Rebecca Makkai’s latest novel, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU, was released in February 2023 from Viking. Her last novel, THE GREAT BELIEVERS, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels THE BORROWER and THE HUNDRED-YEAR HOUSE, and the collection MUSIC FOR WARTIME—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada University and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. 

Kwame Dawes has authored 36 books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and essays, including, most recently, Nebraska (UNP, 2019), Bivouac (Akashic Books, 2019), and City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern, 2017). Speak from Here to There (Peepal Tree Press), co-written with Australian poet John Kinsella, appeared in 2016. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. He is also a faculty member in the Pacific MFA Program. He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Dawes is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.


Michael Farris Smith is an award-winning writer whose novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, NPR, Southern Living, Book Riot, and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections. He has been a finalist for the Southern Book Prize, the Gold Dagger Award in the UK, and the Grand Prix des Lectrices in France, and his essays have appeared with The New York Times, Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, and more. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.

Derrick Harriell is the Ottilie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi where he directs the African American Studies program. His previous collections of poems include Stripper in WonderlandCome KingdomCotton, and Ropes, winner of the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Book Award. His short story, “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” was the recipient of the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award. 

Erika Krouse is the author of three books, most recently Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation, which was a Book of the Month Club pick, a People Magazine Pick, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and has been optioned by Playground Entertainment for TV adaptation. Erika is also the author of Contenders (a novel) and Come Up and See Me Sometime (short stories). Erika’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, One Story, and other places. Erika teaches at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and the Regis Mile High MFA program. 

January Gill O’Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University, and the author of Rewilding (2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), all published by CavanKerry Press. From 2012-2018, she served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and currently serves on the boards of AWP and Montserrat College of Art. Her poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry ReviewGreen Mountains ReviewPoetry, and Sierra magazine, among others. Her poem, “At the Rededication of the Emmett Till Memorial,” was a co-winner of the 2022 Allen Ginsberg Poetry award from the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. The recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cave Canem, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O’Neil was the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two children in Beverly, MA.

Wendy Rawlings grew up in New York and received her PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. Her most recent book, Time for Bed, was published by LSU press. Rawlsings also completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Colorado State University and is the recipient of residency fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Rawlings was awarded the John Farrar Fellowship in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Her teaching interests include: form and theory of fiction, short fiction by women, narrative voice in the American short story, and the comic novel. A collection of her short stories, Come Back Irish, won the 2000 Sandstone Prize for Short Fiction and was published in December 2001 by Ohio State University Press. Her novel, The Agnostics, won the Michigan Literary Award from the University of Michigan Press.

Alex Glass started Glass Literary Management in 2015 after an eighteen-year career in book publishing. For the previous thirteen years he was a literary agent at Trident Media Group, where he built a diverse list of successful authors. Prior to becoming an agent, Alex worked in marketing at the Putnam Berkley Publishing Group and spent three years in the literature program at the National Endowment for the Arts. His clients have won awards such as the PEN/O’Henry, the Edgar, and the Newbery. Alex has represented fifteen New York Times bestsellers and numerous other national and international bestsellers. Alex has been interviewed and quoted in publications like Publisher’s Weekly, the Wall Street JournalKirkus Reviews, and Entertainment Weekly, which called him “an A-list agent.” He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the MFA program at American University. He lives in the New York City suburbs with his wife, Sarah, a book editor, and their daughters, Gabrielle and Vivienne.

Jade Wong-Baxter joined the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in 2021. She previously worked for three years at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents as a junior agent and foreign rights associate. A graduate of Vassar College, Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. Her clients include Chris Belcher (PRETTY BABY, Avid Reader, 2022); Delia Cai (CENTRAL PLACES, Ballantine, 2023); and Hannah Matthews (YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE, Atria, 2023). Jade is looking for adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities. Her other areas of interest include magical realism, memoir, cultural criticism, and Asian-American history.

Creative Director

MATT BONDURANTs latest novel, Oleander City, was published in 2022 and his previous book, 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.

