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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Southern West Virginians are being treated to a unique spoken word/Appalachian music performance by internationally known, award-winning poet Kirk Judd, entitled “My People Was Music” as part of the Appalachian Visions Series. The performance will be held on Thursday, March 29, at 7 pm at the John W. Eye Conference Center, corner of S. Kanawha and Church Streets in Beckley, and is free and open to the public. Accompanying Judd will be Danny Arthur and Tim Bing, who will perform traditional Appalachian mountain music. Judd, Arthur and Bing are native West Virginians who have collaborated to bring their individual concerts together in a performance concept drawing from and dedicated to the cultural heritage arts of Appalachia.

“Our work reflects the poet’s and musician’s love, appreciation, and connection to the people and the place of West Virginia,” states Judd. “Danny, Tim, and I have valued each other’s work over the years, so it only seems right that we would come together to join in the preservation and presentation of the oral legacy and traditional music of West Virginia.”

Their “My People Was Music” performance features traditional mountain music combined with spoken word original poetry, and focuses on like poems and tunes that create a emotional connection. Some of Judd’s poetry is performed alone, while other poems are performed to music. The juxtaposition of spoken word and melody draws their audience into the rhythm of language and expression of the music. Kirk, Danny, and Time emphasize the strong Appalachian sense of place, and their performance is a unique journey transporting the listener with them to that place.

Kirk Judd is a Morgantown resident, originally from Huntington. He is the author of two poetry collections, Field of Vision and Tao-Billy, and the co-editor with Dr. Barbara Smith of the widely acclaimed anthology Wild, Sweet Notes.

Judd has participated with other West Virginia artists, musicians and singers in a series of performances of Appalachian heritage arts in Ireland and Scotland, and his work was included in a South American cultural exchange, and was translated and performed on university campuses and in native villages in Brazil. His work is taught in major universities throughout Appalachia. Judd’s poetry deals with the Appalachian cultural experience, and the emotional and spiritual involvement of living day-to-day in our unique environment.

Danny Arthur resides in Barboursville, and has taught and performed at Appalshop, Augusta Heritage Workshops, the Vandalia Gathering, the Wheatland Music Festival, and in Ireland and Scotland.

Tim Bing is originally from Barboursville, and is widely recognized as one of the best old-time banjo players anywhere. He learned his craft first-hand from such legendary West Virginia greats as Frank George and Sherman Hammons. He has performed across the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland.

For more than a decade, the Appalachian Visions series has worked to bring the best of regional scholarship and arts to southern West Virginia. The popularity of the series reflects not only its diversity—with programming drawn from Appalachia’s history, culture, literature, music, and traditional arts—but also its relaxed atmosphere that encourages broad participation and open discussion. All Appalachian Visions events are free and open to the public.

This project is being presented by Mountain State University ( and West Virginia Writers, Inc. ( with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Roslyn Artis, Mountain State University at 304.929.1375
Everett Lilly, Chair, Appalachian Visions at 304.929.1376

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Laura Bently Poetry Reading

You are cordially invited to attend a poetry reading from Laura Treacy Bentley’s first collection, Lake Effect.

Date: April 5, 2007

Place: Marshall University
Huntington, West Virginia
Birke Art Gallery
Smith Hall

Time: 8pm.

Monday, March 26, 2007

WV Writers Summer Conference Opens for Pre-Registration

PRE-REGISTRATION for the annual WV Writers Spring Conference is now open and will remain so through May 15, 2007. The conference will take place June 8-10, 2007 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley, WV. Please see the documents below for our initial batch of details as well as hints of details to come.

WV Writers 2007 Conference Information (Updated 3/26/07)
.pdf format, .doc format

WV Writers Conference Registration Form
.pdf format
, .doc format

Cedar Lakes Registration Form (for lodging and meals)
.pdf format, .doc format

One of our special guests of honor this year is literary agent, Scott Hoffman, co-founder of the Folio Literary Management Agency. Mr. Hoffman will be available for one on one sessions with members of WV Writers who wish to propose their work for representation and to receive feedback on said work. (See Scott Hoffman's page at Folio's website for what sort of material he looks for as a literary agent.)

