Regional Writers

Welcome to the Regional Writer Section.  We are now accepting applications for writers interested in participating in the 2017 Dahlonega Literary Festival to be held March 25-26, 2017.

 The genres of books that are considered for selection in the Regional Writers section include: Fiction (mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, regional fiction, etc), non-fiction (history, biographies, and memoirs), poetry, travel, the arts, cookbooks, juvenile fiction/non-fiction, and young adult fiction/non-fiction.

Authors who are interested in applying for the 2017  should contact Mr. Ken Smoke at for more information.

Here’s a sneak peak of the 2017 Regional Writers!

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Kris Allis has always loved to read and at an early age decided that she would write a suspense filled novel one day. That decision turned into a dream that wouldn’t die. She found herself spending a lot of her free time writing. In 2014, her first suspense/thriller novel A False Start was published. The idea for her second novel, A Moving Screen, came to her when her children were small, but she only had time to type out a few pages while they napped. She held onto those pages for years and incorporated characters from A False Start into the storyline and thus a serial story was born. Kris is married and lives in Georgia with her husband and a lovable little dog. She is the mother of three adult children who make her proud. Kris keeps the suspense going by disguising her appearance in her author photos.


rcampbellRita Campbell is a native of New York, who grew up in California and now lives in Georgia. She is a Teacher, Master Gardener, Certified Fairyologist and most importantly a grandmother. Most importantly because it is her grandchildren that have inspired her writing. After creating a lit fairy garden in her yard with her grandchildren Rita wanted her grandchildren to grow up loving gardening too so she was inspired to write her book Emberlina Sprite-a-Light. Her grandchildren were excited about fairies and so she decided to marry the two concepts and use fairies and gnomes to ignite a love of gardening for children using their imagination. Hence, Emberlina was born. Her book Emberlina Sprite-a-Light comes equipped with a solar mushroom fairy house and as the story goes when the light comes on at night Emberlina is home. It is the first in a series of books that Rita plans to write to use the fairies and gnomes to teach children about all aspects of gardening. Her book has received Honorable Mention in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award Program. She has had many magazine and newspaper articles written about her book and has also been on TV to share it. She currently writes a garden column for an internationally distributed children’s magazine, Story Monster Ink. Her book can be purchased on


JCaneJohn W. Cane was born in Germany in 1931. He graduated from Cornell University with BEE in 1954, from US Naval Postgraduate School with MS (Physics) in 1961, and from NOVA Southeastern University with PhD in Computer Information Systems in 2003. Cane served as line officer, US Navy, 1954-1975, retiring as Commander. He sponsored and conducted Government- and privately-funded research in Nuclear Physics, 1965- 1988. A life-long photographer, Jack counts his move from film to digital media in 2006 as a life-changing event. For six years he specialized in orchid photography (six calendars, three books). Renewing his interest in thermonuclear fusion as an important, developing energy source, Jack has began photographing components of fusion reactors. The first book of Fire from Water, his new series of fine-art, reactor photos, will be published later in 2016.


marsha-corneliusAfter working for fifteen years as a cafeteria manager in an elementary school, Marsha Cornelius turned in her apron and non-skid shoes for a bathrobe and slippers. She now works at home writing novels, and occasionally running a vacuum. Her books cross several genres including speculative fiction (that’s science fiction without aliens, vampires, or zombies), drama, and romantic comedy/mystery. Originally from Indiana, Cornelius currently lives in the countryside north of Atlanta with her husband, and two molly-coddled cats who refuse to wear socks and dust the furniture. She can be reached on Facebook at Marsha Cornelius. All six of her books are available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.


PEllisPhyllis Ellis was born and raised in Rye, New York. She became an artist and made her living as a graphic designer and worked in New York City for ten years. She and her husband moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she continued with graphic design. In 1981, they bought an old farm in Flowery Branch, Georgia, where they raised horses. When progress took over Flowery Branch, they sold their farm to move to Dahlonega, Georgia. After Phyllis’s father died, she came across his journals. She spent months rewriting the hand-written journals and adding dialog to bring the characters and the story to life. Memories flooded into her head each night as though her dad were channeling more details to add to her creative non-fiction book, Windhill Farms. Phyllis also took up painting landscapes and animals and wrote and illustrated a children’s book called Big Boy, about her Maine Coon cat.


