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Festival to Honor Wilma Dykeman

Wilma Dykeman, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee

This year’s Laughing Heart Literary Festival will honor NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Wilma Dykeman:

In partnership with Malaprop’s Bookstore, The Laughing Heart Literary Festival is an annual literary festival that brings together writers and readers from the Appalachian region, providing an intimate setting for all to share the experience of books.

The festival runs August 3-5, 2018, and is limited to thirty attendees.

Held in Hot Springs, the weekend offers writers the opportunity to talk about the craft and businesss of writing, enjoy readings by North Carolina luminaries such as Wiley Cash, and partake in some good ‘ole barbeque and live music.

On Friday night of the festival, Jim Stokely (son of Wilma Dykeman), Terry Roberts, and Amy Greene will offer a conversation about Dykeman’s literary contributions and readings. This program is open to the public.

In addition, The Laughing Heart Literary Festival will offer a scholarship in the name of Wilma Dykeman for an emerging Appalachian writer to attend the conference.

Wilma Dykeman (1920-2006) lived all her life near the French Broad River in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Born in Asheville, she was the only child of a mother whose people had lived in the North Carolina mountains since the eighteenth century.

Dykeman’s many honors included a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 1985 North Carolina Award for Literature. She held the honorary title of Tennessee State Historian from 1981 until she died.

She published more than sixteen books, including The French Broad (1955), one of the famous “Rivers of America” series; The Tall Woman and its sequel, The Tall Family; and Return the Innocent Earth (1973), loosely based on the fact that her husband belonged to the farming family that established the mammoth Stokely canning company.

For more information about The Laughing Heart Literary Festival, and to register, click here.