Members of WV Writers will be able to preregister for these sessions beginning in mid-April at a cost of $20. (WV Writers is using the fee for this to off-set our costs in bringing in Mr. Hoffman for our conference.)

There will be 25 one on one sessions available, with a standby list in case of session cancellations.

Details on how to pre-register for Scott Hoffman sessions will be released in our Spring newsletter in mid-April and simultaneously online. WV Writers cannot accept any pre-registration before then. So keep your eyes peeled for your next newsletter and be sure we have your correct contact information on file.

In the meantime, members who are interested in the Scott Hoffman sessions are encouraged to begin preparing their proposed manuscript samples for the session, as well as compiling a query letter for fiction submissions or a proposal for nonfiction submissions. Please use the following links to articles written by Mr. Hoffman's Folio co-founder Jeff Kleinman.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Traditions looks at the WV Literary Map

(This news courtesy of WV Writers own Phyllis Wilson Moore)

The latest issue of Traditions: A Journal of West Virginia Folk Culture and Educational Awareness is fresh off the press and dedicated to the WV literary map. All the authors listed on the map are recognized in the issue.

In addition, there are article/poems by West Virginia authors including Robyn Eversole, Mary Lucille DeBerry, Marc Harshman, Jeff Mann, Lee Maynard, T. W. McNemar, Anna Smucker, Charlotte Meade, Barbara Smith, and more.

And there are essays about WV literary greats such as Muriel Miller Dressler, Davis Grubb, Keith Maillard, Breece D'J Pancake, Meredith Sue Willis, and a host of others.

The issue has many,many other sections. Of special value to teachers will be those related to classroom use of WV literature.

You may purchase copies by contacting the Folklife Center. The issue costs $6.00 and the amt. to include for postage will depend on the number ordered.

If you contributed to the journal, you will receive two complimentary copies. If you live near me, I have a stack for contributors, or you may ask the Center to mail your two copies

Dr. Judy P. Byers, Director or Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist
113 Education Building
Phone: (304) 367-4403 or 367-4286 e-mail

The mailing address for the Center is West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State, 1201 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554-2470

Happy reading,


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Barbara Smith Appearance

(This news courtesy of WV Writers member Phyllis Wilson Moore)

Barbara Smith, Professor Emeritus of Literature and Writing at Alderson-Broaddus College, will present a reading of her works and a writing workshop at the college on Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m., in 206 Withers-Brandon, the Humanities Division lounge. The public is invited to attend.

Barbara Smith is an editor and writer whose many published works include two novels, several books of nonfiction, and over two hundred poems, short stories, and articles published in a variety of journals. She also served as contributing editor for two poetry anthologies, Weeping With Those Who Weep and Coming Together, and as co-editor for the highly praised anthology of West Virginia poetry, Wild Sweet Notes. She is also a medical ethicist and president of Mountain Hospice.

Doug Van Gundy Reading in Elkins

Doug Van Gundy of Elkins will be giving a reading from his new book of poetry, "A Life Above Water" on March 30 at Main Line Books, 301 Davis Ave in Elkins.

The reading will begin at 7:30 pm.

If you have questions, please call 304-636-6770.

Rebecca Conrad Fundraiser Dinner/Auction

(The following news bulletin courtesy of Renita Sue Lloyd)

WHAT: A fundraiser dinner is being held on April 29 at BCHS in Flatwoods for Rebecca Conrad a.k.a. Becky.

WHY: Becky was recently diagnosed with a form Brain Cancer and the expenses have a put a major strain on the family financially as it does with all families. More details are available at the wonderful website created for Becky.

WHAT WE ARE SEEKING: Gift Baskets with products like Bed and Bath , Mary Kay, AVON, Longaberger, books and stationery, audio books, candles, Tupperware, Music CD's, DVD's, Craft Items...anything that can be put in a gift basket, any pre-made gift basket or anything that can be used for the Silent Auction. We would love to get a big ticket item for the auction like a television, but realize that may be hard to do. ANY and ALL donations are tax deductible and donations of gift cards and/or cash are welcome and appreciated also.

