Website Columnists

The following columnists are published authors and experts in their respective fields.

Janice Alonso, The Writer Within

Alonso, JaniceThe Writer Within is a series of columns geared to any writer who wants to increase his/her productivity. The first three series illustrated ways to learn about your writing personality and how to create an environment and establish a routine best suited to that personality. Series four and five explained the universal writing foundations for nonfiction and fiction. In series six, The Mechanics of Writing, each column will provide two takeaways to strengthen your writing – one for creativity, one for grammar. Click here to read Janice’s articles.

Janice Alonso earned her BA in English from Georgia State University and her MA in English from the University of South Florida. She has taught writing and literature in grades three through college level and has volunteered for several adult literacy programs. Her work has appeared in Christian, literary, mystery, Sci-fi, and children’s periodicals, anthologies, and e-zines. To learn more about Janice Alonso’s life and her writing, read selections of her work, or contact her, please visit and like her Author Facebook Page:


Ann Hite, What Inspires You?

Ann HiteWriting is so much more than craft. Each month Ann Hite will talk about what brings her to the page each day or what stands in her way. She hopes writers will share their experiences too. What Inspires You? will be published on the 3rd Monday of the month. Click here to read Ann’s articles.

Ann Hite’s newest novel, Where The Souls Go, will be published by Mercer University in 2015. Her debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, became a Townsend Prize Finalist and won Georgia Author of the Year in 2012. The Storycatcher (her second novel) and Lowcountry Spirit (an ebook novella) were released in late summer of 2013. Ann is an admitted book junkie with a library of over a thousand books. She lives in Smyrna, Georgia with her husband and daughter, where she allows her Appalachian characters to dictate their stories.


Stacy Smith-Casteel, Food for Freelancing

Stacy SmithFood for Freelancing addresses a different aspect of freelance writing each month, with tips about the topic. For example: “Five Ways to Make Your Freelance Resume Stand out,” or “Seven Ways to Spot a Bad Job Listing.” Food for Freelancing will be published on the 4th Wednesday of the month.

Stacy Smith lived in Southwest Virginia in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains prior to moving to Georgia in 2011. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia at Wise. She has been a freelance writer since 2010 and ranks in the top 10 percent of oDesk freelancers.  During this time, she has written over 3,000 articles covering a wide range of topics. She has also been a marketing consultant, press release writer, product reviewer, and blogger. Stacy has been published in and Knights of the Dinner Table, and was featured in a 2010 article about couponing in The Wall Street Journal. 


JoAnn Loverde-Dropp, Accessible Poetry

JoAnn Loverde-DroppAccessible Poetry discusses works which do not require any prior poetic study and demystifies those which seem to elude readers for want of readily available context. Each monthly column will focus on a poet, a movement, or a poetic device in order to “bring the mountain to Muhammad” for the leery and curious alike. 

JoAnn LoVerde-Dropp is a full-time instructor at Kennesaw State University. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and her B.S. in English from SUNY Brockport. JoAnn’s poetry has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine and in “Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Short Poems” from Accents publishing and is the newest contributor at Poetry Matters.


Caren Stewart, Advice From The Writing Wallenda

Caren StewartThis column will focus on how to become a great personal essay writer in just 60 days! Okay, I can’t promise that, but did you ever notice how a statement seems to have more credence when a number is tossed in there?  Just one of the many tricks you’ll find out about in my column, a monthly repository of facts and fictions (purely for entertainment purposes of course although it will be up to you to figure out which is which) relating to the process of writing a strong personal essay, starting with inspiration and then seeing where that takes us.  Yeah, we’re pretty much winging it here…

Caren Stewart earned a B.F.A. in sculpture from Pratt Institute and an M.Ed. in Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  She has been a fine arts curriculum writer for several years and has taught both painting and poetry writing to students young and old. She is a previous contributor to the Georgia Authority and was a recent winner in the National Poetry Matters Competition.  She has also contributed content to The Phoenix Writing Art Blog.


Crystal Rast, The Business of Writing

Rast, CrystalWant to know how to find new clients? What about handling clients who don’t pay? If you want to know more about how to manage your freelance business, from sales to lawsuits, check out The Business of Writing.

With a Bachelor of Arts in French from Georgia Southern University, a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University, and experience as professor of rhetoric and composition, Crystal has built a career on leveraging communication to achieve personal and professional goals. In addition to novels and poetry, she has published articles, whitepapers, and success stories on topics ranging from technology compliance to human-computer interaction. Previously, Crystal has held positions in sales and marketing before working as a freelance writer for more than five years. Currently, Crystal is responsible for content strategy and copywriting for Launch Interactive, an Atlanta digital agency.