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 Tenth Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Thank you to everyone who attended this year's conference, and we hope you will all make plans to join us on June 4 and 5, 2015, for the Eleventh Annual Clarksville Writers Conference!

 



Susan Gregg Gilmore

Susan Gregg Gilmore

Susan Gregg Gilmore, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, began her writing career at the University of Virginia as a reporter for the school's award-winning newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. After graduating with a degree in history, she assumed a secretarial position with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. A year later, Gilmore entered graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Master of Arts in American Studies.

She married in 1985 and with her husband, Dan, raised three daughters all the while writing for newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chattanooga News-Free Press, for which she wrote a weekly column about parenting in the South.

Gilmore's first novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown/2008), was called a "stand-out coming of age novel" by NPR's Alan Cheuse and was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) 2009 Book Award Nominee.

Her second novel, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown/2010), was named a 2010 SIBA Summer OKRA Pick and selected as part of Target's Emerging Author Program.

The Funeral Dress, her third novel (September 2013), was a SIBA Fall OKRA Pick, a Target Emerging Author Selection and a Target Recommended Read. It has been called "a revelatory novel that offers an evocative account of the lives of Appalachian working women" (Kirkus).

Visit Susan Gregg Gilmore on the web at www.susangregggilmore.com.


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Malaga Baldi

Malaga Baldi, owner of the New York-based Baldi Agency, has worked as an independent literary agent for over thirty years. A graduate of Hampshire College, she worked in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and with the Elaine Markson Agency before going out on her own.

Baldi Agency is independent and eclectic, specializing in biography, cultural history, memoir, literary criticism and literary fiction. As much as she enjoys reading fiction and searching for the great American novel, nonfiction is the bread and butter of her list. Creative nonfiction, a combination of intelligent memoir and interdisciplinary studies, fascinates her. The Baldi Agency represents a cadre of revered authors including William J. Mann, Patty Dann, Mary Capello and Ray Coppinger. Visit The Baldi Agency on the web at www.baldibooks.com.


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Wade Bourne

Wade Bourne

One of the most recognized names in the outdoors industry, Wade Bourne is a full-time outdoor broadcaster/writer whose works have appeared regularly before national listening, reading and viewing audiences for over 35 years.

Bourne is founder and host of the award-winning "Wired2Fish Radio," a syndicated fishing/hunting radio show that has aired year-round throughout the nation on approximately 300 stations since 2000. For the 16 consecutive years prior, Bourne hosted "In-Fisherman Radio" (north, south and west editions), the largest syndicated outdoor radio show in North America.

A veteran contributor to the nation's leading outdoor magazines, Bourne serves as Editor-at-Large for Ducks Unlimited Magazine and Senior Writer for Bassmaster Magazine. He also writes frequently for other national outdoor publications, with over 3,000 published articles to his credit, and he is the author of six books: Fishing Fundamentals, Fishing Made Easy, The Pocket Fishing Guide, Ducks Unlimited Guide to Decoys and Proven Methods for Using Them, Ducks Unlimited Guide to Hunting Dabblers and Ultimate Turkey Hunting.

Bourne attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville and graduated from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) with a B.A. degree in English. He completed coursework at Murray State University (Kentucky) for an M.A. degree in journalism. Before beginning his career in outdoor communications, Bourne was an Air Force pilot. He resides with his wife Becky on his family's farm in Clarksville, TN. He has two grown children, Hampton and Haley. Visit Wade Bourne on the web at www.wadebourneoutdoors.com.


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Sue Freeman Culverhouse

Sue Freeman Culverhouse

Sue Freeman Culverhouse is the author of three books, the most recent of which, Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013), features biographies of Robert Penn Warren, Alex Haley, Peter Taylor, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Cormac McCarthy, William Gay, Bud Willis, Alice Randall, A. Scott Pearson, Amy Greene and Marshall Chapman. She is also author of a self-help book, Seven Keys to a Successful Life. Her first book, To Cure Sometimes, To Comfort Always, concerns the history of Blue Ridge Hospital and Sanitorium in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Culverhouse's articles and photography have appeared in national publications including Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Americana, Flower and Garden, among others, and she has been a weekly newspaper columnist in both Virginia and Tennessee. The recipient of two Virginia Press Awards from her work at the News-Virginian, a daily newspaper in Waynesboro, Virginia, she currently serves as a staff writer for ClarksvilleOnline.com.

An alumna of Austin Peay State University and Vanderbilt University, Culverhouse teaches public school music and writing at Watuaga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee, where she established and edited a student literary magazine and conducted classes in writing instruction for teachers. Also an avid gardener, she is co-founder of the Charlottesville Orchid Society, and she has sung and directed numerous musical events and an opera. Sue is married to William Culverhouse, retired attorney and sculptor, and is mother of poet Susan Leigh Miller, who teaches at Rutgers University.


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Beverly Fisher

Beverly Fisher graduated from Gallatin High School, the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt Law School. She has appeared on "60 Minutes" in an expose about insurance scams, and she was a staff attorney for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee for many years before going into private practice in Nashville and in Clarksville, focusing on Social Security Disability cases. She has climbed Mt. St. Helens and Mayan pyramids and canoed many Southern waterways.

Grace Among the Leavings is Fisher's first published book of fiction and is based, in part, on observations of her grandparents' Sumner County, Tennessee, farm and her grandfather's stories of his Civil War ancestor. Grace is being developed into a play, a staged reading of which will be held July 12, 2014, at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site in Petersburg, Illinois. For more information, see www.theatreinthepark.net.

For more information about Beverly Fisher and Grace Among the Leavings, please visit www.thorncraftpublishing.com/grace-among-the-leavings.html.

Thorncraft Publishing

Thorncraft Publishing honors regional voices and is committed to publishing women authors whose stories focus on Tennessee. The company, which began as a dare and a dream, was a reaction to talk and queries. It was and is action, forward momentum, and learning along the way.

Before starting Thorncraft in 2012, Shana Thornton was working alone as a fiction writer and volunteering her editing time while she read about changes in the publishing industry. With encouragement from her husband and friends, she finally took the leap into the world of self-publishing.

Shana's own novel, Multiple Exposure (August 2012), was Thorncraft's publishing debut, followed by Beverly Fisher's novella Grace Among the Leavings (August 2013) and Melissa Corliss DeLorenzo's The Mosquito Hours (Forthcoming, May 2014). Thorncraft strives to publish authentic voices that cause us to deeply consider the human impact on our world and within our families and cultures.

Thorncraft books are available through all major distributors in trade paperback and ebook versions, with audiobook versions available this year. Visit Thorncraft Publishing on the web at www.thorncraftpublishing.com.


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Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the poetry collection Dear Weather Ghost and the chapbook Arbor. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Blackbird, Denver Quarterly, jubilat and other magazines. Ginsburg earned an MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has received support for her work from the Mississippi Arts Council and the Ucross Foundation.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Melissa now lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she is instructor of literature and creative writing at the University of Mississippi. Visit Melissa Ginsburg on the web at www.melissaginsburg.net.


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David Huddle

David Huddle

David Huddle, a native of Ivanhoe, Virginia, has lived in Vermont for 42 years. His fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The American Scholar, Esquire, Appalachian Heritage, The New Yorker, Harper's, Shenandoah, Agni, The Sow's Ear and The Georgia Review.

Huddle's novel, The Story of a Million Years (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) was named a Distinguished Book of the Year by Esquire and a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times Book Review. His novel, Nothing Can Make Me Do This, won the 2012 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction and his collection, Black Snake at the Family Reunion, was a finalist for the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Poetry and won the 2013 Pen New England Award for Poetry. His new novel, The Faulkes Chronicle, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in June 2014.


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Zachary Michael Jack

Zachary Michael Jack is the author of more than twenty award-winning books in genres including fantasy, young adult, romance and mystery, as well as narrative nonfiction, literary journalism, memoir and narrative poetry. A 2010 national runner-up in his class in the Foreword Reviews book-of-the-year competition, the author and his work have been featured in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Review of Books, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

Zachary is the core faculty member in the graduate Writing, Editing and Publishing track at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Visit Zachary Michael Jack on the web at www.zacharyjack.org.


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Melanie Meadow

Melanie Meadow

Even before RA Publishing released Melanie Meadow's two books, she had written for a national magazine, covered education for a local newspaper, penned an award-winning college alumni piece and taught college news reporting.

With the release of ColorBlind in June 2011, Meadow began yet another journey in writing. By pulling Southern characters from her youth, Meadow tied church planting with race relations in the South in 1968 — a story line that had nothing to do with her upbringing, but, as she has said, the people in ColorBlind were "her people."

In October 2013, RA Publishing released Meadow's second novel, The Waking Up, which, as historical fiction, tells the story of the spiritual revival that swept through northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky in the late 1700s. Meadow's main character hails from Port Royal, Tennessee, giving her the opportunity to add local flavor to the story. A prominent historian of the era gave Meadow a "thumbs up" on merging fiction with the facts of the times.

