By Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga., – Nan Allen, Assistant Professor of English at Truett McConnell University’s Conrad Grebel School of The Humanities, recently spoke at the 2016 Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word in Nashville, Tenn.

Allen’s topic at the event was Reminiscence and Rumination: Recalling Two Southern Childhoods. “The presentation I made was about the food, the sayings and superstitions and the traditions that make us unique,” she explained.

The audience was presented with Allen’s interpretation on “the “color” of the South and the blessings of growing up here.”

The Festival annually welcomes more than 200 authors in every genre for readings, panel discussions and book signings. Book lovers have the opportunity to hear from and meet some of America’s foremost writers in fiction, history, mystery, food, biography, travel, poetry and children’s literature among others.

“I always enjoy this event,” Allen shared. “I’ve been to it as an author and as an observer several times. I love to hear the other authors and their experiences in writing and publishing.”

Allen, who teaches English and Creative Writing at TMU, is also a multiple Dove Award-winning lyricist, the author of two novels and two nonfiction books and a graduate of the University of Alabama and Southern New Hampshire University. Her book Small Potatoes and Tuesdays @ the Piggly Wiggly describes her life growing up in the South in the 1950’s and 60’s. Following her presentation, audience members were treated to an excerpt from Allen’s book:

On Tuesdays, mamas flooded into the supermarket hoping to find sales on nonperishables and to get double S&H Green Stamps. Those stamps could be collected and exchanged for merchandise such as small appliances, dry goods, and even toys at the redemption center. On summer days when I was out of school I tagged along so I could watch the people and marvel at the stamp dispenser that meted out bonuses in long perforated sheets. I’d hear “how-ya-doin’s” and “fine-thank-yous” often in passing, but occasionally we’d stop and visit as we call it in the South. During these extended conversations, I usually had the option of absorbing the latest gossip, suffering through the details of Maude’s gallbladder surgery, or excusing myself to the school supplies aisle. Yet always there was something fascinating to learn at “The Pig.”

Allen and her husband Dennis, who both teach at the University, look forward to the 2017 conference in Nashville which is free and open to the public.

To find out more about this years event, visit:

To read more about Small Potatoes and Tuesdays @ the Piggly Wiggly, visit:


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for Truett McConnell University

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