Writers' Workshop


Our renowned faculty provides rigorous instruction to participants in their selected genre and through special topic sessions, panels, and lectures.

Build your library by purchasing titles through Bookshop.org from our faculty using the book images below. Each purchase supports scholarships to the Workshop.



Beth Macy, a journalist and the author of the 2018 New York Times-bestselling book, “DOPESICK: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America. A dramatized adaptation of the book was released by Hulu as an eight-episode limited series on October 13, 2021, and elsewhere in the world via Disney+ in early November. The series stars the amazing Micheal Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosario Dawson, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hoogenakker, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Shot on location in Virginia, including parts of Appalachia impacted by the crisis, Dopesick examines how one company, Purdue Pharma, triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history. Series creator Danny Strong directed episodes, as did Barry Levinson, Michael Cuesta, and Patricia Riggen. Along with Strong and others, I was a cowriter on episodes three and seven and an Executive Producer on the series.




Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of six novels–Clay’s Quilt, 2001; A Parchment of Leaves, 2003; The Coal Tattoo, 2005; Eli the Good, 2009; and Same Sun Here (co-authored with Neela Vaswani) 2012, and Southernmost (June 2018)–as well as a book of creative nonfiction–Something’s Rising, co-authored with Jason Howard, 2009; and three plays.

He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the recipient of three honorary doctorates, and is the winner of the Nautilus Award, an EB White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Storylines Prize from the New York Public Library/NAV Foundation, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors, including an invitation to read at the Library of Congress. Southernmost was a longest finalist for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and appeared on several the Best of 2018 lists of The Advocate, Booklist, Paste, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, and others.  The book was also awarded the Weatherford Award as well as the Judy Gaines Young Award.


Patricia Hudson has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. She’s written for magazines ranging from Country Living to Women’s Sports and Fitness, but her favorite assignments focus on historical topics. She was a contributing editor at Americana magazine for more than a decade, writing about historic preservation, folk art, and travel destinations for history lovers. As a frequent contributor to Southern Living magazine, she traveled extensively in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, profiling people whose passion for those regions matched her own. She’s a long-time member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her book credits include: Inns of the Southern Mountains, and Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, as well as The Carolinas and the Appalachian States, a volume in the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America series. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband, photographer, Sam Stapleton.


Bernard Clay is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who grew up in the shadow of the now demolished Southwick housing projects on the “West End” of town. He has spent most of his life in Kentucky cultivating an appreciation, over the years, for the state’s disappearing natural wonders and unique but sparse urban areas. 

Bernard received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Kentucky Creative Writing Program and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets collective. His work has been published in various journals and anthologies. He currently resides on a farm in eastern Kentucky with his herbalist wife Lauren (founder of Resilient Roots). English Lit is his first book. 


Born in Kentucky, and tracing his deep family roots to the hills and small towns of Eastern Kentucky’s coal country, Britton Patrick Morgan is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, singer, session artist (guitar, mandola, mandolin) and producer who draws inspiration from the spiritual connection between people and place and time.

Britton delivers rough-hewn songs with a husky, authentic voice surrounded by acoustic warmth. Currently working on a new solo album, and preparing for the release of his second full-length LP, “I Wanna Start a Band,” Britton believes in the power of collaboration and has written, played with, or collaborated with many artists, including Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Nolan Taylor, Malcolm Holcombe, Bill Alexander, Maine singer/songwriter Sara Trunzo, singer/songwriter Casey Lambert, Louisiana author, songwriter, and singer Yvette Landry, the Artist Paul Hassfurder, singer-songwriter Alan Rhody, and produced works for Hillhouse, the Kentucky Cowhands, Tiffany Williams, among others.


George Ella Lyon was born in Harlan, a coal mining town in southeastern Kentucky. Her books frequently take place in Appalachia. She married Stephen c. Lyon, a musician, in 1972, and had two children with him. She earned a B.A. at Centre College in Kentucky in 1971, her M.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1972, and her Ph.D. at Indiana University–Bloomington in 1978.

She first published in 1983, a poetry collection called Mountain. Aside from publishing, she also taught writing at a number of colleges, including the University of Kentucky, Centre College, Transylvania University, and Radford University. She has also acted as an executive committee member for the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. She currently teaches writing through workshops, conferences, and author visits.

Lyon served as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2015-16.


creative nonfiction


Meredith McCarroll is Director of Writing and Rhetoric at Bowdoin College, where she teaches courses in composition, rhetoric, Southern and American literature, and film. McCarroll earned her PhD in English at University of Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Bitter Southerner, Avidly, Southern Cultures, Still, Cutleaf and elsewhere. McCarroll is the author of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film  (University of Georgia Press). Along with Anthony Harkins, McCarroll edited Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (West Virginia University Press), which won the Weatherford Award and the American Book Award. She lives in Portland, Maine.




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 writing can be found in The Bitter Southerner, The Paris Review Daily, Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Caleb grew up in Arley, Ala., studied journalism and art history at The University of Alabama, and earned an M.F.A. 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 writing at Appalachian State University and lives near Boone, N.C. with his wife, Irina, and their son, Felix.


Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star, published by Hub City Press, and winner of the 2021 Southern Book Prize and the Weatherford Award. The Prettiest Star was also selected as a Kirkus Best Book of 2020 and a Best LGBT Book of 2020 by O Magazine. His debut novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury 2012), an Oregon Book Award finalist and a Lambda Literary Award finalist, was adapted into a feature film that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. His essays and fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Atlantic, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, Joyland, Guernica, Catapult, and Electric Literature. Carter is the recipient of the 2013 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award, and earned fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and MacDowell. He is an assistant professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University.




Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval, a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award and the LA Times Book Prize, and Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem, the Lannan Foundation, and Civitella Ranieri. She has written plays and lyrics for The Cherry, an Ithaca arts collective, and in 2018, her work was featured in Courage Everywhere, celebrating women’s suffrage and the fight for political equality, at National Theatre London.


Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition was reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audio book of that collection became available in 2017.  Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School.  


Short story


Jayne Moore Waldrop
 is a Kentucky writer and attorney. She knows her home state from end to end, having grown up in far western Kentucky in a family of displaced Appalachians who returned home often to visit eastern Kentucky.

Waldrop is the author of Retracing My Steps, a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series, and Pandemic Lent: A Season in Poems, both published by Finishing Line Press. Her linked story collection, Drowned Town, was published in 2021 by University Press of Kentucky through its Fireside Industries imprint, a partnership with Hindman Settlement School.

Little Bubby Child

Eastern Kentucky based artist Kenneth Pergram, is the one and only Little Bubby Child. Pergram provides a comedic and light-hearted look into the Appalachian way of life based loosely on off-the-wall statements from family, friends, neighbors and other characters in his life. Pergram refers to his artwork on his Instagram as, “some ole foolishness…”

University press of KENTUCKY


Patrick O’Dowd is the Editorial Assistant at the University Press of Kentucky. Patrick has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and previously worked as a Marketing and Electronic Publishing Assistant at UPK.


Ashley Runyon has been named director of the University Press of Kentucky. Most recently, she directed the trade list for Indiana University Press and Red Lightning Books. Before that she worked at the University Press of Kentucky as a marketing manager and then senior acquisitions editor while also coordinating fundraising and development. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Runyon got her start in publishing as a work-study student at the press, making this a double or triple homecoming. After graduation, she also worked in design, marketing and production at the Lexington Herald-Leader and Blood-Horse Publications.