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Inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival to honor traditions and forge new ground

Note: One Columbia for Arts and History received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Grant to help support the Deckle Edge Literary Festival. The inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival, taking place Feb. 19 – 21 in Columbia, S.C., features readings, book signings, panel presentations, exhibitors, writers’ workshops, activities for children and young adult readers, and a range of other literary events for many interests and all ages. Events take place in or near downtown Columbia, and many events are free. A sample of events: Friday, Feb. 19

  • 1 - 2 p.m.: Top 20 "Outside the Box" Book Marketing Ideas, Shari Stauch, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 2 - 3 p.m.: Plotting Strategies for Short Stories, Novels, and Plays, $30 per person, Paula Gail Benson, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 7 p.m.: Opening Night Celebration - Concert and Burlesque Show, Columbia Museum of Art, $10
Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 9 - 10 a.m.: S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Workshop for Kids, free, presented by The Watering Hole Poetry Organization, Tapp's Art Center
  • 11 a.m. - noon: Hub City Press Executive Director Betsy Teter moderates a panel of First Novel Prize winners Matt Matthews, James E. McTeer and Susan Tekulve, Columbia Museum of Art
  • 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Conversation with Southern Superstar Mary Alice Monroe, Columbia Museum of Art
Sunday, Feb. 21
  • 9 - 10:15 a.m.: Overcoming Creative Anxiety: 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Writing & Remain Calm, Cassie Premo-Steele, $30 per person, location TBA
  • 1 - 2:30 p.m.: Writing and Healing with Ed Madden, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Seibels House
  • 3 - 4 p.m.: IndieSC Launch - Calling all indie authors and aspiring writers in S.C! Presentation of free self-publishing platform by the South Carolina State Library, Columbia Museum of Art
View the full schedule online. Read a Free Times article about the festival. While Deckle Edge has its roots in the storied tradition of South Carolina’s literary life, festival organizers are committed to forging new ground and hope to appeal to regional and national audiences while remaining a community-focused effort. Festival partners make up an extensive network of South Carolina literary and cultural organizations, including Richland Library, the University of South Carolina PressHub City Writers Project, the S.C. Center for Children’s Books & LiteracyEd Madden and the Columbia Office of the Poet LaureateSouth Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, the Low Country Initiative for Literary ArtsJasper Magazine, Richland County schools, and others. Deckle Edge is built on the strong foundation of the South Carolina Book Festival, a project of the Humanities CouncilSC , which announced the festival’s dissolution this past summer. The Humanities CouncilSC is now actively pursuing a variety of year-round statewide literary initiatives and has been supportive of the plans for Deckle Edge as a new literary event to be hosted in Columbia. “The S.C. Book Festival was a tremendous gift to readers and writers in the South, and we’re grateful to the Humanities CouncilSC for sharing their expertise with us as we create something new,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Darien Cavanaugh. “We would not have been able to move so quickly on launching Deckle Edge without their guidance and good will.” In addition to local talent, the festival will highlight a handful of New York Times bestselling authors from the Carolinas, beloved favorites from past S.C. Book Festivals, and many voices not previously heard from at South Carolina literary events. “This is Columbia’s literary festival,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Annie Boiter-Jolley, “but it’s also joining the larger conversation about literature of and in the South. We look forward to sharing our vision with writers and readers, and to hearing from them as to what Deckle Edge might become in future years.” Via: Deckle Edge Literary Festival

