The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival takes over Burnsville September 9 and 10. Photograph by Britt Kaufmann
The Write Stuff
Celebrate the local authors you love at back-to-back literary festivals this month
written by Cinthia Milner
They're dog-eared, bookmarked, highlighted, thrown in satchels, read in planes, trains, bathtubs, waiting rooms, and cars—all these are signs of treasured reads. And in two upcoming events this month, bibliophiles and authors are coming together to connect around the written word and celebrate the books that unite them.
Carolina Mountains Literary Festival
September 9 & 10 | Burnsville
In its sixth year, the festival will host 30 authors. Daylong, concurrent sessions of readings, panels, Q&As, and workshops are held in galleries, stores, the town center, library, churches, and restaurants, allowing participants to stroll city streets, choosing one event or several. Britt Kaufmann, publicity chair for the festival and author of Belonging, explains, “This is a chance for writers to interact with readers in smaller, more personal settings, and experience firsthand the impact of their work.” It’s also an opportunity for readers to meet many of their favorite authors, and leave with a new must-read list that highlights regional literature.
Keynote speakers Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, and regional writer Ron Rash, whose recent book of poetry, Waking, will be released at the festival, are slated for Friday and Saturday night’s readings. This year’s theme, All the Live Long Day, examines the work of everyday life through literature. Playwrights, poets, novelists, and journalists will discuss their writings within this context.
Other highlights this year include children’s activities at the Yancey County Library, with a special performance by Poetry Alive! The Book Club Buzz brings local book groups together to discuss what’s hot in the club circuit.
With the exception of workshops and Saturday night’s banquet, events are free. Visit www.cmlitfest.org for a schedule, pricing, and venues.
On The Same Page
September 14-17 | West Jefferson
From preface to postscript, On The Same Page is celebrating reading. Jane Lonon of the Ashe County Arts Council says, “Our festival is up close and personal. We want to make connections, and have an open opportunity for readers and authors to meet.”
This four-day event includes lunch with your favorite attending author (limit 15, so register early), a creative writing workshop with Literary Trails series author Georgeann Eubanks, readings, panels, Q&A sessions, a discussion of North Carolina’s literary heritage, and the Page Crafter’s Literary Festival Competition. The contest holds a grand prize of $1,200, and winners are announced at the end of the festival. Sessions are not concurrent and most events are open to the public with no charge. Luncheons and writing workshops require registration and a small fee. Call 1-(336) 846-ARTS for pricing, reservations, and a schedule. www.onthesamepagefestival.com
WNC magazine is excited that two authors who will be presenting at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival contributed essays to July's Why We Love WNC issue. Click to read “The Potato Patch” by Brian Lee Knopp and “Ramps” by Britt Kaufmann.