||Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning magazine writer, best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living. A former senior writer for the magazine, Luesse contributed more than 30 essays to its Southern Journal column. Her work has been anthologized in the audio collection Southern Voices and in the essay collection A Glimpse of Heaven, featuring works by C.S. Lewis, Randy Alcorn, John Wesley, and others. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on the recovering Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina won the 2009 Travel Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. During her 22-year career with Southern Progress Corp., Luesse contributed to the Travel, Gardens, and Foods sections of flagship Southern Living, as well as to Cooking Light, Weight Watchers, and Goodness magazines. She also served on the planning committee for Writing Today, an annual writer's conference whose Grand Masters included such luminaries as Eudora Welty, Horton Foote, Rita Dove, Gay Talese, and Pat Conroy. She has completed her first novel, Glory, Alabama, and is working on a sequel, Coming Up a Cloud. A rural Alabama native, Luesse now makes her home in Birmingham, where she freelances and blogs at goindowntomamas.com.