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Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee since 2007. In her time covering the people of the Tennessee Valley, she's covered statewide higher education, business and the court system, writing about everything from major education reforms to a strange subculture of people who want the HIV virus. She's won numerous national, regional, state and local awards for feature writing on a variety of topics.

In 2013, McClane was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Tempest In My Soul, the story of a Southern Baptist pastor's struggle between his faith and his son's sexuality. In 2011, she received the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and the Green Eyeshade Award for a story she wrote about a prostitute's efforts to earn forgiveness from her young son. She has also been named a Livingston Award finalist and a finalist for distinguished writing on diversity by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

McClane grew up in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, with her four sisters and studied journalism at the University of Alabama where she received her bachelors and masters degrees.

Before coming to the Times Free Press, she wrote for The Shelby County Reporter, The Tuscaloosa News, The Anniston Star and the Hartford Courant.