S.C. publishing house to feature area writing, photography

Published 9:59 am Friday, November 25, 2011

PROCTORVILLE — A simple essay contest for county high school teens has become the inspiration to produce an upscale publication that will showcase the Tri-State.

That is the plan of Susan Kammeraad-Campbell, publisher with Joggling Board Press, an independent publishing house based in Charleston, S.C.

This fall Kammeraad-Campbell came to Fairland High School to work with students from all county districts on essays they wrote about living in Appalachia.

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The essays were solicited through a contest devised by Fairland High librarian Evelyn Capper called “I Am Appalachian: This Is Who I Am.”

Each school selected up to five essays and those students participated in the October workshop.

“There were 27 essays and there was not one that did not acknowledge the connection to not just family but to family roots in Appalachia,” the publisher said. “It is a wonderful thing when people connect to a place. That is what we are about. The message I got from all of these essays is that there is anchorage, at least among those 27 students. I think it is emblematic of the spirit of Appalachia.”

Now the publisher wants to take those essays and add them to contributions from the Tri-State in writing, photography and music with a single goal in mind.

“The plan is the have a high-quality museum art coffee table book and do it on an annual basis,” Kammeraad-Campbell said. “And not just the kids’ essays. It is open to everybody in the community. It is opening the door to the community and to release the book a year from now.”

The publisher plans to solicit contributions through public and private schools in the Tri-State and local libraries.

“When we got to the end of the workshop, the organizers and I came back to this burgeoning idea of communitywide yearbook,” she said. “We are still in the planning stage, trying to commission libraries, schools and a website. We have not worked out those mechanisms.”

She wants historic family photos, scenes from local Memorial Day celebrations and images of the area.

“Old family and new family images and general photography that takes in the beauty of the community,” the publisher said. “We will make the choices of which are the best.”

The publishing house will begin accepting submissions starting in January through Memorial Day, with a publication date in late 2012.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the Tri-State area and it will be everybody’s book,” Capper said.