2016 Red Clay Speakers

Phillip DePoy–Keynote Speaker

The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned from a Life as a Writer


The following biography was taken from Phillip DePoy’s website and can be found here.

Phillip DePoy began his work as a writer in 1965 with the Actors and Writers Workshop. Ten years later he had become a published poet and acquired a Master’s degree in performance art. Soon thereafter he became a writer in residence for the Georgia Council for the Arts and a nationally reviewed performance artist. In the 1980s he was the composer in residence for the Academy Theatre. In the 1990s he was the Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit, a professional, Equity theatre. Since then he has served as the director of several university theatre programs. Fiction publications include Flap Tucker mysteries published at Dell (one was a Shamus finalist), seven Fever Devilin novels and a stand-alone called THE KING JAMES CONSPIRACY from St. Martin’s, and a non-fiction THE TAO AND THE BARD from the Arcade house. There have also been forty-two productions of plays he’s written, including the Edgar Award winning EASY, best mystery play of 2002. Most recent theatrical achievements include the award-winning EDWARD FOOTE at the Alliance Theatre and the twentieth national production of APPALACHIAN CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING. Coming in 2016: two new fiction series, one featuring Christopher Marlowe in the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and the other concerning Foggy Moscowitz, a Jewish car thief from Brooklyn working for Child Protective Services in 1970s Florida.

Raymond Atkins

Character Development


Raymond L. Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. He lives on the banks of the Etowah River in an old house with a patient wife and a fat dog. His hobbies include people-watching, reading, and watching movies that have no hope of ever achieving credibility. His first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, was published by Medallion Press in 2008 and was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. His second novel, Sorrow Wood, was published by Medallion Press in 2009. His third novel, Camp Redemption, was released by Mercer University Press in 2013 and was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. His fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, is a Townsend Prize nominee. South of the Etowah, his first creative non-fiction book, was released by Mercer University Press in March of 2016. Learn more about him at www.raymondlatkins.com.

Carol Crawford

Mend these Manuscript Mistakes Without an Editor


Carol Crawford is an independent editor and the owner of carolcrawfordediting.com, who has been teaching creative writing for two decades. She is author of The Habit of Mercy, Poems about Daughters and Mothers, and has been published essays, poems and stories in the Southern Humanities Review, Appalachian Heritage, the Concho River Review, the Chattahoochee Review, the Journal of Kentucky Studies and others. She has been program coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference since its inception in 1996 and holds a degree in journalism and English from Baylor University. Originally from Texas, she now lives in the north Georgia mountains with her husband and two rescue dogs of good heart but little brain.

Angela DeCaires

Which Publishing Option Is Best?


Angela DeCaires is the Publishing Director at BookLogix. In her role with the Atlanta-based publisher, she oversees marketing communications and the departments that make up BookLogix’s publishing process. Angela’s background includes experience in public relations, writing, broadcasting, and journalism. She holds a degree in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher College.

Ann Hite

Can A Novelist Write Nonfiction? 


Ann Hite is a wife, mom, grandmother, and book junkie. At age 51, she became a published novelist. Her debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, won Georgia Author Of The Year and was a Townsend Prize Finalist in 2012. She has published four novels and a novella that are set in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Where The Souls Go, her latest novel, is a finalist for the IndieFab Awards 2015. Being a city girl most of her life, she now writes each day in her home office that looks out on a decent clutter of trees.

Sally Kilpatrick

Conflict for the Conflict-Averse


Sally Kilpatrick is the author of The Happy Hour Choir and Bittersweet Creek, two novels published by Kensington Books in 2015. She holds a Master of Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University and is a member of several writing organizations including Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, Georgia Writers Association, and the Atlanta Writers Club. The Happy Hour Choir won the “Duel on the Delta” and was a finalist for the Maggie Award and 2012 Golden Heart Awards. Sally’s third novel, Better Get to Living (June 2016), was a 2013 Maggie finalist. Sally lives with her husband and two children in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Visit her author website at sallykilpatrick.com.

