2019 Schedule

This schedule is subject to – and probably will – change. Before you come to the festival, please be sure to check back here for any updates.
Printable schedules will be available online shortly before the festival.
Printed schedules will be available at the Town Center, the Yancey Common Times Journal office, and all the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Libraries shortly before the festival.
Keep in touch!

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


Poetry Workshop with Tyree Daye, Friday at 9:00

Sorry – SOLD OUT


Science Fiction Workshop with Jacqui Castle, Friday at 2:00


Memoir Workshop with Tessa Fontaine, Saturday at 9:00

Sorry – SOLD OUT

Non-Fiction Workshop with Georgann Eubanks, Saturday at 2:00


 

COMPLETE SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, September 5

 

7:00 p.m.Red Herring PuppetsTown Center Legacy Room

MY GRANDFATHER’S PRAYERS is a theatrical performance based on the remarkable life of Cantor Izso Glickstein (1889-1947), a fourth-generation Jewish Cantor, child prodigy, and operatic tenor whose life spanned the Russian pogroms, Hungary’s White Terror and two World Wars. He was the Uber-Cantor at the largest synagogue in both Europe and New England and Leonard Bernstein’s earliest mentor.  His powerful golden voice expresses the passion and determination of a people holding on to faith and tradition through the violent diaspora of the 20th century.  Izso’s remarkable story of thriving despite adversity, is told by his granddaughter, Lisa Sturz, a professional puppeteer, using shadow puppets, scrolling backgrounds, marionettes, digital composites and poetic text to connect with her grandfather and explore her own Jewish ancestry, artistry, spirituality and social responsibility.  Free performance. The performance is intended for adults and mature teens.  

 

 

Friday, September 6

 

9-11:45 am

 

POETRY WORKSHOP: Tyree Daye — Yancey County Library
“Writing the I– Giving Our Poems Identity”

When I was younger and living in Zebulon, North Carolina during the summer we would visit the local pools in Raleigh. We’ d play a game that many have played; we’d go underwater to see who could hold their breath the longest. Many years later, I realized that this game we played as children has a lot to do with the architecture of a poem and the way we move from Identity to the Subconscious where many of our images come from.  Workshop Topic: I’ve entitled this workshop: “Writing the I– Giving Our Poems Identity”.  The workshop will be framed around the essay Invisible Architecture (2000) by Barbara Guest and Coming to the “I” by Vievee Francis, an interview with the Indiana Review.  The moment the poet comes up for air (consciousness vs subconscious), the poem starts to develop identity.  The moment the poet submerges in the subconscious, the images of the poem begin to develop.   The poet’s personal narrative and the symbols in the poem frame the structure and emotional connection to images.
Advance Registration Required – Workshop – $35


Sorry – SOLD OUT


 

9-9:45 am

 

Elaine Neil Orr – Town Center
Fiction: Swimming Between Worlds
In this session, I will talk about the shift from memoir to fiction and how fiction let’s me “take the roof off” and make up stories about the worlds I love the most, and populate them with people struggling to understand their place in a morally complex universe.  I will read and take questions from the audience.
Sponsored by Mary Ann Claud

Lena Epps Brooker – First Baptist Church
Memories of An American Indian Girl
The author will share the reasons for writing her memoir, Hot Dogs on the Road-An American Indian Girl’s Reflections on growing up brown in a black and white world, and also reveal her hopes for the book.  Why the book is organized into sections of personal stories will be discussed as well as the people and support that sustained her through periods of innocence, pain, tears and triumphs experienced as an American Indian girl growing up in the Jim Crow era of segregation in southeastern North Carolina.  Selected readings from the book will be given and questions may be asked at the conclusion of the readings.
Sponsored by Katherine McCarty & George Nero

 

10-10:45 am

 

Jennie Liu and Joanne O’Sullivan – Town Center
YA Gets Real
Trends come and go, fantasy worlds are built and crumble, but contemporary teen stories with vivid, relatable characters never go out of style.  Jennie Liu and Joanne O’Sullivan talk about the characters teens flock to and fall for and about and real-life issues they face. Join these authors for a conversation that gets real about contemporary teens

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall – NuWray Inn
National Humanities Award-winning historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall will discuss and read from her new book.  Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America follows the divergent paths of three astonishing sisters who were estranged from each other and yet forever entangled by their mutual obsession with the South.  Born into a former slaveholding family, Elizabeth, Grace, and Katharine Lumpkin were taught from childhood to venerate the Confederacy and uphold white supremacy. Elizabeth, the eldest, never strayed far from that upbringing.  But in lives lived on both sides of the Mason Dixon line, Grace and Katharine fought to break free.  Panning out to recover an embattled progressive tradition organic to the South and zooming in on the fraught ties of sisterhood, Sisters and Rebels joins a passionate conversation about how to face up to America’s original sin and remake the South into a place to call home.

