National Day on Writing: Pellissippi State to host bestselling author Schoenewaldt

Portrait of woman with glasses with bookshelves behind herUSA Today bestselling author Pamela Schoenewaldt will be at Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus Monday, Oct. 21, to promote the love of language and literature.

Schoenewaldt, author of “When We Were Strangers” and “Swimming in the Moon,” presents a reading of her works to celebrate the National Day on Writing. The event, sponsored by the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, also features free refreshments and fun activities. The community is invited to attend.

“I felt that Pamela would be an incredible inspiration to our students, because she is such a skilled writer with such interesting works,” said Patricia Ireland, who teaches English and is the faculty sponsor of the Creative Writing Club. “We’re very fortunate that we have someone with such professional ability living right here in Knoxville.”

Schoenewaldt will read from “Swimming in the Moon” and answer questions from the audience during the event, which takes place at noon in the Lobby.

“I’ve written short stories, poetry, and now novels; taught creative writing; and done professional writing for years,” Schoenewaldt said. “I find many similarities. To move people with words is exciting, deeply challenging, frustrating and exhilarating when it works.

“But it is work and requires the same discipline as any other endeavor for which you want results. Particularly with novels, there is so much to attend to at once: plot, character, theme, imagery, pacing, sound, mood, historical accuracy in my case. You have to really want a book to happen, and it takes sacrifice and being there on the job. The angel of inspiration will come, but if she comes and you’re not there, focused, she’ll go away.”

On the National Day on Writing, the Creative Writing Club will sponsor free activities all day. The group will award prizes for a campus contest for best original fiction work, best poem and best artwork.

The organization is the first official club to be organized on Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Its members work to promote the power of the written word through readings, a published journal of creative writing and sponsorship of special events.

Schoenewaldt is a New Jersey native with degrees in English literature and film and television. She and her husband, physicist Maurizio Conti, lived in a small town outside Naples, Italy, for 10 years, and her short stories have been published in literary magazines in both the U.S. and Europe.

Schoenewaldt was writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, where she wrote her first novel and taught fiction, rhetorical, and professional writing. “When We Were Strangers” is a USA Today bestseller, was a Barnes & Noble Great Discovery Selection and was short-listed for the Langham Prize in American Historical Fiction.

For more information, call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300 or visit www.pstcc.edu/strawberry. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

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