2015 Presenting Authors

  • Nat Akin

    Nat Akin's short fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, Ecotone, Tampa Review, and recently received the Florida Review's 2015 Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Award. He is a prior recipient of one of two annual fellowships in Literary Arts awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. A Memphis native, he works at Crosstown Arts, where he directs the story booth literary space and its free creative writing and arts programming for middle- and high-school youth.
  • Richard Alley

    Richard Alley is the author of Five Night Stand. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Magazine, MBQ: Inside Memphis Business, Oxford American and Rhodes Magazine. Since 2008 he has written the bi-weekly parenting column “Because I Said So” for The Commercial Appeal. He was a contributor to the book “Memphians” (Nautilus Publishing) and in 2010, his story “Sea Change” won the grand prize for fiction from Memphis Magazine. Richard is currently the editor of Inside Memphis Business.
  • Ace Atkins

    Ace Atkins is the New York Times Bestselling author of seventeen novels, including The Redeemers and Robert B. Parker’s Kickback, both out from G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2015. One of the best crime writers working today, Ace has been nominated for every major award in crime fiction, including the Edgar three times, twice for novels about former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. A former newspaper reporter and SEC football player, Ace also writes essays and investigative pieces for several national magazines including Outside and Garden & Gun. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family, where he’s friend to many dogs and several bartenders.
  • David C. Banks

    David C. Banks is the President/CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation and the author of Soar: How Boys Learn, Succeed, and Develop Character. Mr. Banks will speak at our Literacy Summit on Wednesday, September 9th. He was the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public school in New York City. Since opening in 2004, the Eagle Academy family has grown to encompass a total of six schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, Harlem, Staten Island and is expanding its vision nationally. The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first all-boys public high school in New York City in over thirty years, is a nurturing institution which believes that excellence, both in character and scholarship, opens doors and provides a bridge to equality.
  • Eric Barnes

    Eric Barnes is the writer of the novels Something Pretty, Something Beautiful, from Outpost19. He is also the writer of the novel Shimmer, an IndieNext pick from Unbridled Books. Eric has published numerous short stories in Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and other publications. He is the publisher of The Daily News, The Memphis News, and The Nashville Ledger, local publications covering business and politics in Memphis and Nashville.
  • Shelia 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. Shelia has penned the following novels: Into Each Life, Sinsatiable, Beautiful Ugly (Indie #1 National Bestseller); True Beauty; What’s Blood Got To Do With It?; Always, Now and Forever Love Hurts, Bended Knees and a nonfiction book entitled A Christian’s Perspective—A Journey Through Grief. Her latest release, My Wife My Baby...And Him was chosen as a USA Today Top Recommended Read.
  • John Bensko

    John Bensko has published three more volumes of poetry, The Waterman's Children (U of Massachusetts Press 1994), The Iron City (U of Illinois Press 2000), Visitations (U Tampa Press 2014)(winner of the Anita Claire Scharf Award), and a collection of short stories, Sea Dogs (Graywolf Press 2004). His work has been anthologized in The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry; A New Geography of Poets; The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets; and The Yale Younger Poets Anthology. A Professor of English at the University of Memphis, he teaches in the Creative Writing program.
  • ReShonda Tate Billingsley

    ReShonda is the national bestselling author of more than 35 books. Her sophomore novel, Let the Church Say Amen, has been made into a movie, directed by actress Regina King and produced by Queen Latifah’s Flava Unit Productions. Her entire Amen series, as well as the novel I Know I’ve Been Changed has been optioned by BET Film. ReShonda is a winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature for her book Say Amen, Again and was nominated again in 2013 for her book The Secret She Kept. She has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills.
  • Richard Boada

    Richard Boada is the author of The Error of Nostalgia (Texas Review Press), which was nominated for the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, and the chapbook, Archipelago Sinking (Finishing Line Press). His poems have appeared in North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Jabberwock Review, and The Louisville Review among others. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Memphis.
  • Marshall Boswell

