Friday, January 24, 2014

The People Behind Book 'Em North Carolina

The Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair has grown tremendously over the past three years. None of it could be possible without the time, money, hard work and support of so many volunteers and sponsors in our community. Below are just some of the people who make this event happen, and who attendees will come in contact with at our 2014 event. They’re listed in no particular order of priority, as every single individual and organization is vital to our success. I am certain I will have forgotten someone in this list and I apologize up-front! With more than 250 volunteers, it is challenging to keep up with them all, but each and every one is deeply appreciated.

Robeson Community College

This event would not be possible without the generosity of our host, Robeson Community College, its President, Dr. Pamela Hilbert, and the faculty and staff who work all year to ensure its success, most especially James Bass, Director of The Learning Center; Crystal Edmonds, Chair for English and Humanities; Susan Moore and Roy Raby, who bring together dozens of volunteers; E. Marie Sanders; and Patricia Clark and her security and maintenance staffs. On the day of the event, you’ll find RCC staff and students everywhere you look—from the cashiers ringing up the sales to volunteers dressed in blue t-shirts assisting in every hallway.

Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau

Upon arriving at Book ‘Em North Carolina, you’re likely to see the welcome table of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau as soon as you enter the lobby. Executive Director Mickey Gregory has been a member of the Executive Committee since the early days of Book ‘Em North Carolina. She has worked tirelessly to promote the events, to involve area businesses and volunteers, and through the generosity of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau and its Board of Directors, we’ve received grants to allow us to promote the event over a multi-state area.

Robeson County Arts Council

Also in the lobby of the event, you’ll find the Robeson County Arts Council, chaired by Dr. Mary Ann Masters. The Arts Council is instrumental in promoting literary arts, visual and performing arts, and highlighting the talent that abounds in Robeson County. Please stop by the art display in the lobby to admire photography and paintings from local artists, and be sure to ask for information on the exciting upcoming event, The Great Getaway, which brings back the era of The Great Gatsby! And when you pay for books purchased at Book ‘Em North Carolina, the Robeson County Arts Council handles all of the accounting for the event.

Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Robeson County Public Library – Librarians

The Friends of the Robeson County Public Library along with librarians Lisa Matthews and Mattie Locklear will be your hosts for all of the adult talks in the Lewis Auditorium, Red Room, Blue Room and Green Room. Every one of them is a true book lover in every sense of the word, and they will be working to ensure that every author and every talks attendee has a wonderful time.

In addition, James Bass, Director of the RCC Learning Center, and a special committee will be working in the Lewis Auditorium on stage setup. The furniture on stage is provided pro bono by Kimbrell’s Furniture in Lumberton, North Carolina.

The Children’s Corner

There are a number of volunteers working in The Children’s Corner to ensure a fun and exciting time for the youngest readers. It is chaired for the second year in a row by Lynn Noble, a teacher from Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton. Katie Huneycutt, Youth Services Librarian for the Robeson County Public Library, has scheduled author readings and activities and will be on hand to assist. Lori Special, Youth Services Consultant for the State Library of North Carolina, will join us from Raleigh for special activities. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County, Kiwanis Club of Lumberton, and Communities In Schools for Robeson County will all have tables and will be anxious to speak to parents and children about the fun of reading.

Public Schools of Robeson County

Sandi Carter, the Arts Education Supervisor for the Public Schools of Robeson County, has worked with us each year, coordinating all of the signs you’ll see throughout the facility, especially in The Children’s Corner. Each sign is hand-made by students in the Public Schools of Robeson County, using their imaginations to bring stories to life.

Dencie Lambdin, Executive Director for Communities In Schools of Robeson County, will have student volunteers from the CIS Academy assisting in The Children’s Corner and throughout the event.

Teresa Davis, President of the Robeson Association of Educators, has coordinated the distribution of more than 4,000 flyers throughout Robeson County’s Public Schools to raise awareness of The Children’s Corner.

And students from Studio One, an innovative program within the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Arts Education Program, have appeared at each of our events in costume, bringing books to life through live characterizations of The Little Mermaid, Cat in the Hat, Snow White, and much more.

