is listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission Artist/Teaching Artist Roster, and the Mississippi Humanities Speaker Board. With diplomas from The Institute of Children’s Literature, Gotham Writers, University of Iowa, Open College for the Arts Advanced Writing Program, and other accredited writing institutions, she has taught Creative Writing at Meridian Community College and through libraries, schools and online. Her writing awards include Writers Digest, Writers Journal, Song of the Year, Songwars, Billboard Songwriting and American Songwriting Magazine. Her literary work has been published in Common Ties, Pif Magazine, The Copperfield Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and two bestselling series: A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Daughters and A Cup of Comfort for Christmas Prayer and A Cup of Comfort Twelve Days of Christmas and more and was also chosen for The Copperfield Review’s 10th Anniversary Celebration Anthology. She writes for Town & Gown Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, Parents & Kids, Well Being, Portico, and Social South magazines. History Press commissioned her to write Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History, released in November 2011. She co-authored Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi (Arcadia Publishing) with June Davidson, released October 2013. Her book The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty was published by History Press April 2014 and won the MoonBeam Children’s Book Award Silver Medal in the non-fiction ebook category. She co-wrote the Play Women of Potta Chitto and the accompanying soundtrack.
Family Columnist – Rachell Anderson
is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor Emeritus, (University of Illinois at Springfield) and Author, `has provided Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy and Psychological Education programs to people with mental illnesses and emotional pain. She is credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and she dreceived her doctorate of psychology in Clinical Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University and from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a Bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Anderson taught clinical courses to graduate students in the Department of Human Services (HMS) at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS). She spearheaded the re-development and accreditation of the HMS program and served as its chair from 1999 until 2006. Before joining the faculty at UIS, Dr. Anderson taught at several community colleges in Rockford and Springfield, Illinois and worked as a juvenile probation counselor in Oklahoma, an intake and placement counselor in East Saint Louis, Illinois and a school counselor in an adult education center. Dr. Anderson has received many awards for learning, teaching, healing and serving in her field. She was honored with awards from The Committee For Children for 25 years of dedicated services on the Family Stress Consultation Team. She was selected by her peers to receive the University’s Pearson Faculty Award for sustained excellence in Teaching in 2006. This honor carried a substantial monetary award of which Dr. Anderson used a portion to donate books “Responsible Children in Today’s world” to 50 daycare centers in her home state of Mississippi.
Inspirational Columnist – Virginia Dawkins
Virginia Dawkins is a newspaper columnist. Her personal experience stories and devotionals have been published in a series of Cup of Comfort books. She is a regular columnist for The Meridian Star. She and her husband live in Meridian, Mississippi.