Oct 17, 2012
Taylor Cheney

Featuring SC Children’s Literature – “Turtle Tracks” by Sally Harman Plowden

By Taylor Cheney

Even if you don’t live by the coastline, natives of South Carolina understand how  turtles are a trademark to the state’s beaches and how important it is to provide a safe habitat for them to grow in.

In Sally Harman Plowden’s Turtle Tracks, the youthful narrator takes her yearly summer adventure to her aunt’s beach house where she spends her time leisurely swaying on hammocks, and curiously soaking up the flora and fauna of, based on the illustrations, what seems like Folly Beach.

A graduate from the University of South Carolina, Plowden creates an independently-minded young girl who finds a newly hatched turtle family and to her surprise, discovers a replication of her own brothers and sisters in them. The young girl joins a group gathered on the beach who are seeking to help the hatchlings get to the water safely.

The narrator becomes fascinated when she learns that turtles return to the same spot in which they were born to lay their own eggs. She thinks of how her own family returns to the same beach house every year, but “there are roads, signs, and people along the way to offer directions. For turtles, the sand itself is a trail that she cannot see, smell, or feel.”

This 28-paged story offers a fantastic read for any young, inquisitive mind interested in sea life and conservation. It also includes a list of detailed facts about Loggerhead turtles and what we can do to protect them. The detailed illustrations create a realistic view of the picturesque landscape and makes any reader feel as though they can feel the sand beneath their own toes and take in the salty smell of the ocean.

Oct 12, 2012
Curtis Rogers

Literary Dogs book debuts in Columbia

Janna McMahan to present in Speaker @ the Center series Nov. 15

Columbia author Janna McMahan will introduce the new book Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers Thursday, Nov. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the State Library’s Speaker @ the Center series. McMahan, one of the writers featured in the new book, will read her essay, “A Name You Can Yell.”

In Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers (Hub City Press, 2012) twenty-five of the Palmetto State’s most beloved authors introduce you to their most memorable dogs. There is Padgett Powell’s “Ode to Spode,” Josephine Humphreys’ paean to a poodle, and Roger Pinckney’s Daufuskie Dog-ageddon. Meet Marshall Chapman’s Impy, Mindy Friddle’s Otto, Beth Webb Hart’s Bo Peep, and more. From bird dogs to bad dogs, wild dogs to café dogs, get to know these canines and their literary companions.

The bag-lunch series is sponsored by the State Library’s Center for the Book. McMahan is the national best-selling author of the novels Calling Home, The Ocean Inside and Decoration.

Copies of Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers will be for sale at this event.

The book, edited by John Lane and Betsy Teter of Spartanburg, is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It sells for $19.95 at bookstores and online. Other authors featured include: Elise Blackwell, Christopher Dickey, Lou Dishler, Andrew Geyer, Dot Jackson, Dinah Johnson, Drew Lanham, Melinda Long, Kate Salley Palmer, Mark Powell, and Glenis Redmond.

Founded in Spartanburg in 1995, Hub City Press is an ambitious independent publisher that won four IPPY Awards in 2012. It has published more than 60 titles with books recently published or forthcoming by Ron Rash, John Lane, Kwame Dawes, Susan Tekulve and others. Hub City is committed to well-crafted and high-quality works by new and established authors, with an emphasis on the Southern experience.

For more information, contact Betsy Teter at (864) 577-9349 or info@hubcity.com.

Oct 12, 2012
Curtis Rogers

SC Governor Haley Proclaims October Information Literacy Month

Information Literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.

Empowering individuals across the state to seek, interpret, and use reliable and accurate information is of great importance to our future.  James Madison, our 4th president and Father of the U.S. Constitution, once said “A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance….”

This month has been proclaimed by South Carolina’s Governor Nikki R. Haley as Information Literacy Month.  Information Literacy Month “raises awareness of the importance of information literacy for economic prosperity, social cohesion, the success of the democratic process, educational opportunity, and an enhanced quality of life.”

For more information about information literacy month, visit the National Forum on Information Literacy at www.infolit.org.  You can also view the Governor’s proclamation at http://ow.ly/ep9lm.

Oct 11, 2012
Taylor Cheney

Featuring SC Children’s Literature – “Good Work, Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish

by Taylor Cheney

For any child who has difficulty following directions or just simply takes things a bit to literally, a friend they will find in Amelia Bedelia.

In the ‘Amelia Bedelia’ series, Author Peggy Parish, a native of Manning, South Carolina, creates the always lovable, yet embarrassingly simple-minded Amelia Bedelia while young readers follow her day-to-day adventures as a housemaid. In Good Work, Amelia Bedelia, Amelia once again finds herself in a state of confusion when the Rogers family give her an extensive chore list to complete while they are out.  Her tasks include baking a spongecake (you can imagine what happens here), potting the window plants (oh, dear), and patching the front door screen (it gets better).

