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Ramblin: Aug 1&2: Literature Comes to Life. by Jennifer Sprouse

watts literary festival 2014

“It was a hot and humid August evening and the stale veil of writer’s block hung low in the air like a swathing blanket of doom. Overworked and agitated, I put the pen down as I wiped the resurfacing beads of perspiration from my forehead. In dire need of some inspiration, I rose from my chair and retreated out the back door to head downtown to the Lewisburg Literary Festival.”

This is the beginning of your story. The rest is waiting to be filled out, colored with every detail of your third annual Lewisburg Literary Festival adventure on August 1st and 2nd. Much like the great successes of the past two events, this year will surely not disappoint either. With literature that comes to life through storytelling, art, and workshops, avid readers, writers, and curious beings are invited to peruse through downtown Lewisburg, where the streets will become blank pages and you write your own story with every experience you make.

With the New York Times bestselling novel, Racing in the Rain, author Garth Stein will be headlining the festival this year with a speech and book signing on Saturday, August 2nd. Other highly anticipated authors will also be delighting crowds with their words of wisdom, tales, and orations, including Hippie Homesteaders author, Carter Taylor Seaton, celebrated local food initiatives writer, Forrest Pritchard, and columnist/novelist/food and spirits enthusiast, Max Watman. The 2012 appointed poet laureate of West Virginia, Marc Harshman will also be gracing the Lewisburg Literary Festival speakers list, as will Lewisburg native, Rhody Johnson, and Tom Angleberger, author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, who will also be teaching children how to make finger puppets.

Artwork will embellish Lewisburg’s stores and streets and will come to life in the festival’s Literary Art Walk with the accompanying pieces of flash fiction, as interpreted and written by imaginative souls. Test your bravery at the horror story reading of The Strain in the Old Stone Cemetery, with only the dim flicker of candlelight to separate you from the engulfing darkness. Ride the ups and downs of life’s rollercoaster at the poetry jam, where the passions of each poet ring in every spoken word and resonate in the ears every listener. Learn the ropes of writing in the festival’s three workshops, take home your new-found knowledge, and start working on a piece of your own. You can even explore the many realms of literature at the Literary Town Square in the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center where you can speak with writers, purchase their works, and browse a huge collection of local and West Virginia writings.

The pages of your 2014 Lewisburg Literary Festival adventure story can be filled with as much as you desire; it’s up to you to take advantage of every opportunity and document every savored moment. Just remember that some speakers and workshop events require reservations or tickets, so be sure to contact the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center to secure your spot. Most importantly, utilize every inch of inspiration that the festival brings you. You might even be inspired to write something yourself! Just think… next year’s press releases could read: Newly acclaimed author [insert your name here] to headline at the 2015 Lewisburg Literary Festival!

Read and write on, my friends.

*For more information, visit the Lewisburg Literary Festival’s website at or visit their Facebook page.

– Jennifer Sprouse, LBSPY 56 (July 28-Aug 25, 2014)


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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.