First Novel Prize winner to debut book in Columbia

MinnowJoin the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and Jasper Magazine at Tapp's Art Center on April 30 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. for the Columbia launch of Minnow, the 2014 First Novel Prize winner, written by James Edwin McTeer II. Minnow will be available for sale in hardback for $24.95, and McTeer will give a brief reading and sign books. The event is free and open to the public. Minnow is an otherworldly story of a small boy who leaves his dying father’s bedside hunting a medicine for a mysterious illness. Sent by his mother to a local druggist in their seaside village, Minnow unexpectedly takes a dark and wondrous journey deep into the ancient Sea Islands, seeking the grave dust of a long-dead hoodoo man to buy him a cure. Born and raised in Beaufort, McTeer is the grandson of the late J. E. McTeer, whose 37 years as High Sheriff of the Lowcountry (and local witch doctor) served as inspiration for the winning novel. McTeer has worked for five years as a school media specialist and is currently the librarian at Polo Road Elementary School in Columbia. He lives in Lexington with his wife, but travels to Beaufort monthly “to soak in the marsh, the mud, and the salty air.” His debut novel was selected by novelist Ben Fountain of Houston as winner in the biennial First Novel competition, which is co-sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press in Spartanburg. Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, said, “Minnow is a gorgeous fever-dream of a novel. It picked me up by the scruff of the neck and carried me along as powerfully as a novel by Pat Conroy or Toni Morrison.” The book also has received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.  

Poets and writers invited to submit work to Fall Lines – a literary convergence

Poets and writers are invited to submit previously unpublished poetry, essays, short fiction and flash fiction to volume two of Fall Lines -- a literary convergence. While the editors hope to attract the work of poets and writers from the Carolinas and the Southeastern U.S., acceptance of work is not dependent upon residence. Submissions will be accepted through March 1, 2015. Fall Lines is a literary journal based in Columbia, S.C. and presented by Jasper Magazine in partnership with the University of South Carolina Press, Muddy Ford Press, Richland Library and One Columbia. With a single, annual publication, Fall Lines is distributed in lieu of Jasper Magazine’s regularly scheduled summer issue. Please limit short fiction to 2,000 words or less; flash fiction to 350 – 500 words per submission; essays to 1,200 words; and poetry to three pages (Times New Roman 12 pt.) While you are invited to enter up to five items, each item should be sent individually as a single submission. Please include with each submission a cover sheet stating your name, e-mail address, and U.S. Post Office address. There is a $3 reading fee for each short story; for up to three poems; for up to three flash fiction submissions; or for each essay. Submit work online at https://jaspermagazine.submittable.com/submit. Publication in Fall Lines will be determined by a panel of judges. Accepted authors will be notified in May 2015, with a publication date in June 2015.  Accepted authors will receive two copies of the journal.

Kidney transplant connects theatre alums for a lifetime

[caption id="attachment_16543" align="alignright" width="239"]Monica and Erin at fundraiser Monica Wyche, left, and Erin Wilson at a fundraiser held in their honor[/caption] Two South Carolina actors, Erin Wilson and Monica Wyche, already connected through the arts, are now bonded in a life-altering way. Wyche recently donated a kidney to Wilson, who was diagnosed with acute kidney failure in 2013. The transplant operation took place in early November, and both women are doing well. This blog post, written by Sheryl McAlister and reprinted on Jasper Magazine's website, is a synopsis of their story, their connections through the arts, and the arts community that embraces all of us.  

