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John Claude Bemis Named 2013 Piedmont Laureate

From the City of Raleigh Public Affairs Department:

John Claude Bemis, a children’s book author, educator and presenter from Hillsborough, has been selected as the region’s 2013 Piedmont Laureate. Mr. Bemis will be introduced as the new laureate at various workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout the Piedmont Laureate sponsoring agencies’ four-county area that includes Wake County.

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For being named the Piedmont Laureate, Mr. Bemis will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. His duties will include presenting public readings and workshops, participating at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of children’s literature.

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An inspiring speaker and entertaining performer, Mr. Bemis brings his passion for music, folklore and spinning exciting tales to his novels and presentations. The first novel in his “Clockwork Dark” trilogy, The Nine Pound Hammer, was nominated for the North Carolina Children’s Book Award and was selected as a New York Public Library Best Children’s Book for Reading and Sharing. The trilogy continues with The Wolf Tree and The White City and has been described as “original and fresh” and “a unique way of creating fantasy.” His latest novel is The Prince Who Fell from the Sky. A musician and educator, Mr. Bemis lives with his wife and daughter.

The Piedmont Laureate is selected each year from a region including Alamance, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties. The nomination focuses on a different genre each year. For example, Ian Finley, playwright, was the 2012 Piedmont Laureate, while Scott Huler was the 2011 Piedmont Laureate for Creative Nonfiction. (Shameless plug: Scott will be leading a workshop at the NCWN 2013 Spring Conference. Register now!)

To learn more about the Piedmont Laureate Program, and to see a list of upcoming events, visit

To learn more about John Claude Bemis and to see his “must-read” recommendations for young readers, go to