Kate Bahlke Hornstein


I was born in Vermont, and moved to upstate New York at the age of five. My upbringing was small town and bookish––my father was an English professor and my mother a children’s book author. Books were everywhere (literally!) in our home: in the living room, study, kitchen, bathroom, and all of our bedrooms. Our family constantly talked about books and writing. I learned to love language. I remember the joy of reading the word “surprise” in first grade. My mother and I used to talk about how words that seemed so beautiful like “sparkle” and “glitter” and “wonder” should be reserved for when we most wanted to use them, so as not to overuse them.

I wrote for fun as a child, and as a teen focused on poetry. I studied English at both Simon’s Rock Early College and Oberlin College. As a young adult in New York, I took classes at the Writer’s Voice, The Learning Annex (remember the Learning Annex? “How to write a Potboiler,” “Screenplay”), and School of Visual Arts. I began to publish poetry in small journals. I later received an M.A. in English from Brooklyn College where I learned a ton about research, and wrote a thesis on Thomas Hardy’s nature poetry. I also built a 30-year career in nonprofit development and communications.

After both my parents died, I began to explore my ancestry, especially my mother’s Quaker family. I was fascinated by how the Quakers’ story was indeed a “Holy Experiment.” What was it like to come to America in 1682? Why would you leave England? Who was here already? Did the Experiment work? I started to explore these ideas and write stories about what I imagined my ancestors’ lives to be like in different time periods. I took a writing course at the New School and joined three writing groups. I read a ton of historical fiction about Quakers.

I hope to bring my novel that focuses on the American Revolution to you all soon! You can read more about it on my Work in Progress page. I’m already starting on my next story about Quakers in England in 1682 and their “coming to America” tale. If you’d like to be updated on my work, please sign up for my blog.

I’m currently living in Sturbridge, Massachusetts with my husband and pug, Yodel. We also spend time In New York City. We have two young adult children. I love hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and visiting museums and historic sites.