2017 Doris Betts Spring Literary Festival


Mooresville, NC - Mitchell Community College will hold the fifth annual Doris Betts Spring Literary Festival March 23-25 on the College's Mooresville Campus. Events will include readings by authors, writing workshops and social events. The festival will begin Thurs., Mar. 23 with a Student Reading at 6:30 p.m. at the Mooresville Artist Guild (103 W. Center Ave, Mooresville). The 2017 visiting authors are May-lee Chai (Sat., Mar. 25, 11:30 a.m.), Katherine Min (Fri., Mar. 24, 5:45 p.m.), Tim Peeler (Fri., Mar. 24, 4:30 p.m.) and Barbara Presnell (Sat., Mar. 25, 2 p.m.). All authors’ presentations will take place in Mitchell's Mooresville Campus Auditorium (219 N. Academy St, Mooresville). This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact festival coordinator Kimberly Singh at or (704) 978-1361.


Schedule of Events 

Thursday, March 23

6:30 p.m. -  Student Reading - Mooresville Artist Guild (103 W. Center Ave)


Friday, March 24

3 p.m. - Information Booth opens - Mooresville Campus

4 p.m. - Opening Session - Mooresville Campus Auditorium

  Tribute to the work of Doris Betts

4:30 p.m. - Tim Peeler - Mooresville Campus Auditorium

5:30 p.m. - Break

5:45 p.m. - Katherine Min - Mooresville Campus Auditorium

6:45 p.m. - Informal meet-and-greet with authors - Mooresville Campus Auditorium


Saturday, March 25

9 a.m. - Registration - Mooresville Campus

9–10 a.m. - Coffee and light breakfast

10–11:15 a.m. -Writing Workshops - Mooresville Campus 

(space limited, reservations required)

11:30 a.m. - May-lee Chai - Mooresville Campus Auditorium

12:30–2 p.m. - Lunch on your own in Downtown Mooresville

2 p.m. - Barbara Presnell - Mooresville Campus Auditorium

3 p.m. - Closing Festivities - Mooresville Campus Auditorium


Writing Workshops

One-hour concurrent sessions on Saturday, March 25 at 10 a.m. Free, but space is limited. First come, first served. Please contact Kimberly Singh at or (704) 978-1361 to register.


2017 Visiting Writers

May-lee Chai

May-lee Chai is the author of eight books. Her short stories and nonfiction prose have appeared in numerous publications, including the North American Review, ZYZZYVA, Missouri Review, Seventeen, Many Mountains Moving, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Jakarta Post Weekender, Southwest Magazine, the Bedford Introduction to Literature, and At Our Core: Women Writing on Power.  She has a MFA from San Francisco State University, and was nominated for the National Book Award in nonfiction for The Girl from Purple Mountain.  Most recently, her essay "The Blue Boot" was cited as a Notable Essay of 2012 in Best American Essays 2013, edited by Cheryl Strayed.  She is currently teaching in the Creative Writing Department at UNC-Wilmington. 


Katherine Min

Katherine Min is the award winning author of the novel Secondhand World, as well as numerous short stories featured in anthologies and literary magazines, including Literature for Composition and The Pushcart Book of Stories: The Best Short Stories of a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize, 2002; Coming to America.  She holds a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in English Literature from Amherst College.  She currently teaches in the Department of English at UNC-Asheville and is working on a collection of essays called, Losing the Plot: Essays on Life and Death, and What Falls Between?


Tim Peeler

A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written fourteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.


Barbara Presnell

A native of Asheboro, North Carolina, Barbara Presnell is a documentary poet, writing of social and cultural change. Her work tells the story of a community, a region, and a way of life, and attempts to portray a complex South, rich with history and tradition but plagued by heartache and frailty. She is the author of five works of poetry, the latest being Blue Star.  She has won numerous awards and fellowships, including a NC Arts Council Regional Artist Grant and the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize.  She holds a B.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro, a M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky, and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro.  She currently teaches in the University Writing Program at UNC-Charlotte.