Mylene Dressler – Snap Dragon
Can You See Me?:  Imagination and the Literary Gothic
Join award-winning novelist Mylene Dressler on a journey into the art and meaning of the modern ghost story.  How are gothic tales like The Last To See Me moving beyond simple “scares” and into deeper questions about what it means to live, love, and be lastingly human?  Discussion with a reading to follow. 
Sponsored by Something Special Gifts/Monkey Business Toy Store

 

11-11:45 am

 

Jaki Shelton Green – Town Center
North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green will read poetry from her publications and new poems from her forthcoming manuscript.

Lisa Gardiner – Town Hall
Finding Hope in Odd Places: How Stories of Disaster Can Help Us Tackle Climate Change
Consider how we can learn from past experiences with disaster, play to our strengths, and avoid our blind spots to become more resilient with author L.S. Gardiner and stories from Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us About Climate Change.
Sponsored by Kat Turczyn

Valerie Nieman – NuWray Inn
Poetry: Behind the Mask
Each day we go about our routine lives, but inside we are superheroes or explorers, pirates or rock stars, hiding our secret identities behind the mask of an unassuming face and daily clothes.  One way to enter this secret world is to write a persona poem – persona meaning mask – in which we give a voice to an alternate identity.  Join Valerie Nieman, author of Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse, for an exploration of hidden realms of the self.  Suitable for all ages!

Terry Roberts – Snap Dragon
Join novelist Terry Roberts as he discusses his most recent novel, The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival.  Roberts will describe the origins of this novel–which follows the adventures of a traveling evangelist and bootlegger during Prohibition–and share the creative process that led to its final form.

 

12-12:30 pm

 

Book Signing – Morning Authors  

12:30-2 pm

 

BREAK FOR LUNCH  

 

2-4:45 pm

 

SCIENCE FICTION WORKSHOP: Jacqui Castle – Yancey County Library
Science Fiction: World-Building
How do you build a believable futuristic world while holding onto momentum and avoiding the trap of over-telling?  Bring a notepad or a work in progress as we discuss techniques for fleshing out your scenes, drawing inspiration from modern innovation and current trends, and building your science fiction or speculative fiction landscape.  Advance Registration Required – Workshop – $35



 

2-2:45 pm

 

Michael McFee – Town Center
Essayist and poet Michael McFee will read from his latest book, Appointed Rounds (Mercer University Press, 2018), a collection of 50 non-fiction pieces, some as short as one sentence and some longer than 30 pages.  He will discuss how he approaches writing creative non-fiction; how to write shorter “flash” pieces, like the ones on the parts of a physical book included in this collection; and how writing personal essays about his native mountains is different from (and/or similar to) writing poems. Questions and conversation are welcome!

Scott Mason – Town Hall
Scott Mason is known as the “Tar Heel Traveler.”  His human-interest feature series airs Monday-Thursday nights on WRAL-TV in Raleigh. During his presentation, Scott will show some of his most memorable stories—and share the amusing stories behind the stories!  This presentation is made possible through funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a non-profit foundation and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tyree Daye – NuWray Inn
How can we use the music we listen to as a craft tool for our poems?  The music we are drawn to says a lot about our subject matter, our narrative, meter and tone.

Sandy Parks – First Baptist Church
Curiosity Spawns Imagination
Award-winning author Sandy Parks will be talking about how to create a plot or bolster a story using unexpected sights, people, science, and historical oddities that she frequently encounters in her travel or research. She’s a believer in strong heroines, underdogs, and creative team work. Her latest thriller in progress involves many major oddities including a stolen 1910 aircraft, a Peruvian expat, a crash in the Italian Alps, and an aviation recovery team led by a woman.  Stop by Sandy’s talk and see how to use seemingly quirky facts to build a successful story.

