NC Literary Hall of Fame





Laurel FerejohnNORTH CAROLINA--"That Other Story" by Laurel Ferejohn of Durham, NC, is the winner of the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The Wolfe Prize awards $1,000 to the author of the winning story.

Final judge Josephine Humphreys selected Ferejohn’s story from eleven finalists sent to her by preliminary judge David Radavich of Charlotte. Humphreys, one of the South's most distinguished novelists, said Ferejohn’s story “smoothly accomplishes fiction's number one goal, that is, to create a believable world, using all the tools available: narrative voice, character, place, dialogue, action. The result is a fictional texture that's strong and convincing."

Ferejohn is an independent editor working with literary and scholarly journals. She is a recipient of the 2012 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council, with support from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Humphreys selected "Sanctuary" by Elizabeth Brownrigg, also of Durham, as the first honorable mention, praising the story for "its distinctive voice and strong writing.... It's a thought-provoking story." Brownrigg received her MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, and is the author of two novels, Falling to Earth (1998) and The Woman Who Loved War (2005).

NCWN members Kathryn Shaver of Louisville, KY, and Kermit Turner of Hickory, NC, shared the second honorable mention. Of Shaver's story, "The Fourth Monkey," Humphreys wrote, "The narrative voice is dignified, earnest, sympathetic, and the plot progresses in surprising but believable ways." And of Turner's story, "Pool," she said, "I was struck by the way the writer gradually opens a view onto the past of the main a way that's both unexpected and satisfying."

Humphreys, the author of Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, The Fireman's Fair, and Nowhere Else on Earth, said of all these stories, "I'd like to add that I was impressed by all four of these submissions. I know a story's good when I finish reading and feel that I've received a gift."

The seven other finalists were "Mr. Potato Head" by Leah Rachel Berkowitz of Durham, NC; "Revival" by Debra Efird of Harrisburg, NC; "Rules" by Heloise Jones of Jacksonville, FL; "Blind Fish" by Amanda Pauley of Elliston, VA; "Crying in Italian" by Virginia Pye of Richmond, VA; "Tea in Chesapeake" and "Dear John," both by Michael Twist of Boring, OR.

The winning story and the three honorable mentions will be considered for publication by the Thomas Wolfe Review.


Alan Michael ParkerGREENSBORO, NC--The Network will host its annual Spring Conference at the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on April 28. Fiction writers can choose between two can't-miss offerings: an all-day fiction workshop with Alan Michael Parker titled, "Fact and Fiction," and a half-day fiction workshop with Mylène Dressler titled, "Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction."

Here are the course descriptions:

Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker
You can’t make it all up, right? Nor can you render religiously exactly what happened—stories need invention, the mechanics of time, re-telling, and shape. Stories need characters and scenes: life doesn’t always accommodate. So what’s the best way to combine experience and imagination and write the best fiction? In this class, we will focus on questions of fidelity, distortion, fancy, and freedom, as we examine various ways to approach the writing of fiction. Bring a pen, lots of paper, and a good-sized ball of string (really). In the morning, exercises and discussion: in the afternoon, more, as well as a little adventure…

Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction (fiction) with Mylène Dressler
As writers, we face a daily challenge: we create (and live, much of the time) in the spaces inside our heads, yet our task is to create dynamic, breathing characters and active, arcing stories capable of moving our readers as well as stopping them dead in their tracks. How can we notice and break through “brain-locked” writing, and learn to craft fiction that inhabits the physical world, packing visceral as well as emotional punch? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the limitations of writing that happens only-inside-our-heads, and explore techniques and exercises that will help you—and your audience—connect with your stories and characters in charged, vital, and vivid ways.

Alan Michael Parker is the author of two novels, Whale Man (WordFarm, 2011) and Cry Uncle, along with seven collections of poems, including Long Division (Tupelo Press, 2012). His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in many prominent magazines, and in The Best American Poetry 2011 as well as the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology. Since 1998, Parker has taught at Davidson College, where he is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing; he is also a Core Faculty Member in the Queens University low-residency MFA program.

Mylène DresslerMylène Dressler is a novelist whose books include The Medusa Tree (MacAdamCage), The Deadwood Beetle (Putnam), and The Floodmakers (Putnam), and an essayist whose work has appeared in Pilgrimage, Creative NonFiction, and New Graffiti. A professor and frequent distinguished visiting writer at various universities, including the University of Texas at Austin and the McCullers Center in Georgia, she leads workshops designed to develop the skills, stamina, and confidence of emerging and established writers. She is the current Visiting Writer at Guilford College, where she teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and contemporary literature.

Full faculty bios can be viewed on the conference webpage. The 2012 Spring Conference also offers workshops in nonfiction, poetry, children's publishing, and tutorials for authors. Registration is available online or by calling 336-293-8844.

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.


Hats Off! to Angela Davis-Gardner. The paperback edition of her novel, Butterfly's Child, will be published by Dial Press in April, 2012.


Hats Off! to Michel Stone, whose debut novel, The Iguana Tree, sold out its first edition before it was even released. It's received favorable national reviews, and it's been selected as a SIBA "Okra Pick." The release date is March 12, 2012.


Spring Conference 2012 FacultyGREENSBORO, NC—The University of North Carolina at Greensboro sits in the geographic heart of the state. It’s a fitting venue for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2012 Spring Conference to be held Saturday, April 28, from 8:00 am – 6:30 pm, in the Elliott University Center at UNC-Greensboro.

The annual event, co-sponsored by UNC-Greensboro’s creative writing program, draws writers from across North Carolina and beyond for workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, children’s writing, and publishing, led by distinguished writing faculty. This year’s conference will also feature a Publishers Panel with book and journal editors; a Faculty Reading; an Open Mike reading for conference attendees; and “Lunch with an Author,” where attendees share lunch and personal conversation with faculty members.

In fact, geography will very much be on people’s minds, as the keynote address will feature representatives from an exciting new web-based project titled “A Literary Map of North Carolina.” A collaborative project between UNC-Greensboro and the North Carolina Center for the Book, the NC Literary Map is a database-driven, searchable/browseable, multi-level, multi-media online research tool to foster interest in North Carolina’s rich literary tradition. Guests can search by author or genre, or just browse the map to find authors who have lived in or written about North Carolina. Scheduled to be officially launched in the fall, visitors can catch a sneak peak at

Course offerings at the 2012 Spring Conference include two all-day workshops, one on fiction led by Alan Michael Parker, and a nonfiction intensive led by Randall Kenan; a half-day fiction workshop with Mylène Dressler; and poetry workshops by Janice Fuller and Rebecca Black. Registrants can also attend “Breaking into Children’s Publishing” with Megan Bryant, classes in “Accounting for Writers” and “Guerrilla Tactics for Authors,” and creative nonfiction workshops led by Justin Catanoso and Paul Bogard.

Registration is available online here or by calling 336-293-8844.

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.


Hats Off! to new NCWN member Jules Riley, who recently earned an Honorable Mention in the NC Poetry Society's Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award. His children's poem, "A Rainy Day," will be published in Pinesong. He and others will read on May 19, Awards Day at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. For more information on the NCPS please visit

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