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King University News :: Bestselling Author Sharyn McCrumb to Speak Oct. 7 at King University During QEP Week

BRISTOL, Tenn. September 19, 2014 – One of Appalachia’s greatest storytellers Sharyn McCrumb will be the featured speaker during King University’s QEP Week, which takes place Oct. 6-9. In addition to speaking to several classes on King’s Bristol campus, McCrumb will give a lecture, which will be open to the public, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7 in King’s Memorial Chapel. King’s QEP or Quality Enhancement Plan Week will celebrate student learning throughout King’s curriculum.

The Quality Enhancement Plan describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning. In 2007, King University faculty determined the QEP topic that would have the broadest impact was improvement of written and oral communication skills. A new focus will be announced during the upcoming QEP week this fall.

“We are working to bring an awareness campus-wide to the idea of quality enhancement,” says Kim Holloway, associate professor and chair of Technical and Professional Communication and director of Quality Enhancement Plan. “QEP represents the best practices for the King community. One way of thinking of QEP is as our signature curriculum improvement project on campus.”

“We are thrilled to have Sharyn visit King once again,” says Kim Holloway, associate professor and chair of Technical and Professional Communication and director of Quality Enhancement Plan. “Having Sharyn as our featured speaker for QEP Week is perfect. Sharyn is more than a writer; she is a storyteller, a wordsmith, an entertainer. We encourage the community to come out to hear her speak about writing.”

McCrumb is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; she received her Master of Arts in English from Virginia Tech. She was also the first writer-in-residence at King University. Her honors and awards, which are too numerous to list, include the Perry F. Kendig Award for Literary Arts from Blue ridge Arts Council of southwest Virginia in 2011; Library of Virginia People's Choice Award  for “St. Dale” in 2006; and Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers Association for “St. Dale” in 2006. In 2008, the Library of Virginia announced that Sharyn McCrumb has been named one of Virginia's eight Women of History for 2008. This honor is designed to recognize and honor the achievements of women who have made important contributions to Virginia and America, both past and present.

McCrumb once said of her work, “My books are like Appalachian quilts. I take brightly colored scraps of legends, ballads, fragments of rural life, and local tragedy, and I piece them together into a complex whole that tells not only a story, but also a deeper truth about the culture of the mountain South.”

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning, New York Times Bestselling, Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, which weave together the legends, natural wonders, and contemporary issues of Appalachia. Her novels include New York Times Best Sellers “She Walks These Hills” and “The Rosewood Casket,” which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness; “The Ballad of Frankie Silver,” the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina; “The Songcatcher,” a genealogy in music; and “Ghost Riders,” an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians. “The Devil Amongst the Lawyers” examines the media stereotyping of rural areas. “The Ballad of Tom Dooley” brings to light new evidence in a true story behind the most famous of all mountain ballads.

McCrumb's great-grandfathers were circuit preachers in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains a hundred years ago, riding horseback over the ridges to preach in a different community each week. It is from them, she says, that she gets her regard for books, her gift of storytelling and public speaking, and her love of the Appalachian Mountains.

Aside from her Ballad novels, Sharyn McCrumb has written two parables set in NASCAR: “St. Dale” and “Once Around the Track.” “St. Dale,” the story of a group of ordinary people who go on a pilgrimage in honor of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, and find a miracle.

McCrumb’s newest “Ballad” novella, “Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past,” available Oct. 7, is a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware. McCrumb revisits the mountains we call home, the folk we call family, and a familiar message that there is more to this world than the eye can see... especially at Christmastime.

The Washington Times said of McCrumb’s work, “What a voice this writer has. She is superb at telling tales as sweet as wild honey and as special as the changing colors of the leaves.”

Sharyn McCrumb will speak on writing on Oct. 7, 2014 at 7 p.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel on the University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn. The public is invited to attend this free event. McCrumb’s latest work will be on sale in King’s Tornado Alley Shoppe. McCrumb will also have a book signing at lecture’s end.

For additional information on King’s QEP Week or Sharyn McCrumb’s lecture, contact Kim Holloway at or 423.652.6326.


King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.