13th Annual Starburst Storytellers’ Festival

Starburst Storytellers

October 15-19, 2017

Brought to you by the Friends of Anderson County Library, in cooperation with the Anderson County Library and Anderson University.

“To be a person is to have a story to tell.”

-Isak Dinesen

Download the full list of events.

Sunday, October 15

3pm – Main Library
Bessie Coleman: A Living Portrait
Gwendolyn Napier’s first person presentation of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license in the U.S.

Gwendolyn’s mother would tell her stories for hours about her childhood, family and life. Inspired by her, Gwen would constantly ask, “How do you tell stories?” Mother Jackson would reply, “Storytelling comes from the Heart, just be yourself.” The wisdom from her mother, life experiences, and professional training made her realize that everyone has a story to share and there are always others who love to listen. https://www.luvdropproductions.com/

Monday, October 16

7pm – Main Library
Breaking Bread with a Sharp Slice of Chetter
Powerful true stories of courage and adversity and personal lessons learned by the comedic storyteller, Chetter Galloway.

Chetter first experienced the power of storytelling at Colonial Williamsburg. He honed his craft at East Tennessee State University in their Masters of Storytelling Program.  Today, Chetter finds story fodder in his life – the times where he goofed up, made a huge mistake, or simply acted out of character.  Lessons learned, overcoming adversity, and finding courage are his stock in trade. http://www.chettergalloway.com/

Tuesday, October 17

7pm – Main Library
Songs and Stories of the West
Kerry Grombacher’s travels across the West are documented in stories and song.

Kerry plays guitar and mandolin and writes and performs contemporary folk and western songs. In the spirit of the troubadours of old, he paints vivid portraits and tells fascinating stories that are set in the landscape where he’s worked and toured, from his home on New Orleans’ Bayou St. John to the desert Southwest, and up to Montana and the Northwest forests. http://www.kgrombacher.com/

Wednesday, October 18

7pm – Main Library
The Great Anderson County Poetry Contest
An interactive poetry recitation contest between staff and neighbors, moderated by Josie Bailey, with the audience as judge (and jury!).

Josie knows that she has the best job in the world. She talks to animals. And they talk back! She finds hope and inspiration in the stories of the lives of people of today and from our history. She helps people grieve and celebrate the joy in their lives. With her presentations and narratives, Josie takes her audiences on imaginative journeys to reach new insights and understanding. http://josiebailey.com/

Thursday, October 19

7pm – Main Library
Clemson Area Story Tellers LIVE
Four local storytellers cast a spell and close out the festival. Featuring Lane Hudson, Mary Ann Huggins, Judy Seeley, Jennifer Simmons, and Jim Foote as Emcee.

If Lane Hudson doesn’t tell stories, the voices in his head won’t let him sleep at night.  The voices echo from experiences as a textile worker, hot tar roofer, door-to-door salesman, steel yard worker, correctional guard, theatre producer, radio jock, corporate communicator, to name a few. Presently an English and Speech instructor at Tri-County Tech College, he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communications, and teaches composition, creative writing, and public speaking.

Mary Anne Huggins is a retired educator who enjoys learning about the history, traditions and stories of cultures of our world. She connects with story listeners through legends, folk tales, traditional tales and even ghost stories.  She likes to travel the world through story. You can avoid crowded airports that way!

Judy Seeley loves telling stories.   Through voice and gesture, she creates memorable characters for folktales, personal stories, and humorous tales.   Judy has lived in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and is now a happily planted gardener in Easley, SC. She collected stories all along the way and shares them at schools, libraries, civic organizations, and clubs.  Judy’s tales challenge audiences of all ages and backgrounds to recognize their common values, foibles, and joys.

Jennifer Simmons grew up with an Italian mother and a grouchy father where there was no shortage of stories! She is a librarian in Youth Services at the Anderson County Library, and is married with two children, a cat, and about a dozen squirrels.

Jim Foote began writing short stories for his grandchildren about his life in a small town.  Today, when he’s not singing Barbershop quartet music, he shares his stories with all ages from school children to Senior Citizens.



From 1-85 North, take Exit 19A to Hwy. 76 and turn right toward Anderson. Follow Clemson Blvd. to intersection of E. Greenville St. Turn left, then right onto N. McDuffie Street. The Anderson County Main Library is two blocks up on left.

From I-85 South, take Exit 27 to Hwy. 81(E. Greenville St.) and left toward Anderson. To reach the Anderson County Main Library, continue on E. Greenville St. to N. McDuffie St. Turn left. The Main Library is two blocks up on left.

Special Thanks

Each year the Starburst Storytellers perform for students in area schools and those bussed to Anderson University. We appreciate the help of the Anderson University Teaching Fellows Program and the schools’ support of this outreach and the assistance of Friends board members & supporters in making the tellers’ visit to Anderson an enjoyable one.

In addition to Anderson University, the Friends of the Anderson County Library is also grateful to the following sponsors for their support of the 13th Starburst Storytellers’ Festival:

  • AnMed Health Carolina Cardiology
  • AnMed Health Family Medicine Residency
  • The Peoples Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Caroline Tolbert & Carl and Debbie Stone
  • Kay McKee & Marian Moorhead
  • Maynards Furniture

For more information, contact us the Anderson County Library, or call us at 864-260-4500, ext. 100.