In 1993 Nancy Peacock (Life Without Water, A Broom of One’s Own, The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson) was struggling to write her first novel. She was not enrolled in a university or a writing class, and with the exception of a smattering of friends who were also trying to figure out how to write their first novels, was alone with the effort. She reached out to Lee Smith (Dimestore, Guests on Earth, Fair and Tender Ladies), from whom she’d taken a writing class years earlier.
Smith suggested the young writer send her each chapter of the novel as she completed it, and over a course of a year Nancy did just that, mailing a first draft chapter roughly every month to her, and building a relationship of mentorship that resulted in not only the completion of that novel, but its publication in 1996, and its selection is a New York Times Notable Book. Since then Peacock has gone on to write and publish two more novels and a memoir, and has mentored other beginning writers.
Local authors Nancy Peacock and Lee Smith will host a public discussion on the importance of mentorship May 1, 2018, from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Orange County Library, located at 137 W. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. The event is free and open to the public.
This event is presented by the Piedmont Laureate program, an initiative of the Orange County Arts Commission, City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. The Piedmont Laureate program’s mission is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region. To learn more about the program or the 2018 Piedmont Laureate Nancy Peacock, visit www.piedmontlaureate.org.