217days since
    Our Festival

    Major Sponsor

    A Festival of Ideas

    Thank You Sponsors!

    Schedule

    The detailed printed schedule will be available only by picking one up at the festival. Why?
    Because this year, we are "Taking You There" and you're going to need a "passport!"

    WIN A SUITCASE FULL OF BOOKS! Two passport holders will each win a
    "Take Me There" suitcase full of new books from Malaprop's Bookstore.  
    Suitcase art created by John D. Richards and Patti McCall

    Register for your passport before noon on either Friday or Saturday.  You'll be given the passport/schedule along with a festival evaluation form.  For your chance to win the books, turn in your completed evaluation form before you leave the festival.

    THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO (AND PROBABLY WILL) CHANGE.
    Pick up your "passport" (schedule) on festival days
    at the Burnsville Town Center.

    THURSDAY AFTERNOON, SEPTEMBER 12
    OPEN HOUSE  4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
    Children's Corner - Yancey County Public Library
    Visit with Gloria Houston, author of Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile, Miss Karen, Children's Librarian, and Ms. Sylvia in the AMY Bookmobile.
    See the mural painted by Rhea Ormond, and share your memories of
    Miss Dorothy Thomas.

    THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 12
    7pm - 9pm Film night at Yancey County Public Library
    Community Meeting Room

    Take me There: The Literature of Music Videos
    If we give it any thought at all, we probably would say that music videos are entertainment at best but most likely just background to other activities. The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival will take you a bit deeper into this literary medium with two local film makers. The fun  and informative evening will be led by Kelly Denison, an active member of Music Video Asheville, and Brian Alan Smith, who is completing his doctoral studies in Media Arts at Emory University. Using clips from the era of silent film up to the Miley Cyrus debacle, they will explore the art and literature of this exciting medium. Also featured will be Kelly’s Black Curtain video which premiered in June and the premier of Brian’s most recent, yet untitled, achievement. This event, planned in collaboration with the Western North Carolina Film Commission of Advantage West, calls attention to the growing number and importance of new local film makers. You will never see MTV the same.

    Friday morning, September 13
    9-9:45 Town Center Legacy Room - Road Scholar SUSAN KETCHIN 

    SORRY, THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES.

    9-9:45 Town Center Area C DAVID BOONE With his newly published book, Sing Me Back Home, Boone at long last brings to the public his Vietnam War Stories that give credit to veterans as few books from that time have done.  With powerful photos, he will bring the audience his theme:  War and music.  He'll tell stories of growing up in Burnsville with a love of music and art, meeting his wife Elaine at Little Smokey’s Drive-In, being drafted into the Army and serving in Vietnam, singing to the soldiers, losing all his clothes, and finally, going home.  Boone will bring woodcarvings of soldiers and tell how he carves and paints wood, and play and sing songs at the end of his presentation to tell how he made many soldiers feel at home for a few minutes during that terrible war.
    9-9:45 Old Yancey Library BOBBY MCMILLON  Storytellling
    9-9:45 Town Hall CHRIS SCHWEIZER  Benjamin Franklin's Pants  This is about writing historical fiction: finding the research one needs, using it as the basis for a story, and when it's important to dismiss the details of history for that story while balancing the moral necessity of staying true to the spirit of the time period and the historical personages involved. 

    Friday morning, September 13
    10-10:45 Town Center Legacy Room BETH REVIS & MYRA MCENTIRE  Story Structure and Plot Devices (Part One) Discussion of various ways to plot and structure novels. Examples come from their own experiences and from other authors such as Blake Snyder, Christopher Vogler, John Truby, and others.
    10-10:45 Town Center Area C DALE NEAL of Asheville reads from and discusses his new novel The Half-Life of Home. The novel explores the terrible choice between saving your family and losing the land, as well as the sad history of exile in the North Carolina mountains.
    10-10:45 Old Yancey Library ELIZABETH HUDSON  Discussion and Q&A 
    10-10:45 Town Hall CHRIS SCHWEIZER  Benjamin Franklin's Pants  This is about writing historical fiction: finding the research one needs, using it as the basis for a story, and when it's important to dismiss the details of history for that story while balancing the moral necessity of staying true to the spirit of the time period and the historical personages involved.  
    10-10:45 Design Gallery SUSAN WOODRING  All the Roads that Lead to Home: Finding Your Voice
    The places we’ve lived and the people we’ve known leave indelible marks on us. Writers in turn allow these impressions to influence their work. In this session, participants will engage in a few brief exercises and a discussion aimed at helping us find our voice through the places we’ve experienced.
    10-10:45 Off The Beaten Path JANIE DEVOS Reading and Discussion

    Friday morning, September 13
    11-11:45 Town Center Legacy Room
    Spoken Word poet KANE SMEGO
    Reading/Performance From Greece to Griots to Gripping the Mic  Explore the history of the oral tradition, storytelling, and poetry as a tool for documenting and transmitting history, culture, and ideas across time and space.   

