Crossroads grew out of a conversation between some friends who wanted to build on the literary and creative legacy of Macon,
Georgia. In the fall of 2008, with the help of several volunteers and great organizations, Chris Horne and Drs. Heather Braun, Kelly Whiddon and Monica Young-Zook launched the first Crossroads Writers Conference in downtown Macon. In a stroke of luck, they’d invited novelist Ad Hudler, who really helped establish the conference its fun, loose, communal vibe.
Over the past four years, the conference has been proud to bring hundreds of writers together to learn from the likes of Steve Almond, Rick Moody, Joshilyn Jackson, Jay Parini, Judith Ortiz-Cofer, Carlo Rotella, Gail Simone, Idris Goodwin, Tina McElroy-Ansa, Adam Davies, Lauretta Hannon, and several others. Not to mention all the talented writers from the metro Macon area who’ve given their time to making this conference happen.
As Crossroads has grown, we’ve established new partnerships and found ways to give back to the community where we’re based.
In 2011, we received a Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant to replace broken sidewalks in the College Hill area with new sidewalks adorned with poetry, lyrics, history, quotes and other literature related to Macon. It’s called Sidewalk Stories and we’re taking nominations here for the sidewalks to replace and the stories with which to replace them.
This spring, Crossroads donated 100 copies of “Project Dreams,” a children’s book by local author Rhonda Singletary, to a literacy event held by Mercer University. The book tells the story of Osha, who dreams of being a doctor, simultaneously embracing the culture of the low-income neighborhood where she lives and the idea that she can one day be whatever she wants.
Over the summer, Crossroads volunteers, led by Angel Collins, provided an educational component to former NBA star Sha’ron Wright’s basketball camp. And this fall, as the conference nears, Crossroads will be working with the Junior League of Macon’s annual book drive and roving reader program.
As much as we love writing, we value community even more and we hope that’s evident when you come to the conference. We love people and believe a lot more good comes out of working together towards a goal, whether that’s a writing project or helping make our kids’ lives a little better.