 

3-3:45 pm

 

Valerie Nieman – NuWray Inn
Reading/Q&A: To the Bones
Valerie Nieman’s latest novel is a satirical genre mashup with elements of Appalachian tall tale, horror, ecojustice thriller, and romance.  How does a writer corral all these disparate elements into a single narrative?  She’ll read from the book and then take questions for a wide-ranging discussion about the possibilities in fiction that won’t just color between the lines.

Michael Hettich – Town Hall
To Start an Orchard: A Reading and Discussion
For this session, I will read and discuss a selection of poems from To Start an Orchard, just published by Press 53.  The reading will be followed by questions from the audience, and, if time allows, a short discussion of the role of the body in the creation of organic-form poetry.

Jamie Mason – First Baptist Church
Magpie Syndrome: What Catches The Writer’s Eye
One of the most common questions a fiction writer fields is “Where do you get your ideas?”  And by way of answer, this is a talk and discussion on how things we run across in our daily lives work their way into fiction. Three Graves Full, Monday’s Lie, and The Hidden Things, from Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books will be used as examples.
Sponsored by Yancey Graphics

 

4-4:45 pm

 

Georgann Eubanks – Town Center
The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year
Telling the stories of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to the month of its peak readiness for eating, Georgann Eubanks takes readers on a flavorful journey across the state.  These foods, and the stories of the people who prepare and eat them, make up the long-standing dialect of North Carolina kitchens.  But we have to wait for the right moment to enjoy them, and in that waiting is their treasure.
Sponsored by Susan Larson

Stacy Nigliazzo – Town Hall
The Art of Concision: Maximizing the Economy of Words for Greater Impact
In this session we will contemplate concision as an artistic imperative, discussing how to hone fragmentation, arrangement, and imagery in carefully selected language and tightened verse, learning together how to say everything there is to say in the fewest possible words.

Mesha Maren – First Baptist Church
Looking Home, Looking Away
Have you ever missed a place so much that is became like an obsession? When I first began writing my novel, Sugar Run, I was living far from my home in West Virginia and I was missing my mountains badly.  While Sugar Run is a work of fiction, much of the heart of the story is true to my own experiences of navigating a love for home and a need to get away.  I will read from my novel and talk about our human desire for place and community and what it means to love a landscape so deeply.  Please bring your thoughts and questions and stories about your own love of your home landscape!
Sponsored by Jane and Ron Greene

Book Buzz – NuWray Inn
Rant and rave about the books that you really like and really hate.  Book lovers of all stripes and dots can add their two cents to the enthusiastic discussion.  What’s not to like about getting the chance to spout off about your favorite books and pick up a few recommendations for more?

 

5-5:30 pm

 

Book Signing – Afternoon Authors  

 

7:00 PM

Banquet with Andrew Lawler



Secret Token – Myth, Obsession and Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

In 1587, 115 men, women, and children crossed the Atlantic, landing on Roanoke Island along what is now the North Carolina coast. By the time a resupply mission arrived three years later, they had utterly vanished. But it was not until the nineteenth century that the story of the settlers grew into an unsolved mystery and wildly popular myth.  Come hear how this strange tale is relevant to today’s struggle to define what it means to be American.  Banquet – $35 BYOB Advance Registration Required

 

Saturday, September 7

 

9-11:45 am

 

Memoir Workshop: Tessa Fontaine – Yancey County Library
In this generative workshop, we’ll focus on translating personal experience and research into effective memoir or personal essay.  Through prompts, we’ll invigorate both right and left brain memories and ideas, and discuss when to use invention, juxtaposition, patterns, and more. We’ll read and discuss short outside examples.  We’ll jump into unexpected threads in our writing.  This workshop is open to writers working on long projects, or starting something new, all experience levels. No submitted manuscript is required in advance.  Our goal will be to leave with lots of new material!
Advance Registration Required – Workshop – $35
Sponsored by Mountain Medical Arts


Sorry – SOLD OUT

 

9-9:45 am

 

Mesha Maren – Town Center
Looking Home, Looking Away
Have you ever missed a place so much that is became like an obsession? When I first began writing my novel, Sugar Run, I was living far from my home in West Virginia and I was missing my mountains badly.  While Sugar Run is a work of fiction, much of the heart of the story is true to my own experiences of navigating a love for home and a need to get away.  I will read from my novel and talk about our human desire for place and community and what it means to love a landscape so deeply.  Please bring your thoughts and questions and stories about your own love of your home landscape! 
Sponsored by Jane and Ron Greene

Stacy Nigliazzo – Snap Dragon
The Art of Concision: Maximizing the Economy of Words for Greater Impact.  In this session we will contemplate concision as an artistic imperative, discussing how to hone fragmentation, arrangement, and imagery in carefully selected language and tightened verse, learning together how to say everything there is to say in the fewest possible words.

