Jim Dykes - Lifetime Achievement Jim Dykes grew up in Maryville and attended Alcoa High School before joining the U.S. Navy where he earned his GED while traveling around the world on a destroyer. After the Navy, Jim enrolled at the University of Tennessee where he majored in geology. Eventually he got a job with The Maryville Daily Times as a reporter but left in 1967 to work at The Knoxville News Sentinel, where he stayed until 1980. It was then that he became a writer/reporter for TVA’s in-house newspaper. Shortly afterward, he began writing a column for The Knoxville Journal, a morning daily newspaper at the time. His column, “Without a Paddle”, a title he says was easily understood by his readers if not by his editors, ran for 11 years and eventually was produced into a book. For the past decade he has lived at Condorhurst, his sprawling estate in Rockford, only a few miles from the house where he was born.
Michael Knight - Fiction Michael Knight is the author of two novels: Divining Rod and The Typist; two collections of short stories, Dogfight and Other Stories and Goodnight, Nobody; and a collection of novellas titled The Holiday Season. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker and Oxford American and has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories and New Stories From the South: The Year's Best. His most recent novel, The Typist, was included on Oprah’s Summer Reading List and was selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by publications as diverse as The Huffington Post, The Kansas City Star and The California Chronicle. For the last eleven years Michael has resided in Knoxville with his wife, Jill, and his two daughters, Mary and Helen. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Don Williams - Non-fiction Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, feature writer, freelancer, short story writer, teacher, commentator, and the editor of New Millennium Writings, the nationally known annual anthology he founded in 1996. He is a founding member of the Knoxville Writers Guild. His book of selected journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People, was published in 2005, and he is at work on several books of fiction, commentary and regional history. In a readers’ poll conducted by Scripps Howard Newspapers, his News-Sentinel column ranked first among some twenty-five weekly columnists. His articles have inspired movements to establish and preserve parks, local greenways, and woodlands. Don’s series chronicling author Libba Moore Gray’s battle with breast cancer earned the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize.
Linda Parson Marion - Poetry Linda Parsons Marion is an editor at the University of Tennessee, a playwright, and the author of three poetry collections, Home Fires, Mother Land, and, most recently, Bound. Linda’s work has appeared in journals such as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Asheville Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Potomac Review, Poet Lore, and Connecticut Review and in anthologies and critical works, including The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion, Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, Her Words: Diverse Voices in Contemporary Appalachian Women’s Poetry, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia. She lives in Knoxville with her husband, poet Jeff Daniel Marion.
Katie Allison Granju - Social Media Katie Allison Granju was just named one of the "15 Most Powerful Moms in Social Media” by Working Mother Magazine. In addition to a professional career in social media at Scripps Networks, her personal blogs; Mommyblog and Mamapundit, are among the most popular in the country, receiving about a half million page views monthly and winning awards here and there along the way. Katie is the author of a book, Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child, published by Simon and Schuster, and her freelance writing has been published in The New York Times, Salon.com, The Chicago Tribune, and Harvard Journalism School's Nieman Reports. Her essays have appeared in a number of literary nonfiction anthologies, including the New York Times' "Modern Love" essay collection.