MTSU Write Director and Faculty




 Amie Whittemore, Director

Amie Whittemore is the author of Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press) and Star-Tent: A Triptych, forthcoming from Tolsun Books in 2023. She is the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a 2020 Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellow, and  Reviews Editor at Southern Indiana Review.

Through her laureateship she is partnering with Southern Word to offer Write with Pride, a series of poetry workshops and open mics for LGBT+ teens in Rutherford and Davidson counties.

A lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University, she holds degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (B.A.), Lewis & Clark College (M.A.T.), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (M.F.A.). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, Blackbird, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Cold Mountain Review, and elsewhere.

MTSU Write Faculty

Given the intensity of one-on-one mentoring, we cannot promise that all mentors listed here are available to you in any given trimester, but please make your request known and we will do the best we can to secure the mentor of your choice. 

We have mentors in the following genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children's literature (YA and Middle Grade Fiction), and playwriting. You can go directly to the genre of interest to by using the links below:

Interested in becoming a mentor? We are open to reviewing mentor applications on a rolling basis from high quality, well-published writing mentors. If this sounds like you, send a letter of interest, CV, and contact info for two references to

Fiction & Nonfiction Mentors

Fred Arroyo

Fred Arroyo: Fiction & Nonfiction

Fred Arroyo is the author of Sown in Earth: Essays of Memory and Belonging, Western Avenue and Other Fictions, and the novel The Region of Lost Names. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity and the Natural World. Fred’s writing is also included in the Library of Congress series “Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers.”

Charlotte Rain Dixon

Charlotte Rains Dixon: Fiction & Blogging

Charlotte Rains Dixon is freelance journalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, and author who also teaches and coaches writers. She is the author of a dozen books, including a book on fund-raising to be published by Atlantic Publishing, and Oregon Coast, for Beautiful American Publishing. 

Her fiction has appeared in The Trunk, Santa Fe Writer's Project, Nameless Grace, and Somerset Studios. Her articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, the Oregonian, and Pology, to name a few. She is currently seeking an agent for her novel, Emma Jean's Bad Behavior. Visit her blog at

Linda Busby Parker

Linda Busby Parker: Fiction

Linda Busby Parker is the author of two novels: Seven Laurels, a literary novel, and Oliver’s Song, mainstream commercial fiction. Seven Laurels won the James Jones First Novel Award and the Langum Prize for Historical Fiction. Linda’s short pieces have been published in Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Big Muddy, Provincetown Arts, Oracle, Confluence and most recently in Minerva Rising.  Her book reviews have appeared in The San Diego Union Tribune, The Mobile Press Register, 2nd and Church (a magazine for writers), First Draft, and Alabama Writers Forum. She has served as a Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction at the Sewanee Writers Conference and as a Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf. Linda is also publisher and editor-in-chief of a small independent press, Excalibur Press, which publishes literary and upmarket fiction.

Terry Price

Terry Price: Fiction

Terry Price, is a writer with an MFA in writing from Spalding School of Creative and Professional Writing. He leads workshops and retreats on creativity, writing, photography, and is hosting a new podcast titled The Creative Playground. Terry’s work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and he has an essay in the anthology, Wisdom From Others: Life Lessons From Loss published in November, 2019. Learn more about Terry and his work at

Jennifer Chesak

Jennifer Chesak: Fiction & Nonfiction

Jennifer Chesak is an East Nashville-based freelance writer, editor, and instructor. Through her business Wandering in the Words Press, she assists writers in honing their manuscripts for publication and tackling the self- or indie-publishing process. As a freelance health, fitness, and adventure writer, she has been published in Field & Stream online, Trail Runner, Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Motorcycle Cruiser, Escape, Baggers, ATV Rider, Healthline, HuffPost, and more. Jennifer's experience as both an editorial and marketing writer allow her to do what she loves for a living, play with the written word. She is currently working on her first novel set in her native state of North Dakota. Jennifer is passionate about helping others grasp the writer within and achieve the satisfaction of creative thinking and production. When not tethered to her pen or computer, she's usually out gardening or running area greenways and trails.

Karen Alea Ford

Karen Alea Ford: Fiction & Nonfiction

 Karen Alea Ford has her MFA from Bennington College, is an alumna of Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Fellow at Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the former director of MTSU Write. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines including Eureka, Stickman Review, Riverwalk Journal and the anthology, Catch Fire in the Treetops. Her short story “The Next Guy” won The Nashville Scene fiction contest judged by Ann Patchett, which led to a guest column in the publication. She has written nonfiction for, Huffington Post, The Establishment, Narratively and others. She lives in Franklin where she is owned by her dogs.

