The Novel Retreat is pleased to announce our 2017 faculty.
Connie May Fowler is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction. Her latest, the memoir A Million Fragile Bones, will be published in April 2017. Her novels include How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, The Problem with Murmur Lee, Remembering Blue (recipient of the Chautauqua South Literary Award), Before Women had Wings (recipient of the 1996 Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Buck Award from the League of American Pen Women), River of Hidden Dreams (recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Grant), Sugar Cage. She has published one previous memoir, When Katie Wakes.
Three of her novels have been Dublin International Literary Award nominees. She adapted Before Women had Wings for Oprah Winfrey. The result was an Emmy-winning film. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, London Times, International Herald Tribune, Japan Times, Oxford American, Best Life, and elsewhere. She has written extensively about the environment, family violence, multi-cultural identity, poverty, women’s issues, and sumo wrestling. Much of her fiction contains elements of magical realism and offers historical, sociological, and environmental perspectives of the American South. For two years she wrote "Savoring Florida," a culinary and culture column for FORUM, a publication of the Florida Humanities Council. Her work has been widely anthologized in the United States and abroad. From 1997-2003 she directed the Connie May Fowler Women Wings Foundation, an organization that was dedicated to aiding women and children in need. From 2003-2007 she served as the Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing at Rollins College and directed their award-winning visiting author series Winter With the Writers. She is the founder of Below Sea Level: Full Immersion Workshops for Serious Writers. She is the founder and director of The St. Augustine Writers Conference and directs the VCFA Novel Retreat.
Born in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Writers’ Workshop and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from U.C. Berkeley. A former Stegner Fellow, Johnson has taught writing at UC Berkeley, Stanford, the Writers’ Workshop, the Prague Summer Program, Oregon State University, San Quentin, and elsewhere. His first novel, Hold it ‘Til it Hurts, was finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award and a 2016 Wall Street Journal Book Club pick. Welcome to Braggsville, his second novel, was longlisted for the National Book Award, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize, named a finalist for the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, named one of the ten books all Georgians should read by the Georgia Center for the Book, selected as one of Time Magazine’s top ten books of 2015, and winner of the 2015 Ernest J Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His work has been adapted for the stage. Johnson is a 2016 National Book Award judge.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is the author of 24 books for adults, young adults, and children. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and recipient of the Powers Award for First Fiction and spent 45 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Subsequent novels won or were nominated for awards including the Orange Broadband Prize, the Image Award, and UK’s Talkabout Prize. Two of her novels were adapted for feature films, and her short stories have won the Shirley Jackson and Bram Stoker Prizes. Mitchard is the editor in chief and curator of Merit Press, a realistic Young Adult imprint, and she has been a fellow at The Ragdale Foundation, the McDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, and Yaddo.. A longtime journalist who writes widely for publications such as Glamour and Outside magazine, she served on the fiction jury for the National Book Awards, and was one of the founding instructors of the Abroad Writers Salon in Dublin. Mitchard grew up in Chicago, and lives on Cape Cod with her family.