Susannah Felts, Co-Founder
Susannah is a fiction writer, freelance writer, teacher, editor, and native Nashvillian. In 2009, after many years away from her hometown, she returned to put down roots with her family in East Nashville. Previously, Susannah taught creative writing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and in several other youth and community settings. Her first novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, was published in 2008 by Featherproof Books.
Susannah was the recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction for 2013. She has been awarded the Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Oxford American, Literary Hub, Longreads, StorySouth, The Sun, Quarterly West, Hobart, Five Chapters, Wigleaf, Quick Fiction, and others. She earned her BA with Highest Honors in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Susannah is also a contributing writer for Chapter 16, Humanities Tennessee’s site devoted to literary culture.
Katie McDougall, Co-Founder
Katie McDougall, also a native Nashvillian, first took Fiction Writing as a senior at Colorado College, where she earned her BA in English, and in the twenty-plus years since, she has been writing stories, crafting novels, scribbling in journals, and teaching, reading, selling, breathing literature. She earned her MFA in Fiction Writing at Colorado State University, and her short stories have appeared in BarcelonaReview.com and in Storyglossia.com. Katie’s writing awards have included a four-week writing residency at the Kimmel•Harding•Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, Association of Writers and Poet Intro. Journals Award Nomination for Colorado State University, and the Paul Gillette Writing Contest Finalist. She is currently in the process of finding a home for her second novel, Lady of the Lake.
Katie has over fifteen years experience as a teacher of literature and creative writing. Since leaving the traditional classroom, she has worked as the Master Teacher in Residence at The Island School in the Bahamas, as an outdoor educator, as a freelance writer, a tutor, and a proud bookseller at Nashville’s fabulous Parnassus Books. Additionally, she has coordinated writing workshops, ranging from the annual one-day Nashville Young Writers Workshop to the week-long Sense of Place Workshop with Richard Bausch at Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. She has also been a guest teacher of Fiction Writing at the Ah Haa School of Arts in Telluride, Colorado. She is delighted to be a founder of The Porch, through which she hopes to give a little something back to her beloved hometown.
Ryne Driscoll - Program Assistant
Ryne Driscoll is a writer and filmmaker from Kodak, TN. She moved to Nashville in 2009 to get her BFA in film directing and screenwriting, and has stuck around ever since. She was awarded Watkins College’s “Best Picture” for her short film, Sam & Henry, and was featured at their “Best of” at the Belcourt Theatre for her web-series pilot, The Adult Life. She has performed her short stories for Band of Poets, The Regenerates, and Heartbreak Happy Hour. She’s designed book interiors for Permuted Press and DrDoctor, and is a soon-to-be bookseller at Her Bookshop. Her self-published novella, Cool Pups, debuted in 1999 to critical acclaim from close family and some other kids in Mrs. Mac’s fourth grade classroom. She was awarded a pass to the Young Author’s Conference and partied way too hard. She’d be down to go again, though.
Joe Kane - Youth Program Director
J. Joseph Kane runs in the rain. He’s the Program Director of The Porch's youth programming arm, SLANT (Student Literary Artists of Nashville, TN). Before moving to Nashville, he taught creative writing in Detroit Public Schools through Inside Out Literary Arts Project. Joe’s poems and stories have found homes in a number of magazines, including RHINO, Elimae, theEEEL, Clapboard House, The Splinter Generation, Cricket Online Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Temenos, Right Hand Pointing, and Admit2.
Joshua Moore - POETRY ON DEMAND COORDINATOR
Joshua Moore is a Nashville poet, and 1st year MFA candidate in poetry at Vanderbilt University. He serves as a Reader for the Nashville Review, coordinates The Porch Writers’ Collective: Poetry on Demand Initiative, and hosts/ co-produces Nashville Public Radio’s Versify podcast. He received his BA in English Writing with a minor in Biology Pre-Medicine from Eureka College. He is a recipient of the Ronald W. Reagan Fellowship, and former editor of Impressions Literary Arts Journal.
Chance Chambers - COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Chance Chambers is a poetry and fiction writer who has called Nashville his home since 1985. His worked has appeared in The Perfume River Poetry Review, the anthologies Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology and Gathering: Writers of Williamson County, and Number One: A Literary Journal. He has also been a quarter-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story & New Century Writers Short Story Competition and a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Poetry Open. In 2015, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission selected Chance, along with six other writers/artists, to create a piece inspired by a local public artwork as part of a grant funded by the Bonnaroo Works Fund and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Our workshops are led by published writers with advanced degrees in writing (MA, MFA, or PhD), a strong track record of publication, and ample classroom experience. Some of us have worked with adults, some with youth, some with both, but each one of us is called to both write and teach, and we’re right here in the trenches with you, actively pursuing the craft of writing. We know intimately the rewards and challenges of the writing life, and we’re dedicated to sharing our enthusiasm and experience with writers at all levels, from total newbies and dabblers to folks working on MFA applications or book drafts. We bring an empathetic, constructive eye to our students’ work, and we aim to meet each student’s particular needs, making the pursuit of writing a rewarding one.
Jessica Pearson (Board President): Penguin Random House
Whitney Haley (Board Treasurer): McKenzie Laird PLLC
John Lavey (Board Secretary): Hammock
Kim Bundy: Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Cindy Oliva: Pinnacle Bank
Scott Chambers: independent real estate developer
Karen Hayes: Parnassus Books
Kendall Hinote: JKS Communications
Stephanie Koehler: Ingram Content Group
Korby Lenker: singer-songwriter and author of Medium Hero
Rory Levine: VP Marketing at CMT
Sandy Solomon: Vanderbilt Creative Writing Program (associate director)
John Strohm: Loeb & Loeb