Part 1, Erin’s Story: “Let’s get this Show on the Road” The first time I saw Erin Thigpen Wilson was March, 2014, in Charleston, SC. She was playing a sadistic human trafficker in PURE Theatre’s production of Russian Transport. She was the matriarch of a group of equally sadistic family members. She scared the shit out of me. “Art…,” Edgar Degas said, after all “… is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Meeting her, mercifully, was altogether different. She’s groovy in an old school, hippy sort of way. Laid back with a been-there, done-that attitude. Funny. Quick wit. Seemingly carefree. She grew up in community theatre in Columbia, SC, the child of a father who was a community theatre actor and high school drama teacher and a mother who ran the box office of the local theatre out of her living room. She performed in too many plays to count, starting at the age of 5 as “Rabbit #3” in Workshop Theatre’s production of Winnie the Pooh. Long ago, she learned how to play make believe. Seemingly…. carefree. Early in the summer of 2013, she nearly died. Her kidneys were destroyed. Doctors still don’t know why. “I was having trouble breathing, but that’s normal for me,” Wilson, an asthma sufferer, said. “The first doctor told me I had bronchitis and gave me an antibiotic. But a week later, I had this incredible body pain. My bones hurt. I didn’t sleep for days.” A second opinion led to tests that revealed elevated creatinine levels. As the doctor ran yet another set of tests to verify her assumptions, she told Wilson to decide which hospital she wanted to go to in the meantime. And she told her to decide quickly. Wilson’s husband Laurens had met her at the doctor’s office. “We just looked at each other and were like ‘WHAT?’ The doctor told us we could go by ambulance or drive ourselves but if we decided to drive ourselves, we had to drive straight there. No stops.” They called her parents – Sally Boyd & Les Wilson and Jim & Kay Thigpen. And her in-laws, Hank & Sue Wilson. She spent two days in the ICU and was diagnosed with acute kidney failure. Her only option was dialysis. And just like that… Life, as she knew it, had changed forever. Read the rest of the post on Jasper Magazine's site.

Muddy Ford Press raising the literary bar in the Midlands

Cindi Boiter, editor of Jasper Magazine and winner of the 2014 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (individual category) and her husband, Bob Jolley, are co-founders of Muddy Ford Press. From The State. Article by Susan Levi Wallach

There are two sure ways to lose your shirt: Bet your net worth at the roulette table and start a small literary press. Cindi Boiter and Bob Jolley of Chapin chose the latter. Thanks to Jolley’s salary – he’s Boiter’s husband and an emergency-room doctor in Mullins – they still have shirts aplenty. They also, as Muddy Ford Press, have a small list of local authors, which they hope to grow one carefully vetted book at a time. “Once the girls were grown” – the couple, who met in high school in Duncan, have two daughters – “we decided we wanted to do something that is meaningful to us because we parented ours a---- off,” said Boiter, who was among this year’s recipients of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for her work in the field of dance. “We started Muddy Ford Press for two reasons. The first was to help grow the literary-arts community in South Carolina. The second was to help underwrite the cost of publishing Jasper magazine. It is an extensive of the greater mission of Jasper – part of the whole idea of nurturing community within arts disciplines and between arts disciplines. “Which is why, for example, when we release the book ‘Setting the Stage’ in the fall, we’ll do that in conjunction with a big theatre event, and when we release ‘Art from Ashes,’ it will be in conjunction with a 12-person visual art exhibition.” Added Jolley, “Right now, we’re doing it because it’s fun. And we’re not plowing money, as long as we don’t factor our time into the costs.” A couple with a different mindset might have started an art collection or taken up golf. “To start with, we were both involved in Jasper magazine,” said Jolley of the literary magazine that distributes in the Midlands. “Cindi took on the creative and editing aspect, with my input being really more financial economic, nuts and bolts. As we got the first book or two out, what we did evolved into promoting authors from the Columbia area. There are a lot of writers in this town. We began to approach some people. From word of mouth, other people approached us. If you go to the website muddyfordpress.com, they all are listed with little blurbs. The fall line is not up there yet, but there should be eight or nine books.” Muddy Ford’s first two books were a poetry chapbook called “Download,” edited by poet Ed Madden, and Boiter’s short-story collection “Buttered Biscuits.” The company’s roster includes Kristine Hartvigsen, Debra A. Daniel, Laurie B. McIntosh, Alejandro García-Lemos, and James D. McCallister, whose novel “Fellow Traveler” has become a surprise success. “‘Fellow Traveler’ has received international recognition,” Boiter said. “That I didn’t expect. The subject matter, a fictionalized account of following the Grateful Dead, has an amazingly far reach.” The first edition of “Fall Lines,” a literary journal on which Muddy Ford collaborated with Richland County Public Library, One Columbia, and The University of South Carolina Press, came out earlier this month. A new anthology, “The Limelight: A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, Volume Two” and a poetry chapbook by Al Black will be released later this year. “Things work better on a smaller scale for some people,” Jolley said. “We don’t have to worry whether the book is going to have a broad national appeal to make it worth our while to invest in it. We can take a chance on a book that will have a local interest and publish that and not worry about national numbers.” To Boiter, what lures the authors is “the hands on. We’re not kidding anybody. We don’t have outreach of large publishing houses.” And they don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to what to publish. “Eventually we approach that,” said Jolley. “We’ve wanted to do different things, then settled on the same thing. For the most part, we’re in agreement. And we’re able to print only as many copies as we think will sell. We can always go back and print more. That’s one way we can control costs and not tie up money. Muddy Ford Press is a small press. There are a lot of people out there who want that.”

