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Book lovers have lots of options with writers' series at colleges

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The road to creating the next best-seller or writing a piece of poetry that's personally fulfilling sometimes requires a little inspiration.

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Three writers' series with local colleges offer literary lovers and budding authors a chance to interview regional authors and receive feedback on their own pieces.

Edgefield poet Laurel Blossom, who will open the Sandhills Writers Series at Augusta State University, said she still remembers a few moments when she felt like she'd "made it."

One included her first publication by a friend who owned a press in California.

"I was not only flattered, but validated," she said. "I thought maybe I was something."

Blossom said even after achieving the feat of being published, being a poet or an author, isn't always a ticket to quitting a day job. Instead, it's a personal fulfillment.

"It's a wonderful feeling to contribute to the conversation," she said. "I never expected to be in the top rung of poets or event mentioned among my contemporaries."

Blossom said she prefers smaller, community readings to impart that editing is just as important as the writing process. After completing a book-length prose, Degrees of Latitude , which began from more than a year of journals, Blossom said she's learned that the first draft is just a draft.

"Chances are that it needs work and that process of revision is just as important," she said.

Blossom's 10 a.m. session March 17 will kick off a weekend of sessions with Augusta State University's Sandhills Writers Series.

The series also features Karen White, the author of The New York Times best-selling novels On Folly Beach and The Girl on Legare Street and singer-songwriter Jennifer Daniels, who has released five CDs, most recently Summer-Filled Sky .

PAINE COLLEGE will feature author and professor Dr. Daniel Black at 7 p.m. March 17.

Black will discuss his latest novel, Perfect Peace , about a mother in the 1940s rural South who's determined to have a daughter, even at the expense of her seventh son.

His first two novels are They Tell Me of a Home and The Sacred Place . Black teaches at Clark Atlanta University.

The University of South Carolina Aiken offers the James and Mary Oswald Distinguished Writers Series, also on March 17, featuring Sue Monk Kidd and Percival Everett. The authors will also be inducted into the South Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

Kidd is The New York Times best-selling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair , which focuses on the challenges and victories of women.

Everett, the author of A History of the African-American People (proposed) by Strom Thurmond, as told to Percival Everett and James Kincaid , also serves as a distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California. His most recent work is I am not Sidney Poitier: A Novel .

Sandhills Writers Series at ASU

Call (706) 667-4437 for more information.

- Readings from Laurel Blossom and Karen White: March 17, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Jaguar Student Activities Center Coffee House, Augusta State University; free; a presentation by Tom Sutherland on literary Augusta will precede the 10 a.m. reading and ASU's Reese Library will have a display of books by Augusta authors.

- Singer-songwriter Jennifer Daniels: March 17, 7:30 p.m.; Le Chat Noir, Ellis Street; $5 or free with Augusta State University ID

- Jill Marr, associate agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency in New York City: March 18, 9 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m.; Reese Library, Augusta State University; registration is required

Paine College Spring Writers' Conference

Call (706) 821-8224 for more information.

- Reading and book signing with Daniel Black: March 17, 7 p.m.; Chandler Memorial Library, Paine College campus; free

James and Mary Oswald Distinguished Writers Series

- Reading and book signing with authors Percival Everett and Sue Monk Kidd: March 17, 8 p.m.; Etherredge Center, University of South Carolina Aiken; free, but limit of two tickets per person; www.scacademyofauthors.org

- Induction Ceremony for the South Carolina Literary Hall of Fame: reception at 7 p.m., ceremony at 8 p.m. March 18; Etherredge Center, 471 University Parkway; $35; authors Percival Everett, Sue Monk Kidd and the late Gamel Woolsey will be inducted


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