 

10-10:45 pm

 

Terry Roberts – Town Hall
Join novelist Terry Roberts as he discusses his most recent novel, The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival.  Roberts will describe the origins of this novel–which follows the adventures of a traveling evangelist and bootlegger during Prohibition–and share the creative process that led to its final form.

Lena Epps Brooker – First Baptist Church
Memories of An American Indian Girl
The author will share the reasons for writing her memoir, Hot Dogs on the Road-An American Indian Girl’s Reflections on growing up brown in a black and white world, and also reveal her hopes for the book.  Why the book is organized into sections of personal stories will be discussed as well as the people and support that sustained her through periods of innocence, pain, tears and triumphs experienced as an American Indian girl growing up in the Jim Crow era of segregation in southeastern North Carolina.  Selected readings from the book will be given and questions may be asked at the conclusion of the readings.
Sponsored by Katherine McCarty & George Nero

Jacqui Castle- Snap Dragon
Dystopian Literature in a Dysfunctional World
Why do we read and write dystopian fiction when the world seems be crumbling around us?  Join Jacqui Castle for a brief reading from The Seclusion, and a discussion on the catharsis of dystopia, and finding hope within the pages.

 

11-11:45 am

 

Jaki Shelton Green – Town Center
North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green will read poetry from her publications and new poems from her forthcoming manuscript.

Michael McFee – NuWray Inn
Essayist and poet Michael McFee will read from his latest book, Appointed Rounds (Mercer University Press, 2018), a collection of 50 non-fiction pieces, some as short as one sentence and some longer than 30 pages.  He will discuss how he approaches writing creative non-fiction; how to write shorter “flash” pieces, like the ones on the parts of a physical book included in this collection; and how writing personal essays about his native mountains is different from (and/or similar to) writing poems. Questions and conversation are welcome!

Sandy Parks – First Baptist Church
Curiosity Spawns Imagination
Award-winning author Sandy Parks will be talking about how to create a plot or bolster a story using unexpected sights, people, science, and historical oddities that she frequently encounters in her travel or research. She’s a believer in strong heroines, underdogs, and creative team work. Her latest thriller in progress involves many major oddities including a stolen 1910 aircraft, a Peruvian expat, a crash in the Italian Alps, and an aviation recovery team led by a woman.  Stop by Sandy’s talk and see how to use seemingly quirky facts to build a successful story.

Mylene Dressler – Snap Dragon
Can You See Me?:  Imagination and the Literary Gothic
Join award-winning novelist Mylene Dressler on a journey into the art and meaning of the modern ghost story. How are gothic tales like The Last To See Me moving beyond simple “scares” and into deeper questions about what it means to live, love, and be lastingly human?  Discussion with a reading to follow. 
Sponsored by Something Special Gifts/Monkey Business Toy Shop

 

12-12:30 pm

 

Book Signing – Morning Authors  

 

12:30-2 pm

 

BREAK FOR LUNCH  

 

2-4:45 pm

 

Non-Fiction Workshop with Georgann Eubanks – Yancey County Library
Write What You Don’t Know— When you use your own curiosity to drive the story, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to do your homework and bring your readers along!  A workshop designed to generate ideas for stories you can sell with tips on finding your sources, interviewing the right subjects, creating tension in the story, and finding your audience.  We’ll do a bit of freewriting, too.  This workshop is for writers at all levels and will draw upon the expertise of the group so that you leave with at least two ideas to pursue.  Advance Registration Required – Workshop – $35 Sponsored by Susan Larson



 

2-2:45 pm

Tessa Fontaine – First Baptist Church
Memoir
Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman: a Memoir in Death-Defying Acts follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery―through her time on the road with the last American traveling sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.  The Electric Woman is A New York Times Editors’ Choice; A Southern Living Best Book of 2018; An Amazon Editors’ Best Book of 2018; A New York Post Most Unforgettable Book of 2018 and more.  In this session, Tessa will read from her memoir, discuss how the book came to be, tell stories, answer questions, and perhaps even teach the audience a magic trick. 
Sponsored by Mountain Medical Arts

