NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 


Dunbar's Folly and Other Stories by Matthew Duffus

Unsolicited Press
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1950730544
October, 2020
Fiction: Literary / Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Matthew Duffus’ debut collection is a powerful hymn to families—chosen ones, second ones, makeshift ones, loving and fierce, troubled and turbulent. The stories in Dunbar’s Folly unfold like stretches of gentle country road, tracking the signposts of relationships with an unassumingly clear-eyed lucidity. Each story navigates its dips and turns so smoothly that its ultimate destination—a sharp, illuminating crossroads—feels revelatory, every time."
—Suzanne Rivecca, author of Death Is Not an Option

"Matthew Duffus is a superb writer, one whose stories I found instantly engaging. In part, that's because he has no time for the trivial. He's exploring the mysteries of the human heart and doing so with both grace and wonder. This is a deeply moving collection, one that I will return to many times."
—Steve Yarbrough, author of The Unmade World

"In an easy and lucid style, Dunbar’s Folly immerses the reader in the conundrums of life—wayward children, divorce, retirement, suicide, and unfettered pride. These insightful stories will absorb you with honest compelling characters. Matthew Duffus has most assuredly written a classic within the pages of this flawless collection." 
—Russell Helms, author of Fade

Dunbar's Folly and Other Stories paints the stories of Americans from sisters vacationing in Southern California to the kudzu-covered fields of Mississippi. Each story, built on luxurious landscapes, hones in on the turmoil of living in 21st Century America. Readers come face-to-face with the struggles of living off-grid and fighting for artistic credibility in a society that refuses to let freedom ring.

Matthew Duffus is the author of the novel Swapping Purples for Yellows, the poetry chapbook Problems of the Soul and Otherwise, and the forthcoming story collection Dunbar's Folly and Other Stories. He teaches and directs the writing center at Gardner-Webb University, in Boiling Springs.

Hats Off! to Paul Jones whose poem “All the Way Up” appears in littledeath, and his poem “Firing Pottery on the Night Before the Winter Solstice” appears in Redheaded Stepchild. Paul is the Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers' Network.

 

Counting the Ways by Scott Owens

Main Street Rag
$17.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-820-2
October, 2020
Poetry
Available from the publisher

"Counting the Ways is an invitation to witness the beauty of vulnerability. This collection of poetry is compelling with metaphors that accentuate the emotions of the poems. Insightful and heartfelt, Scott Owen’s poetry gathers the erasure and keeping of memory. These poetics are searing and tender all at once. There is story inside of each punctuated line and breath that holds, shreds, and reimagines the landscape of sacrifice, rebirth, and truth-telling. Counting the Ways takes action in transformative language. It speaks complicated, multi-faceted truth. It opposes silence and silencing. Scott Owens is a poet, to paraphrase Yeats 'who can hold reality and justice in a single thought.'"
—Jaki Shelton Green, NC State Poet Laureate

"One of the dearest characteristics for a poet is to constantly become more adept as a maker, more expansive, widening your lens to include a greater circumference of material and witness. Scott Owens’ poetry has continued to deepen, as he uses the redemptive force of his imagination to salve the cracks in his relationships to his family, his father, his art, and his community, using Wallace Stevens’ 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' as his point of reference. Bob Dylan decried the ways that 'everything’s broken,' and Owens uses the broken pieces of his life to form complex pleasures, weaving taut stanzas and threads of lines to rescue golden ratios from the shards, 'a black magic of breaking' learned from generations of men breaking out of their boxes, their bodies, their temporary homes’ bold restraints and broken expectations. 'Poetry is all about the riprap of things,' Owens writes, and from the scree and barbaric glass of his life, he has built his best book yet."
—Keith Flynn, author of The Skin of Meaning and editor of Asheville Poetry Review

"In Counting the Ways, Scott Owens gives his readers a splendid and deeply moving exploration of both his own vision and the versatility of language. That this pairing is couched in the word and concept of ‘thirteen’ is neither accident or mistake, but a rich and rewarding voyage through language, symbol, darkness, and light delivered by a talented, versatile hand—and of course—the poet’s incomparable eye."
—Phebe Davidson

Scott Owens holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC-Charlotte, and UNC-Greensboro. He is Professor of Poetry at Lenoir Rhyne University, former editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review and Southern Poetry Review. He owns and operates Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse and Gallery and coordinates Poetry Hickory. He is the author of fifteen collections of poetry and recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC. He has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac seven times, and his articles about poetry have been featured frequently in Poet’s Market.

The Games We Play by Adair Sanders

Kindle Direct Publishing
$15.00, paperback / $6.00, e-book
ASIN: B08MF25Z9F
November, 2020
Fiction: Thriller / Mystery
Available from www.Amazon.com

Over the past five years Allison Parker has survived a serial killer, an attempted murder, a terrorist attack, and an international assassin. How could agreeing to investigate the claims of a confidential informant possibly be dangerous? Answer? When the confidential informant is the little sister of convicted murderer and prison kingpin J.T. Begley. Seizing the opportunity to ensure inside protection for her brother Rice, Allison agrees to take the case.

As with the previous books in the Allison Parker series, author Adair Sanders weaves and intertwines multiple plot and story lines in this fast paced and exciting page-turner. While Allison works with Nick Showalter, the A.T.F. agent who is Teresa Begley’s handler, her husband Wolf Johannsen and his F.B.I. counterpart Jake Cleveland worry that both the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. have been infiltrated at the highest levels by a cabal of powerful men. Frank Martin, Allison’s P.I. cohort in previous adventures, juggles a murder-for-hire investigation for an old client at the same time as he, Allison and Showalter struggle to identify the person who has threatened Showalter’s C.I.And if that isn’t enough excitement, Frank Martin’s client Sidney Parrish—the same client who hired Frank to find out whether his wife wants to have him killed—finds himself in the middle of a kidnapping and embezzlement scheme associated with one of his Fortune 500 companies.

Series characters Sheriff Toby Trowbridge, computer whiz Pete Pantsari and ex-Navy Seal Bennett Shealey also make an appearance for what Allison Parker Mystery would be complete without them?

Trial lawyer turned writer. Allison Parker Mystery Series, Biologically Bankrupt, a memoir, and Out of the Ashes, A Collection of Essays.

Hats Off! to Joanna A. McKethan of Dunn who won Second Place in The Orchard Street Press Poetry Contest for her poem "Home Stretch." She won $300. Joanna's poetry chapbook, Bleached Bones & Sycamore, is forthcoming in 2021.

 

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh whose short story "Love and Hummingbirds" is an honorable mention for the 2020 Reynolds Price Fiction Award, sponsored by the Center for Women Writers.

 

Negotiations by Destiny O. Birdsong

Tin House Books
$16.95, paperback /  $12.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-951142131
October, 2020
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

 "Stunning. . . . A powerful paean to Black womanhood—to resilience, and, especially, triumph."
—Elizabeth Acevedo, author of The Poet X

"Negotiations is an intimate, stunning collection. Destiny O. Birdsong’s poems examine systems of power and oppression, violence, complicity. These poems are desire, survival, the body, rage, vulnerability. A fierce celebration of black womanhood."
—Jaquira Díaz, author of Ordinary Girls

"The terms of Destiny O. Birdsong’s Negotiations are scalding and tender. . . . Birdsong excavates a national history and her speaker’s personal histories, tracks how their intersections and aftermaths wreak havoc in the woman who survives. But Birdsong’s Negotiations endgame is not simply survival—it aims to flourish."
—Donika Kelly, author of Bestiary

What makes a self? In her remarkable debut collection of poems, Destiny O. Birdsong writes fearlessly towards this question. Laced with ratchetry, yet hungering for its own respectability, Negotiations is about what it means to live in this America, about Cardi B and top-tier journal publications, about autoimmune disease and the speaker’s intense hunger for her own body—a surprise of self-love in the aftermath of both assault and diagnosis. It’s a series of love letters to black women, who are often singled out for abuse and assault, silencing and tokenism, fetishization and cultural appropriation in ways that throw the rock, then hide the hand. It is a book about tenderness and an indictment of people and systems that attempt to narrow black women’s lives, their power. But it is also an examination of complicity—both a narrative and a black box warning for a particular kind of self-healing that requires recognizing culpability when and where it exists.

