Literary Festival Planned at the University of Mount Olive

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive English Department and Sigma Tau Delta will hold the 13th Annual Literary Festival and Poetry Slam on March 19 and 20, 2014. The event, which is open to the public as well as students, provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase and inspire further the literary talents of the school, as well as promote the importance of writing and the English language.

Nationally acclaimed writer Zelda Lockhart will appear as the featured author for the festival. Lockhart has a distinguished career, both as an author and a publisher. Her novel, Fifth Born, was a 2002 Barnes & Noble Discovery selection, and was also a finalist in the debut fiction category of the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Legacy Foundation. Her second novel, Cold Running Creek, garnered recognition from the Historical Novel Society, and won a 2008 Honor Fiction award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The novel was also chosen as the “Text in Community” piece for incoming students at North Carolina A&T State University. Her most recent novel, Fifth Born II, has also attracted the attention of many literary journals and societies.

Lockhart earned her bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State University, before completing her masters in English at Old Dominion University. She also holds a certificate in writing, directing, and editing film from the New York Film Academy. In 2010, she was selected for the honor of Piedmont Laureate for Literature in North Carolina. Currently, she is the director of LaVenson Press Studios: Inspiring Women to Self-Define Through Writing & Publishing.

Lockhart will read from her work on Wednesday, March 19, at 7 PM in Southern Bank Auditorium.  The poetry slam will be held on Thursday, March 20, at 7 PM in Southern Bank Auditorium.  Anyone can enter his/her own original works to be judged. The prize for the winner will be $100 cash.

For more information, or to register for the poetry slam, please contact Professor Lenard Moore at or 919-658-7846.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit