Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium

Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute annually hosts the Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium. Each academic year, the community is invited to read a common novel or work of nonfiction along with students enrolled in English, humanities, and social science classes. This common reading experience climaxes with multiple personal appearances by the writer of this work on both campuses. For over thirty years, this event has provided a valuable learning experience for students along with a unique opportunity to meet a published author.

The Writers Symposium is a significant event for Caldwell County because it provides the citizens of Caldwell, Watauga, and surrounding counties the opportunity to hear writers discuss their own writing process relative to their published works, as well as to hear literary scholars discuss the significance of those works. Each symposium draws a core group of readers from the area and involves people who would not otherwise participate in such a cultural event.

Support for the Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium is provided by the Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.

For more information on CCC&TI’s Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium, call Katie Hoover at 828.726.2327, or email

2023-2024 Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium

The Writers Symposium committee is pleased to announce our 35th annual Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium! This year, the theme is "Food for Thought," and our events will focus on how food binds us together as a community and provides insights into our history and culture. We are pleased to be hosting professional journalists and an award-winning cookbook author, something a little different from our usual focus on novels and academic nonfiction.

We will be holding events on both our Watauga and Caldwell campuses!

  • On Tuesday, March 19, at 1:00 pm, in B-104 on the Caldwell campus, Irina Zhorov and Caleb Johnson will be addressing our students and faculty.
  • On Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 pm, on the Watauga campus in Building W460, the Student Services Center, we will be hosting Virginia Willis.

Our Guest Speakers

Irina Zhorov

Irina Zhorov is an award-winning journalist reporting primarily on environmental issues, and her work has appeared on National Public Radio. Her first novel, Lost Believers, was published by Scribner in August, 2023. You can find a collection of her writing at

Writer Irina Zhorov

Caleb Johnson

Caleb Johnson’s work has appeared in Garden & Gun, Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. His debut novel, Treeborne, received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize and was longlisted for The Crook’s Corner Book Prize. You can find a sampling of his writing at

Writer Caleb Johnson

Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and chef for Food Network Kitchen. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People, Eater, Food52, Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit. Visit for a selection of her writing and recipes.

Writer Virginia Willis

Additional Scheduled Events

Jasyn Klamboroski
Impact of Immigrant Communities Food Traditions on American Cuisine

Tuesday, March 12, 12:00 pm
Watauga Campus, W372-Room 113

DeAnna Chester
A Corpse, Fried Chicken and the South

Wednesday, March 13, 12:00 pm
Watauga Campus, W372-Room 112

Maria Saleeva
Russian Food and Culture

Thursday, March 14, 12:30 pm
Caldwell Campus, Multipurpose Room

Writer Virginia Willis

All events are free and open to the public.

The CCC&TI Learning Resource Center has prepared this Pathfinder collecting additional information (including podcasts and videos) about each of our three visiting writers:

Author List by Date

1988 - 1989
Maya Angelou

Wilma Dykeman
Jim Wayne Miller

Clyde Edgerton
Doris Betts

Ernest Gaines
Nikki Giovanni

Michael McFee
Robert Morgan

Gurney Norman
Ray Hicks

Alan Shapiro
Maureen Ryan Griffin

Fred Chappell
Jeff Daniel Marion

Donald Secreast
Kaye Gibbons

Bob Inman
Denise Giardina

Margaret Maron
Sharyn McCrumb

Billie Letts

Octavia Butler
Mary Doria Russell

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Donald Davis
Tony Peacock

Mark Mathabane

Billie Letts

Ron Rash

Timothy B. Tyson

Sharyn McCrumb
Dori Sanders

Clyde Edgerton

Ron Rash

Cathy Smith Bowers
Kathryn Stripling Byer

Silas House

Wiley Cash

Denise Kiernan

Jay Erskine Leutze

Conor Grennan

Susan Gregg Gilmore

Wiley Cash

Doc Hendley

Gene Nichol

William Sturkey

Ron Rash

Caleb Johnson
Virginia Willis
Irina Zhorov