    Friday afternoon, September 13
    12-12:30 Town Center Legacy Room - Book-signing for Friday morning authors
    12:30-2:00 Break for Lunch

    Friday afternoon, September 13
    2-2:45 Town Center Legacy Room BETH REVIS & MYRA MCENTIRE  Story Structure and Plot Devices (Part Two) Discussion of various ways to plot and structure novels. Examples come from their own experiences and from other authors such as Blake Snyder, Christopher Vogler, John Truby, and others.
    2-2:45 Town Center Area C FRED BAHNSON Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith.
    Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like *What does it mean to follow God? and "How should I live my life?"  But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. After his agrarian conversion, he started a faith-based community garden in rural North Carolina to help its members grow real food and to feed his own spiritual hunger.  Through his journeys to four different faith communities--Trappist, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish--Bahnson explores the connections between spiritual nourishment and the way we feed our bodies with the sensitivity and insight shared by writers like Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben.
    2-2:45 Old Yancey Library  SHARON WEBB  Discussion  Preserving Our Literary Heritage, focusing on the rich legacy of folklore that exists here in the mountains of WNC, exploring the concept that most writers adhere to: everyone has a story to tell. Aspiring writers, be prepared to be motivated and encouraged to look within yourselves for inspiration, and to employ your innate gifts using knowledge you already have to create a story.  
    2-2:45 Design Gallery STEPHANIE POWELL WATTS  Love and Red Dust: Tales from the Dirt Road
    2-2:45 Off The Beaten Path KATHERINE SCOTT CRAWFORD Informal Lecture, Reading and Q & A - The Slanted Truth: When Fiction Meets History  The rich history of a place makes great fodder for fiction. But are there ethics to follow when it comes to writing historical fiction?

    2-4:45 FICTION WORKSHOP with ABIGAIL DEWITT
    SORRY, REGISTRATION CLOSED; WORKSHOP FULL
    Getting Your Characters to Write Their Own Stories
    Why do all the work when your characters can do so much of it for you? In this workshop, we'll explore techniques for creating 3-dimensional characters who will "take over" as you write. Through free-writing,character interviews, and non-dominant hand exercises, you'll discover how to step aside and allow a story to emerge on its own. Bring lots of paper and several pens and prepare to be surprised by what your characters tell you. For beginners and experienced writers alike. (This class will focus on fiction, but the techniques are useful for memoirists, as well.)

    Friday afternoon, September 13
    3-3:45 Town Center Legacy Room KATEY SCHULTZ  Flashes of War: where research meets imagination.  A brief reading, followed by  discussion of how, as an American author writing about war and the Middle East, I try to "take you there" through the stories.
    3-3:45 Town Center Area C KATHERINE SONIAT  A look at poems that focus on ways in which various geographic places can also reflect more personal landscapes. Consider these lines from World Drift about Portugal: "Each night we watch the rising constellations,/shifts so small they make us think we are all/ that changes in the red-roofed villages/ that pock the coast."  (from A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge)
    3-3:45 Old Yancey Library MARK SCHWEIZER  Murder Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard
    3-3:45 Town Hall BOB WATTS   Informal Lecture, Reading, and Q&A - Working the Line: A Process of Poetry  Like a quilt, a chair, or a car, a poem is an artificial object in the world, something made, not found or harvested. Using examples from his own work, Bob Watts will examine how poems can be made.
    3-3:45 Design Gallery CHARLES F. PRICE Reading and Discussion Season of Terror: The Espinosas in Central Colorado explores the true story about three Hispanic serial killers who set out during the height of the Civil War to murder all the Anglos in Colorado Territory.  
    3-3:45 Mary Jane’s Bakery & Café KEITH FLYNN A Reading

    Friday afternoon, September 13
    4-4:45 Town Center Legacy Room MALLORY McDUFF Words for change: Writing about the spiritual life in a secular world  How can writing about people and places deepen our spiritual lives and our connections to the land around us? How do faith and place intersect in a new South where agnostics, evangelicals, Episcopalians, Jews, and Wiccans all drink the same water (though it may be polluted by the local coal-fired power plant). This session explores how spiritual writing can connect our ordinary lives to the sacred, creating points of intersection between believers and non-believers, readers and writers. 

    4-4:45 Old Yancey Library BOOKBUZZ
    with Jane Willig, Kathleen Turczyn, and Nancy Roth

    So...what are your top ten you-gotta-read-these books?  Was A Confederacy of Dunces the funniest book you ever read, or did you give up after the first hundred pages? Which writer's work grabbed you and opened your eyes to poetry?  Was the best part of that NYT bestseller the rave reviews on the jacket?  What happened that time it turned out you were the only one in the bookclub who liked the book you picked?   Join Nancy, Kathleen, Jane, and/or whichever brave LitFest authors show up for this always funny, sometimes raucous round of - uh - whatever happens at The Buzz this year!

