January Newsletter

The Writer’s Loft at MTSU is a non-degree, low-residency creative writing program that matches professionals with writers. It is for beginning writers as well as MFA graduates. More information is at http://www.mtsu.edu/theloft.


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


Bill Brown is excited about his forthcoming book and its design. Keep you fingers crossed. Since the last news letter he has new work in Cumberland River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Still: the Journal. In 1913 his poem “Poem of Questions” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his poem “Our Death” was nominated for Best of the Net Anthology.

Jeff Hardin–See events below to attend one of Jeff’s readings.

Karen Alea Ford will be doing a fellowship/residency in Virginia from February 24th-March 11th. She will not be answering emails or writing newsletters while away. She will, most likely, still be addicted to Facebook.

Andrea Seigel’s movie, Laggies, is premiering at Sundace Film Festival this week, and as of now has garnered much attention and praise.  Andrea has recently been hired by Dreamworks.




EVERYONE INVITED. Sent in By The Writer’s Loft founder, Roy Burkhead:


Hemingway drinking


Issue 4 (the Journalism Issue) of 2nd & Church will launch at January’s installment of Literary Libations (on Twitter #LitLib) in Nashville onJanuary 23, 2014.  Literary Libations meets the 4th Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Union Station Hotel’s Prime 108 bar, under the portrait of Jack Nicholson. No invitation needed. Please feel free to join this gathering of writers, journalists, poets, agents, publicists, book sellers, publishers, creatives, librarians, book readers, and lovers of the written word! The issue features our friend, the late John Egerton, who wrote or edited nearly two dozen non-fiction books and one contemporary fable, as well as contributed scores of articles to newspapers and magazines.




Friday, February 21, at 7:30am

Parnassus Books and Belmont University’s Executive Learning Network present a Leadership Breakfast with New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell on Friday, February 21, at 7:30am. Tickets are $45 and include continental breakfast, entry to the program, and a copy of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. For more information about the event, please click here.





Calendar of Upcoming Events at Austen Peay




ImageFebruary 6, 2014
 8:oo pm 
Morgan University Center Ballroom


A Reading by Toi Derricote and Jeff Hardin

Toi Derricotte has published five collections of poetry, most recently, The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011). An earlier collection of poems, Tender, won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize. Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, published by W.W. Norton in 1997, won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Derricotte’s essay, “Beginning Dialogues,” is included in The Best American Essays 2006, edited by Lauren Slater; her essay, “Beds,” is included in The Best American Essays 2011, edited by Edwidge Danticat. She is a Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and serves on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors. To learn more about Derricote’s writing and numerous awards, please visit her website.


Jeff Hardin was born in Savannah, TN, (Hardin county), an eighth generation descendant of the county’s founder.  He is a graduate of Austin Peay State University (B.S. in English) and the University of Alabama (M.F.A. in Poetry).  He is the author of two chapbooks, Deep in the Shallows (GreenTower Press, 2002) and The Slow Hill Out (Pudding House, 2003) as well as two collections of poetry:  Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press, and Notes for a Praise Book, recently selected by Toi Derricotte and published by Jacar Press.  His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times and have been featured on Poetry DailyVerse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.  He is professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.  To learn more about Hardin, please visit his website.



A Reading by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.  To read more about Atwood, visit her website.

ImageApril 11, 2014
 8:00 pm
 Mabry Concert Hall 




From Salon 615 at http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615/

 Wednesday February 05 2014

Salon @ 615 – Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs


Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt

6:15 PM (120 min)

Anna Quindlen’s work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. In Still Life with Bread Crumbs, a famous photographer has drifted from the spotlight and is now more inclined to think of herself as the Artist Formerly Known as Rebecca Winter.


This is a ticketed event. A limited number of advance tickets will be available online for a $2.50 service fee per ticket. A limited number of free tickets will be available on-site on the day of the event. We recommend that you arrive early for the on-site ticket line.


Wednesday February 12 2014

Salon@615 – Laura Lippman, After I’m Gone


Nashville Public Library

6:15 PM (105 min)

Laura Lippman is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels. In After I’m Gone, Laura delivers a masterful tale of emotional force that explores how one man’s disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind.


This is a ticketed event. A limited number of advance tickets will be available online for a $2.50 service fee per ticket. A limited number of free tickets will be available on-site on the day of the event. We recommend that you arrive early for the on-site ticket line. Once auditorium seats have been filled, guests will be accommodated in alternate viewing locations.


