Until further notice, please send all 2023 contest entries to tmwcontests@gmail.com. Send manuscripts for evaluation (available with full conference registration) to thetwohopes@aol.com.

2023 Annual Conference | Mountain Lines

by | Jan 2, 2023

Conference Time and Place (see more details toward bottom of page)

March 30-April 1, 2023
DoubleTree Hotel
Oak Ridge, Tn

      • Writing Contests
      • Workshops
      • Networking
      • Manuscript Evaluations
      • Publishers
      • Book Signings
      • Bookstore
      • Vendors
      • And more!

View the Conference Schedule

Go to Registration Page

2023 Mountain Lines Conference Logo
Linda Parsons

Linda Parsons
Banquet Speaker and Poetry Session


Poet, playwright, essayist and editor Linda Parsons is the poetry editor for Madville Publishing and copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. Her work has been widely published, including contributions to The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Shenandoah, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry. Her sixth poetry collection, Valediction, is forthcoming in 2023. Four of her plays have been produced by Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Workshop Leaders:

Pamela Duncan - resize

Pamela Duncan – Fiction & General Session

Pamela Duncan lives in Sylva, NC, and teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University. She is the author of three novels: Moon Women, a Southeast Booksellers Association Award Finalist; Plant Life, winner of the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction; and The Big Beautiful. In 2007, she received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2017, the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University honored her with the Lee Smith Award, which recognizes an individual who has worked to preserve and promote Appalachian culture. Duncan has appeared on North Carolina Bookwatch on public television and on The State of Things on NPR. She is currently at work on The Wilder Place, a novel set in western North Carolina, and a collection of short fiction titled On the Inside Looking Out.

Georgann Eubanks

Georgann Eubanks – Nonfiction

Georgann Eubanks is a writer, documentary filmmaker, and consultant. After many years of service to the humanities and literary arts in North Carolina, she was named literary executor and director of the Paul Green Foundation, charged with preserving the progressive legacy of North Carolina’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright and human rights advocate. Her books include the North Carolina Literary Trails series of guidebooks commissioned by the North Carolina Arts Council, The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year (2018; paperback, 2021), and Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction (2021), all from the University of North Carolina Press. She also directs the Table Rock Writers Workshop, held annually in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Debbie Dadey

Debbie Dadey – Young People’s Literature

Debbie Dadey grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and two greyhound rescues. Her three adult children continue to inspire her. A former first grade teacher and school librarian, she is the author or co-author of 182 traditionally published books. Her first children’s book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones, became The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series with sales of over 45 million and has recently been released as a graphic novel by Scholastic Graphix. The newest is the Frankenstein Doesn’t Plant Petunias graphic novel. A Titanic Museum is the newest in Debbie’s Mermaid Tales, a multi-cultural series from Simon and Schuster. She is also very excited about her new picture book, Never Give Up: Dr. Kati Kariko and the Race for the Future of Vaccines, the story of a woman who refused to give up even when her fellow scientists ridiculed her.

Special Sessions:

Beto Cumming
Laura Still

Working with Small Press Publishers

Beto Cumming
works as an editor and book designer for Iris Press. He has studied creative writing at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and in the MFA program at The University of Memphis. He has had numerous poems published in journals and anthologies over the years. He published his poetry chapbook, Green Lion, in 2019.


Laura Still, a native  of East Tennessee, works full time as storyteller and guide for Knoxville Walking Tours and is a published poet and playwright as well as local history author. In 2016, she became co-owner of Celtic Cat Publishing, which published her poetry collection, Guardians, in 2009, followed by a book of children’s plays, Acts of the Apostles, Vol. 1 (2010) and A Haunted History of Knoxville (2014). Her latest book, A Fair Shake: The Leaders of the Fight for Women’s Rights in Knoxville, was published in partnership with the Knoxville History Project.
Jennie Ivey

