MECC Foundation to Host Virtual 46th Annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival
Featuring Beth Macy, Author of Dopesick
Entries Sought for Lonesome Pine Short-Story and Poetry Contests
Big Stone Gap, VA — The MECC Foundation is pleased to announce the 46th annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, a free virtual event featuring Beth Macy, renowned New York Times bestselling author, and executive producer of Hulu’s Dopesick, on Wednesday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to noon.
In coordination with the festival event, the MECC Foundation will host the 35th Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 18th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday, February 16 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 on the MECC Foundation website at www.mecc.edu/jffestival/rules. Winners of the contest will be announced during the Literary Festival Event. All winners will receive a cash prize.
The virtual festival will feature a discussion with Virginia author Beth Macy. Macy is the author of the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling books, Factory Man, Truevine, and Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America (2018). Macy serves as an Executive Producer and writer on the acclaimed Hulu limited television series Dopesick, which is based on her book. All local middle and high schools are invited to participate in this virtual event at no cost. Students and community members are invited to submit questions for Macy at www.mecc.edu/jffestival22.
Growing out of three decades of reporting from the same Virginia communities, as her prior books did, Dopesick unpacks the most intractable social problems of our time: the opioid crisis, set against a landscape of job loss, corporate greed and stigma, along with the families and first responders who are heroically fighting back. Overdose deaths are now the equivalent of a jetliner crashing in our country every day, and yet the government response to the epidemic remains, in a word, impotent.
Dopesick is, in many ways, the sequel to Macy’s first book, FACTORY MAN. It lays out exactly how the jobless “other America” ended up couch-surfing with the likes of surgeon’s daughters and civic leaders’ kids who fall prey to prostitution, jail, and even death. Tom Hanks describes Dopesick as “a deep — and deeply needed — look into the troubled soul of America.” Stanford addiction medicine specialist and author Dr. Anna Lembke calls it the first book to capture the entirety of the epidemic, “with a fast-paced narrative, colorful and inspiring characters, vivid historical detail, and a profound sense of place.”
A longtime reporter who specializes in outsiders and underdogs, Macy has won more than a dozen national journalism awards, including a Lukas Prize for Factory Man, multiple shortlist and best-book-of-the-year honors for Truevine, and a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard for her newspaper writing.
A frequent speaker, teacher and essayist, Macy has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Oprah magazine, and Parade. Her approach to storytelling: Report from the ground up, establish trust, be patient, find stories that tap into universal truths. Get out of your ZIP code. To do good journalism, be a human first.
Her book, Raising Lazarus, Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Drug Crisis (August 2022), focuses on solutions to the opioid crisis and the heroic efforts of frontline workers applying harm reduction practices on the streets of America. It also will document the efforts of the Sackler family to avoid responsibility for the crisis they helped create.
For more information on the MECC Foundation, please visit our website at www.meccfoundation.org.