IF YOU CAN ASSIST US PLEASE contact by sending an email to regarding the Silent Auction. Karin Fuller has an account set up for other donations and that info is on the website too.


Monday, March 19, 2007

John McKernan poetry reading.

John McKernan will give a poetry reading at 7:30 pm Wednesday April 4 in the Robinson Reading Room at the WVU Downtown Library in Morgantown.

He will read from his new book of poems Resurrection of the Dust.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Humble Play Appalachian New Play Festival open for submissions

(This news courtesy Gordon Simmons)

ARTS/West announces applications for HUMBLE PLAY: Appalachian new play festival

Athens, OH March 12, 2007– ARTS/West, Athens community gateway to the arts, 132 W. State St., is partnering with the Athens Community to present the 2nd Annual HUMBLE PLAY: APPALACHIAN NEW PLAY FESTIVAL this coming October 1-7, 2007 and they are pleased to invite submissions from adventurous playwrights, directors, and theater companies.

Acknowledging gifted writers and directors with new plays that speak to a regional audience, ARTS/West will open its doors for these new works October 1-7, 2007.

PARTICIPATION: We are seeking plays that will highlight the work and the playwrights, actors and directors of Appalachia generally and Southeastern Ohio specifically. Plays will be rated on the some of the following criteria: Does the playwright use language well? Is the dialogue believable within the world the playwright has created? Does the work tell a story? Is the story clearly told? Is the story accessible to an Appalachian audience? Does it involve human values, morals, and ideas with which we can identify, whether we agree with them or not? There are three categories this year including: “Playwright”, “Company”, and “Youth Division.” Each division has a separate application and application fee.

A script committee will review each play submitted. Be concise and clear in your application; the committee is interested in your evaluation of the play you’ve submitted, which is where you will impress.

APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted from March 19 to July 2, 2007

All applications must be postmarked on or before July 2, 2007


You may not submit more than two projects and each project must be submitted as a separate application.

Applications will be available at the ARTS/West office and by requesting one via email at

The mission of ARTS/West is to make facilities, resources, and opportunities available to artists, community children and area residents. The facility is a centralized, cultural hub situated in an evolving Arts District on the west side of Athens, ARTS/West harnesses community focus for all individuals engaged in the creation, performance and exhibition of the arts and promotes activities preserving the beauty, heritage and regional flavour of our town

Writers Digest Self-Published Book Competition

Win $3,000 in cash
(This news courtesy of WVWriters own Stan Higley)

Writer's Digest is searching for the best self-published books of the past few years. Whether you're a professional writer, part-time freelancer, or a self-starting student, here's your chance to enter the only competition exclusively for self-published books.

Gain national exposure for your book and catch the attention of prospective editors and publishers

Mainstream/Literary Fiction
Genre Fiction
Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
Children's Picture books
Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)

ENTRY DEADLINE: Tuesday, May 01, 2007

To find out all the details, click this sentence and visit Writers Digest's site.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cynthia Sterling Market News

(This information courtesy of Fay Thompson)

Spice, Harlequin's imprint for erotic romance, is looking for shorter stories to be sold online as Spice Briefs. Unfortunately, right now the link to the guidelines on the Harlequin website is broken, but I have the scoop for you: Stories should be 5,000 – 15,000 words. They will be sold as eBooks only (at least for now). They're looking for "bold, pushing-the-envelope, sexually explicit editorial ... These are highly erotic short stories; although brief, these stories should still strive to establish context for the erotic content through an interesting and engaging premise (a great hook), a well constructed plot and believable characters. Quality editorial is paramount." The editors are looking for all types of stories: contemporary, ethnic, literary, mystery/suspense, historical and paranormal stories told in first or third person point-of-view (female only) or, if it works for the story, multiple points of view. Submit the complete story to Editor Susan Pezzack Swinwood at


Amy Tannenbaum has been promoted to associate editor for Atria and Washington Square Press.

Faith Black is a new Associate Editor at Avalon Books (

Tara Parsons is a new editor with HQN Books ( and Luna Books.

Medallion Press ( has a new acquisitions editor and a new address for submissions:

Acquisitions Editor: Kerry Estevez
26609 Castleview Way
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543

Alex Logan is a new editorial assistant at Warner Books.


