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Robert Wallace of Durham is the winner of the 2010 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for his story “As Breaks the Wave upon the Sea.” Wallace will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2011 issue. Eighty-two stories were submitted to this year’s competition.

Wallace is a recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council and a Writer’s Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, and he has been a Blumenthal Reader. He has had fiction and nonfiction published in various venues, including the Wellspring, The O. Henry Festival Stories, the Raleigh News & Observer, and the anthology Racing Home: New Short Stories by Award Winning North Carolina Writers.

NCLR fiction editor Liza Wieland selected Wallace’s story from ten finalists, saying, “As Breaks the Wave upon the Sea” is a beautifully woven, deeply affecting story (I wept as I read it, and so did my husband). The language is simple and direct; the relationship between a returned Iraq War soldier and his wife is depicted in all its wrenching complexity, from both points of view, in short sections that sing like prose poems. The result is a pitch-perfect whole, and one of the best stories I've read in a long, long time.”

Wieland also noted Wayne Johns’s “Where Your Children Are” and Susan Snowden’s “Revenge” for honorable mention, saying of Johns’s story, “I confess a personal attachment to this story, having grown up in this part of Atlanta and written about the child murders myself. Mainly, though, I love this story for its language: ‘easing into the backyard as into dark water’; ‘orange-tinged moon was snared in the pines’; ‘the last light shifted through the leaves like a kaleidoscope.’ The story's final line evokes the threat that quivers through the entire story. I admire, too, the way the writer has made the awakening of sexual identity a part of this story that works seamlessly with the history we all know. This is clearly a writer of terrific talent.” Of Snowden’s “Revenge” Wieland says, “I admire this story for its sense of place and culture (the Talmadge ham versus the cooler of shrimp), and for the writer's ability to juggle such a large cast of characters. I feel every bit of Carolyn's anger and disbelief, and I very much enjoyed (and would have loved more of) the way the story calls into question our assumptions about high (portraits of venerable ancestors) and low (pastel Pekingese) art.”

Also of note is that finalist Julie Ann Davis’s story “Taylor’s Creek” was recommended by the NCLR editors for publication in the eastern North Carolina–based, online and print magazine IBX Lifestyles, and it will appear in the spring issue.

Six other stories were finalists in the competition: Joseph Francis Cavano’s “Soldiers,” Carol Cooley’s “Jude and Ms. Martha,” Carol Roan’s “The Streetwalker,” Merry Elrick’s “The Rhubarb,” Doris Monica Iarovici’s “Among The Ruins,” and “The Neighbor’s Dog” by Thomas Wolf, who received the Betts Prize in 2007.

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

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2010 issue, featuring the winner and two finalists from the 2009 Betts competition, as well as the 2011 issue, featuring the winning story from this year’s competition. Go to www.nclr.ecu.edu/subscrip.htm for subscription information, and subscribe by June 1 to avoid postage charges.

Fred ChappellGreensboro, NC—Fred Chappell, described as North Carolina’s “resident genius,” will deliver the keynote address at the 2010 North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference, which takes place Saturday, April 24, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Elliott University Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The annual event, cosponsored by UNCG’s Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, draws writers from across North Carolina and beyond for intensive workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, and publishing, led by distinguished writing faculty. This year’s conference will also feature a Publishing Panel with book and journal editors, a Faculty Reading, an Open Mike Reading for conference attendees, and “Lunch with an Author,” in which attendees share lunch and personal conversation with one of the authors on the faculty.

In 2004, Fred Chappell retired after 40 years in the UNCG English department. During this time he published 26 books of poetry, fiction, and critical commentary. His awards include the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the North Carolina Award in Literature, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, eight Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Awards, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers (Best Foreign Book Prize) from the Academie Francaise, the Mihai Eminescu Medal from the Republic of Moldova, and the Thomas Wolfe Prize. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2006. He served as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 1997 until 2002. His latest book of poetry is Shadow Box, published in 2009 by LSU Press. His latest work of fiction, Ancestors and Others: New and Selected Stories, was published last year by St. Martin’s Press. He lives with his wife, Susan, in Greensboro.

Conference participants may select from a variety of half- and full-day workshops, including “Inspiration Station,” a poetry workshop with poet and Asheville Poetry Review editor Keith Flynn; “Gimme a Break: Breaking Into Nonfiction Publishing,” with author and publisher Malcolm Campbell; “The Morning After: Reclaiming Your Life as a Writer” with NC State University professor Sheila Smith McKoy; “The North Carolina Screenwriter, and Screenwriter as Filmmaker” with Nathan Ross Freeman, the director of the award-winning feature film Mr. Bones; and “The Greatest Writing Prompt Ever” with poet Scott Owens.

Other instructors include Holly Goddard Jones, Chris Roerden, and John McNally on fiction, and Cynthia Nearman and NCWN executive director Ed Southern on nonfiction.

