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The Writingest County (At Least This Week)?

Henderson County must be living right.

First, word came that Songbirds and Stray Dogs, the debut novel by Hendersonville author (and former NCWN Henderson County Rep) Meagan Lucas, is this year’s choice for the annual Route 1 Reads initiative.

Sponsored by North Carolina Humanities, Route 1 Reads is “a road trip-inspired reading list that annually explores various genres and features books that illuminate important aspects of each individual state or commonwealth for readers traveling this meandering highway. The 2022 theme of the reading list is literary fiction.”

The 2022 initiative will begin August 9, with a “virtual book conversation” between Meagan and Ron Rash, the bestselling author of Serena, One Foot in Eden, The World Made Straight, and several other books you probably love. Attendees of this online event will be entered into a drawing to win one of four gift cards to Bookmarks in Winston-Salem.

In addition, North Carolina Humanities will feature Songbirds and Stray Dogs in programming and resources throughout the year.

Then, Network trustee Katie Winkler told us about a new mural at her school, Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, depicting three members of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame: Maya Angelou, Wilma Dykeman, and Randall Kenan.

Blue Ridge art student Abigail Buckman spent months creating the mural in the campus library. Library staff and faculty members on the library committee came up with a list of North Carolina writers, from which Buckman picked these three to depict.

“We were so happy with her choices,” Katie said.

You can watch a video about the mural’s creation here.