Three members of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild will present a storytelling concert at the West Virginia Book Festival this fall at the Charleston Civic Center. The free concert, “Stories from the Back Porch,” begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Featured storytellers include:
Lynn R. Mills
A retired Wyoming County teacher, Mills began storytelling when her children were young to keep them entertained during car trips or in waiting rooms. She became a professional storyteller in 1999 and entertains audiences at family reunions, church picnics, nursing homes, schools, state parks and anywhere else there is someone to listen to her. She was the second place winner at the National Storytelling Competition in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 2000, and won the 2005 Tazewell County Fair Storytelling Competition.
“Appalachian from the heart” best describes Wyatt. His songs and stories of the mountains will transport you to an era when life moved at a slower pace, to a time of innocence, as he writes in one of his songs. Wyatt’s music and stories are drawn on his personal experience of growing up in rural Appalachia in the 1950s and 60s. Wyatt and his wife are founders of Appalachian Cultural Heritage Alliance, a non-profit group that promotes and preserves the positive aspects of life in the mountains, then and now.
In August of 2010, Atkinson became the second biggest liar in Raleigh County. Sue has always been an avid reader and a dreamer. She has told stories as a Sunday School teacher and a Scout leader, at 4-H camps and church gatherings. She worked in business with her husband for 35 years and played with stories when she could. She retired from business in 2004. Now, she plays with stories and works occasionally.
Best-selling thriller writer Lee Child, basketball legend Jerry West, former Secret Service agents Gerald Blaine and Clint Hill, and self-help author Dave Pelzer have already been announced as part of the line-up for the festival, which will be held Oct. 22 and 23 at the Charleston Civic Center. The annual, two-day event celebrates books and reading and offers something for all age groups. A variety of authors will attend, participating in book signings, readings, workshops and lectures. Activities for children include special programs and a section of the Marketplace filled with children’s activities. Admission to the festival is free.
The event is presented by Kanawha County Public Library, The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc., the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail and is sponsored by The Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Memorial Foundation, Segal & Davis Family Foundation, Pam Tarr and Gary Hart, Target, Wal-Mart, BB&T West Virginia Foundation and Borders Express. For more information, visit www.wvbookfestival.org.