18 January, 2019


Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, author, professor at the University of Victoria and mother of three children. Considered a go-to child psychology expert for journalists, Dr. Roberts is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Global News and the CBC. She is the author of two best-selling and award-winning series of children’s books. “Just Enough” explains topics like birth and diversity to children ages 3-6, while “The World Around Us” introduces kids ages 5-8 to issues like poverty and online safety. She is also the author of “Kids, Sex & Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized Digital Age”, a book for parents seeking to help their preteens navigate our hypersexualized world.

In 2017, Dr. Roberts co-founded FamilySparks, a social impact company that creates mental wellness products and services for families and businesses. To learn more, please visit or @thefamilysparks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dr. Roberts resides in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with her husband Stephen and their three children.


26 November, 2018


Julie Valerie, an avid Scrabble player who once played QWERTY on a triple word, writes humorous women’s fiction and is developing a series set in the idyllic Village of Primm  Her first novel, HOLLY BANKS FULL OF ANGST, was published by to Lake Union, a commercial women’s fiction imprint of Amazon publishing as part of a 2-book deal in December, 2019, and is fast attracting a wide readership.  The sequel, THE PECULIAR FATE OF HOLLY BANKS, will be released in late 2020.

Julie serves on the board of directors for James River Writers, a multi-faceted non-profit organization based in Richmond, Virginia, that serves as central Virginia’s literary hub.

Deepening her love of the written word, Julie earned an editing certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School and is constantly humbled by the nuances of language and the nitty-gritty of grammar while strengthening her proficiency in the Chicago Manual of Style. She is the founder of the 85K Writing Challenge, providing 2,000+ writers an enriching environment to pen 85,000 words in 90 days, supported by a 12-month calendar that lends structure to the practice of productive writing.

Writing amid the mayhem and merriment of her motley crew, Julie lives and writes in Virginia, is married to her college sweetheart, has four children (two girls, two boys) and two English Labradors (one yellow, one chocolate). With a master’s degree in education and a certification in wilderness first aid, Julie enjoys reading, the study of wine, section hiking the Appalachian Trail, and travel. Connect with Julie:




20 November, 2018


Roberta Sandenbergh is a retired architect who worked in New York and South Africa and author of SMALL SPACE LIVING: Expert Tips and Techniques on Using Closets, Corners, and Every Other Space in Your Home which introduces readers to the space-expanding concept of “Space Opportunities” that allow you to make the most of neglected spaces in your home.  It won both an Independent Publishers Association Medal and a Nautilus Book Award.

Born in Brooklyn (née Stoller), Roberta went to Vassar College, graduated from Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture (as Roberta Bocian) and studied Urban Design at the University of Witwatersrand.

After marrying John Sandenbergh, a South African architect, Roberta spent most of her adult life in his country, where she specialized in residential design. One of her projects won the annual Johannesburg Civic Award and two were featured in local magazines, Garden & Home and Habitat.

Her career took a detour when she became a beta tester for AutoCAD (Computer-Aided-Design) and was given rights to the program through a network of dealers and training centers. She travelled throughout the African continent, giving lectures and demonstrations.

Roberta is known for her illustrated columns on ‘Space Saving Ideas’. They have appeared in the Washington Post (the ‘Design Notebook’ series), the San Francisco Chronicle and the Johannesburg Star. She has also written articles about space saving for SA City Life Magazine and The Home Handyman.

After living on 11 acres in South Africa, Roberta was delighted to downsize to a 500 sq. ft. studio apartment in Manhattan. She loves its coziness and efficiency, and is obsessed with maximizing her living space. She says: “I often waste time and sometimes waste money. But I hate to waste space.”

Learn more about Roberta and her Small-Space living ideas at her website and her popular Small_Space_Architect Instagram

9 November, 2018


ARIEL BURGER is a writer, artist, teacher, and rabbi whose work combines spirituality, creativity, and strategies for social change. A lifelong student of Elie Wiesel, he spent years studying the great wisdom traditions, and now applies those teachings to urgent contemporary questions. When Ariel’s not learning or teaching, he is creating music, art, and poetry. He lives outside of Boston with his family.

