Seven Questions for Hub City

Next stop on our virtual road trip: Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC. Unique among the stores we visited, this store is also home to a thriving independent press and literary arts organization. Founded in 1995 by a trio of writers who wanted to preserve a sense of place in their rapidly changing Southern city, the Hub City Writers Project hosts workshops and a summer writers conference, contributing to the vibrant literary scene in Spartanburg.

The award-winning Hub City Press publishes high-quality works with an emphasis on the Southern experience. Celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year, they’ve included more than five hundred writers in sixty-six books, aided in renovating several historic buildings, and provided residencies and scholarships to emerging writers. The bookstore itself is the result of a renovation of the eighty-three-year-old Masonic Temple in Spartanburg’s blooming downtown.

Lookout’s publisher, Emily Louise Smith, was the organization’s inaugural writer-in-residence in 2006, and its deputy director, Meg Reid, was one of Lookout’s first, faithful staff members. All to say, we’re big fans of this organization and the terrific work they do.

We spoke with the charming Anne Waters, bookshop manager, to learn what all the hubbub’s about.



The Hub City crew, including founders John Lane and Betsy Teter (front and center) and Meg Reid, Anne Waters, Michel Stone, and Rachel Richardson


The happy recipients of a grant from James Patterson

What are some of the qualities that make Hub City Bookshop unique?

Hub City Bookshop is a non-profit bookstore operated by Hub City Writers Project, an advocacy organization that “cultivates readers and nurtures writers” through the work of a publishing house, a writers residency program, contests for emerging writers, workshops, educational programs, and summer camps.

What book are you recommending most to customers right now?

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Name a book you bought for its cover.

Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray

If you could adopt any fictional animal, which one would you choose and why?

Ralph Mouse from The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary because my son Eli would adore a motorcycle-driving companion

What emerging author or first book are you most excited about?

James E. McTeer II, author of the new novel Minnow


What do you see as Hub City Bookshop’s role in the community?

To be a community center where people gather to mingle, muse, and celebrate literature and writers!

Lightning Round:

Coffee or tea? coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon

Hard cover or paperback? paperback

Vowel or consonant? vowel

Highlight or underline? underline

Bookmark or dog-ear? dog-ear

Train or plane? train

Cake or pie? pie

Mountains or sea? mountains

Dog or cat?  cat



Thanks to Anne Waters for answering our questions and to UNCW alumna Rachel Richardson for the photos and awesome doodles! Stay tuned for the next stop on our indie bookstore road trip.