How It Started
This website was originally researched by the students of English teacher Nancy Jacobs at Starkville High School in Starkville, Mississippi, beginning in 1996 when there was very little information on the web about writers, literature, or musicians. The students worked on the site for a period of seven years from 1996 until 2004 when Jacobs retired. For the most part, the students’ work has been maintained, but the information has been updated.
These entries are now regularly updated and edited by Nancy Jacobs, who volunteers her time and talents after retiring in 2004. The web site has been totally redesigned and partially researched by Kathy Jacobs and is now hosted by Kathy Jacobs Design and Marketing.
The site began after English teacher Nancy Jacobs attended a Boyer Technology Summit sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1997 at Vanderbilt University. She wrote a grant proposal to develop the Mississippi writers and musicians website and submitted it to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The proposal was accepted, and Jacobs and Starkville High School received a grant from CPB to begin the project with her eleventh grade students. Some students in English teacher Annie Smith’s classes also contributed to the project the first year. Artists and actors were later added to the site. Jacobs has continued to work on the project since her retirement in 2004. The website has been redesigned and is now hosted by Kathy Jacobs Design and Marketing.
A special thank you to J Murdock Photography for permission to use the guitar photo on the home page.
The site has been the recipient in the past of grants, not only from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (Boyer Technology Summit, 1997), but also the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and donations from Alice Carol and Price Caldwell, Noel Polk, the Stennis Institute, and the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. For a time, it was a project under the auspices of Starkville Reads and is now hosted and managed by Kathy Jacobs Design and Marketing.
Criteria for Inclusion
From its beginnings at Starkville High School to the present day, this website has been entirely the work of volunteers who appreciate the art and talents of the many writers listed here.
This website honors the works of writers who meet the following criteria:
- The writer must have been born in Mississippi or lived in Mississippi for an important part of his or her life (which includes having attended college or worked in the state and which resulted in Mississippi influencing his or her writing).
- The writer must be recognized outside of the state of Mississippi as a respected writer by publishers and known reviewers. ( A few exceptions have been made for local writers who interested Starkville High School students)
- The writer must have received honors or awards for his or her work and/or have been reviewed in numerous journals, newspapers, or magazines either in Mississippi or nationally.
- The writer must be born in the twentieth or twenty-first century (not earlier).
- The writer must have written works that are considered literary whether fiction (novels, short stories, etc.), poetry, dramatic works, or non-fiction that is literary in nature. Writers of textbooks and works of a strictly technical or scientific nature are not included.
Mississippi Writers Project