Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Announces 35th Annual Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium

HUDSON, NC (March 11, 2024) ⇒ Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Writers Symposium committee is pleased to announce the 35th annual Laurette LePrevost Writers Symposium. This year, the theme is “Food for Thought,” and events will focus on how food binds us together as a community and provides insights into our history and culture. The college will host professional journalists and an award-winning cookbook author, a departure from the usual focus on novels and academic nonfiction.

Events will be held on both the college’s Watauga and Caldwell campuses and are free and open to all students, employees, and the public.

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.

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.

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.

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.

From left to right: Irina Zhorov, Caleb Johnson, and Virginia Willis.

Laurette LePrevost, former Dean of Arts and Sciences for CCC&TI, was instrumental in building the Writers Symposium into an annual event that has brought in such renowned writers as Maya Angelou, Ernest Gaines, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Morgan and Clyde Edgerton. Under her leadership and guidance, CCC&TI’s symposium has become the longest running consecutively held Writers Symposium in western North Carolina and one of the longest in the Southeast. The Writers Symposium series was renamed in her honor when she retired in 2004.

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

For more information, contact Katie Hoover, CCC&TI Instructor and Coordinator, Oral and Written Communication, at 828-726-2327 or