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Nationally Known Author to Serve as Georgia Southern University Visiting Writer in 2011

03-22 ansaheadshotGeorgia Southern University’s Department of Writing and Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will welcome Southern author and St. Simons Island, Ga., resident Tina McElroy Ansa as the department’s Visiting Writer for 2011.

Ansa is a novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist. But above all, she is a storyteller. She calls herself “part of a long and honored writing tradition, one of those little Southern girls who always knew she wanted to be a writer.”  Ansa grew up in middle Georgia in the 1950s hearing her grandfather’s stories on the porch of her family home and strangers’ stories downtown in her father’s juke joint. These experiences became the inspiration for Mulberry, Georgia, the mythical world of her five novels, Baby of the FamilyUgly Ways,The Hand I Fan WithYou Know Better and Taking After Mudear.

While at Georgia Southern, Ansa will teach the creative writing workshop course, “Writing the Novel,” in Summer 2011. Public readings are also planned, and more information about additional events will be made available once finalized. Ansa commented on the appointment, “I am still a middle Georgia girl at heart, so I am especially thrilled at the opportunity to share my stories, viewpoint, experiences and skills with the students at Georgia Southern. In addition, because Georgia Southern — through the Georgia Authors Series Award for Baby of the Family — was the first to acknowledge my novels, I am pleased to reciprocate by working with the University’s emerging writers of fiction.”

Ansa has been a regular contributor to the award-winning television seriesCBS Sunday Morning with her essays, “Postcards from Georgia.”  She also writes magazine and newspaper articles, op-ed pieces and book reviews for the Los Angeles Times, (New York) Newsday, The Atlanta Constitution, and theFlorida Times-Union.  Her non-fiction work has appeared in Essence Magazine, The Crisis Magazine, Ms. Magazine, America Magazine, and Atlanta Magazine. She is the founder of the Good Lil’ School Girl Foundation to promote and honor women of color of all ages for their contributions to the arts, community, health and spiritual growth.

This is the second year of the Visiting Writer series at Georgia Southern University. In 2010, the University hosted Janisse Ray, author of the award-winning memoir Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.

“This will be a terrific opportunity for the students of Georgia Southern University,” said Randall McClure, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Writing and Linguistics.  “Tina is not only an outstanding author, but an outstanding teacher and we are excited to have her join Georgia Southern as a visiting writer next summer.”

RECEPTION & READING SCHEDULED

On Tuesday, March 29, Georgia Southern and the Friends of the Statesboro Regional Library will host a reception and public reading to welcome Ansa to the University.  The reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at the Statesboro Regional Library, followed by a public reading at 7 p.m. Both events are free of charge and open to the public.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT AT LANGSTON CHAPEL MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHEDULED

 On Wednesday, March 30, Ansa will speak to eighth graders at Bulloch County’s Langston Chapel Middle School.  The state’s curriculum requires all eighth graders to read works by a Georgia author. Ansa will speak to all 150 8th grade students at the school. This event has been organized by the Friends of the Statesboro Regional Library.

For more information about the author, visit:http://www.tinamcelroyansa.com.  For more information on the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern, visithttp://class.georgiasouthern.edu/writling.  For more information about the Statesboro Friends of the Library, visit http://www.statesborofriends.org/.

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