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HomeArts/LeisureJohn Egerton to keynote fifth annual Clarksville Writers Conference

John Egerton to keynote fifth annual Clarksville Writers Conference

ahdcThe Clarksville Arts & Heritage Development Council is pleased to announce the Fifth Annual Clarksville Writers Conference, being held July 22-25, 2009, on the campus of Austin Peay State University.

This year’s conference opens with a new two-day tour centered around Clarksville’s tobacco heritage and the tobacco wars of the early twentieth century, as recounted in Robert Penn Warren’s award-winning novel Night Rider. Participants will tour the exteriors and/or interiors of over a dozen homes and other sites related to the tobacco heritage of this area.

Keynote speaker John Egerton is an award-winning journalist, editor, writer and self-proclaimed “professional South-watcher.” Egerton is the author of Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South, which earned the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, among others. Egerton will speak at the conference banquet at the Clarksville Country Club on the evening of Friday, July 24.

Two days of interesting and valuable presentations and workshops will follow the conference tour on Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25. Authors scheduled to speak include:

  • Darnell Arnoult
  • Earl S. Braggs
  • Christopher Burawa
  • Susan Gregg Gilmore
  • James O’Connor
  • Lynda O’Connor
  • Katharine Sands
  • George Singleton
  • Bernis Terhune
  • P.M.Terrell

About John Egerton

John E7gertonBorn in Atlanta and raised in Kentucky, John Egerton has been a “professional South-watcher” for half a century. Beginning in high school in the 1950s, through two years in the U.S. Army, five years earning two college degrees, five more as a college news bureau reporter, six as a magazine writer, and for the past thirty-five years as an independent journalist and author, he has seldom strayed far from his life’s work: following the social and cultural, political and economic trends that forever have made the American South the unique place that it is, for better and worse.

One of our region’s greatest chroniclers, Egerton has written or edited over a dozen books, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post and the New York Times Magazine. His book Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South earned the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1995, while his book Generations: An American Family won the Weatherford Award in 1983 and the Lillian Smith Award in 1984.

As the founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the diverse food cultures of the American South, Egerton is the author of Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History and the editor of Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing. John Egerton currently resides in Nashville.

About Darnell Arnoult

Darnell ArnoultDarnell Arnoult, a native of Martinsville, Virginia, has been writing fiction and poetry since the age of eighteen. She is the author of the Southern novel Sufficient Grace (Free Press / Simon & Schuster, 2008), as well as What Travels With Us: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2005), winner of the Appalachian Studies Association’s Weatherford Award and the 2006 SIBA Poetry Book of the Year.

Darnell lived for twenty years in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina, where she received a BA in American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University. She also recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis. Her fiction and poetry have been published in a variety of journals, and she has taught creative writing to adults for over fifteen years. In 2007, she was named Tennessee Writer of the year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance, and she was recently awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters. Darnell and her husband live on a small farm near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her on the web at www.darnellarnoult.com.

About Earl S. Braggs

Earl S. BraggsEarl S. Braggs, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, is the author of five collections of poetry, including Hat Dancer Blue (winner of the 1992 Anhinga Prize), Walking Back from Woodstock, House on Fontanka, Crossing Tecumseh Street and In Which Language Do I Keep Silent: New and Selected Poems. He is currently working on a volume entitled Sketches of Spain.

Braggs, a University of Chattanooga Foundation Professor (MFA, Vermont College of Norwich University) of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, teaches creative writing, poetry, African-American literature, and Russian literature. In addition to his numerous awards in poetry and fiction, he has been named Outstanding Professor by the Student Government Association, and Outstanding Teacher by The University of Tennessee National Alumni Association.

About Christopher Burawa

Christopher BurawaChristopher Burawa is a poet and translator. His book of poems, The Small Mystery of Lapses, was published by Cleveland State University Press in 2006. His translations of contemporary Icelandic poet Jóhann Hjálmarsson won the 2005 Toad Press International Chapbook Competition. And his translation Flying Night Train: Selected Poems of Jóhann Hjálmarsson will be published by Green Integer Books in 2009.

Burawa was awarded a MacDowell Colony fellowship in 2003, a 2006 Witter Bynner Translation Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, a 2007 Literature Fellowship for Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts and, most recently, a 2008 American-Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Fellowship. He is the Director of the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

About Susan Gregg Gilmore

Susan Gregg GilmoreSusan Gregg Gilmore, a Nashville native, is the author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, a novel which has earned her comparisons to Fannie Flagg and praise from such noted Southern writers as Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle. Her second book, Bezellia Grove, is forthcoming.

Susan received her BA in Journalism from the University of Virginia and an MA in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. As a journalist, Susan has written for 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. Susan currently lives in Nashville with her husband and three daughters. Visit her on the web at www.susangregggilmore.com.

