Discover the World of Keowee Valley

Katherine Scott Crawford is the award-winning author of Keowee Valley, an historical adventure set in the Revolutionary-era Carolinas and the Cherokee country. A recovering academic and former adjunct professor, she serves as a guest lecturer and workshop leader at conferences, writers retreats, literary festivals, libraries, and more. As a newspaper columnist, her popular column appeared weekly across the country and abroad, in U.S.A. Today, The Detroit Free Press, and many others. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Founder and Director of MountainTop Writers Retreats, she lives in Western North Carolina with her husband, daughters, and their trail dog. When everyone is really quiet, she works on her next historical novel.

“A glorious debut from a gifted author.”
-Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Big Stone Gap and The Shoemaker’s Wife

Keowee Valley is a terrific first novel by Katherine Scott Crawford–a name that should be remembered.”
-Pat Conroy, bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

“Katherine Scott Crawford is a fresh and valuable new voice in Southern Literature.” -Ron Rash, bestselling author of Serena and Saints at the River

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Enjoy the Keowee Valley Trailer

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South to America wins National Book Award

That Imani Perry’s South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation just won the National Book Award is no surprise.

It kept me up at night for the weeks I read it, stirring, waking, honoring, and battling with every part of my Southern soul. My American being. My national identity, and my humanity. Which means, to me as a reader and writer both, that because it did this for and to me, it does this outward from me. I underlined, bracketed, starred, exclamation-pointed so many places in this book that when I lend it to friends it will annoy folks. And I can’t begin to choose one or two lines to quote here, because to say Perry mines the depths is too easy; it’d be better to say she takes a Hubble telescope to the galaxy of every bit of the story.

But here are some, because they are hers:

“The only real difference between a farm and a plantation is how it’s used and who uses it, nothing else.”

“Southerners are, generally speaking, both exacting in their judgment and good at alcohol.”

“We tend to think moments of pain provide reckoning. But pleasure might tell us even more. What shows up in the abandon of delight tells us a great deal about who we are, naked.”

“Staying alive on the grounds of your ancestors’ murder and abuse is no small matter. It requires a living witness to their alchemy. Go into a church, find the old woman singing, listen to how her voice, even if cracking, takes up much more space than that to which she has been resigned.”

Read this book.

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What I’m reading — and loving! — right now: Beautiful Writers by Linda Sivertsen

The book publishing business is kind of a like a mythological beast: sometimes terrifying, sometimes beautiful, always layered. I know from personal experience that the best thing you can do when you love a book is to talk about it–to share as far and wide as you can. Recently, I read, and adored, Beautiful Writers: A Journey of Big Dreams & Messy Manuscripts — with Tricks of the Trade from Bestselling Authors by Linda Sivertsen. Here’s what I posted about it on social media:

This bright, beautifully real, laugh-out loud funny, relentlessly optimistic (heavy on the mystic), gift of a writer’s book has been bringing me an unexpected–and insanely necessary–jolt of joy in my daily reading, since the moment I picked it up. Writers, get your copies or put it on your wish lists. People of writers, it will make for a perfect gift.

I didn’t know what to expect when I pre-ordered. I came to Linda Siversten’s popular Beautiful Writers podcast late, during the pandemic, and didn’t know a thing about her. Listening to interviews with writers both known and (to me) unknown was a salve during an uncertain time. And just so much damn fun, because they laugh a lot and tell so many great stories! The book is MORE. Even authors, celebrities, leaders, and creatives I thought I knew, like Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry McMillan, Ann Patchett, Abby Wambach, Patricia Cornwell, share things in these pages I’ve never heard or read from them before–about writing, life, and being a creative in the world.

Sivertsen’s voice throughout as she shares her beautiful and messy life felt so familiar to me as a mom with young kids–the bumps in the roads of friendships and partnerships, the yearning for connection, the unceasing urge to heal and connect to the earth, the glorious and brutal challenge of motherhood. It’s all there, and done with such a bright, light hand you feel like you’ve been to a fabulous group yoga class where you not only found a bit of inner peace, you also dissolved into giggles on your mat because somebody cracked a joke under their breath.

Bonus: Beautiful Writers is printed sustainably.

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I Take Heart – September 2022

Hi, all! To read about what’s been going on in my world–books, home renovation, podcasts, ponderings, and more-click the “Newsletter” tab above or here.

Sure hope y’all are well and enjoying the end of summer!

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I Take Heart – July 2022 Edition

Hi, all! Happy July! I’ve launched the newest edition of my newsletter, and I sure hope you enjoy it. If you don’t subscribe and would like to, click here or at the Newsletter tab above.

(Yep, there’s a misspelling in it. But it’s launched, I’m living in Year 45 of a home renovation, and this is real life. Forgive me.)

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The June Issue of my newsletter is here!