Unearth Your Memories with Simple Prompts


Jennie Ivey is the author of three books about Tennessee: Tennessee Tales the Textbooks Don’t Tell; Soldiers, Spies and Spartans: Civil War Stories from Tennessee; and E Is for Elvis. She has written dozens of stories for Guideposts publications and Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as more than a thousand personal columns for the Cookeville Herald-Citizen newspaper. Ivey lives and writes in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Valeria Roberson



Valeria Roberson, a native of Oak Ridge, is an Associate Professor of Speech in Roane State Community College’s Humanities Department where she teaches Fundamentals of Speech and Introduction to Theatre courses. She holds an MFA degree in Playwriting from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and has been an instructor and adjunct in the Speech and Theater Department at Middle Tennessee State University. Roberson is the author of numerous plays, including two Easter plays included in the book They Rolled the Stone Away, published by Abingdon Press in 2004.

Nature Writing

Georgann Eubanks is a writer, documentary filmmaker, and consultant. She is also this year’s Nonfiction Workshop leader. Read her full bio above, under workshops.


Laura Still works as a full time storyteller. You can read her full bio above under the Working with Small Press Publishers specialty session that she will also be co-presenting.

Hotel Reservations:

DoubleTree Hotel

215 S. Illinois Avenue Oak Ridge, TN 37830

(865) 481-2468

$104/night plus tax single or double (T23 Conference Rate). Mention group convention code: T23

Or book online using this link.

Limited number of rooms. Rate expires March 9, 2023.


A limited number of scholarships are available based on need and interest in writing.

The deadline for requesting a scholarship is January 15, 2023.

For more information please contact us at scholarships@tmwi.org

Contest Awards:
  • First Place: $100 + plaque
  • Second Place: $50 + certificate
  • Third Place: $25 + certificate
  • Honorable Mention(s): Certificate
  • Sue Ellen Hudson Excellence in Writing Award: $100 + trophy

See below for contest entry details.

January 15, 2023
Scholarship Applications

February 1, 2023
Contest Entries

March 1, 2023
Manuscript Evaluation Entries

March 16, 2023
Conference Early Registration Rate Ends

Joyce A. McDonald Writing Competition


(Insufficient response may result in cancellation of any category and refund for entries.)


3,000 words maximum. Short story or novel portion (any selected section, for adults or youths). Please indicate “short story” or “novel excerpt” on the manuscript.

Children’s Literature

1,500 words maximum (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc.) written FOR children. NOTE: Novel portions written for adolescents/young people should be entered in Fiction category.


2,000 words maximum (any genre; if poetry, one poem)


2,000 words maximum (essay, article, humorous, how-to, etc.)


1 set of up to 3 poems (any form, style)

Entry Rules

Entries must be submitted via email attachment only. Send to tmwcontests@gmail.com.

Persons winning First Place in any TMW contest category are ineligible to enter that same category the following year.

TMW workshop/specialty session leaders are ineligible to enter in the category they’ve taught.

Any individual piece may be entered in one contest category only.

Limit of two (2) entries per category per person.

Entries must not have been previously published, accepted for publication, nor have won any award in a previous TMW contest.

 Entry Fees

Full conference attendees: No fee for first entry in each category, $10 per entry for additional entries. Must be paid registrant by Feb.1.

Part-time or non-conference participants: $15 per entry.

Entry Deadline

Entries must be emailed by midnight (EST) February 1, 2023, to tmwcontests@gmail.com, with payment made through the PayPal options on our registration page. Print our contest submission checklist.



Winners for each category will be announced and awards presented during the TMW banquet Saturday, April 1, 2023.

This project is funded in part under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tennessee Mountain Writers, Inc. (TMW) is a non-profit, non-political organization which promotes Tennessee literary arts and supports the work of Tennessee writers. Our goal is to provide opportunity for people interested in the craft of writing to become better writers. TMW is a member of the Oak Ridge Arts Council and is funded in part under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Membership is open to all writers interested in furthering these objectives, regardless of geographic location. All interested individuals are welcome to participate in activities of the Tennessee Mountain Writers, Inc. No individual shall be excluded from or denied benefits, subjected to discrimination, or denied participation in any TMWI programs because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief.