Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of over eighty novels in a number of genres, including the acclaimed Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series, the Pluto's Snitch mystery series, and the Familiar Legacy romantic mystery series. Haines was honored with the prestigious 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. Haines was also 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished writing. Her novel BONE TO BE WILD was named best suspense for 2014, and the Sarah Booth Delaney series was also named best amateur sleuth. Two of the Sarah Booth books were included in the "Best 5 mysteries of the year" by LIBRARY JOURNAL.
Sue B Walker is a poet, author and editor. In 2015 she is the Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. She served as Poet Laureate of Alabama from 2003 to 2012. Walker created Negative Capability Press, a small press publishing house which is based in Mobile, Alabama. The company has published more than 40 books, many by nationally recognized authors and poets. A number of these were collections for which Walker served as editor, including Ways of Knowing: Essays on Marge Piercy in 1991, Life on the Line: Selections on Words and Healing in 1992, and Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology of Alabama Poetry in 2007. Several of the books have received notable recognition: Irene Latham's What Came Before (2007) won the Independent Book Award in Poetry in 2007, Barry Marks' Soundingwas a Hoffer Award Finalist, and John Davis Jr.'s work was included in the 2015 Poetry House exhibit in New York. The publisher sponsors an annual international book contest.
C. Hope Clark was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. The granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University and 25 years’ experience with the U. S. Department of Agriculture to include awards for her management, all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in most of her novels. Her love of writing, however, carried her up the ranks to the ability to retire young, and she left USDA to pen her stories and freelance. She also currently manages Funds For Writers, FundsforWriters.com, a weekly newsletter service she founded that reaches 40,000+ writers to include university professors, professional journalists and published mystery authors. Writer’s Digest has recognized the site in its annual 101 Best Web Sites for Writers for fourteen years. She’s published in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Guide to Literary Agents, Writer’s Market, Chicken Soup, Next Step Magazine, College Bound Teen, Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), TURF Magazine, Landscape Management and other trade and online publications. She speaks at several writers’ conferences a year. Hope is a member of Sisters in Crime, EPIC, Mystery Writers of America, International Mystery Writers, International Thriller Writers, Southeastern Writers Association, and MENSA. Hope’s award-winning books include Lowcountry Bribe, which has won multiple awards, Tidewater Murder, and Palmetto Poison. 2014 EPIC e-Book Awards. Her Edisto Island Mystery Series debuted in September 2014 with Murder in Edisto and the second book was Edisto Jinx. She is published by Bell Bridge Books. Her non-fiction book, The Shy Writer, has also received awards.
Dr. Alan N. Brown is a Professor of English at the University of West Alabama in Livingston and a folklorist. He has written over 25 books on the oral ghost narratives in the South and produced a website on folklore, http://facstaff.uwa.edu/abrown/ghostlore.htm. He is the Director of the Writing Center and the Compensatory Writing Program and University of West Alabama and currently lives in Meridian, Mississippi. (Dr. Brown will also do a Haunted Tour of Downtown Meridian for attendees)
Chandler Griffin is a Los Angeles-based, documentary filmmaker, educator and the Founding Director of Barefoot Workshops with fifteen years of experience instructing over one hundred media workshops, starting out at the Maine Media Workshops. His projects have taken him to Latin America, North America, Europe, the UK, Ireland, Africa, India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He has produced and taught educational programs in northern Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, South Africa, Honduras, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, Palestine, Bahrain, Libya, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada and various locations in the continental USA. He is a founding member of Video Volunteers. Chandler has collaborated with Navsarjan Trust, PLANusa, 1Giant Leap, PBS, The American Cancer Society, Hospice Ministries, FXB International, The Ford Foundation, Academy for Educational Development, Global Nomads Group, RFK Center for Human Rights, Ocean Classroom, FilmAid International, UNESCO/UNAIDS/UNDP, the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, Creative Associates International and the President's Digital Freedom Initiative. His camera work has helped films earn a CINE Golden Eagle Award and an Oscar Finalist shortlist for the Academy Awards. In 2006 Chandler founded A River Blue, an arts empowerment project for 100 displaced children in northern Uganda that currently offers agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, tailoring, psychosocial counseling, English, business and secondary school to hundreds of students. He holds a BFA in Photography and a BFA in Video/Film from the Savannah College of Art & Design and lectures regularly in New York City at B&H and Tekserve.
Dr. Alan N. Brown is a Professor of English at the University of West Alabama in Livingston and a folklorist. He has written over 25 books on the oral ghost narratives in the South. He is the Director of the Writing Center and the Compensatory Writing Program and University of West Alabama and currently lives in Meridian, Mississippi. His books include Literary Levees of New Orleans, The Face in the Window and Other Alabama Ghostlore, and Shadows and Cypress: Southern Ghost Stories (University Press of Mississippi). His books through The History Press/Arcadia Publishing include Haunted Vicksburg, Haunted Meridian, Haunted Mississippi Golden Triangle, Haunted Natchez, and more. (Dr. Brown will also do a Haunted Tour of Downtown Meridian for attendees)
Susan Cushman was co-director of the 2010 and 2013 Creative Nonfiction Conferences in Oxford, Mississippi, and director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. She has served as speaker or panelist at: 2017 Mississippi Book Festival (Jackson, Mississippi); 2017 Southern Festival of Books (Nashville, Tennessee); 2017 Decatur Book Festival (Atlanta, Georgia); 2013 Louisiana Book Festival (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); 2013 Pensters Writing Group (keynote speaker), Fairhope, Alabama; 2012 Southern Festival of Books (Nashville, Tennessee); 2012 Creative Nonfiction at the Crossroads workshop (Clarksdale, Mississippi ); 2009 Southern Women Writers Conference at Berry College, Rome, Georgia. Susan’s essays have been published in four anthologies and numerous journals and magazines. She also had three books published in 2017: Author, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (eLectio Publishing, February 2017); Editor, A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be (Mercer University Press, March 2017); Author, Cherry Bomb, a novel (Dogwood Press, August 2017); And coming in May of 2018, Editor, Southern Writers on Writing (University Press of Mississippi). She is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and has lived in Memphis since 1988.
G. Mark LaFrancis is an award-winning film-maker, film instructor, and producer. He specializes in meaningful documentaries, short subjects, promotional videos and photography projects and is currently producing documentaries about Mississippi World War II Veterans with a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council and he received the 2017 Mississippi Humanities Scholar award. He has been an inspirational author for more than thirty years, mostly in journalism and has won many local, state and national writing awards as a reporter, editor and columnist. He is a retiree of the Armed Forces, which he served for twenty-three years in the Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
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