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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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.


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:

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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Professional development looks different here


Oh, we had a glorious Academic Writing Retreat at Earthshine Lodge. Professional development looks different here. 

7A4E430B-35FF-4324-AFA2-84D2CE06D01FFor any academic writers, on the university or college level, who write–or who need to write–I sure hope you’ll join us next time. We spent an immersive three days eating delicious meals, snacks, and desserts prepared by Chef Coe, enjoyed breakout sessions centered on breaking out of your writing ruts and finding your inspiration, spent hours by a roaring fire, slept beneath gorgeous quilts, went on a nature hike led by Earthshine’s resident naturalist, Mo (we saw turkey tail mushrooms, rattlesnake plantain, and so much more), and worked.

Laughter echoed throughout the Lodge, collaborations were created, and so much more. For more information about the next retreat, bookmark Earthshine Lodge–and keep your eyes peeled!

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Hey, y’all. My name is Katherine (a reintroduction)




Hot damn, I have 2,000 followers on Instagram! Please allow me to reintroduce myself.

My name is Katherine. I have others, depending on who you are and how long you’ve known me. I take nicknames seriously: using them is a privilege.

I’ve been a storyteller since childhood. I’m a recovering academic, former college professor, newspaper columnist, backpacking guide. I’d rather be outside.

I adore history. I can argue that Shakespeare was a woman, detail the intricacies of 18th century undergarments and the impetus of world wars, but can’t recall my multiplication tables.

I’m the author of the historical novel Keowee Valley (BelleBooks, 2012). I was pregnant with my daughter, earning my second graduate degree, and teaching college when it was published. It’s still a blur.

Recently, I completed my second historical novel. For the first time in 13 years, I’m looking for a new literary agent.

I spent years onstage, but in real life I have a glass face and am incapable of subterfuge. What you see is what you get (for better or worse).

I’m insatiably curious and easily awestruck. My mouth often runs faster than my brain.

I’m Enneagram Type 4 (Type 4wing5 for the true believers) and INFJ-T (T for turbulent.) My sister knew this years before I did. I thought myself an extrovert well into adulthood.

Preferred uniform: turtleneck, jeans, boots or brogues. No makeup.

I’m deep-feeling/painfully sensitive. It’s both tragedy and superpower.

People who cannot hold opposing ideas bore me.

I can be a snob.

My people mean more to me than they know, because I find the minutiae of friendship draining. But I think about my friends more than is healthy. If I love you, I love you forever.

My husband is a decade older than I.

My dissertation linked historical fiction to the theories of epigenetics and ancestral memory.

I’m a Southerner (not the scary kind) and a Feminist (the scary kind. For example: Of course you should hold the damn door for me).

… however, I believe:

– labels are for the intellectually weak.

– Sam Elliott is unspeakably attractive.

– the more open we are, the closer we grow to holy.

It’s my honor to know you. Please, introduce–or reintroduce!–yourself in the comments.

P.S. If you follow along here, you know I’m awful about posting regularly. I’m most active on my Instagram account, and I’d be grateful if you follow me there, too.



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Winter Academic Writing Retreat – Feb. 16-18, 2022


Calling all academic writers, or academics-who-also-write:

Join us for the Winter Academic Writing Retreat at beautiful Earthshine Lodge, February 16 – 18, 2022. Lodging, meals, guided hikes, wood-burning fires, professional (optional) workshops/breakout sessions, and more. Click the link for all details.

I’ll be Guest Hosting this weekend, and I’d love to see you there!

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New Year, New Book


Just before the new year, two things happened for me.

1.) After my first visit to the optometrist in seven years, I got glasses. 

My vision used to be perfect–I was the girl who read the street signs or saw the eagle in the trees before anyone else. I now possess bifocals … or “progressive lenses,” as I’m told they’re called this days (she says, tapping her cane).

My prescription isn’t strong, and it’s mostly glass on the bottom (I need them for distance). I asked the doc, “How often do I have to wear them?”, and he chuckled and said, “You really should wear them all the time.”

I’m being nice: it was more of a snort.

2.) I set a goal to complete my second novel before Christmas, and I’m happy to announce–I did it! 

The manuscript has been revised to the best of my abilities, and read by my faithful alpha and beta readers. For non-writers, these are folks who the author trusts, and who can, on a variety of levels, let her know if the story’s working. Mine always include a small cadre of family members and friends. This time the cadre included two friends who are also award-winning, published authors, and whose insights were invaluable.

I set the specific goal because in November, my literary agent of 14 years retired. I knew I had to go in a different direction than with the agent to whom he handed over his clients.

What does this mean? Well, I’m beginning to query literary agents for the first time since 2007. To do this, I had to craft a query: A one-page letter which hooks an agent on my novel, gives them the gist of what it’s about, explains whose books it’s like and why it’ll sell, and also offer my bio. (Point of reference: the last time I queried I was in my 20s, newly married, and did not have children. Since then I’ve had two children, been a college professor with a newspaper column, earned a MFA, run writers’ retreats, done a bevy of other academic and writerly jobs, and remodeled a house.) A query is like speed dating. With better grammar.

Mine is a historical novel with a dual timeline and a dual narrative: It’s told from the point of view of one character in the present (first person), and one two hundred years in the past (third person close). It’s also a timeslip adventure with romantic elements, the style straddling the line between the fast pace of commercial and the crafted detail of literary fiction.

All this is to say, it’s a beast to query. (And to synopsize–a requirement of many agents.)

So, if y’all would, please send up a wish that I find a literary agent who not only loves the manuscript and believes it deserves a place in the world, but who wants to work with a huge history dork/recovering academic/outdoor junkie/wandering spirit/hyper-focused/has hard time sitting still/would rather be outside/non-makeup wearing/eccentric (and this is kind)/brain full of a thousand stories, writer … on an esoteric and (hopefully) prolific and lifelong career.

Easy peasy.


* P.S. The photo is of my printed manuscript, which was a Christmas gift to my husband (at his request). The glasses are Zennis.

* P.P.S. An author never feels a book is “done.” But at some point, we have to stop.


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