The Creative Council is a group of literary and publishing professionals who help to support and broaden Aspen Words’ reach throughout the national and international literary community. 

Carpenter (C) Cliff BrokawLea Carpenter worked in literary publishing for ten years—at Francis Ford Coppola’s National Magazine Award-winning Zoetrope: All-Story; as Founding Editor of Penguin’s Lives series of short biographies; and as Deputy Publisher of The Paris Review. She co-founded the New York Public Library Young Lions program, and has helped develop and source funds for new Library programs for sixteen years. Her novel, Eleven Days (Knopf, June 2013), was a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and long-listed for Britain’s Bailey’s. She is working on her second novel, set in the Intelligence Community.

desanti_carole-(C) Sigrid Estrada

Carole DeSanti is Vice President and Executive Editor at Viking Penguin, Penguin Random House. Known for championing high-quality literary and commercial fiction, Carole’s fiction list includes Dorothy Allison’s contemporary classic Bastard out of Carolina, Melissa Bank’s The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, the novels of Terry McMillan, Booker-Prize Finalist Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the #1 bestselling novels of Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of WitchesShadow of Night, and The Book of Life, and debut novelist Rebecca Scherm’s Unbecoming. Her nonfiction includes titles in the memoir, health and psychology area, including David Servan-Schreiber’s acclaimed Anticancer, A New Way of Life, Jungian analyst Marion Woodman’s Bone, and George Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling memoir Bettyville. Carole has written for The New York Times, the GuardianHuffington Post and The Women’s Review of Books. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., was published in 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Shapiro (C) Michael MarenDani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Shapiro lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her next book, Hourglass, is forthcoming from Knopf in 2017.  

WME_ElizabethSheinkman_webElizabeth Sheinkman worked within the editorial departments of Oxford University Press and Alfred A. Knopf before becoming an agent in 1996. Currently she lives in London and works for WME where she represents a broad range of award-winning and best-selling authors on both sides of the Atlantic, including Booker shortlisted author Steve Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole), National Book Award nominee Marcel Theroux (Far North), international best-selling authors Erica Jong (Fear of Flying), Frances Osborne (The Bolter), Eva Rice (The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets), Melanie Gideon (Wife 22), Rupert Isaacson (The Horse Boy), and New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto, UK journalists Adam LeBor (Newsweek), Mick Brown  (The Telegraph), Sean O’Hagan (The Observer)and James Harrkin (Vanity Fair and The Guardian)  as well as several high profile authors in the food and lifestyle genre, including Michelin-starred chef, Tom Aikens, best-selling nutritionist Amelia Freer, and wellness expert and Vogue writer Calgary Avansino.


Lauren Wein is an executive editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she focuses on literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and translation. Before arriving at HMH in 2011, she spent fifteen years as editor and rights director at Grove/Atlantic. Among the authors she has worked with are Robert Stone, Amos Oz, Stephanie Kallos, Elisa Albert, Elinor Lipman, and Francisco Goldman. A graduate of Cornell University, where she focused on modern and biblical literature, she lives in New York City with her husband and daughters.


Tobias Wolff’s books include: the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army; the short novel The Barracks Thief; the novel Old School, and four collections of short stories. He is also the editor of several anthologies, among them Best American Short Stories 1994, A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov, and others. His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, both the PEN/Malamud and the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story. The former Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English at Stanford University, Wolff lives in Northern California.