Clarksville, Tennessee, was a pivotal center of the Southern Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s. Writers of the era living in Clarksville included Robert Penn Warren, Evelyn Scott, Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate. Additional writers, including Cleanth Brooks, Ford Madox Ford, Donald Davidson, Katherine Ann Porter, Robert Lowell, Andrew Lytle, Malcolm Cowley, Frances and Brainard Cheney and others gathered to write and discuss their work at "Benfolly," Tate and Gordon's home overlooking the banks of the Cumberland River. Their Clarksville home became a Mecca for writers of the Southern Renaissance, and from that site poured literature which enriched the American scene. In that great tradition, we offer you the Eleventh Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels, including the New York Times best sellers The Ballad of Tom Dooley, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, She Walks These Hills, The Rosewood Casket and Ghost Riders, which won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature from the East Tennessee Historical Society and the national Audie Award for Best Recorded Book. Her Revolutionary War novel, King's Mountain (St. Martin's Press, 2013), tells the story of the Overmountain Men in the American Revolution. Her next novel, Prayers the Devil Answers, will be published in late 2015 by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster.

In April 2014, Sharyn McCrumb was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina's Chowan University. Named a "Virginia Woman of History" in 2008 for Achievement in Literature, she was a guest author at the National Festival of the Book in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the White House in 2006.

In addition to presenting programs at universities, libraries and other organizations throughout the nation, Sharyn McCrumb has taught a writers workshop in Paris and served as writer-in-residence at King University in Tennessee, as well as at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, with an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech, she lives and writes in the Virginia Blue Ridge. Visit Sharyn McCrumb on the web at www.sharynmccrumb.com.


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E.W. Brooks

E W Brooks

E.W. Brooks is an army wife, devoted mother, student and author of the Mafietta novella series. The eldest of three sisters from a small North Carolina town with only two stop lights, Brooks graduated and went on to study management at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, human resources management at Fayetteville Technical Community College, and project management at Ashford University where she is currently in her senior year.

Despite her background in business, Brooks has always had a love for writing. She began writing professionally in 2011 for Monique Coleman of Disney's "High School Musical" before establishing her own blog. Growing up in a small town fueled Brooks' desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. She was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life on the wrong side of the law, and her curiosities led to much research and her writing Mafietta in March of 2013.

Brooks followed with Mafietta 2: A House Divided a year later in May of 2014 and The Road to Mafietta in December of the same year. She is currently working on the fourth installment in the series, to be released later this year. She also maintains "The Mafietta Movement," a blog designed to explore the essence of womanhood and reveal how women define themselves on their journey to self-fulfillment. Both the book and blog address women's issues while offering alternatives to these less than optimal situations. Visit E.W. Brooks on the web at www.mafietta.com.


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Nick Allen Brown

Nick Allen Brown

Nick Allen Brown holds the honorable distinction of being rejected 289 times by literary agents and publishers before signing with Harrowood Books, a small independent publisher that took a chance on the unknown writer. His first novel, Field of Dead Horses, won an international book award, and from there he set out on a 35 city book tour across the United States.

While his four years of college were enlightening, Nick proclaims that his real education came from the films he watched growing up. Instead of professors, his teachers were directors of cinema such as Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, De Palma, Howard, Henson, Burton, Cameron, Reitman, Kubrick, Reiner, Carpenter and Zemeckis. After college, he moved to Los Angeles where he was fortunate enough to receive one-on-one instruction on story development from Quentin Tarantino and screenwriting great, William Goldman.

Currently, he is back on tour with his new novel, The Astronaut From Bear Creek, with the tour spanning eleven states. Visit Nick on the web at www.nickallenbrown.com.


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Steven Cox

Steven Cox

Steven Cox is a professor and the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a position he has held since 2001. He received his master of library science in 1998 from the University of Kentucky and attended college as an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, his home town.

In March 2014, Cox's first book, Once I Too Had Wings: The Journals of Emma Bell Miles, 1908-1918, was published by the Ohio University Press. This book is an edited selection of personal journal entries by early 20th century Appalachian writer and artist, Emma Bell Miles. Miles's journals are held in the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In addition to this book, Mr. Cox has published articles on Chattanooga history in The Chattanooga Regional Historical Journal and The Journal of East Tennessee History, as well as librarianship articles in American Libraries and The Southeast Librarian.


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Rod Davis

Rod Davis

South, America (NewSouth Books, 2014), by award-winning novelist and writer Rod Davis, has been described as "a triumph of Southern noir" and compared to the works of James Lee Burke, Larry Brown, James M. Cain and Mickey Spillane. He also is author of Corina's Way (NewSouth Books, 2003), described by Kirkus Reviews as "a spicy bouillabaisse, New Orleans-set, in the tradition of Flannery O'Connor or John Kennedy Toole: a welcome romp, told with traditional Southern charm;" and American Voudou: Journey into a Hidden World (UNT Press, 1998), a study of West African religion in the United States.

Davis served as executive editor at Cooking Light, a Time, Inc. magazine, and is a former editor of the critically acclaimed The Texas Observer and also a former editor of American Way, the magazine of American Airlines. He has been a senior editor at Houston City and D Magazine. Formerly managing editor of the Teaching Tolerance project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, he helped create the Texas A&M University System's first Veterans Support Office.

He received an M.A. in Government from Louisiana State University and studied further at the University of Virginia before joining the Army in 1970, serving as a first lieutenant in South Korea. He has taught writing at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Visit Rod Davis on the web at www.roddavisauthor.com.


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Amy Greene

Amy Greene

Amy Greene is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Bloodroot, named a "Must Read" by Entertainment Weekly and one of the Top 10 Novels of 2010 by Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Amazon. Her second novel, Long Man, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Both novels were New York Times Editors' Choice picks.

In 2010 Greene won the Weatherford Award for Fiction from the Appalachian Studies Association, was a finalist for the Southern Book Award, and was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Her articles and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Glamour Magazine and BookPage, among other publications.

Amy Greene was born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, where she lives with her husband and two children. Visit her on the web at www.amygreeneauthor.com.


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Stuart Horwitz

Stuart Horwitz

Stuart Horwitz is the founder and principal of Book Architecture, a firm of independent editors based in Providence, New York, and Boston.

He developed the Book Architecture Method over fifteen years of helping writers get from first draft to final draft. In the process, those same writers have become authors: signing with top literary agencies and landing book deals at coveted publishing houses. Book Architecture's clients have reached the bestseller list in both fiction and nonfiction, and have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, The Tonight Show, and in the most prestigious journals in their respective fields.

Horwitz's first book, Blueprint Your Bestseller: Organize and Revise Any Manuscript with the Book Architecture Method (Penguin/Perigee) was named one of the best books about writing in 2013 by The Writer magazine. His second book, Book Architecture: How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula, is being released in early 2015. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two daughters. Visit Stuart Horwitz on the web at www.bookarchitecture.com.


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Ellen Kanervo

Ellen Kanervo

Ellen Williamson Kanervo earned a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979. She had joined the faculty of Austin Peay State University in 1977 and taught undergraduate and graduate communication courses for 30 years, serving as department chair from 1989 through 1997, and retiring as a full professor in 2007.

Since 2010 Dr. Kanervo has served as the executive director of the Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts & Heritage Development Council. As an outgrowth of that position, she has worked with three historians to transcribe and annotate the 1863-1890 diary of Clarksville native Nannie Haskins Williams. The diary was published by the University of Tennessee Press in March 2014.

As executive director of AHDC, Dr. Kanervo oversees monthly arts workshops in conjunction with the Downtown Artists Cooperative, monthly high school art exhibits and receptions, an annual Valentine's Afternoon with the Arts featuring work by local artists, the annual Clarksville Writers Conference, an annual awards reception for achievement in arts and heritage, a cultural calendar with work by local artists and arts events throughout the year. She serves on the city's Public Arts Commission and Two Rivers Company Clean, Green and Safe Committee. She has worked with the county's historical society to commemorate various Civil War Sesquicentennial events and the War of 1812 bicentennial events. She recently spearheaded work with 31 artists, 10 authors, and 2 designers to produce an art and alphabet book about the city, C Is for Clarksville on the Cumberland. With only a third of its copies sold, that book has netted almost $7,000 to go toward community arts and heritage projects.


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Barry Kitterman

Barry Kitterman

Barry Kitterman grew up in California's San Joaquin Valley and received an AB (English) from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Peace Corps (Belize) in the mid-seventies, he completed the MFA program at the University of Montana in 1981. He has taught writing and literature at IU East, Miami University of Ohio, and at two universities in the People's Republic of China, Nankai and Qingdao. In 1989-90 he was Hudson Walker fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.

Since 1994, Kitterman has taught at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, where he is past coordinator of the creative writing program and the visiting writers series. He has published short fiction and nonfiction in The Carolina Quarterly, The Chariton Review, Turnstile, Flyway and elsewhere. He is the fiction editor for Zone 3 Magazine (APSU) and an associate editor of The Green Hills Literary Lantern (Truman State University). In 2001, he received an individual artist's grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Kitterman's novel The Baker's Boy was published in May 2008. From the San Joaquin, a collection of stories, was published in 2011, one of last books to be published by SMU Press. He lives with his wife, Jill Eichhorn, and their two children, Ted and Hannah, in Clarksville. Visit Barry Kitterman on the web at www.barrykitterman.net.


