ANN IMIG is the founder of the live-reading series and video sharing company LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and editor of the acclaimed anthology LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now (Putnam Books, 2015). A Stay-At-Home Humorist, Ann’s writing has been featured on sites like CollegeHumor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post. National TV appearances include ABCnews.com, NBC Nightly News and the webseries Battleground and The Louise Log. Ann’s blog (annsrants.com) has been named a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog, A BlogHer Voice of the Year, and a SheKnows Top 5 Funniest Mom Blog. Ann lives with her husband and children in Madison, Wisconsin.
JANA ANTHOINE Co-Director/Producer — Jana is an overly-optimistic, bourbon-drinking, Auburn football-loving, Southern belle who has been writing at Jana’s Thinking Place since 2008. She begs you not to go read any of her early pieces because it’s completely mortifying. Over the years, Jana has written for sites such as Band Back Together, Still Standing Magazine, and Project: Underblog. She was honored as a 2012 Voice of the Year by BlogHer. Her latest feats have been completing two half marathons in 2013, the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge in 2014, and the Princess Half Marathon in 2015. Jana lives in Atlanta with her son who is almost 12, and the memory of her first son who died in 2003 from late-onset Group B Strep. You can follow her on her blog, her Facebook page, Instagram, or her happy place, Twitter.
MIRANDA WICKER Co-Director/Producer– Miranda is a wine and word loving work-at-home mom who begin blogging in 2008. The blog name might have changed a time or two (or three) but the mission is still the same: tell your stories. After battling postpartum depression and anxiety following the birth of her son, Miranda became a contributing author at Postpartum Progress, the blog. In 2015, she became the Volunteer Manager for Postpartum Progress, Inc, a national non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of maternal mental illness. When she’s not shlepping children to extracurriculars, she’s helping people find new wines to love through her venture with WineShop at Home. She also gets paid to watch TV and write about it. Miranda was a finalist for a We Still Blog Award at the 2013 Type-A Conference and has been speaking on the conference circuit since. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children. You can find her at Caffeine and Cabernet, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook. (She really loves Instagram)
Tiffany Courtney is a native of the Mississippi Delta, was raised in the heart of Texas, summered on the plains of Kansas, escaped to Louisiana to attend college before migrating to Atlanta, finally finding home. She’s a wife, mother, sister, daughter, reader, writer and Realtor— rarely in that order but always with those as priorities. She is an avid proponent of sustainable communities, volunteering with programs that support the arts, underserved families, and local schools. She’s also at work on her first book, a coming-of-age narrative amid divorce, biracial blended families and racial isolation— with plenty of moments when the narrator does not listen to her mother.
Debbie From grew up listening to the stories of her elders and continues the tradition of storytelling today by sharing stories at a variety of venues. She also facilitates storytelling workshops for all ages. In 2011, she received her Master of Arts in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University. She is a current member of the National Storytelling Network and the Southern Order of Storytellers and served as the Georgia State Liaison for the National Storytelling Network for three years. In 2013, Debbie created The MamaLogs Project where she combines her two passions of parenting and storytelling. She interviews women (and men) and then crafts the interviews into adult themed monologues to share from the stage. In 2015, Debbie received the Seanachie Award from the Southern Order of Storytellers for her support of storytelling in all its forms. She was recognized for her contribution within the family of the Southern Order of Storytellers as well as taking storytelling into the larger community. You can find her here.
Soniah Kamal is a Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and fiction writer. Her debut novel, An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Soniah’s work has appeared in The New York Times, TEDx , The Guardian, Chicago Quarterly Review, Buzzfeed, Catapult, The Missing Slate, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Huffington Post, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Normal School, ArtsATL and more. Her essays and short stories are included in The Best Asian Short Stories, award winning anthologies and have been short listed for the Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award, The Agnes Scott Festival Award, the Payton James Freeman Prize and more and are recommended reads by VELA and Longreads. Soniah is the recipient of the Susan B. Irene Award from St. Johns College and a Paul Bowles Fiction Fellowship from Georgia State University. Soniah was born in Pakistan, grew up in England and Saudi Arabia and lives in the U.S., New Mexico, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, California and currently Georgia.