    Marshall Boswell is the author of Trouble with Girls (2003), a short story collection, and Alternative Atlanta (2005), a novel. In addition, he is the author of Understanding David Foster Wallace (2003) and John Updike’s Rabbit Tetralogy: Mastered Irony in Motion (2001). With Stephen Burn, he is the co-editor of A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies (2013) and the editor of the essay collection, David Foster Wallace and the Long Thing: New Essays on the Novels (2014). He earned his B.A. from Washington & Lee University, his M.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and his Ph.D. from Emory University. Currently, he is professor and chair of the Department of English at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.
  • Dennis Bryon

    Dennis Bryon is the acclaimed drummer who first tasted success with Amen Corner, the celebrated Welsh rock band that had six hits in the U.K., including a number one. In 1973, Dennis joined the Bee Gees and played drums on nine #1 singles and on the 40-million-copy album Saturday Night Fever. Dennis lives in Nashville, Tennessee. His book, You Should Be Dancing: My Life With The Bee Gees, was released this year.
  • Allison Campbell

    Allison Campbell is associate editor at the Mississippi Review. Her poems have most recently appeared in Harpur Palate, STORY, Drunken Boat, and The Florida Review. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Encyclopédie of the Common and Encompassing will be out from Kore Press in April.
  • James E. 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 University Press. 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. Cherry has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. He lives in Jackson, Tennessee with his wife and is preparing a novel for publication.
  • 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.
  • Molly Crosby

    Molly Caldwell Crosby is a best-selling author and journalist. Her first book, The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History (November, 2006) was nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and Border’s Original Voices Award. Her second book, Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains One of Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries (March, 2010) was an April 2010 pick for Scientific American magazine and a May 2010 pick for Discover magazine. Crosby’s third book, The Great Pearl Heist: London’s Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard’s Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Necklace (November, 2012) was chosen for the Indie Next List, received a starred review from Booklist, and was one of Barnes & Nobles Best Books of the Months.
  • Eric Jerome Dickey

    Eric Jerome Dickey is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one previous novels, as well as a six-issue miniseries of graphic novels featuring Storm (X-Men) and the Black Panther. Originally from Memphis, Dickey now lives on the road and rests in whatever hotel will have him.
  • 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.
  • Heather Dobbins

    Heather Dobbins’s poems and poetry reviews have appeared in Beloit Poetry Review, CutBank, Raleigh Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Tennessee), The Rumpus, 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. Heather Dobbins graduated from the College Scholars program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her debut, In the Low Houses, was published by Kelsay Books in 2014.
  • Hannah Dow

    Hannah Dow's work has appeared in journals such as Harpur Palate and Soundings East. She also received an honorable mention in the 2015 AWP Intro Journals Project.
  • Tim Earley

    Tim Earley is the author of three collections of poems, Boondoogle, The Spooking of Mavens, and Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, winner of the 2015 Poetry Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. His work has appeared in Chicago Review, Conduit, jubilat, Colorado Review, Typo, Sink Review, and many other journals and anthologies. He teaches for Ole Miss Online and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and lives in Denver.
  • Susannah Felts

    Susannah Felts is a writer, editor, and cofounder of The Porch, a literary center in Nashville, Tenn. She is the author of a novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record (Featherproof Books), and her work has appeared in publications such as the Oxford American, Five Chapters, Wigleaf, The Sun, Quarterly West, Smokelong Quarterly, Hobart, and others. Susannah has been awarded residencies at the Hambidge Center, Ragdale Foundation, and VCCA, and is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
  • Beth Ann Fennelly

    Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Fennelly writes essays on travel, culture, and design for Country Living, Southern Living, AFAR, Garden and Gun, The Oxford American, and others. Fennelly has published three full-length poetry books (Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables) and a book of nonfiction (Great with Child) all with W. W. Norton. The Tilted World, the novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, was published in 2013 (HarperCollins). They live in Oxford with their three children.
  • Tom Franklin

    Tom Franklin is author of the novels Hell at the Breech, Smonk, and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter which won the CWA Gold Dagger Award. In addition, Franklin's first book is a collection of short stories, Poaches. His latest novel, The Tilted World, was co-written with his wife, Beth Ann Fennelly.
  • Yolanda Franklin

