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Heather Bell Adams Named Piedmont Laureate

Heather Bell Adams

Raleigh author Heather Bell Adams, a longtime member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, has been named The Piedmont Laureate for 2022. She follows the 2021 Piedmont Laureate, children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons.

Heather Bell Adams is the author of Maranatha Road (West Virginia University Press 2017), which won the IPPY gold medal for the Southeast, and The Good Luck Stone (Haywire Books 2020), which won Best Historical in the Next Generation Book Awards. A recipient of the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, Carrie McCray Literary Award, and James Still Fiction Prize, Heather’s work appears in Still: The Journal, Atticus Review, The Thomas Wolfe Review, The Petigru Review, Pembroke Magazine, Broad River Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Raleigh where she works as a lawyer.

Heather’s support of the North Carolina Writers’ Network goes back years. She won an honorable mention in the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. She led the session “Essentials of Scene-Crafting” at the NCWN 2018 Spring Conference. Her essay “Show Me” won the the 2021 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. Most recently, she led the session “Getting Back into the Writing Groove” at the NCWN 2021 Fall Conference, in Durham.

Click here to listen to an interview with Heather on Artist Soapbox, the podcast hosted by another former Piedmont Laureate, Tamara Kissane.

The Piedmont Laureate program is co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.

Applicants must be have been residents of Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for at least one year and plan to continue living in one of those counties for a subsequent year. Piedmont laureates are chosen by a selection committee of literary community experts appointed by the sponsoring agencies and receive an honorarium.

As public advocates for the literary arts, laureates hold readings and workshops in community gathering places; promote literature online and at public events; and generally work toward expanding public appreciation of the literary arts.

“Heather is a perfect example of someone who will highlight the craft of writing to all writers in the region,” says Linda Janssen and Jorge D. Cortese, Orange and Durham County Representatives for the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “She manages to make complex subjects understandable to all writing levels, whether in-person for large groups or through online sessions. She succeeds at being comprehensive without overwhelming those at the beginning of their writing careers or practices.”

Past Piedmont Laureates include David Menconi (nonfiction); James Maxey (speculative ficiton); Ian Finley (playwriting); and the current North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green (poetry).

For more information about the Piedmont Laureate program, visit; contact Margaret DeMott, Durham Arts Council,; or contact any of the other sponsoring agencies.