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Laughing Heart Literary Festival

The Laughing Heart Literary Project and Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café present inaugural Laughing Heart Literary Festival, August 1-4, in Hot Springs, NC

To celebrate readers and books, The Laughing Heart Literary Project and Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café are presenting the first Laughing Heart Literary Festival, August 1-4, in Hot Springs, NC. The event will bring together nationally- and regionally-celebrated authors in onstage conversations about their books and books that have changed their lives. The festival will feature an opening night panel of authors honoring the writing life of Robert Morgan.

All events will take place at Laughing Heart Lodge (289 NW Highway US 25/70) in Hot Springs, NC. Cost of admission to the festival is $300 for all events August 1-4, and includes an autographed book of choice from one of the authors featured in the festival. Lodging is not included in the fee, but is available at the Laughing Heart Lodge:  http://www.laughingheartlodge.com/

Participating in the author conversations will be acclaimed authors Ron Rash, Jill McCorkle, Terry Roberts, Julia Franks, Wayne Caldwell, Keith Flynn, Susi Gott Seguret, Trent Thompson, and Amy Greene.

A highlight of the festival will be two literary-”Craft Conversations” in which authors will address how a book takes shape from writer to reader. These will include discussions on the mechanics of developing a story, the process for delivering a completed manuscript to an editor, and the next steps on the road to publication. A panel with representatives from Malaprop’s Bookstore and Algonquin Books will bring bookseller/publisher perspectives to the discussion.

“Both Amy Greene (novelist and co-founder) and I have deep roots in Appalachia,” said writer Trent Thompson, director and co-founder of the Laughing Heart Literary Project. “The beautiful town of Hot Springs offers the “sense of place” we sought as a “base camp” for creating literary and educational opportunities in underserved areas across the Appalachian region. The Laughing Heart festival is one part of our humble effort to drop a pebble in a still pond promoting literature and literacy in the region. We want to expand the rings this pebble forms so that a stream flows beyond the pond, like the French Broad river across the Appalachian region. We anticipate the festival to be an enduring, annual event that provides a gate to the Laughing Heart Project’s broader efforts.”

“Malaprop’s has a long history of supporting activities that expand access to books and writing in our region, and the free flow of ideas that surround them,” said Melanie McNair, Director of Marketing and Author Events at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café. “We’re pleased to help launch the Laughing Heart Literary Festival and to welcome another community partner in this effort.”

For a full schedule of events, refer to:   https://laughingheartliteraryproject.org/the-festival

About The Laughing Heart Literary Project: The aim of the Laughing Heart Literary Project is to cultivate literary communities, develop literacy programs, and provide forums through events and workshops for educational opportunities in Appalachia. The project is based in Hot Springs, NC, and seeks to partner with other non-profit organizations which share our ethos of bringing literature and literacy to the broader Appalachian region.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café is an independent bookstore and café founded in Asheville, NC in 1982. We bring books, writers, and readers together in an environment that nurtures community, diversity, and the joy of reading. We carry a carefully curated selection of books for adults, children, and young adults, along with a large array of gift items. Author Ann Patchett, writing in the New york Times, said of us: “Malaprop’s was the heart and soul of Asheville, NC, when Asheville was a sleepy little hippie town, and it’s still its heart and soul now.”

About Authors Participating in the 2017 Laughing Heart Literary Festival:

Wayne Caldwell

Wayne Caldwell has three degrees in English, from UNC-Chapel Hill, Appalachian State, and Duke. He taught composition and literature at North Carolina Central and Union College (Schenectady NY). He has written two novels, Cataloochee and Requiem by Fire. He contributed a chapter to a collaborative novel, Naked Came the Leaf Peeper, by Brian Lee Knopp and eleven others (BurningBush Press, 2011). Hilarity in Asheville and surrounding He also wrote a short story, “Rattlesnakes,” published in 27 Views of Asheville, edited by Rob Neufeld (Eno Publishers, 2012). He has finished a third novel. The working title is Memoirs of an Unambitious Lawyer. He is working on a fourth novel, working title Shadow Family.  A new short story, “Donation Jar,” is at the online journal Drafthorse, published at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate TN.

