2016 Presenting Authors

  • Jacob M. Appel

    Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the 2012 Dundee International Book Award and was published by Cargo. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2014. Jacob’s short fiction has appeared in more than two hundred literary journals. His prose has won the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize, the Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review’s Short Fiction Prize, the Salem College Center for Women Writers’ Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award on four occasions, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant.

    Jacob has taught most recently at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City, and at Yeshiva College, where he was the writer-in-residence. He was honored with Brown’s Undergraduate Council of Students Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003.
  • Gint Aras

    Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas) is a Columbia University MFA. His writing has appeared in The St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, Siaures Atenai, Dialogo, The Good Men Project, and other publications. He's also the author of two novels: Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity) and The Fugue (Tortoise Books). Visit his website at gint-aras.com, or follow him on Twitter at @Gint_Aras.
  • David Armand

    David Armand was born and raised in Louisiana. He has worked as a drywall hanger, a draftsman, and as a press operator in a flag printing factory. He now teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. In 2010, he won the George Garrett Fiction Prize for his first novel, The Pugilist's Wife, which was published by Texas Review Press. His second novel, Harlow, was published by Texas Review Press in 2013. David's third novel, The Gorge, was published on October 1, 2015, by Southeast Missouri State University Press, and his chapbook, The Deep Woods, was published in September by Blue Horse Press. David's memoir, My Mother's House, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press. David lives with his wife and two children and is working on his sixth book, The Lord's Acre.
  • Emily Austin

    Emily Austin is a blogger, social media manager, and Oxford comma fangirl from Memphis. She blogs at notthehardestpart.com about her adventures in parenting her daughter Cece, but the odd story about her mom packing a beer in her lunch bag when she was 12 usually makes its way on the blog too. Her blog is a WordPress Recommended Family Blog and has been featured on CNN Parents, Today Parents, Thought Connect, Huffington Post Parents, and BlogHer. When she’s not oversharing about her own life online, she works on online marketing and social media for Church Health. Follow her on Twitter at @thewaitingblog.
  • John Babb

    John Babb moved to the Memphis area as a teenager and graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, as well as the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Memphis. He worked in community pharmacies in Hernando, MS, Whitehaven, and Bartlett for twenty years, before joining the U.S. Public Health Service. He served in the USPHS before working directly for the U.S. Surgeon General, when he was promoted to Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in 2002. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 2010.

    "Orphan Hero” is his first novel. His agent is in negotiation with a publisher for his second book, “A Splitting of the Mind”, which is a historical novel with a decidedly medical bent.
  • Jennifer Balink

    Memphis native Jennifer Balink has spent 25 years in corporate communications, writing position papers, sales speeches, pleas for funding, operating procedures and press releases. In June 2012, on a whim, Jennifer launched her blog, Jenny's Lark (http://jennyslark.com), so her 25th college reunion page wouldn't have an empty line by "personal website." She's been posting weekly ever since, for better and worse, sharing family stories, random musings, and embarrassing tales with 6682 complete strangers. By day (and sometimes night) Jennifer is executive director of the Exchange Club Family Center. She has a husband, two children, three dogs, an old, messy house and a degree in Art & Archaeology from Princeton University.
  • Anne Barngrover

    Anne Barngrover is the author of Yell Hound Blues (Shipwreckt Books, 2013) and co-author, with Avni Vyas, of the chapbook Candy in Our Brains (CutBank, 2014). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in North American Review, Crazyhorse, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, Blackbird, Third Coast, and others. Anne earned her BA from Denison University, her MFA from Florida State University, and her PhD in Creative Writing-Poetry from University of Missouri. She has taught high school or college students in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. Anne currently lives in Nashville.
  • Emma Bolden

    Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). She’s also the author of four chapbooks of poetry -- How to Recognize a Lady (Toadlily Press); The Mariner’s Wife, (Finishing Line Press); The Sad Epistles (Dancing Girl Press); This Is Our Hollywood (The Chapbook) – and one nonfiction chapbook – Geography V (Winged City Press). A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions as well as such journals as The Rumpus, TriQuarterly, The Pinch, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, and Copper Nickel.
  • Bryan Borland