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony, and won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Narrative Poetry Contest, and Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry. She earned both her MFA and Ph.D from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mad Moon by Alissa C. Miles

Alissa C. Miles
$4.99 e-book / $14.99, paperback / $23.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-578702544
September, 2020
Fiction: Women's / Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"A remarkable, gritty southern fiction story of family, heartache and healing. What a fabulous debut! I was glued to it from the first page."
—Dawnny Ruby, Novels N Latte Reviews

"A beautiful debut novel by Alissa C. Miles. Mad Moon is one of those books that lingers; days after finishing, I am still mulling over the story, reconsidering the different accounts of the past that were relayed to the reader."
—Melissa Church

"A remarkable written book by, Alissa C.Miles, that readers will keep hearing and speaking about."
—Holly Marie

Jo Evans is eight years old. She loves her mama and wants nothing more than for them to be safe from her abusive father. So, when her mother, Catherine, decides they should leave, Jo packs her few belongings and readies herself for their escape to Wimbee Island, South Carolina, to her Grandmother Bibba's house.

Homecomings are never easy and when Jo and her family settle in at Bibba's, Jo realizes she's connected to a past she knows nothing about.

Three generations of women.

Three generations of abuse, lies, and betrayal.

Later, as an adult, when Jo becomes a wife and mother, she longs to feel grounded in her roles. She knows she must return and face the dark moments of that summer spent on Wimbee.

Mad Moon is a unique storytelling exploration of childhood memories and the affect trauma can have throughout adulthood. It's also a poignant peek into real love, the importance of friendship, how deeply connected women's stories can be and how that revelation can wash away sorrows of the past.

Alissa C. Miles is a writer living in Hillsborough with her husband, two sons, mother, and three dogs. In addition to writing, she hosts a podcast called Title Page on which she interviews authors, and talks about books and writing. Mad Moon is her debut novel.

Hats Off! to Janet Ford, Jenny Bates, and Judy Haughee-Bartlett, who were among the finalists in the Second Annual Robert Golden Poetry Contest sponsored by the Nexus Poets. Janet claimed Second Place with her poem "Swan Dive." Jenny took Third Place with her poem "Local Hive." Judy received an honorable mention for her poem "Cohosh." The final judge was Catherine Carter, whose latest poetry collection is Larvae of the Nearest Stars (LSU Press, 2019).

 

Hats Off! to Norman Weeks whose book, An Autobiographical Letter, has earned a 5-stars review rating from Readers' Favorite. Autobioscenes & Necrographies, its companion volume, had earlier received a 5-stars rating.

 

Hats Off! to Leah Hampton and Dale Neal who are among the finalists for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Leah's collection is F*ckface and Other Stories. Dale's novel is Appalachian Book of the Dead. The Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) sponsors this award for published works of fiction, nonfiction, drama or poetry by natives or residents of western or for work focusing on or set in western NC. The $2,500 prize will be announced December 16.

 

Hats Off! to Eric Roe whose excerpt from his unpublished novel, A Travelogue for the Wasteland, has been published in the inaugural issue of Novel Slices. The excerpt was one of five winners in the journal's Novel Excerpt Contest.

 

The Skeleton at the Old Painted Mill: A Marcy Dehanne Grist Mill Mystery by Celia H. Miles

Stone Ivy Press
$2.99, e-book
ASIN: B08L1HLB6H
October, 2020
Fiction: Women Sleuths
Available from www.Amazon.com

Pursuing her dream career as a Mill Restoration consultant, intrepid Marcy Dehanne, along with her young guide Harkins, trek toward the Old Painted Mill on remote Ransom Creek in the mountains of western North Carolina. This time—she assures herself—she won't find a dead body on site. And she's right. In the kudzu-shrouded mill, a decades-old skeleton awaits Marcy. Common sense, warnings, and dangers don't deter her from diving headlong into the quest for long-delayed justice and the restoration of the old mill. Not everyone welcomes her investigating, but's never stopped Marcy. Not yet.

Celia Miles, a retired community college instructor, enjoys writing about what intrigues and inspires her—and old grist mills count as major factors in her travels as do mystery novels in her reading. This is her third grist mill mystery, her tenth novel, all set in western NC except one in the Scottish islands. Available on line and at her website: www.celiamiles.com.

The Light of Tara: A Novel of Saint Patrick by John Desjarlais

Kindle Direct Publishing
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 979-8691932298
September, 2020
Fiction: Historical
Available on www.Amazon.com

“Full of action and intrigue yet true to historical detail.”
—Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Secret of the Shamrock

“An utterly delightful journey to ancient Ireland. Remarkable.”
—Sarah Reinhard, SnoringScholar.com

While the Roman Empire crumbles into chaos, the flickering light of civilization is in the hands of a teenage pig-keeper and shepherd at the edge of the known world. His name is Succat. We know him as Patrick.

As an indolent teen, Patrick is abducted by pirates from his British villa and sold to a druid chieftain in remote Hibernia. In misery, he embraces the faith he once loathed. He learns Irish language and lore, befriends the chieftain’s son and falls for the feisty daughter, making a jealous enemy of the druid’s apprentice. Fearing for his life and obeying a strange vision, Patrick escapes, leaving the girl he loves and returning home after a hazardous journey. But he is shaken by an insistent dream: the plea of the Irish to come back.

He resolves to do so. But first he must overcome a suspicious church, a backstabbing mentor, and his old rival who is now the Archdruid of Ireland, sworn to kill him and eager to enslave the beautiful woman Patrick left behind.

Can he save Ireland from darkness—and free the girl he once loved?

A former producer for Wisconsin Public Radio, John Desjarlais taught literature and creative writing at Kishwaukee College in Illinois for nearly 25 years. His novels include The Throne of Tara (Crossway 1990, a Christianity Today Readers Choice Award nominee), Relics (Thomas Nelson 1993, a Doubleday Book Club Selection), Bleeder, Viper, and Specter (Chesterton Press, 2008, 2011, 2015). Blood of the Martyrs and other stories, released through Amazon Kindle Select in 2012, contains short fiction that previously appeared in such periodicals as Critic, The Karitos Review, The Rockford Review, Apocalypse, Conclave, Lit Noir, and Dappled Things. He received Honorable Mention in the 1997 Writers Digest Competition and was a fiction finalist in the 2016 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction Contest. A member of Mystery Writers of America and the North Carolina Writers' Network, he has been listed in Who’s Who in Entertainment, Contemporary Authors, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers: www.johndesjarlais.com.

Hats Off! to Paul Jones whose poem “Can Crows Kiss?” appears in The Phare. Paul is the Vice President of the North Carolina Writers' Network Board of Trustees.

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Loy Wilson of Graham who won Third Place in the North Carolina Senior Games Silver Arts Literary Competition (Life Experience). She qualified for the fall Senior Games State Finals with her First-Place story, "Hurricane Hazel," at the Alamance Burlington Senior Games in May. SilverArts is comprised of statewide heritage, visual, literary, and performing arts. North Carolina Senior Games is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing year-round health promotion and education for adults 50 years of age and better and is sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Aging.

Hats Off! to NCWN trustees Julie Funderburk and Terry L. Kennedy, whose poems appear in Gracious: Poems from the 21st Century South edited by John Poch (Texas Tech University Press, 2020). This anthology spotlights both emerging and notable voices from this poetry-rich region and "promises to be the best and most influential anthology of Southern poetry published in over thirty years."

