Becky Mushko's Bio

 
Becky Mushko—a retired middle school teacher, retired adjunct English instructor at Ferrum College, former columnist for Blue Ridge Traditions and The Smith Mountain Eagle, and 2006-07 writer-in-residence for Roanoke County Schools—writes about retirement, rural living, reading, writing, cats, and her observations of things in general at her blog, Peevish Pen.

Born in Roanoke, Becky has lived in Richmond, VA; Newport News, VA; Lanesboro, MA; and Charleston, SC. She currently lives in rural Penhook, Virginia, with her husband, elderly horse, two dogs, and a herd of cats. Her hobbies include genealogy, blogging, living frugally, and reading—especially Southern writers and Appalachian writers.
 
She received her BFA in Drama Education from VCU (when it was still RPI) and her MAT in English Education from The Citadel. She's also taken graduate classes at UVA, Radford, and High Point College. 
 
Before taking early retirement from Roanoke City Public Schools in 1997, she’d taught for nearly thirty years. She taught English and drama at Poquoson High School (1967-68); then her husband was transferred to Charleston, SC, where she earned an MAT in English from the Citadel while teaching English at St. Andrews Junior High. After moving back to Roanoke in 1972, she taught at Madison Junior High, Stonewall Jackson Junior High, William Fleming High, and Ruffner Middle School. After retirement, she taught briefly at ECPI. When she and her husband moved to Franklin County in 1999, she became an adjunct instructor of English at Ferrum College until 2006, when she served a year as writer-in-residence for Roanoke County Schools.

 Galax Leaf & String Festival, June 2011 

Becky is a lifetime member of  Virginia Writers Club and serves as vice-president of  Lake Writers. She served for seven years on the Board of Trustees of the Franklin County Library Board and was literary coordinator for the Mountain Spirits Festival in Rocky Mount, VA, for all three years of its existence.
 

 Since 2002, she has also participated in several bookfests in Bedford, Franklin, Pittsylvania, and Hanover Counties. A three-time winner of the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest and a five-time winner of the Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest, she was nominated for a 1997 Pushcart Prize for "Angel on Ice," which appeared in THEMA's Jogging on Ice issue and is republished in the Kindle e-book, Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories.

Photo by Linda Layne, Hanover Book Festival 2009

For over 10 years, she wrote a humor column, "Peevish Advice," which first appeared in Blue Ridge Traditions (from 1998-2004) and then the Smith Mountain Eagle (from 2004 through 2008). Occasionally—but rarely—she makes appearances as her character, Ida B. Peevish of Ida's Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop.

 In addition to Ferradiddledumday and Stuck (her two books from Cedar Creek Publishing), she has self-published/POD-published five books of regional interest: Patches on the Same Quilt, Peevish Advice, More Peevish Advice, The Girl Who Raced Mules & Other Stories, and Where There's A Will.

She has also published e-book versions of her novels, Stuck and Patches on the Same Quilt, as well as e-book collections of her short stories: Rest in Peace (her three Sherwood Anderson winners), Over Coffee (five stories about awkward relationships),  The Best 'Un Yet (five Christmas stories) and Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories.

Her articles, book reviews, poems, or stories have appeared in Vol. II & III of Anthology of Appalachian WritersPrime Living ("Blogging to Adventure" is online), THEMA, Blue Ridge Traditions, Virginia Adversaria, several volumes of the Poet's Domain series, Roanoke Times' Christmas Memories, A Cup of Comfort for Writers (Adams Media, 2007), It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (Friday Project, 2007), Leisure Publishing's 2008 Smith Mountain Lake Visitor's & Newcomers Guide, and the Lake Writers 2013 anthology—Voices from Smith Mountain Lake. A 2008 Prime Living article about her is here.

She became interested in genealogy a few years ago and has a blog, The Naces of Lithia, about the Nace side of her family in Botetourt County.

She is available for readings, presentations, and workshops. Some  presentations she's done include these:

—"Confessions of an Under-Published Author" at 2014 Pittsylvania Bookfest
—Publishing panelist/E-book panelist at the 2013 Virginia Writers Club Symposium
—Publishing panelist at Westlake Library (August 2013)
—Ebook Publishing presentation for Roanoke Regional Writers series (Sept. 2013)
—"Children's Literature" presenter at the 2012 Mountain Heritage Writers' Symposium
—"Social Media" panelist at the 2011 Virginia Writers Club Symposium
—"Regional Fiction" panelist at the 2007 Children's Literature Association Conference
—"Sense of Place: Retelling Appalachian Folk Tales" panelist at the 2011 ChLA Conference
—"Local Fiction" panel for the 2006 Roanoke Valley Bookfest.

 Contact Becky Mushko