Four on Fourth Features Local Writers at a Live Reading

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

When Bookmarks opened their new bookstore at 634 W. Fourth St., #110 (behind Foothills Brewing) in downtown Winston-Salem, they wanted to give readers a chance to hear authors talk about their books and read from their work. Donna Wallace, president of Winston-Salem Writers, said that Bookmarks wanted to feature local authors and they asked Winston-Salem Writers to help manage and host a monthly event. The end result is Four on Fourth, four authors reading from their work on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

The inaugural event was held on July 26 to a standing-room-only audience. The featured local authors were Martha Chamberlain who writes historical fiction; Bonnie Doerr, an author of young-adult fiction featuring environmental themes; Janet Joyner, an award-winning poet; and Ray Morrison, a local veterinarian who writes short stories.

Martha Chamberlain talked about how she came up with the story for her book, “Satchel: A Cherokee Girl Tells All,” and read a portion from the book that is about Cherokee and enslaved African-Americans who lived among the Moravians in Old Salem. The historical backdrop was fascinating and well researched.

Endangered animals in the Florida Keys figure significantly in Bonnie Doerr’s three books featuring a New York teen, a Cuban-American teen, a wheelchair-bound teen, and a rescue dog. Weaving a mystery involving teens and bringing in environmental education, Bonnie’s stories are popular with teens and tweens, but adults will enjoy them, too.

Janet Joyner’s poetry captured the audience with its ability to create images in the mind, tell a story, evoke both pathos and humor. She has published several books of poetry and in fact, sold out of all she had on hand after the reading. Janet confessed she had written most of her life, but said, “I had never shown it to anyone until after I retired.” She said that joining Winston-Salem Writers and attending their Open Mic nights helped her to become more confident in her ability to write poetry.

Ray Morrison is a veterinarian by day at Ard-Vista Animal Hospital, but spends his spare time writing short stores, many of which are included in his first published book. Ray says he always loved writing and after finishing vet school he finally had more time to devote to writing. His first effort was to write a novel, but that didn’t turn out well and he realized his real talent was in writing short stories. The story he read kept the audience captivated until the major plot twist at the end. When asked what advice he would give to a budding writer, he replied, “Keep reading and keep writing.”

Each fourth Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at Bookmarks, Four on Fourth will feature four authors at a live reading. Author’s books will also be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the event. Mark your calendar now for the upcoming dates: September 27 and October 25. Future dates will be set for January through October 2018.

To suggest an author to read at Four on Fourth, contact Bart Ganzert at or call Bookmarks at 336-747-1471.


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