 

Hats Off! to Betty Jamerson Reed whose was interviewed by the Nonfiction Authors Association. Betty's new book is Soldiers in Petticoats, a biographical account of three women of accomplishment: Sophia Sawyer (1792-1854), a teacher in the Cherokee Nation; Emily Prudden (1832-1817), a teacher of black and white Appalachian youngsters; and Martha Berry (1866-1942) who taught white mountain children. "At the age of 83," Betty says, "I write nonfiction and poetry, seek publication often, and look forward to each day hoping for a new adventure."

 

The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew by Denise Heinze

Blackstone Publishing
$24.99, hardcover / $9.99, e-book / Varies, audiobook
ISBN: 978-1-982598648
September, 2020
Fiction: Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"A literary thriller. This remarkable novel infuses the history of the Jamestown experiment with the tale of two women, a mistress and her servant, who find in one another the full measure of sacrifice and survival. This story is spun of silk and rendered in blood.''
—Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds

"With a poet's tongue and painter's eye, Denise Heinze summons the wonder, horror, and selfless grit of the women who pioneered a new world. Temperance Flowerdew makes compulsive reading.''
—Elizabeth Cobbs, bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair

"Denise Heinze has written a stirring novel about America's first pioneers, with particular attention to the women whose pluck and forbearance made it all possible."
—C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor Emeritus, The Atlantic

Determined to set the historical record straight, and clear her conscience, Temperance Flowerdew—the wife of Virginia's first two governors—puts quill to paper, recounting the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees, and the extraordinary sacrifice of her servant girl, Lily.

When she steps aboard the Falcon in 1609, Temperance Flowerdew was not only setting sail from England to the distant shores of America, she was embarking upon a future of opportunity. She didn't yet know how she would make her mark, but in this new place she could do or be whatever she wanted.

Willing as she is to brave this new world, Temperance is utterly ill-equipped to survive the wilderness; all she knows is how to live inside the pages of adventure and philosophy books. Loyally at her side, Lily helps Temperance weather pioneer life. A young woman running from lifelong accusations of witchcraft, Lily finds friendship with Temperance and an acceptance of her psychic gifts. Together, they forge paths within the community: Temperance attempts to advise the makeshift government, while Lily experiences the blossoming of first love.

But as the harsh winter approaches, Lily intuitively senses a darkness creep over the colony and the veneer of civilized life threatens to fall away—negotiations with the Indians grow increasingly hostile and provisions become scarce. Lily struggles to keep food on the table by foraging in the woods and being resourceful. Famine could mean the end of days. It's up to Lily to save them both, but what sacrifice will be enough to survive?

A transporting and evocative story, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is a fiercely hopeful novel—a portrait of two intrepid women who choose to live out their dreams of a future more free than the past.

Denise Heinze, a former literature professor and a Ph.D graduate of Duke University, writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of a scholarly work on Toni Morrison, and the eco-thriller Sally St. Johns. A descendant of Louisa May Alcott, she lives in North Carolina.

Murder On Black Mountain by Ruben D. Gonzales

Kindle Direct Publishing
$12.99, paperback / $3.98, e-book
ISBN: 979-8678479433
September, 2020
Fiction: Mystery / Women Sleuths
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Forced to return to her Appalachian mountain home to bury her big brother, Police Chief Early Shaw, Emma Shaw finds the circumstances of his death a mystery that no one wants to talk about. For centuries, the Shaw family has run the small town with an iron fist—and Emma learns fast it doesn’t pay to ask too many questions—even though she is one of their own. The facts don’t add up, and Emma will get her answers, one way or the other—even though her questions have stirred up a hornet’s nest.

There’s one thing the Shaw family doesn’t know: Emma possesses a mystical ability to read the energy auras that surround most people, and she can tell a lot about a person by the qualities of those auras. If they’re lying, she knows. Will that gift be enough to help her solve the case of Early’s murder?

As the list of suspects grows—along with her frustration—Emma grapples with untangling her mysterious past from the dangerous present. Under the shadow of Black Mountain, Emma confronts the town’s ruling family and the secrets they keep. Can she manage to stay alive long enough to learn who killed her brother? One thing she knows for sure—Early’s death was no accident. She’s determined to prove it was Murder On Black Mountain.

Ruben D. Gonzales was born and raised in East Los Angeles but has called NC home since 1976. After graduating from college he joined the Peace Corps and taught elementary school in a small village in Africa. During this time Ruben sold a short story to the BBC for world broadcast. Ruben was a finalist in the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Ruben retired from employment and now writes full time and teaches part time with the community college system. Ruben’s first book, The Cottage on the Bay, is about a Civil War plantation family and their search for redemption. Much of Ruben’s novel is based on historical facts including many period photos, public records, and family letters. His second book, Murder On Black Mountain, is a mystery that takes place in a fictional town in the N.C. mountains.

Hats Off! to Janis Harrington of Chapel Hill whose unpublished poetry collection, How to Cut a Woman in Half, was a finalist in the 2021 Press 53 Award for Poetry. Final judge Tom Lombardo was "especially impressed with the quality of poetry he received, which led to several complete readings of the...manuscripts before reaching his decision."

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Fall Festival" appears in Your Daily Poem (October 25, 2020).

 

Over 50's Singles Night by Ellyn Bache

Banks Channel Books
$14.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-889199-20-7
September, 2020
Fiction: Comic / Women's
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"In this charming, wry look at sisterhood, the love, misunderstandings, anger and complexity of sister relationships are brought out...Well written, humorous and emotional."
Romantic Times Book Club Magazine

"Ellyn Bache has written funny bits before [but] she's never tried a full-length comedy—and the result, Over 50's Singles Night, suggests she should have...Three Stooges-style slapstick is out, although one hilarious moment involves one poor old dear coughing up her dentures alone with half-chewed chick fajita...pleasant, undemanding entertainment [and Bache's] sharp eye for character quirks keep the story from becoming trite."
Wilmington Star-News

Winner of the Madcap Award for Romantic Comedy, this is the author's only true comic novel, hoping to provide a bit of respite from today's strange and difficult times: Six years after her husband’s death, BJ Fradkin has a successful career, a nice house, and a pleasant life...until her younger sister, Iris, 55, moves in with her.

The recent widow of a philanderer, Iris is attractive (thanks partly to skillful plastic surgery), sweet, helpful...and so comfortable that BJ fears she’ll never move out.

So BJ starts an "Over 50’s Singles Night" to help find Iris a new husband. But when only a few elderly ladies and one gay man show up, BJ sees that it’s time to regroup. She introduces Iris to a retired neighbor. The two of them dislike each other at once—though the neighbor likes BJ quite a bit. Then Iris reveals a long-held secret that keeps the sisters avoiding each other for weeks.

Will they ever make up? Will sisterly love prevail? Romantic love? Will "Over Fifties Singles Night" be a failure—or more powerful than anyone thought?

Ellyn Bache is the award-winning author of nine novels, including Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon. Her short stories have appeared in dozens of commercial and literary magazines and in two collections, The Value of Kindness that won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, and Kaleidoscope, a celebration of women's magazine fiction. Bache lived in Wilmington for twenty years before moving to South Carolina.

Hats Off! to Paul Jones whose poem "Eastbourne in May" appears in Grand Little Things. Paul is the Vice President of the North Carolina Writers' Network Board of Trustees.

 

Streams of Light by Kathy A. Stilwell

Kindle Direct Publishing
$9.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-691608317
October, 2019
Nonfiction: Self-Help / Meditation
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Meditations and reflections while seeking light in troubling times. It was overwhelming to encounter the news every day and witness what was happening on the national stage. Anxiety and depression were becoming normal and despair was setting in. That's when the author encountered some sage advice and began to concentrate on finding the light. This work is the result of that effort.

