Keynote: Andrea Jurjević
Andrea Jurjević, a native of Croatia, is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems, as well as her translations of contemporary Croatian poetry, have appeared in journals such as Epoch, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Her translation of Mamasafari (And Other Things) from Croatian will be published by Diálogos in 2018. She works as a Lecturer in English at Georgia State University.
Anne Corbitt received her MFA in Fiction from the University of Mississippi on the John and Renée Grisham Fellowship. Her work has appeared in One Story, The Greensboro Review, Fifth Wednesday, Fourth River, and others. She lives in Atlanta and teaches writing at Kennesaw State University. Her first novel, Rules for Lying, was released by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2016, as the winner of the Nilsen Literary Prize.
Angela DeCaires is the Director of Publishing at BookLogix. In her role with the Atlanta-based publisher, she oversees marketing communications and the departments that make up BookLogix’s publishing process, including editorial, design, book marketing, eBooks, and distribution. Angela’s background includes experience in public relations, writing, broadcasting, and journalism, having spent a number of years as a TV news producer and news writer in New York State, followed by public relations work for health systems in both Florida and New York. She holds a degree in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher College.
Jessica Handler is the author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss. Her nonfiction has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, The Bitter Southerner, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. A founding member of the board of the Decatur Writers Studio in Decatur, Georgia, she teaches at Oglethorpe University, and lectures internationally on writing well about trauma. www.jessicahandler.com.
Photo Credit: Sarah Woods for SuperLux
A former high school English teacher, Aaron Levy served as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and English Education at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. In the summer of 2016, however, he began working full-time as the Director of Academics for the Georgia Film Academy. He earned an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University – go Sun Devils! His first work for young adults, Pizza With Shrimp On Top (Dramatic Publishing), has enjoyed over 60 national and international play productions, and was nominated for the 2007 Distinguished National Play Award for the Middle and Secondary School Audiences. Recently, his stories have appeared in Bohemia Art & Literary Journal, Every Day Fiction, Black Heart Magazine, Linguistic Erosion, and Eleveneleven Arts and Literary Journal. In his free time, and when he’s not injured, Levy loves to play attempt basketball…and plays high above the rim! Blood Don’t Lie is his debut young adult novel. For more information about Aaron Levy and his work, along with tons of teacher resources for Blood Don’t Lie, visit www.aaronlevy.org.
Gregg Murray is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia State University and the founding editor of Muse /A Journal. He has recent poems in Caketrain, DIAGRAM, Pank, Birmingham Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Ceviche. Gregg also writes for The Huffington Post.
Nicki Salcedo has a degree in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University. Her book All Beautiful Things is a romantic suspense set in Atlanta. She is also the author of Intersections and Echoes of the Same, two collections of essays about life in the South and around America. Her work has appeared in national publications, and she’s been guest of the Georgia Public Broadcasting radio show “On Second Thought.” Nicki is a regular contributor to Decaturish and Atlanta Loop, and she has judged the annual Creative Loafing Fiction Contest. For more information go to nickisalcedo.com or find her on social media #nickireads.
Anna Sandy is the current Editor in Chief of New South. She is a fourth-year MFA candidate studying poetry at Georgia State University, where she also teaches English Composition. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in SFWP’s The Quarterly, Muse/A, Sun Star Lit Review, Santa Ana River Review, Nightjar Review, The Indianapolis Review, Thoughtcrime Press’ Not My President: An Anthology of Dissent, and others. She lives in Atlanta with her fiance and three cats.
A former music journalist, Anna Schachner has published short fiction and nonfiction in many journals and magazines, including Puerto del Sol, Ontario Review, and The Sun, and she contributes nonfiction about books and literary culture to publications such as The Guardian and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You and I and Someone Else, her first novel, was released by Mercer University Press in April 2017. She is a longstanding guest lecturer in Emory University’s creative writing program, directs the Townsend Prize for Fiction, runs a series of writing workshops for veterans, and volunteers with Reforming Arts to teach writing in the Georgia prison system. She lives in Atlanta, where she is Professor of English at GSU’s Perimeter College and the editor of The Chattahoochee Review. Visit her at annaschachner.com.
Rona Simmons is the author of the contemporary suspense novel, The Martyr’s Brother, and two works of historical fiction, The Quiet Room and Postcards from Wonderland. Most recently she co-authored and published Images from World War II, celebrating the art of WWII veteran and artist Jack Smith. Ms. Simmons created and manages both The Book Widows and The Killers Next Door, groups of Georgia authors that speak at bookstores, libraries, and festivals. She also is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from writing, editing, and publishing to choosing a second career. When not planning to write, writing, or talking about writing, Rona “slow blogs” about women in the creative arts on “Women at Word,” local authors and bookstores on “From Acworth to Zebulon,” and this and that for The Huffington Post Blog. Her stories, articles, and interviews have been published in literary journals and online magazines, including The Adanna Literary Journal, Storychord, Deep South Magazine, Points North, and The Persimmon Tree.
Stephanie Storey is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, Oil and Marble: a novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo, a fictional account of the real-life rivalry between those two artists. The New York Times called it “tremendously entertaining,” and compared her to Irving Stone. She has a BA in Art History from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. For the last sixteen years, Storey has been a national television producer (Tavis Smiley, The Arsenio Hall Show, and The Writers’ Room). When not writing novels or producing television, she can usually be found traveling the world — in search of her next story — with her husband, an actor and Emmy and Peabody award-winning comedy writer.
Poetry Consults: Caroline Crew
Caroline Crew is the author of PINK MUSEUM (Big Lucks, 2015), as well as several chapbooks. Her poetry and essays appear or are forthcoming in Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, and Gulf Coast, among others. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD at Georgia State University, after earning an MA at the University of Oxford and an MFA at UMass-Amherst. She’s online here: caroline-crew.com.
Agent Consults: Cherry Weiner
Cherry Weiner grew up in Australia, lived in Europe for three and a half years and moved to America when she married her husband Jack. She has been agenting since 1977, when she was fired by her boss the well-known Robert P. Mills. Mills’ famous clients (she will not any drop further names, but might tell you about it, if you ask her), took two years to convince her to open her own agency. They did this by inundating her with new authors and their manuscripts. She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She now handles all genres of fiction. She handles a good number of fairly well-known authors in the field of Horror, Romance, Mystery, Westerns, Native American novels and Historical novels covering all the various genres each category can break out into. Only once in a very special situation has non-fiction crept into the mix but no poetry, no children’s fiction and almost no Young Adult works. If there is Y.A., then it is science fiction, fantasy or horror, and only by the authors she already handles in adult fiction.
Photo Credit: Rena Mason
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