Nancy Peacock

2018 Piedmont Laureate, Novelist

My job as an artist is not to rush through life so I can get to the page and write, but instead to relish life so I can get to the page and write. My work is to revere life and use what I notice to create portals for my readers into story. A successful story is a successful portal, one that transports the reader into another world. I am always looking for the portals.

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Nancy Peacock has been writing since fourth grade. She is largely self-taught and well-mentored. She is the author of the novels “Life Without Water” (chosen as a New York Times Notable Book),” Home Across the Road,” and “The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson,” as well as the memoir and “writing-in-the-real-world” guide “A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning and Life.

Peacock runs a popular set of writing workshops and retreats in Hillsborough. Her free Prompt Writing Class has been active since 2003, and continues to grow steadily.

“Telling stories and reading stories changes you,” says Peacock. “Both allow one human being to reach more deeply into the experiences of another. Both involve our two greatest gifts: the tools of empathy and imagination.”

For more information Nancy, please visit her website.

I believe strongly in the healing power of stories. I also believe that we have lost our way as a storytelling culture. The stories that matter most are not the best sellers, or the block busters, the celebrity books, or even the esoteric tomes that few people have heard of. The stories that matter the most are the stories we tell to each other, one human being to another, in each other’s physical presence. These stories, the stories told around kitchen tables and in barber shops, the stories we were told as children, the stories whispered in hallways that we secretly listened to, the stories that have somehow lingered with us all our lives, are the most important stories. These stories often give birth to writers and literature, but more importantly they give birth to deep human connections. They give birth to compassion and empathy. These three things, deep human connections, compassion, and empathy give birth to healing. I believe that stories can help heal our world, and that we all need to claim our rights as storytellers.