O.Henry Set to Debut Next Week
O.Henry is returning to Greensboro - sort of.
No, the short story author of such famed classics as "The Gift of the Magi" hasn't risen from the grave. But a new bimonthly magazine imbued with his spirit will debut next week.
Created by the publishers of the national-award-winning newspaper The Pilot and critically acclaimed PineStraw magazine exclusively for and about Greensboro, O.Henry promises to be an arts and culture literary experience as unique and distinctive as the Gate City itself.
It is edited by New York Times best-selling author and Greensboro favorite son Jim Dodson.
"I think Greensboro is perhaps the most unique and culturally diverse city in North Carolina," Dodson said. "So we are giving the city a magazine of uncommon literary and artistic vision that explores everything from the thriving arts community to our passions for homes and gardens."
The magazine's captivating design is the handiwork of PineStraw's national-award-winning Creative Director Andie Rose, who studied at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
To reach the most discerning and responsive readers, O.Henry will be distributed without charge through selected outlets - places where folks who love the arts and care about the diverse cultural life of this city like to shop and congregate.
"At a time when everyone from the taxman to the taxi driver is digging deeper into their pockets, we've found that our loyal readers of PineStraw magazine - our sister publication in the Pinehurst area - view the magazine as a monthly gift, an enriching experience provided compliments of our outstanding advertisers," said O.Henry Publisher David Woronoff, who is the immediate past president of the North Carolina Press Association. "Readers show their appreciation by enthusiastically patronizing the folks who make the magazine possible."
Growing up in Greensboro with roots in the community dating back generations, Dodson recalls his junior year English class at Grimsley High School in 1970, when the midterm assignment was to write a short story for consideration in the school's annual writing contest - >named for Greensboro's most celebrated literary son, William Sydney Porter - >aptly called the O.Henry Award.
Dodson wrote about his late grandfather, a rural polymath named Walter who helped wire the Jefferson Standard Building in 1922. To Dodson's great surprise, his story won the O.Henry Award.
Given annually since 1923 by the O.Henry Study Club, the prize helped propel Dodson into a career in journalism that began in 1976 at the Greensboro News & Record. He went on to serve as senior writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday magazine, Yankee magazine and as a longtime contributing editor of Golf magazine, winning numerous national magazine awards.
Today, Dodson is the award-winning author of numerous best-selling books, including "Final Rounds," "Beautiful Mad-ness, A Golfer's Life (with Arnold Palmer)" and "Ben Hogan: An American Life." In 2009, his book "A Son of The Game" was selected Golf Book of the Year, and in 2011, he was presented the prestigious Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects for his literary contributions to the game.
Six years ago, Dodson returned to the Tar Heel State where, he has worked as the writer in residence and Sunday essayist for The Pilot newspaper - named the best community newspaper in the nation in 2002 and 2007 - and editor of PineStraw magazine, which recently won four Southern Magazine Association awards.
When those same publishers began considering the idea of starting a Greens-boro-based publication, Dodson said whatever they created would have to differentiate itself entirely from the competition - starting with its name.
"William Sydney Porter left Greensboro at age 19 to make his fortune, going on to become one of the most celebrated writers of the Gilded Age, writing under the pen name 'O.Henry,'" Dodson said. "He once told an interviewer that many of his life's fondest memories and greatest influences came from his childhood in Greensboro. "
Every issue of O.Henry will present outstanding short fiction and poetry, essays and features that touch the heart and stir the soul.
"That's because our writers are among the best you'll find anywhere - award-winning storytellers whose names you already know, old friends with deep roots planted here," Dodson said.
O.Henry will feature six award-winning writers in its inaugural, August-September issue, including a cover story, written by Dodson, about another bestselling author, Greensboro resident John Hart, including an except from Hart's new thriller, "Iron House."
"As a son of Greensboro who has traveled far and wide to learn my craft in writing and magazines, permit me to say I think O.Henry himself would be deeply pleased to see the magazine we'll be unveiling in his name this summer," Dodson said. We hope our readers will soon share our excitement."
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