Online Memoir Workshop with Darnell Arnoult
Saturday, August 28 2021
115 Atwood St. Sparta, NC
Darnell Arnoult offered exercises and prompts to get our group of 15 writers off to a good start in the morning session. In the afternoon she offered wisdom and advice on ways to keep our practice going!
The use of Thinking Maps in Alleghany County schools continues to develop with a new collaboration between Sparta Elementary School, Communities in Schools of NW- NC, and Alleghany Writers. This new project is part of our commitment to support Alleghany County teachers as they implement Writing Across the Curriculum in the classroom.
Developing Alleghany Thinkers was initiated by parent request and designed to bring parents and children together to share these new tools for critical thinking and explore ways to use Thinking Maps as a family for the development of life-long thinking skills.
Photo (right): Dr. Elaine Moretz and Dr. Melba Johnson will oversee the training sessions. Both are experienced educators and Dr. Johnson has previously led training for Alleghany teachers on Thinking Maps and their uses in the classroom. They are shown here with an example of the Spanish translations available.
Dr. Elaine Moretz and Dr. Melba Johnson
Thank you Zoe M. McCarthy for leading our first "member-driven" workshop, "Make a Scene of Your Scene". Free for members, led by members!
It was an enthusiastic group and a great presentation!
Jack Grossman, author of Child of the Forest, brought the incredible story of Charlene Permutter Shiff to Sparta. Charlene escaped from the Horochów ghetto and lived in the forest alone for two years to hide from the Nazis.
And, we can't thank Jack enough for making a second trip up to bring the story to Piney Creek School!
What author Jack Grossman says of his time spent with students at Piney Creek School. "I am absolutely loving the school readings and discussions. I have renewed faith in humanity thanks to the students and teachers. The two classes at Piney Creek Elementary School were so passionate, and two students even cried and many got teary-eyed. My wife Kristie and I were so impressed with their 7th and 8th grade teacher Maggie Murphy and ALL of the students."
Visit Jack's website here to learn more about his impactful book Child of the Forest and to get your copy.
John Bemis, author of The Nine Pound Hammer (A 2018-2019 North Carolina Battle of the Books Selection), worked with students at Glade Creek School during the month of February 2019 in support of Writing Across the Curriculum.
John also supported Alleghany Writers by participating in a fund-raiser for Writing Across the Curriculum in Alleghany County.
We laughed, we sang, we toasted to all the fun we had in 2018, and toasted again to our new status as a 501c3 non-profit, beginning in January, 2019. At the party, member Suzanne Irwin shares her latest in the Stratford Tales children's book series.
Alleghany Writers partnered with the Sparta Revitalization Committee to answer children's letters dropped in Santa's Mailbox. Jordon Edwards (left) delivered the letters from the box on Main Street and writers club members assisted Santa and Mrs. Claus in answering each and every one.
Historical fiction author and Book Club favorite Kathleen Grissom joined us November, 2018 and shared the fascinating stories behind her bestsellers The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything. In a special lunch Kathleen also offered a wealth of inspiration to our writers.
Carmen Long, food writer from Yadkin Valley Magazine, prepared the cakes from The Kitchen House novel which were raffled off with proceeds benefiting Alleghany Writers. The recipes, and an interview with Grissom will appear in the January/February issue.
Author, Writing Teacher and Food Blogger Georgann Eubanks made a weekend Mountaintop Stop in September, 2018 bringing her latest book The Month of Their Ripening to Alleghany County. Events included a library Book Talk, farm visits, and a special farm to table dinner menu created by Georgann along with Horizon Bistro chef Garrison Wagoner.
Georgann writes about her visit here calling Alleghany Writers a "scrappy literary group with a big vision in this small mountain county."
Charlie was a dynamo during his visit to Alleghany Writers in August. In one very full Saturday, he led a workshop on "Beginnings" for AW members, gave us inside information and writer tips during "Lunch with the Author," and delighted the afternoon audience of 35 with details on the research and creation of his latest book, The Lost Book of the Grail.
Well-versed in the world of non-profit, Charlie has also agreed to advise as Alleghany Writers moves forward.
Redge read from his novels Billy Bowater and Justice by Another Name to an audience of 40, which included some familiar faces from his close-by Roaring Gap neighborhood. He answered questions with wit and charm, and promised to come back for another visit.
He has since become an adviser to the Alleghany Writers organization.
Ron Houchin had three poetry sessions; one with 7th graders and 8th graders, one with a group of high schoolers, and one with adults as part of his three-day writer's residence.
Ron gave us a performance on his didgeridoo!
The title was "From Lemons to Lemonade," and SE 'Susan' Smith's presentation on her rise from a third grade teacher to bestselling author told a story of grit, determination, and stepping out to claim your destiny. Susan is recognized by USA Today, NYTimes, and has a wide range of other publishing awards for her captivating tales from other worlds. She is an inspiration to all who strive to achieve their dreams. We are happy to have her as part of the Alleghany County community and are thrilled to have her as a strong supporter of Alleghany Writers.
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