By Tina Alvey
Adding punch to Lewisburg’s August edition of First Fridays after 5 was the opening day of the city’s Literary Festival.
The second annual Lewisburg Literary Festival, which continues today from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., features a unique interactive Literary Art Walk through town, a Literary Town Square set up in the lobby of the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center, writers’ workshops and children’s activities, among other events.
Various publishing houses were arranging their wares in the Literary Town Square late Friday afternoon, displaying books for sale and, in some cases, offering the opportunity for readers to meet their favorite authors.
West Virginia Writers Inc., the state’s largest organization for writers, set up an informational station, distributing brochures and explaining the group’s mission, which includes establishing a networking system and encouraging appreciation of the literary arts.
“We hope to get information out to people about the organization at this festival,” explained Eric Fritzius, the group’s president emeritus and webmaster.
Also manning a table Friday was John Patrick Grace of Publishers Place, a regional publishing house whose focus is “building the literary heritage of West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic.”
Established 17 years ago in Huntington, Publishers Place is selling books at this year’s festival that range from the poetry anthology “Wild Sweet Notes” to the not-for-profit publishing house’s first children’s book, “Butternut Moon,” penned by Robin L. Ramey.
“We just do outstanding books,” said Grace, who also writes a weekly column for a Huntington newspaper.
Other publishers represented in the Literary Town Square include West Virginia University Press and Mountain State Press, which on Friday featured book signings by authors Belinda Anderson and Jay Banks.
The Literary Town Square is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.
The Visitors Center will also play host to writers’ workshops led by Michael Knost and Cat Pleska. Knost will share tips on “Genre Writing: Writing for Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror” from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and Pleska will guide aspiring memoirists through “The Five-Minute Memoir” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The full event schedule, including a map showing the locations of each installation on the Literary Art Walk, is available at the Visitors Center, located at the corner of Washington and Court streets in downtown Lewisburg.
Visitors will also want to check out the Greenbrier County Library’s annual book sale, which has set a record this year in the number and variety of volumes donated, according to library staff.
The sale began Friday afternoon and will continue today between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The library is located on Robert W. McCormick Drive in Lewisburg, just beyond the North House Museum.
For more information about the Lewisburg Literary Festival, visit www.lewisburgliteraryfestival.com.
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