LitFest 2018 Schedule

Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington


Our emcee is once again former Friars Club roast writer and historian, Barry Dougherty!


Barry Dougherty, principal of BMD Communications, a multi-faceted writing services company, is the author of How To Do It Standing Up, The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes, A Hundred Years; A Million Laughs, New York Friars Club Book of Roasts and Friars Private Joke File. He’s been head writer for the Friars Club’s Roasts, editor of the Friars magazine, the Epistle, and a consultant on the PBS documentaries Treasures of New York: Friars Club, Make ‘Em Laugh and Makers: Women In Comedy.  His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The News Times, Newsday, Luxury Magazine and Antiques and the Arts Weekly, among others. He wrote the foreword to Soupy Sales Presents Stop Me If You’ve Heard It! He has been interviewed and quoted in several books about the history of comedy and entertainment.

Schedule of Events:

10 am:  Optional Workshops (select one)

Workshop A:  Storytelling Improv, with Tracey Segarra

Multiple Moth StorySLAM winner Tracey Segarra is an award-winning storyteller, producer of a bi-monthly storytelling show, a workshop leader and public speaker.  She came to storytelling later in life, has embraced it with the fervor of an evangelist, and it is her mission to spread the transformative powers of storytelling far and wide.  In June 2016, Segarra launched her own storytelling show on Long Island, “Now You’re Talking.”  In November of 2016, she was named the Mid-Atlantic Board member for the National Storytelling Network.

Workshop B:  How to Publish a Children’s Book and a Non-Fiction Book, with Liza Burby and Rudy Shur

Liza N. Burby is the author of How to Publish Your Children’s Book, 2nd edition (Square One Publishers), and 40 others, including 38 nonfiction children’s books. She is also an award-winning freelance journalist and project-based editor. Her articles have appeared in national publications like Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Writer’s Digest and Women’s Day and newspapers including the New York Times and Newsday. Burby also teaches journalism classes at Adelphi University.

Rudy Shur began his publishing career working for Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company and later William C. Brown Publishing Company. In 1976, he cofounded Avery Publishing Group, where he was responsible for the acquisition of over 1,000 nonfiction titles, many of which became bestsellers. Shur has lectured extensively on the topic of nonfiction publishing at numerous universities and colleges throughout the country. Currently, he heads the editorial program of Square One Publishers in Garden City Park, New York.

Long Island LitFest Begins:

11 am:  Author Reading Session 1 


Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress, activist and New York Times bestselling author. Most recently, her collection of essays on family, Wherever You Go, There They Are, was called “a vivacious, madcap memoir” by O Magazine. Her book I See You Made an Effort was a New York Times bestseller and Thurber Prize for American Humor finalist.

Susan Rieger David Denby

Susan Rieger in conversation with David Denby Susan Rieger is the author of The Heirs and The Divorce Papers. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Columbia Law School and has worked as a Residential College Dean at Yale and an associate provost at Columbia. She is the mother of the novelist Maggie Pouncey, author of Perfect Reader, and lives in New York City with her husband David Denby.

David Denby attended Columbia and Stanford, and has been film critic of The Atlantic, The Boston Phoenix, New York, and The New Yorker, where he remains a staff writer. His books include Great Books, American Sucker, Snark and Lit Up, an account of teachers in three high schools struggling to get fifteen-year-old students excited about literature.  He is married to the novelist Susan Rieger.

Meg Wolitzer (c) Nina Subin

Meg Wolitzer is the author of The Female Persuasion, chosen as the very first Barnes & Noble Book Club selection. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. Wolitzer also wrote the young adult novel Belzhar. She lives in New York City.

12 pm:  Book Signings Break, Snacks

1 pm:  Author Reading Session 2 

Rep. Steve Israel headshot

Rep. Steve Israel Congressman Steve Israel is Chairman of the Global Institute and a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at Long Island University. In 2015 he published the critically acclaimed satire of Washington, The Global War on Morris. Israel’s second novel, Big Guns, skewers the gun lobby. Israel was a Member of Congress for sixteen years and served as House Democrats chief political strategist for four. He lives in Oyster Bay.

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin Four of Tom Clavin’s books have been New York Times bestsellers: Dodge City, The Heart of Everything That Is, Halsey’s Typhoon, and The Last Stand of Fox Company. His latest projects are Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission, and the forthcoming, So Superb a Man: George Washington, Valley Forge, and the Rescue of the American Revolution.

Alyson Richman credit Stephen Gordon (002)

Alyson Richman is the #1 international bestselling author of The Velvet Hours, The Garden of LettersThe Lost WifeThe Last Van GoghThe Rhythm of Memory, and The Mask Carver’s Son.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College and a former Thomas J. Watson fellow.  Her novels have been published in twenty languages and The Lost Wife is currently in development to be a major motion picture.  She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children.


Alan Zweibel  An original “Saturday Night Live” writer, Alan has won five Emmy awards for his work in television, which also includes “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show”  and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Alan’s theatrical contributions include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning play “700 Sundays” and six off-Broadway plays including  “Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy” which he adapted from his best-selling book. All told, Zweibel has written eleven books including the 2006 Thurber Prize winning novel The Other Shulman, the popular children’s book Our Tree Named Steve, and most recently a parody of the Haggadah titled For This We Left Egypt? which he wrote with Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach.

Zweibel is currently writing a cultural memoir titled Laugh Lines – 40 Years Trying To Make Funny People Funnier and in April a documentary he and his wife Robin produced called “Love, Gilda” premiers at the Tribeca Film Festival.

 2:30 pm:  Book Signings & End