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 Sixteenth Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist, is the author of ten books, including gods in Alabama, The Almost Sisters, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, Never Have I Ever and Mother May I, recipient of the sixth annual "Patricia Winn Award for Southern Literature."

Joshilyn's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, have won SIBA's Novel of the Year award, have three times been #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.

Also an award-winning audiobook narrator, Joshilyn writes page-turners that revolve around women's issues and faith and justice issues. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, their two kids, two entitled cats, and a modestly-sized dog.

To learn more, please visit www.joshilynjackson.com.


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Kelly J. Beard

Kelly J Beard

Kelly J. Beard practiced employment discrimination in the Atlanta area for two decades, during which time she founded the Professional Women's Information Network (ProWIN) and received multiple awards for her legal and community service. She was recognized as a "Super Lawyer," a "Star of Atlanta" and as one of the nation's "Preeminent Female Lawyers," and she received a certificate of recognition from the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for her service. In 2016, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Her work appears in Creative Nonfiction, Santa Ana River Review, Five Points, Bacopa Literary Review and others. An Imperfect Rapture is her first full-length memoir. Kelly received the 2019 Georgia Author of the Year Award sponsored by the Georgia Writers Association.

Visit Kelly J. Beard on the web at www.kellyjbeard.com.


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Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the author of the award-winning Bohemian Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bohemian Gospel, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Award and was short-listed for YALSA's 2016 Alex Award. Publisher's Weekly called it "a deliciously creepy debut." Her second book, The Devil's Bible, won the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for Best Novel. Publisher's Weekly said: "Mouse is both strong and vulnerable, constantly struggling with the dark legacy of her father, her own powers, and her efforts to be a good person. This exciting, poignant novel continues the strong opening in Bohemian Gospel and leaves room for more in Mouse's fascinating world." The final book in the series, Book of the Just, was a finalist for this year's Silver Falchion in Sci Fi/Fantasy. Chapter 16 called it "a wickedly good read."

Chamblee Carpenter teaches at a private university in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Visit Dana Chamblee Carpenter on the web at www.danachambleecarpenter.com.


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Debra Coleman Jeter

Debra Coleman Jeter

Debra Coleman Jeter, a Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University, has published three novels, one memoir (nonfiction narrative book) and a textbook. Her work has also been published in several popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award; her short story "Recovery" won first prize in a competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her book Pshaw, It's Me Grandson was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world and captured several international awards.

Debra loves to be in the water — whether snorkeling, water skiing, boogie boarding or just floating around — which may explain the setting for her newest series. The Sugar Sands novels are set in a small beach community in LA (lower Alabama). The Ticket is set in western Kentucky, where Debra lived until moving to Tennessee.

Visit Debra Coleman Jeter on the web at www.debracolemanjeter.com.


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Joy Jordan-Lake

Joy Jordan-Lake

Joy Jordan-Lake is the author of the bestselling novels A Tangled Mercy, a dual timeline story set in Charleston, South Carolina, and Under a Gilded Moon, a historical mystery set at the Biltmore Estate in the tumultuous 1890s. Her six earlier books include Blue Hole Back Home, winner of the 2009 Christy Award for Best First Novel and the Common Book selection for several universities, as well as nonfiction and two children's picture books, A Crazy-Much Love and Sir Drake the Brave. Her next novel is a historical mystery set in coastal Maine in the 1950s.

Having earned a Ph.D. in English lit, Joy still teaches the occasional college class but now writes full-time. She bases her fiction on often little-known historical events. In addition to wanting to tell a good, page-turning tale, she also feels driven to explore ongoing social issues as well as those big existential questions: the human capacity for brutality and bigotry, for example, as well as for remarkable courage and forgiveness. She and her husband have three children and live just south of Nashville, where a 10-pound Maltipoo rules the house.

Visit Joy Jordan-Lake on the web at www.joyjordanlake.com.


