The Writing Life


On March 21st SLOC Hosted a panel discussion titled “The Writing Life and the Power of Words”. Thank you to our fabulous panelists those that attended the event and asked questions!

For those who were unable to attend, we recorded the discussion. For more information about our panelists, click their names below!

James H. Duncan is the editor of Hobo Camp Review, a former editor with Writer’s Digest and American Artist magazines, and is the author of Vacancy, What Lies In Wait, Beyond the Wounded Horizon, and We Are All Terminal But This Exit Is Mine, among other books of poetry and fiction. His columns, poetry, and stories have appeared at Albany Poets, Pine Hills Review, Drunk Monkeys, Plainsongs, Poetry Salzburg ReviewUp the Staircase Quarterly, and elsewhere. He travels by road and rail as often as he can to review independent bookshops for his blog, The Bookshop Hunter. For more of his work, or to find your next favorite bookstore, visit

Jennifer Roy is the author of Yellow Star, based on a true story of her aunt who survived a childhood in the Lodz Ghetto during the Holocaust. Yellow Star received the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award, New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, National Jewish Book Awards Finalist, starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and School Library Journal, and other distinctions. Her book, Mindblind, about a teenager on the autism spectrum, received a starred review from Booklist and was a ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. Other books include Jars of Hope, a Magnolia Book Award winner, and the Trading Faces series co-authored with her twin sister Julia DeVillers. Roy’s latest book, Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein was co-authored with Ali Fadhil and tells the story of his childhood during the First Gulf War and how he grew up to help prosecute Saddam Hussein. Jennifer is a popular public speaker and a former Gifted & Talented K-6 teacher. A native of South Colonie, she lives in Saratoga Springs, New York with her family. Learn more about Jennifer at

Erin Harkes is a singer/songwriter and musician who has released four albums of original material. Her music comes from triumphs over tragedy. Though sometimes somber there’s always a resounding theme of resilience. The power of her voice and the emotion that comes through her lyrics make you want to sit and listen to every word. Erin’s lyrics tell stories of her life, sung through a big voice that’s often compared to Janis Joplin. She is also a standup comedian who has achieved local success and performed in most major clubs in NYC, Toronto and Montreal. Erin also won a spot on “Battle of the Instant Bands” on Jimmy Fallon’s show. She is regularly voted Best Singer/Songwriter, Solo Musician and Comedian in the Capital Region by the Times Union Reader’s Poll and The Alt. Whether singing songs or telling jokes, Erin commands attention every time she steps foot on stage. Learn more about Erin at

David Bunce is a playwright and more with credits including Capital Repertory Theatre; Red Maple. Theatre Institute at Sage (TIS); Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (adaptation) and the one-man show Dogs of War; Shakespeare’s Soldiers. New York State Theatre Institute (NYSTI); The Fall of the House of Usher (musical adaptation-reading). Actor’s Attic, Hartford CT and Penn State University Lunch (one act). Screenplays include Gasoline and Lightning for Edgewood Studios, Rutland Vermont, Incisions and Learning to Fly. Television Pilot scripts include Soup’s On and The Middle Ages. Directing assignments have included the films All For The Birds; Pete Dubacher and the Berkshire Bird Paradise and Breakfast of Champions and stage productions of Last of the Mohicans Outdoor Drama in Lake George and Lord of the Flies, A Christmas Carol, Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, Number the Stars and The Giver for TIS. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA and the Society of American Fight Directors. Learn more about David at