About James O’Connor

James O'ConnorJames O’Connor is the president of O’Connor Communications, a public relations and marketing company specializing in book promotions. He is also a freelance writer and the author of the entertaining and thought-provoking Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing, which has been widely publicized in TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. He recently completed Another Man’s Treasure, a novel yet to be published, and is working on an inspirational book titled Facing the World.

Prior to beginning his own agency in 1989, Jim was senior vice president with Ruder Finn in Chicago, director of corporate communications with Alberto Culver, manager of public relations with Brunswick Corporation, manager of media relations with G.D. Searle and manager of financial communications with LTV Corporation. Jim and his wife, Lynda, currently reside in Illinois. Visit O’Connor Communications on the web at www.oconnorpr.com.

About Lynda O’Connor

Lynda O'ConnorLynda O’Connor is a Principal of O’Connor Communications, a public relations and marketing company specializing in book and author promotions. She has received three national awards for the best book promotion in the United States and thoroughly enjoys working with authors. She was a teacher before beginning her public relations career with Edelman Public Relations in Chicago.

Prior to joining O’Connor Communications in 1993, Lynda managed special projects, events and publicity for the Chicago International Film Festival. She also conducted publicity for a $20 million fund-raising campaign for the Field Museum of Natural History, and was the co-founder and publicity director of the Children’s Legal Clinic. She graduated from the University of Southern California. She and her husband, Jim, currently reside in Lake Forest, Illinois. Visit O’Connor Communications on the web at www.oconnorpr.com.

About Katharine Sands

Katharine SandsA literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. Highlights include XTC: SongStories; Make Up, Don’t Break Up with Oprah guest Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil; The Complete Book on International Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Child; Writers on Directors; Ford model Helen Lee’s The Tao of Beauty; Elvis and You, to name a few. She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents.

Actively building her client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. For faction, memoir and femoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed; for fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled.

About George Singleton

George SingletonGeorge Singleton, noted for his humorous tales about the rural South, is the author of four collections of stories: These People Are Us, The Half-Mammals of Dixie, Why Dogs Chase Cars, Drowning in Gruel; and two novels: Novel and Work Shirts for Madmen. His most recent collection is entitled Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers.

Born in Anaheim, California, and raised in Greenwood, South Carolina, George earned his BA in philosophy from Furman University and his MFA in creative writing from UNC-Greensboro. His stories, both fiction and nonfiction, have appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Playboy and Oxford American, to name only a few. He has taught English and fiction writing at Francis Marion College, the Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, among others. George lives in Pickens County, South Carolina, with the clay artist Glenda Guion and their eleven dogs and one cat. Visit him on the web at www.georgesingleton.com.

About Bernis Terhune

Bernis TerhuneOriginally from Alabama and currently residing in California, Bernis Terhune claims Clarksville, Tennessee, as the hometown of her heart. Her love of this city is reflected in her short stories collection, The Way Home (2008), and her work also appears in the poetry anthology Cotton and Spirit (2006). This summer, Frog on the Moon Press is publishing limited editions of two holiday plays for children and a one-act comedy for adults dealing with difficulties in raising teenagers, entitled “The Temporary Virgin.”

A poet, playwright and storyteller, Bernis taught special education students for many years, using puppetry and creative dramatics, while a founding member of a playwright’s theatre in San Francisco. She also created an interactive resource guide for a television series for hearing-impaired children, “Rainbow’s End,” which was distributed nationally by PBS. Workshops at which she has presented include those at Santa Cruz University, Foothill Community College Writing Conference and the Montalvo Center for the Arts.

About P.M. Terrell

p.m.terrellP.M. Terrell is the internationally-acclaimed author of the suspense/thrillers Ricochet, The China Conspiracy, Kickback and Exit 22, as well as five nonfiction books. Her historical suspense/thriller, Songbirds are Free, released in 2007 by Drake Valley Press, was inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured by Shawnee Indians in 1780 at Fort Nashborough and whose log cabin still stands in Clarksville.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 2000, p.m.terrell specialized in law enforcement- and intelligence-related computer technology, areas on which she draws in her writing. In 1984, she opened workforce personal computer-training company McClelland Enterprises, Inc., in Washington, DC, later opening Continental Software Development Corporation in 1994. p.m.terrell currently makes her home in coastal North Carolina. Visit her on the web at www.pmterrell.com.

Come to this year’s Writers Conference

A complete package including all conference activities is offered, as well as a la carte options. Discounted rates are available for early registration, which is postmarked by July 8, 2009. (Late registration is postmarked between July 9 and July 15, 2009.) Visit the conference website at the Arts and Heritage Development Council’s Writers Conference Web Site for more information



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