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Let's Talk About North Carolina fiction works

By Suzanne White

Rowan Public Library

Be sure to sign up for Rowan Public Library’s third Let’s Talk About It reading and book discussion series, Tar Heel Fiction: A Second Look.

Thanks to a grant from the N.C. Humanities Council and support from the AAUW-Salisbury Branch and the Friends of RPL, readers will borrow books and participate in programs and discussions with visiting scholars during this five-book series.

All programs will be held in the Stanback Auditorium on Thursday nights at 7 p.m.

The series begins with “Raney,” by Clyde Edgerton on Thursday, with Dr. Merritt Moseley from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, followed on Feb. 8 by “Oral History,” by Lee Smith, with Mary Ellen Snodgrass, author and former columnist for the Charlotte Observer.

We’ll focus on “Visitation of Spirits” by Randall Kenan on Feb. 22, when our visiting scholar will be professor Joseph Bathanti of Appalachian State University, then explore “Ferris Beach” by Jill McCorkle with author and Queens University professor Cathy Pickens on March 8.

Our programs will culminate on March 22 with “I Am One of You Forever,” by Fred Chappell, with James Burkhead from Pitt Community College.

The N.C. Humanities Council, in its readers guide for the series, notes, “whenever Southern literature is discussed, North Carolina writers figure prominently. This series provides a sampling of some of the strongest recent work of authors who call this state home.” It focuses on works published in the 1980s and 1990s.

Space is limited, so be sure to call 704-216-8230 soon to register for this opportunity to read and discuss these books which will “invite you to deepen your appreciation of the South from the perspective of an insider” whether you are one or not.

Mystery writing workshop

WINSTON-SALEM — The Mystery Writers of America and the Salem College Center for Women Writers will present a day of activities for writers on Saturday, Feb. 3 in the Salem Fine Arts Center.

A workshop on building the writers’ skills, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature Reed Farrell Coleman, Richard Helms, Karen McCullough, Chris Roerden and Charles Todd. Topics include setting the scene, getting noticed in the submission pile, characters, dialogue, the series vs. stand-alone and publishing.

Registration is required, and is $55 per person. To register, call (336) 721-2855.

The day will conclude with readings by the panelists and presenters at 4 p.m. in Shirley Recital Hall. A reception and book signing will follow the readings. This program is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Coleman is the author of nine novels, including “The James Deans,” winner of the Anthony, Shamus and Barry awards for 2006. Helms, a former forensic psychologist and author of nine novels, is a three-time Shamus award nominee, most recently for “Cordite Wine” in his Eamon Gold series. Author of “Shadow of a Doubt,” McCullough writes fantasy, suspense and romance. Roerden is author of “Don’t Murder Your Mystery,” which was named a Spotlight selection by ForeWord Magazine.

Todd is the author of the Ian Rutledge series. Winner of the Barry Award, his “A Test of Wills” was named by the New York Times Book Review as one of its Notable Books of the Year, and listed as one of the best mysteries of the 20th century.

The Center for Women Writers provides an opportunity for women writers to explore their craft through workshops, college and community courses, readings, lectures and other special programs. For more information, please contact the Center for Women Writers at (336) 721-2739.

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