2018 Doris Betts Spring Literary Festival


Statesville, NC - Mitchell Community College will hold the sixth annual Doris Betts Spring Literary Festival March 29-31 on the College's Statesville Campus. Events will include readings by authors, writing workshops and social events. The festival will begin Thurs., Mar. 29 with a Faculty/Staff Reading at 12:30 p.m. at Rotary Auditorium (500 W Broad Street, Statesville). The 2018 visiting authors are Wiley Cash (Fri., Mar. 30, 6:30 p.m.), Terri Kirby Erickson (Sat., Mar. 31, 11 a.m.), Grace Ocasio  (Fri., Mar. 30, 4:30 p.m.) and Amy Reed (Sat., Mar. 31, 1 p.m.). All authors’ presentations will take place in Shearer Hall on Mitchell's Statesville Campus. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact festival coordinator Ben Pressley at or (704) 878-4349.


Schedule of Events 

Thursday, March 29

12:30 p.m. - Faculty/Staff Reading - Rotary Auditorium

6:30 p.m. -  Student Reading - Mooresville Artist Guild (103 W. Center Ave, Mooresville)


Friday, March 30

3 p.m. - Information Booth opens - Main Building, Room 129

4 p.m. - Opening Session - Shearer Hall

  Tribute to the work of Doris Betts

4:30 p.m. - Grace Ocasio (reading and Q&A) - Shearer Hall

5:30 p.m. - Book sales and signing - Main Building, Room 129

6:30 p.m. - Wiley Cash (reading) - Shearer Hall


Saturday, March 31

8:30 a.m. - Information Booth Opens - Main Building, Room 129

9 a.m. - Coffee and pastries - Main Building, Room 129

9:30 a.m. - Writing Workshops

Writing Workshop A: Amy Reed

Writing Workshop B: Terri Kirby Erickson 

Writing Workshop C: Grace Ocasio

(space limited, reservations required for all sessions)

Self-Guided Walking Tour  - Historic Downtown Statesville 

10:30 a.m. - Break

11:00 a.m. - Terri Kirby Erickson (reading and Q&A) - Shearer Hall

Noon - Lunch on your own/Historic Statesville Walking Tour

1 p.m. - Amy Reed (reading and Q&A) - Shearer Hall

2 p.m. - Book sales and signing - Main Building, Room 129

3 p.m. - Evaluation and closing remarks - Shearer Hall


Writing Workshops

One hour concurrent sessions on Saturday, March 31 at 9:30 a.m. The sessions are free, but space will be limited.  First come, first served. Please contact Benjamin Pressley at either or (704) 878-4349.


2018 Visiting Writers

Wiley CashWiley Cash

Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy. His latest book is the critically acclaimed The Last Ballad, an engrossing take on the 1929 Loray Mill strike, which took place in his hometown of Gastonia. He is often mentioned in the same sentence with such fine writers as Ron Rash, Robert Morgan, Kaye Gibbons, and Charles Frazier, and with good reason. Mr. Cash is the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and teaches creative writing in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife and two daughters.


Terri Kirby EricksonTerri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of five full-length collections of award-winning poetry, including Becoming the Blue Heron (Press 53, 2017), which was a recent Finalist for Poetry in the International Book Awards. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the 2013 Poet’s Market, Ted Kooser’s "American Life in Poetry," Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Connotation Press, Cutthroat, Boston Literary Magazine, Journal of the American Medical Association, NASA News & Notes, North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, The Christian Century, The Writer’s Almanac, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and many others. Among her numerous awards are the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. She lives in Pfafftown, North Carolina.


Grace OcasioGrace Ocasio

Grace Ocasio is a performer/poet, the author of the poetry books Hollerin’ from This Shack and The Speed of Our Lives. She is at home reading in colleges and poetry slam venues alike. She lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband, Edwin, and her daughter, Chloe. Grace especially enjoys reading at venues where she can serve the local community. Currently, she teaches as an adjunct professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Amy ReedAmy Reed

Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years there. She earned her MFA from New College of California. After thirteen years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now resides in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and dog. She is the author of the Young Adult novels Beautiful (2009), Clean (2011), Crazy (2012), Over You (2013), and Damaged (2014), all with Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster. Her two-book series, Invincible (2015) and Unforgivable (2016) were published by Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins. Her new novel, The Nowhere Girls is about three girls who start an underground movement to avenge the rape of their classmate and overthrow the misogynist culture at their school.