About Us

AGT was formed in the spring of 2013 to showcase many of the talented authors who hail from Tennessee. It is a group of published authors who work together to promote the books they have written and to share the costs of marketing them. AGT members sell their books through national and regional outlets, this website and at book signings and other events.

The reading experience is enhanced by getting to know the author personally as well as details about the book and its inspiration that are not usually known. The author benefits from the reader’s feedback as well. Sci-Fi author Sam Bledsoe says, “We consider our writing to be a collaboration, a shared experience, between writer and reader that makes writing and reading more satisfying for both of us.”

By making the books of local authors available in one place, the public has more to choose from by genre as well as number of titles. You can search the books offered by our authors by clicking on the “Our Authors” button in the menu at the top of this page. Or you may search by genre by clicking on the “By Genre” button.

Most of these books are available in e-book format as well as paperback. They may be purchased directly from the author or on Amazon.com and stores such as Barnes & Noble.

Lastly, AGT hopes to encourage the development of higher literacy (reading skills) that benefit young and old in career and personal life.

Board Executives for 2019


Cheryl Peyton

Vice President

Jody Dyer


Carol McClain

Assistant Secretary

Laura Derr


Jim Hartsell

Assistant Treasurer

Randall Carpenter


Tilmer Wright


Russ Fine

Past President

Bobbi Phelps:  2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Founding President

Sam Bledsoe: 2013 and 2014

Services Provided by AGT

The following services by the Authors Guild of Tennessee are intended to foster a greater appreciation of learning, writing and literature by the citizens of Tennessee so they may be better informed and inspired.

  • Through this website, AGT provides a good way to find and buy original novels and other works by Tennessee authors. AGT strives to publicize contemporary Tennessee authors who aspire to follow in the tradition of literary giants such as James Agee and Cormac McCarthy and is a good way to get to know their writing. Scan the pages on this website that are devoted to our authors; you may find a book that pleases you.
  • AGT provides a way to find, connect with and get to know Tennessee authors so the public can discover authors they like and support them. The collaboration between reader and author can promote a symbiotic relationship that nourishes both intellectually. This website informs the public about events in which AGT’s authors are participating.
  • AGT encourages learning about famous Tennessee authors who will inspire and entertain us by providing a list of resources for learning about them. Click on Famous Authors in the main menu at the top of the Home Page to learn more about them.
  • AGT intends to promote the art of creative writing―and thinking―through a biennial contest that will select and recognize the best work of fiction and non-fiction by an aspiring new author from Tennessee. The “Agee”, the James Agee Award for Literary Achievement, will be awarded for the best fictional novel and the “Children’s Agee”, for the best work in Children’s Literature.
  • AGT promotes the development of better reading skills by providing a list of links to reading and literacy programs, such as the International Literacy Day and Tennessee’s Summer Reading Program. See the following information about Tennessee’s Summer Reading Program.

Authors Available to Speak to Your Group

Here is information about programs that are available by AGT authors. If you are interested in one of these programs, please fill out the SPEAKER REQUEST form under the CONTACT US menu item of this website.


SUBJECT: Think outside the barn.
Jody Dyer is a natural storyteller with Appalachian roots and universal appeal.
DESCRIPTION:  Jody customizes talks to meet organizations’ demographics and goals. As a former educator, she expertly employs a variety of techniques to engage audiences. An “academic humorist,” Jody speaks on a variety of topics which include: Your Voice – Your Writing Process, Be Specific, Adventures in Self-Publishing, Workplace Empathy is Profitable, Walk a Mile in Her Bra, Be the Band, It Doesn’t Cost a Dime to be a Gentleman, Social Media is Okay; You’re Okay, and more.
LENGTH OF PRESENTATION:  30 min-1.5 hours (Additional time for Q&A is welcomed.)
FEE & EXPENSES: Travel expenses plus reasonable speaking fee (Rates vary based on certain factors.)
AREA AVAILABLE:  United States
SPEAKER:  Jody Dyer
CONTACT BY:  Email dyer.cbpublishing@gmail.com or call (865)414-4017


SUBJECT: Religious Beliefs of the Founding Fathers of the United States
DESCRIPTION: What do you know about the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers of the United States? Contrary to what one might see on the Internet or in the Media, the Founders were, by-and-large, religious men. Religion played an important role in the their public and private lives. How do we know that? The Historical Record tells us so in pretty clear terms. My book, “Founding Fathers: Atheists? Deists? Are You Sure?”, looks at the religiosity of the 56 men who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence through the lens of over 400 separate sources: books, obituaries, newspaper articles, correspondence, speeches, wills, legislation, tombstones, magazine articles, and eulogies. An open-minded, unemotional look at this historical data leads the reader to some inescapable conclusions. (And to some interesting facts. Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July as a national holiday? No, that’s not it.)

AUTHOR: Ray Strobo

CONTACT: By email at author627@aol.com or 865-693-7107

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: Thirty minutes to an hour.
Fee (If any): Travel expenses and ability to sell books.


SUBJECT:  Should We Be Worried About  Climate Change?

DESCRIPTION:  What we must do now to mitigate the effects of Climate Change, how long we have before we see devastating damage, and what kinds of people will be most impacted by it.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION:  20 minutes to 1 hour

FEE:  Travel expenses and ability to sell books

AUTHOR:  Sam Bledsoe

AREA AVAILABLE:  Within one hour of Knoxville, Tennessee

CONTACT:  By email-sambledsoe2@gmail.com


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