    Bryan Borland is a 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, the founding editor of Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, and the founding publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, an independent press based in Arkansas. He is the author of three books of poetry, My Life as Adam and Less Fortunate Pirates, both from Sibling Rivalry Press, and DIG, out in September from Stillhouse Press. He is the winner of the 2016 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award.
  • Jaye Robin Brown

    Jaye Robin Brown is the author of Southern-flavored, contemporary young adult novels. Titles include NO PLACE TO FALL, WILL'S STORY: A NO PLACE TO FALL NOVELLA, and her latest, GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT (Harper Teen) which looks at the sometimes conundrum between being a queer teen and hanging onto faith. She lives north of Asheville, North Carolina by way of Atlanta, by way of south Alabama and splits her time between working with teens in the local school system and writing for them in the early mornings. For more information:www.jayerobinbrown.com
  • Kathleen Burkinshaw

    Kathleen Burkinshaw resides in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom to a daughter in college (dreading the reality of being an empty nester-most of the time), and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja. Kathleen enjoyed a 10+ year career in HealthCare Management unfortunately cut short by the onset of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Writing gives her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain. For the past six years, she has visited middle schools to discuss her mother’s life in Hiroshima during the last year of WWII and her experience when the atomic bomb dropped on August 6th. During this time, she wrote her debut Middle Grade historical fiction, THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM (Sky Pony Press August 2016). She has carried her mother’s story her whole life and feels privileged to now share it with the world. Writing historical fiction also satisfies her obsessive love of researching anything and everything.
  • Elijah Burrell

    Elijah Burrell is the author of the poetry collection The Skin of the River (Aldrich Press, 2014). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Agni, Sugar House Review, Measure, Cider Press Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Structo, and many others. He received the 2009 Cecil A. Blue Award in Poetry and the 2010 Jane Kenyon Scholarship at Bennington College. In 2012 Burrell joined the faculty of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. An assistant professor in Lincoln's English, Foreign Languages, and Journalism Department, Burrell teaches creative writing, literature, and advanced composition. Burrell holds an MFA in Writing and Literature (emphasis: poetry) from Bennington College. He resides in Jefferson City, Missouri, with his wife and two little girls. http://elijahburrell.com
  • Sally Busby

    Sally Busby is an English teacher at Snowden Middle School, a mother and artist. She has a master's degree in Southern Studies and enjoys reading and creating while not mothering and teaching.
  • Clay Cantrell

    Clay Cantrell received his MFA in poetry at the University of Memphis. In 2015, He moved to Tulsa to pursue a PhD in Literature at the University of Tulsa. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Sycamore Review, New Delta Review, Birdfeast, The Journal, and elsewhere. His full-length manuscript, Hermit, Wraith, was recently a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award. Another collection, The Landfill Poems, is forthcoming from Red Dirt Press.
  • James Cherry

    James E Cherry is the author of five books: a collection of short fiction, a novel and three volumes of poetry. His latest collection of poetry, Loose Change, was published in 2013 by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. His prose and poetry has been featured in numerous journals and anthologies both in the U.S. as well as in England, France, China, Canada and Nigeria. He has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fiction. His novel, Edge of the Wind, is forthcoming in October 2016 from Stephen F Austin University Press. Visit: http://www.jamesecherry.com.
  • Addie Citchens

    Addie Citchens is a fiction writer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Her work covers the performance of blackness, sexuality, sexual violence, generational trauma, and personal healing/liberation/triumph. Her art has been featured in the Oxford American, Callaloo, and Mixed Company. She is based in New Orleans.
  • Daniel Connolly

    Daniel Connolly is a staff reporter for The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. He speaks fluent Spanish and has been covering Mexican immigration to the South for more than a decade. He took a 12-month leave of absence from the newspaper to work full-time as an embedded journalist inside Kingsbury High School, a Memphis institution that enrolls hundreds of Hispanic students.

