On the Same Page

Article Published: Sep. 8, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 8, 2011
On the Same Page

Author discussions are a popular facet of the On the Same Page literary festival.

Photo submitted

Connections will be intimate. Writing submissions have come from throughout the United States and Canada.

And when the fourth annual On the Same Page festival kicks into high gear next week, Ashe County will be buzzing with visitors and residents focusing on the arts and literary works.

"What we’ve found is it’s a strong two-way street," said Jane Lonon, executive director of the Ashe County Arts Council. "It’s not just the audience that comes away with awe, but also the authors come away with a positive experience themselves."

For the first time, Ashe County’s literary festival – a joint effort between the arts council, county library and numerous sponsors – has included a competition among writers. Seven of the nine winners are expected to attend and read their work.

“It’s just one more opportunity to bring attention to our wonderful community,” said Molly Westmoreland, county librarian at the Ashe County Public Library.

Friday’s Gallery Crawl in downtown West Jefferson and the opening of a new gallery at the Ashe Arts Center will serve as an early kickoff. Friday’s crawl will include 14 galleries and shops staying open after hours from 5 to 8 p.m.

West Jefferson’s galleries and studios include original, one-of-a-kind paintings, photography, pottery, stained glass, fiber arts, jewelry, wood turned art and many other handcrafted items.

“Trees,” the newest exhibit at the arts center, will run through Saturday, Oct. 8, and include paintings, photography, sculpture, wood and part art. Artists in the showing include Catherine Altice, Joanie Bell, Ed Booth, Nancy Bullock, Doug Butler, Kelly Clampitt, Gerald Conken, Meredith Conken, Lenore DePree, Martha Enzmann, Linda Fields, Mary Foreman, Evalynn Halsey, Anne Hardin, Lowell Hayes, Rebecca Herman, David Herr, Annehart Herrick, Al Hines, Diane LaBonte, Bill Milburn, Gil Millsaps, Judy Mitchell, Lisa Mitchell, Pat Kincheloe Morrison, Hank Orr, Ron Pehmoeller, Scot Pope, Shannon Roark, Mike Robbins, Cheryl Roberts, Linda Smith, Susan Van Wyk, Carol Whitmore-Herring and Cheryl Williams.

Westmoreland said as part of a preface for the festival, an open discussion on Elie Wiesel’s “Night” is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the library.

“It is hosted by the library book club, and a discussion leader will lead the group on their thoughts and feelings when they read ‘Night,’” Westmoreland said.

On the Same Page events are open to the public, and most are free.

The authors’ lineup is scheduled to include Wayne Caldwell, Mark De Castrique, Georgann Eubannks, Jaki Shelton Green, Michael Malone, Sharyn McCrumb, Suzi Parron and Dr. Allen Paul Speer.

The festival’s Wednesday lineup includes Speer at the Ashe County Public Library (11 a.m.) and McCrumb at the Ashe Civic Center (1:30 p.m.). The SkyLine Commemorative Cookbook will be sold beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Ashe Arts Center.

Eubanks, Green and De Castrique are scheduled for next Thursday at the library.

Books by the authors are already on sale at the Ashe Arts Center and are available for checkout at the public library.

“Over the last two years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people coming because of what it is and who is going to be here,” Lonon said. “We hope that kind of tract will continue. We want to be able to showcase everything that is here arts-wise and literary-wise.”

Westmoreland, who began her tenure July 1, said she’s excited about her first experience with the festival.

“I hope they find the literary festival as one more reason to love Ashe County,” Westmoreland said. “That is what it is for me.”

On the Same Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 14

11 a.m., library: Dr. Allen Paul Speer of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk will use his books to tell the story of his family’s long history in North Carolina. Free and open to the public.

1:30 p.m., civic center: Sharyn McCrumb, ‘The Ballad of Tom Dooley, a novel.’ Lecture, reading, and Q&A.

3:30 p.m., arts center: SkyLine Membership Cooperative, Skyline Commemorative Cookbook. Sharing, treats and fun, as SkyLine introduces its third cookbook, including recipes submitted by customers and members. Proceeds from the sale will be contributed to food banks in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Johnson counties.

Thursday, Sept. 15

9:30-11:30 a.m., library: “Many Beginnings,” Georgann Eubanks’ creative writing workshop. Limited seating; sign-up required. Call the Ashe Arts Center (336-846-ARTS) to sign up.

Noon, library: Literary Trails Lunch, Georgann Eubanks’ book talk on ‘Families: Literary Trails of North Carolina.’ Free admission. Box lunches available by reservation.

2:30 p.m., library: Jaki Shelton Green, reading and Q&A.

7 p.m., library: Mark De Castrique, reading and Q&A.

Friday, Sept. 16

9 a.m., library: “Life is Beautiful,” film discussion following.

Time TBA, high school: “Many Beginnings” workshop with Georgann Eubanks.

12:30-2 p.m., local restaurants: Lunch with an author, informal discussion gatherings over lunch with the author of your choice, 15 per author.

7:30 p.m., arts center: Wayne Caldwell, reading, talking and Q&A.

Saturday, Sept. 17

8:30 a.m., home of Chris Arvidson and Henry Doss: Page Turner’s Breakfast (invitation only).

8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., farmers’ market: “Resource Books,” vendors share their sources of inspiration along with their usual wares.

10 a.m., library: Darnell Aroult, reading, talking and Q&A.

10:30 a.m., Jefferson Station: Suzi Parron, reading, talking and Q&A. Part of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild’s annual Quilt Fair.

Noon, location TBA: On the Same Plate, luncheon with the festival authors, panel discussion and Q&A addressing the three questions about the role of family in writing. Moderator Ken Burrows. Reservations and admission charge.

2:30 p.m., library: Page Crafter’s Award, winners of the “On the Same Page Festival Literary Competition” will share their writings.

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