2014 Presenting Authors

  • Angela Ball

    Angela Ball is the Moorman Distinguished Professor of English in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is the author of five poetry collections, including The Museum of the Revolution: 58 Exhibits, Possession, Quartet and Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds (winner of the Donald Hall award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs), as well as two chapbooks. Awards for her work include an individual writer’s grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Arthur J. Schiable Award in the Humanities from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; invitations to represent the U.S. at the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam and the Poetry Festival of Bogotá, a residency at Chateau Lavigny in Switzerland, and a semester as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Richmond. Her work has twice won the Poetry Prize from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and twice received grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her work has been featured in Best American Poetry, on the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and has been frequently anthologized. The many journals that has featured her poems and translations include Field, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New Republic, Poetry, Grand Street, Partisan Review, and The Atlantic Monthly. For thirty-two years she served as Poetry Editor for Mississippi Review.
  • Willy Bearden

    Willy Bearden has written and produced several documentaries for WKNO Television, the Memphis PBS affiliate. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Bearden produced his first feature film, One Came Home. It was released into theaters in the summer of 2010. Willy has written three books: Overton Park, Cotton: From Southern Fields to the Memphis Market, and Memphis Blues: Birthplace of a Music Tradition. Bearden was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts presented by the University of Memphis College of Communication and Fine Arts. He is the 2009 recipient of the Keeping the Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation, in recognition of his television and film work in the Blues Music genre.
  • Shelia E. Bell

    Shelia E. Bell, also known as God’s Amazing Girl, is a nationally acclaimed, multi-award winning author with thirteen titles to her credit thus far. She was bestowed the 2013 OOSA Book Club Female Author of the Year Award; 2012 Disilgold Magazine Editor’s Choice Book Award for four of her ten titles; nominated for a 2013 and 2012 Christian Literary Award by Joy and Company; recipient of 2011 Book Clubs Unite Literary Award; 2011 Kindle Awards for Literary Contribution; 2010 Pink Diamond Literary Award; 2009 SORMAG Readers’ Choice Awards for My Son’s Wife, 2009 Black Pearls Magazine Top Book Shelf Award, 2009 Urban Reviews Top Shelf Award and 2008 Author of the Year by Conversations Book Club. Shelia has penned the following novels: Into Each Life, Sinsatiable, Beautiful Ugly (Indie #1 National Bestseller); True Beauty (sequel to Beautiful Ugly); What’s Blood Got To Do With It?;Always, Now and Forever Love Hurts , Bended Knees (Anthology) and a nonfiction book entitled A Christian’s Perspective—A Journey Through Grief. The My Son Series includes the following titles:My Son’s Wife; My Son’s Ex-Wife-The Aftermath; My Son’s Next Wife, My Sister, My Momma, My Wife and My Wife My Baby…And Him. Her latest release, My Wife My Baby...And Him (rlease date February 28, 2014) was chosen as a USA Today Top Recommended Read. Lipsey also has a YA book 'House of Cars’' that expertly tells a story about teen homelessness and cyberbullying. Her books consistently rank in the top 25 on several national bestsellers lists.
  • Richard Billings

    Richard Billings is an amateur writer, maker, tech geek and CEO/Founder of Screwpulp. Richard began his career in the US Navy and Navy Reserves. He spent several years as an on-air personality in radio/television and as a photographer before moving into IT management field for the last 15 years. His passion for reading and writing lead him to develop solutions to several of the problems he noticed in the self-publishing world. Richard lives in Memphis TN with his two daughters, his dog Bill Murray, and his two cats Jake and Elwood.
  • Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence

    Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence's cookbook and recipes have been highlighted in The New York Times Well blog, The Washington Post, Woman’s Day, TheKitchn.com, Local Palate, HuffPost Taste, The Commercial Appeal, The Memphis Flyer, Memphis Magazine, and Edible Memphis. Recently, Burks and Lawrence were tapped to write a monthly column for Rick Browne’s Barbecue America magazine, which premieres in May 2014. The duo have been featured in cooking segments on P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table, an episode of The Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, and Nashville’s The Talk of the Town. Their website, thechubbyvegetarian.com, was featured nationally as a Blog of Note on blogger.com in November 2010 and is listed as a favorite site on 101cookbooks.com. Chubby Vegetarian dishes are featured on the menus of Chiwawa and Kelly English’s The Second Line.
  • Allison Campbell