Kathy Stilwell lives in the mountains of NC where she saunters in the woods, attempting to be aware and alive in the moment. Sometimes, she finds the words to describe the experience.

The Accidental Spurrt by Walt Pilcher

Fantastic Books Publishing
$12.99, paperback / $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-912053-19-3
September, 2019
Fiction: Mystery/Detective/Humor
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Downsized” out of work, Mark Fairley lands a temporary consulting gig writing the history of a troubled energy drink company, Spurr Nutritionals, while he looks for a real job, only to find himself investigating the company president’s death in a suspicious explosion and the chairman’s odd behavior after a freak accident on the bottling line as shadowy international forces vying for control of the multi-billion dollar energy drink industry vow to stop at nothing to keep the game-changing truth hidden.

Can Mark solve the treacherous maze of homicide, inept corporate espionage, dysfunctional family intrigue, and hilarious intercultural missteps without becoming the next unexplained casualty?

And will he ever get a real job?

A timely lighthearted tale of mystery and intrigue mixed with side-splitting satire and parody.

Walt Pilcher is a former CEO of L’eggs®, the pantyhose in the plastic eggs. His comic writing career coincides with his business writing career, and it was often impossible to tell them apart. Himself a two-time victim of corporate downsizing long before it was cool, he eventually became president of two major apparel companies in the U.S. and one in Japan, although not at the same time, and lived in Tokyo for fourteen months, during which two comedians were elected as governors of Japan’s biggest cities. We are not making this up.

He is the author of On Shallowed Ground, including Dr. Barker’s Scientific Metamorphical Prostate Health Formula® and other Stories, Poems, Comedy and Dark Matter from the Center of the Universe and the satirical novel, Everybody Shrugged, both from Fantastic Books Publishing. His nonfiction book, The Five-fold Effect: Unlocking Power Leadership for Amazing Results in Your Organization (WestBow Press), was a First Horizon Award finalist in the 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award competition.

Walt holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Stanford University. Currently, he ghostwrites book cover blurbs from his home in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Carol, an artist.

Hats Off! to Rachael Brooks whose debut memoir, Beads: A Memoir about Falling Apart and Putting Yourself Back Together Again, received a wonderful Kirkus Review: "An eloquent and unsettling story of recovery that features solid advice and encouragement for other trauma victims."

 

Between the Stones by Donna Love Wallace

Hermit Feathers Press
$12.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-578-57270-3
October, 2019
Poetryr
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"In Between the Stones, Donna Love Wallace looks the Devil of breast cancer in the eye and says, 'You do your work; I’ll do mine. I’m taking notes!' This survivor’s saga becomes a thriver’s triumph, leading us from desolation to resignation to hope. If her gallantry inspires, Wallace’s poetry enthralls. This book isn’t a motivational manual; it’s a thrilling work of art, alive with originality. In one poem, she likens leaving a message in Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall to secreting a paper prayer in a niche above her fireplace. In another, she compares breast cancer to a hangnail and a mastectomy to the removal of fingers. That metaphor has left me grateful for my digits and aching for Wallace’s loss. Between Stones doesn’t merely record feelings; it makes you feel. Wallace’s images exemplify Emily Dickinson’s classic edict: 'Tell the truth but tell it slant.' You see the hell she’s enduring from the most intriguing angles. Extremes require inspired presentation. Weirdness is the order of the day. Blueberries become bullets in the war against cancer, and clothes talk. The poet captures dread with such precision on the page that you experience her off-stage desperation. Instead of recording emotions, Wallace’s surreal scenes make you feel. When I finished Between the Stones for the fourth time, I went out to pick up the morning paper. I noticed that my arms were flapping. I realized that Wallace’s magic had seized my subconscious mind. I wanted to fly."
—Michael Gaspeny, author of Re-Write Men and Vocation

"Between the Stones is a walk with a fine balance between a view into personal, private thoughts of a woman experiencing the world of breast cancer treatment and real world images that are encountered on the journey. The cascade of emotions are visually captured against the canvas of the medical world and everyday life events. Survivors will identify with the analogies that portray a strong sense of self and the challenge that there is still life to live. The book will bring laughter and tears to those that have gazed into this world of care."
—Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, Breast Cancer Navigator, Derrick Davis Cancer Center, Winston Salem, NC

Donna Love Wallace’s debut poetry chapbook, Between the Stones, takes the reader on a journey one in eight women will experience sometime during their life: invasive breast cancer. With candor and a full range of emotion, Wallace navigates her way through disparate places and the people that occupy them: the biopsy suite, the grocery store, her closet and a tattoo parlor 350 miles from home. With sparse eloquence and artisanal attention to her craft, Donna Love Wallace is a poet’s poet. Readers of Between the Stones will cry, laugh and celebrate a voice that chooses stoic analysis over panic; positivity in the face of pain and uncertainty; and resolute courage over defeat. Whether or not invasive breast cancer has touched your life, great inspiration lines these pages.

Donna Love Wallace of Lewisville, North Carolina, received a Wildacres Artist Residency to complete her first book of poetry titled Between the Stones, about her personal experience with breast cancer (Hermit Feathers Press, 2019). Donna has served in leadership with Winston Salem Writers and Poetry in Plain Sight. Her poetry appears in Snapdragon, Hermit Feathers Review, Flying South, Pinesong, Kakalak, The Paddock Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Plainsongs, and WestWard Quarterly, among others. Donna is a retired critical care nurse, seminarian and educator.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell, whose three micro-fictions, "All Hands on Deck," "Soles on Fire," and "Stirring Secrets," were published in the October issue of Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Her poems "Forgotten Fruit" (Oct. 30) and "Prodigious Plumes" (Nov. 10) were published in The Plum Tree Tavern. Also, two autumn haiku were published in issue 363 of The Weekly Avocet (Nov. 15), and her poem beginning "Dried stems of gray-green sweetgrass" was published in issue 51 of Three Line Poetry.

 

Hats Off! to Lee Zacharias who won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction for her 2018 novel Across the Great Lake. This is the second time she's won the award; she won in 1982 for her novel, Lessons. Awarded since 1953, The Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction recognizes the most significant work of original fiction writing published over the course of the last year by a North Carolina author. A replica of the statuette of Sir Walter Raleigh that crowns the master cup is usually given each year to the author or authors.

 

Mystical South Carolina: A Pilgrimage to Joy by Teri Leigh Teed

Healing Spirit Art Press
$12.99, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-7331739-0-2
October, 2019
Nonfiction: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

What would you do if you were not afraid? What if you knew Nature’s soothing balm to heal the Heart of Dixie, and beyond?

An intuitively led, seven-year pilgrimage to twelve sacred sites in her home state of South Carolina took Teri Leigh Teed to places she had never visited. And opened her eyes to the remarkable and miraculous: a pilgrimage to joy. Through sharing her story, and bringing awareness to the sacred geometry of our Mother Earth, Teed’s intention is to help Mother Earth and all her inhabitants to heal. There is an important message at the end of this book that gives humanity an ancient key to open the door to healing through partnership with Mother Earth. The key is very simple and in plain sight. Learn the ancient healing secret of the Congaree Rings.

“It is my profound belief that there are many mystical places on our wonderful planet that possess the power to heal, to reconnect us to our right balance physically, spiritually, and emotionally," says Teed. "Sometimes the seemingly ordinary, seen in detail or in a different light, can open us to the possibilities that surround us. We need only to open our hearts and minds, and our eyes will find them.

“By bringing awareness to the sacred geometry of our Mother Earth, it is my intention to help Mother Earth and her inhabitants to heal. There is an important message at the end of this book that shares an ancient secret that gives humanity a key to open the door for healing through Mother Earth. The key is very simple and in plain sight.”