Gloria Ballard

Gloria Ballard: Nonfiction (Memoirs & Essays)

Gloria Ballard is a native of Nashville, where she was a feature writer and editor at The Tennessean before leaving the newspaper to become a freelance writer. Gloria led creative writing classes and workshops at Watkins Community Education for ten years. She also writes fiction, and was a 2004 participant at Sewanee Writers Conference. Currently, Gloria provides garden, health & wellness and general web content and copyediting services for and other media outlets, works as a freelance editor and copy editor, and is working on a memoir.

Jane Marcellus

Jane Marcellus: Creative Nonfiction

Jane Marcellus holds a bachelor’s in English from Wesleyan University, a master’s in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern, a second master’s in English from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Oregon.

Her published work includes creative non-fiction, critical analysis of media, and journalism. Her essays have appeared in journals including Gettysburg Review, Sycamore Review, and Hippocampus. In 2018, she received both the Betty Gabehart Award in nonfiction from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference and the Editor’s Prize for non-fiction given by New Ohio Review. Her work was listed as “Notable” in Best American Essays 2018 and 2019.

Eliana Ramage

Eliana Ramage: Fiction

Eliana Ramage is a Cherokee Nation citizen born and raised in Nashville. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2018, and holds an MA in creative writing from Bar-Ilan University and a BA in English literature from Dartmouth College. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Fiction Journal, The Baltimore Review, CRAFT, and the anthologies All the Women in My Family Sing, Re(Sisters), and The Masters Review. She is at work on her first novel.

Poetry Mentors


Kory Wells

Kory Wells: Poetry

Kory Wells is the author of Sugar Fix, poetry from Terrapin Books. Her writing has been featured on The Slowdown podcast and appears in The Strategic Poet, The Southern Poetry Anthology, James Dickey Review, Ruminate, and elsewhere. A former software developer who now nurtures connection and community through the arts and advocacy, Kory founded and co-manages Poetry in the Boro and in 2017 was selected the inaugural poet laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Learn more about her at

Jeff Hardin

Jeff Hardin: Poetry

Jeff Hardin is the author of six books, most recently No Other Kind of World and A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being. Recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize, the Donald Justice Prize, and the X. J. Kennedy Prize, his work appears in The Southern Review, Hudson Review, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.
Linda Parsons

Linda Parsons: Poetry

Poet, playwright, essayist, and editor, Linda Parsons is the poetry editor for Madville Publishing and copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. She is published in such journals as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Baltimore Review, and Shenandoah. Five of her plays have been produced, and her fifth poetry collection is Candescent (Iris Press, 2019). 

Marcus Jackson

Marcus Jackson: Poetry

Marcus Jackson earned a BA from the University of Toledo and continued his poetry studies at NYU and as a Cave Canem fellow. His poems have appeared in such publications as The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and Tin House. His first collection of poetry, Neighborhood Register, was published in 2011, and his second book of poems, entitled Pardon My Heart (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books), was recently released. Of Pardon My Heart,The New York Times writes, “Jackson's collection confirms the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American poetry, one whose writing, on page after page, has the fullness and glow of a jubilee." Jackson lives with his wife and child in Columbus, Ohio, and he teaches in the MFA programs at Ohio State and Queens University of Charlotte.

Children's Lit Mentors


Candie Moonshower

Candie Moonshower: YA & MG Literature

Candie Moonshower is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Legend of Zoey, and also writes young adult fiction and adult romances. She is a Senior Instructor of English at MTSU. Moonshower holds BA degrees in English and Philosophy, an MA in English Literature, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. She is happily married, lives in a log home, and she and her husband are managed by two cats, Marzipan Bing Crosby and Pepper Ann.


Katie Nelson

Katie A. Nelson: Children's, YA, & MG Literature

Katie A. Nelson is the author of the young adult novel, The Duke of Bannerman Prep, and also writes middle grade novels as well as picture books. She holds a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Originally from California, Katie lives outside of Nashville with her husband, four kids, and two very spoiled dogs.

Playwrighting Mentors


Andy Landis

Andy Landis: Playwriting

Kay ‘Andy’ Landis’ full-length plays include The Volunteer, A Special Day, Deep Purple, and the musicals HOWDEE! and Aesop. Her short plays and/or ten minute plays are Praying for a Hurricane, Camden on Ice, Hating Hope, 8.8.88, and Whatever. The Volunteer was a semi-finalist in the 2016 O'Neill National Playwright Conference, won the 2015 Centre Stage New Play Festival, and was a semi-finalist for both the 2015 Ashland New Plays Festival and the 2015 Playwrights’ Center Core Apprenticeship. The Volunteer enjoyed its world premier at Centre Stage in September 2016 with positive reviews. Landis’ short and 10-minute plays have been produced and/or developed by Warner Theater Festival, Ramapo College Theater Festival, ATHE, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Metropolitan Theatre Festival, to name a few.







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