Inaugurated in 1996 under the leadership of Poet Laureate Sam Ragan, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The Hall of Fame is located at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, in the upstairs study where the late James Boyd (1888-1944) wrote his critically acclaimed historical novels Drums and Marching On.
Weymouth has long been a gathering place for writers. During the 1920s and ’30s, such literary giants as Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, Paul Green, Maxwell Perkins, Lawrence Stallings, and John Galsworthy were frequent guests of James and Katharine Boyd.
Since 1977, the stately old Georgian mansion, set amid magnolias and longleaf pines, has been a nonprofit arts center that continues the Boyds’ hospitality to writers through a residency program designed to accommodate North Carolina authors for up to two weeks to work on specific literary projects. Weymouth is also a regular meeting place for the North Carolina Poetry Society and hosts Sam Ragan Poetry Day, an annual, day-long poetry festival in late June.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. It is more than a museum housing photographs and archives. Working closely with libraries and schools, the Hall of Fame honors North Carolina writers with ongoing programs, services, and opportunities for children and adults.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was established under the leadership of Poet Laureate and Southern Pines newspaper editor Sam Ragan in 1993 by a Joint Resolution of the North Carolina House and Senate, and was funded with a grant for literary programming to the Network from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Hall of Fame has been recognized by the North Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book and is a program of the Network’s cooperation with the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities.
Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center have collaborated with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the the Hall of Fame and North Carolina’s literary heritage.