Dawn Major‘s debut novel, The Bystanders, was published in in March 2023. She is the Associate Editor at Southern Literary Review and the creative mind behind SouthernRead–a Contemporary Accent on Southern Writing. She is a member of the following organizations: The Atlanta Writers Club, Broadleaf Writers Association, Georgia Writers Association, Horror Writers Association, and Southeastern Writers Assocation. She participates at annual writing conferences, monthly critique groups, and strives to advocate for those in her Southern writing community.

She actively works to preserve the legacy of the late southern author, William Gay, by editing and promoting his posthumous works, and serves as a team member on the William Gay Archive.

Dawn received her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the Etowah Valley Writing Program at Reinhardt University, a Creative Writing Certification from Emory Continuing Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University. She was previously awarded a fellowship as the assistant literary editor of the James Dickey Review. In 2019, her nonfiction piece, “White Trash,” won the Dr. Robert Driscoll Award for Excellence in Writing on Regional Themes and her short story, “Nativity,” won the Faculty Choice Award from her MFA program at Reinhardt University–also for Excellence in Writing.

In 2023, Dawn curated an art exhibit titled “The Literary Landscape of William Gay, Author/Artist” at the Decatur Library and served on a panel discussing the connection between Gay’s art and prose at Lost Southern Voices Festival. In 2020 & 2021, Dawn also presented on the artwork and prose of William Gay at Lost Southern Voices Festival which led to a collaboration with The Georgia Center for the Book to showcase Gay’s art for the first time in 2023.

Amidst the pandemic, she participated in Wren’s Nest Scribes, a one-on-one mentoring program that teaches middle school children how to write creative fiction–the anthology debuts annually during the Decatur Book Festival. In 2019, Dawn served as a panel judge at the Milton Literary Festival-Young Adults Contest. Also, in 2019, Dawn collaborated and performed with musicians at the Contemporary Arts Festival held at the Falany Performing Arts Center. She was a presenter at Georgia State University’s 2019 New Voice Graduate Conference. She has read with American Sign Language Interpreters, written and acted in Reader’s Theater at Reinhardt University’s Black Box Theatre, and has collaborated with historians to write scripts for Oakland Cemetery’s Sunday in the Park event–a living history project where the ghostly residents come back from the dead to share their stories. She has enjoyed writing poetry-themed podcast for radio with melodically challenged on GSU’s Album 88, College Radio as well as reading on NPR- Dante’s Old South. She has lectured and taught creative writing workshops.

In the past few years, Dawn has turned her attention to the literary horror genre and has mentored with horror authors, Tim Waggoner and Stephanie Ellis. She is steadily working on her speculative fiction novel–One Man’s Walmart is Another Man’s Graveyard and her speculative memoir, The Dandy Chronicles. Her debut novel, The Bystanders, is available now.

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