Susan Stafford Kelly

Kelly is a contributing editor at Our State. She is the author of By Accident and the novels Now You Know, The Last of Something, Even Now, and How Close We Come, winner of the Carolina Novel Award and an alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month Club. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Greensboro.


Meet the Diamond Guys of Schiffman’s Jewelers

Want a ring? A watch? A necklace? The Schiffman brothers will sell them to you. Want a chuckle? Try listening to the stories from a fourth-generation jewelry store that’s still doing some serious business.

Arts & Culture

Family Traditions Run Deep at Washburn’s General Store

Once a stagecoach stop, Washburn’s General Store in Rutherford County is where the locals eat lunch and orders come in from around the world, although some stuff just isn’t for sale.


An Empty Hammock is an Invitation to Kick Back and Relax

For 43 years, Nags Head Hammocks has been handcrafting the perfect spot to take in a view, even if it’s your own backyard — or the backs of your eyelids.


Family Before Fish at Atlantic Beach Seafood

She worked at Atlantic Beach Seafood. His family owned the place. Now, Kamile and Chandler Willis are running the Carteret County institution where the shrimp is hand-packed, the oysters lead to stories, and one spouse (gasp!) doesn’t like seafood.


A Church Choir is a Symbol of Togetherness

Arguably, choirs are the most visible aspect of a church service. For singers and listeners alike, choirs fill our hearts with a crescendo of joy.


A Museum in Old Salem Tells Our Settlers’ Tales

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem celebrates the tools and trades that pioneers brought with them to North Carolina’s backcountry.


Holiday Tours Will Make Your Next Roadtrip Feel Like Home

From getaway tours across the state to charter bus trips across the country, a family business in Randolph County has been taking folks where they want to go for decades.


Photo Essay: Reliving the Revolution through Reenactment in Guilford County

On a cold March day in 1781, a quiet backcountry farming community in Guilford County became the site of a pivotal battle in the American Revolution. Today, the bravery of the soldiers who fought for our country’s independence is honored with a powerful reenactment.