Browsing articles from "October, 2011"
Oct 27, 2011
Curtis Rogers

Bookin’ It On Main: A Celebration of Black Writers

Saturday, November 12, 2011, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in and around the Columbia Museum of Art – Main and Hampton in Columbia, SC

Events will include readings, a slam poetry performance, writing workshops for teens and adults, informal talks, a poster workshop for kids on the theme ‘Get Real – Read!’, ‘Bring Your Own Book’ storytelling for children, live music, short films, vendors, tie-ins with local stores, and so much more.

Visit for more information.

Oct 25, 2011
Curtis Rogers

NEA The Big Read Grant Application Information

Application Process

75 organizations in communities of varying sizes across the country will be selected to participate in The Big Read from September 2012 through June 2013.

Applicant organizations for The Big Read must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include such organizations as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, humanities councils, literary festivals, and arts organizations.

Community organizations participating in The Big Read develop and produce a well-planned, well-attended, community-wide read with innovative, diverse programming, and widespread community involvement and participation. Activities last approximately one month and focus on one book or poet from The Big Read Library.

Questions about the application process?
Contact Arts Midwest at 612.238.8010 or

Oct 18, 2011
Curtis Rogers

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Invites Entries From Creative Teens

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing the most talented teen artists and writers in the United States and Canada, has launched its call for entries for the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Creative teens in grades 7-12 are invited to submit work in twenty-eight categories of art and writing, including film and animation, video game design, sculpture, photography, fashion design, poetry, journalism, humor, dramatic script, and science fiction.

Student submissions are judged on the regional level by the alliance’s affiliates, with the top winning works then presented to national panels of creative leaders to determine which will receive the highest honors. Fifteen graduating high school seniors will be awarded with Portfolio Gold Medals, which include a $10,000 scholarship. Additional scholarships are made available to Portfolio Silver Medalists and through sponsored awards and stipends to summer arts programs. The alliance will offer more than $270,000 in direct scholarships and awards this year. High school senior award winners are also eligible for nearly $4 million in scholarships through a network of more than sixty colleges and universities.

To be eligible, students must be in grades 7-12 in a public, private, parochial, home-school, or out of school program in the U.S. or Canada, or in an American school abroad.

Deadlines for submitting work vary by region and generally range from December 15, 2011, through January 15, 2012.

For complete program information, entry guidelines, and regional deadlines, visit the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Web site.


Link to Complete RFP

Oct 14, 2011
Curtis Rogers

USC Fall Literary Festival 2011 Starts November 3

Fall Festival of AuthorsOak Leaf


All events will be held in the program room of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library (Enter through Thomas Cooper Library) and will be followed by a book signing. All events are free and open to the public.

Maggie Dietz

Thursday, November 3, 6:00 p.m.

Maggie Dietz’s book of poems Perennial Fall won the 2007 Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry. For many years she directed the Favorite Poem Project, an undertaking of Robert Pinsky during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate. She co-edited three anthologies related to the project: Americans’ Favorite Poems, Poems to Read, and An Invitation to Poetry. Her work has appeared widely in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, Agni, Literary Imagination, Harvard Review, and Salmagundi. Dietz teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and is assistant poetry editor for Slate.

“[Her] lippy candor is invigorating in a wish-I’d-thought-of-that way…”- New York Times Book Review

Junot Díaz

Tuesday, November 8, 6:00p.m.

Junot Díaz is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXII, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2009. He is currently the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“…one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices”- New York Times

David Gessner

Thursday, November 17, 6:00p.m.

David Gessner is the author of eight books, including Sick of Nature, The Prophet of Dry Hill, and Return of the Osprey, which the Boston Globe called a “classic of American Nature writing” and cited as one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year. His work has appeared in magazines and journals including the New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, Outside, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, and Orion. Gessner is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the national literary journal Ecotone. His latest books, My Green Manifesto and The Tarball Chronicles, were published earlier this year.

“Raw and honest…there’s a lilt in his jig that many will find invigorating.”- Los Angeles Times

For directions and parking information, visit:

All events are free and open to the public.

