April Guest: Robin Yocum


Robin Yocum’s third novel, A Brilliant Death, was released April 5, 2016, by Seventh Street Books.


He also is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Favorite Sons and The Essay. Favorite Sons, by Arcade Publishing, was named the 2011 USA Book News’ Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense. It was selected for the Choose to Read Ohio program for 2013-14, and was a featured book of the 2012 Ohioana Book Festival. The Essay, by Arcade Publishing, was released in October 2012.


Yocum also is the author of:


  • Dead Before Deadline . . . and other tales from the police beat (University of Akron Press, 2004), which chronicles his four years as the crime reporter for the Columbus Dispatch.
  • Insured for Murder (Prometheus Books, 1992), a true crime book about a murder-for-insurance scam that he and co-author Catherine Candisky covered for the Dispatch.


He is the president of Yocum Communications, a public relations and marketing firm in Westerville, Ohio. His clients include the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, the McConnell Arts Center, and Thurber House, where he serves as the literary advisor.


He is well known for his work as a crime and investigative reporter with the Columbus Dispatch from 1980-1991. He was the recipient of 30 local, state and national journalism awards in categories ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing.


Prior to joining the Dispatch, Yocum was the associate sports editor of the Martins Ferry, Ohio, Times Leader, and a general assignment reporter for the Lancaster, Ohio, Eagle-Gazette. After leaving the paper in 1991, Yocum spent eight years as the director of media relations for Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research firm. He spent two years as vice president of media relations for Bank One’s Retail Division before starting his own business.


He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University.

February Guest: Zack Hill


Zack Hill is the Coordinator and Advisor of the Western Program. He’s spent over ten years in academia as either an instructor (of English and Creative Writing) or an advisor. His background is in English and Psychology, and he is an aspiring screenwriter (after dabbling in poetry and fiction). He lives in Hamilton, OH with his wife and a small herd of rescued shelter and stray pets.

December Guest:SAFTA Holiday


The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is an artists’ retreat on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee that offers residencies to writers, visual artists, filmmakers, composers, and more, from across the country. With two residency rooms on site, we offer a rotating space for nationally recognized and emerging artists in multiple disciplines.

SAFTA also hosts the Sundress Weekend Workshops, a series of creative arts workshops emphasizing composition, revision, and creative development. As part of Sundress Publications, the Weekend Workshops provide focused, personalized instruction to writers and artists of all skill levels. Participants are treated to guidance from advanced instructors who help them to not only hone their craft but also find suitable venues for their work. These workshops traditionally center on a theme or topic and often include an element of incorporated learning.

We are the home to SAFTA Films, a local production company, and the nationally recognized SAFTA Reading Series. Our organization is committed to fostering relationships with other regional artistic communities and non-profits in order to strengthen relationships and collaboration between artists of all genres.