    His 2013 newspaper project on the bright Kingsbury student named Isaias Ramos won two national journalism awards. He developed the project into a narrative nonfiction book entitled The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants seeks his own America. It will be published nationally on October 4 by St. Martin’s Press of New York.
  • Jeff Crook

    Jeff Crook is a life-long resident of the Memphis area (those three years spent in the circus don't count). He lives in a modest cave with his wife, two children, and a pair of tiny panthers. He is the author of several novels, including the eerie crime fiction tales THE SLEEPING AND THE DEAD and THE COVENANT, both published by Minotaur Books.
  • Heather Debord

    Heather is a full zookeeper in the Department of Herpetology at Zoo Knoxville. She writes at Becoming Cliche, covering everything from endangered baby tortoises to MoonPies. She is currently seeking representation for her first work of fiction.
  • James Dickson

    James Dickson teaches English and Creative Writing at Germantown High School, just outside of Jackson, MS, where he lives with his wife, Greer, and their son. An MFA graduate from the Bennington Writing Seminars, his poetry, essays, and reviews appear in Burnt Bridge, Ruminate, The Louisiana Review, Spillway, Slant, The Fiddleback, Poetry Quarterly, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The Common.
  • Phyllis Dixon

    Ms. Dixon is the author of two novels, Down Home Blues and Forty Acres. She co-wrote Let the Brother Go If… with Ms. Dupree, formerly of the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. She is a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul, and has written for American Legacy magazine and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and is a former bookstore owner. She resides in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Heather Dobbins

    Heather Dobbins graduated from the College Scholars program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned a Master of Education degree from Holy Names University in Oakland, California, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Vermont. Her poems and reviews have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Rumpus, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Tennessee), and TriQuarterly Review, among others. She has been awarded scholarships and fellowships to Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts' workshop in Auvillar, France. Her book of poems, In the Low Houses, was published in March 2014 by Kelsay Press. She is honored to serve as one of the chairs of the Mid-South Book Festival. A flatlander native of Memphis, she recently moved to the hills of Fort Smith, Arkansas. For more information, visit heatherdobbins.net.
  • Gerald Duff

    Gerald Duff is a winner of the Cohen Award for Fiction, the Philosophical Society of Texas Literary Award, and the Silver Medal for Fiction from the Independent Publishers Association. He has published 19 books of fiction, poetry, and memoir. His short story collection, Fire Ants, was a finalist for the Jesse Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. His recent novel, Playing Custer, was named a finalist by the Western Writers of America for a Spur Award for the Best Historical Novel of 2015. Three of his novels are set in Memphis: Memphis Ribs, Memphis Mojo, and That’s All Right, Mama: The Unauthorized Life of Elvis’s Twin.
  • Alice Faye Duncan

    Alice Faye Duncan is a National Board Certified Library Media Specialist with 19 years of school librarian experience. Surrounded by stacks and shelves of books, writing for children seemed like the next logical step in her career. And she certainly knows how to capture the attention of her readers. The award-winning Memphis native has written five books: Willie Jerome; Miss Viola and Uncle Ed Lee; The National Civil Rights Museum Celebrates Everyday People; Christmas Soup; and Honey Baby Sugar Child.
  • Ashley Foxx

    Ashley Foxx, an author, educator, and artist, fell in love with children’s books while teaching kindergarten and first grade in Memphis, TN. She collaborated with her sister, April Foxx, on their first children's book, Keisha Cane and Her Very Sweet Tooth. Ms. Foxx has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Grace Magazine, The Commercial Appeal and on Essence.com, Black Enterprise.com, and Clutch.com. By day, Ms. Foxx serves as the Principal for Memphis College Prep, a k-5 elementary charter school. She is also the Executive Director of Kifani, Incorporated, a small media and publishing company based in Memphis, TN. Kifani's current project, Yani and Shani’s Rainy Day has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine and on TheRoot.com and BET.com. Find her on twitter @ foxxology, on facebook at facebook.com/authorashleyfoxx and on her website, http://www.foxxology.com/.
  • Sonia Gensler

    Sonia Gensler is the award-winning author of Ghostlight, a contemporary middle grade novel, as well as The Dark Between and The Revenant, both young adult historical novels. She is obsessed with Gothic horror and loves to write ghostly mysteries.

