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NC Literary Hall of Fame




RALEIGH—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference, November 4-6 in Raleigh, poet, editor, and writing coach Alice Osborn will teach participants "How to be a Rock Star at PR."

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference is open, but pre-registration closes Friday, October 28!

Hemingway, Whitman, and Morrison. These notable authors created their own brand by tooting their own horn and you can too. If you don’t stand out in the crowd in this new publishing world, you’ll be a “one and done” author. A decade ago Alice Osborn started her own successful writing and editing services company from the ground up and is here to share her secrets and hacks with you. In this talk you’ll learn how to build your brand by doing what no one else does and by learning and identifying your strengths as an author. You’ll also learn how to self-promote and enhance the presentation of your own skills, even if you’re a die-hard introvert. This workshop is useful for all writers across all genres and publication achievements.

We asked Alice, "What is one piece of advice you'd give your younger, writer self?"

“I would have said 'no' more often so that I would have had more time to write. When I first started my writing career, I organized an open mic, a book club, a women’s networking group, and a writers’ morning out. Because it was the Recession, I felt I needed to volunteer and spend time working on unpaid projects, but what that led to a lot of sleep deprivation, stress, and rushing out client projects. I was busy, but I wasn’t productive. Sometimes we use busyness and volunteer activities so others can see how busy we are or as a way to procrastinate from performing the real creative work or deep thinking. Guilty as charged!

"My now third-grade daughter was a toddler and I was constantly shuttling her from part-time daycare to part-time preschool, using day hours for meetings and my night hours for writing and client projects. Weekends? I worked late into the night on Friday and Saturday, as well as during the day when I didn’t have family duties. Fortunately, I stopped this cycle of workaholism and madness when my work quality suffered and several of my clients weren’t too shy in telling me about my poor efforts. After I wiped the tears, I had a good look at myself and slowly made changes. Yes, I disappointed people because I wasn’t organizing events they had once enjoyed, but I had to stop disappointing myself and my family.

"I asked others for guidance, like one of my first writing teachers, Dr. Elaine Neil Orr, author of A Different Sun and Gods of Noon Day, how she got to be so good at saying no. She told me that as a double transplantee, she doesn’t have the luxury of time doing things that take her away from her writing. Dr. Orr is the master of saying no with gentility!

"Telling folks who want to pick your brain over a cup of coffee that they can consult with you for free … as long as they pay $50 for the coffee.

"Getting rid of colleagues, clients and friends who complain, use more than they give, waste your time by being late, or are generally unreliable. This isn’t fun to say no to them, especially if you’ve had a great time with them in the past. Say, 'It worked for me in the past, but it doesn’t work for me now.'

"Stop working with clients who want the lowest price and want the work done fast. Tell them to go elsewhere—you don’t need the stress and grief. Early in my editing/writing career, I took on any job that moved because I was afraid I’d be broke if I didn’t. This is bad thinking which only hurts you in the long run. If you say yes to these clients you’re pulling time away from your real clients, as well as your writing, meditation, creative, exercise, and relaxation time. All of this creative time is so important because when you do it, you’re giving love back to yourself. So if that’s true, working with clients that aren’t worth your time for a few bucks means you don’t value yourself. Aha!

"I’m not saying don’t perform services gratis or volunteer your time; I’m saying do these acts of service with intention within your business/writing plan, so that when you’re done you feel abundant, not depleted and bitter.”

Alice Osborn’s past educational (MA in English, NCSU, and BS in Finance, VA Tech) and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as an editor, writing coach, and poet-musician. In the past decade, Alice has taught writing workshops to thousands of aspiring fiction and memoir authors of nearly all ages, both around the corner and across continents. Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry. Previous collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. Alice is also the editor of the anthologies Tattoos and Creatures of Habitat, both from Main Street Rag. A North Carolina Writers’ Network board member and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in The News and Observer in Raleigh, The Broad River Review, Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review, and in numerous journals and anthologies. When she’s not editing or writing, Alice is an Irish dancer who plays guitar and violin. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, four loud birds, and Mr. Nibbles, the guinea pig. Visit Alice's website at www.aliceosborn.com.

Alice is also the sponsor for the Opening Reception prior to the Keynote Address by Margaret Maron on Friday night. So, when attendees are munching on snacks and sipping beverages, settling into the conference vibe, they can thank Alice.

Register for NCWN's 2016 Fall Conference now at www.ncwriters.org.

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


RALEIGH—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference, November 4-6 in Raleigh, intellectual property attorney Mitch Tuchman will teach the course "Copyright Infringement."

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference is open, but pre-registration ends tonight at midnight.

Copyright ownership conveys exclusive rights on authors. These include rights to reproduce literary and other works in copies (hence the term “copy right”), to distribute and display those copies, to perform the protected works and to create derivative works. Authors may exercise these rights or license others to do so. Exercise of any of these rights without the author’s consent constitutes infringement in most cases. This session examines best—and worst—practices in the attempted enforcement of copyrights against infringers.