Born & raised in Georgia, Ashlea Kelly, has been frantically filling up diaries since she was 8 years old. Surrounded by her beautifully dysfunctional family, she spent most of her childhood as a shy observer, writing & in the dance studio doing ballet, until she discovered theater in high school. Ashlea is a graduate of Valdosta State University, where she majored in Communications. She began her official internship with motherhood in August 2000, when her surprise little package (aka: “daughter”) came along and stole her heart. She then jumped into the corporate world, spent a decade in Louisiana, where she finally realized that maybe it wasn’t too late to grow up and live your dreams. . she began acting in 2009, right after becoming a mommy again, to her big hearted boy “Max”. Now back in Georgia, she’s finally feeling “at home” again, surrounded once more by her crazy wonderful family. Ashlea lives in Dallas, GA with her funny kids (Madi-16 & Max-7) trying to survive it all with sanity, acting, teaching, writing & finally turning all those stories from her diaries into a book & screenplay.
After accidentally setting fire to a gas station, romping around the pyramids on a camel, and hiking a trail by hanging onto chains embedded in the mountain wall, Melanie Knauff and her husband, Doug, moved from sunny South Florida to Dahlonega, Georgia to lead a calmer life. But, she brought crazy with her. She is zany, loaded with energy and full of chaos. Fortunately, her husband, a retired engineer and therapist, brings a dose of sanity to her life. Although she never had children, she was a mother to many during her twenty-two years of teaching reading, drama, critical thinking, ESOL, special education, and mostly, 6th grade language arts. Once Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, she is now retired. When she isn’t traveling the US in her camper, she enjoys volunteering in schools and with Bear on the Square Mountain Festival. In her spare time, she loves painting, and avoiding housework. A portion of her day is devoted to walking 20,000 steps as part of her family/friends fitness challenge. (Unfortunately, she’s only surpassed her 85 year old father’s seven-day step average once) Most of all, she loves writing and taking to the stage to tell tales of laughter.
June Ash Moore graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Theatre Performance. She is a native Kansan but has spent 10 years living in the South. Her claim to fame is running 13 races in 2013. Her stupid human trick is mimicking farm animal voices. She has performed in and directed numerous community theatre productions. Currently she shares her passion for theatre with the students at The Habersham School in Savannah. In her spare time she hangs on the beach with her daughter, vacuums up her dog’s hair, avoids cooking for her husband, and binges Friends. For 10 years she blogged about infertility, adoption and travel, your normal unfocused stream of consciousness blog. The blog is still there as a neglected reminder of her former obsession. She loves writing and her computer is full of half finished future best seller projects. Her next goal is completing a master degree in theatre education.
Alison Paul loves roosters, magnolia trees, sunsets, and sweet tea. But she loves a good story best of all. Born and raised in Florida, she made her way to Atlanta just in time for the ’96 Olympics. She has degrees in English and Humanities, but after computers were invented she changed course, and currently works as a freelance graphic and web designer. Her musings on life and motherhood can be found at Cluck and Strut and Atlanta City Moms Blog. She lives in Marietta with 1 husband, 2 teenagers, and 3 dogs.
Zan Marie Steadham is a graduate of the University of West Georgia with a BA, MA in History and a EdS in Education. Since retiring from teaching History and Latin, she’s followed her heart and written two devotionals, two church histories, and edited histories and memoirs. She’s a 2009 Georgia Author of the Year Nominee for An Easter Walk. As a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is actively seeking representation for her first novel and working on the next three. She was born in Carrollton, GA and lives in Temple, GA with her college sweetheart. Her writings include An Easter Walk, A Christmas Walk, two church histories, one of which he also edited. She’s the editor of Head Lights for Dark Roads by Diane Quimby. In 2009 An Easter Walk was a Georgia Author of the Year Nominee. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers. She blogs at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree.
