About Us

AGT was formed in the spring of 2013 to showcase many of the talented authors who hail from Tennessee. It is a group of published authors who work together to promote the books they have written and to share the costs of marketing them. AGT members sell their books through national and regional outlets, this website and at book signings and other events.

The reading experience is enhanced by getting to know the author personally as well as details about the book and its inspiration that are not usually known. The author benefits from the reader’s feedback as well. Sci-Fi author Sam Bledsoe says, “We consider our writing to be a collaboration, a shared experience, between writer and reader that makes writing and reading more satisfying for both of us.”

By making the books of local authors available in one place, the public has more to choose from by genre as well as number of titles. You can search the books offered by our authors by clicking on the “Our Authors” button in the menu at the top of this page. Or you may search by genre by clicking on the “By Genre” button.

Most of these books are available in e-book format as well as paperback. They may be purchased directly from the author or on Amazon.com and stores such as Barnes & Noble.

Lastly, AGT hopes to encourage the development of higher literacy (reading skills) that benefit young and old in career and personal life.

Board Executives


Bobbi Phelps Chapman

Vice President

Cheryl Peyton


Cindy Leihkauff

Assistant Secretary

Laura Derr


Russell Fine

Assistant Treasurer

Randall Carpenter


Joan McIntee


Wayne Zurl

Founding President

Sam Bledsoe

Services Provided by AGT

The following services by the Authors Guild of Tennessee are intended to foster a greater appreciation of learning, writing and literature by the citizens of Tennessee so they may be better informed and inspired.

  • Through this website, AGT provides a good way to find and buy original novels and other works by Tennessee authors. AGT strives to publicize contemporary Tennessee authors who aspire to follow in the tradition of literary giants such as James Agee and Cormac McCarthy and is a good way to get to know their writing. Scan the pages on this website that are devoted to our authors; you may find a book that pleases you.
  • AGT provides a way to find, connect with and get to know Tennessee authors so the public can discover authors they like and support them. The collaboration between reader and author can promote a symbiotic relationship that nourishes both intellectually. This website informs the public about events in which AGT’s authors are participating.
  • AGT encourages learning about famous Tennessee authors who will inspire and entertain us by providing a list of resources for learning about them. Click on Famous Authors in the main menu at the top of the Home Page to learn more about them.
  • AGT intends to promote the art of creative writing―and thinking―through a biennial contest that will select and recognize the best work of fiction and non-fiction by an aspiring new author from Tennessee. The “Agee”, the James Agee Award for Literary Achievement, will be awarded for the best fictional novel and the “Children’s Agee”, for the best work in Children’s Literature.
  • AGT promotes the development of better reading skills by providing a list of links to reading and literacy programs, such as the International Literacy Day and Tennessee’s Summer Reading Program. See the following information about Tennessee’s Summer Reading Program.

International Literacy Day

September 8th was proclaimed as International Literacy Day (ILD) at the 14th session ofUNESCO’s General Conference on 26 October 1966. Since 1967, ILD celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. ILD 2018 will be celebrated through: 1) a global event, including an award ceremony of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes; 2) regional and country events; and 3) celebrations in a virtual space.

Integrated approaches that connect literacy learning and skills development have a long history. For these approaches, functional literacy has been an influential concept since the late 1950s, viewed as a set of context-dependent skills that can engage a person with those activities in which literacy is required for an effective functioning of his or her group and community. Beyond project managed by the education sector, numerous integrated programmes have been managed by other sectors in field such as agriculture, labour and health. These programmes have played an important role in combining literacy, technical and vocational skills, and employability and entrepreneurial skills, as exemplified by extension services and ‘farmers school’ models. Parts of integrated programmes have targeted specific populations, such as out-of-school youth, women, rural people, low-skilled workers, and indigenous peoples.

From: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday

Tennessee State Library and Archives Summer Reading Program

Each summer, the Tennessee State Library and Archives sponsors a statewide reading program. By providing all Tennessee public libraries with materials to promote and present a summer reading program in their library, the Tennessee State Library and Archives helps communities encourage reading during the pivotal summer months. All libraries also receive a manual packed with fun, creative, and literary ideas based around the theme of each summer’s reading program.

To help librarians prepare for the Summer Reading Program, the Tennessee State Library and Archives also offers workshops across the state for librarians responsible for the program. These workshops are presented by Tennessee librarians and feature program and display ideas, book suggestions and other creative recommendations for conducting the best Summer Reading Program. One of the most beneficial aspects of these workshops is the opportunity for collaboration with fellow librarians across the state.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a 50-state consortium of librarians that develop the materials and manual for each year’s summer reading program.

Summer Reading Questions for the Public Library Survey may be found here.

For more information on the Summer Reading Program, contact Kate Smith, Youth Services and Special Projects Coordinator.

From: https://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/summer-reading