Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium Keynote Speaker Scott Pratt

Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium Keynote Speaker Scott Pratt

Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium set for June 9-10

Johnson City author Scott Pratt, who has achieved bestselling status with his series of legal thrillers, will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium set for June 9-10 in Dellinger Hall at Southwest Virginia Community College.

writers symposiumPratt is the author of the internationally published Joe Dillard crime fiction series and has used his own background in criminal law to develop Dillard, an attorney and main character in the series. He has also drawn from his experience as a reporter, columnist and editor for daily newspapers in Johnson City and Kingsport.

Born in Michigan, Pratt grew up in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he won the McClellan Award for outstanding writing.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English at ETSU and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee in 1998. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Pratt will present a workshop at 3 p.m. Friday, June 9, on the topic “The Heart and Soul of it: Writing Characters that Readers Care About” and will deliver the symposium’s keynote address following the noon banquet on Saturday, June 10.

Other presenters and their topics include:

  • Jack Beck, Appalachian dialect
  • Jo Allison, fiction
  • Michael McNulty, playwriting
  • Dylan Pratt, the business of writing
  • Steven James, busting the myths of writing
  • Joe Tennis, nonfiction
  • Lynn Young, writing query letters
  • Rita Quillen, poetry

Saundra Kelly will be the featured storyteller during Saturday’s events, which will include book sales in the library with book signings by the presenters and other authors attending the conference. Closing ceremonies following the noon banquet and keynote address, will include presentation of the AHWS Writing Contest awards, door prizes and evaluations.

Advance registration forms, along with presenter biographies, schedule details and guidelines for the writing contests are available at

The symposium, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by the Appalachian Authors Guild and Southwest Virginia Community College.



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