Misti Rae Holton is a freelance illustrator, writer, singer-songwriter, painter, and teaching artist. A natural performer, Misti Rae is passionate about igniting the imaginations of children through her lively and comedic musical performances.

“I have an inexhaustible interest in people and their stories. I believe we are all connected, and that telling our stories is vital to helping our communities grow and learn, and helps us as individuals to illuminate and process our experiences and feelings.”

Alexandria Moore is a healthcare professional and freelance writer. She is a native Memphian. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in psychology and a minor in English.

“With storytelling, I love learning new things. I enjoy being able to do research and investigate the background of a story. I also enjoy writing poetry and its unique form of storytelling.”

Ethan Tatom is a creative writing major, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. As a person who has to endure the horrors of modernity, he finds that both his professional interests and his hobbies lie in the macabre. He enjoys over-analyzing movies, writing stories, and cleaning bones. 

“Creating stories allows me to scrape out the endless visions kicking around behind my eyes, and present them to the world. I can follow various interests in multiple fields, learning more about the world, and in the end, I can create stories that will allow the world to know more about me. By writing stories, both the stories I tell and the parts of me that are within them will be made eternal.”

Elaine Blanchard is a writer, social activist, and ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination. She moved to Memphis in 1994. She and her wife, Anna, are proud Midtown Memphians.

“I tell stories to build connections and to break down stereotypes and other barriers to healthy relationships.”

Ellie Daniel is a native Memphian and graduate of the University of Memphis, with degrees in history and creative writing. Poet, historian, absurdist writer, and coffee addict, she spent her

“Storytelling has always been in my Southern bones. As I began to study history, I asked myself, what makes our stories any different? We live in the same multimedia jigsaw puzzle of civilization that has always resulted in storytelling, and I enjoy being one of the storytellers putting it together on the front end.”

Kathy Kalagias is the Director of Communications at a local Country Club, where she combines her passions in writing, photography, and art. Since August of 2015, she has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and works as a Magician’s Assistant. In her free time, Kathy paints full wall murals, including the wings on LBOE (Last Burger On Earth), and a tabletop for Mellow Mushroom in Germantown. 

“Storytelling combines who I am with all the things that I love. I feel that storytelling allows me to help people by sharing information, photographs, and art.”

Jeanine Jones is a small P. E.A. (Poet, Educator, Author) in a big pot, packing a lot of flavor.  She loves the arts and uses poetry as her gel to make literacy stick. She has written five books and plays, including We Can All Decorate the Same Tree.

“Story telling sparks my interest because I get the opportunity to creatively and poetically express through the literary art form. Communicating in this way, whether in writing or in an oratorical spoken word form, allows me to share stories that resonate with others.”

Candice Baxter earned her BS in Business and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis, and went on to teach food writing and professional communication at a culinary school for six years. Baxter is currently the managing editor of Germantown Magazine and writes cover features for Memphis-area publications including The Memphis Flyer, Edible Memphis, Memphis Parent, Real Producers and others.

“​​In a world of constant updates and information, stories provide those rare simultaneous moments of both escape and true connection.”

LeKe’la Jones is a graduating senior at Christian Brothers University, majoring in Creative Writing. Her poems have been published in CBU’s literary magazine, Castings, and the Southern Literary Festival’s 2021 publication.

“I believe that a story has the potential to highlight the diverse perspectives of people we must coexist with, which is important for maintaining harmony and balancing power.”

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Chloe Fields is a senior at Christian Brothers University, working on a BA in Creative Writing, with a minor in English. During her time at CBU, she has worked on the literary journal, Castings, as an editor. She plans to publish her first collection of short stories shortly after graduating.

“Storytelling has always been a passion of mine. I am a senior creative writing major at Christian Brothers University. After graduating, I would love to work on getting my MFA in Creative Writing and work my way up to film school. While I am a novelist by trade, I would like to write on different media types, especially screenwriting to achieve my dream of becoming a director as well.”

Included in the Storytellers Workshop is our collaboration with Literacy Mid-South. Through interviews and shared storytelling, around a dozen learners in Literacy Mid-South programs will be collaborating on an anthology-like narrative that speaks to their experiences and what they have learned.