Annual Conference


April 7-9, 2016
   DoubleTree Hotel
   Oak Ridge, TN


Writing Contests, Workshops, Networking, Manuscript Evaluations,

             Publishers, Editors, Book Signings, Bookstore, Vendors, and more!

January 15, 2016 - Scholarship Applications
February 1, 2016 - Contest Entries
March 1, 2016 - Manuscript Evaluation Entries
March 16, 2016 - Hotel Conference Rate Expires
March 24, 2016- Early Registration Rate Ends

Click here for the conference schedule.

Click here for online registration and payment.
Click here for paper registration and pay by check.

DoubleTree Hotel
215 S. Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN
(865) 481-2468
$89/night plus tax (Conference Rate)
Rate expires March 16, 2016 or sold-out.

A limited number of scholarships are available based on need and interest in writing. The deadline for requesting a scholarship is January 15, 2016. For more information please contact us at

Click here for the contest rules.

First Place - $100 + Plaque
Second Place - $50 + Certificate
Third Place - $25 + Certificate
Honorable Mention(s) - Certificate
Sue Ellen Hudson Excellence in Writing Award - $100 + Trophy


In the event of any change, the information will be posted here.












Sonja Livingston - Banquet Speaker & Nonfiction

Sonja Livingston’s latest book, Ladies’ Night at the Dreamland (forthcoming) blends memoir and research to provide poetic profiles of fascinating but often little-known American women. A book of personal essays, Queen of the Fall, was published in 2015 as part of the prestigious American Lives Series through the University of Nebraska Press. Her first book, Ghostbread, won the AWP Prize for Nonfiction and is taught in classes around the country. Livingston’s nonfiction writing has won awards from Arts & Letters, The Iowa Review, New York State Foundation for the Arts, and the Deming Fund for Women, and is included in anthologies and textbooks on nonfiction writing. She holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.

Michael Knight - Fiction & General Session

Michael Knight is the author of two novels (Divining Rod and The Typist), two collections of short stories (Dogfight and Other Stories and Goodnight, Nobody) and a book of novellas (The Holiday Season). His most recent novel, The Typist, was selected as a Best Book of the Year for 2010 by The Huffington Post and Kansas City Star, among other places. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and journals and has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best. He received a Special Citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation (1999) and the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction (2013). He teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee.

Jesse Graves - Poetry

Jesse Graves is an associate professor of English at East Tennessee State University. His first poetry collection, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, won the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from the Appalachian Studies Association, as well as a Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association. His second collection of poems, Basin Ghosts, won the 2014 Weatherford Award in Poetry. Graves was awarded the 2014 Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University, and the 2015 James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Courtney Stevens - Writing for Young People

Courtney Stevens is an adjunct professor at Lindsey Wilson College, the author of Faking Normal, The Blue-Haired Boy (Novella), The Lies About Truth, and two forthcoming titles, as well as Author-in-Residence for JKS Communications, a national book publicity firm. Faking Normal is a 2015-16 Georgia Peach nominee, 2016 Bluegrass Award nominee, 2016 Volunteer State Book Award nominee, and the recipient of a Crystal Kite. As an educator, author and marketer, Stevens visits schools, designs retreats, and teaches workshops on marketing, revision, and character development.

Denton Loving - Editing

Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds and the editor of Seeking Its Own Level: an anthology of writings about water.  Along with Darnell Arnoult, he serves as executive editor of drafthorse: the literary journal of work and no work. His fiction, poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in more than 70 publications including River Styx, CutBank, [PANK], The MacGuffin, The Chattahoochee Review and Fiction Southeast.

Specialty Session Leaders

Beverly Connor - Keeping Series Books Fresh

Beverly Connor, the author of the Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation series and the Lindsay Chamberlain Archaeology Mystery series, weaves her professional experiences as an archaeologist and her knowledge of the South into interlinked stories of the past and present in both her series of mysteries. Her books have been in the Top 10 on the Independent Mystery Booksellers bestseller lists. She won the 2004 Career Achievement Award in Suspense from the RT BOOKClub magazine. One Grave Less won Best Suspense Novel of 2010 from RT Bookreviews.

Judy DiGregorio (with Cathy Kodra) - From Preparation to Publication

Judy DiGregorio is the author of Life Among the Lilliputians and Memories of a Loose Woman, and has released a CD, Jest Judy. Her latest humor book, Tidbits, is forthcoming from Celtic Cat Publishing.

Robert Gipe - Oral History Projects

Robert Gipe grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, and has lived in Kentucky for the past twenty-five years. He is the author of the novel Trampoline and the executive producer of the Higher Ground series of community performances in Harlan, Kentucky. He lives in Harlan and is a member of the Hell Of Our Own writers group.

Saundra Kelley - Storytelling

Oral-tradition storyteller and author Saundra Kelley has written three books, Southern Appalachian Storytellers: Interviews with Sixteen Keepers of the Oral Tradition; a romantic suspense novel, Danger in Blackwater Swamp; and The Day the Mirror Cried, a collection of poetry and of short stories she also tells in spoken word. She is presently working on Red-Tail Hawk, a time-travel mystery about the Apalachee Indian culture in ancient Florida.

Cathy Kodra (with Judy DiGregorio) - From Preparation to Publication

Cathy Kodra is an independent author and a contributing editor for New Millennium Writings. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Her first poetry chapbook, Thin Ice, was published by The Medulla Review in 2011.

Bob Mayer - Self-publishing

Bob Mayer is a New York Times bestselling author, a graduate of West Point, a former Green Beret (including commanding an A-Team), and the feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had more than sixty books published, including the #1 bestselling series Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. He was born in the Bronx and has traveled the world (usually not the tourist spots). He now lives peacefully with his wife and his Labs at Write on the River in East Tennessee. 

This event is funded in part under an agreement with the
Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.