USC Logo

Oct 14, 2011
Curtis Rogers

SC Native Nikky Finney Named 2011 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry

Nikky Finney
Head Off & Split
TriQuarterly, an imprint of Northwestern University Press


The poems in Nikky Finney’s fourth collection, Head Off & Split, sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African-American life: from Civil Rights matriarch Rosa Parks, to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning, to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Her poet’s voice is defined by an intimacy, which holds a soft yet exacting-eye on the erotic, on uncanny political and family events, like her mother’s wedding waltz with S.C. Senator Strom Thurmond, and then again on the heart-breaking hilarity of an American President’s final state of the union address. Artful and intense, Finney’s poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.


Nikky Finney is professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky and the author of three previous volumes of poetry, The World Is Round (winner of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry), Rice (winner of a PEN America Open Book Award in 1995), and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Recipient of the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artists Fellowship Award, Finney is also the author of Heartwood, a collection of stories, and edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South.

For more information, visit

Oct 10, 2011
Curtis Rogers

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

For more information, visit

Oct 6, 2011
Curtis Rogers

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina

For a seventh year, the South Carolina Arts Commission has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the “Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest” to South Carolina high schools. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance.

Sign Up

Monday, October 31, 2011 is the deadline for schools and teachers to sign up for for the Official 2011-2012 Poetry Out Loud Competition in South Carolina. The Teacher Registration Form (PDF) is due to the S.C. Arts Commission no later than this date.

 Schedule & Deadlines

Regional & State Finals

Contest structure

Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level, with winners from each classroom advancing to a school-wide competition and then to regional competitions. Regional winners advance to South Carolina’s statewide competition. Ultimately, one student from each state will compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Student Eligibility

Only high school students in grades 9-12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th grade students who are in a participating 9th through 12th grade class. Competitors at the state and national finals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students are responsible for verifying their eligibility. Schools must register with their state Poetry Out Loud coordinator in order to participate in the official state competition. A student may not advance to the state finals without competing in a lower-level competition. Homeschooled students may participate by competing in a contest at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local homeschooled students. The state Poetry Out Loud coordinator should be consulted for guidance on participation. A school-level competition must include at least two students. Students unable to participate at a local school should contact their state Poetry Out Loud coordinator to discuss any other opportunities for inclusion in the state’s official competition. A National Champion is not eligible to compete in subsequent years.


Statewide partners include the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV Radio’s “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel, and The Literary Arts Partnership (LAP), a cooperative effort funded by The Humanities Council SC, the South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Regional partners include Hub City Writers Project in Region 1, the Sumter County Cultural Commission and the University of South Carolina Sumter Division of Arts and Letters in Region 2, and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Region 3.

More about the S.C. Poetry Out Loud partners >>

Oct 5, 2011
Curtis Rogers

State Library’s Center for the Book Encourages Students to Write Letters

Students can revisit their most powerful literary experiences through a contest that asks them to write a personal letter to an author and explain how his or her work changed their perspective on the world.

The national Letters About Literature competition is open to students in grades 4 through 12, and submissions are being accepted until January 6, 2011 (postmark). The annual competition is sponsored by the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book and the South Carolina State Library Foundation in partnership with Target and the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

To enter, readers write a letter to an author, past or present, describing how that author’s work made an impact on their life. Contestants are cautioned not to summarize the book’s plot, but to express in an honest, conversational tone, how the book affected them.

The contest, which focuses on reader response and reflective writing, has three competition levels: Level 1 for students in grades 4-6; Level 2 for students in grades 7 and 8; and Level 3 for students in grades 9-12. State winners’ letters will also be judged to determine national winners and national honors winners.  National winners will receive a $10,000 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant for their library and national honors winners will receive a $1,000 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant for their library.

