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McCrumb to headline annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival

Contributed • Jan 29, 2018 at 11:02 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: The John Fox Jr. Festival, scheduled to be held Wednesday, March 21 at MECC, has been cancelled due to the predicted snowfall. The event will be rescheduled for a later date. (updated March 20, 2018)

BIG STONE GAP - The MECC Foundation will host the 42nd annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring a presentation by guest author Sharyn McCrumb, at 10 a.m., March 21, in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall on the Mountain Empire Community College campus.

In coordination with the festival, the foundation will host the 31st annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 14th annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. Entry categories include adult, high school (grades 9 through 12) and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories. The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including New York Times bestsellers “The Ballad of Tom Dooley,” “She Walks These Hills” and “The Rosewood Casket.” Her current novel, “The Unquiet Grave,” is a well-researched history of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Ghost.

In 2014, McCrumb was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina’s Chowan University. Named a “Virginia Woman of History” in 2008 for Achievement in Literature, she was a guest author at the National Festival of the Book in Washington D.C. in 2006. In April 2017, the national DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) named her a “Woman in the Arts” for literary achievement. In November 2017, the West Virginia Library Association presented McCrumb with their Award of Merit for Contributions to Appalachian Literature. Other honors include: AWA Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award; the Chaffin Award for Southern Literature; the Plattner Award for Short Story; and AWA’s Best Appalachian Novel. She was named “Best Mountain Writer 2013” by Blue Ridge Country Magazine.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, with an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech, McCrumb was the first writer-in-residence at King College in Tennessee. In 2005, she was honored as the Writer of the Year at Emory & Henry College.

Books will be available to purchase and for author signing at the event.

Individuals interested in obtaining guidelines for submitting short story and poetry contest entries should contact Brandi McAfee in the MECC Foundation Office. Rules for the short story and poetry contest are available on the MECC Foundation website. Winners of the contest will be announced during the festival event.

The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speaker at the John Fox, Jr. Museum in Big Stone Gap. Tickets for the luncheon are $23 per person. For reservations, call the MECC Foundation office at (276) 523-7466.

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