Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blue Ridge Bookfest Set For April 25 and 26

Blue Ridge Community College, 180 W. Campus Dr, Flat Rock, NC, 28731, will be the scene of the annual Bookfest, April 25 & 26, 2014. The Bookfest offers free admission to speakers and exhibits. 

Every year the Bookfest features themed workshops on Friday afternoon. The focus is on those topics of interest to writers and those considering becoming writers. (Interested readers often show up too.)

This year's theme is "Tell Us Your Story". 

Friday April 25, 2014
Workshops for Writers and Would Be Writers
Workshop and Author
Workshop and Author

1:30 - 3:00 pm
How to Tell Your Story with Poetry
- Given by Nancy Dillingham and Karen Paul Holmes

 3:30 - 5:00 pm
How to Tell Your Story and Actually Get it Published By Yourself.
'The art and craft of self publishing'
Given by Joe Perrone, Jr.
Making Your Story Come Alive.

'Your life is a story worth reading'
Given by Georganne Spruce  

 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Opening Reception - Drinks and Appetizers. 
Featuring BEYOND THE PALE the Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and author Ken Grossman

On Saturday, the doors open to the public at 8:30 AM. The bookfest runs from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM and the children's events start at 10 am.

Over 30 authors will be present in the Technology Building for book signing and will be happy to meet you, autograph your books, and answer your questions.

Saturday's schedule 

Saturday April 26, 2014
Author Presentations
Children's events start at 10 am
Workshop and Author
Workshop and Author
9 - 9:45 am 
Charlie One Five
Nicholas Warr
The Viet Nam War through the eyes of a valiant Army company
In Pursuit
Sharman Burson Ramsey
Historical fiction based on the author's personal story
10 -10:45 am
Beyond the Pale
Ken Grossman
The story of Sierra Nevada from the Founder
Out Across the Nowhere
Amy Willoughby Burle
A collection of short stories of places and people of the Blue Ridge
11 - 11:45 am
Me Now - Who Next?
Angela Leigh Tucker, Bill Ramsey
An inspiring story of survival after great personal tragedy
Nancy Dillingham
The noted North Carolinapoet's selected works
12:15 - 2:00 pm
Lunch with Featured Speaker Cassandra King (ticketed event $10)Click here to purchase a box lunch and ticket to the event
The best selling author's latest book set in Highlands, North Carolina
2:15 - 3 pm
Das Haus in East Germany
Art Heise and Melanie Kuhr
The true story of two famiies: one Jewish, one Gentile, both German and the house they both thought was theirs
Ben Bones Mysteries
Michael Havelin
A mystery series that draws on the author's interest in genealogy and anthropology
3:15 pm
Wrap Up and Drawing for Prizes
(Sorry, we cannot send the gifts; you must be present at the drawing.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Interview with Dana Wildsmith

From Glenda Council Beall:

"Dana Wildsmith, highly published author and poet, took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for me and I want to share them with you.

Glenda: I notice that you have enjoyed the friendship of some great literary men including Terry Kay and the late poet, Jim Wayne Miller. Fred Chappell wrote the introduction to Back to Abnormal. How did these friendships develop and how have they affected your writing life and personal life?

Dana: Well, I’m friends with women writers, too, of course, and just as with the men, I’ve met them through writer events: workshops, conferences, and the like. I’ve found that one of the wonderful perks to becoming engaged in the practice of writing is the way it gains you entry in a new community, the community of writers. In the South, that community tends to be unfailingly inclusive and generous, so when I asked Fred if he’d write an intro for Back to Abnormal (it being every book-writers’ goal to splash known and attention-getting names across your book), he said, “Why sure, darlin’.” Fred is also my number one pen pal. We’ve exchanged letters twice a month or so for twenty years. Letter writing, by the way, I would recommend as possibly the very best writing exercise. Terry Kay lives just down the road from me so we see each other often. I admire his writing boundlessly and recommend To Dance with the White Dog as a book everyone should read, especially every southerner. And Jim Wayne was my writing mentor, if I have one. He sought me out, writing a letter to me about some of my poems and encouraging my writing in very specific ways. There is no way I could ever repay the debt I owe him, but keeping his name alive through references to him in my own writing is the one way I have of trying.

Glenda: I love that you write so much about your dogs. Max and Fred were subjects of a poem that you said most non-writers really like. It is one of the first of your poems that I fell in love with. Can you tell us about that poem and why it is so well liked?

Dana: My poem “Peopling” always makes people laugh because it first surprises them and then they think to themselves, Yes, that’s so true. Those two reactions back-to-back are the heart of humor. And all of us need more satisfying humor in our lives.

Glenda: Your ESL (English as a second language) students call you Teacher instead of calling you by name. You were not pleased, at first, but tell us what you learned that made you feel much better about being called Teacher.

Dana: As I have written in Back to Abnormal, I at first found it a little off-putting when my ESL students called me Teacher because it sounded so formal and distant. Then I discovered that in just about every part of the globe except the US, to call someone Teacher is the highest honorific. Now I love it. I have come to realize, also, that my experience with coming to an understanding of the depths of meaning contained in that title, could stand as example of the depths of meaning that should be written into our stories and poems. To learn how to get to the root of our world knowledge is perhaps the primary key to producing writing that will resonate with a large audience.

Thanks for your time, Dana. We look forward to your coming to our area to teach at Writers Circle and to read at Writers Night Out."

