Issue 166 | November 2018


In This Issue:

  • Message from Dona


  • Featured Member Posting: Part-Time Development Officer (Harvardwood) — LA
  • For companies: Meet & host Harvard interns in January 2019 — LA
  • Feature your product/service in our Holiday Silent Auction: 100% tax-deductible!
  • Our annual Harvardwood NYC holiday party needs a home


  • Exclusive Q&A with Peter Rader AB '82-'83 (Author, Playing to the GodsMike Wallace)
  • Industry Successes
  • New Members' Welcome
  • Alumni Profile: Milan Popelka AB '01 (COO of FilmNation; Producer, ArrivalThe Big Sick)


  • Calendar
  • Get early-bird tickets to the Harvardwood LA holiday party

Message from Dona

Now that Halloween's over (and we hope you had a fun one!), it's full steam ahead toward the end of the year. To that end, we're collecting product and gift certificate donations for Harvardwood's annual holiday auction! Harvardwood sustains its extensive programming and events across chapters worldwide—providing an invaluable community for 9,500+ alumni in the arts, media, and entertainment—thanks to the support of membership dues and our modest fundraising initiatives. Every winter, the holiday auction is crucial to the following year's annual budget, and we couldn't do it without YOUR help and generous donations! So please read on below for more deets.

Now that it's November, that also means we'll be gathering for the LA telecast of the Harvard-Yale game! As always, the event is FREE to attend for Harvardwood members & friends, but please RSVP at the link above!

- Dona

Featured Member Posting: Freelance Videographer (Cognitive Research Corporation) — BOS

Looking for a videographer in Boston on Tuesday, November 13th. CRC is creating training and certification videos for a pharmaceutical company researching a medication for the treatment of the neurological condition, Ataxia. On the 13th, we’ll be shooting patients performing an exam called the “SARA” (Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia) at a doctor’s office at Mass General. 


For companies: Meet & host Harvard interns in January 2019 — LA

We received a RECORD number of Harvardwood 101 applications this year—in fact, a 40% increase from last year's all-time high! Our valiant 101 program directors are reviewing the applications now and accepted students will be notified in the first half of this month.

In the meantime, if you work for an LA-based arts, media, or entertainment company and are interested in -

  • Having Harvardwood 101 students visit your office;
  • Hosting a company informational;
  • Interviewing current Harvard students for summer internship opportunities; or
  • Having a Harvard intern for two weeks in January

- please complete this form. Thanks for your interest in Harvardwood 101, and we hope you'll have the chance to meet our students this January!

Feature your product/service in our Holiday Silent Auction: 100% tax-deductible!

Become a champion of the Harvard arts, media & entertainment community by donating an item from your business or service to our annual Holiday Silent Auction. All auction proceeds go toward the Harvardwood General Fund in support of our educational events, professional programs, and service initiatives. 

In addition to getting exposure via our online silent auction, promoted to our 9,500+ members worldwide, this is a great way to promote your product/service to Harvard alums at our holiday party in Los Angeles on Friday, December 7th!

We are currently seeking auction items valued at $100 or above; if you have an item valued at $99 or below to donate, go ahead and donate it and we can include it in our annual raffle at our Dec. 7th holiday party. Please fill out the form below by November 18th for maximum exposure in the auction. Thank you!


Our annual Harvardwood NYC holiday party needs a home

Our annual Harvardwood NYC Holiday Party is without a suitable space, so if you'd be willing to consider hosting the party in your living room, or have access to a suitable party space, do please email NYC Chapter Head Spence Porter right away. And of course, we'll be happy to answer any questions you have about this annual celebration!

In the meantime, if you missed our most recent NYC event featuring Broadway's choreographer & director Lee Roy Reams, you can check out a video of the interview and performance, courtesy of our gracious event host, The Lambs.

Exclusive Q&A with Peter Rader AB '82-'83 (Author, Playing to the Gods, Mike Wallace)

Peter Rader AB '82-'83 began his career as a screenwriter, penning blockbuster Waterworld on spec and developing projects for the likes of Steven Spielberg and Dino De Laurentiis. Since then, Rader has directed episodes of hit series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan and produced several documentaries under the banner of CounterPoint Films, the TV/film production company he runs with his wife, Paola di Florio. Rader is also the author of two non-fiction books, Mike Wallace: A Life (St. Martin's Press) and—published earlier this year—Playing to the Gods (Simon & Schuster), an account of the longstanding rivalry between legendary actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse.

Q. It’s been over 10 years since Harvardwood last chatted with you, and so much has happened since then! You’ve worn many different creative hats throughout your career: you’ve written movies, directed for TV, produced documentaries, not to mention your numerous credits as an editor and cinematographer… and you’re also a nonfiction author of two books! Aside from the obvious common thread—storytelling—can you talk about the skills, passions, or knowledge one needs to accomplish all of the above?

AIt really does just come down to the storytelling aspect. There’s a quote by a French Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “We aren’t human beings having spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having human experiences.” This quote has haunted me the past few years.

All the things we do as creators of arts are a little hint of what it means to be a spirit having a human experience. Our bodies do not have owners’ manuals. The human condition is quite daunting and confusing. Narrative storytelling is a way for us to come to an understanding of a shared humanity—you have your experiences, and your experiences can actually inform how I navigate through this life.

That is really my passion: playing around with the idea that we need to create, share, and disseminate narratives that help us navigate this human condition.

Q. Congratulations on the recent publication of your latest nonfiction book, Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever. What attracted you to the story of these two women?

AIn theater, we get to take this anthropological stance; we are in the audience observing other humans in their platform, playing out various human dramas—we’re almost like zoologists.

In fact, one of the subjects of the book, Eleanora Duse, created the illusion of the fourth wall. She was one of the first actors to ignore the audience; she never made eye contact with her audience until curtain. It gave the audience that thrilling experience of being voyeuristic observers of a woman who wants to leave her husband or who is having trouble with her siblings, whatever play she was in.

Sarah and Eleonora’s story, and the story of this project, is one of perseverance and persistence. I began exploring this narrative over 25 years ago. It began as a script that actually got quite a bit of traction—various actors, producers, and directors were attached in script form.

This is a story about rivalry as well. I got a sock in the stomach when I found out there was a rival project by someone else. And it wasn’t just any “someone else.” It was Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, producers of American Beauty, with Spielberg to direct. At that point, my project died, and it was heartbreaking. Years went by. Nothing was happening with their project.

So I said, “You know what? I’m going to write this into a book, and maybe it’ll make its way back into movie form.”

Q. And will it?

A. What’s incredibly ironic is that Spielberg eventually walked away from this project and it was assigned to Grey Gardens' Michael Sucsy. We sent Michael the book earlier this year, and he optioned it. Now Michael and I are collaborating on the story. He’s an auteur, a writer-director-producer, and I’m thrilled to hand it off to him. Collaborating with him has been so heartening; he’s one of those collaborators who keep elevating things.


Industry Successes

We couldn't be more thrilled for our very own Board member, Nick Baker AB '07, for recently getting staffed on hit drama series Homeland! Nick won the 2014 Harvardwood Writers Competition - Pilot Category, and he is currently the Director of the Harvardwood Writers Program - Features. Congrats, Nick!

Last month, Joy Lin AB '05 joined Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as VP of Journalism, overseeing strategy, planning, and major initiatives. Previously, Joy was a producer on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Sarah Zeiser AM '08, PhD '12, RI '12 won Gold Prize in the TV Drama Pilot category of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards for her script Aquitaine, an exploration of the early life of famed twelfth-century Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the only woman to have ruled both France and England.

Maera Siddiqi ALB  '12 had a one-hour drama pilot, Intelligence, make it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay Competition, and her short dramatic screenplay, Queen, was chosen as an Official Selection at the Hollyshorts Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.

The 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellows were announced, and among them are Matthew Aucoin AB '12, Clifford Brangwynne PhD '07, Amy Finkelstein AB '95, Gregg Gonsalves MBA '93, Kristina Olson AM '05, PhD'08, Sarah Stewart AB '95, and Doris Tsao PhD '02! The MacArthur Foundation awards "unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." Watch the MacArthur Foundation video introducing all of these talented folks!

The CW gave a script commitment to dark comedy No Hard Feelings penned by writing partners Jordan Reddout AB '10 and Gus Hickey AB '11, who will executive produce. "No Hard Feelings is a dark comedy about a group of friends who conspire to exact revenge on an old rival who assaulted one of their own and got away with it back in college" (Deadline).

In October, The Hollywood Reporter released its list of Hollywood's 50 Most Powerful TV Showrunners of 2018, and the illustrious list features several Harvard alumni, including: Alec Berg AB '91 (BarrySilicon ValleySeinfeld), Robert Carlock AB '95 (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt30 Rock), Carlton Cuse AB '81 (Jack RyanLost), Lisa Joy JD '07 (Westworld), David Mandel AB '92 (VeepCurb Your EnthusiasmSeinfeld), Michael Schur AB '97 (Brooklyn Nine-NineThe Good PlaceParks & Rec), and Alan Yang AB '02 (Master of NoneForever).

Hulu's anthology adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral is taking off, based on a script written by Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton AB '00, who will executive produce the series along with Charlie Grandy AB '97Tracey Wigfield, Jonathan Prince, Howard Klein, Tristram Shapeero, and Charles McDougall.

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization over the past month, including:

  • Shivani Aggarwal, College, Boston/Campus
  • Carlos Agredano, College, LA
  • Juan Arenas, College, Boston/Campus
  • Umut Arslan, College, Paris
  • Catherine Bond, College, Boston/Campus
  • Morgan Booker, College, Boston/Campus
  • Meisha Brooks, College, NY
  • Marie Carroll, College, Boston/Campus
  • Sabrina Chok, College, Boston/Campus
  • William Christenfeld, College, NY
  • Payton Coutlis, College, Boston/Campus
  • Milo Davidson, College, Boston/Campus
  • Anthony DeNitto, College, Boston/Campus
  • Kelsang Donyo, College, Boston/Campus
  • Elizabeth Duncan, College, Boston/Campus
  • Judy Durkin, College, LA
  • Austin Eder, College, Boston/Campus
  • Dody Eid, College, Boston/Campus
  • Lauren Fadiman, College, Boston/Campus
  • Scott Fairbanks, College, Boston/Campus
  • Yasmeen Fakhro, College, Boston/Campus
  • Gabriel Fox-Peck, College, LA
  • Laura Frustaci, College, Boston/Campus
  • Olivia Fu, College, Boston/Campus
  • Junina Furigay, College, Boston/Campus
  • Modesta Garcia, GSE, London
  • Diego Garcia, College, Boston/Campus
  • Jakob Gilbert, College, LA
  • Peter Glebo, Ext., NY
  • Abdeljaleel Ismail, College, Boston/Campus
  • Rachel Kahn, College, Boston/Campus
  • Mayukha Karnam, College, Boston/Campus
  • Caroline Kristof, College, Boston/Campus
  • Jenny Kronish, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ashley LaLonde, College, NY
  • Franklin Lee, College, NY
  • Jennifer Lee, College, Boston/Campus
  • Hannah Lemmons, College, Boston/Campus
  • Jeffrey Liu, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ellie Loigman, College, Boston/Campus
  • Yasmin Luthra, College, Boston/Campus
  • Spencer Ma, College, Boston/Campus
  • Robert Macdonald, College, Boston/Campus
  • Robert Malley, College, Boston/Campus
  • Wassim Marrakchi, College, Boston/Campus
  • Maxmilion McEvoy, College, Boston/Campus
  • Brett McLoughlin, College, Boston/Campus
  • Michael McNealy, KSG, Washington, DC
  • Yasmene Mumby, GSE, Boston/Campus
  • Theodore Ninh, College, Boston/Campus
  • Emily Orr, College, Boston/Campus
  • Faith Pak, College, Boston/Campus
  • Te Palandjian, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ben Palmer, College, Boston/Campus
  • Bihn Park, College, Boston/Campus
  • Tyler Parker, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ida Maria Paul, College, Boston/Campus
  • Michael Perusse, College, Boston/Campus
  • Gant Player, College, Boston/Campus
  • Anthony Ridgley, College, Boston/Campus
  • Eric Rodriguez, FOH, LA
  • Betty Shamieh, College, NY
  • Hirsh Sisodia, College, Boston/Campus
  • Gail Spilsbury, FOH, Boston/Campus
  • Jack Stovitz, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ryan Sunda, College, Boston/Campus
  • Dajon Thomas, College, Boston/Campus
  • Cole Thompson, College, Boston/Campus
  • Jeffrey Treut, HLS, LA
  • Carla Troconis, College, Boston/Campus
  • Francisco Trujillo, College, Boston/Campus
  • Caroline Tsai, College, Boston/Campus
  • Andie Turner, College, Boston/Campus
  • Mitch Valko, College, Boston/Campus
  • Diana Wang, College, NY
  • Maximilian Wang, College, Boston/Campus
  • Natalie Wang, GSD, Boston/Campus
  • Lucas Ward, College, Boston/Campus
  • Alex Yu, College, Boston/Campus
  • Jacqueline Zoeller, College, Boston/Campus