    Sonia grew up in a small Tennessee town and ran with a dangerous pack of band and drama geeks. As an adult she experimented with a variety of impractical professions before finally deciding to share her passion for stories through teaching. She taught literature and writing to young adults for ten years. Sonia currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and cat.
  • Holly George-Warren

    Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and an award-winning writer, editor, and music consultant named one of the top women music critics “you need to read” by Flavorwire.com. She is the author of two biographies, A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from the Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (Viking, 2014) and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry (Oxford, 2007). George-Warren is currently at work on a biography of Janis Joplin, to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. She co-wrote the 2009 New York Times bestseller The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang), as well as 2013’s John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion (with Varvatos). She teaches arts journalism at the State University of New York, in New Paltz, and lives in upstate New York.
  • Christian Anton Gerard

    Christian Anton Gerard’s first poetry book is Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, CW Books, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Some of his recent poems appear in storySouth, Post Road, Diode, Pank, Orion, Smartish Pace, B-O-D-Y, The Rumpus, and The Journal. Gerard holds a Ph.D in English from the University of Tennessee and he currently lives in Fort Smith, AR, where he’s an Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Find Christian on the web at www.christianantongerard.com/
  • Lauren Groff

    Lauren Groff is the award-winning and bestselling author of the celebrated short story collection, Delicate Edible Birds, as well as the author of three novels- The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, Arcadia, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and Fates and Furies, a finalist for the National Book Award and Amazon's pick for Best Book of the Year. Groff’s work has appeared in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Atlantic, and in several of the annual The Best American Short Stories anthologies. Groff’s fiction has won the Paul Bowles Prize for Fiction, the PEN/O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. She lives in Gainsville, Florida with her husband and two sons.
  • Kelley Hayes

    Kelley Hayes is a writer, artist and student. She holds a B.A. in Business from Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and a second degree in English from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Creative Writing. She won the 2015 Women's History Month Fiction Contest at the University of Memphis and was a selected contributor to the 2014, A Band of Women, San Francisco 2014 Essay Contest.
  • Lisa C. Hickman

    Lisa C. Hickman holds her Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Mississippi and is the editor of Remembering: Joan Williams’ Uncollected Pieces (2016); a posthumous collection featuring previously published but uncollected fiction and nonfiction; the author of two works of nonfiction, William Faulkner and Joan Williams: The Romance of Two Writers and Stranger to the Truth; as well as numerous essays, articles, and reviews.

    Williams, who was born and reared in Memphis, published a number of short stories and nonfiction pieces in the later years of her life; a life complicated early on by the influential men with whom she was involved, namely American author William Faulkner and independent publisher Seymour Lawrence.

    For years her literary gems were scattered and virtually unattainable to readers. The short stories in Remembering resonate with a gentle humor conveyed through vigorous prose.

    As this year’s literary guest for Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner event, Hickman will discuss and sign Remembering at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans. September 25, 2016, marks the celebration’s twenty-sixth year.
  • George Hodgman

    George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair, and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.
  • Christina Holzhauser

    Christina Holzhauser is raising her son in Columbia, Missouri, where she teaches English, plays rugby, and tries to perfect her gravy recipes. Her essays can be found in Crooked Letter I: Coming Out in the South, Rivet Journal, bioStories, Lost Magazine, Ducts, and others. For more information, visit christinaholzhauser.com.
  • Joshua Hood

    Joshua Hood graduated from the University of Memphis before joining the military and spending five years in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2005, he was sent to Iraq and conducted combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2006, and from 2007-2008 he served as a squad leader and was deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. Hood was decorated for valor in Operation Furious Pursuit. He is currently a member of a full time SWAT team in Memphis, Tennessee. His first novel, Clear by Fire, was released in August of 2015 and his new novel, Warning Order, will be released in June of 2016.
  • Maria Hoskins

    Maria Hoskins has served as Community Outreach Specialist for the Federal Government for over 14 years and has been employed in the field of community outreach for over 25 years. She is a native of Mayflower, Arkansas and a graduate of Philander Smith College where she received a B.A. in English and Communications. Maria has published two children's books through her independent publishing company C & V 4 Seasons Publishing Company, and will release her third book, Down Home in Arkansas, A Family Reunion Story, spring 2016. "The purpose of my books are to share a happy memory from a moment in time, and to encourage young readers and writers that there is a book in all of us." She is married to Archie, has two children, Christina and Victoria, and is an active member of the Palarm Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Mayflower, AR.
  • Dr. Charles L. Hughes

    Dr. Charles L. Hughes is the Director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College. His acclaimed first book, Country Soul, was named one of the Best Music Books of 2015 by Rolling Stone. He has spoken and published widely on race, music and the South.
  • Linda Williams Jackson

    Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta in the teeny-tiny town of Rosedale , Linda Williams Jackson likes to spin stories about everyday people in small-town settings. Though she has lived in a few other states (Alabama, Missouri, and Kansas), Linda currently makes her home in a not-so-small city in Mississippi with her husband and three children. While a degree in Math and Computer Science from the University of Alabama allowed her to enjoy careers in Information Technology, Linda now prefers manipulating words rather than numbers and symbols. Besides her debut middle-grade novel Midnight without a Moon from HMH Books for Young Readers (January 3, 2017), Linda is published in multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul titles and has written reading assessment passages for various educational publishers.
  • Danian Jerry

    A Native Memphian, Danian writes stories about music and the dynamics that accompany close-knit family relationships. He recently earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Memphis. He is currently revising the manuscript for his first novel, entitled The Blueswoman and drafting a graphic novel, entitled Son of the Iron Mic.
  • Kima Jones

    Kima Jones has received fellowships from PEN Center USA Emerging Voices, Kimbilio Fiction, The MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She has been published at Guernica, NPR and Scratch Magazine, among others. She is the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, a book publicity company.
  • Cole Lavalais

    Cole Lavalais' short stories can be found in Obsidian, Apogee, Warpland, Tidal Basin Review, Aquarius Press, and others. She's been awarded writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and The Noepe Center for the Literary Arts. Cole has taught writing for over ten years and currently teaches community-based writing workshops on the south side of Chicago. She also hosts Colored People's Time, a bimonthly literary salon featuring fiction writers of color. Summer of the Cicadas is her first novel.
  • Kiese Laymon

    Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. He is a currently a columnist at The Guardian.

    Long Division was short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. It also won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th. Three essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic's Best Essays of 2013. Laymon was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015.

    Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy which will be released in 2016 and the novel called And So On which can be expected in the Spring of 2017.
  • Nabila Lovelace

    Nabila Lovelace is a born & raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. Her parents hail from Trinidad & Tobago & Nigeria. Sons of Achilles, her debut book of poems is forthcoming from YesYes Books. She is a MFA candidate MFA candidate at the University of Alabama — Tuscaloosa & believes the ampersand is the blackest conjunctive symbol.
  • Nan Lowe

    Nan Lowe graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Technical and Professional Writing and a minor in Sociology. Instead of pursuing a career in editing, she chose to continue working in the travel industry for several years while she and her husband of twenty years raised their two children. Love of words and Women’s Fiction brought her full circle, and her first novel, Higher Ground, was published in July 2016.
  • Angie Macri

    Angie Macri is the author of Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past and Underwater Panther, which won the Cowles Poetry Book Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner and The Southern Review. She was born and raised in southern Illinois. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs.
  • Rebecca Makkai

    Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the new story collection Music for Wartime -- four stories from which have appeared in The Best American Short Stories. She has taught at Northwestern University and the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her website is www.rebeccamakkai.com.
  • Jonathan May

    Jonathan May grew up in Zimbabwe as the child of missionaries, but now lives and teaches in Memphis, TN. His work has appeared in over forty literary journals, in print and online. He recently translated the play Dreams by Günter Eich into English. Read more at https://memphisjon.wordpress.com/
  • Chris McCoy

    C. Scott McCoy has been a filmmaker for 15 years. He has produced, written and directed three features, Automusik Can Do No Wrong (2004), Eat (2006) and Antenna (2012), as well as numerous short films and music videos. As a screenwriting consultant, he has worked with writers and directors such as Craig Brewer and Morgan Jon Fox on numerous horror, science fiction, and indie films, as well as television and web video projects. With his wife, producer, director, and editor Laura Jean Hocking, he owns Oddly Buoyant Productions Inc., a video production and consulting company. He is also the Film and TV Editor for the Memphis Flyer.
  • Celeste Fletcher McHale

    Celeste Fletcher McHale lives on her family farm in Central Louisiana where she enjoys raising a variety of animals. Her hobbies include writing, football, baseball, and spending much time with her grandchildren. Her debut novel, The Secret to Hummingbird Cake, was released through HarperCollins Christian Publishing in February 2016.
  • Corey Mesler

    COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and Esquire/Narrative. He has published 9 novels, 4 short story collections, and 5 full-length poetry collections. His latest novels are Memphis Movie and Robert Walker. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart many times, and 2 of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife he runs Burke's Book Store in Memphis. He can be found at https://coreymesler.wordpress.com.
  • Jason Miller

    Jason Miller is the author of Down Don’t Bother Me, book one in the Slim in Little Egypt mystery series. A much-followed comic voice on Twitter, Jason (@longwall26) has had tweets featured on national talk shows such as Ellen, and he has been named among the funniest people on Twitter by Playboy, Buzzfeed, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. A RiffTrax contributor, his jokes have been heard in movie theaters throughout the United States and Canada. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Michael Morse

    Michael Morse is the author of Void and Compensation, which was published by Canarium Books in 2015 and was a finalist for the 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. He has published poems in various journals—including A Public Space, The American Poetry Review, Field, jubilat, Ploughshares, Spinning Jenny, and Tin House—and in the anthologies Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn; Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama's First 100 Days; and The Best American Poetry, 2012. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and teaches at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. He is a poetry editor for The Literary Review.
  • Natalie Parker-Lawrence

    Natalie Parker-Lawrence, MFA in Creative Writing (nonfiction and playwriting) at the University of New Orleans, 2010. Her new play, Postcards From Memphis, was given a staged reading in 2016 at the Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis. The Just Passing By Theatre Company in association with The Morris Theatre Guild (outside Chicago) produced Bob War, and Adelphi University (New York) produced Earlybirds. The Women’s Playwright’s Initiative staged a regional reading in Orlando of Upright Position. Her essays have been published in Slice of Life Magazine, The Palimpsest Journal, The Barefoot Review, Edible Memphis, The Commercial Appeal, World History Bulletin, and The Pinch, among others. Parker-Lawrence teaches English at Immaculate Conception HS and is an adjunct instructor in the Communication department at the University of Memphis.
  • Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

    Kaitlyn Sage Patterson is the author of YA Fantasy duology THE DIMINISHED and its sequel (Harlequin TEEN, 2018 & 2019). Before settling in Memphis, where she lives with her husband and dog, she spent time in East Tennessee, Boston, Scotland, and South Korea. When she's not writing or reading, Kaitlyn can be found riding horses, cooking elaborate meals, or learning how to garden.
  • Marco Pavé

    Marco Pavé is Project Pat meets KRS-One, spitting an urban country consciousness with a confidence that could only emerge from coming of age as a Muslim millennial in North Memphis. As a rapper and songwriter, Marco Pavé appeals to a diversity of rap enthusiasts, from purists to radio lovers to hipsters, with a soulful style of hip-hop storytelling and community engagement that appeals to racially and geographically diverse millennial audiences. As a sought-after public speaker in community and university contexts, he lectures on hip-hop and conducts workshops on hip-hop and social justice. Marco Pavé has opened for Mobb Deep, Waka Focka Flame, and Young Dolph, worked with Grammy award winning producers, and his most recent EP not only hit #2 on the CMJ charts, but the led single from the project, "Black Tux." Marco also has delivered two TEDx talks (Memphis, Nashville) and performed at festivals, colleges, and clubs all to great responses.

    Twitter: @KingofMarco

    Website: http://KingofMarco.com
  • Mary Laura Philpott

    Mary Laura Philpott is the author of Penguins with People Problems, an illustrated humor book for adults that began as a Tumblr devoted to "random penguins" after the Penguin Random House merger. She is the founding editor of Musing, the online magazine produced by Nashville's indie bookstore, Parnassus Books, as well as the co-host of the literary interview show A Word on Words on public television. A Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist, Mary Laura also writes columns and articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, USA Today, Lit Hub, and other publications. For fun, she keeps a blog of her own called I Miss You When I Blink. She lives in Nashville with her husband, children, and two ill-behaved dogs.
  • B. Andrew Plant

    B. Andrew Plant is one of 16 contributors to Crooked Letter i: Coming Out in the South. He is an award-winning writer who frequently tackles LGBTQ, health and social justice issues. For five years he wrote a slice-of-life feature column for Southern Voice newspaper and for eight years was editor at large for A&U, a national non-profit monthly magazine. His “day job” is as a public relations strategist, consulting primarily with professional and financial services companies. He and his husband live in a low-slung ranch house in Atlanta with a geriatric cat and two compost bins. Drew recently completed his first novel - a farcical mystery set in an Atlanta neighborhood - and is searching for a literary home for it.

