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The New Doris Betts Collection Fund

Doris Betts
Doris Betts

Earlier this month, the Friends of the Chatham Community Library announced that they would honor the life and work of esteemed author Doris Betts by establishing the Doris Betts Collection fund at Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro.

Beloved writer and teacher Doris Betts (1932-2012) was a Statesville, North Carolina, native and attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She served as Assistant Dean of the Honor Program in the English English Department of UNC-Chapel Hill from 1978-1981 and held the title of alumni distinguished professor until her death.

Ms. Betts won three Sir Walter Raleigh awards, the Southern Book Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for the short story, among other recognitions. Her Souls Raised from the Dead was on the New York Times’ list of top twenty best books in 1994. Among her many other acclaimed works are The Astronomer and Other Stories, Beast of the Southern Wild and Other Stories, and The Scarlet Thread.

Each year, the North Carolina Writers’ Network honors her memory with the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, facilitated by the North Carolina Literary Review.

Per Chatham County’s Director of Community Relations, Debra Henzey, the new Doris Betts Collection at the Chatham Community Library will include books on the craft of writing, as well as works by new North Carolina writers and books from Betts’ personal library donated by her family. Commemorative book plates will identify volumes in the Betts Collection.

For more information about the Doris Betts Collection, contact Jennifer Gillis at Chatham Community Library, 919- 545-8083 or e-mail