2024 Annual Conference | Rising to Write
Susan O’Dell Underwood
Banquet Speaker and Poetry Session
Susan O’Dell Underwood was raised in an extended family of farmers and teachers in Bristol, Tennessee. She recently retired from thirty-three years of teaching at Carson-Newman University, where she taught courses in creative writing, Appalachian literature, and genre studies. Besides two chapbooks, she has two full-length volumes of poetry—The Book of Awe (Iris Press, 2018) and Splinter, released in 2023 by Madville Publishing, which also published her novel Genesis Road. Her poems, essays, and stories appear in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Ecotone, Oxford American, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee, Vol. 6.
Jim Minick – Nonfiction & General Session
Jim Minick is the author or editor of eight books, including Without Warning: The Tornado of Udall, Kansas (nonfiction), The Intimacy of Spoons (poetry), Fire Is Your Water (novel), and The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family. His work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Poets & Writers, Oxford American, Orion, Shenandoah, Appalachian Journal, Wind, and The Sun. He serves as Coeditor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.
Pamela Schoenewaldt – Fiction
Pamela Schoenewaldt’s three historical novels were published by HarperCollins, translated into five languages, and were Barnes and Noble Great Discoveries and USAToday Bestsellers, twice short-listed for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. She is in the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame and was Writer in Residence at UT Libraries. She has taught writing here and in Italy. Her short stories have been published widely. She lives in Knoxville.
Susan Eaddy – Young People’s Literature
Susan Eaddy writes picture books and plays with modeling clay in her attic studio. She was an Art Director for fifteen years, has served as a judge for the Audie Awards for 14 years, and has won international 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. She also serves as Co-Regional Advisor for the Midsouth Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Eaddy is the author of Poppy’s Best Paper and Poppy’s Best Babies, illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet, and Eenie Meenie Halloweenie, illustrated by Lucy Fleming. Her clay-illustrated books include Papa Fish’s Lullaby by Patricia Hubbell, My Love for You is the Sun, by Julie Hedlund, Sir Drake The Brave, by Joy Jordan Lake and The Worried Wiseman, which she also wrote.
Healing Pain with Your Pen
A motivational poet, for 20 years RheaSunshine (Rhea Carmon) has traveled the nation, sharing her spoken word and facilitating self-expression, liberation, and healing. She is Executive Director of the 5th Woman Poetry Collective, dedicated to sharing stories and inspiring audiences to be active in their communities. She is the author of five chapbooks and has recorded three CDs. Carmon was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame and was Poet Laureate of Knoxville from 2020-2023.
The Ins and Outs of Submissions and Contest Entries
Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collections Crimes Against Birds (Main Street Rag) and Tamp (Mercer University Press). He is a co-founder and editor at EastOver Press and its literary journal Cutleaf, and is a poetry mentor in the MTSU Writes program at Middle Tennessee State University. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Iron Horse Literary Review, Kenyon Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Chattahoochee Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and The Threepenny Review.
Confronting Imposter Syndrome for Writers
Chrissie Anderson Peters worked in public and academic libraries for 20 years in Virginia and Tennessee. Her writing has been featured in numerous publications, and is included in Howling Hills Publishing’s most recent publication, 23 Tales: Appalachian Ghost Stories, Legends, and Other Mysteries.
Writing for Magazines
Fred Sauceman, with his wife, Jill, writes the “Flavors” column for Blue Ridge Country magazine. He has written and edited seven food-related books, including three volumes of The Place Setting series, Buttermilk & Bible Burgers, and The Proffitts of Ridgewood: An Appalachian Family’s Life in Barbecue. He is a monthly guest on “Food with Fred” on WJHL-TV in Johnson City, and writes a monthly column for the Kingsport Times-News and Johnson City Press.
Social Media for Writers
Steve Wildsmith is an award-winning journalist recognized for his writing for newspapers by the Tennessee Press Association and the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2023 was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame for social media. He has worked as a social media specialist and content writer for both Cornerstone of Recovery and Maryville College, where he currently serves as assistant director of the Office of Marketing and Communications and as an adjunct instructor in the Division of Languages and Literature.
- 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.
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.
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)
Entries must be submitted via email attachment only. Send to email@example.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.
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.
ENTRIES NOT FOLLOWING ALL RULES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED; FEES WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
Winners for each category will be announced and awards presented during the TMW banquet Saturday, April 6, 2024.