Sep 16, 2013
Curtis Rogers

South Carolina Center for the Book to represent state at 2013 National Book Festival

National Book Festival poster

13th Annual Festival Offers More Than 100 Authors

Book-lovers from across the country will gather on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Sept. 21-22 to celebrate reading and literacy at the 2013 National Book Festival.  Organized by the Library of Congress, with Honorary Co-Chairs President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, the event will feature presentations and book-signings by more than 100 bestselling authors, illustrators and poets.  The two-day festival, now in its 13th year, will feature such renowned authors and poets as Margaret Atwood, Marie Arana, Taylor Branch, Don DeLillo, Khaled Hosseini, Barbara Kingsolver, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Carol Oates, Katherine Paterson and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.

The South Carolina Center for the Book will represent the state in The Pavilion of the States. The Pavilion, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, salutes the literary traditions of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. A brochure available in this pavilion, called “Discover Great Places Through Reading,” offers a list of 52 great reads and a map for kids that encourages then to visit all 52 tables (plus the Library of Congress Center for the Book table) to get a unique sticker or stamp.

The South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book has selected How I Became a Pirate, by Melina Long, to represent South Carolina at the festival.  About How I Became a Pirate - When Jeremy Jacob sets off on a pirate adventure, he loves doing everything the pirates do . . . but then he finds out what they DON’T do.

Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view.

So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon and the storyteller Melinda Long. Jeremy learns how to say “scurvy dog,” sing sea chanteys, and throw food . . . but he also learns that there are no books or good night kisses on board: “Pirates don’t tuck.” A swashbuckling adventure with fantastically silly, richly textured illustrations that suit the story to a T.

How I Became a Pirate is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Melinda Long is a teacher and author and lives in Greenville, South Carolina.  Melinda began her writing career on a rainy day when she was six.  Her mother, tired of hearing how bored Melinda was, told her to write a story about Yogi Bear and friends.  She even gave Melinda a typewriter to use.  It was so much fun, Melinda just kept writing.  Now it’s one of her favorite things to do.

David Shannon is the author and illustrator of many highly praised books for children. Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in Spokane, Washington. He graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, with a fine arts degree, and then moved to New York City. His editorial illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Time, and Rolling Stone, and his artwork has appeared on numerous book jackets.

For more information, please contact Dr. Curtis R. Rogers at 803-734-8928 or

Sep 10, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Center for the Book Invites Students Statewide to Enter Writing Competition

Letters About Literature allows students to write a letter to their favorite author in a nationwide contest.

Students statewide can share their most influential literary experiences through a contest that asks them to write a letter to an author and explain how his or her work changed their perspective of the world or of themselves.

The national “Letters About Literature” reading and writing competition allows students in grades four through 12 to articulate the importance of their favorite book.

To enter, students write a personalized letter to an author, living or deceased, from any genre whose work has made an impact. Rather than summarizing the book’s plot, contestants are encouraged to express the effect the book has had on their lives in a personalized, conversational tone.

The annual competition, sponsored by the South Carolina Center for the Book, has three competition levels: Level 1 for students in grades 4-6, Level 2 for students in grades 7-8, and Level 3 for students in grades 9-12.

There are monetary prizes in each level for the first, second, and third place winners from across the state – $100, $50, and $25 respectively. First place state winners will advance to the national level judging. A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one National Honor winner per competition level to receive a $200 cash award.

The deadlines for submissions are December 10 for grades 9-12 and January 10 for grades 4-8. To download the official contest rules and guidelines, please visit

Aug 1, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Arts Council of York County Literary Competition

July 30, 2013 - September, 20 2013

Arts Council of York County

The Arts Council of York County presents its 10th Annual Literary Competition, highlighting the best in short stories and poetry from across the Southeast United States; and the 2nd Annual Youth Literary Competition, highlighting the best in short stories and poetry from across York County, SC. The postmark deadline for entries is Friday, September 20, 2013 by 5 PM.

The 10th Annual Literary Competition includes both an adult and youth component. Each category will be judged independently. Authors may enter both the short story and the poetry competition, and entries are eligible to win an award in each competition, however, there will be no repeat prizewinners within the categories. The winners of the 2nd Annual Youth Literary Competition will be awarded certificates of achievement.