Illustrated in a proper maid outfit, complete with a frilly bonnet rimmed with daisies, the endearing Redhead often comes to the realization that what she is doing can not be right (“I don’t think Mr. Rogers will like this cake”) but instead decides to void all rationality and do what she is told, like the loyal housekeeper she is.

When the Rogers return from their day out, you can imagine their distress to see their plants in actual  pots, their screen door covered in actual  patches, and when they bite into their “cake,” well, you get the idea. Nevertheless,  Amelia is redeemed for her misunderstandings when she surprises the Rogers with a butterscotch cake she just happened to whip up (when she had time to do this is not mentioned) and all is settled in the end.

The protagonist’s sunny disposition while performing outlandish tasks, though understanding, make her an undeniably relatable character and a testament as to why Parish’s stories have survived on the bookshelves of  generations for so long. I think her character teaches children the value of learning things on your own, having the courage to be wrong sometimes, and the importance of imagination – so long as you know how to make a great butterscotch cake.


Oct 10, 2012
Curtis Rogers

Woolsey Novel Published in the UK After More Than 75 Years

Gamel Woolsey’s Patterns on the Sand (Sundial Press) is a richly sensuous work imbued with a deep nostalgia for the South Carolina homeland of her youth. Set in Charleston and the Low Country, this haunting tale of youthful love and youthful death revolves around the vague yearnings and sexual awakening of Sara Warren, an outsider in the privileged Old South world of her friend Elizabeth Gordon and brothers William and Rush. As the First World War rages in Europe, it is the aftermath of an earlier conflict closer to home that is still most keenly felt, in the depiction of social and moral convention and the acceptance of racial distinction. Into this beautifully evocative story Woolsey also skillfully weaves a mystery of murder, and unexpected affections.

Gamel Woolsey, poet and novelist, was born in Aiken, South Carolina. Her distinguished family included presidents of Yale and Johns Hopkins universities, while Susan Coolidge, author of What Katy Did, was her aunt, and her half-brother John M. Woolsey the judge who ruled that Joyce’s Ulysses was not obscene. In her early twenties she moved to New York to pursue her artistic ambitions. She married Reginald Hunter, a journalist, in 1923 but they separated a few years later. She then met the writer Llewelyn Powys and his wife Alyse Gregory, the start of an extraordinary triangular relationship that continued after Powys had returned to Dorset in his native England. Gamel followed in 1929, but the strength of passions among all three often proved traumatic, and she soon threw in her lot with the writer Gerald Brenan, moving to Spain in the early 1930s and escaping back to England when the Spanish Civil War broke out. In 1952 they returned to Spain, where Gamel died in early 1968. She is buried in the English cemetery at Málaga.

Only a few of Woolsey’s works were published in her lifetime, among them a collection of poems, Middle Earth (1931), and a haunting memoir of the Spanish Civil War, Death’s Other Kingdom (1939). Her first novel, One Way of Love, based on her early marriage, was withdrawn by the publisher shortly before its scheduled appearance in 1932 for fear of prosecution over its purported sexual content. Patterns on the Sand, which she wrote in the 1940s, Gamel herself despondently withdrew after her initial attempt to find a publisher had failed. But in the early 1980s several volumes of her poems were published in the United Kingdom, as well as her letters to Llewelyn. One Way of Love finally appeared in 1987 and Death’s Other Kingdom has been reissued several times (in the USA as Malaga Burning ~ her first work to appear in her own country). No tribute would have pleased Gamel Woolsey more than her induction in March 2011 into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Now, with this first ever publication of Patterns on the Sand, her ‘lost’ novel at last sees the light of day and a new readership can discover this elegant and sensitive writer.

Oct 10, 2012
Curtis Rogers

Center for the Book Welcomes Student Intern Taylor Cheney

The South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book is pleased to welcome student intern and blogger, Taylor Cheney.  Taylor is a fourth-year English major from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. She will be writing about her thoughts on Children’s and Young Adult books written by South Carolina authors.  She hopes of one day moving to San Francisco and adopting a bulldog.  And no, she is not related to Dick Cheney.  Please be on the lookout for Taylor’s blog postings!

Oct 9, 2012
Curtis Rogers

Acclaimed Debut Novelist Sheridan Hough to appear at Charleston Library Society

What:       Book Launch for  Sheridan Hough’s acclaimed debut novel Mirror’s Fathom
Where:      Charleston Library Society, 164 King Street  Charleston, SC 29401
When:       Thursday, November 8th  6PM – 8PM. Talk followed by book signing and reception.  Admission is Free.

Mirror’s Fathom is the story of Tycho Wilhelm Lund—anarchist, pirate, and thief of a legendary mirror. Tycho a great-nephew of   Søren Kierkegaard  is asked to appraise the furniture once belonging to   Regine Schlegel, Kierkegaard’s  jilted love.    Tycho, falls in love with Countess Juliana Sophie, the self-appointed mistress of the “School for Selves”  a group devoted to the study of Kierkegaard’s writing.     Their marriage, is approved with one condition—Tycho must first go to London to retrieve a family heirloom, a 6-foot-tall silver-framed mirror.

