Let’s be honest. We writers dream that the books that live inside us will find their way into bookstores, libraries, and homes, will come to life in the hands of avid readers under shady hammocks or in favorite chairs. These books will have splendid covers and rave reviews that honor the love we put into the process. But for many aspiring writers, the journey between finishing a manuscript and launching a book is veiled in mystery. The cogs and wheels of publishing are strangely opaque to the authors themselves. This Porch Happy Hour Series will both illuminate the process, and more importantly celebrate authors who have recently “birthed” their books.
In November, we welcome Julia Ridley Smith, author of The Sum of Trifles (University of Georgia Press, 2021), a memoir in essays.
Julia's short stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature, the New England Review, and TheSouthern Review, among other publications, and her nonfiction was recognized as notable in The Best American Essays 2019. She's been awarded scholarships, fellowships, and residencies by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, the Cuttyhunk Island Residency, and the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities. After earning her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she worked for nearly twenty years as a freelance copyeditor of academic books. She's taught creative writing and literature at UNC Greensboro, as well as art-based writing workshops for educators and other adults at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. She is the 2021-22 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in her hometown of Greensboro, NC.