Gloria Ballard




Ashley Loar


Jeff Hardin


Leisa Hammett


Jennifer Chesak




Michael Potts

Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains


Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor


Emily Davidson Nemoy


Kory Wells




Candace White




*Nelson Algren Short Story Contest
https://algren. submittable. com/submit
Ends on 2/1/2014

This contest is open to residents of the United States. All entries 
must be:

– Fiction
– Less than 8,000 words
– Double spaced
– Written in English

One grand prize winner will receive $3,500. Four finalists will each 
receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $500. Total value of 
all prizes: $10,000.

The contestant’s name must not appear on any page of the story.

Submittable entry link: https://algren.submittable.com/submit

By entering all participants agree to be bound by the terms and 
conditions set forth here:
http://www.chicagot ribune.com/features/books/chi-2013-nelson-algren-award-official-rules-20120906,0,1101198.story


*The 2014 Julia Peterkin Award at Converse College
Established in 1997 by the Department of English and Creative Writing 
at Converse College, the Julia Peterkin Award is a national contest 
honoring both emerging and established poets and writers. The award is 
named for Converse graduate Julia Mood Peterkin who won the Pulitzer 
Prize for her novelScarlet Sister Mary.
 Submission Guidelines for the Julia Peterkin Award
 The 2014 Julia Peterkin Award is open to all poets writing original 
works in English. Previously published works are eligible for inclusion 
in the submission.
 Manuscript Format Guidelines
 Entries must be typed on quality paper, 8 1/2 by 11.  Photocopies or 
copies from letter-quality printers are acceptable. Each entry must 
include no more than 10 poems or a maximum of 15 pages. In addition 
include a cover page with the writer’s name, address, daytime phone 
number, and titles of submission. Also include a one-page biography. 
Author’s name should not appear on the poems.
Entry Requirements
 •An entry fee of $15 made payable to:  Converse College English 
Department. Deadline :  Feb. 15, 2014.
 •Send one copy of the manuscript prepared according to format 
 •Winner will be contacted directly and results will be announced 
online at the Julia Peterkin Award Page in late spring. The winner will 
receive $1000 and travel expenses for a reading at Converse College. 
Winner must be willing to read in the Fall 2014 Visiting Writers Series.
 Send entries to:  The Julia Peterkin Award, Converse College, 
Department of English, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
For more information, contact Prof. Rick Mulkey at 


*South 85 Journal, the online literary journal of the Converse College 
Low Residency MFA, is currently accepting submissions of poetry, 
fiction, and nonfiction.

Deadline for submission is April 30, 2014.
For submission guidelines go to: 
<http://south85journ al.com/index.php/submission-guidelines>.


*Blinders Literary Journal is a new online magazine which only reads 
blind submissions and is now taking submissions for the first issue. 
Since the concept of the magazine doesn’t allow the editors to solicit 
submissions, they are relying on unsolicited material to make the 
journal great. They take submissions of poetry, fiction, creative 
nonfiction and art.

The link to their website is http://www.blindersjournal.org


*CFP — Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed 

Edited by D. Gilson 
Afterword by Ayanna Thompson 

From that very first line, Shakespeare tells us “we desire increase.” First published in 1609, the 154 sonnet sequence has not only proven to be a seemingly immortal book of poetry, but also a series that changed the art form itself endlessly. Even if unbeknownst, we have never stopped revisiting the Sonnets, revising and remixing them at every turn. 

Out of Sequence, a media event from Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, seeks responses to Shakespeare’s sonnets from poets, writers, and visual artists. Resulting in a 154-part publication with editorial introduction accessible both online (here) and in print (under advance contract with Parlor Press), we expect the project to be available by the end of summer 2014. We are particularly interested in responses that remix the sonnets in a contemporary context while also speaking back to the historical moment of Shakespeare’s original. 

We ask that you choose a sonnet and respond to it through a poem, brief essay of no more than 500 words, or visual piece amendable to .jpg formatting. Poems do not have to be in sonnet form. Submit your response along with a brief third-person bio to outofsequencesonnets@gmail.com 
outofsequencesonnet s@gmail. com mailto:outofsequencesonnets@gmail.com. As contributions are accepted, this site will be updated with a list of sonnets that have been claimed. Will you help us create in every bad a perfect best, as fast as to our beams assemble? 

Submissions are due March 1, 2014. 

Sonnets Still in Need of Remixing (as of 1/13): 4, 17, 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 59, 62, 63, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 92, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 105, 107, 108, 109, 112, 113, 114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 127, 128, 131, 132, 133, 139, 140, 141, 144, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 154



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