FOH = Friend of Harvardwood

Alumni Profile: Milan Popelka AB '01 (COO of FilmNation; Producer, ArrivalThe Big Sick)

Written by Stephanie Ferrarie AB '18

In high school, Milan Popelka '01 wanted to pursue a career in movies. He recounts watching marathons of James Bond movies on TBS as a teenager, remarking that “if I could watch the same movie shown three times a week and still love it, there must be something to this media.”

That captivating nature of storytelling through film stuck with Popelka throughout his undergraduate years at Harvard and remains ever-present today in his professional life. Now COO of FilmNation, a powerhouse in the financing, production, and distribution of independent films such as Arrival and The Big Sick, Popelka revels in the creativity required to put movies together from conception, to financing, to production, and beyond.

Popelka was born in Strani, Moravia in the communist Czech Republic. At age 3, his parents, aided by an NGO, escaped and migrated to the United States, where they settled in the suburbs of Boston. As a child, he had too many hobbies and was a soccer player and swimmer. At Harvard, he applied those swimming and soccer skills to one season of water polo, after which he took up rowing. Popelka studied economics and was on the consulting and finance track; indeed, his first job out of college was consulting with McKinsey & Company.

However, Popelka’s interest in film was a constant in college: he took VES classes, he started the Harvard Entertainment Association pre-Harvardwood, and interned in Los Angeles. During his sophomore year, he wrote letter after letter after letter to producers in Hollywood. One day in the dining hall, a friend offered to pass on his resume to a connection at Sony Digital. That summer, Popelka flew to Los Angeles with little money and bought a $700 Ford Tempo for the summer. On the Sony Pictures lot, he worked as a business development intern; there, he also met a doctor who connected him with an assistant director on Party of Five, so in his spare time, Popelka also interned on-set.

At the end of that summer, he sold his Ford at a $100 profit, perhaps an early sign of his business savvy.

Upon graduation, Popelka “wanted to jump straight into making movies,” but instead honed his business skills as a consultant at McKinsey, where he spun the opportunity to join the company’s new entertainment group in Los Angeles. Working as a consultant helped him build a skillset that he still uses today in his position as FilmNation's COO. After one year at McKinsey, Popelka paid his Hollywood dues in CAA’s Independent Finance Group, the “business school for the independent film world,” as an assistant to Rick Hess.

In 2004, Popelka met Steve Samuels, a real estate mogul who was starting his own production and financing company. Samuels tapped Popelka to run the company's creative and finance departments. For four and a half years at Samuels Media, Popelka gained the practical experience financing films and overseeing productions that would ultimately serve him at FilmNation.

Popelka cites the 2006 film Half Light as a Samuels Media production where “everything that could go wrong did,” between having a co-financier back out at the last minute, confronting weather issues, and being inundated with a whole assortment of production issues that put it over-budget. But surmounting those setbacks was an invaluable learning experience that enabled them to make Oscar-nominated feature Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney.

