Each year, the Southern Author Expo offers the chance to meet and greet selected regional authors as well as listen to special featured speakers as they share information on their latest books, their writing process, and other literary themes.
About Our Featured Speakers
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels. A native of St. Petersburg, FL, she spent 14 years working as a newspaper reporter for The Savannah Morning News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before she left journalism to write fiction. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by fifteen more NYT, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech, and Japanese. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, Georgia, where they cook up new recipes in three restored beach homes.
Julia Franks is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Say So and Over the Plain Houses, a debut that was included in many “best of” lists, including NPR’s Notable Books of 2016. She has also published stories in the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Lit Hub, The Bitter Southerner, and more. Her family roots are in the Southeast, though she was raised as an army “brat” and has lived in many places. For years she taught high school in the U.S. and abroad. She and her husband live in Decatur, Georgia.
John Lane is professor emeritus of environmental studies at Wofford College. A 2014 inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors, his books include Circling Home, My Paddle to the Sea, and Coyote Settles the South. He is also coeditor of The Woods Stretched for Miles: New Nature Writing from the South and has published numerous volumes of poetry, essays, and novels. Gullies of My People, published in November, is his latest work. He lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
George Singleton has published 10 collections of stories, two novels, and a book of writing advice. Over 250 of his stories have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Esquire, Zoetrope, Southern Review, Story, LitMag, and elsewhere. His first collection of essays, Asides, was published in November. He’s taught fiction writing at Wofford College and the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six short story collections. His latest novel, The Caretaker, was published in September. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.
Ed Southern grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, and Greenville, SC, and was educated in their public schools. He is the author of Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South, a finalist for the 2022 Southern Book Prize (no relation). His shorter work, in a variety of genres, has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, storySouth, the North Carolina Literary Review, South Writ Large, The Dirty Spoon, the Asheville Poetry Review, and Wake Forest Magazine, among others. Since 2008 he has been the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, one of the largest writers’ organizations of its kind in the country.