Jerome Stern Benefit

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Mark Hinson is a senior writer and columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat and Tallahassee.com. His weekly Sunday humor column, For Amusement Purposes Only, is one of the most popular features in the paper. He studied with Jerry Stern in the mid-80s while he was also an arts reporter and cartoonist for the Florida Flambeau. Hinson also spent a stint working for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He is currently at work on a novel titled Stack of Bibles.

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Diane Roberts is a Professor of English at FSU and a Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria in England. Her latest book, Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and other Florida Wildlife, about her politically prominent (and very odd) family has been called “perfect,” as well as “hilarious,” “wild,” “fun,” “strange,”and “splendid.” Roberts’ previous two booksFaulkner and Southern Womanhood and The Myth of Aunt Jemimaare explorations of Southern culture. She is also a journalist, writing op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Times of London. She is a political columnist for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida and makes documentaries for BBC Radio in London, where she also spends part of the year. She has been a commentator for NPR since 1993 and she writes for the Washington Post.

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Janet Burroway is the author of plays, poetry, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner-up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and the 2009 Bridge of Sand. Her Writing Fiction is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and Imaginative Writing is in preparation for its third edition. Her children’s book The Giant Jam Sandwich has been translated into 20 languages and scored for orchestra. Recent works include the plays Sweepstakes, Medea With Child, and Parts of Speech, which have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and various regional theatres; and a collection of essays, Embalming Mom. She is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University.

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Bucky McMahon, as a young dude, became a fanatical surfer and tireless player of various pick-up sports. He didn’t apply himself academically, attended college reluctantly, and affects to remember much of this poorly. After a series of Raymond Carver-esque dead-end jobs, he declared a “do-over” and returned to college. While a graduate student at the Florida State University Creative Writing Department, he began publishing short fiction. In 1992, he published his first feature article for Outside magazine. That was the beginning of a long, strange adventure in the travel/adventure writing biz. He continues to write for Outside, but scribbles also for Men’s Journal, Esquire, Skin Diver, and other publications that ask him to explore and write. His new book is Night Diver.

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Kim MacQueen has worked as a writer, editor and administrator for more than 20 years in a variety of positions, most of them in higher education. The best of those included running the front office of an ape lab and interviewing cops and meth addicts for a community newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina. She currently works as a technical editor for the Association for Institutional Research and has just finished a novel based on her ape-lab experiences, called Fight or Flight.

Pamela Ball, an alumni of Florida State’s English Department, is haole, born and raised on Oahu of American parents. Both of her novels, Lava and The Floating City, are set in Hawaii. She is the winner of numerous writing awards, including the Hemingway Short Fiction Award and the Honolulu Magazine Fiction Award, and has stories in several anthologies. For an article on FSU Fundraising featuring Jerome Stern and the Stern Foundation, follow this link and scroll down to the section titled “For Jerry’s Kids.”

Listen as they read some of their recent work. [download]