Ballantine Books has announced it will no longer accept unagented material of any kind.


My website has been updated. You can now read an excerpt from my May book, The Man Tamer. Go to upcoming books to find the excerpt.


Feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to

Cindi Myers
The Man Tamer Harlequin Blaze, May 2007

Little Lecture on Jesse Stuart

(This information courtesy of Gordon Simmons)


Charleston, WV (March 9, 2007) — The West Virginia Humanities Council will present a Little Lecture that examines the literary and educational contributions of noted Appalachian author Jesse Stuart. Dr. James M. Gifford, Executive Director of the Jesse Stuart Foundation in Ashland, Kentucky, will deliver the talk titled “Jesse Stuart: Man from the Dark Hills” which is taken from Stuart’s autobiography “Beyond Dark Hills”, on March 25 at 2:00 p.m.

Jesse Stuart is perhaps the best-known author ever from Appalachia. A native of Greenup County in eastern Kentucky, Stuart grew up on a farm and his rural roots were reflected in his writing throughout his lifetime. He was a prolific writer with over 50 books to his credit. Beginning in the 1930s he chronicled, celebrated and challenged life in what became known as Appalachia. He was named a Poet Laureate of Kentucky in 1954. Stuart was also an important educator and conservationist who now has bridges, schools, and nature preserves named for him.

The Jesse Stuart Foundation is devoted to preserving the human and literary legacy of Stuart and other Appalachian authors. It controls rights to Stuart’s works and has evolved into a significant regional press and bookseller. It also promotes a number of educational programs that encourage the study of Stuart’s works and the culture, history, and literature of Kentucky and Appalachia. A selection of Stuart’s books will be available for purchase at the lecture.

MacFarland-Hubbard House at 1310 Kanawha Blvd., East in Charleston is the location for all four lectures in the series. Admission for each lecture is $10 and includes a reception with the speaker. All lectures begin at 2:00 p.m. Seating is limited and those interested to attend are encouraged to call the West Virginia Humanities Council at 304-346-8500 to reserve a seat or for more information.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Barestage Now Accepting Original Plays

Entries Sought For Annual New Plays Festival

The BareStage Theatre is seeking original short plays for its annual "Six 10s @ Eights" original short plays festival and plays of all lengths for stage and audio production. The deadline for submitting scripts is June 30, 2007.

Twelve scripts will be chosen for stage production by the theatre. Winning plays will be fully staged for audiences, and the festival favorites, chosen by the actors and audiences, will be promoted to other theatres and competitions throughout the country.

Every playwright who submits work will receive comprehensive written critiques from the festival script readers (with inclusion of an S.A.S.E).

No previous playwrighting experience or past production is required, though plays that have been previously produced at other theatres will also be considered.

Those wishing to submit plays should follow these guidelines:

• All scripts should be bound or stapled, should be no more than 5 to 15 pages in length, include the playwright's name and contact information and involve no more than five characters, with minimal set requirements;

• Two copies of each different play should be sent;

• Include a brief cover letter telling a bit about the play and yourself;

• Include a standard self-addressed, stamped envelope if you wish to receive a reply and critique;

• No scripts will be returned, but plays of merit will be kept on file at the theatre for possible future production;

• Playwrights may send as many scripts as they wish, but must include a $10 reading/critique fee for each different short play (fees vary for plays longer than 5-15 pages); and,

• Meet the submission deadline: June 30, 2007.

Scripts should be mailed to: The BareStage Theatre; New Play Submissions; P.O. Box 9004; Red Bluff, CA 96080.

BareStage is also now accepting plays of all lengths for consideration for its regular season. Guidelines and varied critique fees can be found online at

Additional information on the festival or entries is available online at

• • •

The BareStage Theatre is a nonprofit, tax-exempt public benefit corporation that depends upon the participation of volunteers for its success. The theatre welcomes the involvement of everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, beliefs or disabilities. To find out how you might get involved in any of the numerous ways, please call, write or drop by.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Monthly Open Mic Poetry/Spoken Word shows

2 Much Fun! LLC Presents Open Mic Poetry/Spoken Word Poetry on the last Tuesday of every month. These sessions take place at The Empty Glass, 410 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, WV, at 8:30 p.

