From the Civil War to the Ponies of Chincoteague: A Trio of Authors

Three Pennsylvania authors will discuss and read from their work at the Battlefield Bed and Breakfast Inn on Thursday evening, June 22nd, at 6:30 pm. Admission is free, and there will be several books available for purchase and signing.


Marty Crisp: Author of 20 books for children and adults, she is a 30 year veteran reporter for the Lancaster Sunday News. Marty’s Gettysburg book “Private Captain” won a Carolyn Field honor and state children’s choice awards. She is currently working on another Civil War book set in 1863 Tennessee. Having recently moved to Huntsville, Alabama, Crisp will talk about how living in the south has affected her view of the Civil War and has resulted in her newest work-in-progress, with the point-of-view character a southern boy in occupied Chattanooga, and a dog named Major.

Marty lived in Lancaster County, PA for many years, before moving to Alabama in 2016. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she roomed with PB, middle grade, and YA author Linda Oatman High. Her critical thesis was about the use of dogs in middle grade fiction, and she writes often of dogs facing disaster, not just in the Civil War but in the Revolutionary War and during the sinking of the Titanic.


Linda Oatman High: Author of books for all ages, Linda is also a playwright/journalist. Living in Lancaster County, Linda has always been fascinated by Gettysburg, and her book “The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburg” was based upon Elizabeth Thorne.  Linda’s newest book is “One Amazing Elephant,” a middle-grade novel published by HarperCollins in 2017 and she has just completed her first novel for adults, which includes portions of her “Nickel Mines Hardware” story, based upon the Amish school shootings of 2006. The story was honored in England with the Sunday Times EFG shortlist in 2012.

Linda will speak of her varied experiences in writing of everything from elephants to guns to the Amish to graveyards.  Linda Oatman High graduated with Marty Crisp from Vermont College, holding an MFA in Writing.


Lois Szymanski: Author and journalist. Lois will share inspirational stories and fun facts about the wild ponies that inhabit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island in Virginia, and the wetlands critters they share a home with as well. Szymanski’s 29th book - “Surfer Dude: The Legendary Stallion of Chincoteague” - will be released in July by Schiffer Publications. Many of her books for children and adults focus on these wild ponies and the wetlands island they inhabit. Szymanski’s passion for the ponies is the result of nearly 30 years of research and is evident in her body of work.  In honor of her friend, Carollynn Suplee – an angel who, before her passing, realized the lessons children learn when raising livestock - Szymanski co-founded The Feather Fund ( in 2004, a nonprofit that awards wild pony foals to children who have been saving for a foal of their own.  Szymanski also co-writes the Gettysburg Ghost Gang series with author, Shelley Sykes. The series - about three boys who live in a Gettysburg campground - focuses on the otherworldly friends they meet in Gettysburg, exposing kids to history from a different and sometimes hilarious point of view.

Szymanski lives just a hop, skip and a jump from Gettysburg in the historic town of Union Mills. She is a former Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI and a weekly correspondent for the Carroll County Times. She teaches occasional writing classes at Carroll Community College. Learn more about the ponies she loves on the “I Love Chincoteague Ponies” Facebook page she co-administers, or learn more about her books at

Time: 6:30 PM

Admission: Free

Location: The Solarium Event Venue at Battlefield Bed and Breakfast Inn