Freelance writer, arts advocate and writing coach Carrie Knowles will add the Piedmont Laureate title to her list of literary accomplishments, which span 45 years.
The Piedmont Laureate program, developed six years ago by the Durham Arts Council, chooses one creative writer within the community to be named a representative of literature throughout the Piedmont area, which consists of Alamance, Durham, Wake and Orange counties.
Martha Shannon, director of the Orange County Arts Commission, said the program was mainly created to highlight the achievements of writers within the community, as well as to encourage people to try their hands at writing.
“We created this program six years ago to foster and promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Triangle area,” she said.
“(The laureates) are all very creative and they are all very interested in working with the community and in getting people involved who may not necessarily consider themselves to be writers.”
Past laureates have specialized in different literary genres, including novel writing, poetry, creative nonfiction and playwriting. Knowles was chosen to represent this year’s genre, short fiction, due to her expansive resume, which includes dozens of short stories and three books. One of her books, “Ashoan’s Rug,” is a novel comprised of 10 short stories that link together in plot.
“I think everyone has a story in them to tell,” Knowles said.
Knowles said she also believes that writing can become an important asset to increase one’s creativity and imagination.
“Writing is such a solitary type of life. To have a public position about writing is a rare and exciting opportunity. Except for doing book signings or whatever, you’re not that public about your work,” she said.