2019 LWC is over–See What You Missed Below!

Rebecca Makkai – Visiting Writer

Rebecca Makkai’s most recent novel, The Great Believers was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and we are proud to announce that her wonderful novel has won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Literary Excellence!

Makkai is the Chicago-based author of The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011). The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is the Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Brian Turner – Visiting Writer

His most recent book of poetry, Phantom Noise, was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England, and his new memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country is a testament to what brilliant prose does when formed by an award-winning poet. Here, Bullet, Turner’s first book, is viewed as primary reading for most university courses in war writing. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others. Brian Turner’s poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National GeographicPoetry DailyThe Georgia ReviewVirginia Quarterly Review and other journals. Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He is the recipient of a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, an Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, a US-Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and serves as a contributing editor at The Normal School.

Diane Roberts – Workshop Faculty, Creative Non-Fiction

DIANE ROBERTS’ latest book, DREAM STATE: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and other Florida Wildlife, about her politically prominent (and very odd) family has been called “perfect,” as well as “hilarious,” “wild,” “fun,” “strange,”and “splendid.”  Roberts’ previous two books — Faulkner and Southern Womanhood and The Myth of Aunt Jemima — are explorations of Southern culture. She is also a journalist, writing op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Times of London. She is a political columnist for Tampa Bay Times in Florida and makes documentaries for BBC Radio in London, where she also spends part of the year. She has been a commentator for NPR since 1993 and she writes for the Washington Post.  She received her Ph.D. from Oxford University (UK), and is a Distinguished Writer at Florida State University and a Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria in England, specializing in Southern culture.

Ann Fisher-Wirth – Workshop Faculty, Poetry

Ann Fisher-Wirth’s sixth book of poems is The Bones of Winter Birds (Terrapin Books 2019). Ann’s fifth book, Mississippi, is a poetry/photography collaboration with the Delta photographer Maude Schuyler Clay (Wings Press 2018). With Laura-Gray Street, Ann coedited The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP 2013). She has had residencies at The Mesa Refuge, Djerassi, Hedgebrook, and CAMAC (France). She was 2017 Anne Spencer Poet in Residence at Randolph College, a 2015-2018 Fellow of the Black Earth Institute, and the recipient of senior Fulbright Fellowships to Switzerland and Sweden. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, where she also directs the Environmental Studies program–and she teaches yoga in Oxford, MS.

Matt Bondurant – Workshop Faculty, Fiction & Managing Director

MATT BONDURANT’s latest novel The Night Swimmer was featured in the New York Times Book Review, Outside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others. His second novel The Wettest County in the World (2008) was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, an international bestseller, and has been made into a feature film (Lawless) by Director John Hillcoat, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce. His first novel The Third Translation (2005) was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide. His non-fiction work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Outside, The Dallas Morning News, The Guardian, and numerous other outlets.  Matt has sold multiple original drama TV pilots, including development deals with HBO/Cinemax, Red Wagon Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.

Wendy Rawlings – Workshop Faculty, Fiction

Wendy Rawlings is the author of a novel, The Agnostics, and a collection of short stories, Come Back Irish. Another collection of stories, Time for Bed, will be published by LSU Press in August 2019. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic, The Southern Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Kenyon Review, the Pushcart Prize 2016 anthology, and other magazines. She’s a faculty member in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Alabama. 

Seth Brady Tucker – Faculty & Executive Director

Seth Brady Tucker’s second book, (We Deserve the Gods We Ask For, 2014), won the Gival Press Poetry Award and went on to win the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2015. His first book, (Mormon Boy, 2012), won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize and was a Finalist for the 2013 Colorado Book Award. He has been publishing poetry, essays, and fiction for over a decade in such magazines and journals as the Iowa Review, December, Pleiades, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, Verse Daily, Apalachee Review, River Styx, Chattahoochee Review, storySouth, Crab Orchard Review, and many others. Seth has served as the Carol Houck Smith Scholar at BreadLoaf, and the Tennessee Williams Scholar at Sewanee. Seth has degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, Northern Arizona University, and Florida State University (PhD, 2012), and teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the Light House Writer’s Workshop in Denver, as well as the Colorado School of Mines. He is originally from Wyoming, and served as an Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper in the Persian Gulf.

Sarah Bedingfield – Guest Literary Agent

Sarah has been an agent with Levine Greenberg Rostan since 2016, where she represents high-concept, genre-busting literary novels, domestic and psychological suspense, upmarket, big-hearted family epics, historical fiction, and international, diverse voices. Sarah began her publishing career in trade fiction editorial at Crown and Hogarth. Hailing from North Carolina, Sarah graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in Psychology and English. She spent her first three years in New York teaching high school English in the Bronx and earning an MS in Education from Hunter College.  Her favorite authors include Sarah Waters, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Matthew Thomas, Maria Semple, Emily St. John Mandel, Erin Morgenstern, and Victor Hugo.

