The Annual Piedmont Laureate Program is a joint collaboration of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge, allowing residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens. For more information about the program, including the application form and guidelines, please visit www.piedmontlaureate.com.
The Piedmont Laureate is appointed for one calendar year and offer the following activities in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties:
- Present readings at designated public sites (libraries, arts centers, schools, universities, and other community gathering places);
- Encourage creative writing for all age groups (by offering workshops or other types of outreach);
- Promote literature at select public events;
- Bring attention to literature in less traditional settings; and
- Propose original activities to expand appreciation of the literary arts.
The Piedmont Laureate is selected by a committee appointed by the sponsoring agencies. Each year the program is open to writers creating work in a particular selected literary genre (poetry, novels, creative nonfiction, etc.).
The application period takes place each Fall and is open to all writers residing in Durham, Orange, or Wake counties who meet the guideline criteria. Upon review of all applications, the finalist(s) is invited to meet with the committee. The selected Piedmont Laureate is notified in December of each year.
The Piedmont Laureate must be 18 years of age or older and have been a resident of Durham, Orange, or Wake counties for at least one year. Candidates should plan on maintaining residency in one of these counties for the duration of their appointment as Laureate.
Candidates will demonstrate:
- Exemplary writing skill;
- Significant body of published work;
- Comfort with public presentation and interaction; and
- Availability and willingness to travel in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties for scheduled readings, workshops, and other public events.
The Piedmont Laureate will receive an honorarium of $5,500 (distributed in two payments). Additionally, the Laureate will be recognized at various area events and receive media coverage related to the Laureate program.
Specific outreach activities for the Piedmont Laureate, planned in conjunction with the sponsoring agencies (5 activities per agency), will reflect the program’s stated goals, including:
- Public readings and other creative writing activities;
- Participation at select public functions;
- Media appearances (not to exceed 6); and
- Creation of at least one (1) original activity to expand appreciation of literature.
Additionally, the Piedmont Laureate will be encouraged to offer suggestions for future projects that will inspire public engagement and support of the literary arts.
Past Piedmont Laureate appearances have included talks with book clubs, writers groups and students, “meet the author” appearances at bookstores and libraries, remarks at city/county councils/commissions and special events. Typical appearances last between 20-60 minutes.
The 2016 Application Period has closed. Please check back in the fall of 2017 for information on the 2018 program.