After all, "the bad experiences are the ones where we learn most," Popelka notes. Hear, hear.

FilmNation_Entertainment_Logo.pngIn 2008, he met Glen Basner, the founder of FilmNation, which was then a fledgling business specializing in foreign sales. Popelka began assisting the New York-based company, attracted by the zeal with which Basner talked about his company—the way it was driven by creative people, not just in writers and directors, but in dynamic and adaptable business people looking for the best way to get the job done. Soon after, Popelka moved to New York to become the company's COO, inspired by the ambitious and smart people driven to tell stories in a new and creative way.

Two months later, that creativity and resolve was put to the test by the 2008 financial crash.

Popelka recounts, “Scrappiness was in the DNA of the company from the beginning.” Ambitions had to be rescaled, and the movie lovers running the company, Popelka included, had to adapt, innovate, and strategize to stay relevant and in business.

Ten years later, FilmNation now thrives, having expanded into producing and developing its own content, not to mention broadening into TV (HBO’s upcoming limited series I Know This Much is True starring Mark Ruffalo) and Broadway (The Band’s Visit). Popelka's position as COO has also evolved at FilmNation. He oversees all finance, strategy, and operations of the company, an expansive role that gets him deeply involved with FilmNation's diverse and critically-acclaimed slate of films, including Arrival, The Big Sick, Beautiful Boy,The King’s Speech, The Imitation Game, Magic Mike, and House at the End of the Street. 

Popelka's job challenges him to look at each project and find a way to “put the movie together,” structuring deals to finance the film and get it made. Expensive films are “tricky” and require business people to be creative in being able to make it happen.

“I tend to look at my job as a problem-solving job, and not in the negative way.” And collaborative problem-solving at FilmNation is a big part of the process.

When asked which film he’s most proud of, Popelka names Arrival, the 2016 Amy Adams science fiction drama on which he served as executive producer, having been involved in the project from its inception. Popelka calls Arrival a “signature FilmNation movie”—that is, one that defies categorization, one that is challenging to all who are involved, but ultimately one that tells a compelling and unique story that fits the FilmNation aesthetic. He lauds the creative elements of the film, and notes that the financial success of the film was an indicator that it connected with audiences worldwide. 

As Popelka reflects on his career, he notes that, having moved from the creative to business side, he “got into the film business to empower the making of movies that I love.” He praises the filmmakers he works with at FilmNation as “the most exciting part of the job.”

When asked what he believes will spell the future of filmmaking, Popelka answers: “adaptability.” Filmmakers who are adaptable and dynamic will always find ways to get their films made by identifying their audience, the size of that audience, and appropriate platforms on which to share their story. To that end, he offers filmmakers the advice to admit what you don’t know and ask an incredible amount of questions. If you don’t admit that you don’t know something, no one will explain it to you. You rob yourself of an opportunity to learn.

Outside of FilmNation, Popelka has been developing upcoming feature The Space Between with fellow Harvard classmate Michael Roiff '01 and Steve Samuels, a venture that has been 13 years in the making. The film starring Kelsey Grammer will be directed by Rachel Winter off a script by Will Aldis. 

Popelka fell in love with the screenplay when he read it as an assistant at CAA, and it was the first script he optioned when he moved to Samuels Media. Even today, Popelka enthuses, I just love the script. And movies in general are a minor miracle when they come together and there are so many things that hold them back. If you love something, you have to keep pushing it and pushing it. It’s really hard to make a movie without passion.

Sage advice coming from a man who wields creativity in business to empower unique and interesting stories to be produced.

Steph Ferrarie AB '18 is a recent graduate and aspiring producer of film, TV and theater.
She currently resides in Los Angeles. She loves dogs and ice cream.


