Reading Group Center

Author Chats

Has your reading group ever wished you could get an author’s take on some of your unanswered questions? Author Chat connects readers and writers and gives your book club the opportunity to talk to select Vintage and Anchor authors so you can pose those questions yourself.

Check out our list of authors below and select the author you’d like to speak with, then click on the button below to submit your request. We’ll contact you via email to schedule your chat.

• We are unable to fulfill requests for one-on-one writing advice; Author Chats are intended to be conversations between authors and book clubs.
• Phone calls will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis at the convenience of the author.
• Limited to residents of the United States and Canada.

author chat

Allison Amend
author of Enchanted Islands

author chatAllison Amend, a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, is the author of the novels A Nearly Perfect Copy, Stations West, which was a finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award, and Enchanted Islands. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)
Janet Benton
author of Lilli de Jong

author chatJanet Benton is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She has co-written and edited historical documentaries for television. She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Author Photo © Steve Ladner)

Emily Culliton
author of The Misfortune of Marion Palm

author chatEmily Culliton is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver for fiction and earned her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was born and raised in Brooklyn. (Author Photo © Beowulf Sheehan)
Omar El Akkad
author of American War

author chatOmar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Doha, Qatar until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)

Helen Ellis
author of American Housewife

author chatKate Helen Ellis is the acclaimed author of Eating the Cheshire Cat. She is a poker player who competes on the national tournament circuit. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)
Lauren Fox
author of Days of Awe

author chatLauren Fox is the author of the novels Days of Awe, Friends Like Us, and Still Life with Husband. She earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1998, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Glamour, and Salon. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two daughters. (Author Photo © Amanda Schlicher)

John Freeman Gill
author of The Gargoyle Hunters

author chatJohn Freeman Gill is a native New Yorker and longtime New York Times contributor whose work has been anthologized in The New York Times Book of New York and More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times. (Author Photo © Derek Shapton)
Rebecca Harrington
author of Sociable

author chatRebecca Harrington is the author of the novel Penelope and the comic essay collection I’ll Have What She’s Having. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Elle,, and other publications. She lives in New York City.. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)

Peter Heller
author of Celine

author chatPeter Heller holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in both fiction and poetry. An award-winning adventure writer and longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. (Author Photo © Tory Read)
Katherine Heiny
author of Single, Carefree, Mellow

author chatKatherine Heiny’s fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)

Cristina Henriquez
author of The Book of Unknown Americans

author chatCristina Henríquez is the author of the story collection Come Together, Fall Apart, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, and the novel The World in Half. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The American Scholar, Glimmer Train, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, AGNI, and Oxford American, as well as in various anthologies. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)
Rachel Hulin
author of Hey Harry, Hey Matilda

author chatRachel Hulin is a writer and photographer. Her personal essays and writing about photography have appeared in Rolling Stone, Nerve, Radar Magazine, Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast. Her photography book, Flying Henry, was released by PowerHouse Books in 2013. (Author Photo © Brett Henrikson)

Swan Huntley
author of The Goddesses

author chatSwan Huntley is the author of We Could Be Beautiful. She earned her MFA from Columbia University and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ragdale Foundation. She lives in California and Hawaii. (Author Photo © Cindy Lin Photography)
Ariel Lawhon
author of Flight of Dreams

author chatAriel Lawhon is the author of The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress and cofounder of the popular Web site She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, four sons, and black Lab—who is, thankfully, a girl. (Author Photo © Kay Chance)

Lucas Mann
author of Captive Audience

author chatLucas Mann was born in New York City and received his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he was the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. His essays and stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from Wigleaf, Barrelhouse, New South, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and The Kenyon Review. (Author Photo © Piquant Photo)
Meg Mitchell Moore
author of The Captain’s Daughter

author chatMeg Mitchell Moore is the author of the novels The Admissions, The Arrivals and So Far Away. She worked for several years as a journalist for a variety of publications. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and three daughters. (Author Photo © Courtney Trembler)

Joanna Rakoff
author of My Salinger Year

author chatJoanna Rakoff’s novel A Fortunate Age won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers and the Elle Readers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a San Francisco Chronicle best seller. She has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, and other publications. (Author Photo © David Ignaszewski)
Will Schwalbe
author of Books for Living

author chatWill Schwalbe has worked in publishing; digital media, as the founder and CEO of; and as a journalist, writing for various publications, including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. (Author Photo © Josef Astor)

Maggie Shipstead
author of Astonish Me

author chatMaggie Shipstead is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her first novel, Seating Arrangements, was a New York Times best seller, a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. (Author Photo © Michelle Legro)
Jane Smiley
author of Golden Age

author chatJane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Some Luck and Early Warning, the first volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. (Author Photo © Mark Bennington)

Kory Stamper
author of Word by Word

author chatKory Stamper is a lexicographer who spent almost two decades writing dictionaries at Merriam-Webster. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and The Washington Post. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)
J. Courtney Sullivan
author of Saints for All Occasions

author chatJ. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Commencement, Maine and The Engagements. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine, and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)

Melanie Sumner
author of How to Write a Novel

author chatMelanie Sumner, a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is the author of The Ghost of Milagro Creek, The School of Beauty and Charm, and Polite Society. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and Seventeen. (Author Photo © Michael Lionstar)