• Featured

    Young Female Writers Club

    The Lyrical Side of Writing Written by K.L. Kranes The first time I read the name “Odessa Hott” I think it sounds like the name of a feisty, no nonsense protagonist in a YA detective novel. When I tell the real Odessa Hott this she laughs. You can tell a lot about a person by a laugh. Odessa’s is quick and soft, but sonorous. It’s my first clue Odessa’s much more than a 16-year-old girl from Mechanicsville, VA. As Odessa and I continue to talk, I quickly realize I’m right. Odessa plays the Taiko (Japanese drums) and reels off opinions on Emily Dickinson with ease. When she discusses the writing…

  • Featured

    Meet Maryam Durrani

    Young Female Writers Club: Fan Girl Dreaming Written by K.L. Kranes It sounds like the plot of a book. 13-year-old Maryam turns fanfiction success into successful book series and finds her true self in the journey. This isn’t fiction. Maryam Durrani, fanfiction writer, novelist, self-published author of three books, has accomplished more in her 18 years than many writers twice her age. Maryam’s book dreams likely started far before fanfiction readers discovered her stories of the Last Airbender. In fact, it really started with a shampoo bottle. “I always loved reading,” Maryam explains. “When I was little, in the bathtub I’d read the back of shampoo bottles.” As a child…

  • Area Happenings,  Bella Outdoors

    Rising Appalachia at FloydFest

    Rising Appalachia began years ago as the front porch project of sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith to pay homage to their family. However, the dedication the sisters share to social activism started many years before through their involvement in community justice work and local food movements. Using their talent as a way to both share stories and encourage introspection, the sisters combined their interests to create an experience that is unique and inspiring. Joined by their beloved band, percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, they share their colorful sound all over the world. Born and raised in the concrete jungle of Atlanta, Georgia, Leah and Chloe sharpened their…