2018 VISITING WRITERS, FACULTY, and GUESTS
TOM FRANKLIN was born in the hamlet of Dickinson, Alabama, and was the first member of my family to finish college. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award.
Franklin is a southern writer frequently compared with the likes of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, draws readers in with his expertly woven stories of crime, suspense, and colorful characters.
Franklin’s first work, Poachers (William Morrow), cast him into the literary limelight when it won the Edgar Award in 1999. The collection of ten stunning tales set in the woodlands, swamps, and chemical plants along the Alabama River portrays the bleak, and often violent, life of the rural south. He is also the author of Smonk (William Morrow) and Hell at the Breech (William Morrow), both of which served to establish him as a unique, Southern voice with which to be reckoned.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Alabama, Franklin began work on his master’s degree while working at a hospital in Mobile, Alabama. From there, he held a teaching position at Selma University, a historical, all-black, Baptist college, and then earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas, where he met his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly. After winning third prize in the Playboy College Fiction Contest, Franklin decided to pursue a career in creative writing and, in 2001, won the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently teaches the University of Mississippi’s MFA program and lives with his wife and two children in Oxford, Mississippi, a place he loves and hopes to never leave.
JILL McCORKLE has the distinction of having her first two novels published on the same day in 1984. Of these novels, The New York Times Book Reviewsaid, “One suspects the author of The Cheer Leader is a born novelist, with July 7th, she is also a full grown one.” Since then she has published three other novels—her latest, Life After Life —and four collections of short stories.
Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Four of her stories have been tabbed for Best American Short Stories and several have been collected in New Stories from the South. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine and The American Scholar among others. Her story “Intervention” is included in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. An essay, “Cuss Time,” originally published in The American Scholar was selected for Best American Essays. Other essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Our State, Allure and Real Simple.
McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a frequent instructor in the Sewanee Summer Writers Program . She lives with her husband, photographer Tom Rankin, in Hillsborough, NC.
BETH ANN FENNELLY, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Beth Ann has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, all with W. W. Norton. Beth Ann’s poetry has been in over fifty anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1996, 2005, and 2006, The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Poets of the New Century, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and in textbooks such as Contemporary American Poetry and Literature.
In recent years, Beth Ann’s written more prose. A book of essays, Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother, was published by Norton in 2006. In 2013, Beth Ann and her husband, Tom Franklin, co-authored a novel, The Tilted World, published by HarperCollins and set during the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River. Beth Ann’s newest book, to be published by W. W. Norton in October ‘17, is Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs.
A contributing editor to The Oxford American, she also writes freelance on travel, culture, and design for many magazines. Recent nonfiction awards include the Orlando Award in Nonfiction from A Room of Her Own, the Lamar York Prize from The Chattachoochee Review and the Porter Fleming Award for Excellence in the Essay. She’s the first woman honored with the University of Notre Dame’s Distinguished Alumni in the Arts Award.
MATT BONDURANT’s (Fiction) latest novel The Night Swimmer was featured in the New York Times Book Review, Outside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others. His second novel The Wettest County in the World (2008) was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, an international bestseller, and has been made into a feature film (Lawless) by Director John Hillcoat, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce. His first novel The Third Translation (2005) was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide. His non-fiction work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Outside, The Dallas Morning News, The Guardian, and numerous other outlets. Matt has sold multiple original drama TV pilots, including development deals with HBO/Cinemax, Red Wagon Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
SETH BRADY TUCKER (Poetry and Fiction) is originally from Lander, Wyoming. Seth’s second poetry collection, “We Deserve the Gods We Ask For (2014),” won the Gival Press Poetry Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. His first book, “Mormon Boy,” won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize (published in 2012), and was a Finalist for the 2013 Colorado Book Award. His fiction was recently a Special Mention for the 2015 Pushcart Anthology (Iowa Review, “The Mountain Man’s Relativity Theory”), and he has won the Shenandoah Bevel Summers Fiction Prize and the Literal Latte Short Fiction Awards. Seth has degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, Northern Arizona University, and Florida State University (PhD, 2012). Currently, he teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop in Denver, at the Colorado School of Mines, and he is the senior prose editor for the Tupelo Quarterly Review. He served as an Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper in the Persian Gulf, and works to provide scholarships in writing for veterans. He is currently working on a novel and short story collection, both represented by Glass Literary Management.
