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Kingsport resident to headline Virginia Highlands Festival Writers’ Day

Holly Viers • Jul 24, 2019 at 8:15 PM

If you’re thinking of writing a book, or if you just love to read and write, you may be interested in the Virginia Highlands Festival Writers’ Day happening Friday in Abingdon.

I’ve never been to this event, but it sounds like a great opportunity for writers and book lovers alike. Attendees will hear from several speakers, but the headliner will be Bekah Harris, a Kingsport resident and fantasy novelist.

About Writers’ Day

According to the festival website, Writers’ Day “celebrates writers of all genres and skill levels as they unite to create, collaborate and appreciate literature.” The event features several workshops for a variety of interests, all taught by skilled writers and publishing mentors.

What to expect

This year’s event will be held Friday beginning with registration from 8-9 a.m. at the Keyser-Aday Auditorium on the campus of Virginia Highlands Community College. The program itself will begin at 9 a.m.

Those who follow regional authors may already be familiar with Harris’s work. She is the author of the “Native Guardian” series and the “Iron Crown Faerie” series, both young adult fantasy series set in Appalachia, and is co-author of “The Guardians of Elysium,” a young adult urban fantasy series.

Harris will discuss how she mines Appalachian lore and history to enrich her fantasy novels and how to create vivid Appalachian dialect. She will be joined by Mary Knight, an award-winning, young adult novelist; Felicia Mitchell, a creative writing professor at Emory & Henry College; and Mark Stevens, an Erwin-based journalist.

A publishing panel will close out the event, according to a press release. This portion of the event will feature a discussion about different pathways to publishing today, ranging from self-publishing, using local publishers and getting a contract with a national publishing house.

How to attend

The cost to attend Writers’ Day is $40, but students can attend free of charge. Participants can register online at vahighlandsfestival.org or in person on the day of the event.

Want to learn more?

For descriptions of all the workshops and biographies of the writers, as well as information on other festival events, visit vahighlandsfestival.org.

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