Judy Lee Green

Her daughter's earliest and most enduring inspiration

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a mother who read to me.

 - Strickland Gillilan

Judy Lee Green was writing poems, making up stories, and scribbling them on scrap paper long before her daughter and fellow writer Kory Wells was born. Judy has come to love her computer in the last few years but does not have her own web site. Kory is glad to brag on her mom here.

Judy Lee has received dozens of awards for her work, including the

  • Wilma Dykeman Award for Essay
  • James Still Award for Poetry
  • Emma Belle Miles Award
  • Robert Penn Warren Award
  • Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Award
  •  Tennessee Mountain Writers Excellence in Writing Award

and many other tributes.

Read Judy Lee online:

Essay/Creative Nonfiction

“The Magic of Mercurochrome” at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

“Death by Dove” at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

“Sleeping with the Sausage” at USADEEPSOUTH

“Dish Night” at Southern Scribe


“Whirligigs on My Grave” at Plum Biscuit

“I Need Mountains” at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

“The Two-Holer” at USADEEPSOUTH


"The Chocolate Chronicles" at Long Story Short


A writer since the age of nine, Judy Lee Green has been published hundreds of times in literary journals, magazines, and newspapers. She is a featured speaker in the Middle Tennessee area through her memoir program of Life Stories. She teaches and enables others to harvest their own memories and flex their memory muscles.

Read where some of Judy Lee’s most recent work can be found:

  • Ultimate Christian Living: Faith and Fellowship Celebrated Through Stories and Photos, edited by Todd Outcalt, contains “A Ministering Spirit,” the true story of an angel who tended to Judy Lee during a very difficult hospital stay.

“His presence brought me peace and comfort. As he prepared to leave the next morning I asked him if he would be back at 7:00 PM that night. I had entirely forgotten my bias against male nurses. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I go wherever I’m needed.’”

 Available March 1, 2010, at bookstores or at  HCI Books.

  • Christian Woman, January/February 2010, on newsstands, includes Judy Lee’s article “A Personal Note-Writing Ministry.” What better way for a Christian writer to show love for others and her love of words than to write to the sick and the downhearted?

“Each note I write is a prayer to our heavenly Father on the recipient’s behalf. When I put pen to paper, He seems to provide the appropriate words.”

  • Reflective of the spirits and spooks and graveyard haints found deeply rooted in Appalachian culture is the “The Bottle Tree” by Judy Lee, included in Now and Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Fall/Winter 2010, Vol. 25, No. 2. Often found in less affluent areas of the rural South, the bottle tree rattled in the wind and kept away evil spirits that walked around at night.

“The bottle tree stood alongside blown-out tires filled with dirt and planted with flowers, gourd birdhouses, twig furniture, floribunda roses entwined on abandoned farm equipment, and a clothesline that stretched clear across the front yard where my daddy’s overalls buck danced on windy days and my mama’s sheets waltzed in light breezes.”

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family, published in October 2009, includes “Dish Night,” the story of Judy Lee’s young teenage mama and daddy breaking all the dishes in the house. The dishes were free dinnerware given with admission at movie theaters in the 1940s to promote regular attendance.

“One night after supper my daddy was washing dishes and my mama was drying. Mama’s favorite plate slipped out of my daddy’s soapy hands, but he caught it before it hit the edge of the porcelain sink and no damage was done. “‘You better not break my favorite plate,’” my mama warned him.”

Widely available in bookstores and through online sellers, including here on amazon.com.

  • “Guns, Guitars, and Joy to the World” is included in the anthology, Thanksgiving to Christmas: A Patchwork of Stories, 2009. Christmas in the 1950s, from historic Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga to the garish lights of the Otis Clark house in Ringgold, Georgia, is depicted.

“We kids shot ladyfingers and lit sparklers. We stood in the cold night air and shivered as our breaths formed little smoky puffs that melted in the air like Mama’s divinity on the tips of our tongues.”

Edited by Dixon Hearne, the anthology may be ordered here on amazon.com.

  • Judy Lee’s prose, “Dopes and Sugar Sandwiches” appears in Passager, Winter 2009, Issue # 47. It is the story of her and her siblings, five little Coke-drinking, sugar-eating kids and their teen mama.

“My mama, a bride at the age of fourteen, birthed five little babies in the next seven years. We were the baby dolls in the window of the five-and-ten-cent store that her sharecropper daddy could never afford. Delighted with us, she dressed us up and changed our clothes, counted our fingers and kissed our toes…”

Order from passagerpress.com.