White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




NORTH CAROLINA—The announcement of this year’s inductees into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will bring to a close the 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival on Sunday, April 6.

The announcement and subsequent panel discussion, scheduled for 5:00 pm in the Multipurpose Room of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, will be the grand finale of the four-day-long celebration of past, present, and future of the written word.

Four North Carolina writers will be inducted into the NCLHOF in a ceremony on Sunday, October 12, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines. They will join the fifty-three inductees currently enshrined. Inductions are held every other year; the 2012 inductees were Maya Angelou, Kathryn Stripling Byer, and John Lawson.

A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at

“This is a fitting time and place to announce the 2014 inductees,” said Ed Southern, the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, which oversees the NCLHOF. “The festival’s theme is ‘The Future of Reading,’and it’s proper to honor the past when you’re examining the future. We’re excited to honor these writers.”

The North Carolina Literary Festival will take place April 3–6 at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University. Participating authors will include current NCLHOF inductees Allan Gurganus, Lee Smith, and Elizabeth Spencer, as well as NCWN members Kim Church, Angela Davis-Gardner, Jaki Shelton Green, Marjorie Hudson, Scott Huler, Zelda Lockhart, Kelly Starling Lyons, Jill McCorkle, Sheila Smith McKoy, Elaine Neil Orr, Drew Perry, and Stephanie Powell Watts.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.


GREENSBORO, NC—Poets who attend the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference will have the chance to sign up for two poetry workshops led by award-winning North Carolina writers.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the poetry workshops will focus on particular, nuts and bolts elements of the craft that will teach registrants how to turn their abstract bursts of inspiration into effective, uncluttered lines of poetry. Registration is now open.

During the morning session, Mark Smith-Soto will lead a poetry workshop, "Anchoring the Emotion." T.S. Eliot taught that emotion in poetry must find expression in an “objective correlative”—a sensory experience that will evoke the desired feeling in the reader rather than simply describe it. Naming or describing an emotion, and making others experience it as we feel it, are totally different things, and a failure to understand that difference can undermine a poem’s effectiveness. In this workshop, we will work on techniques useful in “anchoring” an abstract notion to the heart of a poem so as to make it shareable with others.

In the afternoon, poet John Thomas York will lead the workshop "Infinite Particulars and the Worlds They Make: Choosing Detail in Poetry." Ever had trouble generating detail, choosing detail (or letting the images choose you), or deciding when it's time to do some serious de-cluttering? Come join a craft talk, discussing strategies (some like cockleburs, some like fairy dust) offered by the leader after his long walks in literary fields. Bring a poem to share.

Mark Smith-Soto is Professor of Spanish and editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has published three prize-winning chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. He has twice been nominated for a Puschart Prize and won an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing in 2006.

John Thomas York grew up in Yadkin County in northwestern North Carolina. He has four poetry collections, including Cold Spring Rising, published by Press 53 in 2012. In 2011, he won the first annual James Applewhite Poetry Prize from North Carolina Literary Review.

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


Drew PerryGREENSBORO, NC—Warp, weave. Thieve and lie. Hearts that beat—and break. Fiction is action, and a good story demands a writer's best verbs. Need proof? Just check out the titles of the fiction course offerings at the upcoming North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 12, at UNCG. 

Nancy Peacock, author of the novel The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson, will lead the Two-Part Fiction Workshop. The title? "The Warp and Wave of Fiction."

Two-part workshops meet twice during the conference, once during Workshop Session I (in the morning) and again for Workshop Session II (in the afternoon). Peacock, whose first novel Life Without Water was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book, says about her course:

Writing good fiction is not the same as laying a brick wall: first the characterization brick, then the setting brick, then the action brick. Instead, all the elements (character, plot, setting, action, structure, description, emotion, and more) must work together to form the tapestry of storytelling. In this class we will examine successful storytelling through reading and commenting on students' work and the work of published writers, as well as through class exercises.

In addition Drew Perry will lead a fiction workshop titled "Thieves & Liars: How We Build the World."

Nancy PeacockThis workshop will address something critical to the crafting of stories and novels: When and how to steal from the world around us (hint: early and often), and when to make things up (another hint: when the story demands it). Registrants will talk about how things like landscape, humor, oddity, and stray detail are often the most important ways of entering into a piece of work—and keeping it alive in draft after draft after draft. Another way of thinking about this: attendees will talk about how to use their own strange obsessions most productively in their writing. So someone really loves, say, tractors. Or tigers. And they keep appearing on the page. Registrants will find ways to make that feel less weird, and more like they're working.

Perry is the author of two novels: This Is Just Exactly Like You, which was a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and an Atlanta Journal Best of the Year pick for 2010, and Kids These Days, just published by Algonquin Books. He teaches writing at Elon University and holds an MFA from the writing program at UNC-Greensboro.

In the afternoon session, Kim Church will lead a fiction workshop titled "The Beating, Breaking Hearts of Fictional Characters." Church's debut novel, Byrd (Dzanc Books, March 2014), is the fragmented family history of a child secretly given up for adoption.

Kim ChurchThe heart of fiction is character; but what is the heart of a fictional character? How is it revealed to the writer, and how does the writer express it? This workshop, for fiction writers at all levels, will focus on how to create characters that are unique, lively, and memorable—characters we might like to spend time with after the workshop is over. To prepare for this session, registrants should think of a memorable event from their own life—something that touched or scared or excited or confused or changed or defined them in some small way. Something they don’t mind sharing with others, a moment they’d like to put in a time capsule. Attendees should not write about it beforehand, but come with an idea. And paper and pen.

Registration is now open. 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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