jfogartyJudy Fogarty lives, writes, reads, and runs on the historic Isle of Hope in her native Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois and has served as marketing director for private golf and tennis communities in the Savannah/Hilton Head area, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, Oldfield, Berkeley Hall, and Callawassie Island. She is a devoted—even rowdy—tennis fan, as anyone who has had the pleasure—or displeasure—of watching a professional match with her will attest. Breaking and Holding is Judy’s debut novel. She is happily at work on her second, enjoying as always the invaluable support of her husband, Mike, and children, Colin and Sara Jane.


author photoBryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of The South. He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full time as a farmer, and lives in South Carolina with his wife and their dog. Bryce is the author of the Young Adult thriller Perennials and the Southern mystery Unclaimed Acre. He is currently at work on his next novel.


jgjakesAuthor and speaker, J.G. Jakes, was raised on the family’s southwest Georgia farm. Her formative years fostered such an appreciation of wholesome values taught by farm life that she counts herself as a   true daughter of the soil. Now as a retired schoolteacher, she lives on a small cattle farm with her husband and pursues her love for writing life’s lessons attuned to characters with honor, integrity, and formidable challenges. Her keen interest in the lives of strong and inspiring women is cultivated into her books of the River’s Trilogy, as she continues to share the extraordinary stories of ordinary women.


Richard Judy is a graduate of the University of Georgia who grew up in the Atlanta area and spent a long career in public relations. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1973 and hiked the trail in sections a second time. He has bicycled from Los Angeles to Savannah Beach, and hiked, biked and canoed all over the world in such places as the Himalayas, the Balkans, and Alaska. His son and daughter are both AT thru-hikers. He serves as a board member and volunteer for several nonprofit environmental groups. He is currently writing his second novel, Trail Town. He resides in Roswell, Georgia with his wife who has hiked the entire width of the Appalachian Trail.


Annette Laing Headshot High-ResAnnette Laing calls herself a recovering academic historian. She’s a specialist in early American culture, who quit her tenured job as a professor to write YA/Middle Grades time-travel novels. Yes, she is quite mad, but she is also British, so that might explain it. Annette recently completed The Snipesville Chronicles, her series of four novels with Confusion Press, (“Clever and charming time-travel adventure”—Kirkus Reviews). Snipesville weaves the entertaining and complex tale of three reluctant time-travelers from a boring town in Georgia who find themselves in a small town in England in apparently random years in the past. Annette is now working on a novel about time-travelers who meet during the American Revolution, and a non-fiction work about an under-recognized African-American educator in Atlanta. Annette also visits schools, libraries, museums, and teachers’ conferences to present what she calls “non-boring history” for kids, teens, families, and educators. Learn more at


CLottCynthia Lott is a Writer and Researcher. She loves hearing life stories over a glass of good wine, preferably a nice Shiraz or Cabernet. A member of both Sisters in Crime, Inc. and International Thriller Writers, Inc., she also holds an MLS from UW-Madison and a B.A. in Creative Writing from LSU. The Feathers is her debut novel (The Southern Spectral Series Book 1) is available in e-book, paperback and audio formats. The Irises (The Southern Spectral Series Book 2), its exciting follow up, is now available in e-book and paperback formats. Cynthia enjoys exploring new places, hiking, vegan cuisine and loving on her big dog. She shares her time between Atlanta and Orlando.



After retiring from careers in business and education, Michael Maccalupo began his writing career with the release of his first novel, a coming-of-age story, Where the Road Begins, in July 2011; followed by a murder mystery, Murder at Ravenswood Hall, in May 2012. He published a collection of short stories, essays, poems and a play in 2013 titled, The Almost Definitive Collection vol. 1. His most recent novel, a second murder mystery, The Allentown Murders, was published in March 2014. He is currently working on a non-fiction novel titled, Death by Incarceration: The True Story of DG-7963, the life story of what was an up-and-coming actor (Larry N. Stromberg) who brutally stabbed his wife and mother-in-law to death in 1996 and now serves a double life sentence in the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution. From this dark moment Larry has created a ministry and works with other inmates to perform plays he has written dedicated to Christ and saving others from such a fate (due out late Spring 2017). In addition to this, Michael is also working on a new murder mystery, Blood Moon Murders; a young adult murder mystery eerily involving the Biblical prophesies surrounding the three blood moon cycles spanning the last 60 years (due out Summer 2017). He has appeared on Winging It! Buffalo Style and AM Buffalo (two popular morning shows in Buffalo, NY), on WNED radio in Buffalo, WPTF radio in Raleigh, NC and on WHQR public radio in Wilmington, NC. Reviews and promo pieces have appeared in Encore Magazine and the Star News in Wilmington, NC and in the Buffalo News in Buffalo, NY. Michael, a South Buffalo native, lives with his wife in Wilmington, NC where they enjoy the beach, the warm climate and the friendly, laid-back small town atmosphere. He has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. For more information please go to his website at