Teri Leigh Teed is a multidimensional author/artist based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Teed's stories and poetry share positive, inspirational, life-affirming thoughts and are part of her Healing Spirit Art© portfolio. Her photo stories are featured in numerous publications including DailyGood and the Healing Power of Art & Artists. Her poetry is featured on Traveler on the Path and Ascension Gateway and in the 25th Anniversary Collection of Camden Poets Society titled What We Keep: Passions of the Heart.

Hats Off! to Tom Wood whose article "3 new coaches, 3 unique storylines," about three coaches beginning their first years heading up area college basketball programs, made the front page of The Nashville Ledger. Jerry Stackhouse (Vanderbilt); Casey Alexander (Belmont); and Lennie Acuff (Lipscomb) form a rare three-pronged coaching transition. "Stackhouse starred at the University of North Carolina under the tutelage of legendary coach Dean Smith, who led the Tar Heels to 879 victories, two national championships and 11 Final Four appearances including one featuring Stackhouse in 1995. Following a stellar NBA career, Stackhouse joined the pro coaching ranks before taking his first collegiate coaching job April 5, replacing Bryce Drew."

 

God Shattererd by Debra Kaufman

Jacar Press
$17.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-936481-33-3
September, 2019
Poetry
Available from the publisher

Crows and mirrors, shadows and mothers. Moving seamlessly between lyric and persona and always telling a piece of a larger story, God Shattered offers poems that are home to many familiars—family and community, landscape and weather, fairy tales, daydreams, skepticism, silence and hope. In the journey of this book, Debra Kaufman discovers how personal disillusionment can be a guide to finding the godly within ourselves. These poems lead us to contemplate and understand our place in this fragile world.

In addition to God Shattered, Debra Kaufman is the author of Delicate Thefts (Jacar Prerss, 2015), The Next Moment (Jacar Press, 2010), and A Certain Light (Emrys, 1996), as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in many magazines—most recently Poetry East, Spillway, and North Carolina Literary Review—and anthologies. She is also a playwright, an editor for the online journal One, and a member of the board of trustees of the Paul Green Foundation. She is produced Illuminated Dresses, a theatrical production of monologues by fourteen women writers on the theme of a dress that transformed their lives, which opened at Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh on October 25, 2019.

Passion, Shadows, and Time by Darryl Dubose

OnceFrench Publishing, LLC
$12.99, paperback / $5.99, e-Book
ISBN: 978-1-7332970-0-4
August, 2019
Fiction: Romance
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Whatever is has already been…”—Eccles. 3:15.

We’re mystified by time. It brings us and takes us. Everything is a matter of time. It brought Gail into life and gave her all she could want. But a shadow follows her, depriving her of passion and happiness.

While Gail tries to escape her shadow, her husband’s concerns grow about her lack of passion for him. Loneliness grips him, and he is confronted with temptation and drama.

Gail’s shadow leads her through a portal—into the last months of the Civil War in the Shenandoah, where she finds her purpose, love, and happiness, but she is burdened by so many issues.

How can such be possible, and how can it be possible to evade hurt and live “happily ever after?”

Darryl DuBose, an alumnus of American and George Washington Universities, is a retired criminal investigator. While specializing in investigating white-collar crime, he learned early that nothing is new in scams—every scheme and deception has been tried before and time again.

This axiom more than validates Eccles. 3:15, and it has stayed in his thoughts, hovering as he works at his hobby—composing and writing short stories. He considers the verse to be like manna for creating plots and scenes. Consequently, this novel came about. Another, Clouded Memories, also predicated on Eccles. 3:15, is in the making.

Mr. DuBose resides near a North Carolina beach. Contact with him can be made through www.OnceFrench.com.

Hats Off! to Judy Hogan who was interviewed by NCWN member Virginia Ewing Hudson on Veteran Feminists of America. "I started publishing as Carolina Wren Press in 1976," says Judy. "One of my first published books was by Jaki Shelton Green...whom I had met back in 1973...She brought me her poems in a paper bag. I don’t remember the paper bag, but I remember that the poems were very strong. Very good. Very powerful and very shocking. The one that especially struck me begins 'The moon is a rapist peeing in my window…' It wasn’t hard to get a whole book of Jaki’s poetry, which she called Dead on Arrival. Because she was afraid that when she finally got published, nobody would be interested, but it turned out to be different. She is now in the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and she won the North Carolina Award for Literature, and now she is the [North Carolina] Poet Laureate and I’m very proud of her."

 

Giants by Russell Hatler

Lulu
$14.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-359838813
August, 2019
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Russell Hatler's tenth novel, Giants, is set in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It tells the story of a brave, resilient people reeling from the wrath of Mother Nature while struggling to survive the machinations of political chicanery. It's also the tale of a young man's treacherous journey from adolescent angst to responsible adulthood.

The novel follows the progress of Brandon Stevenson, eponymous protagonist of The Hedonist, from North Carolina to Utuado, a small town in the mountainous interior of the Enchanted Island. Interwoven with the fictional narrative are several historical chapters describing the rape of Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus and his merry band of Spanish Invaders in 1493 and proceeding all the way up to the rape of Puerto Rico by Vulture Capitalists in the present day.

Philosophy, politics, recreational pharmaceuticals and ecological mischief also take their lumps. The humor in the book is dark and merciless.

Proceeds from the book go to benefit Puerto Rico's recovery. Learn more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SJSb5fvdp4

Russell Hatler lives in North Carolina. He grew up in the wilds of Montana, graduated from the U of Oregon (he’s a Duck!) and spent 45 years taming mainframe computers. After retirement he started writing novels about gambling and Vegas. The research alone was worth the effort. His writing lately has taken a decidedly adult foray into the seamy side of life. Reference research remarks above. His long-suffering wife is still waiting for the revenue to roll in.

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poetry collection Red Plank House was reviewed in Clay County Progress (October 31, 2019).

A Quarrel of Atoms by Kathy Ackerman

St. Andrews University Press
$9.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1733803052
September, 2019
Poetry
Available from www.Amazon.com

"In the spare, passionate language with which she limned the women of Appalachia in Coal River Road, Kathy Ackerman illuminates the history of the Curies and the miracles and horrors birthed by the discovery of radium. These fine poems broaden our understanding of the Curie family, which then becomes a mirror of the poet's—mother and mother, daughter and daughter, grief and gray grief, 'the moon folding her arm across her face.'"
—Valerie Nieman, author of Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse

"Kathy Ackerman’s brilliantly titled A Quarrel of Atoms takes the reader on an investigative, historical journey. The sequence of persona poems reveals the Nobel-winning Curie family’s discovery of radium, as told largely by Marie Curie, and concerns the lives of her siblings, husband, daughters, and their social circle. The close of the book moves into this century, with the death of the writer’s mother from cancer and the irony juxtaposed against the poems that contextualize it, since radium poisoning was part of the price that Marie Curie paid. The sequence reads like a novel in its breadth: the occupation of Poland by Russia, the death of the Tsar, the wedding of Princess Diana. Some of the phrasing is luminous: 'a quarrel of sparrows,' or in a poem on the death of Pierre Curie, 'Your brilliant mind was crushed entirely / by a wheel. At a curb. In the rain.' In an early poem Marie states, 'Our hands are swift birds sweeping Polish books into our aprons.' The poems range emotionally, from the poignant, to the frightening, to the wry, even comic, in language that is accessible, intense and moving. 'Our fingertips inflamed for days / until the skin shreds away.' 'I want roses pinned to my waist,' says Marie Curie of winning the Nobel, but I happily pin roses to Ackerman’s waist for this book."
—Tina Barr, author of Brockman-Campbell Award winner, Green Target

"This is a book of astonishment and wonder. I was hesitant at first—poems about science and scientific history can often seem cold and distant. Not so with A Quarrel of Atoms. This finely written collection breathes with human life—with awe, with the doubts we all feel in making decisions (whether we are scientists or poets). It reads like a novel, has the drama of a stage production, yet the poems are lyrical and precise. The book is a love affair with Marie Curie, and we're invited along for the investigation that compels us into a life of inquiry and curiosity."
—Allison E. Joseph, author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman

Through persona poems written from the point of view of Madame (Marie) Curie, this collection explores the inner life of the remarkable scientist and the impact, for better and worse, of her discovery of radium.

Kathy Ackerman's other books include Coal River Road, The Heart of Revolution, and three poetry chapbooks. She lives on the edge of Polk County on a loblolly tree-farm-in-progress with her husband of 35 years and the world’s sweetest cat. She earned a Ph.D in literature from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s in English from the UNC-Charlotte, and a Bachelor’s from Bowling Green State University. Currently, she serves as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Writer-in-Residence at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC, home of the incomparable WNCW radio.

Hats Off! to Judy Dearlove whose debut novel Play On! was recently released from RCWMS books. Set in a retirement community, Play On! celebrates the resiliency and creativity of characters who acknowledge their own mortality while embracing the life-affirming values of friendship and solidarity. Along the way, they confront age discrimination, a nearly estranged daughter, the tribulations of technology, and a cunning adversary. Ultimately, however, the greatest challenge comes from within.

 

Hats Off! to Sam Barbee, Jenny Bates, Michael Gaspeny, John Haugh, NCWN Vice President of the Board of Trustees Paul Jones, Jeanne Julian, Peter Venable, Donna Wallace, and Emily Herring Wilson, whose poems appear in the inaugural issue of Hermit Feathers Review, the literary journal of Hermit Feathers Press.The press, founded by Angell Caudill, launched just this year.

 

Hats Off! to Leah Jones of Durham who was nominated for Author of the Year by ACHI Magazine Awards and won the Editors Choice Award for her novel Diving Horses and her poetry collection Hibriten. Leah's work discusses North Carolina's beauty, culture, and diversity, as well as women's rights and the environment. She tries to raise awareness of social issues.

 

A Blue Moon & Other Murmurs of the Heart by Anne M. Anthony

Anchala Studios, LLC
$15.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-578521114
September, 2019
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"In her short story, 'Tulip Tree,' Anne Anthony combines all the classic elements of a ghost story with a rare ability to draw readers into believing the unbelievable. As someone familiar with the Dorthea Dix property in North Carolina, I'm delighted by how deftly she conveys its history without weighing down her readers and keeping their interest. It's truly a great story."
—Val McEwen, editor, The Dead Mule School for Southern Literature

"'Type a Little Faster' is a tender story about a small-town girl with the big dream of one day running an office at a time when an 'accomplished' woman typed for male bosses. With grace and skill, Anne Anthony aptly reminds us to reach from the heart even before others believe its possibility."
—La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson, writer and co-owner of Ideate Publishing, LLC

"'A Blue Moon' is both magical and haunting, mesmerizing readers with beautiful and elegant prose...Anne Anthony's masterful voice achieves a terrifying clarity that's simply unforgettable."
—Scott Waldyn, Editor, Literary Orphans

Discover the Extraordinary in Ordinary Lives

The power of this short story collection, A Blue Moon and Other Murmurs of the Heart, lies in Anne Anthony's placement of her characters in ordinary settings—home, school, work, church, synagogue—and leading her reader to unexpected endings which echo long past the story's final line. She balances everyday circumstances with slice-of-life narratives to reveal extraordinary moments. The title story, "A Blue Moon," both magical and haunting, mesmerizes with its beautiful and elegant prose. Humor bumps up against the tragic in her stories, "Much Better," "Blind Date," "I Bought Bernie's Sofa," and "Cooper," while offering a glimpse into the hearts of those thrust into familiar situations but who experience unexpected outcomes.

Transported back to simpler days, her stories resonate with childlike wonder and heartfelt disappointment. "Type a Little Faster," a tender story about a small-town girl with a big dream, and "Every Star Has a Story," are both coming-of-age tales addressing youthful desires, identity, and acceptance. In "Gabriella," a church-going woman rediscovers her humanity when faced with the fallout of inhumane acts. In all of her stories, Anne Anthony, with grace and skill, gently reminds us to keep reaching from the heart.

Anne Anthony credits her steady diet of comic books for her ardent belief in superpowers. Her gritty, tender, and amusing stories feature compelling, but flawed humans with bursts of superhero traits. She delights in unmasking the extraordinary in the ordinary downward (and upward) spirals of life. Her career spans the fields of social work, technical writing, clinical law school education, and software project and program management.

Her fiction, essays, and poetry have been published in StoryNews, Prime Magazine, A Quiet Courage, Tell Us A Story, Glass Mountain, Blue Heron Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, Poetry South, and other literary journals.

She lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her husband and her feisty dog, Clara.

Find out more: www.anneanthony.weebly.com.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poems appear in Vita Brevis, When Women Write, and Ekphrastic Review. Her ekphrastic poems were read at Ashmoean Museum (Oxford, England), and Anti_heroin Chic will include one of her poems in their grief anthology. Also, three of her poems appear in Celebration Anthology.

Joan's essays ran in two issues of Ruby for Women, and two essays—"Read and Olives" and "Advice for a Mermaid" ran in Sasee magazine. Her essays also have been accepted by Ovunque Siamo and Drunk Monkeys. Both will run in this month. Other essays of hers have appeard in the Washington Independent Review of Books on Montalbano translator.

Joan also led a seminar, "Getting Started on Memoir," at the GV Barbee, Sr., Library.

Still Come Home by Katey Schultz

Apprentice House Press (Loyola University Maryland)
$26.99, hardcover / $16.99, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-62720-231-2
October, 2019
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Katey Schultz's debut novel Still Come Home is a remarkable book, impressive in its breadth and depth of story, engaging with its finely-drawn characters, and breath-taking in its pace. I know of few authors writing about war these days who can so skillfully balance both sides of the conflict with equal grace. Katey Schultz gives true heart and dignity to both the so-called ‘enemy’ and the ‘friendly’ forces of the American troops. Still Come Home made me think long and deep about how we humans all too often lose sight of our humanity during war. The characters in these pages remind us how complicated and anguishing decisions can be on both sides of the battle-lines."
—David Abrams, Brave Deeds and Fobbit

"Still Come Home, is a stunning and deeply lyrical tour de force. The tension and interplay between three alternating voices—an Afghan woman, an American soldier, and a reluctant Taliban recruit—allow us to understand the characters’ struggles in a way that no single perspective could, and Schultz’s ability to enter into their radically different lives is nothing short of breathtaking. There is tragedy here, but also humor, moral blindness along with deep courage, and the desert holds it all. The sand and dust and changing sky of this novel are, like the prose itself, like the story Schultz gives us, at once devastating and gorgeous and utterly mesmerizing."
—Abigail DeWitt, News of Our Loved Ones

"Still Come Home is personal, global, tender, brutal, deeply introspective and nerve-janglingly violent—in short, a powerhouse of a book. Katey Schultz has written one of the finest works of fiction yet to come out of the Long Wars, and she offers more than a few sharp clues as to why these wars, eighteen years and counting, are still with us. 'So much gone wrong in the name of something right'; —the wrong and the right of it, the mercy, the love, the blood-letting and profit-making, Schultz captures it all in this splendid novel."
—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

When the odds are stacked against you, doing everything right still might not be enough to protect yourself and the ones you love. The three characters in Katey Schultz’s novel are each searching for the best way to be, the best way to live—all the while fighting cultural, societal, and political forces far beyond their control. As their paths intersect over the span of three days, Still Come Home explores how their decisions will forever alter each other’s lives.

Aaseya, an ambitious, educated Afghan girl, struggles to walk the line between social disgrace and faith that her hometown of Imar can unharden and heal. Though she cannot bear her older husband, Rahim, a child, and she suspects her sister-in-law played a part in her family’s murder, Aaseya maintains self-reliance and dignity by rebelling against the misogyny and violence surrounding her.

