Sunday, August 7, 2022

Stories of New Hanover County, as told by its residents, set to be unveiled

Northeast Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road.
Northeast Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road.

After collecting submissions for an anthology of writings about New Hanover County, the public library system is hosting a launch party for the e-book.

According to Dorothy Hodder of the New Hanover County Library system, a total of 38 pieces, written by 32 people (who were allowed to submit multiple times) will be featured.

“There’s poetry, prose, anecdotes, essays and some short reflections on life in New Hanover County,” said Hodder, who edited the pieces along with Emily Pierce, a senior majoring in creative writing at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.

Hodder said the e-book is being put together by her colleague Carla Sarratt and will be released on Saturday, Sept. 17, during the launch event at the Northeast branch. The name of the anthology, which is currently using the working title “Tell Us Your Story: Views of New Hanover County,” will also be unveiled then.

“When we asked for submissions, we also asked for suggestions for titles,” Hodder said. “The name we’ve chosen is a combination of a few ideas.”

The idea for the collection came from “27 Views of Wilmington,” an anthology about the Port City that was published in 2015 by Hillsborough-based Eno Publishers. Three of the authors featured in that book – Dr. James Leutze, Rhonda Bellamy and Gwenyfar Rohler – will be reading their pieces during Saturday’s event. Joining them will be four contributors from the county anthology, selected by the three Wilmington authors and Hodder, to read their submissions out loud.

The e-book is being published using Pressbooks and Self-e, two self-publishing programs available for free to any New Hanover County Library card holders.

“Any aspiring author can use these tools to put their writing on the internet for anybody to enjoy,” Hodder said.

Writers who use the programs will retain copyrights to their work and have the ability to sell it elsewhere in the future, Hodder said.

“Libraries are trying to figure out how to mesh traditional publishing and e-books, and this is a way to do it,” she said. “It also helps us reach out to local self-published writers so we can feature their work and make it available to our readers.”

The e-book featuring New Hanover County stories will be unveiled during Saturday’s launch party, which will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Northeast Regional Library, located at 1241 Military Cutoff Road . For more information ahead of the event, contact Hodder at (910) 798-6323, or at

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