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Susan Levi WallachDAVIDSON, NC—Susan Levi Wallach of South Carolina and Jude Whelchel of Asheville, NC, have been selected by final judge Marianne Gingher of UNC-Chapel Hill as the co-winners of the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. They will split the $1,000 first-prize award. 

Wallach’s story, “A Still Life,” mesmerized Gingher.

“I haven’t been able to get this story out of my head since I read it," Gingher said. "The language is vivid, lyrical at times, visceral....There isn’t a single false moment or overwrought sentence in this spare, heartbreaking story.”

Wallach is a freelance editor with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her story, “Another Day for Monkeys,” won the 2013 Porter Fleming Literary Competition in fiction.

Gingher felt equally strong about Jude Whelchel’s “Mother in a Boneyard World."

Jude Welchel“What I admired most,” she said, “was the musicality of the ‘voice’ in the story....The marvelous stoicism of Dew’s mama touched and heartened me. She seems to be a force in the world as unstoppable as Motherhood itself.”

Whelchel’s fiction has appeared in The Sequoya Review and The Potomac Review. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, she is an Episcopal priest and mother.

Gary V. Powell of Lake Norman, NC, received an honorable mention for “Rusty Luvs Suzie." Powell, a retired lawyer, has had several stories selected as finalists in national contests, including Glimmer Train, The Press 53 Prize, and The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize (2008).

“I liked the energy in this story," said Gingher. "The author’s obvious enjoyment of characterizing an entire town through the eyes of a sheriff on the brink of retirement....Strong and endearing characters made this story one of my favorites.”

Marianne GingherGingher, a well-known novelist, short-story writer, and Professor of English and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, selected the three winners from a group of eleven finalists sent to her by preliminary judge David Radavich of Charlotte. These included “City Streets” by Enid Harlow, “Summer Enrichment” by Betty Joyce Nash, “The Relic” by Caryn Sutorus, “Altar Call at Possum Trot” by Jessica Walker, “Burial” by George Harrar, “The Second First Time” by Paula Brancato, “Broken Things” by Jane Shlensky, and “The End of Dr. Moses” by Emmet Hirsch. Gingher especially commended “The Burial” and “The End of Dr. Moses.”

These eleven finalists were selected from over 200 entries, the largest number since the competition was inaugurated by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Contest coordinator Anthony Abbott attributed the increase to the fact that stories can now be submitted online. The final judge for the 2015 competition will be novelist Lee Smith.

 

Jacinta V. WhiteGREENSBORO, NC—Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference is now closed. On-site registration will be open 8:00-9:00 am on Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Spring Conference offers a full day of workshops, panels, conversations, and more. Nancy Peacock, author of the novel The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson, will lead a two-part fiction workshop. Jonathan Farmer, Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor of At Length magazine and the poetry critic for Slate, will lead a two-part creative nonfiction workshop.

And this year, the Network will introduce a new programming feature: instead of a traditional keynote address, Jacinta V. White will lead a special session of the national program, "One City, One Prompt."

Other offerings include poetry workshops with Mark Smith-Soto and John Thomas York; fiction workshops with Kim Church and Drew Perry; and a workshop titled “Writing from Experience” led by Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan, appropriate for writers of all genres. The dynamic tandem of Peggy Payne and 2014 Piedmont Laureate Carrie Knowles will teach writers to “Market Your Book—with Imagination.”

The day’s program includes a panel discussion: “Writing about War” with Robin Greene, Paul Stroebel, and Sharon Raynor. Award-winning children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons will introduce would-be authors to the field through her workshop, “So You Want to Write a Children's Book.” And bestselling author Linda Rohrbough will lead a workshop titled “How to Make an Elevator Pitch,” a class that is highly encouraged for those attendees wanting to take advantage of the Speed Pitch special session at the end of the day.

In the special session of “One City, One Prompt,” Greensboro poet and facilitator Jacinta V. White will provide an overview of the One City, One Prompt program, and begin an opening dialogue on this year's theme: “Begin Again.” Jacinta will then provide a prompt and attendees will write. The session will close with sharing of and reflections on the work the prompt produced, as well as some brief information for those who might want to bring One City, One Prompt to their own towns.

In addition to new programming, familiar features will remain, including faculty readings, the open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conference-goers 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. Pre-registration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

The NCWN 2014 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record. 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 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.

 

Kelly Starling LyonsGREENSBORO, NC—Beat the upcoming price increase and pre-register for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at UNCG. While on-site registration will be available, members will save more than 25 percent by registering now.

Our faculty is at the forefront of the North Carolina literary scene, and they’ve been all over the news. Here’s what they’ve been up to:

  • Carrie Knowles, who along with Peggy Payne will lead the workshop, “Market Your Book—with Imagination,” was recently named the 2014 Piedmont Laureate.
  • Paul Stroebel, who will sit on the “Writing about War” panel with Robin Greene and Sharon D. Raynor, was featured last week on WUNC’s The State of Things with Frank Stasio.
  • Linda Rohrbough will teach attendees “How to Make an Elevator Pitch.” She was featured recently on Who’s Talking? with D.G. Martin on 97.9 FM WCHL.
  • Two of our fiction faculty members have new novels out: Kim Church published Byrd this month, and Drew Perry has been on tour for his new novel, Kids These Days.
  • Kelly Starling Lyons’ children’s book, Hope’s Gift, was named a 2013 Okra Pick and was showcased at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. She’ll lead a workshop titled, “So You Want to Write a Children’s Book.”
  • Jacinta V. White will lead a special session of “One City, One Prompt.” The NCWN Spring Conference is one of a handful of exclusive venues for this national program.

Not to mention our impressive workshop leaders, Nancy Peacock and Jonathan Farmer, who will lead the Two-Part Fiction and Two-Part Creative Nonfiction workshops, respectively. Or our distinguished poets, Mark Smith-Soto and John Thomas York; or the inimitable duo of Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan, who will lead a workshop titled “Writing from Experience.”

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 6. For more information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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