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GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference offers a full-day of classes, top writing faculty, and intensive Master Classes and breakout sessions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for tweens, building your career, and the Facebook Advantage. Other features include faculty readings, on-site "lunch with an author," publisher exhibits, Slush Pile Live!, and an open mic for conference participants.

But none of it would be possible without the support of our sponsors.

The Master in Fine Arts Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers a two-year residency program with an emphasis on providing students with studio time in which to study the writing of fiction or poetry. This program is one of the oldest in the country. The faculty includes Michael Parker (who'll give the Keynote Address at this year's Spring Conference), Jim Clark, and Holly Jones. The program produces The Greensboro Review.

Conference attendees will be able to park free in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck courtesy of the MFA Writing Program at UNCG.

The North Carolina Arts Council offers operating support for the North Carolina Writers' Network. The Arts Council has been a statutory state agency since 1967. Their core functions include creating a strong and efficient arts infrastructure across North Carolina; planning and implementing economic development using the arts; education; and research. The Arts Council believes that artists are an integral part of civic life as they stimulate creativity, innovation and dialogue. Our cities vibrate with the energy of the arts; and our rural communities reach deep into their roots and celebrate their unique traditions. Residents in every corner of NC have the chance to engage their artistic aspirations. The arts help children flourish through a complete education that prepares them for the workforce with twenty-first century skills. The arts build bridges where diverse communities reach across boundaries to celebrate and share their cultures. The arts are an essential ingredient in state policy, practice, and pride.

Greensboro's News & Record is a leading multimedia news, information, advertising, and entertainment source for the cities of Greensboro and High Point, Guilford County and Rockingham and Randolph counties in North-Central North Carolina. The News & Record launched its first online edition in the winter of 1994-95. Its digital channels now include www.News-Record.com, an e-Edition for desktop computers and tablets, and mobile editions for smartphones and tablets. Go Triad is a free weekly insert in the News & Record, appearing on Thursday. Go Triad focuses on arts and entertainment, including reviews and listings of movies, concerts, and theatre, as well as restaurant and bar reviews. It also has features about local figures in the arts and entertainment industry, including local bands, artists, authors, and others.

88.5 WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont is the National Public Radio affiliate for the Triad. Owned by Wake Forest University, WFDD serves thirty-two counties in Central North Carolina and South-Central Virginia. It also operates a translator, W216K on 100.1 FM in Boone. The station airs news and talk shows from NPR during the day, with local news updates and shows including Triad Arts. From 8:00 pm to 4:00 am, the station turns to Classical music programming.

The NC Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 23, at UNCG. Registration is now open.

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.

 

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference will welcome Brittingham Prize-winning poet Jennifer Whitaker, who'll lead the Master Class in Poetry.

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 23, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open.

Jennifer Whitaker is the author of The Blue Hour, winner of the Brittingham Prize and forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared in journals including Radar Poetry, New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Four Way Review. Originally from Midlothian, Virginia, Jennifer earned her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an assistant poetry editor at storySouth. She currently lives in Greensboro, where she is Director of the University Writing Center at UNCG.

Applicants must apply for Jennifer's Poetry Master Class. In Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, she writes: "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow." Central to this workshop will be questions of audience, intention, and craft. Of course, the poet's intention matters insomuch as it is played out on the page, so the discussion will aim to focus (in part) on poetic form: How is the poem built? What is its strength? Is it most interesting for its tone, diction, metaphor, shape, narrative, movement? What makes a poem successful and memorable?

Other poetry sessions include "The Ars Poetica: Developing a Personal Vision" with Vievee Francis and "Writing the Autobiographical Moment in Poetry" with Matthew Olzmann.

Vievee Francis is the author of three books of poetry, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Second Book Prize), and the recently released Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press), which has been long listed for the PEN Open Book Award. She is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Prize and a Kresge Fellowship. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Best American Poetry (2010, 2014), Poetry Magazine, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, among others. She is currently an Associate Editor for Callaloo and a Visiting Poet at North Carolina State University.