Jim Herrington -Town Center
Jim Herrington will present his photography book, The Climbers, the culmination of a twenty-year, ‘round-the-world project to find and photograph the surviving legendary mountain climbers of the early-to-mid 20th Century ‘Golden Age’ of climbing.  He will discuss the travels, travails, despair and humor involved in tracking down these men and women from around the world who were vertically active between the 1920s and 1970s and who were at the cutting edge of an activity mostly unknown to the general public of the time.  Talk with slideshow.  2017 Banff Grand Prize winner.
Sponsored by Young & McQueen and Joe & Susan Martin

Michael Hettich – Town Hall
Breathing to See:  A Reading and Discussion
For this session, I will read and discuss poems from three recent books of poetry: To Start an Orchard (2019), The Frozen Harbor (2017) and Systems of Vanishing (2014).  I will then briefly discuss the role of breathing, walking, and heartbeat in the creation of my poems.  The reading and discussion will be followed by questions from the audience.

Elaine Neil OrrNuWray Inn
Memoir: Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life –
How I Got Sick and Wrote the Story of My Life
In this session, I will talk about how a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease led me back to my Nigerian girlhood and how in the process, I became a writer.  I’ll also read and take questions from the audience. 
Sponsored by Mary Ann Claud

 

3-3:45 pm

 

Lisa Gardiner – Town Hall
Finding Hope in Odd Places: How Stories of Disaster Can Help Us Tackle Climate Change
Consider how we can learn from past experiences with disaster, play to our strengths, and avoid our blind spots to become more resilient with author L.S. Gardiner and stories from Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us About Climate Change.

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall – First Baptist Church
A starred, boxed review in Publishers Weekly praised Jacquelyn Dowd Hall’s “excellent triple biography, Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America, for opening “a fascinating window on America’s social and intellectual history.”  The author will talk about how she overcame layers of secrecy and the destruction of evidence to uncover the violence hidden at the heart of family life and show how three very different sisters were made by and made history over the course of the 20th century.  She will also reflect on the challenge of finding a voice in which to share with readers her strenuous but never wholly successful efforts to fill the silences and on how her own life experience and her feelings about her subjects affected the story she tells.

Andrew Lawler – Town Center
Reflecting on Roanoke
The disappearance of the first English settlers to the New World in the 1580s is arguably America’s oldest cold case.  After a chance meeting with a British archaeologist, journalist Andrew Lawler set out to explore new digs and historical research that could shed light on the Roanoke Island settlers.  In this session, Andrew will discuss his journey through European archives and the Carolina swamps to shed light on the colony’s fate.

 

4-4:45 pm

 

Charles Price Reader Panel- In Memory of Charles Price  1938-2019 – Town Center
Authors Marlin Bartin, Wayne Caldwell, Britt Kaufmann and Terry Roberts will read from the novels of Charles Price.  Price descended on both sides of his family from some of the earliest settlers in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  He was the author of 8 novels covering topics from the Crusades to the American Revolution to the Civil War and to the Wild West.  He was the winner of the 1999 Sir Walter Raleigh Award.  In 2006, he and his wife, Ruth, helped found the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival.
Price wrote:
I write historical fiction about ordinary people confronted by extraordinary events … I am interested in history not simply for its own sake, but as it sheds light on the problems and issues of today. 
Sponsored by Lucy Doll

 

Jamie Mason – First Baptist Church
Magpie Syndrome: What Catches The Writer’s Eye
One of the most common questions a fiction writer fields is “Where do you get your ideas?”  And by way of answer, this is a talk and discussion on how things we run across in our daily lives work their way into fiction. Three Graves Full, Monday’s Lie, and The Hidden Things, from Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books will be used as examples

Book Buzz – NuWray Inn
Rant and rave about the books that you really like and really hate.  Book lovers of all stripes and dots can add their two cents to the enthusiastic discussion.  What’s not to like about getting the chance to spout off about your favorite books and pick up a few recommendations for more?

 

5-5:30 pm

 

Book Signing – Afternoon Authors  

 

6:30 pm 

KEYNOTE: Charles Frazier in conversation with Elaine Neil Orr

Novelist and nonfiction writer Elaine Orr and I will be in conversation about the themes of this year’s festival — travel, migration, immigration — and how they apply to my work.  Inman’s long and difficult journey home in Cold Mountain and the forced removal of the Cherokee in Thirteen Moons will be the focus, though all the books I’ve written have elements of travel somewhere in them.  Also, I’ll read an illustrative bit or two during our discussion.

$25 – Advance Registration Required