Friends of Literacy (FOL) recently inducted five local writers into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame at the program’s 7th annual awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville on Sept. 23.
The 2010 Hall of Fame honorees included:
• Loletta Clouse, retired librarian and fulltime writer, for fiction;
• Edward Francisco, Pellissippi State professor of English, for poetry;
• Cynthia Moxley, founder and CEO of Knoxville-based public relations firm Moxley Carmichael, for social media;
• Bruce Wheeler, retired University of Tennessee professor and director emeritus of the UT Chancellor’s Honor Program, for non-fiction; and
• Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of An American Family, for the Lifetime Achievement Award; which was accepted on his behalf by Friends of Literacy board member Kenneth Libby of the Children’s Defense Fund, which is located at Haley Farm.
The event’s featured speaker was science-fiction writer Michael Miner. Miner received the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Screenplay as co-writer of “Robocop”, the iconic action story about the part man/part machine law enforcer of the future, and he has written screenplays for Oliver Stone, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Douglas.
Also honored at the event was Anthony “Tony” Jay Spoon, the Friends of Literacy 2010 Hall of Fame student essay winner. Tony, who is working on obtaining his GED through Friends of Literacy, received a standing ovation after reading his winning essay to the attendees. Two students who received honorable mentions also read their essays and received standing ovations: Lynn Wynn and Mark Johnson.
In addition to the Hall of Fame honorees, Friends of Literacy received the 2010 Award for Excellence in Adult Literary Service from the Tennessee Literacy Coalition in recognition of the organization’s “Learn Now” program.
Miner summed up the sentiment of the evening saying, “It’s a great night to be a writer in Eastern Tennessee.”
Event sponsors were Pilot Travel Centers, B97.5, Knoxville News Sentinel, 21st Mortgage Corporation and Boeing Design & Illustration. Funds raised at the event support the Friends of Literacy mission and programs.
Over 10,000 people in Knox County cannot read. Friends of Literacy is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1991 to support the delivery of free high quality literacy and GED classes to adults in Knox County who are inadequately educated for the challenges of daily life. Working in partnership with area adult education providers, the organization’s goal is to help provide basic education and life-skill training to help students become better workers, parents, and citizens. Funds raised at the event support the mission. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor or are in need of GED classes or other literacy services, please call 865-594-1507.