For details of Dana's class at Writers Circle, click here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NetWest Writers Conference Course Descriptions

The NetWest Writers Conference, which will be held May 10, in Sylva, NC, is shaping up to be an exceptional day as seen by the course descriptions below. From memories to history to poetry to learning how to update your writing techniques, there will be something for everyone. 

Click here for complete information, including the fees and a registration form.

10:15 - 10:55: Keynote Address by Judy Goldman 
Using Details From Your Life In Fiction, Poetry, and Memoir

The choreographer, Judith Jamison, said, "If something is tugging at your life, you use it." Judy will show how she's used memories -- the things that really happened, the things that really mattered -- to create poetry, fiction, and memoir. She'll give tips for choosing the form that matches your sensibilities -- because, as writers, we must find what we do well and play it to the hilt.

11:10 - 12:00: Gary Carden and Newton Smith
History and Writing: the Cowee Tunnel Tragedy

Gary Carden, the winner of the 2013 Governor's Award for Literature, will begin the program by explaining how important local history is to writers and briefly talk about how it contributed to NC drama as well as fiction and poetry. He will give examples of how he used history in the process of developing some of his previous play and will recite lines from three of his historically based plays. He and Newton Smith, Chair of the Board of the Liars Bench, will then talk about the Cowee Tunnel tragedy and how history forgot the incident until the Liars Bench began its exploration. Gary is currently writing a play based on the incident and will describe where he is with its progress and recite sample lines."Tuckasegee Rising" is based on an historic disaster: the drowning of 19 chain-gang prisoners in the Tuckasegee River in 1882. Then Newton will read a couple of his poems also based on the incident and together they will talk about an anticipated anthology of writings inspired by the incident and other regional railroad stories.

1:00 - 1:45: Nancy Simpson and Kathryn Stripling Byer
Building A Readership For Your Poetry

The idea of building a readership for one’s poetry has not been discussed widely among poets. “Building a Readership” may be a task that does not come natural to poets, many of whom find it impossible to self promote their own poems. Two of our practicing Netwest poets known for their longevity, Kathryn Stripling Byer and Nancy Simpson, will get to the heart of the matter, sharing ideas that will help you get your poems out there and keep them out there in a number of different ways from the beginning of your poetry career to the end.

2:00 - 3:45: Workshops

Second Floor Conference Room: Judy Goldman 
What I Wish I'd Known Before I Wrote a Memoir 

In this workshop, geared to both beginning and experienced writers, Judy will explain how to find the focus for your memoir, how to use the techniques of fiction to make your memoir come alive, how to write a beginning that gives the reader goose bumps, how to use reflection, how to understand the difference between scene and exposition, and how to deal with loved ones who might have a problem with what you write. She will do one in-class exercise to help you find your most engaging material. 

First Floor Conference Room: Susan Snowden 
Brighten Your Writing

Whether you write fiction or creative nonfiction, this workshop will help you hone your skills. Author and veteran book editor Susan Snowden will discuss creating strong characters, writing believable dialogue, self-editing, and more. Come with pen, paper, and your questions for the Q&A period at the end of the session.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Coffee with the Poets and Writers

Coffee with the Poets and Writers, a monthly literary event held at Blue Mountain Coffee and Grill, 30 North Carolina 141, Murphy, NC, will celebrate poetry month Wednesday, April, 9, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

Featured will be poet, Brenda Kay Ledford, from Hayesville, NC.  She is a seventh-generational native of Clay County, NC, and holds a Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University.

She writes about her heritage and has done post-graduate work in Appalachian studies.  Brenda received the Paul Green Multimedia Award from North Carolina Society of Historians seven times for her books, collecting oral history, and blog:  http://historicalhayesville.blogspot.com.

Her work has appeared in Our State, Carolina Country Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Appalachian Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Country Extra Magazine, Blue Ridge Parkway Anniversary Edition Celebration, and many other journals.

Finishing Line Press published Brenda's award-winning poetry books:  Shewbird Mountain, Sacred Fire, and Beckoning. She co-authored Simplicity with Blanche L. Ledford.  These books are available at the John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop and www.amazon.com.

Coffee with the Poets and Writers is open to the public at no charge.  Bring a poem or short story and read at Open Mic.  Those attending are invited to join the writers and poets after the event as we pull tables together and enjoy a social hour.

Coffee with the Poets and Writers is sponsored by North Carolina Writers' Network West.  Contact NCWN West Representative Glenda Beall at 828-389-4441 or nightwriter0302@yahoo.com for information.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poet Kevin Young to Visit Young Harris College

The Byron Herbert Reece Lecture Series presents:

a reading by poet 
Kevin Young
author of The Book of Hours.

Thursday, April 3
Q&A at 3:00 p.m.
Reading at 6:00 p.m.

Wilson Lecture Hall 
Goolsby Bldg.
Young Harris College

Born in 1970, Kevin Young is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation, one who finds meaning and inspiration in African American music, particularly the blues, and in the bittersweet history of Black America. Lucille Clifton said of Young, “[His] gift of storytelling and understanding of the music inherent in the oral tradition of language re-creates for us an inner history which is compelling and authentic and American."  His many books of poetry include Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Knopf, 2011); Dear Darkness (Knopf, 2008); For the Confederate Dead (2007); and Book of Hours (2014). Black Maria: Poems Produced and Directed by Kevin Young is a "film noir in verse," a playful homage to the language and imagery of Hollywood detective films.

Learn more about Kevin here.