Lincoln Memorial University

Cumberland Gap Writers Studio

You are cordially invited to attend the Cumberland Gap Writers Studio, a writing retreat scheduled June 12-17 at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, immediately following the LMU Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. This studio experience is about getting the work done—giving you time and space to write without distraction. And what better time to do that than after a weekend of inspiration from a host of excellent workshops, panels and presentations lead by gifted writers in an encouraging atmosphere.

Bring a project you're working on or start a new one here! The idea is to be productive in the company of supportive writers and advisers and give yourself the quiet time you need to dig in!

> Located near the historic and beautiful Cumberland Gap, LMU offers apartments for three, including private bedroom and bath with shared living room/kitchenette. Individual rooms with private bath may also be available. Each room includes a bookcase, desk and chair. But if you’d prefer to write in the library, or outside near the spring house, or after hiking one of several trails at the nearby Cumberland Gap National Park, or even perched on a rock at the Pinnacle, there are plenty of options for quiet time and creative reflection. You are welcome to bring some supplies from home and use the kitchenette, but meals are included in your registration.

Following breakfast each day, participants may elect to gather for a morning writing prompt and then disperse to write in silence until noon. You can keep writing in the afternoons or opt to take a break for one or more of our afternoon field trips, which may include a visit to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park or Wilderness Road State Park, a guided wildflower hike, or an antique crawl in the town of Cumberland Gap. There’s no better place to expand your mind than the former gateway to the wilderness.

Instructional time and manuscript feedback will follow every evening after dinner. Faculty in residence are writers Darnell Arnoult, Helen Hemphill, and Denton Loving.

Please join us for this intensive experience in the beautiful Cumberlands of East Tennessee. Cost to attend the Cumberland Gap Writers Studio is $525 per person or $500 per person if also attending the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.


Guest Writers-in-Residence

Hailed as “a strong new voice in children’s literature” by Kirkus Reviews, Helen Hemphill grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas and now lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas.

Her first novel Long Gone Daddy (Front Street 2006) won the 2007 Teddy Award for young adult fiction from the Writers’ League of Texas and was named to the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age. In 2007, her novel Runaround (Front Street 2007) was named a Top Ten Youth Romance by Booklist. Her new book for middle school readers,The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones (Front Street 2008), won the Virginia M. Law Award from the Daughters of The Republic of Texas Library for most distinguished book on Texas history for young adult readers. It is also listed in the best books of 2008 by Banks State College and was an on the 2009 Winter Indie Picks' List.

Helen holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College.



CRYSTAL WILKINSON is the author of The Birds of Opulence, Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the Oxford American and the Appalachian anthology Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean. She currently teaches at Berea College where she is the Appalachian Writer in Residence and in brief residency MFA in Writing program at Spalding University. She had her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own Wild Fig Books & Coffee which is located in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington.




For more informtion contact Darnell Arnoult at or (office) 423-869-7075 or (cell--call or text) 615-715-3956.

Lincoln Memorial University
Cumberland Gap Parkway
P.O. Box 1643
Harrogate, TN 37752





423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752