Presenters & Instructors

This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2019 Tennessee Writing Workshop.


Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 1.56.38 PM.pngLorna Hollifield is a published Southern fiction author. Her first novel is Tobacco Sun.

At the 2019 Tampa workshop, Lorna is offering critiques for manuscripts, and also teaching on how to write Southern fiction.

Lorna is represented by Kimberly Whalen of Whalen Literary. She is a former officer with the South Carolina Writers Association. Learn more about Lorna at her website.

Lorna was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but now enjoys the island life outside of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Kimsey, and two mutts, Scarlet and Daisy.

She’s been an author from the time she could speak, always spinning yarns for anyone who would listen. She began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, before finally deciding to pursue her dream of publishing fiction. Tobacco Sun is her first novel, and she’s delighted to share it with the world, When Lorna isn’t writing fiction, she enjoys blogging about writable women at


Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community.

Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in April 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.

Along with teaching at the 2019 event, Brian is offering query critiques for attendees.


screen shot 2019-01-20 at 11.26.38 amJessica Burkhart is the author of the best-selling 20-book Canterwood Crest series with over 1 million copies in print in multiple languages. The first book in the Canterwood series, TAKE THE REINS, published in 2009 when Jess was 22 years old. Her other works include the four-book Unicorn Magic series and the stand-alone YA novel WILD HEARTS. She made her editorial debut with Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles, which is an anthology about mental health. The anthology includes essays from Maureen Johnson, Melissa Marr, and Ellen Hopkins, among others.

Jess has presented at multiple conferences often as keynote speaker. She’s spoken at the Tallahassee Writers Conference, Chattanooga’s YA-hoo Fest, Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference, Missouri Writers Guild Conference, the Target Children’s Stage at the Decatur Book Festival and Book Expo America. Tweet her @JessicaBurkhart.

At the 2019 Tennessee Writing Workshop, Jessica will be teaching on Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction as well as publicity and marketing for writers. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 11.22.38 PM.pngRobert McClure read pulp fiction as a kid when he should have been studying but ultimately cracked down enough to obtain a B.A. in criminology from Murray State University and a law degree from the University of Louisville. He gained his first glimpses into the criminal mind while working with the justice system in college and still cannot avert his eyes.

He is now an attorney and writer who lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky. His novel Deadly Lullaby was a finalist for the 2015 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Original eBook.

His short stories have appeared in Hardboiled, Thug Lit and Plots With Guns, and his first published story, “Harlan’s Salvation,” seen in MudRock Stories & Tales, placed in the “Other Distinguished Stories” category of Best American Mystery Stories 2005. His story “My Son,” originally published in Thug Lit, Issue 28, was one of twenty reprinted in Best American Mystery Stories 2009.

At the 2019 TN workshop, he is teaching on writing mystery & thriller, and doing critiques for attendees.