Bio: Sharon Kirk Clifton, Writer and Raconteur
As a professional storyteller of more than 32 years, Sharon Kirk Clifton has traveled throughout America’s heartland, presenting her one-woman historical performances, faith-centered presentations, and workshops for schools (kindergarten through college), libraries, museums, festivals, churches, and business meetings. In her beloved Appalachian character “Jack’s Mama,” she occasionally busks on assorted street corners and liars’ benches.
As a classroom teacher, she taught middle and high school English, storytelling, and reading. She also facilitated a G/T program for three schools. Most recently, she taught English at Columbus Christian School. While writing feature articles for two newspapers, she received two Hoosier State Press Association Blue Ribbon awards. She also was awarded first place in the Winners’ Circle of the National Association of State Poetry Societies.
Clifton is recipient of a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship to study Appalachian oral tradition and develop her character of Jack’s Mama as a vehicle for presenting those ancient tales; Storytelling Arts of Indiana’s Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship for Abigail Gray: Living under the Drinking Gourd, the stories of the Underground Railroad in southern Indiana and beyond; two separate joint commissions from Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Historical Society to research, develop, and present first At Home and in Harm’s Way: The Role of Indiana Women in the Civil War, and then Over There and Back Again: WW 1 through the Eyes of Two Hoosiers; a commission from Indiana State Museum for Making Ends Meet: Indiana Homemakers during the Great Depression; and a commission from Jackson County Public Library to research, develop, and present Love and War in Little Valley: The Story of the First White Woman to Settle Jackson County. Her two newest storytelling projects will premiere in 2018.
Clifton has written two middle-grade novels, also: Up a Rutted Road, set in southeastern Kentucky in 1950; and The Second Cellar, set in Jefferson County, Indiana in present day and 1859 (it involves time travel). Clifton received a joint grant from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts to begin work on the latter novel. She also is a regular contributor to books published by Good Catch Publishing, where she has been named Writer of the Month. One of their books that contains a story she wrote was recently named “2015 Book of the Year.” Current projects include more creative-non-fiction testimony stories for Good Catch Publishing, a third middle-grade novel (again involving time travel), and a Christian historical romance set in Brown County, Indiana. Ideas for several other projects continue to “dance around the back 40” of her imagination.
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