Part of the region’s success in the book world is due to deeply committed men and women from all parts of the industry.
Helene Atwan, director of the Beacon Hill–based Beacon Press, an independent nonprofit book publisher founded in 1854. She is also the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award Administrator, a position she has held since 2003.
Eve Bridburg, former literary agent and founder and executive director of GrubStreet, one the country’s leading creative writing centers.
Steve Fischer, executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association. Fischer began his bookselling career right out of college, working in the stockroom of the Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury, Vt. He has held positions with Harper, Tuttle, and Red Wheel Weiser.
Karen Lotz, president and publisher of the Somerville, Mass.–based Candlewick Press. In the 15 years since she joined the children’s publisher, Lotz and the press have published three Newbery Medal winners, a National Book Award winner, and a Caldecott Medalist. She is also joint managing director of Walker Books, Candlewick’s parent company.
Deborah Z Porter, founder and director of the Boston Book Festival, now the largest public literary event in New England. She is also on the executive committee for the Literary Cultural District initiative in Boston.
Amy E. Ryan, the first female president of the Boston Public Library, is now overseeing a major renovation of its main branch in Copley Square. She has run the library since 2008.
Marshall Smith, founder and majority owner of the Coolidge Corner-based bookstore Brookline Booksmith. Smith is also the founder of Paperback Booksmith, Videosmith, Learningsmith, and Cybersmith.
John Taylor “Ike” Williams, publishing lawyer and cofounder and director of the Kneerim, Williams & Bloom Agency, a literary and dramatic rights agency, with offices in Boston and New York.
Karen Wulf, executive director of New England’s headquarters for International PEN, a worldwide association of writers that celebrates freedom of expression. Wulf has worked in the arts, health, and human services fields for 35 years.
Linda Zecher, president and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the country’s largest book publishers with long, deep ties to Boston.