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Fran Burding, Friends of RPL win awards

Fran Burding, frequent president of the Friends of Rowan Public Library, and the Friends group have won awards at the annual meeting of Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries.
Burding received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries West Central Region. She was cited “for exemplary service and dedication to Friends of Rowan Public Library.”
The Rowan Friends group received an honorary mention in the Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries Frances B. Reid competition at the meeting, held Nov. 8 at Davie County Library in Mocksville.
The local group was noted for its new fundraising idea of cooperating with Collette Vacation Tours for international travel. The group also took a literary tour to Atlanta.
The award honors Reid, who helped establish the Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries in 1985.
Friends of Rowan Library added their support to a new teen summer reading program, which led to the creation of a promotional movie, and continued their support of Stories by the Millstream Festival for second-graders.
Guest speaker at the meeting was Sally Reed, executive director of Friends of Libraries in USA in Philadelphia. She travels throughout the United States speaking and is the author of several books.
More than 100 Friends from across the state attended the meeting. Friends of libraries are volunteers at the local institution who work to promote the library.
Book with N.C. connections wins
WASHINGTON, D.C. ó A historical novel about a little-known chapter in North Carolina history has won first place for genre fiction in the prestigious Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.
The novel, titled “A More Obedient Wife,” is set in the 1790s and based on the lives and letters of two early Supreme Court Justices and their wives. Justice James Iredell ó after whom Iredell County is named ó and his wife, Hannah, lived in Edenton, where tourists can still visit their house.
The other couple, James and Hannah Wilson, lived in Philadelphia but ended up in Edenton when Justice Wilson ó the only Supreme Court Justice in history to spend time in debtors’ prison ó chose the town as a good place to hide out from his creditors. Wilson died there in disgrace in August 1798.
Writer’s Digest magazine, which began publishing in 1920, is a periodical for writers. The company also publishes books and sponsors several writing competitions, including the annual self-published book awards, now in its 16th year. The prize for first place in the genre fiction category carries an award of $1,000 and other benefits.
Author Natalie Wexler came across the letters that formed the basis for the novel while working on a history of the U.S. Supreme Court in its first decade, the 1790s. The correspondence suggested an intriguing tale of four intertwined lives, but a tale that was incomplete. So Wexler, a published author as well as a lawyer and legal historian, decided to use the letters as the jumping-off point for a novel.
The novel incorporates excerpts from over 100 letters ó many of them written by James Iredell ó and other 18th-century documents. In between are fictional diary entries in the voices of the two Justices’ wives.
Wexler is a first-time novelist who lives in Washington, D.C. A former Supreme Court clerk, she was an associate editor of The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800 until its completion in December 2006. The author of numerous feature articles and essays, she began her career as a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal.

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