Executive Director

SETH BRADY TUCKER’s second book, (We Deserve the Gods We Ask For, won the Gival Press Poetry Award and went on to win the Eric Hoffer Book Award. His first book, (Mormon Boy), won the Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize and was a Finalist for the Colorado Book Award. His fiction has won the Bevel Summers prize, and his new short story collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor prize. Recent publications in fiction, poetry, and essays appear in Litmag, Driftwood, December, Los Angeles Review, Memoir, Little Patuxent, Copper Nickel, and others. Seth is an alumnus of both Bread Loaf and Sewanee and has degrees from San Francisco State University, Northern Arizona University, and Florida State University (PhD), and he teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. He is an associate teaching professor at the Colorado School of Mines, is originally from Wyoming, and once served as an Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper.

2023 Longleaf FELLOWS

CALEB JOHNSON, 2023 Longleaf Fellow in Fiction

Caleb Johnson is the author of the novel Treeborne (Picador), which received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize and was longlisted for The Crook’s Corner Book Prize. His nonfiction has been cited in Best American Essays, and appears in Garden & GunSouthern Living, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Caleb studied journalism at The University of Alabama and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wyoming. He has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and The Jentel Foundation. His previous jobs include newspaper reporter, janitor, middle-school teacher, and whole-animal butcher. Currently, Caleb teaches creative writing at the University of South Alabama. He lives in Mobile with his wife, the writer Irina Zhorov, and their son, Felix.

CHRISSY KOLAYA, 2023 Sundog Books Fellow in Fiction

Chrissy Kolaya is a poet and fiction writer, author of Charmed Particles: a novel and two books of poems: Any Anxious Body and Other Possible Lives. Her work has been included in anthologies by Norton, Milkweed Editions, and in a number of literary journals. Kolaya is passionate about collaboration and has worked with filmmakers and composers on adaptations of her work. Her work has been supported by grants, fellowships, and awards from the Fiction Meets Science Program at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Lake Region Arts Council, and the University of Minnesota. She teaches in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Central Florida. You can learn more about her work at

LENORE MYKA, 2023 St. Joe Community Foundation Fellow in Creative Nonfiction

Lenore Myka is the author of an award-winning collection of short stories, King of the Gypsies, which was short-listed for the Chautauqua Prize, and the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, Quartz, New England Review, Five Points, and others, and have been recognized by the Best American series. You can learn more about Lenore at

DEREK N. OTSUJI, 2023 St. Joe Community Foundation Fellow in Poetry

Born on Oahu, Derek N. Otsuji is the author of The Kitchen of Small Hours (SIU Press, 2021), selected by Brain Turner for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Open Competition and featured in Honolulu Magazine’s “Essential Hawaii Books You Should Read.” He is a 2019 Tennessee Williams Scholar (Sewanee Writers’ Conference) and received awards from Bread Loaf and the Kenyon Review. In 2018, he was recognized with the Editor’s Choice Award for Poetry from Bamboo Ridge, the longest-running independent literary journal in Hawaii. Recent work has appeared in 32 Poems, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Bennington Review, Blue Earth Review, Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Greensboro Review, LitMag, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Rattle, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, The Threepenny Review, and Wildness. In 2022, Derek received the Eliot Cades Award, Hawaii’s most prestigious literary prize, in recognition of his contribution to the literature of Hawaii. 

SAM MOE, 2023 Longleaf Fellow in Poetry

Sam Moe is the first-place winner of Invisible City’s Blurred Genres contest in 2022, and the 2021 recipient of an Author Fellowship from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her first chapbook, “Heart Weeds,” is out from Alien Buddha Press and her second chapbook, “Grief Birds,” is forthcoming from Bullshit Lit in April 2023. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram as @SamAnneMoe.

2023 Longleaf SCHOLARS

L. Renée, 2023 St. Joe Community Foundation URG Scholarship

L. Renée is a poet and nonfiction writer living in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she works as Assistant Director of Furious Flower Poetry Center and Assistant Professor of English at James Madison University. Nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net and two Pushcart Prizes, her work has been published in ObsidianTin House OnlinePoetry Northwest, the minnesota review, and elsewhere. The granddaughter of proud Black Appalachians, she won the international 2022 Rattle Poetry Prize and the Appalachian Review’s Denny C. Plattner Award, among others. A recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and the Watering Hole, L. Renée also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University, where she was Nonfiction Editor of the Indiana Review, and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University, where she was a Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Moore Fellow. She believes in Black joy, her ancestors, wondering, and wandering. 

DANIEL ABIVA HUNT, 2023 Longleaf URG Scholarship

Daniel Abiva Hunt is a Filipino American writer from South Jersey. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Masters Review, CRAFT, The Maine Review, Grist, Portland Review, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Houstonand he is currently a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati, where he teaches and studies fiction.

