The Write Stuff

Article Published: Sep. 13, 2012 | Modified: Sep. 13, 2012
The Write Stuff

Author Barbara Kingsolver will visit Boone Oct. 4 for a ‘public conversation’ at Appalachian State University.

Photo submitted

Barbara Kingsolver, one of the most popular writers of the past decade-and-a-half, will make an appearance in Boone next month.

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill announced that author Barbara Kingsolver, Algonquin senior editor Kathy Pories and Bellwether Prize-winning authors Hillary Jordan and Naomi Benaron will hold a public conversation at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Broyhill Events Center on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone.

Kingsolver’s novels include “Prodigal Summer” and “The Poisonwood Bible.” She has also published collections of essays including “Small Wonder” and “High Tide in Tucson.”

More recently, she authored the non-fiction book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” chronicling her family’s attempt at maintaining and living off a small family farm in the Appalachian Mountains.
Hillary Jordan won the Bellwether Prize in 2008 for her debut novel, “Mudbound,” and has recently published her second novel, “When She Woke.”

Naomi Benaron won the Bellwether Prize in 2012 for her debut novel, “Running the Rift,” the story of an Olympic hopeful trying to lift himself and his family out of a cycle of struggle against the backdrop of building tensions in Rwanda.

The PEN/Bellwether Prize

Beginning with the 2012 prize cycle, The Bellwether Prize, founded by Kingsolver, is the largest monetary prize for an unpublished work of fiction in North America and has become the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

Consisting of $25,000 and publication, it is awarded biennially to an unpublished novel manuscript by a writer who has previously published articles or short stories but not a major novel. Submissions are accepted in September of odd-numbered years; the winner is announced the following May.

Manuscripts are judged blind, to avoid any form of bias; the identity of the author of the winning manuscript (and all other submissions) is not known by any judge or prize administrator until after the decision is finalized. Manuscripts are judged by a rotating panel of authors whose work exemplifies the type of literary fiction this prize seeks to support. Previous judges include Russell Banks, Ursula K. LeGuin, Barry Lopez, Toni Morrison, John Nichols, Ruth Ozeki, Anna Quindlen, Paula Sharp, and others.

Established in 1999, the Bellwether Prize is designed to be a career-founding event for writers with outstanding literary skills, moral passion and the courage to combine these strengths in unusually powerful fiction. For more information, updates, and the application form, see

Additional Images

Author Barbara Kingsolver will visit Boone Oct. 4 for a ‘public conversation’ at Appalachian State University.
Photo submitted

Hillary Jordan
Photo by Michael Epstein

Naomi Benaron
Photo by Erik Hinote |

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