Second Lieutenant Nathan Miller blames himself for the death of a soldier under his command and worries that his constant absence from his North Carolina home has permanently damaged his marriage.

When Rahim learns that the Taliban, whom he reluctantly works for, are hatching this violent plan, conflicting loyalties to country, to enduring peace, and to his young wife take all three down a road that will change their lives forever.

Katey Schultz is the author of Flashes of War, which the Daily Beast praised as an “ambitious and fearless” collection, and Still Come Home, a novel, both published by Loyola University Maryland. Honors for her work include the Linda Flowers Literary Award, Doris Betts Fiction Prize, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year for both titles, gold and silver medals from the Military Writers Society of America, five Pushcart nominations, a nomination to Best American Short Stories, National Indies Excellence Finalist recognition, and writing fellowships in eight states. She lives in Celo, North Carolina, and is the founder of Maximum Impact, a transformative mentoring service for creative writers that has been recognized by both CNBC and the What Works Network.

Hats Off! to Brenda Loy Wilson whose poem "Break Downs" was one of the selections for the fall season of Poetry in Plain Sight, a program of the Winston-Salem Writers. Other sponsors include Press 53, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the North Carolina Writers' Network. Brenda read her poem on October 27 at Poetry in Plain Sight's new venue at the Alamance Repertory Theatre Company in Winston-Salem.

 

The Bond by Robin Kirk

Goldenjay Books (Blue Crow Publishing)
$14.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-947834316
December, 2018
Fiction: Sci-Fi / YA
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Fans of The Handmaid's Tale and Never Let Me Go will devour The Bond."
—Lisa Williams Kline, award-winning author of One Week of You

"An adventure and a masterful exploration of what it means to be a human being."
—Constantine Singer, author of Strange Days

"A riveting, dark, post-apocalyptic romp that hooked me from its very first line. Set in a dark and unsettling world populated by cyborgs, genetically engineered humans, and mutants, at its core The Bond is a story of Dinitra, who must make an uneasy choice, her loyalty, bravery, and humanity tested in the process."
—Katya de Becerra, author of What the Woods Keep

Trust what you see, not what you're told.

In a society that has made males obsolete, a woman's gifts are carefully engineered by members of the Weave. Girls like Dinitra are engineered by Sowers and assigned their life purpose when they turn sixteen.

But sometimes, the Sowers get things wrong.

A resistance is growing, and the rebels are creating humans of their own—including males—and planning to topple the Weave in a war that could destroy them all. When Dinitra is assigned her purpose, she's sent far from home, to a colony where she uncovers the ugliest secrets of the Weave. Her loyalty is tested when she's captured by the rebels and develops a dangerous bond with a male warrior—a shameful crime that she may pay for with her life.

Fans of The Hunger Games and The Rule of One will delight in this heart-pounding adventure.

Robin Kirk is the author of The Bond, the first in a fantasy series by Blue Crow Publishing. Her short story, “Love is a Wild Creature,” is featured in Wicked South: Secrets and Lies: Stories for Young Adults, also by Blue Crow. She is an award-winning poet.

Kirk is a human rights advocate and serves as Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Project, an initiative of the center that seeks to use the legacy of this Durham daughter to examine the region’s past of slavery, segregation, and continuing economic inequality. As a senior researcher, Kirk authored, co-authored and edited over twelve reports for Human Rights Watch, all available online.

Hats Off! to Jeanne Julian whose poem "Widow's Walk" was a finalist in Naugatuck River Review's 10th annual narrative poetry contest. It will appear in the Winter/Spring issue.

 

Let Go or Hold Fast: Beaufort Poems by Susan Schmidt

Library Partners Press
$10.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-618460660
November, 2018
Poetry
Available from www.Amazon.com

"In 'Tyranny of Small Decisions,' I applaud her tackling such an important political subject. The language, imagery, line breaks, and shape of the poem are stellar. Susan Schmidt's instincts are on target. It’s so heartbreakingly true. Hardcore evidence cannot be disputed...she knows how to write a poem, strong and accessible."
—Joseph Bathanti, former North Carolina poet laureate

"Let Go or Hold Fast is a rare and engaged page-turner, a journey of passion, endurance, and self-perseverance."
—Phillip Shabazz

Let Go or Hold Fast won the 2018 Gail O’Day Prize of Library Partners Press. A New Testament Scholar and mountain climber, Gail O’Day, who passed away in September of 2018, was Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. 

In Let Go or Hold Fast, sailboat captain, master gardener, and Quaker naturalist Susan Schmidt celebrates neighbors in her small town—including dolphins, manatees, sharks, herons, egrets, owls, butterflies, ants, bees, possums, snakes, and bears. To give the planet strength to keep rolling, she says, “Make anything creative.” She plants gardens, bakes bread, and cans blueberry jam. As she swims, paddles, rows, and sails in Beaufort, Susan witnesses coastal diversity and resilience, threatened by sea level rise, motorboat wakes, and speeding tourists. Poems comment on the new bridge, potholes, hanging laundry. The newest poem describes Hurricane Florence’s damage, community recovery, and toxic aftermath.

As developmental editor, Susan Schmidt polishes science and history books, novels, and memoirs—listed among Top Ten Editors in New England. She leads a Critique Group in Carteret County. She has had a Coast Guard Captain’s license thirty-six years. She wrote the grant to buy Carrot Island and Bird Shoal in Beaufort for the NC Estuarine Reserve. She has been a professor of literature and environmental decision-making, and a government science-policy analyst. She has a doctorate in American literature and Masters degrees in Environmental Sciences and British lit. She read literature at Oxford and, postdoc, studied bioethics and environmental mediation.

To witness natural diversity, she walked the Camino de Santiago, Cornwall Coastal Path, Scottish Highlands, Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, Snowdonia in Wales, Guernsey and Brittany, and the Appalachian Trail. She surveyed birds in Kenya, Ecuador, Belize, and Iceland; paddled Alaska’s Prince William Sound and New Zealand’s Milford Sound; and delivered sailboats to the West Indies. Her homeplace is the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and her homeport is Beaufort, North Carolina, where she walks beaches with her Boykin Spaniel.

Her poems won the Guy Owen Poetry Prize and appear in Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina; two poems were finalists for the James Applewhite Prize. She wrote Landfall Along the Chesapeake, In the Wake of Captain John Smith, an ecological history and boat adventure; Song of Moving Water, a novel about a young woman who organizes her community to oppose a dam; and Salt Runs in My Blood, poems about fish, birds, playing in boats, and walking long trails.

Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.susanschmidt.net.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose essay on working on poems is forthcoming in Black Lawrence Press' Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New & Beginner Poets (2019). Her poem "Dawn Reveals Night's Secrets" will be in the next issue of Snapdragon, and her short story will be featured on the Short Mystery Fiction Society blog. Finally, her poem "Slipping into My True Self" is featured on When Women Write (November 26).

 

GREENSBORO—Today, on #GivingTuesday, we ask you to keep the North Carolina Writers’ Network in mind.

On November 27, please consider donating to the Network to support our mission to connect, promote, educate, and serve the writers of this state (and all others).

This year, we have set a modest fundraising goal of only $1,000.

I like to think that Network is more than just an organization for writers.  I view the Network as one way to build vibrant communities.  I appreciate that the Network brings together writers who otherwise might not be in conversation.

Actually, I like to think that the Network is a community. It isn’t the board, staff, or offices: the Network is you, and your more than 1,300 fellow writers who belong to the Network.

The Network is a community that offers inspiration, encouragement, and opportunity. The Network offers conferences that bring together hundreds of writers, from all over the state and nation. We offer scholarships and fellowships to deserving young writers, online services and resources, and contests and classes for all sorts of writers, wherever you are—geographically, professionally, or artistically. We help writers escape their offices, their attics, their coffee shops, their own minds, and find their tribe.