    Yolanda J. Franklin's work is forthcoming or has appeared in It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop Anthology, Pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, African American Review, Fjords: Black American Edition, Sugar House Review. She is a Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, a graduate of Lesley University's MFA Writing Program, a doctoral student at Florida State University, and she is the 2015 Cave Canem Millay Colony fellow for a residency this June.
  • Daniel Friedman

    Daniel Friedman is a graduate of the University of Maryland and NYU School of Law. He lives in New York City. His first novel, Don't Ever Get Old, was nominated for the Edgar, Thriller, Anthony and Macavity awards, and was optioned for film by the producers of the "Sherlock Holmes" movies. His recent book, Don't Ever Look Back, was released in 2014.
  • Christian Anton Gerard

    Christian Anton Gerard’s first book of poems is Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, CW Books, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 2013 Iron Horse Literary Review’s Discovered Voices Award. Some of his recent poems and reviews appear in magazines such as, storySouth, Post Road, Orion, Smartish Pace, and The Rumpus among others. Gerard is an Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Visit Christian online at www.ChristianAntonGerard.com
  • Sacorsha Golden

    Sacorsha Golden is an artist that uses poetry music and blogs to show that it's possible to overcome life's obstacles and succeed.
  • 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.
  • Jennifer Haigh

    Jennifer Haigh is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for work by a New England writer, and have been published in sixteen languages. Her short fiction has been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and many other places. Her latest book, the short story collection News From Heaven, won the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award and the 2014 PEN/New England Award in fiction. She lives in Boston. (Photo: Sharona Jacobs)
  • Jamey Hatley

    Jamey Hatley is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Oxford American, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, Callaloo, Memphis Noir, and elsewhere. She has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, VONA: Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshop, and scholarships to The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She tries to make a little magic every day.
  • Cary Holladay

    Cary Holladay’s seven volumes of fiction include Horse People: Stories (Louisiana State UP) and The Deer in the Mirror (Ohio State UP). She has received an O. Henry Prize and fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Virginia, she teaches at the University of Memphis.
  • Caitlin Horton

    Caitlin L. Horton is the author of the book, Memphis Type History. Caitlin received a BA in International Studies and French and an MA in French at the University of Mississippi. Like the blues, she came from the Delta to make a home in Memphis. She and her husband will continue to explore the ins and outs of this uniquely gritty and endlessly interesting city. You can learn more about what Caitlin currently does to help people grow their business and cause through design and marketing at caitlinlhorton.com.
  • Tim Johnston

    Tim Johnston is the bestselling author of the debut adult novel Descent, the story collection Irish Girl, and the young adult novel Never So Green. Published in 2009, the stories in Irish Girl won an O. Henry Prize, the New Letters Award for Writers, and the Gival Press Short Story Award, while the collection itself won the 2009 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. In 2005 the title story, “Irish Girl,” was included in the David Sedaris anthology of favorites, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules. Johnston’s stories have also appeared in New England Review, New Letters, the Iowa Review, the Missouri Review, DoubleTake, Best Life Magazine, and Narrative Magazine, among others. He currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Memphis.
  • Janis F. Kearney

    Janis F. Kearney worked for Civil Rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates as Managing Editor of the Arkansas State Press Newspaper. In 1988, she purchased the newspaper and served as publisher. She ended her career as a newspaper publisher in 1992, taking up Presidential politics. After working in the press office of the Clinton-Gore Presidential Campaign, she moved to Washington, DC, where she served for 8 years in the Clinton Administration. She spent five of those years as Personal Diarist to President Clinton. In 2001, Kearney and her husband Bob J. Nash founded Writing our World Publishing (WOW! Press). WOW! Publishing has eight books in its catalog of books, including the critically acclaimed Cotton Field of Dreams, Something to Write Home About: Memories of a Presidential Diarist, Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Sundays with TJ: 100 Years of Memories on Varner Road.
  • Harrison Scott Key

    Harrison Scott Key is the author of The World's Largest Man: A Memoir (HarperCollins), and his essays and humor have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Oxford American, Outside Magazine, Image, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. A Memphis native who grew up in Mississippi, Harrison teaches humor, memoir, and other writing and English courses at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga.
  • Fredric Koeppel

