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Shepherd's Foundation and Appalachian Studies Program sponsor festival and literary events beginning September 24

ISSUED: 5 September 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd's Foundation and Appalachian Studies Program sponsor festival and literary events beginning September 24)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Shepherd University Foundation and Appalachian Studies Program, along with the West Virginia Humanities Council and the West Virginia Center for the Book, will sponsor the 14th annual Appalachian Heritage celebration from September 24 to 29. As part of the Shepherdstown 250th celebration, the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence (AHWIR) activities and yearlong residency will focus on the work of the award-winning West Virginia writer Gretchen Moran Laskas.

Laskas has worked throughout the year to select the West Virginia Fiction Competition winners, develop the fifth volume of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and plan the AHWIR events and teaching resources. Laskas was selected as the recipient of the Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award, which will be presented at the Appalachian Heritage keynote event "Building Bridges, Past and Present" at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 27 in the Erma Ora Byrd Auditorium. She has selected winners of the West Virginia Fiction Competition, who will also receive their awards on September 27. Laskas has participated in the planning of the events for her residency that help to shed light on the culture and heritage of Appalachian America. Her two prominent books are The Midwife's Tale and The Miner's Daughter.

Other events in the weeklong residency include a photography exhibit: Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume IV, Scarborough Library Reading Room, September 24-October 17; a screening of "Winter's Bone," Reynolds Hall, 7 p.m., September 24; the research of Dr. Pam Edward, "Midwifery in the Mountains: an Appalachian Community Network," Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, 4 p.m, September 25; "Waking: A Celebration of Appalachian Storytellers and Musical Prelude," Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, 7 p.m., September 25; anthology reception, book signing, and photography exhibit, Scarborough Library Reading Room, 8 p.m., September 25; visit with Martinsburg, Jefferson, and Berkeley Springs honors students, Martinsburg High School, 9 a.m., September 26; Laskas reading and reception, Martinsburg Public Library, 10:30 a.m., September 26 ; "The Writing Life, with Gretchen Moran Laskas," Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, 7 p.m., September 26; writers master class with Laskas, Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, 3-4:30 p.m., September 27; "Building Bridges, Past and Present," Scarborough Society lecture and awards, Erma Ora Byrd Hall, 8 p.m., September 27; evening reading of award-winning West Virginia work of fiction, 17th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival Concert, Frank Center; and the Appalachian Heritage daylong festival and evening concert, Frank Center, September 29.

For information about the AHWIR events, visit http://www.shepherd.edu/ahwirweb/laskas/.

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