A K-9 handler and a Vanderbilt University student are the first to receive the Killer Nashville Lisa Jackson Scholarship.
Both Kathleen Mayger–pseudonym Kathleen Donnelly–and Kayla Bartee, a Vandy English major, are aspiring writers and will attend the upcoming 2015 Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference October 29-November 1 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.
The scholarship was offered on behalf of internationally known bestselling author Lisa Jackson, who struggled as a single mom to attain her writing dream. A former Killer Nashville Guest of Honor, Lisa is a big supporter of the conference and its mission and established the fund with Killer Nashville Founder Clay Stafford.
“Over the years, writing conferences have helped me connect with other writers, editors and agents,” Lisa said. “In my opinion Killer Nashville is one of the best, so I’d like to help another writer or two have the opportunity to attend by offering this scholarship.”
Kathleen said she was ecstatic and shocked to receive the voicemail that she had won. She listened to the message three times before she could take action.
“I felt that way because this award is an amazing opportunity and I’m so excited,” Kathleen said. “I love writing and of course, most writers read. Lisa Jackson is one of my all-time favorite authors so to win this award is not only an honor, but humbling as well.”
A sophomore in college, Kayla said she was shocked when she learned she won the scholarship. She views the scholarship an opportunity to convert her writing from a hobby to a career.
“That writing to me is not just some whim, but something that I was really meant to do,” Kayla said. “This award alone has boost my confidence, and made me realize just how much passion I have for writing. It also means a chance for me to leave my comfort zone, and receive very helpful criticism that could further my writing. It’s a chance for me to simply be in the comfort of other writers, and to hear from their experiences while also receiving helpful tips.”
Kathleen and Kayla will be recognized during the Killer Nashville Guest of Honor Dinner Saturday, October 31.