Editorial: Read all about it
As we celebrate our status as a tourist destination, we must never forget that 80,000 people live here, and they represent a diverse and eclectic mix of interests and skills.
Sevier County also has a very literate segment of society, including a number of published authors. It was that segment of our community that led some to organize the Rose Glen Literary Festival four years ago, and it has grown to become a special an anticipated program each year.
Named for an historic home across the street from Walters State Community College, where the festival is held, the annual event attracts a number of local and regional authors, from a child who wrote a book on the Titanic to others who wrote fiction and nonfiction books often set in Sevier County or the Smokies. This year’s festival is set for Saturday, Feb. 23.
Each year a special luncheon speaker is retained, and this year is no exception. Dr. Bill Bass, known for his work at the University of Tennessee’s so-called body farm, and the author or co-author of several books, will discuss the case of a Civil War officer whose discovery led to the establishment of the body farm. That should be entertaining.
During the morning hours leading up to the luncheon, you can sit in on talks and presentations by several area authors, as well as attend a session on how to get your own books published. The luncheon costs $20, but everything else is free. If interested in the Bass presentation, call the Sevierville Chamber at 453-6411.
Carroll McMahan, who leads the effort to put together the literary festival, deserves special recognition. This event spotlights reading and books, and we need all of the attention we can get these days on an activity that seems to be waning, at least among young folks addicted to 140-character texting. The fun and adventure one gets from reading a good book, from experiencing vicariously the lives of others, from being absorbed in a work of literature, is a joy not to be missed.
Plan to attend the Rose Glen Literary Festival. It’s a guaranteed good read.