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JUNE 6-11, 2021







High School students (incoming Fall 2021 Freshmen through outgoing Spring 2021 Seniors ages 14-18 as of June 2021) who have a sincere interest in creative writing. 

Is that you? It might be you. If so, keep reading.



Though the workshop has taken place in Tennessee spots like Martin, Lebanon and Harrogate, this year, as it was in 2020, it'll be online.

Links and the like will be sent to participants who will join faculty and other young writers in real time on the internet.


The cost to attend this year's (online) workshop will be zero dollars. 

Should you or someone you know like to join folks who give money to support this program, great!  Donations can be sent here

We'll  be meeting via Zoom. 

This'll require a computer with a steady-ish network connection. 

If you do not have access to internet and/or a workable device please let us know and we'll see what we can do!



Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, near the borders of  Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. All classes take place at the university  and students stay in dorms on campus.


The maximum number of students to teacher at the workshop is 12:1.


This ensures that all students receive personal attention and instruction from the Workshop’s exceptional faculty and staff.



$450 for the entire week. Includes room and board, all class materials, Workshop T-shirt, and class instruction.

Partial and full need-based scholarships are available. Please see HOW TO APPLY for more information. 


This is subject to change but something like: 

9:00-11:30 a.m.

Warm Up & Morning class

1:00-3:00 p.m.

Afternoon class

3:00-4:00 p.m

(Optional) Office hours

7:00 p.m.

Evening Program/activities

(all times CST)




Ciona Rouse is a poet and teaching artist. The author of Vantablack, the first chapbook of
Third Man Books (2017), her poetry has also appeared in Oxford American, wildness, Booth, The Account, and other publications. She’s featured on NPR’s Turning the Tables in a collaborative project with poets Adia Victoria and Caroline Randall Williams. Rouse is on
the faculty of the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference (2019-2021), in addition to a guest
poetry instructor for organizations like The Porch Writers’ Collective, Tennessee Young
Writers’ Workshop and Hindman Settlement School. A frequent collaborator with various
artists, she served as a resident poet for the “Nick Cave: FEAT” art exhibition at Frist Art
Museum in 2017-2018, culminating in a poem called “We,” which was named 2018’s “Best
Poetry Performance” by Nashville Scene. Presently, Rouse is co-curator of the forthcoming Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick exhibit at Frist Art Museum. She is poetry editor of Wordpeace Journal and a co-host, along with poet Kendra DeColo, of the podcast Re/VERB, a Third Man Books podcast where literature and pop culture meet. A graduate of Columbia College of South Carolina, Rouse currently lives in Nashville, TN. Find Rouse’s work at

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Hannah V Warren is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia where she studies speculative fiction and poetry, and she holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Kansas. Hannah’s writing and research interests focus on monster theory, post/apocalypse narratives, and fairy tales. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Southern Gothic Corpse Machine from Carrion Bloom Books (forthcoming 2022) and [re]construction of the necromancer from Sundress Publications (2020). Her works have appeared in Gulf Coast, Passages North, The Pinch, Strange Horizons, THRUSH, and Fairy Tale Review, among others.

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Jesse Graves is the author of four poetry collections, including Tennessee Landscape
with Blighted Pine and Merciful Days. His work received the James Still
Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers
and the Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University. Graves has
been an editor on several collections of poetry and scholarship, including three volumes
of The Southern Poetry Anthology and The Complete Poems of James Agee. He
teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is Poet-in-Residence and
Professor of English.



Sarah Pinsker  is the author of over fifty works of short fiction, including the novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road," winner of the Nebula Award in 2016. Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," was the Sturgeon Award winner in 2014. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Uncanny and in numerous anthologies and year's bests. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, and Italian, among other languages, and have been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, Eugie, and World Fantasy Awards.

Sarah's first collection, the Philip K Dick Award winning Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories, was published by Small Beer Press in March 2019, and her first novel, A Song For A New Day, was published by Penguin/Random House/Berkley in September 2019. Her latest book is We Are Satellites, out in May 2021. 


She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels (the third with her rock band, the Stalking Horses) and a fourth in the works. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland and can be found online at and



Taria Person is an alumna of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she received a dual B.A. in English Creative Writing: Poetry, and Interdisciplinary Studies: Africana Studies. She is the author of Rainbow Elephant, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including: O’ Woman a Tapestry of Loving You, and Voices of Warriors: Poems of Hope & Healing. Taria Person won 1st place at the regional Big Ears: Spoken Word Expo/The 5th Woman Poetry Slam (2017), the Regional Southern Fried Hip-Hop Slam (2013), and Knoxville Poetry Slam (2012). Also, she has been an actress and Production Stage Manager for The Carpetbag Theatre Inc., during its original series of stage productions that have been funded by The Roy Cockrum Foundation, in celebration of (CBT’s) 50th Anniversary. Recently, Person has been commissioned to write a book of poetry by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, won an Artistic Professional Development grant from Alternate Roots for her original stage play, Hangers, and became a member of the 5th Woman Touring Collective.


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Born in San Antonio, “adulted" in Nashville, wanted in Canada, and now living in Brooklyn, Jesse “Bobcat” “J-Chain” “Yesyesjess” Montagna is a comedian, writer, and actor who makes one mean chocolate chip cookie. While he learned how to master music and the recording arts in college at Belmont University, he has spent time learning and performing at Second City Chicago, iO Theater, Annoyance Theater, and Third Coast Comedy Club. Jesse’s biggest performances and writing triangulate around improvisational comedy, sketch comedy, and weaving music into all of them. His writings include original sketch shows, commercial advertising, parody and original songs, and checks to his local non-profit. He plans to be an actor on SNL in five years, all while winning the Nobel Peace Prize, going to Mars (thanks Elon!), and finding a cure for canine cataracts. (He’s not a big dog person but he believes every animal should see) Find him on social media at @yesyesjess17 on Instagram and @yesyesjess everywhere else. Also find him a job please; he just moved to NYC and could use the connection.



Melissa McKnight aka Graceful Honeybee aka Dainty Brown is one of those multiple-creative-outlet-chasing-bohemians you may have heard about. Her foundation of Performing and Visual Arts was established in her hometown of Miami, Florida, and a family relocation to Tulsa, Oklahoma when Melissa was 9 cemented her sense of irony. Since graduating from The University of Oklahoma a decade ago she’s worked as a backup singer, sang in an award winning Sweet Adelines Show Chorus, and worked as an organizer on Barack Obama’s incumbent campaign in 2012. Melissa’s done stand-up for 6 years now and is writing her first play.



Carley animates.



Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay is the author of the books this is our war (Penmanship Press, Brooklyn, 2016) and everything is always leaving (M.C. Sarkar & Sons, Kolkata, 2019), along with her latest poetry album release i don’t know anyone here in 2020. An Indian-born poet raised in Nashville, she is a recent graduate of English at Belmont University. She was the first Nashville Youth Poet Laureate and a finalist for the first National Youth Poet Laureate. Find her work in Poetry Society of America, Nashville Arts Magazine, and Connecticut River Review, among others. As a recent Pushcart Prize nominee, she is epic poem collage stranger and break-up with America tour—on self-imposed exile from New Nashville; she doesn’t know anyone here.



Jacob writes songs and poetry.


All applications must include a recent writing sample (no more than 5,000 words). This may be a poem, short story, creative nonfiction essay, play, etc. This does not have to be something from school. 




Patrick Shaffner

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 



APRIL 20, 2021//



If having trouble viewing the application please email


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