2023 Program

Stephen Lyn Bales
10am | James Agee Room
Stephen Lyn Bales
Stephen Lyn Bales

Stephen Lyn Bales, who was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Rose Glen Literary Festival in 2010, was born in Sevierville and grew up in Gatlinburg. A graduate of Gatlinburg-Pittman High School and East Tennessee State University, Bales worked as an educator and naturalist at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville until he retired. He currently does monthly nature-related presentations for the University of Tennessee Arboretum. Bales has written over 600 newspaper and magazine articles on local nature as well as three books: Natural Histories, Ghost Birds, and Ephemeral by Nature,all published by the University of Tennessee Press. He is currently working on a fourth book.

Art Bohanan
10am | Cormac McCarthy Room
Art Bohanon
Art Bohanon

A Sevier County native, Arthur (Art) Bohanan is an internationally award-winning patented inventor, researcher, lecturer, and writer. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from East Tennessee State University and completing further studies at The University of Tennessee, Bohanan began a 55-year career in the study and practical application of forensics at thousands of violent crime scenes. Bohanan has authored several books including the Henry Bohanan’s Journey series, Prints of a Man, and Who are You Walking On? Divinely Inspired Graveyard Forensics.

Tala Shatara
10am | Alex Haley Room
Tala Shatara
Tala Shatara

Tala Shatara is unapologetically telling it how it is in Finding Plan B as she takes you through a step-by-step guide on how to pick up the pieces when life falls apart. When her own life ended up being the exact opposite of what she hoped and prayed for, she put her sadness and trauma into this book. She keeps you entertained and pulls from her own experiences to keep you feeling understood, validated, and not alone. Finding Plan B is a great post-COVID book for anyone who can relate to a change of plans. Tala challenges certain norms and says what we’re all thinking. She keeps faith at the forefront of the conversation, encouraging you to believe this was all in God’s plan. She holds your hand through the process and keeps you feeling as if she is in the room with you. Get ready to laugh a lot, feel inspired, kiss what you thought you wanted goodbye, and say hello to the best yet.

Bo Roberts
10am | Wilma Dykeman Room
Bo Roberts
Bo Roberts

Nashville-based marketing consultant Bo Roberts is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. The Ohio born, East Tennessee raised, University of Tennessee educated journalist, Air Force veteran, author, and writer has made a life of setting records. He began his journalism career at The Sevier County News-Record (the forerunner of The Mountain Press) where he became the youngest newspaper editor in the United States. Later he served as the youngest cabinet-level appointee in Tennessee History, the youngest vice-president of his alma mater, and the youngest president and CEO of a highly successful World’s Fair (Knoxville, 1982). With so many accomplishments at an early age, his autobiography is appropriately titled Forever Young and covers his experiences ranging from the KKK burning a cross in his front yard to recruiting China to attend its first ever international exhibition.

Nancy East
11am | James Agee Room
Nancy East
Nancy East

Nancy East retired from a 23-year career as a small animal veterinarian to pursue her interest in outdoor education and writing. She is an avid hiker and backpacker, a Southern Appalachian Naturalist, and a member of Haywood County’s Search and Rescue Team. The search for a missing mother in Great Smoky Mountains National Park inspired her book, Chasing the Smokies Moon: An audacious 948-mile hike - fueled by love, loss, laughter, and lunacy. Nancy lives in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, with her husband, three children, and their beloved rescue dog.

Sam Venable
11am | Cormac McCarthy Room
Sam Venable
Sam Venable

A Knoxville native, Sam Venable has written for the Knoxville News Sentinel since 1970, first as the outdoors editor and, since 1985, as a columnist who specializes in humor. He is the author of 12 books, including How to Tawlk and Rite Good: A guide to the language of Southern Appalachia, and Someday I May Find Honest Work: A Newspaper Humorist’s Life. He is a member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, and was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Rose Glen Literary Festival.

Marilyn Mascaro
11am | Alex Haley Room
Marilyn Mascaro
Marilyn Mascaro

Marilyn Layman Mascaro is an educator, traveler, and East Tennessee native. Enamored with all written forms, she is currently focusing on non-fiction. Her poetry has been published in Bloodroot, The Caney Creek Sampler, and ABZ: A Poetry Magazine. Mascaro has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Tennessee. Her newest work, a non-fiction book about Knoxville, Tennessee in the early twentieth century, will be published in the summer of 2023.

Publishing Tips
11am | Wilma Dykeman Room
Laura Still and Brent Minchey
Laura Still
Brent Minchey
Brent Minchey

Laura Still and Brent Minchey, owners of Celtic Cat Publishing, present an informative program on how and where writers can have their work published. Laura Still is a published poet, playwright, educator, and tour guide, whose latest book is titled A Haunted History of Knoxville. Brent Minchey is an experienced business manager with technical and marketing experience who has worked in book design for Celtic Cat and published plays and non-fiction by several authors for an Asheville, NC imprint.

Rose Glen Luncheon with Keynote Speaker Jenny Hale
Noon | Ballroom
Jenny Hale
Jenny Hale
-Ticketed Event-

Jenny Hale is a USA Today, Amazon, and international bestselling author of romantic contemporary fiction. Her books have sold worldwide and been adapted for television. The Beach House, released in 2021, sailed to number three on the Amazon Kindle Chart and hit number one in the categories Contemporary Romance, Women’s Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, and Romance. Her novels Coming Home for Christmas and Movie Guide Epiphany Award winner Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses are Hallmark Channel original movies. She was included in Oprah Magazine’s “19 Dreamy Summer Romances to Whisk You Away” and both Southern Living’s “30 Christmas Novels to Start Reading Now” and “Beach Reads Perfect for Summer 2020.” Her stories are chock-full of feel-good romance and overflowing with warm settings, great friends, and family. Jenny is at work on her next novel, delighted to be bringing even more heartwarming stories to her readers. When she isn’t writing or heading up her romantic fiction imprint, Harpeth Road, she can be found running around her hometown of Nashville with her husband, two boys, and their labradoodle or taking pictures – her favorite pastime.

Dr. Bill Bass In Conversation with Frank Murphy
2pm | Cormac McCarthy Room
Dr. William (Bill) Bass
Dr. William (Bill) Bass
Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy

Listen in on a conversation between Dr. William (Bill) Bass, a renowned forensic anthropologist and founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility known as “The Body Farm,” and media personality Frank Murphy, who is known for his work on radio, as host of television’s Tennessee Scholars’ Bowl and Up Close with Frank Murphy, his podcast, and his YouTube channel the Frank & Friends Show.

Dr. Bass, who is sometimes called the bone detective, spent decades studying human decomposition and osteology. He 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 filmmaker who previously served as staff science writer for Oak Ridge Laboratory. Using the pseudonym Jefferson Bass, the duo also penned a popular fiction series known as The Body Farm Series.

World-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass utilizes Frank at many of his speaking engagements, which are planned by the team at BoneZones.com. Frank serves as emcee and facilitator.

Student Poetry Slam
2pm | Alex Haley Room

Students from every high school and middle school in Sevier County who submitted poems to the Rose Glen Poetry Contest are invited to the event to recite their work. Poetry fans and those who wish to support local students are encouraged to attend.


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