    Allison Campbell is in her third year of doctoral studies in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Her poetry has appeared in some fine journals, including: Harpur Palate, Witness, and Armchair/Shotgun. She also collaborates with illustrator Alf Dahlman on the poetry/comic/art blog ddiderot.wordpress.com.
  • Jennifer Chandler

    Cookbook author & restaurateur, Jennifer Chandler, is the author of three cookbooks: Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling. While she boasts a degree from Le Cordon Bleu, this down-home Mom is about making real food for real families. Jennifer has appeared on numerous broadcast cooking segments including Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible”, Better TV and is also a frequent contributor to Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius/XM. A contributing writer to several magazines such as All You, Prevention Magazine, Pilates Style, MidSouth Magazine, Nashville Home & Garden, Memphis Magazine, Edible Memphis, Real Food, and Delta Magazine, Jennifer is also a contributing food columnist for The Commercial Appeal. Her recipes have been featured in such national publications as Real Simple, Woman’s World, HGTV Magazine, and Eatocracy. Jennifer was also the national spokesperson for French’s® Foods, makers of French’s® mustards and French’s® French Fried Onions in 2010 & 2011.
  • Dan Conaway

    Dan Conaway writes a weekly column called Memphasis published in The Memphis Daily News and The Memphis News, and posted on his website – named one of the top four personal columns in Tennessee by the Tennessee Press Association in their 2010 competition. His first book, I’m a Memphian (Nautilus Publishing), a collection of those columns and author’s notes, was published in 2013.
  • Laura Cunningham

    Laura Cunningham, a Memphian and library historian, is the author of two books. Lost Memphis, published in 2010, chronicles the lost historical treasures of Memphis. Haunted Memphis, published in 2009, features the most haunted places in Memphis and the Mid-South. Laura will be joining author Betsy Phillips for a seminar entitled "Writing Ghost Stories."
  • Heather Dobbins

    Heather Dobbins is a native Memphian. She 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, Big Muddy, 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 last March by Kelsay Press. She currently resides in her hometown of Memphis with her husband.
  • Chef Dough Dough

    Dolores Grisanti Katsotis’ passion for food began at an early age. She is a third generation chef destined to make a career in the culinary arts after growing up in her family’s Italian restaurants. “Dodo,” as she is affectionately known to her family and friends, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. That is where she launched her professional career that has taken her all over the country. While home schooling her four young children, she discovered her passion for educating children. She created an innovative curriculum focused on science and food that was offered as a summer camp at The Children’s Museum of Memphis, and was featured in the August 1994 issue of Southern Living Magazine. This is where she coined her pen name, “Chef Dough Dough.”
  • Johanna Edwards

    Johanna Edwards is the nationally bestselling author of the novels The Next Big Thing, How to Be Cool, Your Big Break, Love Undercover, and Go Figure. Her books have also been published in Russia, Spain, Brazil and The Netherlands. Johanna is a graduate of The University of Memphis (BA ’01) department of journalism.
  • 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. Ms. Foxx is also the Executive Director of Kifani, Incorporated, a small media and publishing company based in Memphis, TN. Kifani's current project, Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama has been featured in Ebony Magazine and on Essence.com, Ebony.com, Colorlines.com and Huffington Post. More information about Ashley can be found at www.foxxology.com.
  • Rebecca Morgan Frank

    Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of Little Murders Everywhere, a finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, New England Review, 32 Poems, Ploughshares, Guernica, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award for her new manuscript in progress. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Memorious and an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.
  • Robert Gordon

    Grammy Award winning writer and filmmaker Robert Gordon has focused on the American south—it’s music, art, and politics—to create an insider’s portrait of his home that is both nuanced and ribald. His first book, It Came From Memphis, careens through the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, riding shotgun with the weirdoes, winos, and midget wrestlers. In 2003, he wrote the definitive biography of blues great Muddy Waters, the award-winning Can’t Be Satisfied. His 2013 book, Respect Yourself, about Stax Records, is receiving accolades. Gordon’s documentaries include Stranded In Canton, made with photographer William Eggleston, and the harrowing Very Extremely Dangerous about Jerry McGill, recording artist and outlaw. His films have appeared on PBS’s Great Performances and American Masters series, and A&E, BBC, and other international networks. He was writer and a producer on the Memphis episode of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues.
  • Aram Goudsouzian