JMcDermottJulia McDermott is the author of suspense novels Daddy’s Girl and Underwater, romance Make That Deux, and memoir All the Above: My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer, awarded Finalist, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Award. Julia is also the author of “Personal Journeys” article, Fear and Gratitude, published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Sunday, July 10, 2016. Julia grew up in Atlanta and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied Economics and French. She spent her junior year in France, and after graduation, worked in banking and IT. After having twins, she retired from the work force, had two more children, and moved across the country four times. Once her kids began to leave the nest, she attended writing workshops, joined a critique group, and launched a career as a multi-genre author. A member of writers’ organization Sisters in Crime and the Atlanta Writers Club, she loves reading, watching football, most kinds of art, and all things French. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and family. Visit her website,


SMRobertsStacy Marie Roberts was born in Washington D.C. to Bruce and Vera James. The military moved their family to Augusta, GA in 1990 and she has resided there since that time. She has two sisters, Crystal and Brittney James. She currently resides in Evans, GA with her husband, Daniel Roberts and their four dogs, Billionaire, Boomer, Charlie, and Donut. She is a 2001 graduate of Hephzibah Comprehensive High School. She graduated from Augusta State University, now known as Georgia Regents University, in 2006 with a BA in Marketing. She completed her MBA in Human Resources from Liberty University in the spring of 2015. Stacy loves working with young people. In addition to having years of childcare experience, she is the president of the Temple Teens Department of the New Life Worship Center in Hephzibah GA. She has been a member of New Life for over 25 years under the ministry of Pastors Claude and Regina Harris. She also is a certified executive and personal development coach and the president/ owner of SMR Leadership Solutions, LLC. She loves using literature to educate and coach individuals of all ages. Stacy has had a love for reading and writing stories since an early age. She loves using her stories to teach children the word of God and valuable life lessons. She believes that through Him, all things are possible.



North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her Gate books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, Wish, is a stand-alone, YA crossover. Her Southern romantic suspense or GRIT-lit, showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.


cwiseCynthia H. Wise first conceived the idea for The Marcel Experience years ago. At that time, she wrote stories for her own enjoyment. Inspired at an early age by the paranormal, Cynthia enjoyed having the ability to become someone else, travel to distant places, and experience new things as she wrote. During the long process of editing her first book, Portrait of Rage, an idea began to take root. Having begun another manuscript years before that she had entitled Eyes of Autumn, Cynthia realized how simple it would be to integrate the two worlds. She envisioned continuing the story and carrying characters from book to book as she continued to introduce new people, new conflicts, and new stories. She realized the list of paranormal subjects was endless. It would be simple to let the story flow from one inexplicable, exciting possibility to another. And voilà—The Marcel Experience was born. Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff, their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.


profErica Gerald Mason is a poet and author based in Atlanta. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Mason began writing at the age of six, when she wrote Santa a letter asking for a Black Barbie and a pre-assembled Dream House. Santa delivered the goods, and thusly, a writing career was born. Her original poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Rats Ass Review, Lunch Ticket, Silver Birch Press, and The Found Poetry Review. Her bespoke poetry has been featured in the Indie Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival, ReVamped Magazine, and Badassery Magazine. Since August of 2015, Mason has written a poem before breakfast every morning and posted it on Instagram. More than 500 days later, she continues to write daily about the intersection of love, creativity, science, and self-worth. Her latest book of poetry, i am a telescope: science love poems, is available on Amazon.

5 thoughts on “Regional Writers

  1. Dear Rona, I too am a “military brat,” and I look forward to meeting you, perusing your book, and the books of so many others at the Dahlonega Book Festival in just a few days!

    Ellen Hunter Ulken

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me update my comments after participating in the Regional Writer event for the last two years — it is a wonderful warm and welcoming environment, chock full of interested readers and camaraderie of other local and regional authors. Not to be missed!


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