Tag Archives: Tina McElroy Ansa

Location, location, location!

This is Macon in the early 1900's... it has changed (some) since then. Now, everything is in beautiful Technicolor!

This is Macon in the early 1900′s… it has changed (some) since then. Now, everything is in beautiful Technicolor!

Where is the Crossroads Writers Conference?

This year, the conference returns to the Macon, Georgia campus of Mercer University. A lot has changed around the college since we were last there. Namely, the growth of Mercer Village, which features a great little coffee shop Jittery Joe’s, a Barnes and Noble, and some great places to grab a bite: Ingleside Village Pizza, Francar’s Wings, Margarita’s Mexican Grill and Fountain of Juice. Don’t forget the large and lovely Tattnall Square Park next door, so if you need a few minute to wander around and collect your thoughts, you can find solitude there. To find your way to Mercer University, just click here, hit “get directions” and type in your address.

Is there an official hotel for us to stay in this year?

Yep! The brand spankin’ new Holiday Inn North is the official hotel of the Wordy South. They have writer-friendly rates (get a great discount off their regular prices when you ask for the Crossroads Writers room deal), a great bar for after-hours hanging out and we’ll run a shuttle from the hotel to the conference to make sure you get where the other word nerds are.

Wait… where is Macon, Georgia?

Right smack dab in the middle of the state, about an hour and a half south of Atlanta and about three hours west of Savannah, conveniently situated on I-75 and I-16.

Macon native John Oliver Killens was a co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild and the author of several novels, like "Youngblood" and "And Then We Heard the Thunder." Photo: Carl Van Vechten

Macon native John Oliver Killens wrote several novels, like “Youngblood” and “And Then We Heard the Thunder.” (Photo: Carl Van Vechten)

The cool part is that Macon has long been a little creative haven that has been home to a variety of writers, musicians, filmmakers and artists who have make a global impact with their work. We’re talking about John Oliver Killens, the Macon-born co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild in whose honor the conference is named, and poet/musician/lawyer/soldier Sidney Lanier and novelist Tina McElroy Ansa, Joel Chandler Harris (aka – Uncle Remus) and former CNN president Tom Johnson  and Pulitzer Prize winner George Weller who settled in here after becoming the first journalist into Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was dropped.

We’re talking about Flannery O’Connor who would make the short drive over from Milledgeville, and about Alice Walker, who grew up in Eatonton and still has kin here. And, of course, we’re talking about Otis Redding, Little Richard, the Allman Brothers, James Brown, Lena Horne, Lucinda Williams and her poet daddy Miller Williams. We’re even talking about Mike Mills and Bill Berry of REM, Jason Aldean, Young Jeezy and Meiko. We’re talking about visits to the old cotton mills by Sherwood Anderson and the summer Tennessee Williams spent here, which inspired Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

We could go on, but you get the drift, right? It’s a cool little place to come recharge your creative batteries.

Here are some links to help you learn more about Macon:

Macon Arts – Ovations365 

Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau

College Hill Alliance

Historic Macon

Gateway Macon

NewTown Macon

City of Macon

Bibb County

Main Street Macon

TinaMcElroyAnsa_onJOK

It’s Not Even Past: Tina McElroy Ansa, Terry Kay, Lauretta Hannon & Robert Perry Ivey

SAVE BIG ON THE CONFERENCE AND GET GREAT SWAG WITH A REGISTRATION PACKAGE

At Crossroads 2011, we assembled a few really interesting panels but this one featuring novelist Tina McElroy Ansa, novelist Terry Kay, memorist Lauretta Hannon and poet Robert Perry Ivey still has people talking. Maybe that’s because it was a panel dedicated to Southern writing (thus the Faulkner quote) or, because Tina and Perry are Macon natives, Lauretta hails from Warner Robins and Terry Kay is published by Mercer University Press.

Either way, you’re sure to find a few nuggets of knowledge in these snippets.

GET MORE GREAT INSIGHT LIKE THIS BY PRE-ORDERING THE CROSSROADS GUIDE TO THE WRITING LIFE & SUPPORTING SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WRITERS-IN-NEED

Tina McElroy Ansa answers a question about what she learned from another famed Macon native, John Oliver Killens, who co-founded the Harlem Writers Guild and inspired the name of our conference in his novel, “Youngblood,” set in Macon’s fictional counterpart, Crossroads, Georgia.


Asked whether Southern writers are mired in stigma when they leave the region, poet Robert Perry Ivey says sure, maybe… but have fun with it.

Memorist Lauretta  Hannon talks about working as a Southern writer with a New York publicist.

Novelist Terry Kay talks about how he approaches writing as a Southerner and the privileges a Southern writer used to have.