Teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School

Folk schoolI’m so excited!

I’ve had the opportunity to teach classes at several regional writing conferences and book festivals (this past weekend I taught at a Pennwriters event in Leesburg, Va.). I really enjoy sharing the tips and tricks I’ve learned and hearing from writers at all different stages of the process.

I’m always excited about leading a class. But I’m SUPER excited to be teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in May 2020.

The folk school began in 1925, based on the model of Danish folkehojskole. These rural schools have no exams or degrees but rather focus on “learning for life.”

In the early 1900s John C. Campbell came from Wisconsin to the Southern Appalachians where he and his wife studied mountain life from Georgia to West Virginia. They learned about everything from farming practices to folks ballads to handicrafts. After John died in 1919, his wife Olive and her friend Marguerite Butler, decided to take what they had learned to start a folkehojskole in Appalachia.

They approached a storekeeper in Brasstown, NC, with the idea and promised to return in a few weeks to see if the locals were interested in helping. When they returned they were met by more than 200 people who offered labor and supplies to make the dream a reality.

Today, the school offers a variety of classes including handicrafts, music, art, nature studies, and writing. And in 2020, I get to be one of those teaching writing! I’ll be sharing about one of my favorite subjects–creating a rich and compelling setting for your story.

If you’d like to learn, write, and talk about your writing, I hope you’ll consider joining me May 15-17, 2020. See you in Western North Carolina!

Categories: Appalachian, Speaking, Writing

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