Melissa Flashman – Guest Literary Agent

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Melissa Flashman got her first job in publishing working as an assistant in the literary department of ICM before moving to Trident Media Group where she was a literary agent for over ten years before joining Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 2017. Melissa represents award-winning and best-selling fiction and nonfiction, including journalism, science, technology, business/finance/economics, memoir/narrative, essays and cultural criticism. She is drawn to a range of literary and commercial fiction and is particularly excited about stories that touch on the deeper meaning of life, family, identity and love. A good page-turner is always welcome.  Melissa’s authors have won numerous awards including the National Book Critic Circle Award, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Hugo Award, n + 1 writer’s fellowship, The Nation’s Ridenhour Prize and the American Book Award among others.


Kara van de Graaf – 2019 Longleaf Fellow in Poetry

Kara van de Graaf is the author of Spitting Image, winner of the Crab Orchard First Book Prize in Poetry (SIU Press, 2018). Individual poems
appear widely in national literary journals, including The Southern Review, AGNI, New England Review, The Gettysburg Review, Alaska
Quarterly Review, and the anthology Best New Poets. Other honors include the Hoepfner Award from Southern Humanities Review, an Academy
of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from Sewanee Writers Conference. Kara is co-founder and editor of Lightbox Poetry, an online educational resource for poetry in the classroom (www.lightboxpoetry.com). She serves as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Utah Valley University and live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Gabriel Houck 2019 Longleaf Fellow in Fiction

Gabriel Houck is originally from New Orleans and has earned MFAs from the California Institute of the Arts and the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he has taught in the English Department since 2016. Houck’s collection, “You or a Loved One,” won the 2017 Orison Fiction Prize, with pieces selected as distinguished stories in the 2017 and 2015 editions of The Best American Short Stories, respectively. His work appears in Glimmer Train, The Sewanee Review, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Barrett Warner 2019 Longleaf Fellow in CNF

Barrett Warner is the author of two poetry collections, Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? (Somondoco Press, 2016) and My Friend Ken Harvey (Publishing Genius, 2014). His poems, stories, and stock car racing journalism have appeared on paper, newsprint, and online since 1982. Today he reviews books, writes essays, and lectures. Known for witty touches, his recent work appears in Superstition ReviewAdroit Journal, Consequence Magazine, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Entropy Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2017, he was given an Individual Artist Award for his farm essays by the State of Maryland and he used the proceeds to move to South Carolina. He was also awarded the Chris Toll Memorial Poetry Prize, the Salamander fiction prize, and the Tucson Festival of Books Rising Star award for the essay. Currently, he works as an editor for Free State Review, a nonpartisan literary journal. He is also an acquisitions editor for Galileo Press, a 501-C publisher of poetry and prose collections.

Juanita Kirton 2019 Baker Veteran Scholar

Dr. Juanita Kirton earned MFA from Goddard College (2015) in Creative Writing & Poetry and was the recipient of the Goddard College Spirit Scholarship.   Juanita is published in several anthologies including, A Journal of Hope and Healing, Caribbean Writer, Chester H. Jones Literary Journal, Clevergirl, Exit 13 Magazine, Goldfinch Literary Magazine, Mom Egg Review, Narrative, Other Voices, Persimmon Tree, Pink Panther Magazine, Rat’s Ass Online Journal, Stone Canoe, and Veterans Voices. Winner of the Sisters in Script self-publishing grant, which resulted in the publication of her “Inner Journey” chapbook, 2009. Her Peace Haiku was selected for Peace Mural in Philadelphia. Juanita is a member of Women Who Write, Inc., International Women’s Writing Guild & Women Reading Aloud workshop series. She is on the editorial staff for Clock house Literary Journal and is a teaching artist with Crossing Point Arts (Arts for survivors of human trafficking). Currently, Juanita is completing a full-length poetic memoir. 
Dr. Kirton served fourteen years in US Army. She enjoys touring the US on her motorcycle and is a member of The Riverside Church Inspirational Choir, NYC. She lives in North East PA with her spouse.

Stephen Hundley – 2019 University of Mississippi Scholar in Fiction

Stephen Hundley is a former high school science teacher from Savannah, Georgia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Permafrost, Notre Dame Review, Waxwing, The MacGuffin, Driftwood Press and other journalsHe serves as the fiction editor for The Swamp literary magazine and is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where he lives. 

Kate Leland – 2019 University of Mississippi Scholar in Poetry

Kate Leland is a poet from Austin, Texas. She is currently an MFA candidate at The University of Mississippi and holds a B.A. in English – Creative Writing from Hendrix College. She works as an associate editor with Sibling Rivalry Press and reader for Yalobusha Review. Her work has appeared  in The Hunger and Rust + Moth,  and her debut chapbook “I Wore The Only Garden I’ve Ever Grown” was published in January 2017 with Headmistress Press. She lives in Mississippi with one cat and a collection of half-dead houseplants. 

The Longleaf Writers Conference is a 501(c)3 non-profit and as such we use personal funds, generous donations, fees, etc., in order to provide our fellowships, scholarships, outreach programs, and generous housing and features to our conference. That said, we always are looking to expand all of our programs. Your donation, no matter how large or how small, will help us to achieve​ our dreams for the LWC.