    Friday afternoon, September 13
    5-5:30 Town Center Legacy Room - Book-signing for Friday afternoon authors

    7pm Town Center Legacy Room - Free!

    Shortbus Studio Presents:
    Flash Fiction and Animation
    with Katey Schultz  
    In the winter of 2008, a group of differently abled adults decided to use their boundless energy and humor to create an intuitive art program in Western North Carolina.  They drew. They sketched. They painted.  They pitched fits, you know, like typical artists.  After a lifetime of riding the short bus, they were ready to make it cool, and that's how they got the name, Shortbus Studio.  After five fun years, Shortbus Studio continues to use web media like Facebook and YouTube to help spread their mission, which is to bridge barriers between people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their communities, and to teach us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.  In addition to the art and recreation programs, the nonprofit agency runs two group homes,
    an art studio, a retail store and a day program that facilitates learning through a variety of art, volunteer, educational and outdoor adventure activities.  The
    retail store features original art, ceramics, tee shirts and greeting cards created by artists enrolled in the studio.  For more information on the Shortbus Studio, please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShortbusStudio or in person at
    414 East Main Street in Burnsville, NC.

    SATURDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 14
    9-9:45 Town Center Legacy Room SUSAN WOODRING  Eyes to See, Ears to Hear: How Stories are Shaped by Place  It’s no secret that place and time affects writers and where they choose to set their stories. The old adage says writers should write what they know, but just how well and in what way must a writer know his or her fictional territory? In this session, Susan Woodring will read briefly from her novel, Goliath, set in a small NC factory town, and discuss how the places she’s lived in and the people she’s met there have affected her work.
    9-9:45 Town Center Area C KATEY SCHULTZ  Flashes of War: where research meets imagination.  A brief reading, followed by  discussion of how, as an American author writing about war and the Middle East, I try to "take you there" through the stories.
    9-9:45 Old Yancey Library HOLLY IGLESIAS  Reading and Q&A

    9-11:45 NONFICTION WORKSHOP with ELIZABETH HUDSON
    Advance Registration Required - $25
    Know Your Place: Tricks and tips to develop a powerful sense of place and regional identity in your writing.

    Saturday morning, September 14
    10-10:45 Town Center Legacy Room ABIGAIL DEWITT Reading and Q&A - Liberation (A collection in the works)
    10-10:45 Town Center Area C KATHERINE SONIAT  look at poems that focus on ways in which various geographic places can also reflect more personal landscapes. Consider these lines from World Drift about Portugal: "Each night we watch the rising constellations,/shifts so small they make us think we are all/ that changes in the red-roofed villages/ that pock the coast."  (from A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge)
    10-10:45 Old Yancey Library BOBBY MCMILLON  Storytelling
    10-10:45 Design Gallery FRED BAHNSON Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith.
    Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like *What does it mean to follow God? and "How should I live my life?"  But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. After his agrarian conversion, he started a faith-based community garden in rural North Carolina to help its members grow real food and to feed his own spiritual hunger.  Through his journeys to four different faith communities--Trappist, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish--Bahnson explores the connections between spiritual nourishment and the way we feed our bodies with the sensitivity and insight shared by writers like Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben.

    Saturday morning, September 14
    11-11:45 Town Center Legacy Room TOE RIVER ANTHOLOGY GROUP: DONNA JEAN DREYER,
                   RUTH POPE, PAT RIVIERE-SEEL, MARY HELMLE and SUSAN LARSON  The Writing Itch:  How being in a long-term writing group helps   Thirty-five years ago a group of novice writers began meeting in the mezzanine of the Burnsville Library under the tutelage of Francis Pledger Hulme.  Sharing from his deep reservoir of literary knowledge, Dr. Hulme cajoled, encouraged and teased the 23 members into producing poetry, fiction and memoirs, from which he selected the contents of the Toe River Anthology 1979.  After publication, some of the original writers have continued to meet, giving helpful and open feedback.  In this session five of the group will read, some from the Toe River Anthology and some from their current writing, and will share what the experience of being in this writing group (now called the Scribblers) has meant to them.  
    11-11:45 Town Center Area C DAVID BOONE With his newly published book, Sing Me Back Home, Boone at long last brings to the public his Vietnam War Stories that give credit to veterans as few books from that time have done.  With powerful photos, he will bring the audience his theme:  War and music.  He'll tell stories of growing up in Burnsville with a love of music and art, meeting his wife Elaine at Little Smokey’s Drive-In, being drafted into the Army and serving in Vietnam, singing to the soldiers, losing all his clothes, and finally, going home.  Boone will bring woodcarvings of soldiers and tell how he carves and paints wood, and play and sing songs at the end of his presentation to tell how he made many soldiers feel at home for a few minutes during that terrible war.
    11-11:45 Old Yancey Library BOOKCLUB BUZZ
    with Jane Willig, Kathleen Turczyn, and Nancy Roth  
    So...there you all were, wineglasses in hand, shoes kicked off,  six pairs of feet up on the coffee table, cheese straws making the rounds...and one of you blurts out in shame, "I didn't actually read the book..."  Join Nancy, Kathleen, Jane, and/or whichever LitFest authors dare show up for this always funny, sometimes raucous round of - uh - whatever happens at The Buzz this year!
    11-11:45 Design Gallery MARK SCHWEIZER  A Reading  Murder is Easy; Comedy is Hard
    11-11:45 Off The Beaten Path JANIE DEVOS Reading and Discussion

