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“I didn’t want short stories; I wanted to write a novel,” said award-winning novelist Ann Patchett, the keynote speaker for this year’s Southern Literary Festival. Speaking to the crowded Student Union Ballroom, the Nashville author detailed her personal journey as a writer, from her inspirations, to how she ended up speaking at so many university convocations. People …

Rebecca Wells, author of the critically acclaimed series Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, always had stories to tell, even if she claimed they were not hers. Wells was the product of a union between an alcoholic Catholic mother and a Baptist father, who had to shelf his own religion for the Catholic Church. Born …