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GREENSBORO, NC—What do a multi-genre, serial award winner; a former Piedmont Laureate; and the creative nonfiction editor for storySouth have in common? All three will be leading creative nonfiction workshops at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 13, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Judy Goldman will lead an all-day workshop titled "Writing Personal Essays and Memoir: Transforming Memories into Narrative." In this workshop (geared to both beginning and advanced writers), you’ll learn how to transform your experiences and memories into a narrative readers are interested in. For those of you who want to begin, but the way in seems shadowy, you'll discuss how to embark: what to put in your essay or memoir, what to leave out, where to start, how to shape the story. For those of you already immersed in the writing, Judy will encourage you to push all the way to the end of a first draft, no matter how awkward it feels. For those of you who’ve completed essays or a memoir, you'll discuss how to read your pages analytically and diagnostically, how to fix problems so that the writing is as good as you can make it and your story holds together.

Former Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler will lead a half-day creative nonfiction session in the morning. Titled "Nonfiction in a Stupid Golden Age," Huler's workshop will range widely over the territory and address topics such as:

  • the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and how to be absolutely sure you're on solid ground;
  • how to connect so that you have at least a chance at scraping together something like a living in the explosively growing world of nonfiction storytelling; and
  • how to conquer writer's block once and for all (hint: you will not like the method).

 

In the afternoon, Cynthia Nearman will lead a workshop titled, "Creating Images with Nonfiction." This workshop is designed to engage and invigorate participants’ approaches to the smallest yet most essential elements of nonfiction storytelling: sensory images and concrete details, objects and actions. First, you’ll look briefly at vivid scenes from recently published essays, paying careful attention to the connection between concrete details and characters’ desires, and between descriptions of actions and objects and larger meanings or ideas. The main focus will be on what it means to "think from within images" as we generate and revise your own nonfiction prose. You’ll practice strategies for discovering and selecting images that do "double duty"—i.e., concrete detail and sensory information that works organically to create living, moving pictures resonant with meaning.

Judy Goldman has published two novels, two books of poetry, and a memoir, Losing My Sister. Her work has won the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, Gerald Cable Poetry Prize, Roanoke-Chowan Prize, Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize, and Oscar Arnold Young Prize. She received the Hobson Prize For Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for Outstanding Generosity to Other Writers and the Larger Community, and the Beverly D. Clark Author Award from Queens University. An excerpt from Losing My Sister appeared in Real Simple magazine and Drafthorse, an online journal. She has written book reviews for The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer, and craft articles for The Writer. Her commentaries have aired on public radio in Charlotte and Chapel Hill.

Scott Huler is a nonfiction generalist who has written everything from newspaper and magazine stories to books, produced radio pieces and essays, and produced video work for a wide variety of on- and offline enterprises. He has written for newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, and the Raleigh News & Observer, and for magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Backpacker, Our State, and Walter. His radio work has been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Day to Day, and on Marketplace and The Splendid Table on American Public Media. The most recent of his six books was On the Grid, about the infrastructure that makes our modern lives possible, published in 2010. He also has served as Piedmont Laureate for the Triangle and surrounding areas.

Cynthia Nearman teaches in the English Department and the Writing Program at Guilford College in Greensboro. Since 2009, she’s served as creative nonfiction editor for storySouth. She writes flash nonfiction, cultural commentary (rants, really), and experiments with lyric essays.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit www.ncwriters.org or call 336-293-8844.

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.

 

 

MHRA Building, UNCGGREENSBORO, NC—Pre-registration for the 2013 North Carolina Writers' Network's annual Spring Conference is now closed, but attendees can still register on-site Saturday, April 13, at 8:30 a.m., at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The 2013 Spring Conference will move into a new home in UNCG’s Moore Humanities and Research Administration (MHRA) Building. Located at the corner of Spring Garden and Forest Streets, the MHRA Building offers easier access to those coming from off-campus.

In addition, UNCG’s Creative Writing Program—a co-sponsor of the Spring Conference—will provide free parking for registrants in the adjacent Oakland Avenue Parking Deck.

The NCWN Spring Conference draws writers, at all levels of skill and experience, from across North Carolina and beyond for a full day of workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and the business side of writing. Attendees will be treated to faculty readings and can share their own work at the open-mic reading. They also can sign up for “Lunch with an Author,” their chance to engage in informal conversation with accomplished writers.

Conference-goers this year will need to pre-register for “Lunch with an Author,” as there will be no on-site registration available for this conference offering. Food will be provided, so that participants can spend less time waiting in line, and more time talking with the author of their choice. (Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited, and are first-come, first-served.)