    Fredric Koeppel became a journalist and wrote a weekly national print column about wine for 20 years before leaping onto the Internet. KoeppelonWine was launched in December 2004 and the blog BiggerThanYourHead two years later and still going strong. Fredric wrote for The Commercial Appeal for twenty-two years.
  • Jamie Kornegay

    Jamie Kornegay moved to the Mississippi Delta in 2006 to establish the independent bookstore, Turnrow Book Co. Before that he was a bookseller, events coordinator, and radio show producer at the famous Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. He studied creative fiction under Barry Hannah at the University of Mississippi. His first novel, Soil, from Simon & Schuster, was an Indies Introduce Debut Authors Selection for Winter/Spring 2015.
  • Becca J.R. Lachman

    Becca J.R. Lachman's poetry collections include Other Acreage (Gold Wake), The Apple Speaks (Cascadia), and the chapbook "Songs from the Springhouse" (Verdure). She is also the editor of A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Woodley). Becca's recent literary work has received support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Art Gish Peacemaking Fund, the Otterbein Literary Citizenship Festival, and the Vermont Studio Center.
  • Sara Lewis

    Sara Lewis is a doctoral candidate in fiction at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. She received her MFA from Western Connecticut State University. She has been an Assistant Editor for the Mississippi Review, and is currently the Managing Editor of Roundabout Press. Her work can be found in FORTH, Black & White, and elsewhere.
  • Sonja Livingston

    Sonja Livingston's latest book, Queen of the Fall, a memoir, draws on personal experience to consider the lives of girls and women. Her first book, Ghostbread, a memoir, won the Association for Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Prize for Nonfiction and has been used in classrooms around the nation. Another essay collection, Ladies’ Night at the Dreamland, is forthcoming next year. Her writing has been widely anthologized and honored with an Iowa Review Award, a Susan Atefat Essay Prize and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center and the Deming Fund. Sonja teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Memphis.
  • Sandy Longhorn

    Sandy Longhorn is the author of three books of poetry, The Alchemy of My Mortal Form (Trio House Press), The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths (Jacar Press), and Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press). After ten years of teaching at Pulaski Technical College, where she directed the Big Rock Reading Series, Longhorn recently joined the faculty of the Arkansas Writers MFA program and the Department of Writing at the University of Central Arkansas. In addition, she co-edits the online journals Heron Tree and One and blogs at Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty.
  • Jonathan May

    Jonathan May grew up in Zimbabwe as the child of missionaries. He lives and teaches in Memphis, TN. His work has appeared in [PANK], Superstition Review, Plots With Guns, Shark Reef, Duende, One, and Rock & Sling. He’s recently finished translating the play Dreams by Günter Eich into English.
  • 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.
  • Mary McCoy

    Mary McCoy is the Senior Librarian in Teen'Scape, the young adult department at the Los Angeles Public Library. Her debut novel, Dead to Me, is a film noir-inspired YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood. She's also worked as a hot dog vendor, a hotel maid, a bass player, a fundraiser at WKNO, and a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. Mary grew up in western Pennsylvania and holds degrees from Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Learn more here here or follow Mary on Twitter.
  • Kim McLarin

    Kim McLarin is author of the memoir Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood and Midlife (C&R Press, 2013) and of the novels Taming It Down, Meeting of the Waters and Jump At The Sun, all published by William Morrow. She is also co-author of the memoir Growing Up X by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kim McLarin. Jump at the Sun was chosen as a 2007 Fiction Honor Book by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and chosen by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association as a 2007 Fiction Honor Book. She is a former staff writer for the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Associated Press and has taught at Northeastern and Fairfield universities. She is an assistant professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston.
  • Moriah McStay

    Moriah McStay grew up in Memphis, TN, where she acquired a come-and-go drawl and a lifelong love of fried pickles. She attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Two graduate degrees and seven jobs later, she finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. Everything That Makes You is her first novel. She lives in Memphis with her husband and three daughters.
  • Craig Meek