    Aram Goudsouzian is chair of the history department at the University of Memphis. He earned his B.A. from Colby College and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is the author of Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear, King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution, The Hurricane of 1938, and Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon.
  • Mark Greaney

    Mark Greaney is the #1 NYT Bestselling Coauthor of Command Authority, Threat Vector, and Locked On, by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney, published by Putnam, along with The Gray Man series, published by Berkley, including The Gray Man, On Target, Ballistic, and Dead Eye. The film adaptation of The Gray Man is in currently in development by Shine/New Regency. Learn more at MarkGreaneyBooks.com.
  • Scott Heim

    Scott Heim is the author of the novels We Disappear, In Awe, and Mysterious Skin (which was made into a 2005 film by Gregg Araki). Originally from Kansas, Heim now lives in Boston, where he edits the music-related The First Time I Heard e-book series and is working on a fourth novel.
  • Lisa Hickman

    Lisa C. Hickman holds her Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Mississippi and is the author of two works of nonfiction, numerous essays, articles, and reviews. William Faulkner and Joan Williams: The Romance of Two Writers is the first book-length study of the relationship between Faulkner and Memphian Joan Williams; and the first truly attentive consideration of Williams, a National Book Award finalist and author of five novels. During the years of their primary involvement, 1949-1953, Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for literature. The Romance includes Faulkner’s voluminous, and Williams’ more moderate, correspondence. Stranger to the Truth chronicles a shocking 2005 Memphis matricide involving eighteen-year-old Noura Jackson and her thirty-nine-year-old mother, Jennifer Jackson, a high-achieving bond trader. Stranger, a work of literary nonfiction, links multiple points of view, back stories, and extensive research to corral Noura’s complex story of transformation from privileged teenager to her incarceration for one of the rarest of crimes. Stranger To The Truth Website
  • Amy Howell

    Amy has been in Memphis working in the marketing & public relations field since graduating from Rhodes College in 1986. Her background includes corporate marketing for a number of organizations including Bank of America, National CPA firms, large law firms and other professional service firms. Founded in 1994, Howell Marketing Strategies serves clients of all sizes in a variety of industries such as real estate, banking, aviation, manufacturing, service firms and more. More information can be located on her website at www.howell‐marketing.com. Amy recently published a book, "Women in High Gear" with co‐author, Anne D. Gallaher, now available on Amazon. She is active in the Memphis community, is a wife, mother of two teens.
  • Janis Kearney

    Janis Kearney, a native of the southeast Arkansas delta, is a writer, lecturer and oral historian who served as personal diarist to President William Jefferson Clinton and was publisher of the award-winning Arkansas State Press Newspaper, formerly owned by civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates, of the 1957 Central High Crisis. Her works include: Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir; Quiet Guys Do Great Things, Too – as told by Frank Ross; Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton…from Hope to Harlem: Once Upon a Time there was a Girl: a Murder at Mobile Bay; Something to Write Home About: Memories from a Presidential Diarist; Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia, by Elaine Mack; and Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a biography of civil rights leader Daisy Lee Bates.
  • Paul and Angela Knipple

    In addition to the From the Southern Table blog, Angela has been a contributor to Edible Memphis magazine, writing pieces about urban backyard chickens and the emergence of Mexican tamales in the area as the Hispanic population has increased. Paul wrote the magazine’s travel column, where he detailed food-based day trips out of the city. They have both written pieces for the Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Flyer. Jointly, they have written several pieces for Taste of the South magazine. In addition to The World in a Skillet, they co-wrote a chapter on barbecue and the Slow Food movement for the book The Slaw and the Slow Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South. They are currently working on Farm Fresh Tennessee, a guide to agritourism in Tennessee.
  • Michael Lowenthal

    Michael Lowenthal's fourth novel, The Paternity Test, was an IndieNext List selection and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His previous novels are The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl, which was a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” title and Washington Post “Top Fiction of 2007” pick. The recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan writers' conferences, the MacDowell Colony, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Lowenthal is a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University. Before becoming a full-time writer, Lowenthal worked as an editor for University Press of New England, where he founded the Hardscrabble Books imprint. He can be reached at http://www.michaellowenthal.com/.
  • Perre Magness

