Lincoln Memorial University

Mountain Heritage Literary Festival

Dear Friends and Writers,

Darnell ArnoultIt’s time for the 12th Annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University. It’s hard to believe Denton Loving and I have been co-directing this festival for seven years! I am grateful Denton continues to be my partner in hosting this gathering at LMU. We look forward each second weekend of June to renew old friendships and makie new ones as we celebrate writing and build a stronger writing community.

MHLF orginated with Silas House, former LMU Writer-in-Residence, who wanted to extend the nurturing community of Appalachian Writrs Workshop at the Hindman Settlement School, and we thank Silas for setting this wonderful annual event in motion.  Many folks see this festival as priming the pump before attending the Appalachian Writers Workshop and we hope those who attend this festival for the first time who have not attended the AWW see this event as a gateway to learning more about the workshop that has given so many of us the nurture and challenge we need to hone our writing skill, voice, and vision.  We salute the Appalachian Writers Workshop on this its 40th anniversary.

As always, we have a packed schedule for you this year.  We welcome back our popular Festival Writer-in-Residence, Pam Duncan.  This year’s keynote speaker is Mark Powell. The Emma Bell Miles lecturer is Amy Wright.  Our fiction workshop leaders are Marie Manilla and Jim Minick.  Creative nonfiction leaders are Sonja Livingston and Chris Martin. And our poetry leaders are Pauletta Hansel and William Woolfit.  Our mucial keynote artists are Telisha and Douglas Williams, otherwise known as Wild Ponies. We’ll aslo have music from Michael Henson at the keynote dinner. And that is just the beginning.  For those of you staying for Cumberland Gap Writers Studio, we are delighted to have returning CGWS Writers-in-Residence Crystal Wilkinson and Helen Hemphill.  We have lots more lined up to help you get your juices flowing and offer you a venue to respond to writers and their work.  And of course, we hope to hear from many of you during the open mic event.

I’m happy to report that our meals will be back in the cafeteria! That is the something old. The something new is that this year you’ll be registering for the festival through Eventbrite.  We’ll be asking for feedback on this new registration process. Let us know if you have questions as you register.

As you know, the festival is sandwiched between two other excellent writing events.  If you are registered for the festival and want to take advantage of the $50/$25 festival discount for Playwright Intensive with Lisa Soland the Sunday-Thursday just before the festival or the Cumberland Gap Writers Studio, the Sunday-Friday immediately following the festival, look for that link on the website and look for the festial discount ticket on the event page in Eventbrite. 

Registration for MHLF is open now.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about our festival please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 423-869-7170 or 615.715.3956. We hope to see you in Harrogate this June.

All my very best to you,

Darnell Arnoult with Denton Loving
Co-Directors, MHLF
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