A vibrant two day event featuring visiting
authors, outdoor art, panel discussions,
writing workshops, musical
entertainment, and performance art, all inspired
The Lewisburg Literary Festival is proud to
announce the inclusion of Kathryn Stockett ("The
Help") and horror author Brian Keene ("Fast
Zombies Suck" and "The Conqueror Worms" which is set
in Lewisburg) to our 2015 lineup.
Keep watching this space for future guest
Stockett, whose 2009 novel The Help has sold
over 6 million
copies and appeared on the New York Times
Bestseller list for more than 100 weeks, will
headline the 2015 Lewisburg Literary Festival,
which takes place August 7 and 8. Stockett, who
lives in Atlanta, will speak at Carnegie Hall at
7:00 pm on Saturday, August 8, and sign copies
of her book.
The story of a group of black maids working in
white households in Jackson, Mississippi, in the
1960's, The Help was a literary phenomenon that
became an Academy Award nominated film in 2011.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting
Actress, it won Best Supporting Actress Octavia
Spencer's portrayal of the character Minny.
The Help was Stockett's first book. The young
unknown author spent 5 years laboring over the
novel and submitted it to 60 literary agents
before one agreed to represent her. It has since
been published in 42 languages. A native of
Jackson, Mississippi, the author graduated from
the University of Alabama with a degree in
creative writing. She worked in advertising in
New York City before her success with the book.
A sensitive and insightful portrayal of Southern
culture and racial attitudes, the story uses
humor and irony to depict the lines drawn by
society and the reasons they sometimes deserve
to be questioned. Stockett has been widely
praised for creating pitch-perfect voices for
her characters, deftly portraying the
complicated relationship between African
American domestic servants and their white
employers, and writing a deeply-moving novel
filled with poignancy, humor and hope.
All events at the Lewisburg Literary Festival
are underwritten by local sponsors and are free
to the public. Tickets are required for
the three speakers who will appear at Carnegie
Hall, and are available from the Greenbrier
Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau beginning
Jim Auchmutey, whose recently published book The
Class of '65 portrays a resident of Monroe County as
an unsung hero of the Civil Rights movement,
will speak at the Lewisburg Literary Festival
and sign copies of his book on August 8.
For the past 40 years Greg Wittkamper has lived
quietly in Sinks Grove, West Virginia,
supporting his family by buying and selling real
estate. The quiet part could change with the
publicity surrounding a new book about his
experiences as a young man in Americus, Georgia.
A minister's son, Wittkamper grew up in a
Christian commune that believed in racial
equality before it was an acceptable idea in the
Deep South. He rode to Americus High School with
the first black students who integrated it, and
he experienced a degree of rejection and scorn
at his school that was rare for a handsome,
friendly young man with athletic and musical
talents. Wittkamper is portrayed as a brave and
principled young man willing to risk it all for
his beliefs, whose high school years were
miserable because of it.
Auchmutey's biography opens with the adult
Wittkamper receiving letters of apology from his
former classmates, who regretted their actions
and wanted to reconcile with him. It flashes
back to tell the story of the unusual commune,
Koinonia (Greek for fellowship), which is today
best remembered as the birthplace of Habitat for
Humanity, and the strained relationship the
residents had with others in the community as
the Civil Rights movement unfolded.
Auchmutey, a longtime Atlanta
Journal-Constitution writer, first wrote about
Wittkamper in a profile that appeared in the
newspaper. He decided to expand it into a book
because he was interested in telling a Civil
Rights story that hasn't been often told: the
fact that many white Southerners have changed
their attitudes about race.
The Class of ’65 is a story about redemption,
reconciliation and the power of forgiveness.
Wittkamper has said that if had he been born to
different parents, he probably would have
embraced the same beliefs as his tormentors. He
figures most of his classmates “were decent
people with decent parents who were scared into
submission to avoid social suicide.”
Auchmutey will speak at Carnegie Hall at 3:00 pm
on August 8, and sign copies of his book. In
something of a rarity for an author, the subject
of his story, Greg Wittkamper, will also be
present. All events at the Literary Festival are
underwritten by local sponsors and free to the
public. Tickets are required for the speakers at
Carnegie Hall, and are available beginning in
June from the Greenbrier County Convention and
is The New York Times best-selling author of A
LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME and THIS DARK ROAD TO
MERCY, which are both available from William
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME appeared on The New
York Times bestsellers list in hardcover,
paperback, and e-book. The New York Times also
named it an Editor's Choice and a Notable Book
of 2012. The novel was included on best of 2012
lists by Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews,
Books-a-Million, and many others. A LAND MORE
KIND THAN HOME won the Southern Independent
Bookseller Ailliances' Book Award for Fiction of
the Year and the John Creasey New Blood Dagger
Award from the UK's Crime Writers' Association,
and it was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W.
Bingham Prize and the American Booksellers'
Association's Debut Fiction Prize. Wiley's
second novel, THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, was a
national bestseller, an Indie Next Pick, a SIBA
Okra Pick, an O Magazine Top Ten Title, a
LibraryReads February Selection, and an Amazon
Book of the Month. It has been optioned for
Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature from the
University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A.
in English from the University of North
Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from
the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has
received grants and fellowships from the
Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe
Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His
stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review,
Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly, and
his essays on Southern literature have appeared
in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina
Review, and other publications.
Wiley teaches fiction at UNC-Chapel Hill and in
the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and
Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire
University. A native of North Carolina, he lives
in Wilmington, NC with his wife and their young
Brian Keene writes novels,
comic books, short fiction, and occasional
journalism for money. He is the author of over
forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and
dark fantasy genres.
His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited
(along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead
comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with
inspiring pop culture’s current interest in
Several of Keene’s novels have been developed
for film, including Ghoul, The Ties That
Bind, and Fast Zombies Suck.
Several more are in-development or under option.
Keene also serves as Executive Producer for the
independent film studio Drunken Tentacle
Keene’s work has been praised in such diverse
places as The New York Times, The History
Channel, The Howard Stern Show, CNN.com,
Publisher’s Weekly, Media Bistro, Fangoria
Magazine, and Rue Morgue Magazine.
He has won numerous awards and honors, including
the World Horror Grand Master award, two Bram
Stoker awards, and a recognition from Whiteman
A.F.B. for his outreach to U.S. troops serving
both overseas and abroad.
A prolific public speaker, Keene has delivered
talks at conventions, college campuses,
theaters, and inside Central Intelligence Agency
headquarters in Langley, VA.
The father of two sons, Keene lives in rural
We will have three writing workshops with a
general theme of memoir, featuring authors...
OTHER EVENTS INCLUDE
Story Dramatization in the Old Stone Cemetery on
Friday evening, featuring Eric Fritzius, author
Consternation of Monsters.
A Hunter S. Thompson Look-A-Like contest at
Lewisburg's newest bar, The
look like gonzo journalist Hunter S.
Thompson? Do you have a passion for smoking
and aviator shades? Put your mug up against the