Keith Flynn

Keith Flynn is the award-winning author of seven books, including five collections of poetry: The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters (1994), The Lost Sea (2000), The Golden Ratio (Iris Press, 2007), Colony Collapse Disorder (Wings Press, 2013), and a collection of essays, entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007). His latest book is a collaboration with photographer Charter Weeks, entitled Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession. From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced three albums: Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), Pouch (1996), and the spoken-word and music compilation, Nervous Splendor (2003). He is currently touring with a supporting combo, The Holy Men, whose album, LIVE at Diana Wortham Theatre, was released in 2011. His award-winning poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, a 2013 NC Literary Fellowship, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for NC. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994.

Julia Franks

Julia Franks has roots in the Appalachian mountains and has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. She lives in Atlanta where she teaches literature and runs loosecanon.com, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom. Her debut novel Over the Plain Houses was a 2016 NPR Best Book of the Year, Spring 2016 Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, and a May 2016 Indie Next Pick.

Amy Greene

Amy Greene is the co-founder of the Laughing Heart Literary Project. Her first novel Bloodroot (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) was a New York Times and National Bestseller, garnering praise from such publications as USA Today, The Boston Globe, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Greene won the 2010 Weatherford Award for Appalachian Fiction. Her second novel Long Man (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) was a Washington Post Top Book of the Year and was listed among the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Top 10 Books of 2014. In 2016 Greene won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Literature and was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame. Her third novel, The Nature of Fire is forthcoming, also from Alfred A. Knopf. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times and Glamour Magazine, among other publications.

Jill McCorkle

Jill McCorkle’s first two novels, The Cheer Leader and July 7,  were published on the same day in 1984. Since then she has published three other novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a frequent instructor in the Sewanee Summer Writers Program.

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan is an award-winning, bestselling poet, short story writer, and novelist. Morgan was raised on his family’s farm in the North Carolina mountains. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, three books of nonfiction, and eight books of fiction, including the bestselling novel Gap Creek. He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches at Cornell University. He won the Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature in 2007. His latest novel, Chasing the North Star, was published in 2016.

Ron Rash

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 Pen/Faulkner finalist and New York Times Bestseller Serena and Above The Waterfall, in addition to four prize winning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at The River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. Twice the recipient of The O. Henry Prize.

Terry Roberts

Terry Roberts’ ancestors have lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina since the time of The Revolutionary War. His family farmed in The Big Pine section of Madison County for generations and is also prominent in the Madison County town of Hot Springs, the setting for both A Short Time To Stay Here and That Bright Land. His debut novel,  A Short Time To Stay Here, won The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Roberts also won the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

Susi Gott Seguret

Hailing from the very depths of Appalachia in western North Carolina, author, chef and musician Susi Gott Séguret honed her culinary skills in France earning a diploma in Gastronomy and Taste from the Cordon Bleu and the Université de Reims. This unique combination is highlighted in her latest cookbook Appalachian Appetite as (says Fred Sauceman, author of Buttermilk & Bible Burgers) “the loving product of that convergence.”

Trent Thompson

Trent Thompson is the co-founder and director of the Laughing Heart Literary Project. He holds an M.A. from The Sewanee School of Letters in Theology and Literature (The University of The South) in Sewanee Tennessee. His thesis, “Living in Lectio: Praying with Their Pens,” was published in 2015. Thompson founded Rivendell Writers’ Colony in Sewanee, Tennessee. Thompson’s essays have appeared in The Sewanee Theological Review and other devotional publications. Thompson is the editor for Monkscipt Three, a book of poems and essays celebrating The Abbey of Gethsemani.

About Malaprops Bookstore

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café is an independent bookstore and café founded in Asheville, NC in 1982. Malaprop’s bring books, writers, and readers together in an environment that nurtures community, diversity, and the joy of reading.

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