To download the official entry guidelines and entry form, visit

Oct 4, 2011
Curtis Rogers

South Carolina Center for the Book at the National Book Festival

Estimated 200,000 Attend 2011 Library of Congress National Book Festival
First Two-day Festival Draws More Than 100 Award-winning Authors

An estimated 200,000 book-lovers gathered on the National Mall this weekend for the first-ever two-day National Book Festival. Organized by the Library of Congress with Honorary Co-Chairs President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, the 2011 event featured presentations and book signings by more than 100 of our nation’s bestselling authors, illustrators and poets including Toni Morrison, Hoda Kotb, Dave Eggers, David McCullough, Terry McMillan, Katherine Paterson, Garrison Keillor and Jim Lehrer (visit for a complete list of participating authors).

“For more than a decade, the National Book Festival has given book lovers of all ages the rare opportunity to meet, interact with and be inspired by their favorite authors,” said the Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters, such as David M. Rubenstein and Target – and the more than 1,100 volunteers who give their time to make this event possible – we can look forward to this beloved celebration of reading and literacy for years to come.”

In addition to author appearances and signings, festival-goers were delighted by two action-packed days of photo opportunities with storybook characters, literacy games and special author readings. Authors also signed books for long lines of excited fans. For those who were unable to attend the festival or missed a pavilion, author presentation webcasts will be available at, where festival-goers are also invited to share their feedback about the 2011 event by completing an online survey. The theme of this year’s festival was “Celebrate the joys of reading aloud”.

2011 festival highlights included:
•    Three new genre pavilions. The Cutting Edge, Graphic Novels and State Poets Laureate pavilions gave festival-goers the opportunity to experience authors representing genres not previously represented at the National Book Festival.
•    The Library of Congress pavilion, which offered a greater array of staff and curator presentations about the Library’s offerings than ever before, gave pavilion visitors an opportunity to learn about the resources of our nation’s oldest federal institution directly from its experts. Discussion topics and activities included the Library’s new National Jukebox as well as guidance on how to research family genealogy and preserve photographs.
•    The Family Storytelling Stage. Sponsored by Target, the distinguished corporate benefactor of the National Book Festival, this new pavilion offered presentations by more than 20 authors and musicians whose books and performances are devoted to very young readers. The sponsorship is part of Target’s commitment to helping more children read proficiently by the end of grade 3.
•    Gateway to Knowledge Traveling Exhibition. The 2011 festival marks the end of a year on the road for the “Gateway to Knowledge” traveling exhibition, a tractor-trailer sponsored by the Abby and Emily Rapoport Foundation, which brought the Library’s offerings to 90 communities throughout the nation (
•    The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. A readers’ theater presentation, led by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Katherine Paterson, rolled out the newly published book version of “The Exquisite Corpse Adventure”— a year-long, serialized story written by many beloved children’s authors and illustrated by notable artists. The story originated online at
•    The Digital Bookmobile. This high-tech exhibition powered by OverDrive, which supports reading and literacy with eBooks from libraries, for the third year in a row enabled visitors to browse a public library’s website, sample popular eBooks, audiobooks, music and video titles, and learn how to download and try out supported mobile devices.
•    PBS KIDS pavilion. Inside this pavilion, children sang along with PBS KIDS’ SteveSongs, enjoyed read-alouds with Martha from Martha Speaks, and posed for pictures with PBS KIDS characters from the cast of Super Why and other favorites, such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and the Cat in the Hat.
•    Washington Post. Reporters and editors from Charter Sponsor The Washington Post introduced several of the author presentations and the Post’s KidsPost page sponsored a special scavenger hunt for festival-going kids.
•    Let’s Read America pavilion. In the Let’s Read America pavilion, children and families enjoyed a range of activities offered by, The Washington Post, AT&T, the Penguin Group and Scholastic. Scholastic also returned to the festival with Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus.
•    Pavilion of the States. Authors posed for photos with festival-goers inside the Pavilion of the States, which featured information about reading- and literacy-promotion programs, and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. trusts and territories.

The 2011 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Distinguished Corporate Benefactor Target; Charter Sponsors The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons AT&T, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, Penguin Group (USA), and Scholastic Inc.; and–in the Friends category–the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc; the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction; The Hay-Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV and the Junior League of Washington.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

Photo L-R: Frances Keel, SC Literary Arts Partnership Coordinator; Susan Hildreth, Director of IMLS; Curtis Rogers, SC State Library Communications Director and SC Center for the Book Coordinator.