May Newsletter

May Newsletter

May 15, 2013

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at –Karen Alea Ford


*Spring get together at my house, Saturday, May 18th at 3. If you did not get an invite, please make sure I get your email. There will be others in the future. Stay tuned.

*SUMMER SEMESTER is beginning soon. Sign up by the end of May if you’d like to continue/begin/extend your experience with the program. Summer session is $1,000 only, due to not including an orientation event.

*September 28th will be our first full-day conference, open to the public. Kevin Wilson ( will be keynote speaker. More info to come.


Jennifer Chesak–recently published two new titles through her independent publishing platform, Wandering in the Words Press. The first is an historical spy thriller, Od Bach is Come, by retired Vanderbilt software engineering professor, Steve Schach. The second is a young adult paranormal romance, Haunting: The Dusty Chronicles, by a New Jersey-based author, BJ Sheldon. Jennifer launched the press in 2012 with the goal of helping writers cut through all the red tape associated with the publishing process. Wandering in the Words Press will publish several new titles this summer across a variety of genres. Writer’s Loft students are welcome to submit their work. For more information, visit

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor– 8 of my poems were accepted for publication in North Dakota Quarterly;  I was a finalist selected by Gerald Stern in the Jewish Currents poetry prize–all finalists are published in a new volume titled The American Dream: A Jewish Currents Anthology.  Two of my poems appear in the Southern Poetry Anthology, focused this year on poets from Georgia.  One poem published earlier in 2013 with Hampden Sydney Review.  These and other recent publications are kept up to date at my blog under “publications-poetry” at

Having just won a Fulbright award to Oaxaca, Mexico, I am in progress on a a multi-genre book showcasing American adults learning Spanish as a second language–how they do it, the struggles and joys encountered, the ways bilingualism may assist poetic and multicultural experience. I’ll be relocating my family from Athens Georgia to Oaxaca Mexico, August 2013-to May 2014!relocating my family from Athens Georgia to Oaxaca Mexico, August 2013-to May 2014!

Charlotte Rains Dixon–Her debut novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior, was published by Vagabondage Press in February.  She blogs regularly about creating a writing life at

River Jordan– BOTH sons home safely from multiple deployments to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am greatly appreciative all of the prayers, warm thoughts, and support of the Writer’s Loft faculty and alumni during these past trying years.

My new non-fiction book on Labyrinths has found a publisher and more news on that in next month’s newsletter. Still working on novels and a new book on writing and life.

Bill Brown– I’m working on a new collection of poetry, Elemental, with 3: A Taos Press out of Denver. Publication scheduled in 2014. I have new work in Potomac Review, Dos Pasos Review, Still: The Journal, Tar River Poetry, Versal, Big Muddy, Conclave, and Ravon Chonicals.

Jeff Hardin– is the author of two collections of poetry:  Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize, and Notes for a Praise Book, recently published by Jacar Press.  His poems appear in The Southern Review, Southwest Review, North American Review, Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.  He is professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.

Kory Wells–Recent publications include a sonnet in Journey to Crone, an anthology from UK publisher Chuffed Buff Books; an interview with former astronaut  and Loft alumni  Rhea Seddon for 2nd & Church; and an article on recent work by three Tennessee poets for National Poetry Month in The Murfreesboro Pulse. Kory’s scheduled to conduct a workshop on blogging at the Tennessee Mountain Writers conference in April 2014. In the meantime, she continues to promote her recently-released album of poetry and roots music with Kelsey Wells, Decent Pan of Cornbread. The duos’ most recent performance was in Fairhope, Alabama, where they enjoyed an enthusiastic welcome and even a cake decorated to look like their album cover.


Please send in your recent publications, what you are working on, and life news!

Leisa Hammett– In progress: Revising book proposal, preparing for agent & publisher submissions, The Journey with Grace: lessons learned from my daughter with autism (A collection of essays about the loss of expectations, frustrations and heartaches of the disAbility journey but also stories of hope, joy and blessings)

Ashley Loar– I was published in an anthology, but that was 2008. The book is called “Women. Period.”

I’m nearly finished with the first draft of my first novel. No title yet, but it’s been a very LONG process.

Married Patrick Loar in July 2011, moved to Los Angeles from Nashville in November 2010.

Michael Potts– End of Summer, was published in November 2011 by WordCrafts Press in Tullahoma, TN. In addition, my e-book or horror poetry, *Hiding from the Reaper and Other Horror Poems,* is available from


Ashley Loar

Leisa Hammet

Karen Alea Ford

Jennifer Chesak

Charlotte Dixon Rains

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

River Jordan

Kory Wells


*Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor sends–I am hosting the “Seat in the Shade Poetry Series” in Athens, GA from June 6,7, 10,11,12,13, every night upstairs at The Globe Restaurant and Bar at 7pm

featured poets include:

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Stephen Corey and Editors from the GA Review

Laura Newbern

Jericho Brown

Rebecca Baggett

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

and Poetry for Educators Group

*Get publishing opportunities sent to your inbox daily. Subscribe by sending an email to the address at the right of the page.

*Short Story Award                                                                                                                                   Sponsor: Gival Press

SYNOPSIS:  Gival Press provides an award of $1,000 for the best
short story submitted for this annual contest.

Deadline(s):      08/08/2013

Contact:          Robert L. Giron

Address:   Gival Press Short Story Award
P.O. Box 3812
Arlington, VA 22203
Web Site:

*Dream Quest One Poetry Contest                                                                                                                                 Sponsor: Dream Quest One

SYNOPSIS:  The sponsor seeks poetry contest submissions.

Deadline(s):      07/31/2013

Address:    PO Box 3141
Chicago, IL 60654

Web Site:
Program URL:

*Short Story Competition

Sponsor:   James Short Story Competition

SYNOPSIS:  The sponsor offers this writing competition with no
set theme, they will accept stories written on any theme. Stories
should be a maximum of 2,200 words. The sponsor does not accept
stories written for children.

Deadline(s):      07/01/2013

Address:          Green Plain
185 St David’s Road
Letterston, Haverfordwest
Pembs,    SA62 5SS
Web Site:
Program URL:

*Mystery Writers’ Conference—Killer Nashville, August 22-25


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