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Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer

Born in the Bronx, Bob Mayer attended West Point and went on to serve as various platoon leaders in the 1st Cavalry Division, later joining Special Forces and commanding a Green Beret A-Team.

With this unique background to lend a sense of authenticity to his writing, Mayer has close to 60 books published and has hit all the bestseller lists including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. His obsession with mythology and vast knowledge of history, the military and Special Forces, mixed with a wicked imagination, are the foundation for his science fiction series Atlantis, Area 51, Nightstalkers and Psychic Warrior. He takes the same passion to his thrillers such as The Green Beret Series, The Presidential Series as well as his historical fiction.

In addition, Mayer is the CEO of Cool Gus, an agile publishing company focused on serving a handful of authors on the cutting edge of the digital revolution, which went from zero to seven figures in eighteen months. He also writes for 47North, Amazon's science fiction imprint, as part of being a 'hybrid' author, a term he invented in June 2011 which is now part of the lexicon. Visit Bob Mayer on the web at www.bobmayer.org and www.coolgus.com.


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Carol Ponder & Robert Kiefer

Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer

Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer have been theatre and music professionals for over 40 years. Taken together, they have acted, sung, danced in and directed hundreds of productions and thousands of performances.

Carol is an award-winning Teaching Artist and consultant in education through the arts, and an award-winning singer, musician and recording artist. Robert is a director who specializes in helping author/actors to create critically acclaimed one-person shows from various sources, historic and personal.

Supported by members of the military, psychologists and a growing audience of new friends and fans, Carol and Robert are performing My Father's War: A Story of War, Survival and Grace for combat soldiers and their friends and families as a catalyst for healing and reintegration; and for all audiences as a way to foster understanding of what it is that we ask of those who serve. Their performance is uniquely powerful because it is built from one warrior's memoir, a personal look into the concept that wars are waged by nations, but fought by individuals. Visit Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer on the web at www.carolandrobert.com.


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Margaret Prim

Margaret Prim

Margaret Prim is the Executive Director of the Pennyroyal Arts Council, which partnered with the Hopkinsville Art Guild to produce H is for Hopkinsville, an art-alphabet book. Additionally, as the food columnist for the Kentucky New Era, her column "What's on the Menu" runs the first Wednesday of each month.

As she begins her third year with the arts council, Margaret is excited about being at the helm at a crucial time for the future of the creative community. The Pennyroyal Arts Council has made great strides in the last two years with the addition of classic film at the Alhambra Theatre, improved handicap seating in the theater, and participation in The Big Read, a six-week community-wide literacy program.

In addition to her work with the arts council, Margaret is the owner of The Perfect Closet, consistently one of the top agencies in the country, and has represented Worth, an upscale women's clothing line, for twelve years. An involved fundraiser in the community, she created the Annual Accessory Swap held each fall.

An active member of Grace Episcopal Church, Margaret and her husband, Tony, live in Hopkinsville with their three cats: Louise, Larry and Stuart. They love to cook together and entertain family and friends.


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Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. An agent for more than twenty years, working with book, film and television writers, Ken has accumulated an impressive list of clients with such notable names as David Guterson, Anne Perry, Franz Kafka, Tawni O'Dell, Willa Cather, John Updike, Starhawk, and Julio Cortazar.

In addition to his agency work, Sherman is also a popular and accomplished speaker, having taught and lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, The American Film Institute, The Aspen Institute, The San Francisco Writers Conference, and The Eugene International Film Festival where he recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit Ken Sherman & Associates on the web at www.kenshermanassociates.com.


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Karen Skolfield

Karen Skolfield

Karen Skolfield's book Frost in the Low Areas won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press. Thanks to the wonders of email, she is an associate editor at Sundress Publications in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Skolfield has received fellowships and awards in 2014/2015 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, New England Public Radio, Ucross Foundation, Split This Rock, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. New poems can be found in Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Indiana Review, Linebreak, MIRAMAR, Pleiades, Rattle, Southword Journal, Structo, Tupelo Quarterly and others.

Skolfield is an Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts. Visit Karen Skolfield on the web at www.karenskolfield.com.


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Eleanor Williams

Eleanor Williams

Eleanor S. Williams was appointed Montgomery County Historian in 1993. She attended local schools and Austin Peay State University, and she has written extensively about the local history of her home area.

Williams' publications include Homes and Happenings (1990), Cabins to Castles (1992) and Worship along the Warioto (1995). These books treat Montgomery County subjects, as did an earlier work written with former Montgomery County historian Ursula Beach entitled Nineteenth Century Heritage. She also recently co-edited The Diary of Nannie Haskins Williams with Minoa Uffelman, Ellen Kanervo and Phyllis Smith.


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