KGB: Five Debut Novelists from the ‘17 Scribes Collective

June 27, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kate Brandes lives in the small river town of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two sons.  She’s worked as a geologist and environmental scientist for twenty years.  Kate is also an artist and fiction writer interested in local confluences of people and place. The Promise of Pierson Orchard is her first novel.

Leah DeCesare is the award-winning author of Forks, Knives, And Spoons and the nonfiction parenting series Naked Parenting, based on her work as a doula, early parenting educator, and mom of three. Leah’s articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, the International Doula and The Key, among others. In 2008, Leah co-founded the nonprofit Doulas of Rhode Island, and in 2013 she spearheaded the Campaign for Hope to build the Kampala Children’s Centre for Hope and Wellness in Uganda. In a past life, Leah worked in public relations and event planning. She now writes, teaches and volunteers in Rhode Island where she lives with her family and their talking cockatiel.

Renee Macalino Rutledge’s literary fiction novel, The Hour of Daydreams, has been dubbed essential reading by Literary Mama and a book to get excited for in 2017 by The Oregonian. Her stories and essays have been published in ColorLines, Literary Hub, Necessary Fiction, The Margins, Oakland Magazine, Mutha Magazine, The Tishman Review, Red Earth Review, Ford City Anthology, Women Writers Women’s Books, and others. She lives with her husband and daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as a nonfiction book editor for Ulysses Press. Find her at:

Julie Pennell grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she ate her weight in crawfish, used the word “y’all” a lot, and wrote a weekly Teen Scene column for the local paper. After graduating from college, she moved to New York to work at Seventeen magazine and later Alloy Entertainment as a digital editor. She lives in New York City with her husband and is a regular contributor to Teen Vogue,, and The Nest. The Young Wives Club is her first novel.

Sandi Ward grew up in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. She went to Tufts University, and then received her MA in Creative Writing at New York University.  A medical writer at an advertising agency, Sandi lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, teenagers, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. The Astonishing Thing, the story of a broken family seen through the eyes of their cat, is now available for pre-order and will be released on October 31, 2017. Find out more at: