Liz McCormick Published

Homer Hickam Comes to Appalachian Heritage Festival


This week, the 19th annual Appalachian Heritage Festival comes to Shepherd University. West Virginia native and author, Homer Hickam, is this year’s writer-in-residence.

This year’s Appalachian Heritage Festival will showcase music, art, dance, and literature. Special guest author and retired NASA engineer Homer Hickam will host various workshops and discussions throughout the week with students and the community.

Hickam is the author of the highly acclaimed novel, Rocket Boys, which was later turned into the popular film, October Sky. He will also receive the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award.

Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt, professor of English and coordinator for the Appalachian Studies Program, says the festival is a gateway into the Appalachian region.

“It’s also a gateway from Appalachia into the great big world out there and beyond,” said Shurbutt, “Henry Louis Gates called it the world everywhere else, and Shepherd is the gateway to both of those doors that swing both ways, and we hope that these programs help people go through both of those doors.”

The festival will also feature a special handmade Appalachian quilt, music sponsored by the Performing Art Series at Shepherd, a free square dance in front of the Shepherdstown Town Hall, as well as last year’s writer in residence, Frank X Walker.

The Appalachian Heritage Festival will take place from September 19th-27th.