At some point poets have all written a poem on writing poems. Sometimes such poems are written simply to explore or expose their own processes as they write, or to vent their frustrations over the challenges of writing poetry. The poem is made as much by the way they think (about poetry and at large) as how well they negotiate craft. In Vievee's workshop, registrants will do a writing exercise and take a close look at various examples of the ars poetica. Further, they will discuss how they might ultimately develop and articulate a larger aim, cultivating their attitudes, concepts, and the contextualization of their work “twig by twig” (as Archibald MacLeish wryly notes in his poem, "Ars Poetica") toward a comprehensive personal vision.

Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems: Mezzanines (Alice James Books, 2013) and Contradictions in the Design, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books in November, 2016. He’s received scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, the Kresge Arts Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Necessary Fiction, Brevity, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He’s currently the 2015-16 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dinty W. Moore says, “It is not what happens to us in our lives that makes us into writers; it is what we make out of what happens to us.” In Matthew's session, "Writing the Autobiographical Moment in Poetry," attendees will examine how the autobiographical moment is most effectively presented in poetry and how that moment can be expanded to transform the speaker’s private experience into a personal experience for the reader as well. Through close readings of several poems, they’ll discuss successful strategies, and consider how those same strategies can be applied to their own writing. This will be a generative workshop. Registrants will write in class with the goal of producing drafts for at least two new poems.

Pr-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference ends Sunday, April 17. Register here!

 

GREENSBORO—As anyone who's published a book knows, the hard work begins once the book is out in the world. Many authors struggle to bring their book to market, and to find readers. But the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference offers a glimpse inside the industry through special programming and two sessions designed to teach authors how to assemble their own marketing campaign and leverage today's technology in order to sell more books.

"Getting the Word Out: Marketing Your Book on Your Own or with Your Publisher," will be led by Lauren Moseley.

Whether an author has a self-published a book or signed a contract with a Big Five publisher, there’s much he or she can do to market their own work, and it’s never too early or too late to get started. In this session, the Marketing Manager of Algonquin Books will lead an in-depth course on what authors can do to bring your book to a wider audience, from one year before your book’s publication date to well after its release. She’ll discuss examples from successful campaigns for books currently in the marketplace and tips that have proven effective for a variety of authors and genres. The final part of the course will focus on advice for how to best work with a publisher on a marketing campaign, practical dos and don’ts, and a Q&A session. Please come with questions!

Lauren Moseley is the Marketing Manager at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, which has been publishing literary fiction and nonfiction since 1983. She has worked on campaigns for scores of books since joining Algonquin in 2011, including regional, national, and New York Times bestsellers. Lauren received an MFA from UNCG in 2008 and continues to write and publish poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Pleiades, Narrative magazine, BOAAT, Mississippi Review, the anthologies Best New Poets and Women Write Resistance, and elsewhere. She has been a recipient of an artist’s grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Durham.

In the afternoon, Karen M. Alley will lead the workshop "The Facebook Advantage."

In this day and age, if you are a published author, a writer hoping to be published one day, or someone just looking for an audience for your writing, you can’t deny the power of Facebook and other social media. These platforms serve as a way to build relationships and expand your audience. In this course she will talk about the growing importance of Facebook and other social media sites such as Pinterest and Twitter in the publishing sphere, how they benefit writers, how authors can best use them to build their own relationships with their readers, and how to increase followers.

Karen M. Alley is a freelance writer and editor who has been working in the publishing industry for about twenty years. In that time she has served as editor of the IGA Grocergram, editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine, and web editor for Piedmont Parent. Her varied background has given her the chance to gain experience in everything from building a social network to editing a wide range of writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Her own work has been published in O’Henry magazine, Charlotte and Carolina Parent magazines, and various business publications.

The Network will offer the second installment of the popular “Slush Pile Live!”, but with one major change: poetry and prose will now be read in two rooms, so that more attendees have a chance to receive feedback on their writing.

Beginning at 4:00 pm, attendees may drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry in the room of their choice. At 5:00 pm, a panel of editors will listen to the submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading if the piece were being submitted to their publication. The editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the sample, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. All anonymous—all live!

“If you’ve never worked or volunteered for a publisher or literary magazine before, the submission process can seem kind of mysterious,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “‘Slush Pile Live!’ gives attendees a peek into what goes through an editor’s mind as they read their way through a stack of unsolicited submissions, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record; WFDD 88.5 FM: Public Radio for the Piedmont; and UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide free parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). For directions, click here.

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 17.

The non-profit 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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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