David Cecelski is an independent historian and writer who has published award-winning books and articles about history, race, and culture in the American South, including his most recent book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War. A native of the North Carolina coast, his writing focuses on stories that illuminate American history more broadly. He is the recipient of an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavis Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights and has held several distinguished visiting professorships.
Richard Chess, Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet, is the author of three books of poetry, Tekiah, Chair in the Desert, and Third Temple. His work has been included in several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005. He is a regular contributor to “Good Letters,” the blog of IMAGE: A Journal of Art, Faith and Mystery. He is the Gilbert Chappell Distinguished Poet of Western North Carolina for 2012-2014. He is the Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts & Sciences at UNC Asheville, where he also directs UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies.
Linda Hogan is a Native American author and an internationally recognized public speaker and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays. Her novel Mean Spirit was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Hogan’s main interests as both writer and scholar are environmental issues and indigenous spiritual traditions and culture.
Ron Houchin is an Appalachian poet whose collection The Man Who Saws Us in Half will be published by LSU Press in the fall of 2013. He is the author of five other poetry collections and his awards include an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, Poetry Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writers' Association, and nominations for Paterson and Pushcart Prizes.
Colum McCann is an Irish-American fiction writer who won the 2009 National Book Award for his novel Let the Great World Spin and is the author of four other novels and two story collections. He is co-founder of Narrative4, an innovative educational program that uses story exchanges as a tool for social change.
Jill McCorkle's fiction has been described as balancing on “the fine line between the comedic and the tragic.” Five of the North Carolina native’s ten books have been named New York Times notable books and four of her stories have been included in Best American Short Stories. McCorkle teaches in the MFA programs at North Carolina State University and Bennington College. Her most recent novel is Life After Life.
Charles F. Price is a writer of historical fiction and nonfiction who began his authorial career in 1995 after nearly thirty-five years living in places he mostly didn’t like and doing largely unimportant and unrewarding things. He and his dear wife Ruth and their tyrannical cat Salem live in the mountains of Western North Carolina near a small town and artists’ colony called Burnsville. A native of this region, he has written much about his highland homeland, having published four novels about it and another about the American Revolution in South and North Carolina. His first nonfiction book, Season of Terror: The Espinosas in Central Colorado, March-October 1863, reflects his lifelong interest in the history of the American West.
George Singleton is a Southern author who has written several collections of short stories and three novels. He graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in Philosophy and holds an MFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He teaches fiction writing and editing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, SC. In 2009 Singleton was a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2011 he was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction by The Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Luis Alberto Urrea, Mexican-American author, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction, and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won the Lannan Literary Award and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.
Donna Glee Williams’ first novel, The Braided Path, will be published in March 2014. The novel grew out of a 2007 short story that received Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois’ anthology The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her shorter works have appeared in a wide array of publications, including The New Orleans Review, The New Delta Review, The New Laurel Review, and The Bellingham Review.