  • Cathryn J. Prince

    Cathryn J. Prince is the author of several nonfiction books including American Daredevil: The Extraordinary Life of Richard Halliburton, The World’s First Celebrity Travel Writer (Chicago Review Press, 2016), Death in the Baltic: The WWII Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), for which she was awarded the Military Writers Society of America 2013 Founders Award. She is a frequent contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and The Times of Israel. Website: www.cathrynjprince.com
  • John Pritchard

    John Pritchard is the author of three books in the Junior Ray series: Junior Ray, The Yazoo Blues, and Sailing to Alluvium. The award-winning novels have been praised by the South's most literary names, from Harry Crews to William Gay. Barnes & Noble named Junior Ray one of their Top Ten Sensational Debut Novels of 2005. Pritchard grew up in the Mississippi Delta, a place of dark and elemental myth that inspired him to write. He currently lives in Memphis, where he has taught college-level English—often in knickers—for most of the last thirty-two years.
  • Maurice Carlos Ruffin

    Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s work has appeared in AGNI, Kenyon Review, Callaloo, Massachusetts Review, Redivider, Green Mountains Review, The Pinch Journal, Unfathomable City: a New Orleans atlas edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedecker, and Situate Magazine. He is the winner of the 2014 Iowa Review Fiction Award, the 2014 So to Speak Journal Short Story Award and the 2014 William Faulkner Competition for Novel in Progress. He is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.
  • Elaine Scudder-Walters

    Elaine Scudder-Walters is native Midtown Memphian and a graduate of Rhodes College. She has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Alabama where she received the Dean’s Merit Prize. She also worked as an Assistant Poetry Editor for The Black Warrior Review. A teacher with the Memphis City and Shelby County Schools since 2003, she currently teaches CLUE at Snowden. She coaches the Wordsmith team, Snowden Drama Club, and Snowden Film Club. For five years, she created and taught curriculum for CLUE Camp on subjects ranging from poetry to comic books to Archeology. She’s been a guest of the River City Scribes and the recipient of several teaching awards.
  • Greg Sestero

    Greg Sestero is an actor, producer, and writer. He was born in Walnut Creek, California and raised between the San Francisco Bay Area and Europe.

    At the age of 17, Greg began his career in entertainment by modeling in Milan for such designers as Valentino and Armani. Upon returning to California, Greg went onto pursue acting and appeared in several films and television shows before co-starring in the international cult phenomenon The Room.

    His memoir The Disaster Artist is being turned into a movie by Warner Bros. starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Josh Hutchinson and Sharon Stone.

  • Bridget Smith

    Bridget Smith was born and raised in Columbia, Tennessee, not far from the setting of Where Elephants Fought, her Civil War era novel that details the May 7, 1863, murder of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn at the hands of Dr. George Peters.

    Bridget has a Masters in English and has taught literature and writing for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Raymond, Mississippi, with her husband Ray and their four children, and is currently at work on her second novel. Learn more at WhereElephantsFought.com
  • Christina Stoddard

    Christina Stoddard is the author of HIVE, which won the 2015 Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin Press. Christina’s work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, storySouth, and Tupelo Quarterly. A creepy poem Christina wrote about being raised in the same town as Ted Bundy was a runner-up in Memphis’s 2012 Pinch Literary Awards. Christina worked in both the Czech Republic and Japan teaching English before moving to Tennessee. She now lives in Nashville, where she is the managing editor of an economics and decision theory journal. Learn more at www.christinastoddard.com.
  • Ed Tarkington

    Ed Tarkington received an MA from the University of Virginia and PhD from the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Florida State. His essays and stories have appeared in Nashville Scene, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Post Road, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. A native of Central Virginia, he lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Rachel M. Taylor

    Rachel M. Taylor is a writer and a director with Piano Man Pictures. With a B.A. in English Literature, her interest in stories led her into the realm of film where she discovered the world of Avarice, her first award winning, dark fantasy that was filmed in Memphis, TN. With movies as the greatest influence in her life, she quickly leapt after the dream of creating meaningful and entertaining films to share that same positive influence with audiences. She's currently working on her next short fantasy called Solus.
  • Sheree Renée Thomas

