Good News from the Great Smokies Community

by Tommy Hays, Executive Director, Great Smokies Writing Program

Tina Barr’s poems have been recently published or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Book Review, Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, New Orleans Review and her work was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize.

Audra Coleman's creative nonfiction work "Bubo Virginianus" will appear in the spring issue of Palaver. The essay explores the narrator’s grief following her grandfather's death and the simultaneous discovery of two dead great horned owls found on the side of an Illinois highway.

Stanley Dankoski has published his third short story at Lime Hawk. He also has fiction published at Literary Orphans and The Great Smokies Review. His first published story landed on the 2016 Wigleaf longlist. Having spent most of his life in New England, he now writes from Asheville, N.C., and is working on a linked collection of stories.

Nancy Dillingham's latest chapbooks are More Frailer than Flowers (Kelsay Books) and Tender Curiosities (Stone Ivy Press). Her poem "Gnat Smoke" appears in "Appalachian under Thirty," Vol. 19 of Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel: Contemporary Appalachian Writing.

Janet Ford enjoyed participating in The Great Smokies Review reading at Malaprop’s in November 2016 and has published recently in Poetry South 2016, The New Southerner (semifinalist) 2016, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal 2016.

Meredith Hunt has collected 26 of her short stories into a single volume titled When Earth Whispers & Other Mostly Speculative Tales (under the author name “Mickey Hunt”). She is re-releasing her three-part novel, Universal Man, in a new edition. Part one, Graceful Runner, is available now, and the other two parts will be available soon, all to be on in both print and e-versions.

Brian Lee Knopp's personal essay “Dreams I'm Never Gonna See: The Takeover of WDIZ-Rock 100, a True Story,” was published as a Kindle book in January by Cosmic Pigbite Press and Old Mountain Press. By focusing on the August 6, 1981, hijacking of central Florida's hottest rock radio station by the Ida Lupino Liberation Organization, Knopp explores the rise of indie rock stations from 1974-1985 and their inglorious demise resulting from the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Kim Winter Mako is the recipient of the first annual Ramsey Library Community Author Award through UNC Asheville. The award provides a yearlong residency in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library, with a courtesy faculty appointment that provides a library study carrel and other campus resources. The residency will run through December 2017, and will culminate in an opportunity for Kim to showcase her work at a campus reading. Kim’s fiction, poetry and essays have been published in The Citron Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Great Smokies Review and elsewhere. She was a Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction in 2012, and a finalist for the Spirit of Sandburg Poetry Contest in The Citron Review in 2015. She is currently completing If There is Anything Else You Can Do, her collection of twelve thematically linked short stories that deal with characters on the edge of economic stability and the mirage of the American dream. Submissions were judged by a committee, including UNC Asheville Writer-In-Residence and bestselling author Wiley Cash. Heather Newton, author of the award-winning novel Under the Mercy Trees and a faculty member of The Great Smokies Writing Program, served as the final judge for the award.

Kim sends recent publication news: “My story ‘Right-dog vs. Left-dog’ was accepted for publication in The American Literary Review for the Spring 2017 issue. I've worked hard on revisions recently, but it was the Great Smokies Prose Master Class that really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

GSWP alum Maggie Marshall and GSWP instructor Heather Newton have opened the Flatiron Writers Room at 5 Covington Street in West Asheville. This space for literary workshops, retreats, and events is an outgrowth of Asheville’s Flatiron Writers, who serve as the FWR’s advisory board. Spring and summer offerings at the FWR include From Page to Podium: Reading Your Work Aloud with Mel Ryane on May 20, and a 4-part series on the Business of Writing with Catherine Campbell May 24-June 14. Complete event listings and rental information can be found at

Jennifer McGaha’s memoir, Flat Broke with Two Goats, comes out in fall 2017 from Sourcebooks. (See Interview, this issue, for Marie Hefley’s profile of Jennifer and her work.)

Heather Newton’s essay “Lessons in Table Manners and Life” was included in the anthology The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food (Eno Press) edited by Randall Kennan.

Patricia Poteat’s short story, “Pin Curls” (written for Tommy Hays's advanced prose class, fall '15) got an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's fall-winter competition for stories about families, the Family Matters Contest.

Christine Simolke’s work of historical fiction, Children of Italy, was published by the Hawkins Publishing Group in June 2016.

Pete Solet's chapbook, Gliding, will be published this summer by Finishing Line Press. Pete is a frequent Great Smokies Writing Program participant. His poems have been published in The Asheville Poetry Review, Quiddity, Ars Medica, and elsewhere.

For each spring issue, Tommy Hays, Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program, asks writers in our community to send their news of awards, presentations, and publications. For news about Tommy’ publications, interviews, and appearances, visit his website (