WITNESS:  Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 2018) is his first book.

Ariel’s Story–in his own words

When I was 17, I embarked on a spiritual quest that brought me to many teachers. Of all my teachers, Elie Wiesel was the greatest. To tell you who I am is impossible without including the influence this man has had on me.

I grew up in New York City, an artsy kid in an ultra-Orthodox elementary school, with a blind sister and divorced parents who held very different views on life. My quest for meaning and integration, a way to bring together all the elements of my life into a whole, led me to study for seven years in the closest thing to a monastery Judaism offers. I became a rabbi, wrote hundreds of songs and played guitar at Carnegie Hall with Richie Havens, exhibited art in galleries, danced with thousands of Breslover Hasidim at their annual pilgrimage in Ukraine, participated in dialogue groups between Jews, Muslim, and Christians, got married and had four children, got a PhD in religion and conflict transformation, illustrated folktales, became a teacher, worked as an executive at a non-profit for six years, taught, lectured, led workshops on leadership and Design Thinking, and began using storytelling to connect people across communities.

I questioned everything in search of an answer, but it wasn’t until I met Professor Wiesel that I realized that questioning is the answer. He helped guide me to where I am today –  a teacher, artist, speaker, spiritual healer, and now the author of a memoir of the time we spent together.

At a moment when the loss of civility is eroding human connection, I draw on my teachers’ lives and wisdom to help promote civility and kindness. My mission is to help counter superficiality with nuance, to replace estrangement with encounter, and to empower people to be creative and kind citizens of the world. I do this through teaching, storytelling, art- and music-making, writing, coaching, and consulting.

For more about Ariel Burger:

6 November, 2018


Brynne S. Kennedy is the former CEO and Founder of Topia, the software suite that companies use to move employees between roles and locations.  Brynne is also the Founder of The Other 1%, a non-profit that supports displaced people and equality, and CEO & Founder of MoveGuides.

Brynne’s first book, FLAT, FLUID & FAST, about the “talent mobility revolution,” was published by McGraw-Hill in September 2019.

Brynne is recognized globally as a leading entrepreneur and expert on the Future of Work.  She has appeared on Bloomberg and CNBC, taught at Stanford Graduate School of Business and presented to the US Senate, US House of Representatives and State Legislators throughout the nation.  Brynne has won Entrepreneur of the Year in the Women in IT Awards, Women of the Future Awards and Stevie Awards, as well as London Business School’s Distinguished Alumni Award and Worldwide ERC’s Meritorious Service Award.

Brynne is a member of TechNet, which supports government policies for the Future of Work and innovation economy, and ReadyNation, which supports funding ofr the 2020 Census.  Brynne speaks four languages, and holds an MBA from London Business School and BA in History from Yale University, where she competed in Division One collegiate gymnastics and won two Ivy League Gymnastics Championships.  Brynne was an elite gymnast for the United State growing up.  Currently, she is running for Congress in California.

Follow Brynne on Twitter:  @BrynneSpeak


26 October, 2018


Why do we know so little about women’s lives through history?  That’s a question journalist and author Nancy Rubin Stuart has questioned for years – and why she’s devoted her books to chronicling women’s lives.  Today as women are again demanding a stronger voice personally, politically and professionally, she’s contemplated the lives of America’s Founding Fathers whose biographies were mostly written by men.

Nancy’s forthcoming book, Poor Richard’s Women: Benjamin Franklin in Love (Beacon Press, Fall 2020), consequently examines his life through the lens of his romantic attractions and reveals his personal struggle with passion and prudence.

Nancy, who serves as executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center, is no stranger to the Revolutionary period.  Her recently published book, Defiant Brides depicted the wives of Benedict Arnold and General Henry Knox. That followed the award-winning The Muse of the Revolution on Mercy Otis Warren, the first female historian of the American Revolution.

