2022 Program

10:00am
Tyler Boyd
Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd author of Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Burn: Woman Suffrage, Free Elections, and a Life of Service is the great-grandnephew of Harry T. Burn and the great-great-grandson of Febb Burn. Born and raised in Athens, Tennessee, he earned a B.A. in History and M.S. in Education from University of Tennessee. Boyd is a teacher at Lenoir City High School in Lenoir City, Tennessee, and serves as a member of the Programs Committee at the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum. He is also a member of the McMinn County, East Tennessee, and Tennessee Historical Societies. His first book Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Burn: Woman Suffrage, Free Elections and a Life of Service was selected for the Tennessee State Museum's 2020 Book Club in July 2020.

Frances Figart
Frances Figart

Frances Figart (pronounced Fié-gert) has always focused on words and language. While editing the monthly magazine for the National Tour Association based in Lexington, Kentucky, she became passionate about ecotourism and sustainable travel. This led her to live in Canada and Costa Rica supporting a small kayak tour operator as director of marketing and communications. She returned to Kentucky in 2010 to help her mother, Ruthe, die with grace and dignity. After this transition, Frances moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2013 to start life anew. With her sights set on working again in magazine publishing, she was hired by the city’s popular arts and culture monthly, The Laurel of Asheville, and became its editor. In the summer of 2017, she joined the Great Smoky Mountains Association as creative services director. She lives north of Asheville on six acres in a small mountain community with her husband, artist, trail maintainer, and homesteader, John Philip Beaudet, a cat, Oki, and two Australian Shepherds, Dukkha and Ivy.

Stephen Lyn Bales
Stephen Lyn Bales

Stephen Lyn Bales a native to Sevier County, Stephen Lyn Bales grew up on Baskins Creek Road at the foot of Mt. LeConte. He is currently the senior naturalist at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville. The University of Tennessee Press has just published his third book on nature and natural history: Ephemeral by Nature: Exploring the Exceptional with a Tennessee Naturalist. The publisher describes it as a, “…captivating collection of twelve essays, a testament to a lifetime’s fascination with the outdoors and its myriad wonders…” In 2010, Bales was also the keynote speaker at the very first Rose Glen Literary Festival.

Dr. Bill Bass
Dr. Bill Bass

The dead do tell tales, and perhaps no one knows that better than Dr. Bill Bass, renowned forensic anthropologist and founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility known as “The Body Farm.” Sometimes called the bone detective, Bass has spent decades studying human decomposition and osteology.

Dr. Bass is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, as well as Death’s Acre, the critically acclaimed memoir he co-wrote with Jon Jefferson, a journalist and documentary film maker who previously served as staff science writer for Oak Ridge Laboratory. Using the pseudonym Jefferson Bass, the duo penned the popular fictional series known as The Body Farm Series.

Kelley Griffin
Kelley Griffin

Kelley Griffin is an award winning, Amazon #1 Bestselling author of five romantic suspense titles. Her 2019 debut, Binding Circumstance won LASR’s 2020 Book of the Year and has been optioned for film. She is currently working on the third book in her Kirin Lane series, while also working on a new Catholic School Cozy Mystery series. Kelley lives in Knoxville with her husband, five sons, and her snoring bulldog.

11:00am
Debbie Dadey
Debbie Dadey

Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 166 traditionally published books. Debbie’s first book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, was co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones after a bad teaching day. They joked that if they grew ten feet tall and sprouted horns and fangs the kids at their school would pay attention. That book grew into the long-running series, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids. Debbie’s newest series is the STEM-friendly Mermaid Tales. As a former teacher and school librarian, Debbie enjoys visiting schools to encourage reading and writing. She has received awards including the Sunshine State Young Reader Award, ABC Best Book, and IRA Children’s Choice.

Susan O’Dell Underwood
Susan O’Dell Underwood

Susan O’Dell Underwood is a Professor of English and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Carson-Newman University, where she has been teaching since 1990. She is also a poet and a writer of fiction. She has two published chapbooks of poetry: From (2010) and Love and Other Hungers (2014). In 2004 she won the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Grant for Genesis Road. Underwood continues to write poetry and short fiction and has enjoyed having her work published in a wide variety of publications and venues. From 2013 to the present, she has been a frequent poetry guest of the recurring live radio broadcast show, "Tennessee Shines," on WDVX, in Knoxville.

In the summer of 2014, she and her husband founded a small new publishing company, Sapling Grove Press, with the goal of publishing a small number of quality books of Appalachian literature and art, and as serving as a facilitator for promoting the varied and rich positive culture of the region.

