2015 Presenter Biographies and Session Details



        2015 Presenter Biographies and Session Details


deaver  Mr. Jeffery Deaver will be our keynote   speaker for the 2015 symposium. He has been on the best selling author’s list of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times as well as in England, Italy, and Australia.  His book, “The Bone Collector”, was made into a movie.  He writes in the thriller genre.  We are excited to have him come to speak at the writers symposium this year.  We hope you will be able to join us.



tholder  Tim Holder is the author of the novel “Double Crossed”, short stories in three anthologies, and several nonfiction books.  He is also the publisher of “Blackbird Fly” by Kat Chandler; a fictional story about a woman needing a second chance.  Holder has two graduate degrees in History and one in Applied Theology.  He teaches History at Walters State in TN and is very active in his church.  He and his wife, Angela, live in Knoxville, TN. You can view his website at : http://www.tdhcommunications.com.  He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on “Growing as a Fiction Writer”.


gmathewsGarret Mathews began at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in 1972.  He moved to Evansville in 1987.  He retired from the paper in 2011.  His books include “Favorites”, “Swing, Batta”, and “Barking Signals (badly) During Goldwater: Hut, Hut…Now What?” He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on “Folks Are Talking” which will include his oral histories and how to keep stories alive when folks are gone.


childress Catherine Childress lives in the shadow of Roan Mountain in East Tennessee where she teaches writing and literature at East Tennessee State University and Northeast State Community College.  Her poems have appeared in “North American Review”, “Louisiana Literature”, “Connecticut Review”, “The Cape Rock”, “Appalachian Heritage”, “Still”, “Stoneboat”, “Kudzu Literary Magazine”, and “Drafthorse” among other journals and has been anthologized in “The Southern Poetry Anthologies, Volumes VI and VII: Tennessee and North Carolina”. She is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection “Other” by Finishing Line Press. She will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on poetry.

LynnPhotoJan2013 0152 Lauvonda Lynn (Meade) Young, poet and writer, author of Just A Woman, has won various awards and contests, including Third in Poetry (2014 Annual Writing Contest, Blue Ridge Writer’s Chapter); “My Papa was a Coal Miner” and “Silence” (Poetry Virginia, Poetry Society of Virginia). Lynn’s first poem was published when she was in high school by the National High School Anthology. Her published fiction and non-fiction includes “Nobody Saved Ethan” and “Return Encounter.” Additionally, Lynn is published in The Nearest Poem Anthology, a book authored by former Poet Laureate of Virginia, Sophia Starnes (2014). Lynn has served as editor of various newsletters, including The Blue Ridge and Friends Focus. She has published articles in the Fluvanna Review, the College Newsletter (Piedmont Virginia Community College), and the Senior Center Times (Charlottesville Virginia). Additional work has been published in various anthologies (including The Blue Ridge and Skyline), and in the Piedmont Virginian magazine. Lynn co-developed two programs for presentation during the week of the Charlottesville “Festival of the Book,” with one program accepted as an official part of the Festival. She made an appearance on Hilda Wards “Artistic Expression” television program (Charlottesville, Virginia, 2011). Virginia born and life-long resident, Lynn and her husband (a Yankee) and cat (Shadow Dancer) live in the Piedmont Virginia area.

jmorrison Jim Morrison is a graduate of Indiana and Columbia Universities and the National War College.  He spent a career in the Department of Defense, including three years as a U.S. Army Officer and nearly twenty-seven years as a civilian, senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, specializing in international security policy.  He wrote two books on international affairs while a visiting fellow at the National Defense University. In retirement, in addition to volunteer work Jim has  been active in writers groups and in writing in many genres.  He served on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Writers Club for over fifteen years and as president and vice-president for a number of years.  He also served as president of the club’s Vally Writers Chapter in Roanoke and helped establish and led the Lake Writers at Smith Mountain Lake, where he and his wife live. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.  He is the author of the historical dram “Bedford Goes to War: The Heroic Story of a Small Virginia Community in World War II” and the historical novel “Class of 1940: Coming of Age in World War II”. He has also written essays, poems, short stories, and short plays in which several have won contests and been published.  He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on writing local history as nonfiction, drama, and fiction.

IMG_0146 Scott Pratt, author of the Joe Dillard series, started as a contributor to a high school publication and then won the McClellan Award for outstanding writing while majoring in English at East Tennessee State University.  He later worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor for daily papers in Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee.  He earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1998 after commuting over two hundred miles a day for three years.  Scott and his wife Kristy have raised two children, Dylan and Kody. They have three dogs: a German Shepherd named Rio, a Yorkshire Terrier named Pedro, and a Bichon Friese named Nacho.  He enjoys reading, watching sports, exercising, mowing his yard, and thinking about writing when he isn’t writing, which is very rare. He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on the business of writing.

dmathews Damean Mathews is a Tazewell County native and has been writing since the age of 16. He graduated Southwest Community C0llege Summa Cum Laude in 2011 and did four more years of undergrad research at UVA-Wise.  At Wise, he has been managing editor of “Jimson Weed” for two and a half years and head news writer for the “Highland Cavalier” for one year.  His work has been featured in the “Clinch Mountain Review” and “Jimson Weed”. He has two ebooks: “Reservoir” and “The Reaper and Other Tales” available from Amazon. He has various others including two full length novels in varying stages of production.  He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on zombies and the undead, Appalachian literature from beyond the grave.

Perreault_Richard_M. Richard Perrault completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He spent seven years in a variety of public relations positions while also pursuing a law degree.  After admission to the State Bar of Georgia, he specialized in trial strategy and drafting briefs, motions, and pleadings.  While working for a law firm in Nashville, Tennessee, as a sideline, he began writing publicity material for country music artists, doing promotional pieces for at least a dozen Grammy Award winners. He has written freelance articles for a variety of publications and for several years wrote a monthly business column for a trade publication.  In 2011, he turned his focus to short fiction.  Within three years, his stories had won more than two dozen awards, including first place honors from the Alabama Writers’ Conclave, Gulf Coast Writers Association, Atlanta Writers’ Club, and Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium. He is the author of “Toto, Too: The True Story of What Happened Over the Rainbow”, a parody of “The Wizard of Oz” movie told from Toto’s point of view.  All proceeds from “Toto, Too” have been donated to animal rescue centers.  In 2014, he moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Bryson City, North Carolina where he lives on a mountaintop overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He will be holding a morning and afternoon workshop on writing short stories.

Saturday, June 13th Schedule: Panel Discussion, Storytelling, Banquet with Keynote Speaker



Dr. Terry Mullins, committee member of the Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium, will be acting as the moderator for this panel discussion.





Wendy Welch, owner of the Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Virginia will be on the panel talking about developing ideas as a writer.





Phyllis Owens will be on the panel talking about the writing process. She is an educator with Bluefield College. She has won many accolades in the teaching community as well as having her work published .






Tammy Robinson Smith will be on the panel talking about publishing and marketing strategies.  She is currently with Jan-Carol Publishing in Johnson City, Tennessee.




Larry Kelley will bring his own brand of humor in the storytelling hour. He has a master’s degree in storytelling from East Tennessee State University where he has served as an adjunct instructor for ten years. He has spent over twenty-two years sharing stories and teaching others about the valuable art of storytelling. He has become a nationally recognized master of storytelling.

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