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GREENSBORO―Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is in full swing. On Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, conferencegoers will attend workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as writing for children, the art of branding, and how to build a literary career.

Programming for the NCWN 2015 Spring Conference is made possible in part by our sponsors.

The Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a two-year residency program with an emphasis on providing students with studio time in which to study the writing of fiction or poetry. The program’s flexibility permits students to develop their particular talents through small classes in writing, literature, and the arts. As a community of writers, students read and comment on each other’s work under the guidance of resident and visiting faculty, who also meet with students in one-on-one tutorials. The MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is one of the oldest such programs in the country. They are the proud publishers of the Greensboro Review. Follow them on Twitter, and visit their Facebook page.

Greensboro’s News & Record is a leading multimedia news, information, advertising, and entertainment source for the cities of Greensboro and High Point, Guilford County, and Rockingham and Randolph counties in North-Central North Carolina. The News & Record launched its first online edition in the winter of 1994-95. Its digital channels now include News-Record.com, an e-Edition for desktop computers and tablets, and mobile editions for smartphones and tablets. You can find the News & Record on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

88.5 WFDD, Public Radio for the Piedmont, is the only public radio station of its kind located in the Piedmont Triad. They broadcast news, information, and public affairs programming covering the arts, people, and institutions in the area. They are the state’s charter NPR® member and the longest continuously broadcasting public radio station in North Carolina. WFDD is a member of the North Carolina Public Radio Association. It is a broadcast service of Wake Forest University. In downtown Greensboro, you can hear WFDD at 104.7 FM.

The North Carolina Arts Council was created in 1964 by executive order of governor Terry Sanford to strengthen North Carolina’s creativity, invention, and prosperity. Their mission? To utilize the arts for the benefit of North Carolina citizens and communities. The NC Arts Council seeks to create a strong and efficient arts infrastructure across North Carolina; plan and implement economic development initiatives using the arts; utilize the arts as an effective way to teach the public school curriculum, preserve our state’s heritage, and provide arts experiences to youth; and provide data models and conduct research that documents the impact of the state’s arts industry on North Carolina’s economy.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2015 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 12. Attendees save nearly 30 percent by registering early, so don’t delay!

 

ASHEVILLE—Mesha Maren of southern West Virginia is the winner of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story “Chokedamp.” She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final Judge Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, chose Maren’s story from more than 220 entries—a record number.

“It is very realistic, a big story,” Lee said. “I was impressed by the complexity of theme, situation, and the brothers’ relationship; the narrative voice rang true, and the writing was wonderful throughout.”

Mesha Maren is a fiction writer whose work appears in Tin House, The Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial. She is the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from LMU University, and a residency fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.

Elizabeth Oliver of Apex and Roz Spafford were named Honorable Mentions for their stories “Just Wait” and “Painting the Door,” respectively. The stories will also be considered for publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

To join the Thomas Wolfe Society and participate in yearly conferences and other activities, go to www.thomaswolfe.org. You can also follow Wolfe news on Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, and other media.

The 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize was facilitated by Tommy Hays and The Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The Great Smokies Writing Program is a joint effort between the UNC Asheville departments of Literature and Language, Creative Writing, and the Office of Professional Education. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers.

Final Judge Lee Smith is a New York Times bestselling author and longtime professor of creative writing at North Carolina State University. Her novels include Fair and Tender Ladies, The Last Girls, and most recently, Guests on Earth. She is the recipient of two O. Henry Awards for her short stories, two Sir Walter Raleigh Awards, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction, and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, among many others. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize opens for submissions annually on December 1 and runs through January 30. It is open to all writers, regardless of geographic location or prior publication. Submitted stories must be unpublished and not exceed twelve double-spaced pages.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO―Many writers focus so intently on finishing their book that they never consider what lies beyond. In today’s market, authors must build their brand and make decisions that best connect them to their readership. Because there’s no such thing as an overnight success, an author lays the foundation for their achievements long before their first book is finished. Getting published is merely one necessary step in a series of steps that shape a long and productive literary career.

At the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, attendees can learn the ins and outs of the book business from two publishing professionals with years of experience promoting authors and selling books.

During the morning session, Kevin Morgan Watson will lead the workshop “Don’t Forget the Small Stuff.” Say you’re a writer with a novel or memoir to sell, and you are looking for an agent, and preferably a large publisher for your book. Where do you begin? In this talk, we’ll discuss the many small steps a writer can take that could eventually lead to a book deal—steps a writer can (and should) be taking long before the novel or memoir is finished. Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor and publisher of Press 53, a publishing house in Winston-Salem that focuses on poetry and short fiction. Since 2005, Press 53 has published around 150 books and has earned almost forty awards. A few Press 53 authors have signed book deals with the larger New York City publishers, which Kevin considers a victory.

In the afternoon, NCWN Guilford County Regional Rep Faun Finley will lead the workshop “The Art of Branding for Authors: How to Sell Your Books by Selling Yourself.”

Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King. They are incredibly famous. But it wasn’t always that way. You know who they are, what value they bring to their audience and what to expect from them—all thanks to masterful branding. What has that got to do with you as an author? Everything. When you effectively present yourself in the market, your book sales––and any other products you may have––will increase. And that’s what you want, right?

This workshop will show you how to discover your authentic personal brand based on who you are and what you write. It will also give you tips for capitalizing on it. Branding, like writing, takes discovery, strategy, and planning. It is not something that “just happens.” But it is also a fun and exciting process that will help you further clarify your goals and better connect with your readers. With changes in the publishing industry and the ever increasing trend toward self-publishing, knowing how to brand yourself as an author is more important today than ever.

Faun Finley is an award-winning copywriter with more than a decade of experience in marketing and advertising. During her tenure at the News & Record, she has won two national awards for her online work, The Pet Shop blog, and Bargain Sense, a video show she created, co-wrote, and co-hosted. Faun has also won ten regional awards for her print ad work and is responsible for creating the brands Life Captured, Thrifty Living, Williams on Wine, and Ice Castle, among others. Contact Faun at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.faunfinley.com.

At Spring Conference, even the lunch hour can be used to make those literary connections you’ll need once your book is finally published. “Lunch with an Author” offers a terrific opportunity to have lunch with a small group of fellow registrants and one of our conference instructors. This is a great opportunity to talk shop with an experienced writer in a relaxed, informal setting.

Pre-registration is required to participate in “Lunch with an Author.” You will not be able to sign up on-site. Available faculty includes Faun Finley, Marianne Gingher, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green, Charlie Lovett, Tom Maxwell, Joseph Mills, Jacob Paul, Eleanora E. Tate, and Eric G. Wilson.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is open through April 12. Register now!

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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