CONTACT:  lewisburgliteraryfestival@gmail.com

Lewisburg Literary Festival 2015

August 5 & 6, 2016

A vibrant two day event featuring visiting authors,  outdoor art, panel discussions, writing workshops, musical entertainment, and performance art, all inspired by literature.


Lewisburg Literary Festival Film Fest 2015
Congratulations to Laura Holliday for winning the Grand Prix for her film "Persephone Goes Home." The film, along with first runner up Edward Mensore's "Beneath Existence," Mark Trent's second runner up "Charmin Ultra," and People's Choice winner "The Letter," by Stephen Date, are available for viewing at our contest YouTube page.  

WV Country PatchworkThe Greenbrier Artists will have an exhibit at the Literary Town Hall (a.k.a. the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitor's Bureau on Washington Street).  The artists have selected poems by local artists and have created new paintings to correspond to those poems.  The show will consist of over 30 paintings.   
Women on the LiWomen on the Linene is a collaboration between regional poets in Ohio and West Virginia and graphic design students at Ohio University's School of Fine arts. These students create graphic interpretations of selections of the poets' work. All proceeds from the event benefit My Sister's Place, a domestic violence shelter in Athens, Ohio.
This exhibit will be on display in the Literary Laundromat (the city council room at City Hall).

Sheep Take a Hike STORY WALK®

The Greenbrier County Library will present a story walk on the path behind the library leading up to the Confederate Cemetery. 

The book for the StoryWalk® is “Sheep Take a Hike” by Nancy Shaw ; illustrated by Margot Apple. The book will be up on Friday and Saturday. It will lead up and back down the path beside the library that leads to the Confederate Cemetery.

“The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

The Help

Class of `65

Land More Kind than Home

The Green Ember

Conqueror Worms


Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett Kathryn 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 in June.

Jim Auchmutey

Jim Auchmutey 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 Visitors Bureau. 

Wiley Cash

Wiley CashWiley Cash 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 Morrow/​HarperCollinsPublishers.

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 film.

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 daughter.

S.D. Smith
S.D. Smith
S. D. Smith tells new stories with an old soul. He is the author The Green Ember and The Black Star of Kingston, children's fantasy adventures in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia and Redwall. He was raised in West Virginia until the age of twelve, when his family moved to Africa. He turned thirteen in South Africa the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison. When he moved home, Mandela was the president. He loved his adopted country, but home has always been the mountains of West Virginia. He lives in Grandview with his wife, Gina, and their four children.  www.sdsmith.net.

Sam will be leading a children's workshop at the Greenbrier County Library on Friday afternoon.

Brian Keene

Brian Keene7/28/15  Brian Keene has unfortunately had to cancel his appearance at the 2015 Lewisburg Literary Festival.  We look forward to inviting him back in a future year.

Mr. Keene writes:  "My family hails from the mountains and towns around Lewisburg, and I've always thought of it as home for most of my life. So it is with sincere regret and great sadness that I have to inform you that some unexpected health problems will prevent me from attending this years Literary Festival. I was looking forward to being among friends and family and fans, and am heartbroken over this unfortunate turn of events. I hope to make it up to all of you next year." -- Brian Keene

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 zombies.

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 Productions.

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 Pennsylvania.

Writing Workshops

We will have three writing workshops with a general theme of memoir, featuring authors Cat Pleska, Ed Davis and Fran Simone. 

Reservations for workshops can be made by calling 888-716-5082.  Each workshop is limited.

Cat Pleska
Riding on Cometsat 4 p.m.
Mining Memory for Memoir.  In this workshop, you’ll dig deep for memories to develop memoir or personal essay pieces. While in our mining mode, we’ll discover themes from the memories to shape and focus everything from flash memoir to whole books. Writing prompts, tips and techniques will be offered so you can begin your journey.  

Fran Simone
Dark Wine WatersSaturday
9:30 a.m.
Fran will teach a workshop on writing personal narrative, memoir, creative non-fiction, writing as healing, how to find the thread to weave throughout a story.
Ed Davis
The Psalm of Israel JonesSaturday
11 a.m.
Will foc
us on the joys and pitfalls of writing autobiographical fiction--a form whose roots are firmly planted in the writer's past--as well as the differences between autobiographical fiction and memoir. An exercise helping writers explore which genre is best for them will be distributed and begun, time permitting. 

Lewisburg Literary Festival Film
                                Fest 2015

The Lewisburg Literary Festival film competition is closed for submissions.  The films will be reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners announced at the LLF in August.  However, the video that receives the most views by August 5 will be given a People's Choice award.  You can watch each submitted film at our contest YouTube page and help choose the People's Choice winner by watching your favorite more than once. 

The Lewisburg Literary Festival will be showing each of the winning films from this competition during the LLF at the Old Hardware Gallery space on Washington Street, across from City Hall. 


                                          Consternation of Monsters

At 9:15 pm on Friday, August 7, in the GREEN SPACE at Washington Street and Jefferson Street, , Eric Fritzius and Devin Preston will perform "...to a Flame" a short play about WV's legendary Mothman.

This 15-minute play is adapted from Fritzius's short story of the same title found in his collection A Consternation of Monsters.

This Lewisburg Literary Festival event is free and open to the public.

Hunter S.
A Hunter S. Thompson Look-A-Like contest at Lewisburg's newest bar, The Asylum.

Think you look like gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson? 

Do you have a passion for cigarette holders, aviator shades and questionable pharmaceuticals?  Enjoy Johnny Depp movies?

Well, put your mug up against the champs at The Asylum!  Our judges will have a gander at all the Thompson wannabes and pick a winner.  That winner gets a free trip for two to Las Vegas, where they can potentially recreate scenes from Fear and Loathing...  This includes round trip tickets from Dulles and two nights at Circus Circus.

Registration begins at 9:30 p.m on Friday, August 7.  Competition begins at 10p.

(Non competitors are encouraged to dress as lizards.)

Have questions? Contact us at lewisburgliteraryfestival@gmail.com.