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173 W Lorain St, Oberlin, OH 44074
(440) 775-8121

Writing Stories, Building Careers: Oberlin Authors Tell Their Tales

Writing Stories, Building Careers: Oberlin Authors Tell Their Tales

Join us for a virtual panel presentation of Writing Stories, Building Careers: Oberlin Authors Tell Their Tales. Our panel of Oberlin alumni includes award-winning fiction and non-fiction authors who will discuss the process of developing books from concept to publication, and how they tackle challenges along the way. They'll provide practical advice to writers at any stage about sustaining a writing practice and navigating the publishing industry today. There will be a Q&A at the end of the event.

Writing Stories, Building Careers: Oberlin Authors Tell Their Tales
Wednesday, April 24

5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST


Moderator & Panelists

Sarah Lariviere '97, Moderator
Sarah is a novelist who lives in Los Angeles. In her new YA duology, Riot Act, (Knopf / Random House, July 16, 2024), theater kids fight for freedom of expression in authoritarian America. Her other novels include The Bad Kid (Simon & Schuster), an Edgar Award finalist, and Time Travel for Love and Profit (Knopf). Sarah studied theater at Oberlin and earned a master's degree in social work from Hunter College in New York City, where she specialized in casework with children and families. She is the former Program Director for artist book publisher The Arion Press.

Benjamin Weber '07, Panelist
Benjamin is a historian and author of the new book American Purgatory: Prison Imperialism and the Rise of Mass Incarceration (The New Press, 2023). He is an assistant professor of African American & African Studies at the University of California, Davis, and has worked at the Vera Institute of Justice, Alternate ROOTS, the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Project, and as a public high school teacher in East Los Angeles. He lives in Northern California.

Paolo Bacigalupi '94, Panelist
Paolo is an internationally bestselling author of speculative fiction. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, John W. Campbell and Locus Awards, as well as being a finalist for the National Book Award and a winner of the Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Paolo's work often focuses on questions of sustainability and the environment, most notably the impacts of climate change. He has written novels for adults, young adults, and children. His newest book, Navola, will be released on July 9, 2024. He can be found online at

Sonia Shah '90, Panelist
Sonia is a science journalist with bylines in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and other venues, and the author of five books, including The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move, a finalist for the 2021 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond, a finalist for the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science. Her new book, Special: The Rise and Fall of a Beastly Idea, winner of a 2023 Whiting Grant for Creative Nonfiction, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury. She lives in Baltimore.

Matthew Sharpe '84, Panelist
Matthew is the author of four novels, including The Sleeping Father and Nothing is Terrible, and two collections of stories. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, McSweeney's, Zoetrope, and other publications. He is the recipient of fellowships in fiction from the National Endowment of the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Sharpe has taught in the MFA programs at Columbia University and Bard College, and undergrad at Wesleyan University, New College of Florida, and elsewhere. For the last decade he has been an editorial consultant and writing coach.


Writing Stories, Building Careers: Oberlin Authors Tell Their Tales

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