ANNETTE JOHN-HALL was most recently an award-winning columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A native of Berkeley, Calif. and a graduate of San Francisco State University, she covered professional, college and high school sports at the San Jose Mercury News, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the Oakland Tribune.
KATE KILPATRICK writes frequently on youth, urban and Latin American cultures. She frequently reports from Mexico City, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Tijuana. Her stories have appeared in Philadelphia Weekly, The Washington Post, Mission Local and WHYY. Kate has a B.A. in journalism from NYU and a M.J. in new media from University of California Berkeley.
DIANE MCKINNEY-WHETSTONE grew up in Philadelphia, the setting for her five novels: “Tumbling,” “Tempest Rising,” “Blues Dancing,” “Leaving Cecil Street” and “Trading Dreams at Midnight.” Both “Leaving Cecil Street” and “Trading Dreams at Midnight” won the American Library Association (Black Caucus) Literary Award for Fiction and “Tumbling” drew high honors from the Athenaeum of Philadelphia to the national Go On Girl Book Club. Her work appears in the anthologies Bluelight Corner and Mending the World. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches fiction writing. She is also a proud graduate of West Philadelphia High School and a member of the alumni’s board of directors.
LIZ SPIKOL, a Philadelphia native, is the editor of Property, a Philadelphia real estate blog. Previously, Liz wrote “The Trouble With Spikol,” a first-person column and blog about mental illness. She has won awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the National Mental Health Association and the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society. Liz has been featured on National Public Radio, the Discovery Channel, and in the New York Times.
ROBERT STRAUSS is a journalist and the author of “Daddy’s Little Goalie,” a memoir about being the father of girl athletes. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. He’s been a reporter, a news producer and a TV critic. Since fifth grade (when he wrote the classic, “The Slick Second Baseman”), Strauss has wanted a career in writing. He is a devoted, if somewhat untalented, basketball and piano player.
BEN YAGODA has been teaching English, journalism and writing at the University of Delaware since 1992. He has authored: “Will Rogers: A Biography,” The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism,” “About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made,” “The Sound on the Page: Style and Voice in Writing” and “How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Errors and the Best Ways to Avoid Them” among others. A 1975 graduate of Yale University, Ben has written for numerous publications and websites, including The New York Times, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Slate.