Literary Notes: Former S.P. Resident Announces New Book
Lila Hopkins, formerly of Southern Pines, has a new book out this month that is gaining accolades from its reviewers.
"Mabel's Way" presents life in a continuing care retirement community and has a ring of authority because the author and her husband have lived in such a community for nine years.
Hopkins centers her novel around a "Miss Marple" (of Agatha Christie fame)-type of character. Mabel Yancey loves her friends and neighbors and a good mystery. Sometimes she has to nudge the mystery along.
"Mabel Yancey is a different kind of a character for me because I have never tried to write humor," Hopkins says. "Several critics have told me they laughed all the way through the book - when they were not wiping tears from their eyes."
The book breaks down the caricature that many people have of senior citizens, and brings them to life as real people with real problems.
"When you realize that 10,000 baby boomers retire each day, it reminds us that there is a wide audience for books that seniors can connect to," Hopkins says.
Lila Hopkins' other books include two juvenile books, "Eating Crow" and "Talking Turkey" (each won the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award), and three regional novels, "Weave Me a Song," "Strike a Golden Chord" and "The Master Craftsman." These novels are set in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hopkins taught at Aberdeen Middle School for 13 years.
Her books can be ordered at most bookstores, from amazon.com and from the author herself. It is also available as an e-book.
For more information, visit www. Lilahopkins.com.
Writers of fiction, memoir, poetry and even music can now register for an annual workshop known for helping seasoned writers and first-timers alike to recharge their creative batteries in one of North Carolina's most glorious mountain settings.
Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for this year's Table Rock Writers Workshop, to be held Sept. 17-21 at the rustic Blue Ridge Mountain artists' resort, Wildacres Retreat.
Solatido, a Southern singer-songwriters' workshop that runs concurrently in adjacent facilities at Wildacres, is also open for registration.
Table Rock, originally known as the Duke University Writers' Workshop, was reorganized in 2010 and continues with the same leadership and philosophy of support for writers of all genres and levels of experience.
Georgann Eubanks, who has directed the popular literary workshops for more than 20 years, also runs Solatido.
Table Rock enrolls a maximum of 50 writers, using a noncompetitive, first-come, first-served application process. Eubanks says some registrants are returnees, but newcomers always infuse the weeklong sessions with creative diversity.
The faculty for Table Rock includes North Carolina writers Abigail DeWitt, Darnell Arnoult, Anna Jean Mayhew and Scott Huler.
This year participants can also choose to take advantage of a first-time Reader-in Residence, Dawn Shamp.
Writers can submit up to 25 pages of manuscript, and Shamp will provide a detailed critique that includes copy-editing and structural and technical advice.
Music producer and composer Richard Putnam leads this year's Solatido workshop. The keyboardist and arranger is comfortable with all musical styles and has been a session player in the Southeast for 30 years.
"This is a unique opportunity for participants to have quality time with excellent instructors, away from day-to-day distractions," says Eubanks. >
And the individual and group discussions led by the experienced, published writers on the Table Rock faculty as well as >the polished, savvy musicians of Solatido are made even better by the breathtaking surroundings.
More information is at >www.tablerockwriters.com and www.solatido-workshop.net.
The Writers' Workshop announces two writing contests:
The Hard Times Writing Contest has a deadline of June 30.
Write about a difficult experience in your life, how you overcame this obstacle, and how you were changed by it. Winning stories will be chosen for originality and creative writing style.
Stories should be previously unpublished, and should not exceed 5,000 words (double-spaced, 12 point font). Multiple entries are accepted. Name, address, email, phone and title of work should also appear on a cover sheet. Enclose a self-addressed, self-sealing stamped envelope for critique and list of winners, and the reading fee of $25 per entry. Make check or money order payable to Writers' Workshop, and send to: Hard Times Contest, 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville, NC 28805.
Emailed submissions may be sent to email@example.com, with "Hard Times Contest" in the subject. The entry fee is payable online at www.twwoa.org.
The eighth annual Meet the Authors Writing Contest allows the top five contest winners to meet National Book Award-winning authors E.L. Doctorow and Peter Matthiessen in New York, Sept. 13-14.
The deadline is July 30.
Submit an unpublished story or chapter (fiction or creative nonfiction) of 4,500 words or less. Name, address, email, phone, title and genre of work (fiction or nonfiction) should also appear on a cover sheet. Double-space; use 12 point font. The entry fee is $30 per story, or $25 for Workshop members. Multiple entries are accepted. Enclose legal size self-sealing SASE for critique and list of winners. Check or money order should be made payable to The Writers' Workshop, and mail to: Author's Contest, 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville, NC 28805.
How would you like Nicholas Sparks to teach you how to write a best-selling book?
The author of New York Times No. 1 bestselling books will tell viewers how it is done on UNC-TV's "North Carolina Bookwatch" this (Sunday) afternoon at 5 p.m.
This afternoon he talks about last year's best-seller, "The Best of Me," a book that reflects Sparks' formula for successful writing.
Sparks has created two complicated but sympathetic central characters. Dawson and Amanda were high school sweethearts in the coastal North Carolina town of Oriental. They were inseparable and deeply in love.
According to Sparks' formula, they must become separated. How does it happen?
They came from different backgrounds, Dawson from a lowlife, petty crime family, and Amanda from Oriental's aristocracy. After high school, Amanda went to college at Duke. She married a Durham dentist for 20 years and loves her children. She does not see Dawson for more than 20 years.
Meanwhile, after spending some time in prison, unfairly, Dawson led a solitary life working on an oil rig. He was still so much in love with Amanda that he never had a serous relationship with another woman.
Now, how does Sparks get them back together again?
The death of an older friend and mentor to both Dawson and Amanda bring the two back to Oriental at the same time. They find that he had left them detailed instructions, which he had designed to bring them back together and deal with their unresolved love for each other while they put the old man's affairs in order.
Sparks's clever plot and story-telling gifts push his readers to rush to the end, where they, some tearfully, will learn how he meets that challenge.
D.G. Martin hosts "North Carolina Bookwatch," which airs Sundays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. The "Bookwatch Classics" series (the best of past programs) airs at 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays on UNC-MX, a digital cable system channel (Time Warner No. 172 or No. 4.4).
A grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council provides crucial support for "North Carolina Bookwatch."
For further information, visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
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