MECC Foundation to Feature Ron Rash at John Fox Jr. Festival

Ron Rash

Ron Rash

Big Stone Gap, VA — The MECC Foundation, in partnership with the Lonesome Pine Regional Library and the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Project, is pleased to announce the 43rd annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring a presentation by guest author Ron Rash, on Wednesday, March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.

In coordination with the festival event, the MECC Foundation will host the 32nd Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 15th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday, February 20 at 4:30 p.m. Entry categories include adult, high school (grades 9 through 12), and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories.  Contest rules are available below. Winners of the contest will be announced during the Literary Festival Event.

 Ron Rash is a New York Times best-selling author, PEN/Faulkner finalist, two-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, and winner of the James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A son of Buncombe and Watauga County natives, Rash was raised in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and his family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the mid-1700s.

Rash’s love and deep appreciation for the southern Appalachians has launched him into a spectacular literary career. He wrote three collections of poetry and two collections of short stories before transitioning to writing a series of acclaimed and award-winning novels, including The Cove, Above the Waterfall, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Serena, Burning Bright and My Father Like a River.

Books will be available to purchase and for author signing.  The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speaker 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.

The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Lonesome Pine Regional Library is pleased to bring a variety of NEA Big Read programming opportunities March 6-31, 2019. For a schedule of events, visit us at

For more information on the MECC Foundation, please visit our website at

2019 Contest Rules


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