Writer in Residence
Looking for publishing advice? Frustrated staring at a blank page? The Writer in Residence program brings local authors to the Library to consult with writers of any age, experience, or genre.
This program, generously funded by the Arizona State Library, is a favorite among local writers. To date, the Library has hosted seven Writers in Residence. Each has brought their own special talents to the program to help people with all aspects of the writing process.
Gregory McNamee is our Writer in Residence for Spring 2021.
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About Gregory McNamee
GREGORY MCNAMEE is a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher. He is the author or title-page editor of more than 40 books and author of more than 6,000 periodical pieces, including articles, essays, reviews, interviews, editorials, poems, and short stories.
McNamee is the editor of Zócalo, an arts-and-culture magazine published in Tucson. He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He is also a contributing editor to Kirkus Reviews, the leading publication of the book trade. He writes regularly for many other journals and sites, and his work has appeared in such venues as Science, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Outside, Smithsonian, AARP, and Native Peoples.
McNamee operates Sonora Wordworks, an editorial and publishing service, and he has been involved in the publication of more than 500 books. He is also the publisher of Polytropos Press.
McNamee is a lecturer in the Economics Department of the Eller College of Management and a research associate at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona. He is also a longtime member of the Speakers Bureau of Arizona Humanities.
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Past Writers in Residence
Award-winning author Jennifer J. Stewart is known for her seriously funny books for children. Her debut novel, concerning a hot-headed, time-traveling, princess-chasing dragon named Madam Yang, is a favorite among schoolchildren. If That Breathes Fire, We’re Toast! was named to VOYA’s Best Fantasy list and the Oklahoma master list. She followed up her initial success with a tale of a rich orphan and a greedy stepmother in The Girl Who Has Everything, which Kirkus Reviews called “both amusing and engaging... fluffy and fun, with just the right touch of message.”
Her latest novel, Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind, is loosely based upon her family’s real life adventures working as medical volunteers in the kingdom of Nepal. Jennifer tended patients in village hospitals and taught health education classes to women and children. She also trekked to Annapurna Base Camp and rode a runaway elephant. This book was nominated for Arizona's Grand Canyon Reader Award, Connecticut's Nutmeg Book Award, and Maryland's Black-Eyed Susan Award.
Jennifer's first picture book is The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona. New York Times bestselling artist Lynne Avril did the illustrations (and the sketch of Jennifer, too!). The book received the Glyph Award. Jennifer also writes educational nonfiction as "J. J. Stewart."
Jennifer was born in East Patchogue, New York, to a librarian mother and a physicist father. When she was four years old, her family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up and attended Whitmore Elementary, Townsend Junior High, and Catalina High. She received an honors degree in English from Wellesley College, followed by an M.B.A. from the University of Utah. For a while she wore suits and pantyhose, but then she found out that writing for children is a lot more fun.
When Jennifer is not writing, or speaking in schools or at writing conferences, she volunteers with the non-profit organization, Make Way for Books. Its mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed. She is honored to be a founding board member.
Jennifer makes her home in Tucson with her physician husband. They volunteer as Flying Samaritans together. They have three daughters. Sadly, Hissy Fit, her Madagascar hissing cockroach has passed away.
Visit Jennifer on the Web at www.jenniferjstewart.com.
The Writer in Residence Program is made possible by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.