    Sheree Renée Thomas is the author of Shotgun Lullabies: Stories & Poems and the editor of two World Fantasy Award-winning anthologies, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. In 2015 she served as the Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College, and received the Wallace Foundation Fellowship at the Millay Colony of the Arts, as well as fellowships at the Blue Mountain Center and VCCA. In 2016 she was named a Tennessee Arts Fellow in Creative Writing by the Tennessee Arts Commission. She has also received fellowships from Cave Canem, Writers Omi/Ledig House, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her new book, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, will be published in August.
  • Bradford Tice

    Bradford Tice is the author of two books of poetry: Rare Earth (New Rivers Press, 2013), which was named the winner of the 2011 Many Voices Project and a 2014 Debut-litzer finalist, and What the Night Numbered (Trio House Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Trio Award. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, as well as in Best American Short Stories 2008. His poetry was also selected as the winner of Prairie Schooner’s 2009 Edward Stanley Award. He currently teaches at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.
  • Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

    Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of The 13th Sign (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2013, Square Fish/Macmillan 2014), Selling Hope (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2010) and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte Press/Random House 2008) In February 2016, she released John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott; Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan), and in summer 2017, look out for Miss Daisy’s Job (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins). Tubb can be found far too often on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kristin.tubb) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/ktubb). Oh, and she has a website, too: www.kristintubb.com.
  • Mary Reaves Uhles

    Mary Reaves Uhles illustrated THE LITTLE KID'S TABLE by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle (Sleeping Bear 2015); KOOKY CRUMBS by J. Patrick Lewis (Kane Miller 2016); and BEYOND THE GRAVE by Dottie Enderle (ABDO Magic Wagon Press 2013). Twice been awarded the Grand Prize for Illustration from the SCBWI Midsouth Conference, her piece, EAT, was a finalist in the 2014 SCBWI Bologna Book Fair Gallery. Prior to beginning her career as a freelance illustrator, Mary worked as an animator on projects for Warner Brothers and Fisher-Price Interactive. A member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Mary lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Since creating characters and stories is her favorite thing in the world (even more than mocha fudge ice cream) she feels mighty lucky to do it every day in her hilltop studio. Visit her at www.maryuhles.com
  • Jessie van Eerden

    Jessie van Eerden holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa. Her debut novel Glorybound won Foreword Reviews' fiction prize. Her work has appeared in The Oxford American, Bellingham Review, Best American Spiritual Writing, and other publications. She directs the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Learn more at jessievaneerden.com.
  • Caki Wilkinson

    Caki Wilkinson is the author of the poetry collections Circles Where the Head Should Be (UNT Press, 2011), which won the Vassar Miller Prize, and The Wynona Stone Poems (Persea, 2015), which won the Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the winner of the 2013 Robert Frost Farm Prize, her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Crazyhorse, and other journals. She lives in Memphis and teaches at Rhodes College.
  • Barry Wolverton

    Barry Wolverton writes books for children between the ages of 8 and 108. His first book, NEVERSINK, was a selection of the Children’s Book Council and was named the Children’s Book of Choice by Literacy Mid-South for their Read Across America program in 2014. THE VANISHING ISLAND, the first book in an adventure series, was published last year by Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins. The sequel, THE DRAGON’S GATE, hits shelves on November 1.
  • Jacqueline Woodson

    Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Kim Wright

    Kim Wright is the author of Last Ride to Graceland, Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz and The Canterbury Sisters. She has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than twenty years for many magazines including Wine Spectator,Self, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue. This is her fourth novel. Kim lives in Charlotte, NC.
  • Jessica Young

    Jessica Young grew up in Ontario, Canada. The same things make her happy now as when she was a kid: dancing, painting, music, digging in the dirt, picnics, reading, and writing. When she was little, she wanted to be a tap-dancing flight attendant/veterinarian, but she’s changed her mind! Jessica’s award-winning debut picture book, MY BLUE IS HAPPY is a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title and 2016-2017 Volunteer State Book Award nominee. She is also the author of SPY GUY THE NOT-SO-SECRET AGENT, the FINLEY FLOWERS chapter book series, and the HAGGIS AND TANK UNLEASHED early chapter book series.