Praise for Mirror’s Fathom

“Mirror’s Fathom is dazzlingly multifaceted. Read this novel for its perfectly framed plot of love, loss, and mystery. Read this novel for its fully fleshed characters. Read this novel for its philosophical questions on what it means to be a true individual entangled in geography and time. Read this novel for its poetry.   By God, just read it!” Ron Cooper author of Purple Jesus and Hume’s Fork

Sheridan Hough has written an elegant, beguiling, moving and extremely intelligent book with Mirror¹s Fathom. Part mystery and part love story, part history and part philosophy, this is a compelling and rewarding read.” Brett Lott – author of Jewel and The Hunt Club

For information, review copies of interviews with Ms. Hough contact Peter  & Marjory Wentworth

(843) 994-1946, Petetwentworth@gmail.com

Oct 2, 2012
Curtis Rogers

SC at the National Book Festival

South Carolina was recently represented at the National Book Festival in Washington DC by Dr. Curtis R. Rogers, SC Center for the Book Coordinator, and Sandy Knowles, Director of the State Library’s Talking Book Services (not pictured). It is estimated the SC table had over 1,300 visitors.  The SC Center for the Book was promoting the book, Virals, by Kathy Reichs. L-R: DC Junior League volunteer, Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director, and Rogers.

Sep 20, 2012
Curtis Rogers

South Carolina Academy of Authors Announces 2ND Annual Fiction Fellowship

The South Carolina Academy of Authors (SCAA) announces its second annual $1000 fellowship in fiction.   Entries may be previously unpublished short stories or excerpts from unpublished longer works and must be no longer than 15 pages.   There are no restrictions on content; however, applicants must be full-time South Carolina residents and may submit only one story or excerpt.  The Fellowship winner will be invited to SCAA induction ceremony in Columbia in April, 2013.

The entry deadline is December 1, 2012.   Submissions must be typed on 8.5 x 11 paper, and the author’s name must not appear on the manuscript.  Entrants should send two hard copies of story/chapter with separate cover sheet specifying the author’s name, contact information and submission title, plus $15 submission fee payable to SCAA.

Applicants should send submissions and application fees to Jon Tuttle, Department of English, Francis Marion University, PO Box 100547, Florence SC 29502.  Contact Jon Tuttle for more information at Jtuttle@fmarion.edu.

Mary Robison, this year’s Fellowship judge, has been widely hailed for her biting depictions of contemporary American life since her story “Sisters” was published in The New Yorker in 1977. Since then, her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, GQ, Harvard Magazine, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction, The Pushcart Prize and The O.Henry Prize Stories and complied in four collections.  Her novel Why Did I Ever won the Los Angeles Times Book prize for Fiction, and One D.O.A., One on the Way was chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the “100 Most Notable Books of the Year” and by Oprah Winfrey for her Summer Reading list in 2009. Robison has received numerous awards, including a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2009 the prestigious Rea Award For The Short Story.  She has worked also as a screenwriter and script doctor for various film makers and teaches now at the University of Florida.

For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors, please visit www.scacademyofauthors.org.

Sep 20, 2012
Curtis Rogers

South Carolina Academy of Authors Announces Poetry Fellowship

The South Carolina Academy of Authors (SCAA) announces its annual $1000 fellowship in poetry.

Applicants must be full-time South Carolina residents and all entries must be typed or computer printed on 8 ½ X 11 paper. There is no restriction to form or content. Postmark deadline is December 1, 2012. Manuscripts will not be returned.

To apply, send two paper copies of manuscript with separate cover sheet. Each manuscript must consist of 6-10 pages of unpublished poems, with no more than one poem per page. The poet’s name must not appear on any of the manuscript pages. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept electronic submissions. Each cover sheet must contain the poet’s name and contact information (USPS mailing address, email address, phone number) and titles of poems. Each submission must include a $15.00 entry fee, payable to South Carolina Academy of Authors.

Send submissions to: Elizabeth Bernardin, 407 Meeting Street, Georgetown, SC 29440.  For questions, please email libbypoet@gmail.com.

The Fellowship winner will be notified by email or telephone and will be invited to the SCAA induction ceremony in Columbia in April, 2013. SCAA Board Members are not eligible to apply.

The judge for the 2012 Nickens Fellowship Competition is Nick Lantz.  Lantz is the author of the poetry collections We Don’t Know We Don’t Know (Graywolf Press, 2010) and The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010). He is the recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and the Larry Levis Reading Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and on the nationally syndicated radio program The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. He teaches creative writing at Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop, Queens University’s Low-Residency MFA, and at Sam Houston State University, where he is the poetry editor of the Texas Review.

For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors, please visit www.scacademyofauthors.org.