Previous works included the acclaimed The Reluctant Spiritualist; American Empress, a Business Week and Newsday Best-Seller, and Isabella of Castile, a Book-of-the- Month Club Dividend. Those stories of women’s lives were inspired by Nancy’s earlier journalistic books, The Mother Mirror and The New Suburban Woman. Research on those works helped her understand why women’s lives were lost to time. As a young wife and mother, Nancy wrote frequently for the New York Times and national magazines.

Check out Nancy at

23 October, 2018


David J. Marsh came to belief as a child and grew up steeped in biblical narratives. His father was a pastor and a student of both theology and  biblical languages. Growing up, Dave often asked him to read aloud the scriptures in their original Hebrew and Greek. While Dave could not understand them, the music of these languages in their original tongue fascinated him. His late father’s library of commentaries now lines a wall in his home.

In his debut novel, The Confessions of Adam (Bold Vision, Fall 2019, a re-telling of the universal and dramatic narrative that opens the book of Genesis, he has crafted a richly imagined story of creation and its aftermath – drawing on a lifetime of familiarity with the text as well as more recent study.

Mr. Marsh holds a BS in Communications from Grace College and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Butler University, Indianapolis. A fascination with Hebrew biblical narratives drives much of his fiction. Dave’s work has been recognized by or appeared in Utmost, Booth Online, NoiseMedium, and Fixional. 

Dave is founder of the Westside Writers’ Workshop and twice monthly he records what he’s learning about the craft of fiction on his blog “Revel and Rant” at www.davidjmarsh.comDave and his wife Cyndi reside in Danville, Indiana.

11 September, 2018


Erik Forrest Jackson is an award-winning playwright, musical book writer and novelist. He is the recipient of a 2017 residency grant at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and a full fellowship at the Chulitna Artists Residency for 2018.

His latest original play, the darkly comic drama Like a Billion Likes, premiered at Stage West Theatre. It is the winner of the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award; the winner of the Southwest Playwriting Contest; a finalist for the 2016 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference (top 54 scripts out of more than 1,450); a top 10 finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award; a semifinalist for the Inkslinger Playwriting Competition; and was named runner-up in the Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest, where it was read as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s “Stelle Di Domani” series. 

A member of the American Theatre Wing’s Advisory Board and the selection committee for the Clive Barnes Foundation awards, Erik is also part of the writers’ group at the Musical Theatre Factory, where he is currently developing a musical adaptation of Like A Billion Likes with composer Brad Alexander and lyricist Jill Abramovitz.

His musical Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, co-written with Ben Winters and featuring the songs of Neil Sedaka (arranged by Tom Kitt), was developed at New York’s Capital Rep and the Actors’ Playhouse in Miami; it has since been licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide and performed in cities across the globe, from London to Seoul. He also adapted the beloved TV comedy Cheers for a live stage event, which premiered in Boston and was followed by a run in Chicago.  Erik’s comic adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie premiered Off Broadway at New York’s P.S. 122, as did Dolla twisted take on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; the comic thriller Tell-Tale (transfer to the Cherry Lane Theater, GLADD nominee for Best Play); and the comedy Charlie! He also penned the screen adaptation of Charlie! The movie premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

He is the author of a humor series for middle-grade readers and adults firmly in touch with their inner kids. Published by Penguin Workshop, the first book, Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera, is out now, and Muppets Meet the Classics: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm will hit shelves in October 2018; both are from Penguin Workshop.

Erik was a staff writer and story editor for season two of Here TV’s supernatural series Dante’s Cove. His screenplay Heartbreaker, a psychosexual thriller, was a finalist for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. Erik’s poems appeared in the Showtime film The Escape, starring Patrick Dempsey.

Erik spent more than a decade as an executive editor at Entertainment Weekly and InStyle, one of the world’s largest fashion media brands. (To read an interview about his time at InStyleclick here.) He is known as an expert producer of compelling, visually dynamic content that engages and activates readers who love pop culture, style, home decor and entertaining, plus all aspects of fashion, beauty and grooming.  Previously, Erik was the editor-in-chief of Show People magazine, published by Time Inc., and an editor and critic at Us Weekly and Time Out New York. His articles as a freelance writer have appeared in GlamourWReal SimpleTown & Country and Out, among others. 

