2017 Sponsors

THANKS to our  A Day of Words, Wit, and Wisdom  ~ 2017 Sponsors!

2017 Authors


HELEN SIMONSON was born in England and spent her teenage years in a small village in East Sussex. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she has spent the last three decades in the United States and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is married, with two grown sons, and is the author of two novels, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War, both New York Times Best Sellers.






STEWART O’NAN is the prize-winning author of 17 novels, including West of Sunset, The Odds, Emily Alone, Songs for the Missing, A Prayer for the Dying, Snow Angels, Last Night at the Lobster and, most recently, City of Secrets. His work includes a screenplay and three books of non-fiction. He is also the editor of three books including The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Non-fiction on the War. A former aerospace engineer, Stewart was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he now lives with his family. You can read more about Stewart at https://stewart-onan.com



As co-author of the New York Times best-selling In an Instant, LEE WOODRUFF garnered acclaim for the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq. Appearing on national television and as keynote speakers since the February 2007 publication of their book, the couple has helped put a face on the serious issue of traumatic brain injury among returning Iraq war veterans, as well as the millions of Americans who live with this often invisible, but life-changing affliction.

They founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist injured service members and their families heal from the wounds of war. The non-profit foundation has raised more than $45 million and invested in grassroots organizations and programs around the country that are helping veterans successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive critical long-term care.

Woodruff is a contributing reporter for “CBS This Morning” and a contributing editor for Working Mother magazine. Her best-selling book Perfectly Imperfect – A Life in Progress, was followed by her first novel Those We Love Most, which became a New York Times Best-Seller and won the Washington Irving Book Award for fiction.

Woodruff has also penned numerous articles about her family and parenting that have run in magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, MORE, and Parade.

Woodruff is a trustee and alumnus of Colgate University. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and four children.

For more information about Lee and her work, visit:  www.leewoodruff.com


adl_silence_glass1 (1)

Photo by Erik Jacobs

A former actor, print and radio journalist, ANNE LECLAIRE is the author of nine critically acclaimed best-selling novels published in twenty-four countries., including her most recent, The Halo Effect, published in the spring of 2017. Anne is also the author of the award winning memoir, Listening Below the Noise.  She is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities, hospitals, libraries, corporate events, and literary festivals and conferences.  She has been a keynote speaker for many organizations including The Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, The Association for American University Women and the Cape Cod Writers Conference among others and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Ragdale Foundation.

Anne teaches creative writing workshops in the United States and in a variety of international venues. She has been a visiting lecturer at Mt. Holyoke College, the University of Tennessee and Columbia College. Additionally she leads popular seminars and workshops exploring silence, creativity and deep listening, most recently at the Lincoln Center in NYC, the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL, St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle WA, The Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC, and at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA.

 A licensed pilot, Anne is the mother of two and lives on Cape Cod with her husband, Hillary.

You can follow Anne on her web site www.anneleclaire.com.

Books by Anne LeClaire:  Land’s End, Every Mother’s Son, Sideshow, Grace Point, Entering Normal, Leaving Eden, The Law of Bound Hearts, The Lavender Hour, Listening Below the Noise: A Meditation on the Practice of Silence, The Halo Effect

WE CAN  2017 Woman of the Year

SARA LAWRENCE-LIGHTFOOT, a MacArthur prize-winning sociologist, is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University, where she has been on the faculty since 1972.  Educator, researcher, author, and public intellectual, Lawrence-Lightfoot has written eleven books including: The Good High School: Portraits of Character and Culture (1983), which received the 1984 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association and Balm In Gilead: Journey of A Healer (1988), which won the 1988 Christopher Award, given for “literary merit and humanitarian achievement”. Her book, The Art and Science of Portraiture (1997) documents her pioneering approach to social science methodology; one that bridges the realms of aesthetics and empiricism.  In Respect: An Exploration (1999), Lawrence-Lightfoot reaches deep into human experience to find the essence of this powerful quality. The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other (2003), captures the crucial exchange between parents and teachers, a dialogue that is both mirror and metaphor for the cultural forces that shape the socialization of our children, and The Third Chapter: Risk, Passion, and Adventure in the Twenty-Five Years After 50 (2009) explores new learning during one of the most transformative and generative times in our lives.  In Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free (2012), she trains her lens on the myriad exits—ordinary and extraordinary, painful and liberating—that we make in our life journeys.  Her new book, Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers was published in the Fall of 2016.

Lawrence-Lightfoot is a member of numerous professional and scholarly committees and boards of directors including: The American Philosophical Society, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and she has been the recipient of thirty honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In 1984, she was the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded Harvard’s George Ledlie Prize given for research that makes the “most valuable contribution to science” and “the benefit of mankind.” The Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, an endowed professorship was established at her alma mater Swarthmore College; and in 1998, she was the recipient of the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair at Harvard University, which upon her retirement, will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Endowed Chair, making her the first African-American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.