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Charlotte, NC – Registration is open at www.ncwriters.org for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2008 Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Residency, July 25 – 27 on the campus of Queens University of Charlotte.

Writers from Queens, UNC-Charlotte, and Davidson College will teach intensive, three-day workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The residency will also feature faculty and student readings, a publishing forum, and a picnic at Freedom Park with an outdoor reading. Registrants stay on-campus to further an atmosphere of collegiality, although “commuting students” are also accepted for the program at a reduced rate.

Julie Funderburk“We’re very excited to offer the Summer Residency again,” said NCWN executive director Ed Southern. “Past attendees have called this their favorite of all the programs that the Network offers.”

Julie Funderburk, who came to Queens in 2003 after serving as assistant director of UNC-Greensboro’s MFA program, will teach the poetry workshop, which “will focus on giving participants specific ways to analyze and classify poems.”

Aaron GwynUNC-Charlotte assistant professor of English Aaron Gwyn, whose novel The World Beneath will be published in 2009 by W. W. Norton & Co., will teach a fiction workshop that “will explore what successful authors do to start their novels and stories, as well as potential pitfalls they avoid . . . and discuss effective ways of shaping the beginning of novels or stories to attract the attention of agents and editors.”

Cynthia LewisCynthia Lewis, the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson and part-time bartender, will teach a creative nonfiction course designed to “focus primarily on group review of participants’ writing samples and secondarily on topics relevant to the craft of creative nonfiction.”

The 2008 Summer Residency will be the first held outside the Triangle. Southern said the decision to move the program’s venue around the state, as well as to shorten it from five days to three, was made to make the Summer Residency more accessible to a greater number of writers.

“The Summer Residency generates such passion among the writers who attend that we felt we had to make it easier for more writers to sign up,” Southern said. “This year, not only does the residency cost less, but you don’t have to take a week off work to attend.

“Several of last year’s attendees told me it was so much fun, we should set up cameras and pitch it as a reality show,” Southern added. “I don’t think I want to know why.”

Information on registration and fees is available at www.ncwriters.org.

The sun shone, the flowers bloomed, and writers from across North Carolina – and the North Country (seriously: one guy came all the way from here) – met in Greensboro last Saturday for the Network’s 2008 Spring Conference.

 

Those writers enjoyed their choice of eight workshops on the craft and business of writing, as well as a panel of editors and publishers, a chance to meet exhibiting journals and presses, the inaugural “Lunch with an Author,” a keynote reading of poetry by prize-winning poet Linda Gregg, and faculty readings by Lee Zacharias, Valerie Nieman, and Anjail Rashida Ahmad.

 

“I was pleased with my first conference as director of the Network,” Ed Southern said.  “No natural disasters, nothing caught fire, and the publishers’ panel didn’t end in a brawl.  What more could you ask for?”

 

“Lunch with an Author” allowed attendees to sign up Saturday morning to take one of the faculty members to lunch in groups of no more than 10, so that they could discuss issues that writers face and get to know one another in a relaxed, informal setting.  “There’s a reason we’re called the ‘North Carolina Writers’ Network,’” Southern said.  “The best thing we can do for writers is bring them together with other writers, at all levels of experience, from all across the state, nation, and planet.  We’re always looking for new and better ways to accomplish that.”

 

“The spring conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet other writers and just talk about writing - what we love about it, what we hate about it, and why we do it,” Marilyn Wolf of Greensboro said.  “I left feeling energized to tackle my own writing with new tools from the workshops and greater confidence from all the support.”

 

Dianne Farris of Fayetteville said, “I learned more than I thought was possible in one afternoon.  Travis Mulhauser’s presentation of plot & character (in fiction) was good. In particular, I liked the literature selections he used to demonstrate the different aspects of development. He picked authors with strong, unique voices. From Lewis Nordan to Raymond Carver, there was bound to be something that stood out for everyone.  Mark Smith-Soto’s (poetry) workshop was outstanding as well. I hate to admit it but, I’m not a huge poetry fan. I was attracted to Mark’s workshop for two reasons. First, as a member of a critiquing group that does poetry, it’s helpful to have some understanding of how poetry works. Second, I need to learn how to insert effective images into my short stories. I left Mark’s presentation with a little of both. I also gained an appreciation for poetry in general, something I thought was impossible.  In all, my experience at the conference was very positive and I feel lucky to have been able to go.”

 

Jan Parker of Fuquay-Varina said, “Once again, our wonderful Writers’ Network provided an impressive array of interesting and high-level classes for almost every different writing discipline. Coupled with the opportunity to meet and learn from published authors, well-known professors, editors of important review magazines and book publishers based here in NC, we were able to network with other writers from across the state. Plain and simple, it was the best Spring Conference I've ever attended. Like my country cousins say, it were good!”

 

Paul Austin of Durham, fresh from having his book Something for the Pain accepted for publication in September 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company, said, “I attended a lecture at the NCWN Spring Conference titled 'The Writer/Author Divide: The Basics of Marketing Your Book and Yourself.'  The lecture provided a solid framework for thinking about book publicity, along with specific tips on how to promote your book.  At each stage of my writing career, the NCWN has provided just what I've needed to know."

Southern Pines, NC – North Carolina is called “the writingest state” for a number of reasons.

Forty-two of those reasons can be found in the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Three more will be added this fall, when the NCLHOF inducts poet James Applewhite, historian William S. Powell, and novelist Lee Smith.

The induction ceremony will be held Sunday, October 19, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, where the NCLHOF is housed. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Read more: North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame to Induct Applewhite, Powell, Smith

 
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