An evening of live entertainment will kick off the fourth annual Carolinas Writers Conference in April. Four N.C. storytellers will grace the stage at the Ansonia Theatre in Wadesboro on Friday, April 13. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free to the public.
Headliner is Gary Carden with “Preaching to the Chickens.” Humorist Carden says he began his career by telling stories to the chickens in his grandfather’s henhouse at age 6. Since then, he taught English and drama at Western Carolina University before working for the Cherokee tribal government. He realized his childhood dream by becoming a full-time teller of Appalachian and Cherokee tales in 1984. Cynthia Moore Brown has been an acclaimed performer for three decades. She holds her audiences spellbound with “Folktales and Ghost Stories of the Piedmont.” Brown also is the co-founder of the N.C. Storytelling Guild.
Ramona Moore Big Eagle travels throughout the U.S. and Canada giving programs and workshops on American Indian culture. She has used storytelling, authentic artifacts, music, drumming, dance and crafts to tell her stories since 1976.
New to the craft, but locally acclaimed, Dorothy Morrison’s “Short’nin’ Bread” addresses the pains and pleasures of cotton mill life and race relations in Statesville during the 1950s. Her performance highlights the rich musical heritage of the region. Her nephew, Roy Morrison, will accompany her on guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica.
The free program is made possible by the Anson County Writers Club (ACWC) the Anson County Tourism Development Administration and the Anson County Arts Council.
The conference continues on Saturday, April 14, with novelist Margaret Maron and poet Tony Abbott as featured presenters.
Maron, the author of 26 novels, will discuss “Coming Home with the Bootlegger’s Daughter.” “Bootlegger’s Daughter” is numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century. The North Carolina native also is the recipient of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best N.C. novel of the year (2004) and the N.C. Award for Literature (2008).
Abbot, professor emeritus at Davidson College, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for “The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat.” He was awarded the Novello Literary Award for “Leaving Maggie Hope” (2003), and the Oscar Arnold Young Award for “The Man Who” (2005). Abbott’s topic is “Poetry and Secrets of the Heart.” He also will lead a poetry workshop on the art of revision.
Fourteen authors, including Abbott and Carden, will hold sessions during the day. Topics range from money sources for writers, Christian fiction, sparking the five senses, co-writing a book, article writing, the writer’s journey, marketing and using social media, contracts and the law regarding intellectual property rights, and the future of publishing. A teen writer will tell how she was inspired, and an octogenarian will share how he fulfilled his dream—years after he retired.
The Carolinas Writers Conference is sponsored by the ACWC, the H.B. Allen Library and South Piedmont Community College, and will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. Registration fee is $25 ($20 in advance). For more information, see www.ansoncountywritersclub.org and click on “Carolinas Writers Conference” in the menu.