A! Magazine for the Arts

Mark Powell

Mark Powell

Writers' Day at Virginia Highlands Festival

June 27, 2017

Ron Rash describes novelist Mark Powell as the "best Appalachian novelist of his generation." Powell and other regional writers are conducting workshops on Writers' Day of the Virginia Highlands Festival Friday, July 28. Registration is from 8-9 a.m., workshops continue throughout the day, culminating in "An Evening of Words and Music."

Powell is the author of five novels, including "Small Treasures," published by Simon & Schuster. He holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, the University of South Carolina and the Citadel. He lives in Boone, North Carolina, where he teaches at Appalachian State University. He conducts a workshop on how writers discover the emotional center in their work, and one that examines how dialogue, particularly in tense situations, can drive fiction in a way exposition cannot.

Jim Minick, the nationally recognized memoirist of "The Blueberry Years," has just published a novel, "Fire Is Your Water." He has taught at Radford University and teaches at Augusta University. He leads a workshop on using family stories to make art, and one about finding a voice in writing stories: your voice and that of your characters.

A teacher of poetry at Hollins University, Thorpe Moeckel, conducts a workshop on using food and drink in poetry: using food's many sensory and cultural energies to channel the varieties of human hunger. His other workshop explores the potential of using second-person point of view, both "the hazards and heavens of the technique," as he describes it.

John Hardy, who has been associated with Barter Theatre more than four decades, leads two workshops on playwriting. The first discusses the methods used in creating a drama. The second one demonstrates methods used to generate a monologue, step by step. Hardy has directed more than 120 professional productions and has performed some of the great theater roles: Hamlet, Macbeth and Tom Wingfield from "The Glass Menagerie."

Participants can preregister online, and select workshops at www.vahighlandsfestival.org. The registration fee is $30. High school, college or university students may attend for free.

For more information, contact Deborah Prescott at 276-466-4002 or Steve Lindeman 276-944-0907.