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NC Literary Hall of Fame




Kelly Starling LyonsGREENSBORO, NC—Beat the upcoming price increase and pre-register for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at UNCG. While on-site registration will be available, members will save more than 25 percent by registering now.

Our faculty is at the forefront of the North Carolina literary scene, and they’ve been all over the news. Here’s what they’ve been up to:

  • Carrie Knowles, who along with Peggy Payne will lead the workshop, “Market Your Book—with Imagination,” was recently named the 2014 Piedmont Laureate.
  • Paul Stroebel, who will sit on the “Writing about War” panel with Robin Greene and Sharon D. Raynor, was featured last week on WUNC’s The State of Things with Frank Stasio.
  • Linda Rohrbough will teach attendees “How to Make an Elevator Pitch.” She was featured recently on Who’s Talking? with D.G. Martin on 97.9 FM WCHL.
  • Two of our fiction faculty members have new novels out: Kim Church published Byrd this month, and Drew Perry has been on tour for his new novel, Kids These Days.
  • Kelly Starling Lyons’ children’s book, Hope’s Gift, was named a 2013 Okra Pick and was showcased at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. She’ll lead a workshop titled, “So You Want to Write a Children’s Book.”
  • Jacinta V. White will lead a special session of “One City, One Prompt.” The NCWN Spring Conference is one of a handful of exclusive venues for this national program.

Not to mention our impressive workshop leaders, Nancy Peacock and Jonathan Farmer, who will lead the Two-Part Fiction and Two-Part Creative Nonfiction workshops, respectively. Or our distinguished poets, Mark Smith-Soto and John Thomas York; or the inimitable duo of Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan, who will lead a workshop titled “Writing from Experience.”

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 6. For more information, and to register, visit


GREENSBORO, NC—On Tuesday, March 25, WUNC’S The State of Things with Frank Stasio featured Spring Conference faculty member Paul Stroebel, who will sit on the“Writing about War” panel at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference.

Stroebel, along with another member of the Veterans Writing Collective, Rebecca King, talked about their writing in the Upstage Cabaret at the Triad Stage in Greensboro. The State of Things with Frank Stasio is a live radio show that brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to listeners six days a week. Host Frank Stasio lives in Durham, and is the former host of Talk of the Nation. This event was free and open to the public.

From Homer to Hemingway, writers have grappled with the causes, effects, and costs of war more than any other subject (except, perhaps, for love). As writers living in a time and place at war, how do we write responsibly and honestly about our—and others'—experience of it, whether from the front lines or the home front? This panel will examine this question, and others that writers face when they try to put war into words.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open. Spring Conference offers a full day of intensive workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing from experience, writing for children, and the art of the pitch. Other features include faculty readings, on-site "lunch with an author," publisher exhibits, and an open mic for conference participants.

The "Writing about War" panel will convene in the afternoon session. Robin Greene is the author of four books and is a professor of English and Writing at Methodist University, where she holds the McLean Endowed Professorship of English. Paul Stroebel is a six-year U.S. Army veteran who was with the 82nd Airborne Division and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharon D. Raynor is a Visiting Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University and an Adjunct Instructor int eh Center for Documentary Studies and Continuing Education at Duke University; she has written and directed two oral history projects with combat veterans in rural North Carolina.

Also on Saturday, award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons will lead a workshop titled “So You Want to Write a Children's Book?”

Have you always wanted to write a children's book? Start the journey with children's book author Kelly Starling Lyons in a workshop designed to introduce you to the field. You'll get a basic understanding of children's book genres, mine your life for story ideas and receive tips to help you on your way.

Lyons is a children's book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include the CCBC Choices-honored picture book One Million Men and Me; Ellen's Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; Tea Cakes for Tosh, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and winner of the 2013 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award for Juvenile Literature (sponsored by the North Carolina division of AAUW); and Hope's Gift, named an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and showcased as the featured North Carolina children's book at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Find out more at

Spring Conference pre-registration ends Sunday, April 6. Workshops are filling up fast—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, visit


GREENSBORO, NC—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference will offer registrants two workshops on how to pitch and promote their books.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (Registration is now open.) For those writers with manuscripts ready or near-ready to be sent on submission, or anyone who's simply curious about how the process works, these workshops, led by bestselling and award-winning authors, offer proven strategies for pitching your next book and gaining readership through imaginative marketing.

In the morning session, Carrie Knowles and Peggy Payne will lead a workshop titled, "Market Your Book—with Imagination." You can improve your book’s sales, using the very ability that started you writing in the first place: imagination, the ability to see possibilities. Whether you start the process before you have a publication date or when the day is looming, you can help to kick off and maintain your book’s sales. You can even give a long-published book new life. Carrie Knowles and Peggy Payne, creators of their own three-state Crazy Ladies Book Tour and authors of a total of nine books, will show you how. Both are novelists, nonfiction authors, and have worked in advertising and marketing. They will suggest tactics and strategies for books and book ideas that workshop participants bring in.

In the afternoon, Linda Rohrbough will teach registrants "How to Make an Elevator Pitch." It’s a completely different set of skills to effectively talk about a book, than to write one. And it doesn’t take long for writers to figure out they need to be able to talk about their book to people they don’t know in a succinct and compelling way. First, it’s to editors and agents, but after publication it’s to book store managers, reader groups, and even the media. This workshop provides all the tools, including a simple three-step plug and play formula for pitching any book, along with the encouragement and fear-management techniques authors need to develop this all-important skill. Packed with examples, this interactive workshop gives writers everything they need to implement the career-long skill of pitching their books.

"How to Make an Elevator Pitch" is highly encouraged for anyone who signs up for the Speed Pitch special session at the end of the day, where registrants have a chance to pitch their manuscripts to four literary professionals. (See conference page for full details.)

Carrie Knowles is the 2014 Piedmont Laureate. She has been a freelance writer for the past forty-five years. She has published widely in both fiction and nonfiction and has won a number of prestigious writing awards including the Midland Authors Poetry Award, the American Heart Association Heart and Torch Award for Creative Journalism, and Glimmer Train’s Very-Short Fiction Contest. Her nonfiction book, The Last Childhood: A Family Story of Alzheimer’s, has been noted as one of the top 100 books written about Alzheimer’s. She has two novels published by Roundfire Books: Lillian’s Garden and Ashoan’s Rug.

Peggy Payne’s most recent novel is Cobalt Blue, kicked off at last year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and published in six countries. Her Sister India was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and her first, Revelation, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice with screen rights sold to Synergy Films. She is co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good and has written for many national publications and most of the major American newspapers. Peggy works with other writers individually and in groups, giving manuscript feedback and career counsel.

Linda Rohrbough has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and nonfiction. She’s worked as a bureau chief for a news network in Los Angeles and in Dallas as well as having her bestselling books published by the big five New York publishing houses. Her books have enjoyed translation into over a dozen languages and she’s been quoted by publications such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her novel The Prophetess One: At Risk has garnered three national awards: the 2012 International Book Award, the 2011 Global eBook Award, and the 2011 Millennium Star Publishing Award. An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website:

All three instructors also are available for the "Lunch with an Author" program, where attendees can sign up in advance to have lunch with a faculty member. This allows attendees to spend less time waiting in line and more time in conversation with conference faculty outside the classroom.

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


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