    Perre Magness is the cook and writer behind the website The Runaway Spoon, which focuses on creative recipes with a Southern slant. Perre Coleman has studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study in London, Morocco, Thailand, and Mexico. Her kitchen of choice is at home in Memphis, TN, cooking like most people and experimenting with unique but practical ideas. Her new book, Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook: 50 Recipes from Snacks to Main Dishes Inspired by the Classic Southern Favorite, comes out in September.
  • Corey Mesler

    Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Esquire/Narrative4 Project and Good Poems, American Places (Viking Press, 2011). He has published seven novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010), Following Richard Brautigan (2010), Gardner Remembers (2011), Frank Comma and the Time-Slip (2012), and Diddy-Wah-Diddy: A Beale Street Suite (2013); 3 full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008), Before the Great Troubling (2011), and Our Locust Years (2013), and 3 books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011) and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published over a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His fiction has received praise from John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Lee Smith, Frederick Barthelme, Greil Marcus, among others. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at www.coreymesler.wordpress.com.
  • Lisa Patton

    Lisa Patton spent more than twenty years in the music industry before turning to fiction and is now the bestselling author of Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter and Yankee Doodle Dixie. Born and raised in Memphis, Lisa spent time as a Vermont innkeeper until three sub-zero winters sent her speeding back down South. The proud mother of two sons, Lisa lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband and a little Havanese puppy dog named Rosie. To learn more about her, please visit her website at www.lisapatton.com.
  • Betsy Phillips

    Betsy Phillips is the author of the book A City of Ghosts and blogs for the Nashville Scene‘s political blog “Pith in the Wind.” She occasionally guest blogs at Think Progress. She spends her days being the Marketing Manager for Vanderbilt University Press. Her fiction has appeared in Apex, Betwixt, and Qarrtsiluni. The odd things she discovers about Tennessee history usually make their way to the pages of the Nashville Scene. Her strangest writing-related injury is a sprain she suffered from falling into a two-hundred-year-old collapsed grave while looking for the final resting place of Nashville's most famous spiritualist, Ben Allen, the subject of a story she was working on at the time. Her website is betsyphillips.net.
  • Bianca Phillips

    Bianca Phillips is the author of Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South, a collection of Southern soul food recipes minus the meat, eggs, and dairy. By day, she works as an associate editor and reporter at the Memphis Flyer, where she covers city issues, LGBT news, and other topics. She also blogs daily at Vegan Crunk (http://vegancrunk.blogspot.com). She lives in Midtown Memphis with her partner Paul and their six cats and two dogs.
  • Ellen Morris Prewitt

    Ellen Morris Prewitt’s fiction and essays have appeared in literary journals (Hotel Amerika, Barrelhouse, and Gulf Coast Literary Journal being her favorites); won contests (both the fiction and nonfiction contests of the Tennessee Writers Alliance, as well as the Memphis Magazine Fiction Contest); and received recognition (two short stories were nominated for a Pushcart Prize; one received a Special Mention). Her essay “Tetanus, You Understand?” was included as an example of metaphor in Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir by Sue Silverman, and her nonfiction book was published by a small press (Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God, Paraclete Press). Morris also recorded and released online her short story collection, Cain’t Do Nothing with Love. Ellen founded and created a writing group for the homeless at the Door of Hope and has been facilitating writing groups for several years.
  • Julia Reed

    Although Julia Reed grew up in the Mississippi Delta, she began attending the Madeira School outside of Washington D.C. at 16. She interned at Newsweek’s Washington bureau for six years as she attended Georgetown and American University. She is now a contributing editor for Newsweek, covering New Orleans politics and the monthly “Food and Drink” column. Julia has been writing for Vogue since 1988, profiling various political figures from Al Gore to Condoleezza Rice. She also contributes regularly to the New York Times Book Review, New York Times, London’s “The Spectator,” and Southern Accents. She makes regular appearances on MSNBC and CNN. Julia is the author of four books: But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry, Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (with Recipes), and The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story. Currently, she lives in New Orleans (First Street) with her husband, John, and their dog, Henry. She is chairman of the board of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and serves on the boards of FriendsofNewOrleans.org.
  • Courtney Miller Santo

    Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she received her MFA. She has a BA in journalism from Washington and Lee University and although born and raised in Portland, Oregon, she’s spent most of her adult life in the South. Her work has appeared in the Redbook, Los Angeles Review, Irreantum, Sunstone and Segullah. Her debut novel THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE was published last year by William Morrow. For more information please visit www.courtneysanto.com.
  • Dr. Janann Sherman and Dr. Beverly Bond

