White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame



GREENVILLE, NC—Brad Field of Wilmington is the winner of the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story “Achmed’s Lesson.” Field will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers' Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 25th issue in 2016.

A playwright, drama anthology editor, and retired university English professor, having taught at Wayne State University in Detroit for the majority of his career, Brad Field lives in Wilmington, then spends summers on Lake Michigan.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Field’s story from ten finalists, saying, “I admire 'Achmed's Lesson' for its cultural critique certainly, but also for the deceptive simplicity of the writing. To me, it read like the best sort of translation. The meaning is crystal clear, but below the surface of the narration, the original simmers in subtle invitation. I think it's quite remarkable to capture this quality in a story written in English; I felt both comfortably at home and transported to a world I didn't—but wanted to—know.”

Wieland also selected “Eminent Domain” by Kathryn Etters Lovatt for second place and publication, applying Faulkner’s famous lines, “‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ ‘Eminent Domain’ illustrates the truth of this statement through deft description and the painful but compelling resilience of the first person narrator, Amy. The ending is the very definition of bittersweet, and will stay in my mind for a long time.” Lovatt, who has a vacation home in Southport, but lives most of the year in Camden, SC, is also a former winner and a finalist in previous Betts competitions.

A record 121 stories were submitted to this year’s competition. The other finalists are Heather Adams of Raleigh for “White Iris,” Debra Madaris Efird of Harrisburg for “Palette of Love,” Lana Hendershott of Hendersonville for “Kind of Crazy,” Debra Lee of Rocky Mount for “Dale Earnhardt and the Rapture,” Ian Oeschger of Wilmington for “Lowcountry Boil,” Denise Sherman of Raleigh for “The Color Wheel,” Robert Wallace of Durham for “The Disobedience of Love,” and Jude Whelchel of Asheville for “Body Talk Soft, Body Talk Loud.”

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short-story writer Doris Betts, and is sponsored by the non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network, the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

Published since 1992 at East Carolina University, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations, most recently the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Fiction Editor Liza Wieland is the author of three collections of short stories and four novels, including Land of Enchantment, just out this year.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2015 issue, featuring the winner from the 2014 Betts competition, as well as the 2016 issue, featuring Field’s winning story from this year’s competition. Find subscription information at


GREENSBORO―Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference closed on Sunday. But on-site registration will be available the day of the conference—Saturday, April 18—starting at 8:00 am in the MHRA Building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Spring Conference offers intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site "Lunch with an Author," readings, an open mic for conference participants, and the all-new program for 2015, Slush Pile Live!

After a record-setting number of pre-registrations, space is only available in the following workshops. Please note, even these offerings are close to full, so space is extremely limited:

General session events are open to all conferencegoers, but the Open Mic is first come, first served. If you haven’t yet registered for Spring Conference but plan on attending, the Network recommends you get there early on Saturday, April 18.

Because of the unprecedented number of attendees this year, the Network thanks registrants in advance for their patience and cooperation as volunteers and staff work to ensure everyone has all the materials they need, and ends up in the right place, by 9:00 am on Saturday.

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


GREENSBORO―Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is moving along at an unprecedented clip, but conferencegoers still have until midnight on April 12 to save more than 30 percent by registering early.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This annual event includes workshops in several genres, “Lunch with an Author,” faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, and a brand new program for 2015: Slush Pile Live!

Have you ever wondered what goes through an editor's mind as he or she reads through a stack of unsolicited submissions? Slush Pile Live! is your chance to find out. Over the course of the day, attendees will drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry (40-line max) at the registration table. At 5:00 pm, these anonymous submissions will be read out loud for a panel of editors. The editors will raise their hands when they come across something in the text that would make them stop reading. When each hand has been raised, the editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the piece, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. As many submissions as we can get to in an hour, that's how many we'll read: all anonymous—all live! (Authors can reveal themselves at the end, but only if they want to.)

Terry L. Kennedy (Greensboro Review), Crystal Simone Smith (Backbone Press), and Ross White (Bull City Press) will serve as the poetry panelists. Jason T. Graves (Second Wind Publishing), Anna Sutton (John F. Blair, Publisher) and Kevin Morgan Watson (Press 53) will serve as the prose panelists.

Class offerings include poetry workshops with Jaki Shelton Green and Rachel Richardson; fiction workshops with New York Times bestselling author Charlie Lovett and Jacob Paul; creative nonfiction with Marianne Gingher and Tom Maxwell (formerly of Squirrel Nut Zippers); writing for children with award-winning author Eleanora E. Tate; and two workshops focused on the publishing industry: “Don’t Forget the Small Stuff: Building Your Career” with Press 53 publisher Kevin Morgan Watson and “The Art of Branding for Authors” with Faun Finley.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green will give the Keynote Address. A dozen exhibitors will be on hand, representing some of the finest literary organizations and publishers in North Carolina.

The NCWN 2015 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by 88.5 WFDD Public Radio, the Greensboro News & Record, and UNCG’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Free parking for Spring Conference registrants will be available in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House).

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


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