Hi, y’all. I’ve just posted the June issue of my author newsletter, and it’s full of the small joys of summer: books, movies, articles, ponderings, and more. I hope you’ll consider subscribing, if you haven’t already, and maybe even sharing with friends.

Just click here or on the Newsletter tab above.

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I Take Heart: May Newsletter

Hi, all. My May 2022 newsletter has launched, just a wee bit late (because: life). This one’s about the books and podcasts keeping me sane during an inordinately tough spring. I may refer to Hamlet. It’s also about the zombie-walk many of us parents are doing these days as school winds down.

If you’ve not subscribed, I hope you’ll consider it. I only publish once per month, directly to your email Inbox. Just lick on the “Newsletter” tab above.

Happy Friday to all!

amwriting Asheville Citizen-Times author Autumn Bell Bridge Books books Brevard children Christmas CNF column columnist creative nonfiction essay essayist Fall family friendship Greenville hiking historical adventure historical fiction historical novel history Katherine Scott Crawford Keowee Valley kids life motherhood mountains NC newspaper newspaper column parenting quotes reading SC South Carolina Southern literature summer teaching The Greenville News WNC writer writing

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For your Spring reading: The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare

Hi, all,

I know it’s been a minute. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, where I tend to spend most of my social media time, you’ll know that lately I’ve been shouting to the rooftops about my dear friend Kimberly Brock’s new historical novel, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare.

And so I can’t resist doing so here, either. I love this book. It’s a mother – daughter story set in the Georgia lowcountry during the waning days of World War II, there’s a dual timeline, a bit of magic and mystery, a centuries-old journey back to the lost colony of Roanoke and the real-life (or as much as we know) tale of the Dare stones. Remember Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the “new” world? Eleanor was her mother. Alice and Penn are a World War II – era mother and daughter, and we follow them from the north Georgia mountains to an inherited old mansion on the coast called Evertell. They are also Eleanor’s descendants.

The Lost Book… is all of this, and so much more. Kimberly Brock writes like an enchantress, and she sees deep into the soul of things, places, and people.

At a recent event with Kimberly Brock in Greenville, South Carolina at the inimitable M. Judson Booksellers

And I’m not just saying this because she is a dear friend of mine, though she most certainly is. This is the kind of gorgeous historical novel so many of us have been waiting a long time to read. Trust me: you’ll love it, and so will your book clubs. Add it to your spring and summer reading lists.

amwriting Asheville Citizen-Times author Autumn Bell Bridge Books books Brevard children Christmas CNF column columnist creative nonfiction essay essayist Fall family friendship Greenville hiking historical adventure historical fiction historical novel history Katherine Scott Crawford Keowee Valley kids life motherhood mountains NC newspaper newspaper column parenting quotes reading SC South Carolina Southern literature summer teaching The Greenville News WNC writer writing

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Real Ways to Help in the Ukraine

We planted this metal sunflower just beside our front stoop. It’s our little family symbol of solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they continue to stand against a brutal, unjust war.

This morning, after dropping off my free, safe, healthy 8 year-old at her elementary school, I was listening to our local NPR station, WNCW88.7. The hosts interviewed two correspondents on the ground in the Ukraine who reported on the Ukrainian people’s dogged resistance: one said they were “fighting like terriers,” that neither Russia nor the rest of the world expected their resolve, that the Ukrainians have had years of experience battling Russian aggression on their eastern borders.

This is our world, in real time. Helping feels an impossible task in the face of such large-scale destruction. So we pray, we give, and we vote. By God, we vote: for leaders who recognize just how small, precious, and fragile our world is–and how human connections, through diplomacy, aide, and other actions, are everything.

Everything.

This sunflower is a reminder for me, more than anything, or anyone, else.

Here are a few places where your time and money will will matter:

Save a Child Global Paediatric Network

World Central Kitchen

Ukrainian Red Cross

Global Giving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

(The first two organizations were shared with me by my friend and fellow writer, John Malik, who has been volunteering with the World Central Kitchen at the Poland-Ukraine border. John has been writing about his experiences at his blog, here.)

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Katherine Scott Crawford wins North Carolina Poetry Society’s Thomas H. McDill Award

Ha. Writing that title above in the third person gives me the giggles. But, I get to announce this:

www.ncpoetrysociety.org

My poem, “Litchfield Beach,” was awarded First Place in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2022 Pinesong Awards (the Thomas H. McDill Award).

I’m thrilled, and honestly still a bit shocked. I’ve never thought of myself as a poet. I love poetry, and I love poets, and I’ve had the privilege of sitting at the feet of so many poets who are my friends in real life, and friends in books. I can’t wait to read all the work in the 2022 Pinesong Anthology when it is published, and I’m excited that we’ll get to read our work at the awards day in May.

It’s been a good day.

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