SRL Instructors


Hollis Gillespie is an award-winning humor and travel columnist, and her column appears every month on Atlanta magazine’s back page. She is also a best-selling author, NPR commentator, professional speaker, and guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (“A very funny lady,” says Leno.) . . . read more


Congratulations to SRL Instructor and Pulitzer Prize nominee CHARLES MCNAIR for the staggering praise for his just-released Civil War Novel Pickett’s Charge!

Pickett’s Charge is a genuine delight-a wild, comic, sometimes hallucinatory ride through a century of Southern history.”  – Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain

Pickett’s Charge is not just visionary; it’s a novel of indelible visions. It’s not just an example of American magical realism; it’s a reinvention of the backwoods tall tale, with all its wild humor. And it’s not about the Old South so much as it’s about the Primeval one, brought to the page by a writer whose only rivals in the description of Southern flora and fauna are William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. Go with Charles McNair on the dirt-road joyride that is Pickett’s Charge; he’s taking you to a place you’ll never forget, and from which you can never return.” – Tom Junod, Esquire magazine

Charles McNair is the co-instructor for the SRL Writers Retreats.


Mike Alvear helps small businesses across the country set up their social media strategies. He has written numerous marketing strategy articles for Adweek, Mediaweek, and Marketing Age and teaches monthly blogging workshops for Atlanta entrepreneurs. He also won Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year . . . read more


Linda Burns graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in the psychology of advertising, and television and radio production.  Linda worked as on on-air DJ for multiple radio stations, before finally settling in Atlanta. Since 1992, she has produced, line produced, production managed, and consulted on award winning short films and features, national commercials, major label music videos, and television shows and promos . . . read more

jhandlerJessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief (St. Martins Press, December 2013), and she has been hosting writing workshops on this subject since 2008. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2009) is one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read.” Her nonfiction has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Honors include residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, a 2010 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writers Center, the 2009 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellowship, and special mention for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. is the author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir. She has been the Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellow at the Kenyon Review, and her work has received “Special Mention” for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. Invisible Sisters is an Atlanta magazine “Best of 2009 Must Read” selection.

Jennifer Bradley Franklin is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and journalist, specializing in travel, food, beauty, fashion and profiles. Her work has appeared in People, American Way, GO, Teen People, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Daily Candy . . . read more


Inline image 1Rick Howington is the owner of the LanternTec web design and hosting company and the administrator of the venerated Biology of Technology blog, and he is known as “The Blog Fixer” at the SRL Learning Center. He’s the go-to guy we always recommend when students have more sophisticated needs for their blogs (like . . . read more


Suzanne Van Atten is Features Enterprise Editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a writing instructor at Emory Continuing Education, a travel book author for Avalon Travel Publishers, and an essayist who has been published in The Gettysburg Review and The Chattahoochee Review . . . read more

mluckerMichael Lucker is a writer, director, producer and creative consultant with twenty years experience creating film, television, animation and digital media. He has worked in production for ABC, NBC, CBS and HBO before becoming assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films . . . read more


Jami Howard used to want to teach Jazzercise, but realized she liked ice cream too much. Instead she became a Facebook wizard, social-media specialist, writer and professional graphic designer. A self-professed techno-nerd . . . read more


Nationally recognized, multi-platform journalist, Jim Hackler ( has worked in broadcast news at CNN and is the co-curator of MODA’s new multi-media exhibit Atlanta: Beyond Bricks and Sticks . . . read more