign Policy Magazine, and one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect Magazine. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Discover (where he has been a columnist), The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, Nature, The Sciences, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American. He has edited special “future” issues of SPIN and Civilization magazines.
Courtney Maum is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking publishing guide that Vanity Fair recently named one of the ten best books for writers, Before and After the Book Deal and the memoir The Year of the Horses, chosen by The Today Show as the best read for mental health awareness. A writing coach, executive director of the nonprofit learning collaborative “The Cabins,” and educator, Courtney’s mission is to help people hold on to the joy of art-making in a culture obsessed with turning artists into brands. You can sign up for her publishing tips newsletter and online masterclasses at CourtneyMaum.com
Jaunique Sealey is a well-respected and established thought leader whose unique experience-based insights on entrepreneurship, resilience, brand development and social media have been popular features on national publications and platforms such as: Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, TechCrunch, Fox News, Business News Daily, The National Journal, eurweb and many more. She’s been a featured speaker at SXSW, Loyalty World, NAMM, SFMusicTech and the Congressional Black Caucus Author’s Pavillion. A serial entrepreneur, she has built and rebuilt several brands from the ground up, leading to nearly 500 media placements and a featured debut on QVC.
A Harvard-trained attorney and Duke-trained engineer, Ms. Sealey brings a practical perspective to her writing, making it easy to read, understand and integrate for immediate better living and to serve as powerful motivation for the accomplishment of personal and professional goals.
With more than 13,000 members, the Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for published writers. It advocates on behalf of working writers to protect free speech, freedom of expression and authors’ copyrights; fights for fair contracts and authors’ ability to earn a livable wage; and provides a welcoming community for writers and translators of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and journalism. Through its educational and charitable arm, the Authors Guild Foundation, it also offers free programming to teach working writers about the business of writing, as well as organizing public events that highlight the importance of a rich, diverse American literary culture and the authors that contribute to it.