Julia Taylor Ebel celebrates nature, heritage and cultural history through stories, biography and poetry. She brings to her work a long-time love of both the nature and the people of the North Carolina mountains. Six of her seven books draw from this region.
Julia’s books appeal to all ages and invite sharing of stories across generations. Her books have received history awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians, and her first book, Addie Clawson: Appalachian Mail Carrier (Parkway Publishers), has been the focal point in educational programs at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Over 50 of her nature poems are published in magazines and anthologies.
Julia’s interest in nature and her commitment to keeping stories led her to mountain storyteller and North Carolina Heritage Award recipient Orville Hicks. She worked closely with him in writing his biography, Orville Hick: Mountain Stories, Mountain Roots, followed by Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns, as Told by Orville Hicks (Parkway Publishers), which received the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Accolade.
In Dresses, Dreams and Beadwood Leaves (Ingalls/High Country), Julia weaves her poetry into a growing-up story of an Appalachian farm girl who gathers herbs from the mountainside as she pursues her dreams. Mama’s Wreaths follows a similar poetic style that looks at wreath makers of the North Carolina mountains. The Picture Man (Parkway Publishers) uses a simple picture book story to look at the role of photography in keeping personal stories.
As an advocate for reading with children, Julia has shared her love of children’s books in community college classes and workshops for parents and teachers. She has organized reading enrichment programs in schools, and has been a children’s storytime volunteer at the Jamestown Public Library for 22 years and a Trustee for ten years.
Julia conducts poetry and writing workshops for schools, libraries and conferences. She speaks to community groups about “Keeping Our Stories” and leaves participants with sparks of interest and tools to keep their own stories.
Julia founded the Jamestown Writers and Readers Festival and has participated in other literary festivals and book fairs, including Bookmarks, Great Smoky Mountains Book Fair, and the Phoenix Literary Festival, and the Ashe County literary festival, On the Same Page.
A Guilford County native, Julia lives in Jamestown, North Carolina, with her husband, son, and golden retriever but often spends time near Boone, North Carolina, where she finds inspiration for much of her writing.
I write to call out personal memories that are our own individual roots, memories of those circumstances and persons who nurtured us and shaped our lives.