Sunday, May 22, 2011

Henderson County, NC - Flat Rock Community College

After a long drive I arrived in Henderson County for the annual Bookfest held at the Flat Rock Community College. We all know of the Flat Rock Playhouse, where plays are performed all summer and people from everywhere travel to see them. We also know that the Carl Sandberg home is here.

Writers are hearing about the Blue Ridge Bookfest, now in its third year and growing. When this event was just an idea by some people in Hendersonville, I learned about it from Bob Greenwald who contacted me with questions about writers who were being considered as key note speakers, and authors who might want a table.

I rode up to the first bookfest with Kathryn Byer and her husband, Jim. I enjoyed meeting many of our Netwest writers who were present. We did not have a table that year. The second year, I could not come, but Lana Hendershott and Karen Holmes sent me glowing reports about their day.

This year, I am delighted to see that Flat Rock Community College has lent their support and sponsorship for the bookfest. Bob says when he spearheaded the first one, he had no idea whether it would sustain the interest of sponsors but he feels sure it is here to stay.

The kickoff with free workshops on Friday afternoon by Nancy Simpson and Carol Roan set the atmosphere that only comes with a group of writers. The buffet reception that evening was a meet and greet time where I had a chance to talk with poet and editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, Scott Owens. He was at the bookfest for the first time.  At 6:30 PM,  we all sat down for a dramatization of Ann B. Ross's first book of her famous Miss  Julia series. Mrs. Ross, a resident of Hendersonville, was honoree for the evening.
As tired as I was and suffering from the chemical scents in the room, I still enjoyed the program.

On Saturday six of our Netwest members sat for a panel discussion on a variety of writing subjects including poetry, editing, compiling an anthology and a poetry collection, free lance writing, publishing a literary journal and submitting work. This group of writers could have gone on another hour, and the audience seemed to want more, but we only had 45 minutes.

Bill Ramsey iss program chair. This year he brought in  Ron Rash. Last year Robert Morgan was the keynote speaker. Who will they have next year?
I don't know, but I hope to be back to see.

From left, Glenda Beall, Wayne Drumheller, Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, Lana Hendershott, Nancy Simpson, Nancy Purcell, JC Walkup.
Also present on the panel but not in the photo: Rosemary Royston.
Linda Smith, publicity chair for Netwest was also present.

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