Registration for the conference—made possible with support from UNC Greensboro and the North Carolina Arts Council—is $99 for Network members, $150 for nonmembers.

To register, call 919-251-9140 for more information.


 

NORTH CAROLINA—Final judge Sheri Reynolds, best-selling author of five novels, named Paul Byall of Savannah, Georgia, the winner of the 2010 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for his story “Sequestered.” Reynolds said of this story, whose main character, Maggie, finds herself sequestered as a jury member at a murder trial, “This writer brilliantly controls the story’s tempo, moving between scene and summary, between details of the murder and the trial itself. The story is controlled, complicated, and graceful.” Byall will receive $1,000 from the NC Writers’ Network and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.

Paul Byall was raised in Ohio and studied at Miami University (Ohio) and the University of California. He is the 2008 recipient of the New South Short Story Award and has been a finalist for numerous fiction awards. His first published story, written while a student at the University of California, was selected as one of the one hundred distinguished stories of the year by The Best American Short Stories anthology. He currently lives and writes in Savannah, where he has recently completed a novel, Salvation’s Fire.

Reynolds also selected two honorable mentions: “Official Business” by Mark Connelly of Madison, Wisconsin, and “Burial Ground” by Tracy Knight of Raleigh, North Carolina. Of “Official Business” Reynolds wrote, “Set in post-war Poland, this story follows a single day in the life of a doctor and researcher who is relieved of his duties and taken into custody by the government. In prose both spare and vivid, this writer provides a snapshot of place, time, and politics through a very compelling character.”

And of Knight’s story Reynolds said, “In ‘Burial Ground’ an eleven-year-old watches her brother struggle to bury a beloved dead cat. The narrative voice here is lush, poetic, mysterious, insightful—and still believable. I love the visionary quality of the writing.”

Both Connelly and Knight are experienced fiction writers. Connelly has an MA in creative writing and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and his novella, Fifteen Minutes,received the 2004 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize from Texas Review Press. Knight is a native North Carolinian, who lives and works in Raleigh. Two of her stories were selected in 2008 as finalists for the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award sponsored by the Salem College Center for Women Writers. She has a BA in English from Meredith College and has studied fiction writing at North Carolina State University.

Final judge Sheri Reynolds is the author of five novels, the most famous of which, The Rapture of Canaan,was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and New York Times bestseller in 1997. Her most recent novel is The Sweet In-Between (2008). She is a graduate of Davidson College and Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches creative writing and literature classes at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia in 2003.

Preliminary judge, David Radavich of Charlotte, North Carolina, also named six finalists, whose stories were read by Reynolds: “The Changeling” and “Let Us Plough, Let Us Build” both by Mark Connelly; “The Once and Missing Captain of Commerce” by Rodney Nelsestuen of Woodbury, Minnesota; “Rainbow” by Gary Powell of Cornelius, North Carolina; “Brea’s Tale” by Karen Pullen of Pittsboro, North Carolina; and “Lying” by Allen Smith of Alexandria, Virginia.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is our state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit http://www.ncwriters.org.

Tamra Wilson's story, "The Prodigal," was a finalist in the 2010 Flatireon Writers Short Fiction Contest and her story, "Brother Dirk," took third place in the Children's Story Contest sponsored by Charlotte Writers Club. Both stories are excerpts from Home at the Lincoln Hotel, a novel in progress.

The National Association of Professional and Executive Women (USA) has selected Islamic author and illustrator Linda “iLham” Barto as its 2010 Woman of the Year in the arts category. More about Barto and her work is available on her website www.Lit-by-Linda.com.

 

 

Katrina Parker Williams has works published or accepted for publication at the following:
 

  • a fictional piece "Rock" published at Charlotte Viewpoint.
  • a fictional piece "Aunt Luella's House" and a poem "A Housewife's Lament" published in the March 2010 issue of The Saints' Placenta.
  • a poem "Bag of Clothes" accepted at All Things Girl for their March 2010 issue.
  • a poem "Revolt in the Cherokee Nation" accepted at Dead Mule for their July 2010 issue.
  • a fictional piece "Missus Buck" accepted at The Village Pariah.
  • a fictional piece "Grandpa's Courtship" accepted at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal  for their July-September 2010 issue. 
  •  a fictional piece "The Fear of My Father" published at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal.
  • a fictional piece "Ms. Pimmelly's City" published at usadeepsouth.

NCWN member Kim Wright's debut novel, Love in Mid Air, was selected for the "First Fiction" list of Publisher's Weekly, Spring issue 2010.

Joan Carris'  latest book, Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, was put on the Smithsonian Notable Books List for 2009. 

Hats Off to Wilson Roberts. His short story, "Against the Dying of the Light"  has been accepted for publication by the Massachusetts Review.

 
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