Shortbus Studio Artists’ thoughts on winning… Cake?

In the winter of 2008, a group of adults with developmental disabilities decided to create an intuitive art and outdoor adventure program in Burnsville. Several of the artists wanted to name the studio Shortbus Studio because they said that the little yellow buses were a BIG part of their reality; they had to ride them everyday to and from school. They wanted to help make the symbol of the short, yellow school bus COOL so that they could be proud of it… and it worked! Because of the ico...
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Announcing the 2016 Festival Image

Thank you all for the many fine (exceptional, really) entries that flooded our inbox and the local libraries. We have selected one to use for 2016 that made us smile, fit the theme Journey Out. Journey In. in interesting ways, and was certainly eye-catching. Congratulations to a collaborative effort by the Short Bus Studio Artists from Burnsville, North Carolina! Winner:   Ultimately, we chose this one because, at a glance, it reads "fun with books and mountains" and yet still addresses ...
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Book Review: Bearwallow by Jeremy B. Jones

Like many young people in these mountains today, Jeremy Jones left his family home and land at the foot of Bearwallow Mountain in Edneyville, fifteen miles from Hendersonville, NC to attend college. Afterwards he taught English to children of the village of Gracias a Dios in the mountains of Honduras. At age twenty-four, he, like many “third-generation immigrants” who return to their roots in search of who they are, returned to his former Edneyville grammar school to teach English to Mexican...
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Festival Preview

There is something for everyone at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival this weekend in Burnsville, North Carolina. While it’s true the festival focuses on the written word, part the beauty of the weekend is that participants get to listen to authors read their own work. Additionally, there will be musicians, actors, filmmakers and visual artists to inspire all who come. The weekend begins with the premiere showing of First in Forestry a documentary about Carl Schenck, the man hired by th...
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Book Review: A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash

Set near Marshall, NC, a land more kind than home, tells the story of a troubled family in 1986 in this small mountainous town north of Asheville. From the perspective of three characters, Wiley’s words fold themselves over and over to form one layer of effortless dialogue.  Although not heavily laden with descriptive narrative, I could picture Adelaide, the town’s midwife, the sheriff just trying to do his job, and ten year-old Jess, just trying to protect his brother.  Central to the plot ...
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Book Review: Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English

Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties by Ashley English; photographs by Jen Altman reviewed by Mannie Dalton Crone This inventive cookbook/craft book/guidebook on entertaining is filled with personal stories and intimate photographs of friends gathering to celebrate the bounty of the season at hand through food and craft-making. The book is sumptuous, yet down-to-earth; detailed, yet simple. Organized and inspired by the seasons, a...
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Book Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

  Reviewed by Chris Holobek The returned return on page 1, and just like Jason Mott’s most recent bestseller, The Wonder of All Things, the story begins immediately. The Hargraves, an older couple in their 70’s, experience a life-altering event in the form of a young boy who has returned from the dead, at the same age he was when he died.  I haven’t spoiled the story, as all of this happens within the first few pages of The Returned.  This is not a book about zombies returning to ...
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Book Review: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Reviewed by Ayla & Sylvia Archer Sara Gruen, once again, does a great job with characterization. Her story, which takes place in WW2 era Philadelphia and Scotland, begins by throwing you into a life of luxury and riches.  You join the characters as they embark on a journey that you cannot help but feel will end badly. Madeline Hyde, her husband, Ellis, and his guy-pal Hank embarrass their families socially and escape from WWII Philadelphia on a search to prove the existence of the Loc...
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10 Years Anthology Available at the Festival

In celebration of its tenth festival, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is publishing an anthology that includes the work of thirty-nine authors. Each author, poet, and artist has presented at the festival at one time. The book’s editor, Diana Donovan, a longtime freelance book editor, worked closely with festival staff and with Kevin Morgan Watson, publisher of Winston-Salem’s Press 53, to ensure that the poetry, prose, and visual art in the anthology represent the diversity of voices, g...
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NC Poet Laureate Featured at 2015 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival

by Lucy Doll In October, 2014, Shelby Stephenson, a poet and retired professor from Benson, NC, accepted an invitation to return to Burnsville for the 10th Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. Two months later, Governor Pat McCrory named Stephenson North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate. Knowing that the position of Poet Laureate could involve numerous speaking engagements for his entire term of office, the festival planners nervously asked if he would still be interested in coming to Burnsvi...
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