    Craig David Meek is a writer, small business owner and lifelong Memphian. He is the author of the book Memphis Barbecue: A Succulent History of Smoke, Sauce and Soul available from the History Press. He began writing about barbecue in 2011 when he started the Memphis Que blog to document his quest to try every barbecue and soul food restaurant in the Mid-south.
  • 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 eight novels, including his newest, Memphis Movie. 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. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.
  • Michael Morse

    Michael Morse has published poems in various journals—including A Public Space, The American Poetry Review, Field, jubilat, The Literary Review, 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, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and the Summer Workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center. His first book, Void and Compensation, is out from Canarium Books.
  • Tara Mae Mulroy

    Tara Mae Mulroy is a graduate of the MFA program in poetry at the University of Memphis and currently teaches middle school Latin at a private school. Her poems, stories, and essays are published or forthcoming in Third Coast, CutBank, Weave, Waccamaw, and others. Her chapbook, Philomela, was released from dancing girl press in 2014, and she is currently sending out her full-length collection, Swallow Tongue.
  • Summer Owens

    Known for her upbeat, “no excuses” personality, Summer Owens is fast-becoming a leading expert on overcoming obstacles. Summer became a mother at fifteen as the result of a forced sexual encounter, but she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dreams. She is the author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother. She has been featured nationally on CNN Headline News, the 700 Club, and the 700 Club Interactive. Originally from Jackson, Tennessee, Summer currently lives in Memphis with her son, Jaylan.
  • Natalie Parker-Lawrence

    Natalie Parker-Lawrence earned an MFA (2010) in Creative Writing (creative nonfiction and playwriting) at the University of New Orleans. Parker-Lawrence’s essays have been published in Slice of Life Magazine, The Palimpsest Journal, The Barefoot Review, Stone Highway Review, The Literary Bohemian, Alimentum, Knee-Jerk Magazine, The Southern Indiana Review, Tata Nacho, Orion Magazine, Wildflower Magazine, Prime Number Magazine, Edible Memphis, The Commercial Appeal, World History Bulletin, The Pinch, Unlikely Stories, and unforgiven.
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez

    Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her new novel, Balm, returns to the Civil War era to explore the next chapter of history—the trauma of the War and the end of slavery. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. A graduate of Harvard University and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, she teaches writing in the Stonecoast MFA program. She lives in Washington, DC with her family.
  • Rebecca Phillips

    Rebecca Phillips provided the artwork for the book Memphis Type History. She received a BFA in Communication Design at Texas State University, San Marcos. Although she was born and raised in Texas, Phillips calls Memphis home after moving in 2008. She currently lives in the Midtown area as a mother, wife, and painter. You can view a sample of her work at rlwphillips.com.
  • Heidi Pitlor

    Heidi Pitlor grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. She received her B.A. from McGill University in Montreal and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and worked as a temp at Houghton Mifflin Company. Soon after, she was hired as an editorial assistant in the company's trade division. She eventually became an editor and later a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She wrote fiction early in the mornings before work and published her first novel, The Birthdays, in 2006. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007. The Daylight Marriage, her second novel, will be published in May, 2015. She lives outside Boston with her husband and 8-year-old twin son and daughter, their hamster and a staggering amount of literary magazines that she reads for her day job. (Photo: Aynsley Floyd)
  • Ashley Roach-Frieman

    Ashley Roach-Freiman is pursuing her MFA at the University of Memphis, where she is Managing Editor of the Pinch Journal. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in THRUSH Poetry Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, burntdistrict, Rock & Sling, and Smartish Pace. She coordinates the Impossible Language reading series in Memphis, TN.
  • Aisha Raison

    Aisha Raison has proven to be one strong Womanist poet, producer and speaker of our time. Aisha has written and recorded poetry throughout the south since 1997, creating Afrodeesiack Press and working in radio in cities such as Winston-Salem and Memphis. She has recently published a book of poetry, Speaking in Cursive and Other Adventures of Little Girl Blue, (Afrodeesiack Press/Createspace IPP 2012) as well as essays, Heroine Tracks: Essays and Poetry by a Superwoman (Afrodeesiack Press/Createspace IPP, 2015). She is also a midday on air personality at 88.5 WQOX-FM in Memphis with a show called Live Laugh Love with Aisha Raison.
  • Lonette Robertson

