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The North Carolina Writers' Network's 2008 Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Writing Residency was held last weekend at Queens University of Charlotte. 32 writers got to spend three days writing, reading other's writing, working on writing, and talking about writing.

"I'm overwhelmed at how well the weekend went for me," attendee John Minter said. "This workshop was truly a success. It is one I will always remember."

Writers from across North Carolina participated in one of three weekend-long workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The three instructors - Aaron Gwyn for fiction, Julie Funderburk for poetry, and Cynthia Lewis for creative nonfiction - all teach at Charlotte-area colleges and universities, and were participating in an NCWN program for the first time.

"The tone for our (fiction) workshop was such that emails between us have already filled my inbox," Susan Lawson said Monday morning. "This doesn't happen unless the instructor creates that working, helpful atmosphere."

In addition to the workshops, attendees participated in a "Table Talk" discussion about the publishing process, which featured a Q-and-A with editor Amy Rogers and marketing manager Betsy Thorpe of Novello Festival Press. They also attended readings by each of the instructors, open-mike readings for attendees on Friday and Saturday nights, and a Saturday-evening picnic with food from Price's Chicken Coop, a nationally recognized Charlotte institution.

"This weekend was exhausting, but so worthwhile," Paul Austin, whose memoir Something for the Pain will be published by W.W. Norton & Co. in September, said. "I appreciate all of the insightful comments the workshop had for my piece, and I know the piece will be much stronger after the next revision."

"I am so excited I went to Queens," Constance Scott said. "I feel like I am really grounded in my writing; before the residency, I was floundering. Gosh, I feel like I have some wonderful contacts now, and it's such a great feeling."

 
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