    Saturday afternoon, September 14
    12-12:30 Town Center Legacy Room - Book-signing for Saturday morning authors
    12:30-2:00 Break for Lunch

    Saturday afternoon, September 14
    2-2:45 Town Center Legacy Room - KANE SMEGO Performance and talk about his life experiences and career as an artist.
    (SORRY, DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SUSAN KETCHIN SESSION WAS CANCELLED.)

    2-2:45 Town Center Area C KATHRYN NEWFONT  A Reading
    2-2:45 Old  Yancey Library STEPHANIE POWELL WATTS Love and Red Dust: Tales from the Dirt Road
    2-2:45 Design Gallery KANE SMEGO - THIS SESSION MOVED TO TOWN CENTER LEGACY ROOM
    2-2:45 Off The Beaten Path KATHERINE SCOTT CRAWFORD Brief Lecture, Reading and Q & A – Walking the Story  A writer’s adventure through the Southern Appalachian back country, and the historical novel it inspired. How a novel was birthed by a lifetime outdoors.

    2-4:45 POETRY WORKSHOP with HOLLY IGLESIAS
               SORRY, REGISTRATION CLOSED; WORKSHOP FULL
    Object Lessons: A Prose Poetry Workshop

    Saturday afternoon, September 14
    3-3:45 Town Center Legacy Room PANEL: THE LAND & SPIRITUALITY with FRED BAHNSON,
               MALLORY McDUFF, and KATHRYN NEWFONT  Spirituality of the Land
    In Israel people refer to the land as "the Fifth Gospel."  There is a sense in which the physical features of the land itself--hills, valleys, rivers--retain an echo of the biblical narrative. Perhaps due to its own biblical echoes, Southern American literature also conveys a numinous presence, a sense that the places we inhabit are inherently holy and full of mystery. Indeed, the land itself often becomes a character in the story. These three panelists will discuss a spirituality of the land as it appears in either their own lives or the stories of those they describe in their work.
    3-3:45 Town Center Area C CHARLES F. PRICE  Reading and Discussion Season of Terror: The Espinosas in Central Colorado explores the true story about three Hispanic serial killers who set out during the height of the Civil War to murder all the Anglos in Colorado Territory. 
    3-3:45 Old Yancey Library BOB WATTS  Informal Lecture, Reading, and Q&A - Working the Line: A Process of Poetry  Like a quilt, a chair, or a car, a poem is an artificial object in the world, something made, not found or harvested. Using examples from his own work, Bob Watts will examine how poems can be made.
    3-3:45 Design Gallery SHARON WEBB  Discussion  Preserving Our Literary Heritage, focusing on the rich legacy of folklore that exists here in the mountains of WNC, exploring the concept that most writers adhere to: everyone has a story to tell. Aspiring writers, be prepared to be motivated and encouraged to look within yourselves for inspiration, and to employ your innate gifts using knowledge you already have to create a story.  
    3-3:45 Mary Jane’s Bakery & Café KEITH FLYNN A Reading

    Saturday afternoon, September 14
    4-4:45 Town Center Legacy Room CHRIS SCHWEIZER and MARK SCHWEIZER  "Put Down that Comic Book and Get a Job!"  "Shut Up! This IS my Job!" - A Father/Son Discourse
    4-4:45 Town Center Area C DALE NEAL of Asheville reads from and discusses his new novel The Half-Life of Home. The novel explores the terrible choice between saving your family and losing the land, as well as the sad history of exile in the North Carolina mountains.

    Saturday afternoon, September 14
    5-5:30 Town Center Legacy Room BOOK-SIGNING for Saturday Afternoon Authors

    7pm Town Center Legacy Room
    Banquet with Keynote Speaker
    ELIZABETH KOSTOVA
    Author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves
    Tickets required - $30
    SOLD OUT