Events on the horizon

Happy summer! I am one of those people who feels like summer is basically over one day after it begins, and then spends the entire season feeling nostalgic for things I haven't even done yet ("Oh, it's going to be so much fun to have gone for that boat ride! If only we could have gone out for longer...") But this year, I am genuinely looking forward to fall and all the events I have on the horizon. In a few weeks, I'll be launching a brand new website, which will give me the ability to list these in a more user-friendly way, but in the meantime, I'll create a list of events here and try to keep it up-to-date. 

September 25th, 2018, New England Independent Booksellers Association Fall Conference, Providence RI: I'll be appearing at the Author Reception at 6:30pm. 

February 5th, 2019: Book Launch at Harvard Bookstore! (Okay, they don't have the details available on their website yet, because that would be crazy as it's still six months away, but save the date! So excited to be reading at one of my very favorite bookstores.)

February 19th, 2019, Point Street Reading Series, Providence, RI: I'm thrilled to be reading at one of the most-buzzed about reading series in the area. 

March 2nd - 3rd, Tucson Festival of Books, Tucson, AZ: I'm looking forward to being a part of one of the largest book festivals in the country! 

April 4th, 2019, Arlington Author Salon, Arlington, MA: I'm so excited to be reading at my hometown series...and especially excited to be reading with two of my favorite people in the world: Christopher Castellani and Jenna Blum

April 5-7, 2019, The Muse and the Marketplace, Boston, MA: Stay tuned for details about this wonderful annual conference for writers. 

April 17th, 2019, Literary Society of the Desert Luncheon, Palm Springs, CA: The Literary Society of the Desert is a non-profit organization promoting literacy and the love of reading through presentations by (and discussions with) leading authors as well as promoting literacy, writing skills, and the love of reading in the community. 

April 26th - 27th, 2019, Newburyport Literary Festival, Newburyport, MA: Please join me and an all-star lineup of New England authors at the Newburyport Literary Festival, Newburyport MA. Please stay tuned for the Festival's full calendar!  

April 28th, 2019, Sudbury, MA, Book Club Brunch & Conversation with Jenna Blum: I'll be joining fellow historical fiction novelist Jenna Blum to discuss our books--Blum's The Lost Family and Scharer's The Age Of Light--at a private brunch in Sudbury, MA. Please email me if you wish to attend!

Hope to see you at one of these events! 




Women's Leadership Forum 2018

I'm delighted to be speaking at the Ad Club's 10th anniversary Women’s Leadership Forum on March 26th at the Seaport World Trade Center. To say this is an honor is putting it mildly--past speakers have included women like Michelle Obama's speech writer and a writer for The Daily Show. 

The Women's Leadership Forum website says the event "is dedicated to recognizing and honoring inspirational individuals for their leadership qualities and accomplishments. This year, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the accomplished women of Boston who are making an impact throughout the Commonwealth, across the nation and around the globe. Women in various industries, at different stages of life, who use their positions for good, who serve as role models and mentors, who are fearless advocates for equality, and the best of the next generation who represent our future."

Join me there! Tickets are available on the website, and I'd love to see your friendly face out in the (gulp) very large audience. 



October 2017: Upcoming events

I've got a few events coming up later this month that I'm excited about. Join me at one--or all!--of them. 

October 21st, 2017 at 2pm: Fact Into Fiction: Writing Historical Narratives

I'll be leading a 30-minute craft talk on writing historical fiction at the main Cambridge Public Library as part of their NanoWriMo Author Insights series. 
Main Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge

October 26th, 8:30pm: Four Stories at Lit Crawl

Four Stories is a literary series bridging Greater Boston’s nightlife and arts community (and now Tokyo's, too!). Each event is held in a club, bar, or lounge, and features appearances from some of the most acclaimed authors in the nation, reading their work under a unified theme and answering joke questions from the audience. In this special installment for Lit Crawl, we will be featuring Olivia Kate Cerrone, author of The Hunger Saint, a historical novella about the child miners of Sicily; E. Dolores Johnson, an essayist who focuses on inter-racialism; Whitney Scharer, whose forthcoming debut novel, The Age of Light, is based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller; and Courtney Sender, whose fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, AGNI, American Short Fiction, and The Georgia Review. So come experience Four Stories. It’s like a nineteenth-century salon ― socializing, witty banter, corsets optional.
Salon Acote 132 Newbury Street

Saturday, October 28th, 11:30-12:15: Boston Book Festival Readings: Coming of Age

Three debut novelists will read from their recently published works, all of which focus on the turbulence and transformation endemic to growing up and coming of age. In CottonmouthsKelly J. Ford’s protagonist has a bit rockier journey than most, contending with meth labs, intolerance, and unrequited love following a return to Arkansas after dropping out of college. The title character in Gabe Habash’s novel Stephen Florida is, if anything, too driven by his desire to become an NCAA wrestling champion during his senior year of college. Habash’s novel, according to the Atlantic, “captures how competitiveness and masculinity can unravel those who blindly follow its codes.” And Simeon Marsalis’s As Lie Is to Grin, which was recently shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, also uses college as the backdrop for his protagonist’s self-discovery, as he attempts to find his place at the largely white University of Vermont while immersing himself in black literary history. Our host for this session of fiction readings is Whitney Scharer, one of the curators of the Arlington Author Salon.
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA book!

Delighted to announce that my first novel, The Age of Light, has sold to Little, Brown for publication in early 2019. It happened last week and I'm still adjusting to the idea that I'm going to be a published novelist. The entire process has been a whirlwind, led by my inimitable agent, Julie Barer at The Book Group, who shepherded me through many editor calls and handled all the shocked emails I sent her with trademark grace and aplomb. I'll be working with Judy Clain at Little, Brown and couldn't be happier about it. 

Here's the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace: 

University of Washington MFA graduate Whitney Scharer's THE AGE OF LIGHT, about Vogue model turned pioneering photographer Lee Miller and her complicated relationship with artist Man Ray, told in the interweaving timelines of bohemian 1930s Paris and war-torn Nazi Germany, to Judy Clain at Little, Brown, by Julie Barer at The Book Group (NA).

Hooray! More news coming soon... 

Take a class with me!

I'm excited to be teaching a seminar at GrubStreet in downtown Boston: Fact into Fiction: Writing Historical Narratives. The seminar is on Friday, September 29th (note new date!) from 10:30-1:30, and you can learn more or sign up by visiting GrubStreet's website. Join me! It's going to be a great class. 

Here's the description:

Historical novels based on real people or real events abound, but incorporating historical events and figures into a narrative can be complicated and confusing. Writers wonder: how much research do I have to do? How can I successfully write about a place and time that feels utterly different from my own life? What are the rules for fictionalizing the life of a real person? The truth is that there’s no one right way to write fiction about the past, but there are tools and guidelines you can use to be comfortable with your choices. In this seminar, we’ll take a look at some examples of successful literary historical fiction, discuss research techniques, and spend some time working on scenes from our own projects. You’ll leave the seminar able to articulate your own philosophy about what you’ve chose to research and what you’ve chosen to invent, and with some new tricks for making history come alive.


Welcome to my website. I'm planning to use the blog section of my site to post about projects I'm working on and share my knowledge about the book cover design process. I'll also be posting writing news here. Stay tuned, and thanks for visiting!