    Lonette Robertson writes about mental health, faith, and family, and her creative nonfiction has been published in Hippocampus Magazine and r.kv.r.y quarterly literary journal. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Memphis and is still discovering what it means to be home.
  • Bobby Rogers

    Bobby C. Rogers is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. His book Paper Anniversary won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was nominated for the Poets’ Prize. LSU Press will publish his next book in early 2016 as a part of their Southern Messenger Poets series. He has recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and been named a Witter Bynner Fellow at the Library of Congress. He lives in Memphis with his wife and son and daughter.
  • Dassia Rose

    Dassia Rose is the creator of harmonious cacophonies of raspy-voiced melodies, semi-punctuated poetry, purposeful dramatics, joyful jigs and tantalizing theatrics that speak of her efforts to transform the world with the endless possibilities presented through the love of God, others and self.
  • Dana Sachs

    Dana Sachs, a native of Memphis, is the author of the novels If You Lived Here and The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, and two books of nonfiction, The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam and The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam. Her articles, reviews, and essays have appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, Travel and Leisure Family, The International Herald Tribune, and Mother Jones. In 2006, she served as a Fulbright Scholar in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dana lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she teaches at UNC-Wilmington.
  • 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 in 2013 by William Morrow. Her second novel, Three Story House, was released in 2014. For more information please visit www.courtneysanto.com.
  • Margaret Skinner

    Margaret Skinner is the author of Molly Flanagan and the Holy Ghost and Old Jim Canaan. She has served as writer-in-residence at Sweet Briar College and several times at the University of Memphis. She has conducted workshops around the South and held fellowships to Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. She has been a speaker at the Southern Festival of Books and the Oxford Conference for the Book.
  • Cheryl Smart

    Cheryl Smart is a 2nd year MFA candidate at the University of Memphis, studying Creative Nonfiction. She is current Assistant Managing Editor and past Nonfiction Editor of the literary journal, The Pinch. During her undergrad college career, Cheryl divided her studies between Philosophy and Poetry. She has publications appearing or forthcoming in The Little Patuxent Review, Appalachian Heritage, Cleaver Magazine, Word Riot, Apeiron Review, Pine Hills Review, and others. Cheryl is currently working on a collection of short stories and vignettes about her rural upbringing entitled, Homespun.
  • Dorchelle T. Spence

    Dorchelle Terrell Spence is an author and communications professional who serves as Vice President for the Riverfront Development Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee. Her debut novel, No Less Worthy, is an inspiration to young women everywhere struggling to find and maintain a sense self-worth and belonging. Spence also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis, is a contributing writer to local and regional publications, and enjoys public speaking.
  • Jeffrey Stayton

    Jeffrey Stayton grew up throughout Texas and lived in Mississippi before landing in Tennessee where he’s lived in Memphis for the past four years. The southern author released his first literary noir novel in February 2015, the 150th anniversary year of the Civil War’s end. This Side of the River was inspired by his question of what would have happened if the war-widows of Georgia took up arms in the aftermath of the Civil War? He earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Mississippi and specializes in 20th Century American literature. He has published stories in StorySouth, Lascaux and Burningword Literary Journal.
  • Caleb Tankersley

    Caleb Tankersley is an Associate Editor of Mississippi Review and a Ph.D candidate at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. His work appears in decomP, Gargoyle, Midwestern Gothic, Pinball, and other publications. His chapbook Jesus Works the Night Shift was published in 2014 by Urban Farmhouse Press.
  • Rachel M. Taylor

    Rachel M Taylor is a writer and a director with Piano Man Pictures from Memphis, TN. Her interest in stories led her into the realm of film where she discovered the world of Avarice, her first award-winning, dark fantasy. She is currently working as a director and editor at New School Media.
  • Kristin Tubb

    Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of middle-grade novels The 13th Sign (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan), Selling Hope (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2010), and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte/Yearling/Random House 2008). She can be found far too often on Facebook and Twitter. She also has a website.
  • Queen Ugenius

    Queen Ugenius found her gift of writing at an early age. By the time she was 14, she had already been published in the Commercial Appeal and placed second in a Def Poetry Slam Contest.
  • Jasiri Uhuru

    Jasiri Shujah-Mfalme wa Uhuru has over 20 years of experience with writing, reciting & performing poetry as well as conducting mentoring, creative writing & poeTherapy workshops. He has been blessed to perform all over the continental states of America & the Caribbean Islands.
  • Susan Vaught

    Susan Vaught is the author of thirteen books for teens. Her most recent book, Footer Davis is Probably Crazy, was released in March. She is most known for her realistic, issue-driven fiction like Trigger and My Big Fat Manifesto, but she also is a great lover of fantasy who has published some speculative fiction and hopes to do more. She’s also written numerous books for adults under pseudonyms. In her day job, she’s a prominent neuropsychologist specializing in developmental disabilities and head injury survivors, and an administrator in a state mental hospital in Kentucky.
  • Jim Warner

    Jim Warner is the host of the podcast Citizen Lit and the author of two poetry collections (Paper Kite Press). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including The North American Review, New South, Minnesota Review, and RHINO. Jim teaches poetry in Arcadia University's MFA program.
  • 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 www.neilwhite.com.
  • Brandy T. Wilson

    Brandy T. Wilson, author of The Palace Blues: A Novel (Spinsters Ink 2014), earned her PhD at Florida State University (2008). Her work has appeared in Robert Olen Butler's From Where You Dream, Ninth Letter, G.R.I.T.S. Girls Raised in the South, and Pank Magazine among other publications. She was a Lambda Literary Retreat Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in fiction and was awarded three Bread Loaf Writer's Conference scholarships, the George M. Harper Endowment Fund Award, and the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund Finalist Award. She currently teaches writing, literature, and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Memphis.
  • Holly Whitfield

    Holly Whitfield is a ten-year Memphis resident, a graduate of The University of Memphis, and former Editorial Director of Niche Publications for The Commercial Appeal. She is the writer behind the I Love Memphis Blog, where she tells the story of Memphis news, culture, events, music, food, and sports. You can follow Holly on Twitter @ilovememphis and at ILoveMemphisBlog.com
  • David Wesley Williams

    David Wesley Williams is the author of the novel Long Gone Daddies. His short fiction has appeared in Harper Perennial’s “Forty Stories” collection, and in such journals as The Common and The Pinch, and is forthcoming in Akashic Books’ Memphis Noir. He lives in Memphis with his wife, Barbara, and their two retired racing greyhounds.
  • 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. She lives in Memphis, TN and teaches at Rhodes College.
  • Miriam DeCosta-Willis

    Educator and writer Miriam DeCosta-Willis has authored or edited thirteen books, including Blacks in Hispanic Literature, Erotique Noire/Black Erotica, The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells, Notable Black Memphians, and Black Memphis Landmarks. She also co-founded the Memphis Black Writers' Workshop and taught, locally, at Owen and LeMoyne college, as well at the merged institution. In her forty-year career in education, she was the first Black faculty member at Memphis State University and retired from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has recently published Sojourn in Kaduna: The Life and Letters of Frank A. DeCosta, a biography of her father.
  • 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. His debut novel, Neversink, was the Literacy Mid-South Book of Choice for 2014. The first book in The Vanishing Island trilogy releases in Fall of 2015.
  • Jessica Young

    Jessica Young grew up in Thunder Bay, 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. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. When she was little, she wanted to be a tap-dancing flight attendant/veterinarian, but she’s changed her mind! Jessica's books include her award-winning debut picture book, My Blue Is Happy (2013, Candlewick Press/Walker UK), Spy Guy the Not-So-Secret Agent (2015, Harcourt Children’s Books) and the Finley Flowers chapter book series (2015, Capstone Young Readers). Her early chapter book series, Haggis and Tank Unleashed will be published in Spring 2016 by Scholastic Branches.