Monday, March 30, 2015

Students Attend Historic Literary Festival in North Georgia

Honey-Rae Swan, Trish Villani, Samantha Eubanks on the campus at the University of North Georgia during the Southern Literary Festival
Vol State students Samantha Eubanks, Honey-Rae Swan, and Trish Villani, recently attended the Southern Literary Festival in historic Dahlonega, Georgia, along with English Professor Leslie LaChance.  They took writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir, and attended literary readings and book signings with well-known authors, including Francis Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) and Tony Grooms (Trouble No More).  The students also read original works at an open mic. The festival was held at the University of North Georgia, in the beautiful Appalachian foothills. During the festival, Vol State students visited with students and faculty from other many other colleges and universities in the region, and they enjoyed exploring the historical surroundings of Dahlonega, a mining town and site of the first major U.S.  Gold Rush.

The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 to promote southern literature. Each year a different school hosts the Festival—which is, in effect, an undergraduate writing conference that entails writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting; a writing competition; and a venue in which the participating students, faculty, and general public attend readings by well-known writers.

The SLF has an illustrious history. Robert Penn Warren, then a professor at LSU, was one of the founders. He spoke at the conference on a number of occasions, as did Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Flannery O’Connor, who won an award at SLF as an undergraduate and later headlined the conference as a nationally prominent writer.

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