He has been an on-air reporter for the TV program Talking Movies on BBC/BBC America; acted as host of ABC’s entertainment program The Us Weekly Report; and was a correspondent for ABC’s News One radio show. As a correspondent, he has appeared on CNN, VH1, Entertainment TonightThe ViewAccess Hollywoodand, in a moment of shining glory, on MTV’s How to Live Like a Celebrity Pet.

Find Erik at:, and follow him on Twitter:  @MrErikJackson

4 August, 2018


Eileen Rivers is a digital content editor for USA TODAY’s Editorial Page for which she writes, develops and edits online interactive content. She won an Emmy for her recent “Re-entry Project” during which she headed a team of journalists who visited prisons across the country to tell the stories of repeat offenders. Her goal in developing, editing and publishing the project was to get the stories behind America’s recidivism numbers and figure out what’s lacking for prisoners in the U.S., a country with one of the highest repeat offender rates in the world. 

She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, covering government, crime, incarceration and the military. Before becoming an editor at USA TODAY, Eileen was a copy editor at The Washington Post and wrote for the Post’s Real Estate, Metro and Arts sections.

Eileen was an Arabic linguist in the U.S. Army and served in Kuwait after the Gulf War. She was also a Spanish linguist and served on intelligence collection missions in Central and South America.

BEYOND THE CALL (Da Capo/Hachette, November 2018), her first book, focuses on the work of three women who served on female engagement teams during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A native Marylander, she lives in a suburb near D.C., and has two incredibly stubborn (but sweet) cats.

10 July, 2018


Michael Reichert Ph.D. is an applied and research psychologist who has long been an advocate for children and families. From counseling youth involved in the juvenile justice system through experiences leading treatment teams in a psychiatric hospital, all the while managing an independent clinical practice, Dr. Reichert has tested his understanding of children with practical, even life-saving, challenges.

He has also immersed himself in research and consultation experiences that have afforded a deeper understanding of the conditions that allow a child to flourish in natural contexts: families, schools and communities. He has created and run programs in both inner city communities and in some of the most affluent suburban communities in the world. Working closely with children across such varied conditions, he has come to a profound appreciation for the hard science of human development.

For ten years he helped to create and led an intervention for high-risk youth in the tri-state region around Philadelphia. The program raised over $4 million in grants and was named a “promising practice” for reducing youth violence by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

As an extension of his work with schools, boys and their parents, he was asked to pull together top national experts by a highly regarded boys’ school outside of Philadelphia and to create a unique program combining research, advocacy and service. The program was the first school-based research center devoted to understanding the particular needs of boys, which eventually grew into a research collaborative between more than 15 independent schools and the University of Pennsylvania.

He continues to lead The Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, which has honed a model for student empowerment, Youth Participatory Action Research, training high school students in rigorous research methods so they can explore pressing questions about relationships and identity. Each year, these student researchers come together at Penn with over 125 others to present their projects and consider action step recommendations.

His work with the Center led to a request by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, an organization of over 300 state and elite schools around the world, to conduct a series of global studies on effective practices in boys’ education. In conducting these projects and for subsequent presentations based on the studies’ findings, he has traveled and spoken to audiences of boys, educators, and parents throughout Africa, the U.K., Canada, and in many states in the U.S.  He has led workshops and consulted to hundreds of schools of all types.

Since 1984, Dr. Reichert has maintained a clinical practice outside Philadelphia, PA.,  specializing in work with boys, men and their families. In addition to direct patient care, he has served as the supervising psychologist at an independent boys’ school and has had the opportunity there to create and lead a program designed to enhance boys’ emotional literacy.

This body of experience has led him to publish numerous articles and several books, including Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Lessons About What Works—and Why and I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners. He currently writes a column for Yahoo! News, The #MeToo Guide to Raising Boys, and has a forthcoming book for parents, How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men, which will be published in April 2019 (Tarcher/Perigee/Avery, division of Penguin Random House).