Currently, Meadow is researching to write the sequel to The Waking Up, carrying the story of the revival to its culmination at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1801. She lives in Adams, Tennessee, on a hobby farm with her husband, Landon. He pastors a large contemporary church where Melanie plays a key role in assisting him. She also homeschools her two teenage sons and teaches academic writing to Nashville-area high schoolers. Visit Melanie Meadow on the web at www.melaniemeadow.com.

RA Publishing

As a foundationally Christian endeavor, RA Publishing's purpose is to display God's love through His people's stories. Started by David and Teresa Elder in 2011, it was conceived as a vehicle for Teresa's first novel, which to date is unfinished. So, needing a project, a partnership began with author Melanie Meadow and its first book, ColorBlind, was published.

Taking advantage of the current trends in desktop publishing, it has become not only possible, but feasible for RA Publishing to produce and market small projects regionally and beyond. As a micro-publisher, RA Publishing finds itself on somewhat of a level playing field with larger publishers in terms of internet marketing and online presence. Print-on-demand keeps costs to a minimum, eliminating the need to warehouse large numbers of books. And distribution through websites such as Amazon has made it possible to deliver product anywhere in the world as efficiently as the largest publishing houses.

After a successful launch of its first book, RA Publishing was very pleased to release Meadow's second novel, The Waking Up, this past fall. While RA Publishing is not currently accepting submissions, it is anticipating the release of a children's book from a Nashville author late next year and Teresa's novel in 2015. Visit RA Publishing on the web at www.rapublishing.com.


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Chris Offutt

Chris Offutt

Chris Offutt grew up in Haldeman, Kentucky, an Appalachian community of 200, surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. He is the author of Kentucky Straight, Out of the Woods, The Same River Twice, No Heroes and The Good Brother. He has published more than 80 short stories and essays, including appearances in The New York Times, Playboy, Esquire, GQ, Tin House, McSweeneys and the Virginia Quarterly Review. His short fiction has been included in many textbooks and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The Vintage Book of American Short Stories and New Stories from the South, and he has a regular column in The Oxford American.

Mr. Offutt has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the NEA, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He wrote and produced screenplays for True Blood, Weeds and Treme, and TV pilots for Fox, Lions Gate and CBS. He lives on 14 acres in rural Lafayette County, Mississippi.


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Stephen Ornes

Stephen Ornes

Stephen Ornes is an award-winning freelance science journalist and author who specializes in math, physics, astronomy and cancer research; he also writes articles about science and scientists for children. His books include a young adult biography of mathematician Sophie Germain and the Science Writers' Handbook, published in April 2013, on which he was one of 25 co-authors. His work has appeared in print and/or online in Discover, The Washington Post, PNAS, New Scientist, OnEarth, Science News for Students, Physics World, Cancer Today and other publications.

Ornes is a co-editor at pitchpublishprosper.com, a group blog offering tips and resources to science writers, and he teaches an undergraduate class on science communication at Vanderbilt University. Visit Stephen Ornes on the web at www.stephenornes.com.


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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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Bud Willis

A native Tennessean, Bud Willis grew up in Tullahoma and graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 1963 with a degree in English. He received an officer's commission in the Marine Corps and was designated a naval aviator in 1964 before serving a tour in combat, flying 642 missions as a Huey chopper pilot and receiving 32 air medal decorations for medical evacuations and marine air support. In 1968, he began a 34-year career in the securities industry and became a partner with JC Bradford and Company in Nashville.

Bud is currently retired in Naples, Florida, where he writes books and articles for history magazines as a hobby. As an experienced athlete, aviator, financial executive, public speaker and humorist, his spirited Southern writing style engages readers quickly with pathos and humor. His appearance on "The Today Show" in 2008 featured a story from his first book Bluestocking. His second novel, Marble Mountain: A Vietnam Memoir, was released in 2011. Proceeds from all his writing have been donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Awards and honors include Tennessee's Outstanding Young Man (1975); Clarksville's highest honor, the Community Achievement Award; and Pensacola's Business Leader of the Year. In 2012 he accepted the Distinguished Arts & Humanities Award in Memphis, an honor formerly bestowed on John Grisham, Eudora Welty, Shelby Foote and other luminaries in the world of literature.

Bud is married to Lee Barnes of Columbia, Kentucky, with two sons and three grandchildren.


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