NCWN

 

White Cross School Blog

 

NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

Warning
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1

 

Sheila Webster BonehamSheila Webster Boneham writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, much of it focused on nature, environment, and travel. When her second mystery, The Money Bird, was released this fall, Sheila teamed up with Pomegranate Books in Wilmington for their “second annual” cooperative benefit book launch. Six of Sheila’s nineteen books have won major awards, and her short work has appeared in literary and commercial publications. She has worked as an editor for a variety of publishers and freelance writers, and has judged fiction and nonfiction for international writing contests. Sheila holds a Ph.D. in folklore/cultural anthropology from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine, and she has taught writing at Indiana University, University of Maryland, American University, and universities abroad. Learn more about Sheila, her writing, and her classes and workshops at http://www.sheilaboneham.com.

Sheila will lead a workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference titled "Cooperative Book Promotion." Promotion can be about more than simply selling books! Learn how you can work with independent booksellers and other retail outlets and with not-for-profit organizations whose work you believe in to extend your publicity reach, support the cause, promote local businesses, and sell more books. We’ll discuss my experience working with a local bookseller and local and national NFPs, and work through some brainstorming and other exercises to get your cooperative promotion started.

 

Where’s your favorite place in North Carolina?
The northern end of Wrightsville Beach/Shell Island, where you can see the salt marsh and the ocean. I can spend hours there just quietly watching, listening, waiting.

Why do you write?
To learn, to assemble the pieces, to bear witness.

What book would you take with you to a desert island, if you could take only one?
The biggest dictionary I could tote, one that includes etymologies. With that, we have the fundamental tools of all books: words, meanings, relationships.

What advice would you give someone just about to go on stage to read their work for the first time?
Three things. First, unless you're a very odd sort of writer, your audience wants to hear you and they want to like your work. Second, slow yourself down and remember to breathe. Third, enjoy your moment. You worked for it!

What is the ideal time limit when someone is reading from their work?
I guess that depends on the work, the reader, the setting, and the audience, but generally I would say fifteen to twenty minutes is about right.

Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point (for example, from an outline)?
Mostly I write to discover. When I write fiction, I work from very loose sketches that keep me on track in terms of plot points and story arc, but I don't plot in a conventional sense. With lyric nonfiction—my true love—I keep notes on what I want to include, but then I like to immerse myself in the work until the layers open and reveal the real subject.

Do you think some books should be banned from schools?
No. I think that the subject matter of some books requires readers to have reached a certain level of intellectual and emotional maturity so that they can process the ideas, so books appropriate for high school students may not be appropriate for fourth graders. Some books are better understood when their meanings and nuances are discussed. I do think that some books have more merit than others. The point of education is to enable people to distinguish what is good and useful, in books and in life, and we cannot do that by presenting only part of the world.

What was the first thing you ever published?
A poem, "Snow," in a city-wide junior high school literary magazine.

If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be?
I admire many authors, but I would prefer to be myself, but slightly different. I would focus earlier on my "real" work, which is what I consider my lyric and narrative essays and fiction, rather than on my commercial nonfiction (seventeen books and many features).

Do you read literary journals? What are some of your favorites?
I do, and I love many journals, so I'm going to list the first five that pop into my head, knowing that I'm leaving out many other favorites. But here goes—Gulf Coast, Flyway, Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth River.

Are you scheduled in the time you set aside to write, or is your writing time more flexible than that?
I write every morning, and have done so for many years. Depending on what I'm working on, deadlines, and what else is going on in my life and community, I sometimes write in the afternoon or evening as well.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, which one would it be?
Richard Sharpe from Bernard Cornwell's series. But of course I picture him as Sean Bean!

***

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference is now open.

 

Michelle BrowerMichelle Brower began her career in publishing in 2004 while studying for her Master’s degree in English Literature at New York University, and has been hooked ever since. During that time, she assisted the agents Wendy Sherman and Joelle Delbourgo, and found herself in love with the process of discovering new writers and helping existing writers further their careers. After graduating, she became an agent with Wendy Sherman Associates, and there began representing books in many different areas of fiction and nonfiction. In 2009, she joined Folio Literary Management, where she is looking for literary fiction, thrillers, high-quality commercial fiction that transcends genre, and narrative nonfiction. She enjoys digging into a manuscript and working with authors to make their project as saleable as it can be, and her list includes the authors S.G. Browne, Rebecca Rasmussen, Dana Gynther, and Michele Young-Stone, among many others.

During the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference, Michelle will sit on Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: 'Agents and Editors'" and serve as a reviewer for the Manuscript Mart, which provides writers with the opportunity to pitch their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency. A one-on-one, thirty-minute pitch and Q&A session will be scheduled for attendees who register for the Manuscript Mart.

 

What are you reading right now?
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, who would it be?
Sherlock Holmes.

What aspect of craft do you feel you handle especially well, or is especially important to you?
Structure and plot are my favorites, because little changes can have huge effects.

Any memorable rejections?
I remember a lot of them, but not one more than others.

Do you own an electronic reading device?
Yes.

What’s one thing that bugs you more than anything else when you see it in a piece of writing?
Too many adjectives/words.

Do you steal pens from hotels?
No, they are usually terrible pens.

If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be?
I think I’d be Edith Wharton.

Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point (for example, from an outline)?
Luckily, I don’t write—I just get to help writers.

The Cape Fear Coast is a hotbed for the film industry. In your opinion, what has been the best book-to-screen adaptation?
The Returned by Jason Mott, of course, which will be on TV as Resurrection in March.

What was the worst?
I’ll go with Congo by Michael Crichton. But it might also be so bad it’s good.

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wished they had?
Never give up, never surrender. It’s useful in intergalactic war, life, AND book publishing.

Please fill in the blank:
I have read SOME of the Harry Potter books.

***

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference is now open.

 

Addy Robinson McCullochAddy Robinson McCulloch is a freelance writer and editor whose clients include Pearson Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her work has appeared in publications such as Redheaded Stepchild, 234journal, the Iodine Review, and Get Out of My Crotch: 21 Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health. A graduate of Duke University, Addy lives in southeastern NC.

Addy will lead a workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference with Elizabeth King Humphreys titled "Editing Your Own Work: Much More than Grammar and Punctuation." Two professional editors will introduce the different levels of editing and discuss common weaknesses in manuscripts, including problems with voice, characterization, and writing style. Participants will walk away with a better idea of what to look for when editing their own work, including a self-editing “checklist” and information about affordable, reliable resources.

 

What are you reading right now?
Feminist blogs, contemporary poetry.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, who would it be?
Sirius Black.

What aspect of craft do you feel you handle especially well, or is especially important to you?
The hook. It’s true for all types of writing—the hook is the invitation to the reader to “come in and sit a spell.”

Any memorable rejections?
Not recently, but I’m expecting one any day.

Do you own an electronic reading device?
Yes, but I find little to recommend them other than the ability to increase the font size.

What’s one thing that bugs you more than anything else when you see it in a piece of writing?
Doubling up on of prepositions. I’ve noticed a lot of that recently.

Do you steal pens from hotels?
Not anymore.

If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be?
As long as it’s only for a day, I’d like to be either Agatha Christie or T. S. Eliot.

Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point (for example, from an outline)?
I write to communicate.

The Cape Fear Coast is a hotbed for the film industry. In your opinion, what has been the best book-to-screen adaptation?
To Kill a Mockingbird; close second, Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet version).

What was the worst?
There are so many….

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wished they had?
Not sure. I know the best piece of advice I received was to “Read more.”

Please fill in the blank:
I have read ALL of the Harry Potter books.

***

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference is now open.

 
Joomla Template: from JoomlaShack