LAURA JOYCE-HUBBARD, 2023 Baker Veteran Scholarship

Laura Joyce-Hubbard is a papermaker, photographer, and fiction editor for TriQuarterly. Her nonfiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming inThe Iowa Review, The Sewanee ReviewSoutheast ReviewNinth Letter, Pleiades, Creative NonfictionBoulevardRiver TeethHippocampus, Tupelo Quarterly, the anthology, WANTING (Catapult, 2023), and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from theRagdale Foundation as well as the National Endowment for the Arts to attend a residency at VCCA. Recent awards include winner of the 2022 Iowa Review veteran writing award, the 2021 Ned Stuckey-French nonfiction contest at Southeast Review, runner-up of the 2021 poetry contest at The Sewanee Review, and winner of the 2020 Essay Prize in the William Faulkner Pirates’ Alley Writing Competition. Her nonfiction has been selected as a “Notable” in the Best American Essays of 2022. She is a veteran of the Air Force and served for twenty years. Laura lives with her family in Highland Park, Illinois.

ELISE PLUNK, 2023 St. Joe Community Foundation Local Writer Scholarship

Elise Plunk is a writer and journalist born and raised in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Florida. She has extensive experience in news writing and was previously an author at WUFT News operated out of the University of Florida. She is currently working with Atrium Magazine and has experience in narrative nonfiction, feature writing and creative writing. She is also looking to expand into autobiographical fiction and is putting together a manuscript of short essays on the subject. When she isn’t writing, Elise likes to paint, visit local artists’ markets, crochet, explore nature with friends and drink black coffee with honey. 

University Financial Aid Collaborations:

Longleaf partners to bring two scholars each year. Selected by the faculty of the UAB Creative Writing Program

ISRAEL MASON, 2023 UAB Scholar in Poetry

Israel Mason is a senior at UAB, majoring in Psychology, with a double minor in Spanish and Creative Writing. She has self-published two books of poetry and looks forward to continuing to improve and hone her craft. She spends most of her time working and taking care of the animals on her small family farm, where they have goats, horses, pigs, chickens, a duck, and a miniature cow. She also plays guitar and enjoys spending time in nature. 


Jacob Frazier is studying English Literature and Philosophy. He is originally from Gadsden, Alabama, and currently lives in Birmingham but intends to move out of state for graduate school. He is a second-year student in the University Honors Program and attended the Ada Long Writing Workshop in the past. Jacob loves to cook, go running, and play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends in his free time.

Longleaf partners to bring two scholars each year. Selected by the Faculty of the University of Mississippi Creative Writing Program

BAE DI, 2023 University of Mississippi Scholar in Prose

Born and raised in Beijing, Bae Di is the author of the Chinese novel《白马伶娜》CHASSÉ (Shanghai, 2019), as well as the writer and the star of the English film《金玉》THE CHINESE TOURIST (Idaho, 2022). Her short fiction is a Pushcart Prize nominee. 

MARINA LEIGH, 2023 University of Mississippi Scholar in Poetry

Marina Leigh is a queer, biracial writer and photographer born and raised in Reno, Nevada, and she is currently earning her MFA in poetry as the Grisham Fellow at the University of Mississippi, where she also serves as the senior poetry editor of Yalobusha Review. Her work has been published in several journals, and she is the author of a poetry chapbook titled Wild Daughter.

Staff and Board:

Kristy Gustafson (Digital Media Manager & 30A Attaché) & Longleaf Board Treasurer, is an aspiring author living in Grayton Beach, Florida where she writes and independently manages digital and social media marketing for a handful of businesses – both local and national. She received a Journalism degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where a semester abroad initiated her passion for travel writing inspired by her adventures around the world. Kristy is a contributing writer to various publications including, Beach Happy Magazine and more though her passion project is her debut novel-in-progress. She found her way to Longleaf in 2019 in hopes of connecting with like-minded creatives and learning from some of the best in the business. In 2020, she came onboard as Longleaf’s Digital Media Manager & 30A Attaché, helping to tell Longleaf’s story and connect the conference with community sponsors and local South Walton businesses, and in 2021 she joined the board.  

Jonathan D’Avignon, Educational Director & Board member

Susan Vallee, Longleaf Board Vice President

Carrie Chavers, Longleaf Board President

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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, our generous housing, and all the many 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.