October 7, 2023
Caroline Tory oversees the general operations, finances, events and strategic messaging for Aspen Words, the Aspen Institute’s literary arts program. During her 8 years with the Institute, she has held positions spanning marketing, event planning and fundraising. She worked in Alumni Relations at Bowdoin College and in development at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Caroline spent a year teaching English to French engineers in Nantes, France before relocating to the mountains. Caroline is a competitive mountain biker, ultra-runner and ski mountaineer. She serves on the board of the Aspen Cycling Club, tutors for English in Action and heads communications for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council at the Aspen Institute.
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Madeline Lipton joined Aspen Words as a Program Coordinator in November 2021. Prior to joining the Aspen Words team, Madeline was the Events and Development Associate for the Society of Fellows (SOF) at the Aspen Institute. On the SOF team, she helped with everything from programming content curation to event logistics and donor support. Madeline graduated from Colby College in 2017 with a major in Global Studies concentrated in Latin America and a minor in Anthropology. During her four years at Colby, she spent a semester living abroad in Salamanca, Spain, and six months living and studying in Valparaiso, Chile. Prior to joining the Institute in April 2018, Madeline held positions at Eigelberger Architecture and Design in Aspen and The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. Madeline loves to ski, bike, run, read, and hike with her dog Cowboy.
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Jenny Xu edits narrative nonfiction, essays, memoir, and the occasional graphic and illustrated work for Harper, and oversees Ecco’s poetry list. She began her publishing career at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she worked with authors including Rebecca Kaufman, Benjamin Percy, and Hala Alyan. Her list has a particular focus on marginalized and underrepresented voices; recent and upcoming books include Anything of Value by Lorelei Lee, Rise by Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, and Philip Wang, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi, and Monument by Natasha Trethewey. She is on the board of MassLEAP, and mentors through Representation Matters and POC in Publishing.
Ginger believes in the power of literature to improve lives. She first joined the Aspen community in 2017 as a Middle School English teacher at Aspen Country Day School, where she is now head of the Middle School. She holds a BA in psychology and English from Loyola University as well as a master’s in education from Boston College. Ginger taught English at various grade levels at Tenacre Country Day School in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Holland Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She devoted several years to advocating for victims of sexual abuse, successfully lobbying to change Oklahoma laws that limited the amount of time victims have to seek justice. She was honored with Tulsa’s Woman of the Year Award in 2017. Ginger is a voracious reader and actively seeks book recommendations, which she will add to her ever-evolving reading list. She recently adopted a black lab puppy named Finley.
An award-winning graphic designer, creative director and was a teacher of communication design and typography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. She is graduate of Williams College (BA), Art Center College of Design (BFA), University of Santa Monica (MA) and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PhD) where she earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on early childhood development, interpersonal neurobiology and attachment. Tara worked as psychologist/play therapist with young children and families in Los Angeles, CA before moving to Colorado in 2010. Prior to her doctoral and clinical work, Tara studied many modalities of healing including energy medicine, bodywork, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, theta healing, mindfulness and oneness practices. She is currently working on a novel, a contemporary fantasy that integrates all of these perspectives, serves on the advisory board of Aspen Words and divides her time between Santa Barbara, CA and Basalt, CO.
She moved to Aspen with her three grown children and husband over 11 years ago from Westport, CT. She has a background in nursing and healthcare having received her Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University before working as a health policy analyst and lobbyist in Washington, D.C. She is currently a managing member of Revelis, a private investment firm focused on healthcare investments, and volunteers for the Aspen Valley Ski Club, Aspen Education Foundation and College Fair, as well as the community vaccine clinics. She is a frequent Aspen Ideas Festival participant, avid reader (particularly of non-fiction) and regular at the Winter Words author series. Sue is a USTA tennis player and enjoys skiing, biking and recently, pickle ball.
She arrived in Aspen over two decades ago to work for a landscape architecture and planning firm and never left. Now a freelance writer, Sarah is the author of four books and multiple short pieces. She specializes in writing about design and lifestyle in the American West, including landscape architecture, community planning and open space preservation, gardens, families, and history. Her most current book, On the Roof of the Rocky Mountains: The Botanical Legacy of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, was released in June 2021. A trustee for the Wilderness Land Trust and past President of Aspen Valley Land Trust, Sarah spends her spare time advocating for the protection of open space and wilderness both locally, and across the western United States.
Principal of Glenwood Springs High School and teaches principal preparation classes at Colorado Mesa University and at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Glenwood Springs High School has twice won the Governors’ Distinguished Improvement Award for outstanding student growth. Paul was educated at the University of London, taking a BA in history and an MA in curriculum studies. He started teaching in London in 1977 and became an administrator in 1986. He moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1997, where he worked on the Malaysian government’s Smart School program. He has lived and worked in the USA since 2001. He has been an obsessive reader since the period when, as a small boy, he haunted yard sales equipped with a suitcase he loaded with any books that were for sale. He is working on a novel he fears he will leave to his children to finish.