Jill Swenson is a retired elementary school teacher who is currently polishing her writing skills. She was born on a farm outside of Buffalo, NY. but at the age of six, her family relocated to Atlanta where she has lived ever since. After her first marriage went south, she remained in the south and met her wonderful current husband who recently calls himself Santa. Together they raised two beautiful daughters who are the joy of their lives. Since retiring from the classroom, she has become a local storyteller sharing stories of her childhood, family life, and favorite folk and fairy tales. She tells stories at local festivals, Stories on the Square, Cluster Groups and in local schools. She is currently working on her first picture books.
Heather Tolley-Bauer is a wife-mom-comedian-cancer-survivor-straight-shooting-cracker-upper-of-audiences-and-encourager-of-women who believes there is power in hyphens. Obviously. She started doing stand-up comedy after transitioning from the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds into one of the hardest yet most hilarious jobs there is: being a stay-at-home mom. Her observational humor is liberation and inspiration all rolled into one—not just for her, but for audiences who need a hall pass from the pressures of parenting, Pinterest and the PTA.
In the last year, Heather has found an even more important reason to laugh her butt off: her recovery from colon cancer. Now, more than ever, she’s determined to speak up and encourage women to genuinely embrace their stories, love themselves, and to remember it’s okay to eat a freakin cupcake once-in-awhile. You can find more from Heather at Hyphen Up.
Pamela Wright is a native Atlantan and graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned a B.S. in Psychology (although she learned more about human behavior at the bartending jobs that paid for it.) Her personal essays have previously been published by Full Grown People (“Under the Florentine Moon”), The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (“Back to My Roots”), Purple Clover (“Sweating Bullets”), and in the anthology “Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Cats” (2014). She is a recipient of a 2016 Solas Award for Funny Travel Writing and the 2016 Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction. In a recent change of genre, Pamela has begun work on her first novel: a comic Christmas tale about an eccentric, old line Southern family with secrets to spare and a one-eyed cat named Melvin. She is lives in the Clarkdale Historic District in southwest Cobb County.
Alison Auerbach – What Max Says
Joyce Brewer – Lost Hoop Earring
Aaronica Cole – It Takes A Village To Raise A Mother
Anjali Enjeti – Beadwork
Lisa LeClair – Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Abby Norman – Rilla At The Roller Derby
Ekene Onu – I Love My Baby’s Hair
Christine Penguino – Survivor
Katie Peters – Motherhood Snuck Up On Me
Danielle Slaughter – Mommy, I Black
Tricia Stearns – Follow The Noise
Tara Wood – Bottoms Up
Heidi Zellie – My Mother’s Hands
Kayla Aimee – #Motherhood
Dawn Camp – More Can Be Bought
Kit Carlson – A Change of Heart
Kaitlin Curtice – Walking At Sweetwater Creek
Erin Robinson Hall – The Things They Say
Krystyn Hall – No Name
Karen James – I Have Three Children
Raivon Lee – Reality Has Its Own Plans
Julia Roberts – I’ve Got This Parenting Thing Down
Nicki Salcedo – Destination Motherhood
Rachel Macy Stafford – Enough
Renee Yawn – Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em
Kyle Young – Like Mother, Like Daughter
Benjamin Carr – It Just Is
Robin Dance – Mama’s Way
Shelly Davis – Loving Life: Seeing the Full Circle
Libby Geiselmayr – The Truth
Tracy Kistler – A Moment In Time
Leslie Marinelli – Supermom vs. The Brown Lantern
Denise Des Soye Mount – Listening To My Mother
Sarah Beth Nelson – The F Word
Ashley Robinson – A Letter to The First Lady
Renee J Ross – Heart Divided
Lyssa Turner Sahadevan – Sisters
Katherine Stone – Overwhelmed by Motherhood: The Anatomy of an Anxiety Attack