Georgiana Vines
Georgiana Vines

The Knoxville News Sentinel's longtime political columnist has a history in newspapers dating back to 1961, when she began writing for the "women's section" of the Miami Herald. From there she covered education, government, politics and business for several papers, ending up in 1968 at the News Sentinel.

But it was her popular "Where Are They Now?" Sunday feature, launched in 2013, that formed the structure for her new book, East Tennessee Newsmakers: Where Are They Now? That monthly feature, proposed by then-features editor Susan Alexander, looked at people who had been in Knoxville's news fairly frequently but weren't any longer, usually because they'd retired or moved away. It proved so popular that Vines' friend, former English teacher, Fran Scheidt, immediately pressed her to consider compiling them into a book.

Sam Venable
Sam Venable

Sam Venable has written for the Knoxville News Sentinel since 1970, first as outdoors editor and, since 1985, as the paper’s humor columnist. In September 2014, he retired from daily duties at the News Sentinel but continues to write regular columns for both the Local News and Sports sections.

Venable is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and author of 12 books. A member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame (Class of 2009) and Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame (Class of 2014), he has won more than three dozen national and regional writing awards, including the national feature writing award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his 2014 series, Fragments of Hate. The series also was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Venable’s most recent two books are WARNING! This Product Contains Nuttiness: A Fun Look at the Bizarre World in which We Live and How to Tawlk and Rite Good: A guide to the language of Southern Appalachia.

Richard Herzog
Richard Herzog

Herzog’s book, Pay Dirt: A Memoir, tells a story of lost innocence, sexual abuse, addiction, perseverance, and ultimate redemption. Born and raised in Louisiana, Richard J. Herzog grew up in a large family surrounded by alcohol, athletics, books, movies, and the best food on planet earth. His love of four of the five intensified in high school, where he also discovered that writing was more appealing than reading. Educated at Vanderbilt University and The University of Mississippi, Richard enjoyed a 30-year career in coaching and teaching. He retired in 2021 to devote more time to his family, dogs, yardwork, breaking down football film, and writing. He has published several articles, two which can be read in the book, Ole Miss Football:125 Years. He also intends to fulfill a lifelong dream and act in theater.

12pm - Luncheon
Keynote Speaker
Renea Winchester
Renea Winchester

One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain Renea Winchester’s debut novel, Outbound Train, was selected as one of the “Top Ten Summer Reads” by the Charlotte Observer, and was also nominated for the Crook’s Corner Prize, American Bookseller Award, and the Thomas Wolfe Literacy Award. Winchester is a 2020 winner of the NC Journalism Award for her garden column, a recipient of the Wilma Dykeman Award for Essay, a two-time winner of the Appalachian Writer’s Award, and the author of several non-fiction works including Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches (Mercer University Press), which was nominated for the prestigious SIBA award and earned her nomination for Georgia Author of the Year. Boone’s original trace.

2pm - Special Presentation
Charles & Janice Maynard

Charles & Janice Maynard have been married for many years. Both are accomplished authors but write on vastly different subject matter. Enjoy their program on how their relationship and their writing go hand in hand.

Charles Maynard
Charles Maynard

Charles W. Maynard is an author, storyteller, and ordained United Methodist minister currently serving on the pastoral staff of Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville. Prior to that, he was the Development Director for Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries for eight years before being appointed a District Superintendent of the Maryville District..

Charles has authored or co-authored 32 books, including 22 children’s books. He worked as the first executive director of Friends of the Smokies and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Discover Life in America, and the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. He was also Director of Advancement for the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN.

Janice Maynard
Janice Maynard

Janice Maynard came to the writing life early! When her third-grade short story, The Princess and the Robbers, won a red ribbon in a school arts fair, Janice was hooked.

In junior high Janice began circulating her work to a wider audience. A dozen or so notebook pages stapled together made the rounds in some particularly boring classes, with the riveting tales carefully hidden behind textbooks. High school meant the big time - editor of the school newspaper, The Maroon and White. Janice used her insightful editorials to delve into such meaty subjects as “locker room odor” and “why we need two-ply tissue in the student bathrooms”. College brought lots of writing, but very little of it creative. Four years later, Janice stepped into the adult world as a fully certified elementary teacher.

Despite motherhood, full-time employment, and keeping up with an “always into something” husband, Janice never lost her love of writing or the desire to be published. In 1996 she realized her long-time dream when Kensington Publishing bought her first book, Sweetheart. That exciting moment was followed by the sales of two more books in the Precious Gem line. In the fall of 2002, Janice left the classroom to pursue writing full-time.


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