After recently stepping down from her role as Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Aspen Country Day School, she now works as a placement counselor for students seeking an independent high school. Previously, she was an Associate Director of Philanthropy for the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Director of Mountaineering Operations for Mountain Travel*Sobek, a California-based global adventure travel company. Gretchen graduated from Berkeley with a BA in Psychology. An Aspen native, she and her husband Craig Corona have three children who have been raised in the Roaring Fork Valley.
A Shareholder in Garfield & Hecht, P.C.’s Aspen office, practicing civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on real estate litigation. He has first- and second-chaired hundreds of cases in state and federal courts throughout Colorado, including frequent appearances before trial courts throughout the state and in the Colorado Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He also handles commercial arbitrations. His practice also includes creditor-side bankruptcy litigation; he regularly represents creditors, lenders, banks, and other financial institutions in Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy cases, including adversary proceedings. His local, regional, national, and global clients include individuals, companies, corporations, and other organizations. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, he was named one of the Top Young Attorneys in Colorado and recognized as a SuperLawyer Rising Star.
Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc.
Wendy Sherman established her New York based literary agency in 1999 after a long career holding various senior publishing roles, including Associate Publisher at Henry Holt, and at Simon and Schuster. She represents a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Her award-winning list includes bestselling authors Therese Anne Fowler, Marjan Kamali, Sadeqa Johnson, Wendy Walker, Tia Williams, Caitlin Barasch, and Viola Shipman. In non-fiction, her list includes beloved memoirists Claire Bidwell Smith, Elizabeth Bard, and Wade Rouse. She adores narratives that illuminate and explore a unique experience, as well as expert driven psychology, health and practical wellness. Whether fiction or nonfiction, Wendy is always looking for powerful storytelling that evokes deep emotion and writing that shines light on our shared humanity.
Brooklyn Poet Laureate
Author of “Half-Lit Houses,” “Of Gods & Strangers,” and “Hybrida” (W.W. Norton, 2019). She is also co-editor of the Norton anthology “Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond.” Her poems have been published in journals such as American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares. Of “Hybrida,” NPR stated, “Chang’s third collection is one of the most important books of poetry to come along in years.” Chang is a professor and Director of Creative Writing at Binghamton University.
A graduate of Yale University, Suzanne Bober worked as a magazine and book editor in New York City. She is the co-author of the Mini Masters series of art books for very young children. Ten years ago, Suzanne relocated to Aspen, Colorado with her husband and three sons. She is currently President of the Aspen Words Advisory Board and has held various roles on the Aspen Words Executive Committee over the last seven years. Suzanne is a longtime board member of the Aspen Education Foundation, for which she serves on the Executive Committee.
Sue O’Bryan has owned a home in Aspen since 2000, and has lived in Aspen full-time since 2004. She has a BSEE and practiced as an electrical engineer for 12 years. Sue has an MBA with a focus in non-profit management, and a JD, and is a patent attorney licensed to practice in both Florida and Colorado. Since 2004 Sue has practiced as a Staff Attorney at Alpine Legal Services where she focuses on individuals in crisis; specifically victims of violence, children, seniors, and the mentally and physically disabled. Sue is an avid reader and has been a long time supporter of AW. She has two college-aged children.
The Fischer-Harbage Agency
Ryan Fischer-Harbage founded The Fischer-Harbage Agency in 2007 and has placed books for six #1 New York Times best-selling authors. Ryan’s clients include Miranda Esmonde-White, author of the New York Times bestseller “Aging Backward”s and host of public television’s #1 fitness show, “Classical Stretch,”; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Halsey, author of the New York Times best-selling poetry collection “I Would Leave Me If I Could”; Sunny Hostin, co-host of “The View” and best-selling author; iconic musician and New York Times best-selling author Robbie Robertson; and New York Times best-selling memoirist and producer Janet Mock; He was an editor at Simon & Schuster, Little, Brown & Company and Penguin Random House. He acquired and edited the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s “Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church,” which informed the movie “Spotlight,” winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. He has also worked with numerous other best-selling authors, including Farah Ahmedi, Michael Connelly, Matthew Diffee, John Feinstein, Malcolm Gladwell, Brad Listi, Alice Sebold and Danny Wallace.
Mark Tompkins is an author, photographer, and businessperson. His debut novel, Last Days of Magic, is forthcoming in 2016 from Viking (a division of Penguin Random House). Rooted in mysticism, scripture, and dark magic, this novel blends biblical lore with Irish mythology in a tale that pits the Celtic faeries and other early creations against the Church of Rome and the ambitions of England’s Richard II. His prior books were nonfiction. Mark’s photography is in numerous collections worldwide including the Chinese National Photography Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. His history of successful entrepreneurial businesses now allows him to write full time. He lives in the Aspen area with his wife, Serena, a research physician whose work focuses on Haiti, and their twin daughters.
A poet and author of “Sonoran Strange” (West End Press / University of New Mexico Press, 2015) which was selected as a Southwest Book of the Year by the region’s librarians. A serial collaborator, Phillips has worked on a wide range of performance, music and community education projects in the US, Mexico and beyond. He holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he lives with his family.
Editor at Grove Atlantic, where she edits literary fiction and nonfiction. She is also editor and publisher of Stonecutter, a print magazine of art and literature which focuses on publishing international writers and artists alongside US-based ones. Stonecutter has featured work by John Ashbery, Cathy Linh Che, Mark O’Connell, Renee Gladman, Ricardo Piglia, Nicole Sealey, Newsha Tavakolian, Sara Baume, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Lydia Kiesling, and Sally Rooney, to name but a few. Now residing in Queens, Katie is originally from Cork, Ireland.
A partner at The Book Group, a boutique literary agency in New York City, where she represents a variety of writers across a literary spectrum, with a special emphasis on fiction. Her clients include Celeste Ng (“Little Fires Everywhere”), Joshua Ferris (“To Rise Again at a Decent Hour”), Madeline Miller (“Song of Achilles”), Nicole Dennis Benn (“Here Comes the Sun”), Cristina Henriquez (“The Book of Unknown Americans”), Paula McLain (“The Paris Wife”), Kevin Wilson (“The Family Fang”), Bret Anthony Johnston (“Remember Me Like This”) and many others. Julie is particularly interested in representing a diversity of voices from around the world.
Ivy Chalmers joins Aspen Words as a program coordinator. She has been inspired by the organization as a supporter and participant for over a decade. Prior to Aspen Words, she worked in family medicine as a physician assistant for sixteen years where she enjoyed building relationships with her patients and giving back to the community. She completed an online creative writing program through Stanford University and is currently at work on her first novel. Born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley, Ivy loves skiing, hiking, and nights out under starry skies.
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Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He has published two books on writing, “Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo,” and “Brave the Page,” a teen writing guide, in addition to a collection of 100-word stories, “Fissures,” and “Nothing Short of 100: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story.” His short story collection, “All the Comfort Sin Can Provide” is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2021. His stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including Tin House, The Southwest Review, and The Gettysburg Review, and his essays on creativity have been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. He serves on the National Writing Project’s Writer’s Council and Lit Camp’s Advisory Council. He’s also the co-host of the podcast Write-minded.
Writer and professor. Her first book, “Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten,” was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her most recent book, “Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine,” won the 2019 Los Angeles Times - Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Emily was recently named a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the MacDowell Colony, Emily lives in Burlington, Vermont, with her husband and twin daughters.
Beth devotes much of her volunteer time to education and youth in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has sat on the Board of Trustees at Cranbrook Schools Brookside and Aspen Country Day School, and on the board of the Aspen Education Foundation. She co-chaired the Aspen High School Accountability Committee and the Colorado Western Slope College Fair Activities Committee. A graduate of the University of Manitoba (BA) and the Kellogg Graduate School Of Management at Northwestern University (MBA), Beth lives year-round in Aspen with her husband Josh. They have three children.
Essayist and reviewer, reviewing books for Lambda Literary since 2010. Her writing has appeared in BuzzFeed, Tin House, Electric Literature and elsewhere. After working behind the scenes on the National Book Awards for the National Book Foundation, she was Assistant Director at the NYU Center for Publishing and taught creative writing in Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program. She currently serves as the director of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence University and lives in Brooklyn with one bookseller and three cats.
Greenhouse Literary Agency
Chelsea Eberly is the Director of Greenhouse Literary Agency and represents authors of middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, illustrators of picture books and select voice-driven fiction. As a former Senior Editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, she edited the Newbery Medal winner “When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller as well as numerous award-winning and New York Times best-selling authors such as Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, Mark Siegel, Natasha Bowen and Kim Johnson to name only a few. Chelsea is also a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, which recognizes “the rising stars of the US publishing industry.” She loves when authors think creatively about genre, tropes, and storytelling structure. She gravitates toward voice with literary ambition and is always interested in championing the work of underrepresented voices. Whatever the genre, she’s looking for talented authors who are breaking the mold and putting big heart and big truths on the page.
Ayesha Pande Literary
Annie Hwang is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary where she represents voice-driven literary fiction and select nonfiction. In particular, she gravitates toward subversive and irreverent genre-inflected literary fiction and impactful story-driven narrative nonfiction that grapples with the complexities of our world. A fierce champion of underrepresented voices, Annie is always on the hunt for gifted storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights.
Frances Goldin Agency
Alison Lewis is a literary agent at the Frances Goldin Agency, where she represents a wide range of nonfiction, spanning journalism, history, cultural criticism, science, memoir and essays, and literary fiction ranging from realist to speculative and literary sci-fi. Her clients have won honors including PEN Awards, Whiting Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, and long and short-listings for the National Book Awards, the National Book Critics Circle Awards, and the Ondaatje Prize. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she studied English at Middlebury College and began her career in editorial at W. W. Norton. She was, for five years, editor of the literary magazine American Chordata.