Sunday, October 14, 2012

Appalachian Heritage Days

The American Pen Women, of which I am a member, helped sponsor The Salem Museum and Historical Society Appalachian Heritage Days on Oct. 12-13, 2012.

The featured speaker Friday evening, Sharyn McCrumb, drew a packed house.  Sharyn is an award-winning Southern writer, best know for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels and one of Roanoke's best kept secrets.  

On a crisp, sunny fall Saturday there was a steady flow of people who enjoyed the museum's display of long rifles, traditional Appalachian toys, artifacts, quilts, and local exhibits.  Appalachian harp and dulcimer music enticed our ears as did the country songs.  You had a chance to  meet area authors including our own Peggy Shifflett, Becky Mushko and Ethel Born.   Another member, Gail Lambert, who helped write  "Notable Women West of the Blue Ridge 1850-1950" also had that book available. Our very own Margaret Dubois was the featured artist.  There were pony rides, ham biscuits, Hilda Shifflett's fabulous apple dumplings, a retired revenue agent discussing the history of moonshing and home grown stories from Warnie Shifflett and Charles Lytton.  Stories about Appalachian Trail hikers were told by me, Beth Ann Rossi. 

If you didn't make it this year, add it to your 2013 calendar.  You don't want to miss it.

"The Appalachian trail was in my back yard for thirty years while I lived in Blue Ridge, Virginia.  It's 2,100 miles long from Springer, GA  to Mount Katahdin, Maine and takes about 5 million steps."  Beth Ann Rossi
Becky Mushko (l) selling her book to a happy customer.

Sharyn McCrumb talking to Ethel Born about research and writing.
Margaret DuBois (r) helping a customer choose and explaining her techniques.
Author Scottie Pritchard (l) gets a private reading from her former thesis advisor, Peggy Shifflett (r) from Peggy's recently published book, "On the Way to Toe Town."
Sharyn McCrumb (l) and Beth Ann Rossi (r) enjoying the Appalachian Heritage Day.
—contributed by Beth Rossi, president of the Roanoke Valley Branch of the National League of American Pen Women

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Pen Women Scholarship

The Roanoke Valley Branch of the National League of American Pen Women is offering a scholarship to a woman who is working on a creative project or taking a class in the arts.

Scholarship Requirements:

The Roanoke Valley Pen Women will grant a scholarship of a minimum $100 to a woman age thirty or older who is taking a class in the literary, visual or performing arts; or who is working on a creative project involving the literary, visual or performing arts. The applicant must live within 50 miles of Roanoke.

The money is to be used either for supplies (textbooks, art supplies, paper, software, etc.) or for other expenses directly related to the project (tuition, travel expenses, conference fees, etc.).

Women interested in receiving the grant for 2012 must apply to the Roanoke Valley Pen Women between May 15 and June 15, 2012. The application should include the following:

•Statement of interest:
Contact information at top of page: name, address, phone, email.
A proposal that includes the following: (1) a paragraph that either explains the recipient’s reason for taking the class or describes the creative project, (2) a statement about the applicant’s career goals, (3) verification that the applicant is committed to the project (Verification for class enrollment could include a photocopy of acceptance letter, student ID, or receipt for payment of tuition. Verification for a creative project might include receipts for materials already purchased, photos showing that the applicant has worked on a similar project, preliminary sketches for an artistic project, etc.)

•A work sample in one of the following:
Literary Arts: an example (2-10 pages) of either published or unpublished fiction (short story, novel excerpt), non-fiction (article, essay), poetry (three poems) or a combination thereof.
Visual Arts: CD or DVD of jpegs of artwork (paintings, drawings, sculpture, pottery, fiber art, photographs, etc.).
Performing Arts (composer, performer, choreographer): CD or DVD of performance.
Applicants who want work samples returned should provide a self-addressed mailer with sufficient postage.

The scholarship recipient is encouraged to report back to the Roanoke Valley Pen Women, either by mail/email or as a guest at a future Pen Women meeting to inform the membership how the scholarship helped her accomplish a goal.

Send applications to Peggy Shifflett, 700 Cherrywood Street, Salem, VA 24153 or to Becky Mushko, 8 Listening Hill Road, Penhook, VA, 24137