1. Leslie Jamison

If anyone’s writing has the ability to make you a better person, it’s hers. This is what The New York Times wrote about The Empathy Exams: “I’m not sure I’m capable of recommending a book because it might make you a better person. But watching the philosopher in Ms. Jamison grapple with empathy is a heart-expanding exercise”.


  1. John Freeman

He interviewed ALL of your favourite writers and published the interviews in his bestselling collection How To Read a Novelist. You’ll find everyone from Doris Lessing, to Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, David Foster Wallace and about 50 others in that book. He’s launching his new fiction magazine, Freeman’s, this fall.


Proofs are in, out in October!

A photo posted by John Freeman (@freemanreads) on



              1. Michael Paterniti


He drove across America with Albert Einstein’s brain in a Tupperware container, as described in his memorable Harper’s piece Driving Mr. Albert, which later became a book.  Also, he wrote a book about cheese and telling stories, and who doesn’t like either of those?            


              1. Richard Koci Hernandez


As a photography and multimedia expert/award winner, Richard figured out the importance of social media way before the Kardashians and became a popular Instagram user. #Win      

Geometry is the language of time. Khalid Masood #tiny_collective A photo posted by Richard Koci Hernandez (@koci) on


  1. Robert Krulwich

His curiosity makes him an outstanding journalist and the Peabody award-winning show he co-hosts, Radiolab, is proof of that. He explored the structure of DNA using a banana and he created a radio opera – Ratto Interesso – to explain how interest rates are regulated. He also blogs about science.


  1. Wendy MacNaughton

Wendy draws beautifully focusing on San Francisco’s diverse communities in an effort to reveal some of the untold stories of the people she meets every day. She also illustrated a book about her cat, Tibia, which is pretty much adorable.


Girl reading at Gowanus Yacht Club in Brooklyn

A photo posted by wendy macmacmacnaughton (@wendymac) on


  1. Jacqui Banaszynski

Not that anyone’s counting, but her news reporting and editing career spans over 30 years and she won the Pulitzer award in 1988 for a heartbreaking account of a gay couple in the US, dying of AIDS. She also loves Romania.


Jacqui during a workshop at the 2014 edition of the conference.


  1. Chris Jones

Again, we’re not counting, but this sports writer has two National Magazine Awards and two National Headliner Awards. This will be his fourth visit to Romania, which he sweetly refers to as his “church”.


  1. Dan Perjovschi

Every time something big is happening in Romania or in the world, you can bet Dan will have an on-point drawing about it. Like this or this or this.

artist 08
Drawing by Dan Perjovschi
  1. Carmen Bugan

She wrote a moving memoir about growing up in communist Romania and having her father arrested by the secret police. Burying The Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police is an international success and will soon be translated into Romanian.


  1. Alexander Nanau

His latest documentary film, Toto and His Sisters, immerses in the family of three siblings struggling to escape the grip of poverty and drugs in a Bucharest ghetto. It won several awards and was acquired by over 20 international broadcasters, having its theatrical releases in France, Italy and Romania in 2015.



A couple of days after the Bucharest edition we move to Cluj to continue with an afternoon of well-told stories. Next to Bucharest veterans Jacqui Banaszynksi and Chris Jones, here are other three reasons you should join:


12.   Starlee Kine


She was our guest in Bucharest in 2012, where she deconstructed some of her famous This American Life episodes. This year, she has a new hit show: Mystery Show, where she is host and producer, quickly became one of the post popular podcasts in the world. Listen to it here.





13.  Alex Gâlmeanu


Alex is one of the most important Romanian photographers, having been published in nearly all Romanian magazines, and featured in national and international exhibitions in Bucharest, Paris, Toulouse, Nantes, Rejkyavik, and Cork.


14.   Dragoș Bucurenci


A communication coach, journalist and civic activist, Dragoș trained more than 1,000 managers in public speaking, interpersonal communication and storytelling, and was awarded “Best Training of the Year” at the Business-Edu Awards Gala in 2010. During the past year, he served as Communication Adviser to the European Commissioner for Regional Policy.