So Y’all Think You Can Write

Y'all notebookFour months ago today I queried University Press of Mississippi for an anthology I wanted to edit—So Y’all Think You Can Write: Southern Writers on Writing. They jumped on it and we signed a contract right away. They asked me to have the complete manuscript to them by April 1. Today I sent them the completed 73,984-word manuscript, with 26 essays by southern writers (women and men) from ten states: Alabama, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. (I’m kind of proud that Tennessee has 8 contributors, the most from any state, with Alabama having 6 and Mississippi contributing 5.)

Y'all insidePutting this collection together was so much fun. Alan Lightman wrote the Foreword! The essays were so polished that my work as editor wasn’t difficult. I had a great time grouping them into sections with themes, finding quotes to go with each section, writing an essay myself, and writing the introduction. SNEAK PREVIEW: Here are the contributors. If you aren’t familiar with their work, just Google them, buy one of their books and get to know them. They’re all amazing writers. We even have a few poets in the group.

Julie Cantrell

Katherine Clark

Jim Dees

Clyde Edgerton                                                                                               

W. Ralph Eubanks           

John Floyd                                               

Joe Formichella                                   

Patti Callahan Henry

Jennifer Horne                                   

Ravi Howard

Suzanne Hudson                                   

River Jordan

Harrison Scott Key                                                                                               

Cassandra King                                                                                   

Sonja Livingston

Corey Mesler                                               

Scott Morris

Niles Reddick

Wendy Reed

Nicole Seitz

Lee Smith                                                                                    

Michael F. Smith                                   

Sally Thomason

Jacqueline Trimble                                   

M. O. (Neal) Walsh

Claude Wilkinson

It’s gorgeous outside! I think I’ll go for a walk before heading out to dinner with a friend, followed by my first ever experience attending an opera—“Pirates of Penzance” is playing at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. Have a great weekend, everyone!

4 thoughts on “So Y’all Think You Can Write”

  1. Congratulations on your latest book completion. It looks like a wonderful collection and I look forward to reading it. I recognize many wonderful writers among your listing. I’m curious–is this John Floyd the former editor of Southern Living? I used to be on the staff.
    You and I met years ago at the Creative Non-Fiction conference in Oxford which, I think, unfortunately was right before your accident. I was so glad to hear how you were getting better slowly but surely.
    And now look at your professional accomplishments! Kudos to you.

    1. So nice to hear from you, Nancy. I do remember meeting you at the CNF Conference in Oxford in 2013, and yes, that was just a couple of months before my car wreck. I am so thankful for my “new normal” now. And no, this John Floyd isn’t the former editor of Southern Living. He’s a terrific short story author who also teaches writing at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. His latest collection is “Dreamland.” Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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