Deb Class of 2016

Debutante Louise Miller

louise arb pic (1)Louise Miller is a writer and pastry chef living in Boston, MA. She received a scholarship to attend Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program, where she revised her first novel. Her debut THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is forthcoming from Pamela Dorman Books (Viking/Penguin Random House) in summer 2016. She is an art school dropout, an amateur flower gardener, an old-time banjo player, an obsessive movie goer, and a champion of old dogs.

Check out Louise’s posts

Find Louise at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  Instagram  *  Tumblr

Her debut novel: THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, Summer 2016)

THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is the story of Olivia Rawlings, award-winning pastry chef, trainwreck, and steadfast city dweller, whose life gets turned upside down when she drops a flaming baked Alaska in front of the entire membership of the Emerson Club—including the Club’s president (her lover) and his wife—and lights the building on fire. Livvy flees to the most comforting place she can think of: Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend, Hannah. Knowing that her days at the Emerson are numbered and her bank account is inching toward the negative, Livvy accepts a job at the Sugar Maple Inn. But she soon discovers that she has been hired for more then her fluffy meringue. The inn’s cantankerous, sweater-set wearing owner, Margaret Hurley, longtime winner of the county fair’s apple pie contest, has seen her reign come to an end. And she has hired—and fired—some of the county’s best bakers in her quest to get back on top. In Guthrie, Livvy finds the home and love she never knew she wanted. When the pressure cooker of small-town living threatens to explode, Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee, or stay and find out what it means to commit.

Debutante Jennifer S. Brown

Jennifer S. BrownJennifer S. Brown has lived on three of the four corners of the U.S. (well sort of, if you squint at the map a little: Miami Beach, New York, Seattle), and now calls the suburbs of Boston her home. She lives with her main writing distractions: her husband and her two kids, who have hit the tween years with a vengeance. She has a BFA in film & television from NYU and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. She is proud the journey from MFA to published debut novel only took twenty years. Modern Girls will be published on April 5, 2016.

Jennifer’s fiction, articles, and essays have appeared in Fiction Southeast, Sierra Nevada Review, and Sojourn, among other literary journals, and she was the winner of the 2005 World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest (judged by Robert Olen Butler) in the Southeast Review. Her creative nonfiction piece, “The Codeine of Jordan,” published in the Bellevue Literary Review, was selected as a notable essay in 2012’s The Best American Travel Writing and included in volume 9 of The Best Women’s Travel Writing.

Check out Jennifer’s posts

Find Jennifer at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  

Her debut novel: MODERN GIRLS (NAL/Penguin, April 5, 2016)

Modern Girls_FCA dazzling debut novel set in New York City’s Jewish immigrant community in 1935…

How was it that out of all the girls in the office, I was the one to find myself in this situation? This didn’t happen to nice Jewish girls.

In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl. A bookkeeper in Midtown Manhattan, Dottie steals kisses from her steady beau, meets her girlfriends for drinks, and eyes the latest fashions. Yet at heart, she is a dutiful daughter, living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. So when, after a single careless night, she finds herself in a family way by a charismatic but unsuitable man, she is desperate: unwed, unsure, and running out of options.

After the birth of five children—and twenty years as a housewife—Dottie’s immigrant mother, Rose, is itching to return to the social activism she embraced as a young woman. With strikes and breadlines at home and National Socialism rising in Europe, there is much more important work to do than cooking and cleaning. So when she realizes that she, too, is pregnant, she struggles to reconcile her longings with her faith.

As mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, they are forced to confront their beliefs, the changing world, and the fact that their lives will never again be the same….

Debutante Heather Young


After a decade practicing law and another decade raising kids, Heather decided to finally write the novel she’d always talked about writing.HEATHER YOUNG AUTHOR PHOTO 2  She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop and the Tin House Writers Workshop, all of which helped her stop writing like a lawyer.  She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two teenaged children.  When she’s not writing she’s biking, hiking, neglecting potted plants, and reading books by other people that she wishes she’d written.

