Writing Room Faculty

The Writing Room is an independent creative writing program in Greenville, SC founded by Mindy Friddle and sponsored by the Emrys Foundation. The Writing Room is unique because there’s no other organization–or university writing program–in the area quite like it. Since September 2006, the Writing Room has offered classes that encourage writers to explore their craft in a supportive yet challenging environment. Our workshops and seminars meet in a variety of places, including The Handlebar, The Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Furman University, and The Innovate Building. Here is a listing of faculty who teach–or have taught–for the Writing Room:




Mindy Friddle is founder and director of the Writing Room. Her novel, The Garden Angel (St. Martin’s Press/Picador) was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and an NPR Summer Reading Pick. Her second novel, Secret Keepers, was published by St. Martin’s Press in May. She was awarded a South Carolina Prose Fellowship in 2008, and has twice won the South Carolina Fiction Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson. Visit Mindy’s website.


Scott Gould is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities, His poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published in magazines and anthologies including Kenyon Review, Kansas Quarterly, Carolina Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, New Stories From the South, and New Southern Harmonies, among others. He is a past winner of the Literature Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Fiction Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Scholastic, Inc. named him a National Creative Writing Teacher of the Year, and his scriptwriting has won awards from the International Television Association and the London Film Festival. Scott recently received a Surdna Arts Teacher Fellowship for study in Italy. Scott has an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of South Carolina and an MFA in Writing from Warren Wilson College. About Scott.


Lauren Groff ‘s first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, published in February 2008, was a New York Times and Booksense bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her second book, Delicate Edible Birds, is a collection of stories. Both books are published by Hyperion/Voice. Lauren’s short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, Five Points and Five Chapters, and in the anthologies Best American Short Stories 2007, Pushcart Prize XXXII, and Best New American Voices 2008. She was awarded the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville, and has had residencies and fellowships at Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center. Most recently, Lauren had a short story in the 13th & 20th, 2011, New Yorker. Lauren graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lauren’s website.


Tommy Hays‘ latest novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was chosen for the Amazing Read — Greenville, South Carolina’s first community-wide reading of a single book. The Pleasure Was Mine, set in Greenville, was read on National Public Radio’s “Radio Reader” hosted by Dick Estell and South Carolina ETV-Radio’s “Southern Read” hosted by Walter Edgar. It was also a Finalist for the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) 2006 Fiction Award. Tommy has written two other novels — Sam’s Crossing and In the Family Way, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and a Lecturer in the Masters of Liberal Arts Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives in Asheville with his wife Connie and his two children Max and Ruth. More information on Tommy.


Joshilyn Jackson’s bestselling debut novel, Gods in Alabama won the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance’s) 2005 Novel of the year Award and was a #1 BookSense pick. Her second novel, Between, Georgia was also a #1 BookSense pick, making Jackson the first author in BookSense history to receive #1 status in back to back years. Jackson read the audio version herself, winning a Listen Up award from Publisher’s Weekly and making Audiofile’s Best of 2006 list. Both books were chosen for the Books-A-Million Book Club. Her short fiction has been published in literary magazines and anthologies including TriQuarterly and Calyx, and her plays have been produced in Atlanta and Chicago. Joshilyn’s third novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, a national bestseller, was released in March of 2008. Visit Joshilyn’s website and her popular blog, Faster Than Kudzu, for more information. (photo by Elizabeth Osborne)



Mark Johnston is the author of I Love To Smell My Daddy’s Socks (Price Stern Sloan, 1997) and co-author of Secret Agent (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005) and The Secret Agents Strike Back (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008). He writes children’s books and teaches English at Greenville Technical College.




Howard Kingkade worked as a SAG actor, appearing in commercials, television, and features before turning to writing. This year, Hole in the Paper Sky, a short film for which he wrote the original screenplay, won the Jury Award for “Best Screenplay” at the 2008 Beverly Hills International Film Festival. Howard has won or been named a finalist in a number of screenwriting competitions, including the American Gem, Fade In Magazine, Anything But Hollywood, PAGE International, and the British Short Screenplay Competition. The South Carolina Arts Commission awarded him a 2007-2008 Screenwriting Fellowship.  Harold, a playwright as well as screenwriter, was one of four finalists in Centre Stage’s (Greenville) 2008 New Play Festival for his full-length comedy, One Foot in the Gravy, which received a staged reading. Currently, he teaches at USC Lancaster. More about Howard.




Heather Magruder is a freelance writer, teaching artist and workshop facilitator. Her fiction has twice won the Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open. Heather is on the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Artist Roster, is listed on Southern Artistry and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Queens University. She has presented writing and arts integration workshops across the country. Heather’s website.




A North Carolina native, Ashley Warlick is the author of three novels:The Distance from the Heart of Things (1996), The Summer After June (2000), and Seek the Living (2005), all published by Houghton Mifflin Company. She is the youngest recipient of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, a founding advisory board member for the Novello Festival Press, a book reviewer and columnist, and a recipient of a 2006 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina and the South Carolina Governer’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Read more about Ashley.