    Dr. Janann Sherman was Chair of the History Department at the University of Memphis from 2004-2013. She is now retired and living on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. She has published eight books, including The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage; No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith, and Conversations with Betty Friedan. Four of her books are co-authored with Dr. Beverly Bond: Memphis in Black and White; Beale Street, Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers: A Centennial History of the University of Memphis and A Pictorial History of the University of Memphis. Her most recent publication is a biography of an aviation pioneer, Walking on Air: The Aerial Adventures of Phoebe Omlie.
  • Amber McRee Turner

    Amber McRee Turner is a children’s author of the novels SWAY and CIRCA NOW, both published by Disney-Hyperion. She’s an almost-lifelong Greater-Memphian and earned her degree in Fiction Writing from Rhodes College in 1993. She loves Gibson’s apple fritters, big band music, and collecting old photographs. For more, visit Amber's web site at www.ambermcreeturner.com.
  • Chris Tusa

    Chris Tusa was born and raised in New Orleans. He holds a B.A. in English, an M.A in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, was published by The University of West Alabama in March of 2009. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, The New Delta Review, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Passages North, Spoon River, New York Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, Tar River, StorySouth, and others. Aside from acting as Managing Editor of Fiction Southeast, Tusa divides his time between teaching full-time in the English Department at LSU and acting as Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University.
  • Vince Vawter

    Vince Vawter, a native of Memphis, retired after a 40-year career in newspapers, most recently as the president and publisher of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press. In 2002-2003 he was president of the board of directors of the Hoosier State Press Association. He previously served as managing editor of The Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel and news editor of the now-defunct Memphis Press-Scimitar. He lives with his wife in Louisville, Tenn., on a small farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. His novel, Paperboy, is set in Memphis in the 1950's.
  • Kyle Veazey

    Kyle Veazey is the Politics & Government Team Leader at The Commercial Appeal. He arrived at this role in February 2014 after more than a decade as a sports reporter. He joined The CA in June 2011 as sports enterprise reporter, then added deputy sports editor and columnist roles in 2013. Prior to joining The CA, he spent five years as a college sports beat reporter for The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. Previous stops include covering University of Alabama sports for The Decatur (Ala.) Daily and internships at The Birmingham News and The CA. His work earned six top-10 awards in the national Associated Press Sports Editors contest, including three first-place finishes. Two of those first-place awards came in 2012 at The CA. He’s the author of “Champions for Change: How the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Their Bold Coach Defied Segregation,” published in 2012 by The History Press of Charleston, S.C.
  • Daniel Wallace

    Daniel Wallace is a storyteller who’s been called one of our finest contemporary comic novelists. His tall tales are flush with classic myth, magical realism and always a touch of the extraordinary. He is the author of several novels including Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, which was adapted into a blockbuster film of the same name by Tim Burton in 2003 and which is currently being developed into a major Broadway production. Having explored several careers before finding success as a writer, Daniel has worked for a time as an import / export agent in Japan, a bookseller and continually as a self described “professional doodler.” Many of his drawings have graced the occasional greeting card or refrigerator magnet and several make up the children’s book O Great Rosenfeld! which he wrote and illustrated. His illustrations have also been published in The Los Angeles Times and Vanity Fair. Recently Daniel has also found success as a screenwriter. His first short film Two Legged Rat Bastards was released in 2011 and played at film festivals across the country. He is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English, and director of the Creative Writing Program, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He lives with his wife Laura Kellison Wallace in Chapel Hill. They have one son.
  • Neil White

    Neil White has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive and federal prisoner. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he operates a small publishing company, writes plays and essays, and teaches memoir writing. His memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (Morrow/HarperCollins), about the year he lived with the last victims of leprosy in the continental United States, was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “Brisk, ironic, perceptive . . . White’s introspective memoir puts a magnifying glass to a flawed life, revealing that all of life is to be savored and respected.” Find out more information about Neil at http://www.neilwhite.com.
  • Barry Wolverton

    Barry Wolverton, a local Memphian, has been writing for children for 20 years, helping create educational books, documentaries, and online content for Discovery Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and Time-Life Books. Barry is also a recent addition to Literacy Mid-South's Advisory Board. His debut novel, Neversink, was the Literacy Mid-South Book of Choice for 2014. The first book in The Vanishing Island trilogy releases in early 2015.