MECC Foundation to Host 40th Annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival & Lonesome Pine Short Story and Poetry Contests

Big Stone Gap, VA — The MECC Foundation is pleased to announce the 40th annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring presentations by guest authors Robert Prather and Holly Goddard Jones, on Wednesday, March 16th at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The MECC Foundation will also host the 29th Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 12th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest, in partnership with Lonesome Pine Arts & Crafts, Inc. Individuals interested in obtaining contest guidelines should contact the MECC Foundation Office at (276) 523-7466 or click here.  Short stories and poems in the adult, high school (grades 9 through 12), and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories must be submitted to the MECC Foundation office by Monday, February 29th at 4:30 p.m.  Contest winners will be announced during the Literary Festival on March 16th, and cash prizes will be awarded.

Holly Goddard Jones’ first book, Girl Trouble, was published in 2009 by Harper Perennial.  Stories from the collection were published in various journals and anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2008, New Stories from the South 2007 and 2008, The Southern Review, Epoch, The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, and The Hudson Review. ​The Next Time You See Me, Holly’s debut novel, was published in February 2013 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Robert A. Prather and his wife reside near Garrett, Kentucky, where they own and operate a small business.  Mr. Prather is author of The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver. As a project field editor, Robert Prather has worked with Acclaim Press developing county history books.   In 2012, ​ Reader’s Favorite awarded it a Silver Medal for the Historical/Cultural category. The book has also received the prestigious Silver ADDY for its cover and overall design. In February of 2012, the book’s primary subject matter was presented on History Channel 2 on its popular series America’s Book of Secrets, the “Fort Knox” episode.

The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speakers at the John Fox, Jr. Museum in Big Stone Gap.  Tickets for the luncheon are $23 per person and reservations can be made by calling the MECC Foundation office at (276) 523-7466. For more information on the MECC Foundation, please visit our website at

Concert Raises Over $4,000 for Scholarships for Dickenson County Students

imgallery-JOMC_by-Irene-Young2A host of Mountain Empire Community College supporters filled the Jettie Baker Center in Clintwood on Thursday, November 5, to enjoy a reception and concert by celebrated folk musician, John McCutcheon.

McCutcheon has emerged as a respected and beloved folksinger. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. McCutcheon’s songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe and his thirty recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations.

Proceeds from the event were over $4,000 and will benefit the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship. Because it is endowed, the scholarship will be a permanent source of support for Dickenson County students throughout the years to come. The MECC Foundation is grateful to everyone who supported the event.

Event Raises Over $6,700 for Scholarships for Scott County Students

A crowd of over 100 Mountain Empire Community College supporters filled the auditorium at the Scott County Career and Technical Center on Thursday, October 1, for an evening of dining and entertainment at the MECC Foundation’s annual special event for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Americana.”

MECC President, Dr. Scott Hamilton, recognized the event committee for its excellent work on the event and acknowledged the sponsors of the event, as well as accomplished MECC student from Scott County, Reece Williams, who was in attendance.

An excellent program of varied music from years past and present was performed by talented vocalist, Janie Dixon, and guitarist, Mark Spivey.  The musical numbers they performed ranged from “Crazy” by Patsy Cline to “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. Their exuberant performance had many in the crowd on the dance floor.

Proceeds from the event were over $6,700.  The Scott County Endowed Scholarship will be a lasting source of support for Scott County students attending Mountain Empire Community College. The MECC Foundation is grateful to the event committee, sponsors and patrons for their support.

Event Photo Gallery