FEATURED EVENT Harvardwood Co-Hosts Los Angeles: The H-Y Game Telecast - Sat., Nov. 17 (LA)

The Crimson will face the Bulldogs in the 135th Harvard/Yale Game, which will be played at historic Fenway Park. This is the first time since 1912 the Game has been held in a venue other than Harvard Stadium or the Yale Bowl! In Los Angeles, join your fellow alumni (and yes, some Yalies) at Barney’s Beanery in Westwood starting at 9am to cheer on the Crimson. Kickoff is at 9:30am, and we'll even provide expert in-game commentary from former Harvard and Yale football players.

The event is free for Harvardwood members and guests, as long as you register in advance below. Walk-ins are $10 for everyone, regardless of Harvardwood membership status. If you're not a Harvardwood member, join today!

Share your support on social media to help Harvard #BeatYale in the #HarvardYale game, and watch the game telecast with Harvardwood & the Harvard Club of Southern California in Los Angeles!

Los Angeles, CA

Harvardwood Heads To... 2018 Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival - Thurs., Nov. 1

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) is proud to host its second annual festival, screening 21 nominated films from Chinese independent filmmakers and artists, at the Downtown Independent Theater, from November 1st to 4th, 2018. LACFF is the only film festival in Los Angeles to focus on independent Chinese culture and heritage films and aims to foster cultural exchange between the Hollywood and Chinese film industries.

This year’s LACFF will feature a strong line-up of thoughtfully curated films, including opening night feature by Ruijin Li, Walking Past the Future, as well as closing night documentary, Linsanity, by Evan Leong. Many of the filmmakers, including director Ruijin Li, will be present for Q&A sessions after their respective screenings.

Harvardwood Heads To... The Non-Scripted Entertainment Career Fair - Sat., Nov. 3

Are you looking to make new connections or find your next opportunity in the area of non-scripted entertainment?   This speed-dating style job fair will begin with employers presenting descriptions of the projects they are working on and positions they are hiring for. Employers will then move around the room to each table where a group of candidates will be seated. Candidates will give one-minute elevator pitches explaining who they are professionally and what they have to offer.

Harvardwood Heads To... The LA premiere of "Vietgone" at East West Players - Sat., Nov. 3

The Harvard Club of Southern California has discounted group tickets to see the Los Angeles premiere of the play "Vietgone" at East West Players.  Quang and Tong are refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, who hook up and fall in love in a relocation camp in Arkansas. Bold, and fearless, Vietgone takes audiences on a hilariously rip-roaring ride across 1970s America with a hot soundtrack that serves up hip-hop, sass, and revolution. 

Harvardwood Heads To... IVY Entertainment's Creating a Successful Career in Voiceover - Sat., Nov. 10

Many make it to Hollywood with the goal of experiencing the glitter of stardom in front of the camera. But a little known fact is that voice-over stars have found a viable and highly lucrative career path with less competition. Be it a video game, movie trailer, commercial spot, or promo, learn how to launch and further a successful career in voiceover working "off camera." This is a cant-miss opportunity for actors, directors, producers, agents, executives, and voice-over talent. IVY Entertainment in conjunction with Melrose Lightspace and Garden of Sound Voice Over Studio host you for an evening to help you learn the fundamentals of voice-over as a viable career path.

Harvardwood Heads To... The Holidays Pre-Game Reception - Tues., Nov. 13

Join us for the seventh installment of the Pre-Game the Holidays Party! Mix, mingle, and make friends from:

  • Brown University Entertainment Network
  • CalArts Entertainment Group
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Columbia SoCal
  • Cornell in Hollywood
  • Emerson
  • Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment & Media Association
  • HollyWU (Washington University in Saint Louis)
  • NUEA (Northwestern)
  • Penntertainment
  • Stanford in Entertainment
  • Vanderbilt-in-Hollywood
  • Yale in Hollywood

Harvardwood Heads To... The Ivy Plus Society's 12th Anniversary Party - Thurs., Nov. 15

The Ivy Plus Society is thrilled to announce our 12th Anniversary Party on November 15th. Party the night away as we commemorate this landmark at one of our most iconic staples, 41 Ocean Club. Live life in excess when you join us at this destination venue that celebrates life without limits. Thank you for joining us for 12 years, this toast is dedicated to you!

