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.


Soaking In the Last Days of Summer

From Hickory to Ahoskie, there’s still time to embrace a season caught between overstaying its welcome and slipping away.


Growing Up Carolina

In the Old North State, small moments add up in young minds, and lead to feelings that last a lifetime.


Fireworks are our Shining Stars of Summer

Let sparks fly: From booming beauties to fizzling favorites, there’s no better way to celebrate the Fourth than with fireworks.


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.