Upcmoing shows will be March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31 and August 28.

For more details, contact Michele at 304-419-7742 or Marcya at 703-244-6553. Or check out their myspace page at

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Davis & Elkins College Ninth Annual Writers’ Week

(Thanks to WVWriters Regional Rep Bill King for this information...)

Davis and Elkins College kicks off its ninth annual Writers’ Week this Spring with two exciting authors and a range of events that will interest campus and community members alike. The week’s activities begin on Thursday, March 15th, with a fiction reading by up-and-coming novelist Silas House, and end with a premier performance of labor poet Mark Nowak’s hard-hitting documentary poem, Sago, as well as with the premiere of “Bright Leaves,” a lyrical response to the Sago tragedy by local Appalachian folk group The Ginsangers. Both events are free and open to the public.

House, author of Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2003), and The Coal Tattoo (2004), has garnered several major honors, among them: the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Award of Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Chaffin Award for Literature, two Kentucky Literary Prizes for Novel of the Year (2003 and 2005), and the fiction prize from the National Society of Arts and Letters. House is a two-time finalist for both the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize and the SEBA Book of the Year. As contributing editor for No Depression magazine, House writes features on such artists as Nickel Creek, Kelly Willis, Darrel Scott, and Lucinda Williams, and also contributes to NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Currently, House is collaborating with actress Ashley Judd on a screenplay and is at work on his fifth novel, set during the Civil War.

“We are truly lucky, and honored, to have a writer of House’s stature visit Elkins,” says Writers’ Week co-director and Associate Professor of English, Bill King. “House weaves his yarn with the best of the great Southern writers, yet takes Appalachia out of fairy-tale and into twenty-first century culture. The Holy Ghost competes with Wal-Mart, fiddle tunes with John Melencamp and Tom Petty.” King continues, “If you appreciate smart literature grounded in the lives of everyday people, don’t miss this opportunity.”

Writers’ Week concludes with readings and performances by labor poet Mark Nowak, whose books include Shut Up Shut Down, Revenants, and Visit Teepee Town. A New York Times “Editor’s Choice” winner, and a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, Nowak writes hard-hitting poems that deal with labor history and class struggle. “This is working-class literature,” says Writers’ Week co-director and associate Professor of English Peter Okun. “Nowak makes poetry useful. His re-telling of the Sago mine disaster, for example, gives a voice to those who were directly affected by it.” Okun goes on to say that the public readings—and the Friday night performance in D&E’s Boiler House Theater — “will provide an opportunity for campus and community to witness the socially transforming power of art in action.”

House will read from his work, answer questions, and sign books March 15, from 6:00-7:00 in the Community Room of the Booth library on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. Novak’s lecture and panel discussion, "Writing the Public Life," occurs March 22, from 7:00-8:00 in the Community Room. Sago and Bright Leaves follow on Friday March 23, at 8:00 in the Boilerhouse Theater, on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. All events are free and open to the public.

Davis & Elkins College Writers’ Week is funded by The West Virginia Humanities Council, The Dean of Faculty’s office, and the English program.

Irene Moser, lecture-performance for Mountain State University

Irene Moser, folklorist and musician, "Founding Mother" of Appalachian Visions, is giving a lecture-performance called Ballad Roots of Appalachian Literature, with Everett Lilly and students from MSU's traditional music classes.

This will take place Tuesday, March 20, at 7p at the John W. Eye Conference Center, South Kanawha and Church Streets in Beckley. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mystery Writers of America's READS program.


CBS 59, in Beckley, recently ran a story on The Mystery Writers of America's READS program, a program that "brings together authors of juvenile and young adult mysteries with children, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians in a nationwide celebration of mystery writing and reading that fosters literacy, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking skills."

Their story also featured footage of this very website and of our president, despite the fact that WV Writers is not the parent organization behind this program.

Still, it's a program our membership will likely be in support of, so if you'd like to know more about it, please visit the MWA: Reads information site.