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.


Wood-Burning Fireplaces Provide Winter Warmth

In the coldest months of the year, there’s only one place we want to be: toasting our toes in front of a big, bright, wood-burning fire.

Home & Garden

5 Family-Owned Garden Centers Offer Yuletide Trimmings

Nature outshines even the brightest newfangled Christmas decorations. From garlands to kissing balls, homegrown, family-owned garden centers stock the holly (and the jolly) of the season.


Studio Tour with Harkers Island’s Walter Gaskill

The coots, loons, and surf scoters in this Harkers Island studio don’t fly. But they land in collections and competitions from coast to coast, as rows of blue ribbons attest.


A Story Behind Every Christmas Tree Ornament

Handmade from Popsicle sticks and macaroni, or preserved from generations past: An ornament represents a story, a memory, a treasured entry on the timeline of our lives.

Arts & Culture

Cherokee Stories Tell of Water’s Wisdom

The river knows best: It nourishes and guides, warns and welcomes. In Cherokee culture, river rituals and lore protect the mind, body, and spirit.


An Ode to North Carolina’s Moving Waters

Our tribute to North Carolina’s 38,000 miles of wild and scenic rivers, from the Appalachian mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.


Studio Tour with Rob Levin of Burnsville

In the mountains of western North Carolina, an artist creates blown-glass vessels and mixed-media sculptures.