There are no restrictions on subject matter. All participants must submit three copies of each entry for distribution to judges. E-mail entries will not be accepted. No entries will be returned. Your name must not appear on the manuscript, and pages must be numbered with the title of the entry. Please include the title of the submitted work and all contact information on the entry form. For complete guidelines and entry information, please visit

Location Information

Arts Council of York County
121 E. Main St.
Rock HIll, SC 29730


$10-15 per entry

Contact Information

Melanie Cooper

Jul 26, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Literary Corner to be featured at Experience SC Fest

The Old Town Association, Dyer Hart Productions, Bonnie Wallsh Associates LLC and Brown & Brown Marketing are pleased to announce the 2nd annual “Experience South Carolina Fest,” which will take place on Saturday, August 31, 2013 from 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. along Main Street in Rock Hill.

“Experience South Carolina Fest” will excite the senses & highlight the rich diversity of the music, food, people and the culture of South Carolina. The festival will come alive with the sounds of South Carolina from the Beach Music that will evoke a summer night’s shagging at the beach to R&B representing the region as well as gospel music. Confirmed entertainment at the festival will include Plair All Stars and Front Line. In addition, attendees can enjoy the tastes of South Carolina’s regional cuisine representing key areas of the State. Fried fish, barbecue, fried chicken and turkey, sausage gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches, fried pickles, corn bread, peach cobbler, red velvet cake and assorted other southern specialties are all on the menu along with South Carolina craft beers. And there will be plenty of activities for children at the Kidz Zone with inflatables.

Local farmers will sell their produce and local artisans will be selling their handmade art & crafts at The Old Town Market.

The festival will also feature a Literary Corner to showcase some of South Carolina’s own authors. Attendees will be able to meet local authors, purchase signed copies of books, and learn more about South Carolina’s rich literary heritage.

The festival is free to the public and everyone can take part in celebrating South Carolina in the beautiful Old Town District of Rock Hill.

For more information, please visit or contact Bonnie Wallsh at 704-491-0921 or


Jul 16, 2013
Curtis Rogers

New Book by Chester Library Staff Member Tally Johnson

This book is the one-stop source for ghost lore from South Carolina covering the Civil War era. All regions of the state are covered. Many tales herein have not been published before in book form.

Tally Johnson is a native and life-long resident of South Carolina. He has previously published three books of ghost lore from inland South Carolina as well as several newspaper articles on both history and folklore. He is a library employee and storyteller as well.

Born and raised in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Tally is a graduate of Spartanburg Methodist College and Wofford College with degrees in history.

Johnson has written several articles on both local history and hauntings for the Chester News and Reporter and Yorkville Enquirer newspapers. He is currently the Special Services Manager at the Chester County Library focusing on IT and local history/genealogy. He is a member of the OSCAR artists’ roster through the SC Arts Commission, PALMCOP, South Carolina Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Chester Civitan Club. He is a long-time guest and moderator at ConCarolinas, Fandom Fest, and MystiCon on both the paranormal and writing tracks.

Johnson currently lives in Chester, South Carolina with his wife, Rachel and is the author of three other books on South Carolina ghosts: Ghosts of the South Carolina Upcountry (2005), Ghosts of the South Carolina Midlands (2007), and Ghosts of the Pee Dee (2009).

Jun 25, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Center Announces Fall/Winter Speaker Series

Speaker at the Center Fall Winter 2013 2014The South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book, in cooperation with USC Press, is pleased to announce its fall/winter 2013-2014 author line up.

The Speaker @ the Center program will hold free lunchtime author talks on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 18 – Patricia Moore-Pastides, Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life. This second book by USC’s First Lady teaches novice gardeners and cooks how to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, October 17 – John Cely, Cowasee Basin: The Green Heart of South Carolina. The Cowasee Basin, located along the Congaree, Wateree, and Upper Santee Rivers, features some of the most significant biological, historical, and cultural resources in North America.

Friday, November 22 – Mary Whyte and Martha Severens, More Than a Likeness: The Enduring Art of Mary Whyte. An intimate look into the life and inspiring work of a renowned watercolorist.