Jasper Magazine and partners launch new literary journal

Jasper Magazine, in partnership with Richland Library, USC Press and One Columbia, will release the inaugural issue of a new annual literary journal, Fall Lines – a literary convergence, on Sunday, June 8 at 4 p.m., at a free reception at Richland Library. A panel of judges selected 30 works of poetry and prose from nearly 500 submissions, and other writers were invited to submit works, including S.C. Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth (sponsored by the Roe Young State Farm Agency), Christopher Dickey, Josephine Humphreys and Ray McManus. In addition, Fall Lines will publish the South Carolina Academy of Authors 2014 fellowship winners in fiction and poetry, Nancy Brock of Columbia, and Jo Angela Edwins of Florence, respectively. Two new literary arts prizes, sponsored by Friends of the Richland Library, will be presented.  The Saluda River Prize for Poetry will be awarded to Mary Hutchins Harris of Daniel Island, and the Broad River Prize for Prose will be awarded to Nicola Waldron of Columbia. A certificate and check for $250 will accompany each prize. “Richland Library is not only interested in offering the best in literature to our community, we also value writers and want to support their work and success,” says Tony Tallent, director of literary and learning at Richland Library. “Partnering with Jasper to make Fall Lines a reality allows a new opportunity to explore the library's role in supporting writers and unleashing their creations to our community and the world.” A 98-page perfect-bound book with cover art by W. Heyward Sims, Fall Lines is published by Muddy Ford Press in lieu of the summer issue of Jasper Magazine and was edited by 2014 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award recipient and Jasper editor-in-chief Cindi Boiter with poetry editor Ed Madden. Fall Lines will be distributed in several locations in Columbia, including all branches of the Richland Library, USC Press offices on Senate Street, the One Columbia office on Taylor Street, Gallery West, Ed’s Editions, Trustus Theatre, If Art, Tapps Arts Center, City Art, 701 Whaley CCA, the S.C. Arts Commission, and the Jasper Studio in the historic Arcade at 1332 Main Street. Fall Lines will also be available as an E-book via Richland Library and for purchase from Amazon.com, BandN.com, and MuddyFordPress.com.

Milly

Midlands writers! Deadline extended for anthology submissions

Muddy Ford Press is looking for a few more poems, essays or short fiction to finish up the anthology, A Sense of the Midlands. The deadline has been extended -- you now have until Oct. 15 at midnight. Call for submissions details Muddy Ford Press is accepting submissions of poetry, essays, and short fiction exploring the sensory world of the South Carolina Midlands for an anthology titled A Sense of the Midlands. Submissions should deal with how the sensory experiences (taste, touch, sight, sound and smell) of living in the South Carolina Midlands grounds, changes, challenges and enriches us. Submission is open to residents of Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield, Calhoun, Saluda, Orangeburg, and Kershaw counties.

  • Short fiction – no more than 2,500 words
  • Essays – no more than 1,200 words
  • Poetry – no more than 5 pages
Submit in a standard 12 pt. Word document to Publisher@MuddyFordPress.com and include a cover sheet with your name, address, email, phone and the title of your work. A little more information is available on the Jasper Magazine website. Questions? Contact editor@JasperMagazine.com Via: Jasper Magazine