VANDANA KHANNA was born in New Delhi, India and attended the University of Virginia and Indiana University, where she earned her MFA. She is the author of two full length collections, Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, as well as a chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. Her poems have won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, The Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North. Her work has been published widely in journals such as the New England Review, The Missouri Review, Pleiades and Prairie Schooner. Her poems and essays have been anthologized in Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, The Manifesto Project and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. She serves as the co-poetry editor of the Los Angeles Review.
JENNINE CAPO CRUCET is the author of the novel MAKE YOUR HOME AMONG STRANGERS, just out from St. Martin’s Press and recently long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her story collection is HOW TO LEAVE HIALEAH, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and the Latinidad List. A winner of an O. Henry Prize and a Bread Loaf Fellow, her writing has appeared in Guernica, Ploughshares, Epoch, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, and other magazines. She was recently the Winter 2013/14 Picador Guest Professor at the Institute for American Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Originally from Miami, she is an assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
AGENTS, EDITORS, SPECIAL GUESTS:
ANNIE HWANG, is originally from Los Angeles, Annie represents a range of fiction and select nonfiction. As a former journalist, she possesses a keen editorial eye which she brings to her approach to agenting, taking an active role in helping clients reach their full potential and guiding them through every stage of their writing career from ideation to publication and beyond. Since joining Folio Literary Management she’s had the pleasure of working with both debut and seasoned authors alike.;
“I am actively seeking new clients and gravitate toward literary fiction featuring diverse characters and authentic voices; rich historical fiction where the setting takes on a life of its own; visceral literary thrillers with dark psychological grit; and nuanced speculative/science-fiction that explores what it means to be human in the age of technology. I love to champion underrepresented voices and am particularly drawn to complex characters with emotional resonance, deftly braided narratives, and captivating layered plots. Above all, I’m always on the hunt for gifted storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights. When it comes to nonfiction, I’m open to fresh, smart, well-branded nonfiction in the areas of pop science, pop culture, diet, health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and humor.
If you have an established platform/brand that you’d like to expand with a book or two, or your manuscript can make me hold my breath, make my heart soar, or entice me deep into a well-built world in the space of a few sentences, then please read my submission guidelines–I would love to hear from you.”
SARA WEISS is a Senior Editor at Ballantine Books/Random House, where she edits a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles. Previously, she was an Editor at Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. At Ballantine, Sara is looking for commercial nonfiction across all categories, including memoir, pop culture, humor, business, and pop science, as well as smart, voice-driven commercial women’s fiction. Authors she has worked with include: Lauren Graham, Lilly Singh, Katie Heaney, Negin Farsad, Melissa Broder, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, Kelsey Miller and more. Some upcoming titles she’s publishing on the Ballantine list include: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It, a book of graduation advice by Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham, Head Case, a debut novel by NPR podcast host Linda Holmes, Ask A Manager, a work advice book based on the popular website of the same name, Work Wife, about the power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses, and Would You Rather?, a memoir about coming out and coming-of-age. Sara holds a BA in English Language and Literature with a minor in Art History from the University of Chicago. She sits on the board of CIVIC and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
ELIZA BORNE is the editor of the Oxford American, a quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing. Widely celebrated for its annual Southern Music issue, the OA has won four National Magazine Awards in its 25-year history, including the 2016 award in General Excellence. Eliza has edited essays and stories that have been honored by the Best American series, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and elsewhere; she edited one of the finalists for the 2017 National Magazine Award in Essays & Criticism. Eliza currently serves on the Board of Directors of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference and the Arkansas Cinema Society. She is also on the talent committee of the Arkansas Literary Festival and sits on the Arts & Culture Commission of the City of Little Rock. Eliza was born and raised in Little Rock and received a B.A. in English from Wellesley College. She started at the Oxford American as an editorial intern and has also served as associate editor, managing editor, and interim editor of the magazine.