Courses include two all-day, two-session workshops: “Animating Fiction” with Lee Zacharias, and a creative nonfiction workshop, “Writing Personal Essays and Memoir.” One-session course offerings will be led by John McNally and Lynn York (fiction), Scott Huler and Cynthia Nearman (creative nonfiction), and Carolyn Beard Whitlow and John Rybicki (poetry). Scott Nicholson will teach a class on self-publishing e-books, while Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White will lead a workshop for “Authors as Entrepreneurs.”

100 Poems by 100 Poets (Unicorn Press)In the afternoon, a Publishing Panel including Stephen Kirk of John F. Blair, Publisher, Robin Miura of Carolina Wren Press, and Kevin Morgan Watson of Press 53, will answer questions about what they look for in a manuscript and the evolving realities of 21st Century publishing. After looking ahead to the future of books, Andrew Saulters of Greensboro’s Unicorn Press will close the day with a look back, leading a hands-on demonstration of traditional bookbinding, so that conference registrants can turn their well-crafted words into well-crafted objects.

Registration is available online at www.ncwriters.org or by calling 336-293-8844.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

Southern Pines, NC—The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will induct five of the state’s finest writers this Sunday.

Journalist W. J. Cash; novelist Allan Gurganus; poet, novelist, and biographer Robert Morgan; journalist, publisher, and diplomat Walter Hines Page; and playwright and screenwriter Samm-Art Williams will be enshrined at 2 p.m., Sunday, October 17, at a ceremony 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.

Wilbur J. Cash was born in Gaffney, SC, in 1900 and moved to Boiling Springs in 1912. After graduating from Wake Forest College in 1922, Cash worked intermittently as a journalist for several newspapers, including the Charlotte Observer and Charlotte News, and as a freelance writer for magazines such as H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury. In 1941 he published his masterpiece, The Mind of the South, described as “by common consent a classic work of history and social criticism” by George B. Tindall, who wrote Cash’s entry in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. Cash died just a few months after The Mind of the South appeared.

Allan Gurganus’s first novel, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, spent eight months on the New York Times best-seller list, has sold more than two million copies and been translated into twelve languages, and was made into a CBS movie starring Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland, and Cecily Tyson. Born in Rocky Mount in 1947, Gurganus studied as a painter and served in the U.S. Navy before turning to writing. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, O’Henry Prize Stories, Best American Stories, The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, and Best New Stories of the South. His other books include The Practical Heart, Plays Well With Others, and White People, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Robert Morgan grew up in the Green River valley of western North Carolina, near Hendersonville, on a farm that has been in Morgan’s family since the 1700s. He decided to become a writer while studying engineering and applied mathematics at North Carolina State University, transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to receive his degree in English, and later earned a master of fine arts degree from UNC Greensboro. Morgan has published more than twenty-five books of poetry and fiction, in addition to a 2007 biography of Daniel Boone. His novel Gap Creek won the 2000 Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. His most recent book is October Crossing, a poetry collection.

Walter Hines Page was born in 1855 in what would become Cary. After studying at Trinity College (now Duke University), Randolph-Macon College, and Johns Hopkins University, he began his career in journalism at a small newspaper in St. Joseph, MO; within four years, he had worked for the New York World and moved on to found his own newspaper, the State Chronicle, in Raleigh. In 1885 he turned the State Chronicle over to Josephus Daniels and returned to the Northeast, where he worked as an editor of both magazines and books, including the Atlantic Monthly and Houghton, Mifflin, and Company. In 1899 he cofounded the publisher Doubleday, Page, and Company (now Doubleday Publishing, an imprint of Random House), where he worked with authors such as Ellen Glasgow and Booker T. Washington. President Woodrow Wilson named Page to be the nation’s ambassador to the Court of St. James in London in 1913. Page died in Pinehurst in 1918.

Samm-Art Williams was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Burgaw. After graduating from Morgan State College in Baltimore, he studied with the Freedom Theater's Acting Workshop in Philadelphia under the direction of John Allen and Bob Leslie. As a member of the Negro Ensemble Company, he performed in such plays as The First Breeze of Summer, Eden, and Nevis Mountain Dew. He also wrote many plays, including Home,which received a Tony nomination in the category of best Broadway play and toured internationally. He had a lucrative career in television, where he took on roles as an actor, a writer, and executive producer for popular shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin. He has been nominated for two Emmy awards.

The NCLHOF 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 have collaborated 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.

 
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