Check out Heather’s posts

Find Heather at:   Her Website  *  Twitter    

Her debut novel: ONCE WE WERE LIGHT (William Morrow/HarperCollins, Summer 2016)

In 1935, six-year-old Emily vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake.  Her mother stays there for the rest of her life, hoping her favorite child will walk out of the woods.  Her sisters stay, too.  But they aren’t waiting for Emily.  They know she isn’t coming back.

Now Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, is the only Evans girl left.  What happened to Emily is a secret she promised would die with her.  But as her life wanes, the lake house whispers with recriminations she can no longer ignore, and her promise feels less like loyalty and more like cowardice.  So she writes the story of that summer in a notebook.  She leaves it, along with the house, to the only person to whom it might matter:  her grandniece Justine.

Justine sees the lake house as a chance to escape her manipulative boyfriend and — maybe — give her daughters the stable home she never had.  But it’s the beginning of the Minnesota winter.  The house is dilapidated and cold, and her only neighbor is a strange old man who knows more than he’s telling about the summer of 1935.  Soon her troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with the long-ago tragedy, her mother arrives with designs on her inheritance, and her boyfriend launches a dangerous plan to get her back.  In a house haunted by the sins of the women who came before her, Justine must find a strength none of them possessed in order to save herself and her children.

Through the interwoven stories of Lucy and Justine, ONCE WE WERE LIGHT examines the price of loyalty, the burden of remorse, and the meaning of salvation.

Debutante Abby Fabiaschi

abagail-28_1024When her children turned three and four in what felt like one season, Abby resigned from high technology to pursue writing. Given industry odds, she never expected much to come of it, so she’s shocked to be writing this awkward third person bio. Her debut upmarket women’s fiction novel, I Liked My Life, will be released summer 2016.

Abby is a human rights advocate interested in economic solutions to social/cultural problems, and an active member on the board of directors for Made By Survivors. She and her family divide their time between Tampa, Florida and Park City, Utah. When not writing or watching the comedy show that is her children, she enjoys reading across genres, skiing, hiking, and yoga. Oh, and travel. Who doesn’t love vacation?

Check out Abby’s posts

Find Abby at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  Instagram  

Her debut novel: I LIKED MY LIFE (St. Martin’s Press, Summer 2016)

Pitched as THE LOVELY BONES meets MY SISTER’S KEEPER, I LIKED MY LIFE is about a seemingly devoted stay-at-home mother who commits suicide, leaving her husband and teenage daughter to redefine their understanding of family while she meddles from beyond the grave.

Debutante Aya de Leon

Aya de Leon author photo 2015 crop smallerAya de Leon teaches creative writing in the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley. Her writing and performance work has received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian and the East Bay Express.

A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA from Antioch University, Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She publicly married herself in the 90s and in 1995 began hosting an annual Valentine’s Day show that focuses on self-love.

In 2009, she became a mom and stopped working as a performer. Since then, she has written for for various online media outlets such as xojane, Ebony, Fusion, Quartz, Guernica, Womans Day, Writers Digest, Mutha Magazine, The Good Men Project, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, and her own blog.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Aya can be found singing backup for her kindergartener’s Michael Jackson tribute concerts or watching suspense shows on Hulu while she distractedly cooks and cleans the house.

Check out Aya’s posts

Find Aya at:   Her Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

Her debut novel: UPTOWN THIEF (Kensington, July 26, 2016)

Marisol Rivera will do whatever it takes to protect her women’s health clinic––including bankrolling it with an escort service and a successful series of robberies that target CEOs involved in a sex trafficking scandal. But can she and her team heist a security-obsessed billionaire?  Especially when he doesn’t want any of the escorts on the team, he wants the madam. Marisol hasn’t been a sex worker for over a decade, but the lure of a big score that could save the clinic is too much to resist.  However, in spite of her financial brilliance, she has no way to calculate the risks to her psyche and to her life, especially when she finds herself in danger of falling for an ex-cop involved in the case. Is he feeding her info to help her out or to set her up? As the secrets of her sexual past resurface, her perfect plan begins to unravel.  Marisol must outwit the Central Robbery detectives, and outrun a vicious pimp. She will need all her Lower East Side street survival skills to save her clinic, her team and her own skin.