Welcome to Book 'Em North Carolina!
An Award-Winning Book Fair and Writer's Conference

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM





Floor Plans

Talks Schedule

Seating Chart

Book List



National Sponsor

National Sponsor




Special Appearances By
Hollywood Returns to Book 'Em!

Hollywood Producer-Director-Actor Chuck Williams will speak about the process used in turning books into movies or movies into books. If you ever wanted your book to be made into a movie for the big or small screen or turned into a television series, you don't want to miss this talk. He will also talk about his experience in making the movie Shake Off the World, which he filmed in and around Lumberton.

Chuck Williams has worked as an assistant director to such Hollywood heavyweights as James Cameron, Rob Cohen, Kathryn Bigelow, John Badham, Penelope Spheeris and others. He has produced films for the Sundance Channel, HBO, Showtime and the Syfy Channel. He also produced Jeff Burr's critically acclaimed World War II movie, Straight Into Darkness, released by Universal Studios.

He is also an actor, appearing on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, on Showtimes' Californication, Bubba Ho-Tep, The Carbon Copy and John Dies at the End. He performed lead roles on Groom Lake, Soultaker, Up Against the Eight Ball, Double Blast as well as countless other films and television series, including The Young and the Restless.


Shelby Stephenson,
North Carolina Poet Laureate
Special Guest Speaker

Shelby Stephenson grew up on a small farm near Benson, in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. “Most of my poems come out of that background,” he says, “where memory and imagination play on one another. I have written many poems about the mules we worked until I was in the seventh grade and, after that–the tractor. My early teachers were the thirty-five foxhounds my father hunted. The trees and streams, fields, the world of my childhood–all that folklore–those are my subjects.”

After leaving the farm for college, he graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (B.A. 1960) where he also studied law, University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1967), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D. 1974), and worked as a radio and television announcer, salesman, right-of-way agent, and farmer. He was professor of English and editor of Pembroke Magazine until his retirement in 2010.

In addition to a poetic documentary: Plankhouse (with photographs by Roger Manley), he has published Middle Creek Poems, Carolina Shout!, Finch’s Mash, The Persimmon Tree Carol, Poor People, Greatest Hits, Fiddledeedee, Possum, Playing Dead, Play My Music Anyhow, and Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl.

Awards Won:

2001 North Carolina Award in Literature

Bellday Poetry Prize

Oscar Arnold Young Award

Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award

Brockman-Campbell Award

Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize

Playwright's Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize


Curtis Aikens
Celebrity Chef

A native Georgian, Curtis’ attraction to produce began as a small boy, as he followed his Grandfather Curtis through the garden. His interest grew during high school, when he worked at the Conyers, Georgia A&P Market. “I was supposed to be in the grocery department,” he recalls, “but I hung out in produce because that’s where all the action was.” His enthusiasm soon became a career.

After attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Curtis vacationed in California, and was drawn to relocate. During this seven-year stint in California, Curtis opened his first produce company, called Peaches. Next, Aikens moved to New York, to head the produce departments at Dom’s Wholesale Market and at Balducci’s. He was responsible for such clients as the United Nations Cafeteria, the Plaza Hotel and the US Open Tennis Tournament.

Curtis’ television career began as a consultant and food stylist on commercials for Pizza Hut, Pillsbury and McDonalds. In 1988, Curtis returned to Georgia to begin Aiken’s Family Produce, Inc., a wholesale and retail supplier of produce for clients which ranged from the Rockdale County School System to the TV series In the Heat of the Night and the feature film Glory.

Curtis’ career as a television personality and author began in 1988. A co-founder of the Food Network, he’s served as the host of Pick of the Day, From My Garden, Meals Without Meat, and Food in a Flash. He has been selected by First Lady Michelle Obama to represent the state of Georgia for her Kids & Chefs National Program.

Among his books are:

Curtis Aikens’ Guide to the Harvest

Curtis Cooks with Heart and Soul

A Greengrocer’s Guide to the Harvest



Vik Rubenfeld is an innovative renaissance man who does some of his best work behind the scenes.

As the creator of the wildly popular genre busting series ‘90s CBS TV series Early Edition (which was syndicated in 73 countries and starred Kyle Chandler), Vik inspired a genre of forward thinking television content and led something of a small screen revolution.

As the author of the recently published novel Conquest, which takes readers behind the scenes of the making of a rock ‘n’ roll band, he combined his love of pop culture with his entertainment industry knowledge.

As the founder of Rubenfeld Research Associates (RRA), Vik uses his deep skills in data mining and technology to analyze and present information to clients in ways that allow them to best launch new products, target new clients and maximize their business potential.

Vik recently launched the Suspense Guru webinars and one on one mentoring to teach the best elements of suspense and storytelling to writers, business people and creatives.

Malinda Maynor Lowery

A former Harvard University faculty member, Malinda Maynor Lowery works in social and political history from interdisciplinary and non-traditional points of view at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her interests include Native American history, southern history, historical geography, foodways, music, race and ethnicity, identity, and community-engaged research, including documentary film and oral history.

Notable publications include:

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity and the Making of a Nation

Racial Science and Federal Recognition: Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South, a chapter in Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles and Indigenous Rights in the United States: A Sourcebook

As We Cooked, As We Lived: Lumbee Foodways, co-authored with Sara Wood, Southern Cultures (Spring 2015).

Telling Our Own Stories: Writing Lumbee History In the Shadow of the BAR, American Indian Quarterly 33 (4)

People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890–1920. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 21 (Spring 2005): 37–64

Filmography includes:

Co-Producer, A Chef’s Life– documentary film series (PBS, Season 1, Fall 2013; Season 2, Fall 2014-Spring 2015).

Co-Producer, Private Violence– Video, 73 minutes (HBO, 2014).

Co-Producer, Survivor to Survivor: Native American Women and Domestic Violence – Video, 18 minutes (2011)

Co-Producer, In the Light of Reverence– Video, 73 minutes (PBS, 2001)

Producer/Director/Editor, Sounds of Faith– Video, 14 minutes (1997)

Producer/Director/Editor, Real Indian– 16mm, 7 minutes (1996)


Winner of 2015 Better Carolina Award to Robeson Community College; 2014 Winner in The League for Innovation in Community College to Robeson Community College; 2013 Francis B. Reid Award to the
Friends of the Robeson County Public Library;

2013 Francis Ashburn Honorable Mention Volunteer of the Year to
author p.m.terrell, Founder of BENC

Watch the slide show presented by Robeson Community College in Boston, MA in March 2015

For more information on Lumberton, visit these pages for information on everything you'll want to know to plan your visit. Take some time and stay awhile - you'll be glad you did!