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Bobby Keel

Bobby Keel

Bobby Keel is a multi-gold and platinum-selling songwriter for such artists as Hank Williams, Jr., Confederate Railroad, David Allan Coe, The Carter Family, Whiskey Myers, Tammy Wynette, The Forest Sisters, Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and other major recording acts.

A native of Dover, Keel was born to be a songwriter, learning to play piano at the age of three, picking up melodies when he was five, and beginning his songwriting career in earnest at seventeen. Keel came to Nashville in 1972 with a few songs — as well as a sack of crappie and a frozen mallard duck — with which to ingratiate himself to publishers on Music Row. His venture was fruitful, as he signed a publishing deal with Moss-Rose Music — and the rest, as they say, is history.

Visit Bobby Keel on the web at www.facebook.com/BobbyKeelMusic.


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Robert Mangeot

Robert Mangeot

Robert Mangeot's more than two dozen published short stories appear here and there, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Forge Literary Magazine, Lowestoft Chronicle, Mystery Weekly Magazine, MWA's Ice Cold, The Oddville Press and the Anthony-winning Murder Under the Oaks.

When not writing, Robert is talking about writing or serving as current Vice President for the Southeast chapter of Mystery Writers of America. When not doing any of that, he can be found wandering the snack food aisles of America or France.

Read more about his writing at www.robertmangeot.com.


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James Nihan

James Nihan

James Nihan is the author of ReVisions: Seeing Old Stories with New Eyes, a book that encourages brighter points of view. An award-winning songwriter and poet, he has penned songs for many artists. He most recently contributed to the musical Nanyehi, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee and collaborated on an optioned screenplay. Songwriting legend and mentor, Harlan Howard, once likened James' storytelling style to the works of Canadian poet Robert Service.

The author is also an addictions therapist as well as a performer, presenter and teacher, appearing in venues nationally. The New England native has made his home in the hills of Tennessee for many years. Of the creative process, James suggests life is the canvass and each day a brushstroke.

Visit James Nihan on the web at www.jamesnihan.com.


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S.M. Williams

Sarah Williams

S.M. Williams is the author of the historical romance trilogy All Would Be Kings, which includes The Winter Prophecy, High Treason and Rosemary. Sarah is also the author of Chinquapin: The Last Great Hope, a novel of historical fiction set during the Siege of Atlanta. At present, she has two works in progress: Kelidaire, a romantic fantasy, and Across The River, a historical fiction novel that follows the post-war life of a Confederate spy and the lost Confederate Treasury.

Sarah was born and raised in South East Alabama and has traveled extensively. She grew up in a family of storytellers and wrote her first short story manuscript at the age of fourteen. Since that time, her creative writings have produced over 800,000 words, not including articles and columns for various community magazines and newsletters.

Visit S.M. Williams online at smw1067.wixsite.com/authorssite.


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Renea Winchester

Renea Winchester

Renea Winchester is the author of several non-fiction works including Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches (Mercer University Press), which was nominated for the prestigious SIBA award, earned Renea a nomination for Georgia Author of the Year and received the endorsement from The Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the country. The recipient of the Wilma Dykeman Award for Essay, a two-time winner of the Appalachian Writer's Award and first place winner of the North Carolina Press Association Award, Renea has served on the Atlanta Writers Board, Georgia Writers Association and judges multiple literary awards. In April 2020, Firefly Southern Fiction released Renea's debut novel, Outbound Train. Set in her hometown of Bryson City, North Carolina, Outbound Train is nominated for the Crook's Corner Prize.

Renea is currently working on her next novel, The Mountains Remember, a historical novel based on her grandmother's displacement to form the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a descendant of those who were displaced, Renea is passionate about Appalachian Heritage, preserving rare seeds, cultivating endangered plants, meeting new friends and telling good stories.

Learn more about Renea Winchester at https://www.facebook.com/Renea-Winchester-Author-162590877104288 or subscribe to her blog at blogthefarm.wordpress.com


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