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NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO, NC—Early registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 7. The 2013 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 13, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and attendees can save more than 25 percent by registering now.

Another reason to pre-register is that the popular "Lunch with an Author" program will NOT be available to those who wait to register on-site. “Lunch with an Author" gives attendees a chance to engage in informal conversation with accomplished writers. But conference-goers this year will need to pre-register for this feature, 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 Judy Goldman’s creative nonfiction workshop, “Writing Personal Essays and Memoir.” One-session course offerings will be led by Lynn York and John McNally (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.”

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.

Stephen Kirk has been the editor at John F. Blair, Publisher, for more than twenty years. He is the author of Scribblers: Stalking the Authors of Appalachia and First in Flight: The Wright Brothers in North Carolina and has contributed to other books including Travel North Carolina and Sports in the Carolinas. His short fiction has been reprinted in the Best American Short Stories series.

Robin Miura has worked in publishing for eleven years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press, and for the past eight years as an independent editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, writing coach, and literary agent for publishing companies and individual authors. She has worked with many different types of books—from academic and educational to self-help—but her passion is literary fiction and nonfiction. Currently she edits fiction and memoir for Carolina Wren Press. Robin is a North Carolina native who enjoys living outside of Raleigh with her husband and two children.

Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor of Press 53, a literary publishing company in Winston-Salem. As a publisher and editor, he has worked with writers ranging from newly published authors to winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Kevin also serves as an advisor on adaptation of short stories to screenplays for the screenwriting faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.

Andrew Saulters is a poet and book binder and designer in Greensboro. He hails from Phenix City, Alabama, and teaches composition at Guilford College.

Registration is available online at 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.


Leah HamptonGREENVILLE, NC--Leah Hampton of Waynesville, NC, is the winner of the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for her story “The Saint.” Hampton will receive a prize of $250, and her story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2013 issue.

Leah Hampton teaches English at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where she currently serves as the Associate Director of WCU's Writing and Learning Commons. She is a native North Carolinian and a longtime resident of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She lives in Waynesville with her husband Joel.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Hampton’s story from twelve finalists, saying “I chose 'The Saint' as winner of the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize because I was moved by the quiet, deliberate voice in the story, as well as by the energy of the language. I was also impressed by the story’s experiment with chronology, its demonstration that grief can dismantle time and thus in some way make time useful to us. This is a story that is both disarmingly wise and breathtakingly beautiful.”

Eighty-nine stories were submitted to this year’s competition. Wieland also noted Ronald Jackson’s “The Shower,” Kathryn Lovatt’s “A Cure For Dreams,” and Gregg Cusick’s “Entanglement” for honorable mentions, each of whom is an NCWN member. Other finalists were NCWN members Leah Berkowitz and Kermit Turner, as well as Allison Reavis, Nancy Richard, Beth Hatcher, Faith Holsaert, Haley Edwards, and Susan Walker.

Read Liza Wieland's comments on the Honorable Mentions here.

"The past year has been full of surprises and learning experiences," said Hampton."My background is in technical writing, so I've always been rather shy about my creative side. Recently I'd been intensely focused on some challenging work-related writing projects, and I was feeling really burned out. I became determined to take some time for myself and finally submit this story, which had been on the back burner for some time. It felt so good to finish it, to feed that part of myself. I am so thrilled and fulfilled by this whole experience."

NCWN member Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill won the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story, "Boundaries."

Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations. Fiction editor Liza Wieland is the author of three novels and three collections of short stories.

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.


GREENSBORO, NC—University of North Carolina at Greensboro associate director Terry Kennedy recently dubbed this the “golden age” for publishing. But more publishing opportunity means more competition, so authors also need to be entrepreneurial in their approach. None more so than poets, who need to establish platforms in order to gain name recognition, nurture their readership, and sell books—one reader at a time.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2013 Spring Conference offers two poetry workshops and two workshops focused on the business of publishing—can’t miss offerings for those writers looking to earn a living doing what they love.

John Rybicki will lead a workshop titled "The Risks of Writing Poetry." Poetry writing is about risk. None of us can compose a potent poem with a block of ice in our chest. In that respect, Rybicki will be urging students in this class to walk on water and run with scissors; to say what it is a heart is burning to say. After some introductory flame throwing (inspiration) and some perusing of the nuances of craft, students will write a prose poem centered around one core person in their lives. Your father or mother will be a stranger to us before you write him/her into existence. By the end of your poem we will come to know them as a warm-blooded, three dimensional being. Don't worry about reaching some pinnacle of expression in a first draft. We all fail lavishly in our attempts to translate into higher language something core about the human condition. Students who wish to will share their work out loud at the end of class.

In the afternoon, Carolyn Beard Whitlow will lead a poetry session titled "Writing in Circles: Repeating Sounds, Words, and Refrains in Poetry." The ocean repeats its rhythmic waves. Birds repeat their trill. Chants are based on sounds rhythmically repeated. Repetition can be soothing or hypnotic. Or emphatic. Nursery rhymes and jingles depend on the repetition of sounds, most often rhyme. Sonnets most often rhyme. Other poetic forms, however, depend not only on rhyme, but on patterns of repeating words or lines that may not rhyme. The sestina form is based on six unrhymed words that repeat six times—no, really seven. The villanelle depends on two refrains that repeat alternately. Come learn how to create a villanelle and a sestina that repeat lines or words in entrancing and exciting ways. Even if you write free verse, you’ll learn the effect of melodic repetition.

Two additional workshops will focus on the business of publishing.

In the am session, Scott Nicholson will facilitate a workshop titled “Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing.” The Kindle and other devices have changed the way writers and readers connect. Learn the basic methods and platforms for getting your ebooks to a worldwide audience, as well as the advantages and risks of self-publishing. International bestselling author and publisher Scott Nicholson will share his experiences and answer questions to help you enter the fastest-growing market in literature.

And in the afternoon, Terry Kennedy and Ross White will co-coordinate a workshop titled “Authors as Entrepreneurs.” With the business models of traditional publishing changing, authors are increasingly being asked to act entrepreneurially. While many authors choose to do this by concentrating on marketing their work, an increasing number are developing new models of creative businesses and services that contribute to the literary community and develop a personal brand. In this session, two arts entrepreneurs will look at several small businesses developed by writers and discuss best practices for starting businesses that benefit both the individual writer and the larger literary community.

John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit. He is the author of three poetry collections: We Bed Down into Water, Traveling at High Speeds, and When All the World Is Old, published by Lookout Books in 2012. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, and Bomb, among many others, and have been reprinted in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize. He teaches poetry writing through InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice to children who have been through a trauma or loss. He lives in Augusta, Michigan, with his son, Martell.

Carolyn Beard Whitlow is Dana Professor of English at Guilford College, where she has taught Creative Writing and African American Literature since 1993. Finalist for the 1991 Barnard New Women Poets Prize and the 2005 Ohio State University Poetry Prize, she completed the MFA at Brown University, then published her first poetry collection, Wild Meat, in 1986. Her most recent book, Vanished, won the 2006 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and she was awarded the 2012 Sonia Sanchez/Amiri Baraka Prize in Poetry. She co-edited, with Marilyn Krysl, the anthology Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century, now under consideration for publication. Whitlow is also a visual artist and quilter whose work can be found at

Scott Nicholson is the international bestselling author of more than thirty books. He released six mass-market paperbacks before becoming a self-publisher, and has since hit the Kindle Top 100 multiple times in four different countries. Nicholson has also written children’s books, poetry, comic books, and screenplays, and as a journalist he won three North Carolina Press Association awards. His website is

Terry Kennedy is the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNC Greensboro where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship and Literary Publishing and serves as Associate Editor of The Greensboro Review. In addition, he edits the online journal, storySouth.

Ross White is the Executive Director of Bull City Press, a Durham-based small press dedicated to poetry and short fiction. He teaches poetry writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he is the Dean of Distance Education. His poetry and criticism has appeared in Best New Poets 2012,, Poetry Daily, and others.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit 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.

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