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ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Christine Hale will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, "Using the Imagination in Memoir."
We selected a passage from Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel (one of Asheville's most famous texts) and removed a few words. Then we prompted Christine to fill in the resulting blanks, for what we're calling "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition." Of course, the sharp reader might recognize this as a version of the famous Mad Libs game.
Below is Christine Hale's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:
"Where is the day that smattered into one rich overbearing mother? Where the music of your traveling feet, the banjo of your teeth, the dainty languor of your suit coat, your wayward firm spleen, your slender fingers, to be satiated like an okra, and the little cherry-squirrel of your white writer's bump? And where are all the tiny ice boxes of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the ridges of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this fedora. You who were made for bar keeping, will sling scullery maid no more: in your dark attic closet the windstorm tearing trees out by the roots are silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that paper cut that we did not foresee, return not into Altamont, but atop Mt. Mitchell, where we have never rattled, into the enchanted wood, where we collected stamps, strewn on the back stoop. Come up into the hills, O my young Zelda Fitzgerald: return. O lost, and by the wind-grieved Jay Gatsby, come back again."
At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Christine Hale will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, "Using the Imagination in Memoir." Although memoirists can and should struggle to tell the truth about themselves and others, good memoir relies on a good capacity for imagination. A writer must use imagination when writing memoir because the facts we think we remember are not, in fact, facts. Robert Root, writing about memory in The Nonfictionist’s Guide, says, “What is seen is determined by the eye of the beholder. Who you are determines what you pay attention to.” And I would add to that, “Who you are at a given point in time determines what you pay attention to and how you interpret it.” During our time together, I’ll provide examples of and the rationale for the role of imagination in memoir. We’ll workshop a portion of each participant's submission, attending not only to what's working well but also the places where imagination might be used to good advantage. Time permitting, we will complete writing exercises practicing the techniques we have discussed. Participants should come away from the sessions with strategies for artfully deploying imagination in their memoir projects.
Christine Hale’s prose has appeared in Hippocampus, Arts & Letters, Prime Number, Shadowgraph, and The Sun, among other literary journals. Her debut novel Basil’s Dream (Livingston Press, 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. A fellow of MacDowell, Ucross, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ms. Hale has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and the Rona Jaffee Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program. Her new book, A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations (forthcoming from Apprentice House, April 2016) is set in the southern Appalachian Mountains, where she and her parents grew up. She lives in Asheville, where she is director of operations for Urban Dharma, a Buddhist temple and community center.
Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is now open.
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RALEIGH—On Saturday, September 19, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the North Carolina Writers’ Network will host “Indiependents Day,” a chance for authors to learn about what happens to their books long after they finish writing them, and how books find readers.
Held at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown, in Raleigh, this one-of-a-kind event will offer five sessions over the course of the day, from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.
NCWN members receive a special discount. The cost is $100 for members, $150 for non-members. If you're a member of NCWN, apply the following promotion code at checkout:
Not a member? Join here.
Registration will be capped at 100: Register here.
“Successful authors know that their job isn't done when they complete their latest manuscript,” said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “They know their job's not done when the book is published. ‘Indiependents Day’ will tell authors—working in any genre, with any sort of publisher, including themselves—how to finish their job, and work with bookstores to get their books into readers' hands.”
Led by both booksellers and authors, the sessions begin with “The End Is Not the End,” which will instruct registrants on what an author needs to know (and keep in mind) once he or she finishes writing a manuscript and starts thinking about publication.
Later that morning, “Your Bookseller, Your Friend” will offer a plan for how to get booksellers to stock, display, and hand-sell a book—without bugging them to death.
“Tours of Duty” is the third session, where authors will learn how to plan, promote, and behave themselves on their author tours.
Participants will then break for lunch, and have the option of purchasing a ticket to the SIBA Discovery Show Saturday Lunch featuring Lee Boudreaux, current editor at Ecco Press, who is launching her new imprint at Little, Brown: Lee Boudreaux Books. Registrants may also have lunch on their own.
Post-lunch, Session IV offers “The Shelf Is Not the End (the Reader Is),” what an author needs to do to keep their book(s) on—and flying off—the shelves, after the new-release window has closed and the tour is done.
SIBA’s Nicki Leone (aka Lady Banks) will lead the final session, “What SIBA Does, and Can Do for You.” Here, authors will learn how to work with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance to reach bookstores and readers. This session concludes with a tour of the trade show floor, which is likely each registrant's only opportunity to walk the floor, as the show is not open to the public.
Online registration closes Friday, September 11. Register here.
“Indiependents Day” runs in conjunction with the 2015 SIBA 40th Anniversary Discovery Show in Raleigh. Nearly 300 tables manned by southeastern booksellers will fill a trade-show floor that is Southern in its friendliness, social gatherings, and intimacy, and encourages many informal exchanges of ideas.
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is a trade association which represents over 300 bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi. It exists to empower, promote, and celebrate their core member bookstores in a spirit of partnership.
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.