K.B. Kincer

Panel Presentation with K.B. Kincer, Christopher Martin, and Cheryl Stiles: The Four Pillars of Poetic Practice


K.B Kincer was awarded both an MFA and a PhD in creative writing from Georgia State University. Her work has appeared in The Healing Muse, Poet LoreAtlanta ReviewDappled ThingsRed River ReviewTouch: The Journal of Healing, The Examined Life and elsewhere. She directs and co-hosts melodically challenged, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show devoted to poetry and alternative music that airs on college radio stations and Public Radio stations throughout the country. Her debut chapbook, After the Transplant, will be published by La Vita Poetica Press in June.

Christopher Martin

Panel Presentation with K.B. Kincer, Christopher Martin, and Cheryl Stiles: The Four Pillars of Poetic Practice


Christopher Martin is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Everything Turns AwayA Conference of Birds, and  Marcescence: Poems from Gahneesah, which is co-authored with David King. His work has appeared in Shambhala SunWaccamaw, drafthorseStill: The JournalBuddhist Poetry ReviewPilgrimageTown Creek Poetry, and elsewhere, including the anthologies including The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V: Georgia. The founding editor of Flycatcher, a contributing editor at New Southerner, and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Chris recently won the 2015 Will D. Campbell Award in Creative Nonfiction. His book, The Gladdening Light: An Ecology of Fatherhood and Faith will be published in 2017 by Mercer University Press. You can find more info about Chris and his work at http://www.christopher-martin.net/ .

Rona Simmons

Author Media Kit


Five years ago, Rona Simmons launched her second career drawing on the writing, analysis, and research skills acquired over the thirty-years she spent in corporate America. Since then, she’s acted as ghostwriter for the biography of a prominent Atlanta businessman and wrote magazine articles, a collection of short stories, and two novels. The novels, The Quiet Room and Postcards from Wonderland, were published by Deeds Publishing of Athens, Georgia. Both were set outside the south, yet she considers herself a southern writer. Both were historical fiction, yet she thinks of them as stories that just by happenstance took place in the past. For her next novel, a work in progress, she’s picked a topic ripped from today’s headlines and set in the present day South. In between her very active marketing efforts, Rona also “slow blogs” about women in the creative arts (WomenatWord), her favorite writing tips at (Write, Write, Write), and her other passion–travel (Bristlefish).

Cheryl Stiles

Panel Presentation with K.B. Kincer, Christopher Martin, and Cheryl Stiles: The Four Pillars of Poetic Practice


Cheryl Stiles has published poems, essays, and reviews in journals such as Poet LoreThe Atlanta ReviewGARGOYLEStorysouth, SLANTPlainsongsPilgrimageSouthern Women’s Review, and POEM. She won the 2009 poetry prize at the annual Agnes Scott Literary Festival and in 2010 received a Pushcart Prize nomination. A Hambidge Fellow and a member of the Georgia Writers Registry, she works as a librarian at KSU.  She is pursuing a doctorate at Georgia State University is an alumnus of KSU’s Master of Arts in Professional Writing Program. In 2005 she founded La Vita Poetica Press, a small press dedicated to the production of limited edition, handcrafted chapbooks.

Renea Winchester

Ask the Author: Q & A Workshop Session with Renea Winchester 


Renea is a multiple-award winning author who has penned three books and several short stories. Her latest work, Walking in the Rain: A Short Story About a Sacred Place, debuted as number one in the Nature category. She is passionate about helping emerging authors and is a sought-after speaker for civic groups and book clubs. One of the authors who submitted their work at a previous Red Clay Critique Session secured a contract with St. Martin’s Press. Renea is the Atlanta Pen Women Author of the year and has belonged to a multi-genre critique group for over 15 years. Many authors in her critique group have gone on to see their work published by traditional presses. Renea is represented by Mercer University Press and serves on the Georgia Writers Board. Learn more about her at www.reneawinchester.wordpress.com or contact her at reneawrites@gmail.com

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