Thursday, December 12 – Palmer “Satch” Krantz and Monique Jacobs, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: Forty Wild Years. A fortieth anniversary celebration of this award-winning zoo and botanical garden in South Carolina.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 – James  L. Underwood, Deadly Censorship: Murder, Honor, and Freedom of the Press. The definitive examination of the true story of an epic South Carolina murder trial that shocked the nation.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. All programs will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the South Carolina State Library located at 1500 Senate St., Columbia. Speaker @ the Center is FREE and open to the public. Bring your lunch and enjoy learning more about South Carolina.

The South Carolina Center for the Book is the South Carolina Affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is a cooperative project of the South Carolina State Library, the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, andThe Humanities CouncilSC.

Jun 24, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Letters About Literature featured on Speaking of Schools

Each year the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in partnership with affiliate state centers for the book, invites students to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves. On this week’s podcast we’ll have each first place winner read her letter and we’ll discuss the advantages of participation in the contest with their teachers. Celebrate with the winners and learn more about Letters About Literature on this week’s Speaking of Schools!

May 3, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony

LAL Award Ceremony 049

Today, the South Carolina Center for the Book awarded nine students from across the state for writing in the annual Letters About Literature competition.  The Letters About Literature program, sponsored by the South Carolina Center for the Book and the Library of Congress is a national reading and writing promotion contest. To enter, readers write personal letters to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.

Nine winners were honored at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book in Columbia. The ceremony was held in the Piedmont Room at 1500 Senate Street, Columbia. Contest judges and South Carolina State Library staff members were on hand to present awards. Winners read their letters and each received a monetary award from the South Carolina State Library Foundation ($100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third).

Level One – Elementary
First Place – Zauria Manigault, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia
Second Place – Banks Mitchell, Atheneum/Vine & Branches Home Educators, Conway
Third Place – Naudia Humphrey, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia

Level Two – Middle
First Place – Emily Grace Cannon, McCants, Anderson
Second Place – Maggee Bolt, McCants, Anderson
Third Place – McKinely Rowland, McCants, Anderson

Level Three – High
First Place – Aidan Baxter-Ferguson, Spartanburg Day School
Second Place – Rebecca Dupree, James F. Byrnes Freshman Academy, Duncan
Third Place – Emma Sherer, SC Virtual Charter School, Columbia

For more photos, please visit the State Library’s flickr site or the Center’s Facebook page.

May 2, 2013
Curtis Rogers

ASERL Launches “Guide to Southern Barbecue”

A Unique Blending of Southern Traditions, Librarian Savvy, and Good Humor

May 1, 2013 – DURHAM, NC.  With tongue firmly planted in cheek, today the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), representing libraries at 40 research institutions across 11 states, officially launched its own “Guide to Southern Barbecue,” a listing of recommended barbecue joints near ASERL campuses across the Southeast.  The ASERL Guide to Southern Barbecue is published as a freely-available, open-access guide to good eating in the region.

“ASERL librarians met last week in Memphis, well-known for its barbecue,” noted ASERL President Lynn Sutton. “And after years of good-natured in-fighting about where to get the best barbecue in the South, we took the occasion to publish our own guide.  As librarians, we have to use good judgment to select high quality resources all the time – we used these same skills to select good barbecue.”

ASERL convened a crack team of research library professionals – each a self-appointed arbiter of good taste in barbecue – to define criteria and design the user interface.  Quoting chapter and verse from “Holy Smoke” and other bibles of the craft, at one point the planning team identified more than three dozen possible criteria to be used in selecting winners.  In the end, ASERL libraries used a variety of methods to identify what they believe are the three best barbecue establishments within a 30-minute drive of their campuses.  On the launch date, about a third of ASERL libraries have contributed data; the remaining libraries continue to carefully consider these difficult decisions.

The online guide – available at — contains basic and detailed listings for each selection, and maps to help guide users.  Mobile users can get driving directions to their selected restaurant.  And of course, the website includes links to other trusted resources, and a bibliography.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for a while.  I’m thrilled to see it come to life,” commented John Burger, ASERL’s Executive Director, who has been known to darken the door of such establishments with some frequency.  “I doubt it will solve any arguments – that’s not the point – but it will let people know where to start their search for the best of the best.”  Burger also joked that NIH-compliant data management plans are under development.


Founded in 1956, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries is the largest regional research library cooperative in the country.  ASERL operates numerous projects designed to foster a high standard of library excellence through inter-institutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts.  By working together, ASERL members provide and maintain top quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities.  More information about ASERL can be found at