Washington, DC

Harvardwood DC Panel: I Wrote a Book—Now What? - Fri., Nov. 2

This lively and informative conversation will provide insights to first-time and independent authors to help them address the challenges writers face in finding publishers and promoting their books. The panel includes: Holly Smith, editor-in-chief of the Washington Independent Review of Books; Laura Strachan, literary agent/principal at the Strachan Literary Agency; local authors J. Michael McNealy KSG ’14 (Skeleton Horse), John Wasowicz MPA ’88 (Daingerfield Island); and local editor/poet/writer Richard Peabody (Mondo Barbie, A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation).

Colonel (Retired) J. Michael McNealy KSG '14 is a career military intelligence officer who has served in command and staff positions from the Platoon Level to the Army Staff and Joint Agencies.  He is the author of “Skeleton Horses,” written during his second deployment to Iraq and published in 2017.peabody.jpg

Richard Peabody is a DC resident and the founder and remaining editor of Gargoyle Magazine and editor (or co-editor) of 25 anthologies including Mondo Barbie and A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation. The author of a novella, three short story collections, and seven poetry books, Peabody taught fiction writing at Johns Hopkins University for 15 years. His most recent  book is The Richard Peabody Reader (Alan Squire Publishers, 2015). His new book of poems, “Guinness on the Quay,” is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2019.

hollysmith.jpgHolly Smith is editor-in-chief of the nonprofit Washington Independent Review of Books, a university lecturer, and a longtime freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Style, CNBC.comMore Mirth of a Nation, Brain, Child, and other publications. She also co-authored Seafood Lover's Chesapeake Bay, a travel guide that keeps getting shelved with the cookbooks.

10400718_64445701666_565_n.jpgLaura Strachan has been representing authors for 20 years. She established the Strachan Literary Agency in 1998, focusing on literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. She has a background in English Literature as well as a law degree, which is useful when advising clients in all aspects of their work and the business of publishing.

wasowitz.JPGJohn Adam Wasowicz MPA '88 is an Alexandria, VA, attorney and author of “Daingerfield Island,” published in 2017 by Baltimore’s BrickHouse Books.  He has conducted book signings at 36 indie bookstores from Vermont to South Carolina. 

Harvardwood Heads To... "Is Anybody Listening?" Free Public Screening - Sun., Nov. 4

Last film of the Autumn series sponsored by Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter: Is Anybody Listening? is one woman's search for ways to bridge the chasms between veterans and non-veterans. It is a story of love. Following the film, there will be a discussion with the filmmaker, NAACP officials, and veterans. This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter.

Harvardwood Meet-up at the Black List DC Happy Hour - Wed., Nov. 7

The Black List is creating social hubs for writers around the world where they can meet other screenwriters and discuss the craft and the reality of the screenwriter's life. So join your fellow writers at the DC happy hour! Come to enjoy the drinks and the company. You never know who you might meet! This event is free and open to the public (cash bar). RSVP at the link above.

Boston/Cambridge, MA

Harvardwood Heads To... Disney Pixar COCO Screening & Talk with Darla Anderson - Thurs., Nov. 1

Join us for a celebration of Día de Muertos at Harvard November 1, 2018 with a free screening of the Disney Pixar film COCO and a q&a with one of the filmmakers, Academy Award winning producer Darla Anderson. Seating is limited - RSVP to [email protected]

Get early-bird tickets to the Harvardwood LA holiday party

For this month only, you can snag early-bird tickets to the annual holiday bash that takes place every year in Los Angeles. The holiday party is a yearly favorite among members, volunteers, and our Board of Directors, so don't miss this one! With this year's party on a Friday evening, it'll be a wonderful way to kick off not just your weekend, but also the season of holiday festivities.

Get your tickets now, and if you're not already a dues-paying Harvardwood member, join before you RSVP to the party for an extra discount!


Harvardwood does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content or advertisements (collectively "Materials") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this e-mail. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. The materials are provided by Harvardwood on an "AS IS" basis, and Harvardwood expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied.

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