Piedmont Arts          

Jeri Smith

I was born and raised in the Rangeley Community in Henry County. Reading is my passion. Writing is a personal outlet for me. The Piedmont Writers Group is a program that welcomes everyone who loves to write. The Group has opened doors for me through their acceptance and support for each and every member.

Ashleigh Keeran

Ashleigh Keeran is a local gal, who graduated from Radford University in 2007, with a degree in Performance Theatre. She has traveled throughout the country doing children's theatre, in the play, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Ashleigh is an avid reader, writer and enjoys being outdoors. She has a strong love for her animals,one dog named Talle, and 3 cats, Rosa, Thisby, and Philly. One of her biggest accomplishments is being able to share the stage with Sally Struthers, in Tennesse Willams' famous stage play, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

Being a member of the Writers Guild is a release. It makes me feel like a part of something bigger than myself. Being able to share my writing journey with other amazing writers is something to be thankful for.

" When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing" ” Tennessee Williams

Dorothy Carter

In 2009 Dorothy won the "Who is Your Atticus essay contest presented by Piedmont Arts. She has also contributed to The Reader™s Diary in the Martinsville Bulletin. She teaches high school English and Advanced Composition at Magna Vista. Her students have ranked no. 1 both times they submitted their literary magazine, "Tribal Chants for judging with the Virginia High School League. Dorothy lives in Henry County with her husband of 32 years.

Iris Gillispie

Iris Gillispie spent 25 of her 33 years in Los Angeles working as a film and television artist. She was also the first woman to open a California State approved school teaching her craft, which was located at Television Center, Hollywood, CA. In 2003, she retired to Virginia where she is continually developing her skills in photography and writing, through the many classes and clubs offered at Piedmont Arts.

"The Writer's Group is a wealth of information," she says. "It has been very beneficial in helping me write my first book on my experiences working in the entertainment industry in LA."

You can follow Iris's work at this links below:

www.sightsoundmill.com | www.makeitmakeup.com

Lynn Dudley

For as long as I can remember, I have written short stories and essays. I usually write about growing up in Kansas. I am working on a cookbook with recipes from the South and the Midwest. It will include family stories and history. I am also writing a book for children. My essays have appeared in the Readers Diary of the Martinsville Bulletin and my story "Grandmother™s Flower Garden has been published in four quilting magazines.

I have read "write what you know. If we fail to write down our memories, who will? And who will remember?

Read Lynn's Blog

Margaret Adkins

I am Margaret Adkins, an 87-year-old widow. My husband of 44 years was Herbert Adkins. It seems my family came in threes. I had three children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. I have lived in the Fieldale/Martinsville area all my life. I love to write short stories and poems. I have one book, Echoes, published. I am working on a book of poetry now.

Mary Newport Taylor

I, Mary Newport Taylor, am a writer of poetry, fiction, music lyrics and music and was a piano teacher for over forty years.

I love the Piedmont Writers Group for the sharing of creative ideas, forms and styles of writing as well as information concerning publication.

Mary Elizabeth Jones

I am Mary Elizabeth Jones Farris. I was born Feb. 10, 1944 and I am the oldest of ten children. I am a lifelong resident of East Martinsville, Va.

I am the mother of eight children, grandmother and great-grandmother of many.


God, family, friends, church work, writing, music, organizing programs, working with various groups, getting some books published.

"My writing includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry and personal experiences. My present focus in writing the story of my life. Writing is what I do!"

Stella Butler

I have been writing for twenty-three years. I have eighteen different awards, two newspaper articles, one published book - "A Single Moment In Time and seventeen published poems. Coming soon in mid 2010...The book, "Evil Creation."

I™m known as a jack of all trades, but I master only one - the love of the imagination. I™ve worked in a furniture factory, been a construction worker, textile mill worker, a C.N.A, but I have always been a writer.

My Quotable Quote: "Know your Heart. Leave no room for regrets."

Sherry DeVault

I was born in Ohio, raised in West Virginia and have lived in Virginia for about 27 years. I have one son, Stephen, and a 14-year-old granddaughter Alex. After living in Radford for 20 yeas, I moved to Henry County to teach special education. At Rich Acres elementary, my students constantly inspire me and challenge me to locate the potential I know they are capable of. My greatest mission in life is to help others and be a compassionate friend.

I wrote my first poem when I was 11. While attending R.U. I won first place in a journalism contest, and my article, "Journey to Hope", was published in a collection of journal there. I took the mail course, "Writing for Children and teenagers", from the Institute of Children's Literature and hope to pursue getting some of my short stories and poetry published.

I enjoy meeting with members of the Piedmont writers Group. It is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and I love being with "pen pals" who find imaginative ways to make the written word come alive.

Avis Turner

I have been interested in writing for a long time. I am a charter member of Piedmont Writer Group that began in March 1998 (and member of two previous writers groups). I like to write children's stories, family essays, humorous items (how - to, mostly how - not - to) and articles on local history.

The Writers Group is a place to be with others who understand, appreciate and encourage each other. It is something I do for myself - along with exercise, healthy eating and positive thinking.