Tom Parkhill: Writers Hall of Fame inductee

Susan EspirituSouth Knox

Friends of Literacy established the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor local and regional writers who have created an outstanding body of work. This year, Tom Parkhill is the recipient of the Writers Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Contribution to East Tennessee Culture and Literacy.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Parkhill has been a full-time professional theatre artist since 1975, being the founding artistic director of the Tennessee Stage Company. As the director, Tom has produced 29 New Play Festivals and 31 world premier plays.

Tom has worked as an actor, stage manager, production manager, stage carpenter, and director, and he has been a company member of many theatres and playhouses. He has been in over 100 national, regional and local commercials, and he has acted in feature films, video, television and radio.

Parkhill says of this award: “This recognition by the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame is both humbling and thrilling, I think mostly because I work in the performing arts, not in the literary arts, and so I am free to completely romanticize writing and writers.

“My shelves are full of literary biography, books about the art and business of publishing, biblio-mysteries and collections of interviews with writers and publishers. The fact that such an unexpected honor is coming from the literary community and not the much more ephemeral world of the theatre means the world to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Each week, we will be recognizing an inductee prior to the Hall of Fame Awards Gala on April 19. To purchase to tickets to the gala: Writers Hall of Fame Tickets.

Nominations are accepted from the public each year for the categories to include lifetime achievement, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry, social media, playwriting, songwriting, children’s literature, and young adult literature.

An independent panel of judges evaluates nominees based on recognition within the writer’s field, longevity, quality, and volume of work. All nominees must have been born in, currently reside in, or have a body of work related to the East Tennessee region.

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