We asked Mitch, “What is one piece of advice you'd give to your younger, writer self?”

"Consider the letter you write pitching your work to a publisher the most important piece of writing you will ever do. Word it carefully, check it for errors and proofread it over and over and over again.

Mitch Tuchman is an intellectual property attorney in the RTP office of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. Before he became an attorney, Mitch spent fourteen years as the head of the publications department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has also been a freelance writer for more than four decades. Consequently a significant focus of his legal practice is in the realm of copyright matters. Mitch understands copyright issues from the author’s perspective because he has been both a writer and publisher himself. Mitch writes and speaks frequently on copyright law, most recently about the nine unsuccessful plaintiffs who sued James Cameron, claiming his motion picture Avatar infringed their works.

Register for NCWN's 2016 Fall Conference now at www.ncwriters.org.

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


RALEIGH—With some 200 writers in attendance, as well as dozens of faculty and publishing professionals, the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Fall Conference is the largest writing conference in the state and one of the biggest and most inclusive in the country. It’s a great chance for writers to network, but more importantly, it’s a chance for beginners and bestselling authors alike to focus on writing for an entire weekend and quickly improve their craft.

Pre-registration is now closed, but attendees can register on-site beginning at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 4. For full conference details, click here

Fall Conference happens November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley.

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Maron, of Willow Springs, will give the Keynote Address. Maron is the five-time Agatha Award-winning mystery writer of the Deborah Knott series, which is set in Johnston County. In 2015, she was given a lifetime achievement award by Bouchercon, the world mystery convention.

Saturday’s luncheon will feature three authors from UNC Press’ Savor the South series: Debbie Moose, Bridgette A. Lacy, and John Shelton Reed. They’ll talk about how good food writing is about so much more than just food.

2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and current NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson will be the featured guest at Saturday night’s banquet. He’ll talk about writing, read some poetry, and most likely strum a little bit on his guitar.

Program offerings include the second annual All Stories Connect panel discussion. This year’s theme is “A Conversation about Culture” with Shervon Cassim, Sheila Smith McKoy, Donna Miscolta, and Elaine Neil Orr. Sunday morning will once again feature the popular Brilliant at Breakfast panel discussion “Agents and Editors,” featuring Michelle Brower of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth; Robin Miura, editor of Carolina Wren Press; Emma Patterson of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.; and Kathy Pories, Senior Editor at Algonquin Books.

Poetry courses include “Image and Narrative” with Guggenheim and NEA fellow Joseph Millar; “Writing Haiku” with Lenard D. Moore, recipient of the 2014 NC Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor; and “The Furniture of the Poem: The Space of the Page and How We Fill It” with Chris Tonelli, poet and owner of Raleigh’s So & So Bookstore.

Fiction writers will choose from a full slate of class offerings including “Minute Particulars” with Raleigh’s Kim Church, whose debut novel Byrd won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize for best debut novel set in the South; “Ending Well: Short Story Endings and Their Lessons” with Clare Beams, author of the forthcoming short-story collection We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books, 2016). Poet, playwright, and arts educator Howard L. Craft will teach “Developing Authentic Dialog”; and Art Taylor, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, will teach “Sharp, Succinct & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Story.”

Other classes focus on some aspect of the publishing industry. Poet, NCWN trustee, and NCWN regional rep for Wake County, Alice Osborn, will teach “How to be a Rock Star at PR”; the Triangle Area Freelancers will lead the panel discussion on “Freelance Writing 101”; intellectual property attorney Mitch Tuchman will talk to writers about “Copyright Infringement”; Ross White, poet and founder/publisher of Bull City Press, will lead “Grammar Gone Wild”; and Kim Church and Emma Patterson will chat about “How to Work with an Agent.”

Other classes are meant to appeal to authors who write across genres: award-winning Young Adult and New Adult author Jen McConnel will ask “YA/NA: What’s the Big Deal?”; Zelda Lockhart, founder of LaVenson Press Studios, will guide attendees through “The Relationship Museum”; award-winning writer and folklorist Eleanora E. Tate will lead a class on children’s writing; and sci-fi writer Ian J. Malone will teach a class called “Beyond Vanity: How Indie Publishing Builds Professional Writers.”

Once again, the Network will offer the Mary Belle Campbell Scholarship, which sends two poets who teach full-time to the Fall Conference. Other scholarships are available, including one sponsored by Marc Graham, author of Of Ashes and Dust.

2016 Fall Conference sponsors include Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN regional rep Al Manning; Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author; The 2017 Piedmont Laureate Program; the University of North Carolina Press; Marc Graham, author of Of Ashes and Dust; and the North Carolina Arts Council.

For more information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.


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