This year marks Dogwood Alliance's 20th anniversary, and to celebrate it, Dogwood organized the Woods & Wilds Storytelling and Music Festival, which happened last weekend out at the Salvage Station. Through a silent auction the previous night and fundraising at the event, Dogwood was able to come closer to their end-of-year goal. They were helped by their supporters, fans, festival organizers, and staff, as well as three generous donors that set out a matching challenge to encourage donations. And remember, you can still donate to Dogwood Alliance through their website!
The day was filled with art, music, and storytelling. The musical lineup featured Sherri Lynn and the Mountain Friends, the Threadbare Skivvies, Krekel and Whoa, headliner Phuncle Sam, and late-night DJ Oscar Malinalli. Master storyteller Doug Elliot took the stage and riveted children and adults alike with his wonderful tale-spinning and music. Gary Phillips, Carrboro's Poet Laureate, read several beautifully moving pieces. International Storytelling Center President Kiran Flip Singh Sirah shared a powerful spoken word piece, Amy Upham brought poetry to life. Throughout the day, hearts were lifted through story, music, dance, and celebration. Inner Wild Yoga led a warming flow class on the green, art was auctioned by Share Your Cloud, and kids made animal masks and shared their favorite things about Southern forests before becoming Young Forest Defenders in a lovely ceremony (man, that was cute).
The day kicked off with the winning stories from the flash writing contest Asheville Grit ran with Dogwood Alliance. Now, we're going to share them with you all on Asheville Grit and dogwoodalliance.org. We'll start by publishing the names of the winners and finalists, and then, from today through Thursday, we'll publish our winning stories. We were so impressed with the caliber of stories we received, and we found so much to love in each and every piece. Our deepest gratitude to everyone who entered. Keep standing strong for Southern forests!
And the winners are (drumroll, please)!
Grand Prize: Brad Kelly - “Morchella Eximia”
1st runner up: Audrey Amir - “Etymology”
2nd runner up: Ryn Hayes - “Forests by Owl-Light”
3rd runner up: Kip Kiefer - “Hypermetropia”
Liisa Andreassen - "The Language of Trees"
Morgan Bambey - “Underground Forest”
Doug Elliot - “A Snaky Roll in the Hay”
Ted Kendrick - "Tender Apocalypse"
Matthew Kerber - “Hooky”
Cody Stafford - “A Deep Breath”
Marty Weil - “Wildcrafting in Western North Carolina”
Meg Winnecour - "Tennessee Mountain's Gown"