Talks Moderators

Our panel discussions are moderated by a volunteer from our business community, many of whom also financially sponsor the event (as indicated by asterisks beside their names):

Dr. Pamela Hilbert, President of Robeson Community College
Joann Anderson, President and CEO of Southeastern Health *
James Bass, Robeson Community College
Jay Britt, Senior Vice President, Lumbee Guaranty Bank *
Crystal Edmonds, Robeson Community College
Ginny Hardin, retired from BB&T *
Drina Hedgpeth, retired teacher
Margaret Inman, Robeson Community College
Bruce Jobe, The Law Offices of Bruce Jobe, P.A. *
Dr. John Jones, University of North Carolina at Pembroke *
Ginger King, Author
Jef Lambdin, President, Robeson Road Runners *
Dr. Mary Ann Masters, Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC *
Chip Pate, LPL Financial *
Dr. John Rozier, Rozier & Lane Gynecology
E. Marie Sanders, Robeson Community College
Karen Silvestri, Robeson Community College
Mary Jo Walter, Edmond Jones *
Carolyn Watson, Robeson Community College

Author Lounge

Our Author Lounge is hosted this year by the Lumberton Women’s Club and Lumberton Juniorettes, who will be on hand all day greeting authors and serving a continental breakfast and buffet lunch to authors and their guests.

Food is provided free of charge to authors and their guests (a special ticket is required for entry) through the generosity of Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering. For the first year, through the generosity of our financial sponsorships, we are offering meals to volunteers who work at the event (a special ticket or blue t-shirt is required for entry).

Hospitality Committees

We have three hospitality committees who work behind the scenes to ensure that special guests traveling to Lumberton have all that they need to ensure they have a positive and fun experience. This year, those teams are:

Bob and Betty Fisher
John and Mary Ann Masters
John and Farleigh Rozier

And of course, the staff at the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau has been working all year long in responding to travelers’ needs and providing information on Lumberton and Book ‘Em North Carolina. Thank you, Sarah, Sarah and Mickey!

City of Lumberton

Ray Pennington, Mayor of Lumberton, has been a strong supporter of Book ‘Em North Carolina since I approached him almost nine years ago. Chief Mike McNeill of the Lumberton Police Department has graciously provided fingerprinting, Sherlock Hound, and other police support. And Connie Russ has ensured that flyers are included with every Lumberton resident’s utility bill each year of our event.


Our financial sponsors allow us to pay all overhead expenses associated with the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, which allows us to donate 100% of the proceeds provided to BENC from book sales on the day of the event to area literacy efforts. This year our financial sponsors are:

National Sponsor

Southern Writers Magazine

Platinum Sponsors (over $1,000)

Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau
Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The Village Station Restaurant

Gold Sponsors ($1,000)

Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Rotary Club of Lumberton
Southeastern Health

Silver Sponsors ($500)

Comfort Inn
Law Offices of Bruce F. Jobe, P.A.
Donald R. Whaley, M.D., P.C.

Bronze Sponsors ($250)

Biggs Park Mall
Century 21 – Leroy Rising
Edward Jones
John’s Fuel Service
Drs. Lacey E. Gane III and Christopher Karshner, DDS PA
Ginny and Jeff Hardin
LPL Financial
Lumbee Guaranty Bank
Lumberton Chevrolet
Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC
Robeson Road Runners
Senator and Mrs. Michael Walters

Media Sponsors

Author p.m.terrell (website, blogspot, e-newsletters)
Lumberton Magazine
Native Visions Magazine
Robeson Living Magazine
Robesonian Newspaper
Southern Writers Magazine
WHQR (Wilmington)
WPDE-TV (Myrtle Beach)
WRAL-TV (Raleigh)

Hotel Sponsors

Best Western (pet friendly)
Comfort Inn
Country Inn and Suites
Fairfield Inn

This post was written by the founder and chair of Book 'Em North Carolina, author p.m.terrell. For more information about Book 'Em North Carolina, visit For more information about p.m.terrell, visit