BIG STONE GAP, Va. - The MECC Foundation, in partnership with the Lonesome Pine Regional Library and the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Project, will host the 43rd annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring a presentation by guest author Ron Rash, on Wednesday, March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.
The MECC Foundation will also host the 32nd Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 15th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. Entry categories include adult, high school (grades 9 through 12), and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories. Contest rules are available on the MECC Foundation website at www.meccfoundation.org. Contest winners will be announced during the Literary Festival Event.
Ron Rash is a New York Times best-selling author, PEN/Faulkner finalist, two-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, and winner of the James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A son of Buncombe and Watauga County natives, Rash was raised in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and his family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the mid-1700s.
Rash’s love and deep appreciation for the southern Appalachians has launched him into a spectacular literary career. He wrote three collections of poetry and two collections of short stories before transitioning to writing a series of acclaimed and award-winning novels, including “The Cove,” “Above the Waterfall,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “Serena,” “Burning Bright” and “My Father Like a River.” Books will be available to purchase and for author signing.
The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speaker at the John Fox, Jr. Museum in Big Stone Gap. Tickets for the luncheon are $23 per person and reservations can be made by calling the MECC Foundation office at (276) 523-7466.
The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Lonesome Pine Regional Library will present a variety of NEA Big Read programming opportunities March 6-31. For a schedule of events, visit http://lonesomepine.boundless.ly/. For more information on the MECC Foundation, visit www.meccfoundation.org.