Since 2002 Phyllis Gobbell has served on the English faculty at Nashville State Community College, where she is now Associate Professor. She teaches courses in composition and literature. She served as editor of the literary magazine, Tetrahedra, for eight years.
She earned her B.S. in Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and received her M.A. in English from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, where the graduate program offered a creative thesis option. Her thesis was a 90-page collection of stories entitled Listen to Me. Most of the stories have been published in literary journals and have received awards.
Gobbell’s writing career spans three decades. Her history of publication includes both fiction and nonfiction. She has published two novels and more than thirty stories and articles in literary journals, anthologies, and magazines. One of her stories appeared in the anthology, HomeWorks, in 1996, a collection of writings by Tennessee writers living at that time, including Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren, and Peter Taylor.
Gobbell received the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Award in Fiction for 2006. Other writing achievements include the Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize awarded by the Knoxville Writers Guild, Tennessee Writers Alliance Short Story First Place Award, and the North Carolina Writers’ Workshop First Place Award in Creative Nonfiction. In 2005, she received a Pushcart nomination for her story, “Primates,” which was published in Bellevue Literary Review. She won the 2008 Creative Nonfiction First Place Award from the Knoxville Writers’ Guild for her essay, “In the Car with Mother on Christmas Eve.” Twice she has received the Leslie Garrett Award for Fiction, most recently in 2014.
An active participant in the writing community, Gobbell helped to organize the Tennessee Writers Alliance in 1990 and served on its Board of Directors for ten years, including two terms as president and one as chair of the Board. She was also a founding member of the writers group that still meets every Tuesday night, the Nashville Writers Alliance.
She is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Two true-crime books, An Unfinished Canvas (Berkley, 2007) and A Season of Darkness (Berkley, 2010) are accounts of high-profile, cold-case murders in Nashville. She is now writing a mystery series, and her first book in the series, Pursuit in Provence, has been published in April 2015.
Secrets and Shamrocks (Five Star Publishers, 2016) – mystery
“What We Keep, What We Throw Away” (2 Bridges Review, 2016) – creative nonfiction
Pursuit in Provence (Five Star Publishers, 2015) – mystery
“Seeing Possibilities” (THINK: Resilience, 2013) – essay
“There Are Things You Cannot Take Back” (Tetrahedra, 2013) – poem
“The Major’s Wife” (Zone 3, 2012) – short story
“Lost Innocence” Masters of True Crime: Chilling Stories of Murder and Mayhem (Prometheus Books, 2012) – narrative in true crime anthology
“Texting” (Tetrahedra, 2012) – poem
“Back from Afghanistan” (Tetrahedra, 2012) – poem
A Season of Darkness (Berkley Publishing Group, 2010) – true crime book2
An Unfinished Canvas: A True Story of Love, Family, and Murder in Nashville (Berkley Publishing Group, 2007) – true crime book
“Saturday Afternoon” (Tetrahedra, 2007) – short story
“Primates” (Bellevue Literary Review, 2003) – short story
“Tellico” (Zone 3, 2002) – short story
“Marie” (Bellevue Literary Review, 2002) – creative nonfiction
“All I Know” (Tetrahedra, 2009) – poem
“Baby Love” (Tetrahedra, 2009) – poem
“Fallujah Villanelle” (Tetrahedra, 2008) – poem
“Storyteller” (Tetrahedra, 2008) – poem
“Seamstress” (Tetrahedra, 2007) – poem
“Death Knocks in the Neighborhood” (Tetrahedra, 2006) – poem
“Snakes” (Tetrahedra, 2005) – poem
“Gentle” (Tetrahedra, 2004) – poem
“Grief” (Tetrahedra, 2004) – poem
First Place, “A Family Meeting,” Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize, 2014
“A Fine Party,” Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize Second Place, 2013
“Playing by Ear,” Third Place,” Knoxville Writers’ Guild Creative Non-Fiction Contest, 2013
“What We Keep, What We Throw Away,” Second Place,” Knoxville Writers’ Guild Creative Non-Fiction Contest, 2011
“What We Keep, What We Throw Away,” Third Place, Writers’ Workshop of Asheville, NC, 2011
“The Major’s Wife,” Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize Third Place, 2010
Second Place, “Stitches in Time,” Knoxville Writers’ Guild Creative Non-Fiction Contest, 2010
First Place, “In the Car with Mother,” Knoxville Writers’ Guild Creative Non-Fiction Contest, 2008
Individual Artist Fellowship (Fiction), Tennessee Arts Commission, 2006
Ragdale Foundation Residency, 2006
Pushcart Nomination for “Primates” Bellevue Literary Review, 2005
First place, “Tellico,” Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize, 2002
First place, “Primates,” Short Story Contest, Tennessee Writers Alliance, 2002
“Marie” Creative Nonfiction Winner, Writers’ Workshop of Asheville, NC, 2001