Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference set for April 4-6

OAK RIDGE — Tennessee Mountain Writers will celebrate their 31st annual conference with the theme “Just Write” April 4-6 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Oak Ridge. The conference will encompass workshops, writing contests, networking, manuscript evaluations, publishers, editors, book signings, a bookstore, vendors and more.

Tennessee Mountain Writers is a non-profit, non-political organization that promotes Tennessee literary arts and supports the work of Tennessee writers. Membership is open to all writers, regardless of geographic location.

Richard Hague will lead the poetry workshops and will be the keynote speaker at the awards banquet, the concluding event of the conference. Hague, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, in the Appalachian Ohio River Valley, is author of 18 poetry collections, most recently Earnest Occupations: Teaching, Writing, Gardening & Other Local Work (Bottom Dog Press, 2018), and a number of titles from Dos Madres Press, including During The Recent Extinctions: New & Selected Poems l984-2012, which won The Weatherford Award. He has served several times on the staff of the Appalachian Writers Workshop in Hindman, Kentucky, is an Editor Emeritus of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, and is a long-time member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Since 2015 he has been Writer-in-residence at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Judy Goldman will lead the nonfiction workshop and the general session. Goldman’s memoir, Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, will be published by Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday in February 2019. Her previous memoir, Losing My Sister, was a finalist for both Southeast Booksellers Alliance’s Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review’s Memoir of the Year. She’s also the author of two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, as well as two books of poetry. She has received the Hobson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for “outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community,” and the Beverly D. Clark Author Award from Queens University.

Abigail DeWitt will lead the fiction workshops. DeWitt is the author of several novels, most recently News of Our Loved Ones (Harper Collins). Her short fiction has appeared in Five Points, Witness, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. She has been cited in Best American Short Stories, nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has received grants and fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Tyrone Guthrie Center, the McColl Center for the Arts, and the Michener Society. She received her BA in English and American Literature from Harvard University and her MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Stacy McAnulty will lead writing for young people. McAnulty is a children’s book author who has written dozens of books, including her debut middle-grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, a Junior Library Guild Selection; and the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor book Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Her other picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, illustrated by David Litchfield; Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert, illustrated by Deborah Hocking; Brave and Beautiful, both illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff ; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang.

Specialty sessions will be conducted by Georgann Eubanks, Documentary Writing/Production and Blogging; Sylvia Lynch, Historical Research; Steven Womack, Self-Publishing; and Judy Goldman and Abigail Dewitt, Turning Family into Narrative.

The conference, which is funded in part under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, will kick off with a 6 p.m. reception on April 4. Conference sessions will be held from 9 a.m. through 5:15 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. through 3:15 p.m. Saturday, followed by the banquet on Saturday evening. The Writer’s Block, a bookstore featuring works published by workshop leaders and conference participants, will be open all day Friday and on Saturday morning.

Additional information and a conference registration forms can be found at www.tmwi.org.