Since 1985, the Network has supported thousands of writers. As a Network member, you’re part of one of the largest writing organizations in the United States, and one whose heart is right here in North Carolina.

I know many worthy nonprofits will ask for support during #GivingTuesday on November 27, but please spare a thought—and a few dollars—for the NCWN.

Please visit www.ncwriters.org to give online with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. You also can call us at 919.308.3228 or 336.293.8844 to make your gift over the phone, or mail your check to the address below.

All we need is for one-third of you to make a small donation, and we'll meet our goal.

If half of you give, in any amount, we'll beat our goal.

If all of you give, then we'll have some Happy Holidays, indeed.

Yours in writing spirit,

Deonna Kelli Sayed

NCWN Membership Coordinator
P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

Hats Off! to Ashley Thomas Memory who won First Place in the Women on Writing Quarterly Contest (Summer, 2018) for her flash fiction story "Dear Derinda." The prize was $400; a $25 Amazon gift card; and publication on their website. Also, Ashley's short story "Saturday Night at the Swannanoa" won a $30 cash prize and publication in The Ginger Collect's 2018 Halloween Contest.

 

Hats Off! to James Breeden whose crime novel Painting Angela has won the Gas Station Pulp Novel Award sponsored by North American Review and will be published by their press next summer.

 

Abundant Faith: Secrets to Plenty by Gloria Sloan

WestBow Press
$11.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-973638339
October, 2018
Nonfiction: Memoir / Inspirational
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Gloria Sloan's ABUNDANT Faith is a genuine inspiration. She exquisitely tells about her own faith-filled journey with divine gratitude. She structures her book with personal events, biblical references and insights that encourage the reader to reflect on their own journey through faith. A great book to read individually, with your spouse or as a book-club study guide designed in such a way to keep you energized with daily reflections and motivated with questions to explore."
—Carolyn Lepore, educator

"ABUNDANT Faith is a book that will make you trust God more deeply and bring rich enlightenment and understanding of the journeys-of fellow pilgrims."
—Kenneth H. Hill, pastor, author, and educator in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

"Abundant Faith presents an inspiring conversation, especially for those of us who have cared for a sick child, relative, or friend. The byproduct of such a commitment is our own faith development and spiritual formation."
—James M. Harrison, executive minister, American Baptist Churches of the South

Hats Off! to Eric Roe whose short story "Swim" appears in TulipTree Publishing's Stories that Need to Be Told 2018 anthology, where more than thirty stories comprise a beautiful range of voices that will give readers new and different perspectives on their fellow humans.

 

Blue Rooms by Morri Creech

Waywiser Press
$17.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-904130925
October, 2018
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"In these poems, Morri Creech, one of our finest formal poets, confronts the fundamental mystery of language—the way the world is captured by and transformed into words. In the tradition of Wallace Stevens, he combines philosophical insight with eloquence and wit, as he marvels at how the mind is able 'to conjure matter purely through perception.'"
—Adam Kirsch

"Blue Rooms is a clear-sighted book, arresting in the beauty of its imaginative and linguistic artistry, but also in the elegiac power it wrings from the poet's dead-level doubts about the whole idea of arresting beauty with imagination and language. Creech pushes these anxieties past conventional literary paradox into the realm of human consequence, till they open out, naturally, into a number of serial meditations that furnish the poet with occasions to ponder the limits of memory, experience, perception, and reality itself, all with his usual tact and acuity. Then, in the same book, Creech can turn around and give us, in a less speculative vein, 'The Confession, ' a devastating monologue, spoken by one of the perpetrators of a lynching, that affirms the promise of good poetry as a spur to serious moral reflection. Morri Creech engages and challenges his reader, and himself, at the intellectual, philosophical, and emotional levels, and the result is a truly dynamic and remarkable book."
—-Joshua Mehigan

"These lucid, elegant poems suggest an indebtedness to Wallace Stevens and Anthony Hecht, but it is primarily the late Howard Nemerov whose temperament and genius Morri Creech has so brilliantly rechanneled in Blue Rooms. Like his precursor, Creech attends to the everyday (what he calls 'the modest raptures of the ordinary') with grace and gravity, to move us 'beyond the reach of language.' This stunning, compact volume delicately leads us from the familiar to the infinite, blending together seamlessly the imagined and the real. I loved reading this book."
—Willard Spiegelman

A former winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Morri Creech is one of America's finest poets. His fourth collection, Blue Rooms, explores the uncertain terrain between conscious perception and the objective world. This new collection includes powerful lyric sequences that examine Magritte's surreal investigations of the elusive self, Cezanne's attempts to limn the dynamic nature of reality, and Goya's unflinching depictions of cosmic and historical horrors—all while balancing rich language with an exacting formal control.

Hats Off! to Mari Fitz-Wynn who received a 2019 United Arts Council Literature Grant to support the completion of an African-American historical novel set in the 1930s.

 

Hats Off! to Pam Van Dyk whose short story “Home” was selected by the Amherst Writers to be included in their annual Peregrine journal.

 

Sarranda's Legacy by Celia H. Miles

Stone Ivy Press
$13.95, paperback /  $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-532320507
July, 2018
Fiction: Historical
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Prepare to be surprised as Miles' characters grow and change. 'I like to see things come together,' Sarranda says, in response to a compliment on her basket-making, as Miles begins weaving the thread of reader anticipation. She steers Sarranda through marriage to an outlander, to taking on the challenges of running a grist mill business, to encouraging local craft marketing, to helping heal relationships. Readers will feel both heartbreak and joy, as episodes in Sarranda's mountain community reflect the tensions in the nation at large following the War Between the States. Historical details presented with great generosity bind this lovingly crafted third novel in the Sarranda trilogy."
—Mona Miracle

This third novel in Sarranda's saga leads her to the poignancy and heartbreak of an unexpected new marriage. In the mountains of western NC, Sarranda continues to run her mill, renew and strengthen old and new acquaintances—especially her circle of strong, determined women with whom she continues her legacy of doggedly shephering them to self-realization—and her discovery of the redemptive, healing power resulting from her long-past extraordinary and selfless gift of love.

Celia H. Miles, a native of Jackson County in western North Carolina, lives, writes, and edits from Asheville. She attended Brevard and Berea Colleges and has graduate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and IUP in Pennsylvania. She taught at Brevard College and retired from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. She writes in various genres and her fiction—all women-oriented—reflects her interests in old grist mills and Neolithic sites around the world. Her published works include nine novel and two short story collection. She has co-authored a college textbook and co-edited four anthologies of regional women's poetry and prose. Her books are available on Kindle at Amazon, and in paperback at some regional independent bookstores.

Hats Off! to Tina Barr who was interviewed on "Morning Edition" on Blue Ridge Public Radio. Tina's new collection of poetry, her third, is Green Target. “I’m trying to make the greatest art I can, so I want to use language that is dense, that is complex, that is going to resonate,” she said. “I’m always writing to be true to the best art I can make, not to be accessible to an audience.”

 

In Plain Sight by Sephira Allen

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$9.98, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1983392504
August, 2018
Fiction: Historical / Romance
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Set against the backdrop of Civil War Virginia, this absorbing novel has clear enough prose and charming enough characters to transcend its familiar plot devices. Rylee James is counting the days till peace returns and her beloved older brother Matthew can return home. When she learns that he has been taken prisoner by Union troops stationed nearby, she christens herself James Rylee and uses the medical know-how she learned from her father to talk her way into the Union camp. There she not only finds and helps her brother—she also falls in love with the sexy Yankee captain. The very real question of whether all the principals will make it through the war adds a bit of suspense to this engaging romance."
Publishers Weekly

"In Plain Sight has something for everybody—romance, adventure, daring, and a treatment of the American Civil War that brings history vibrantly alive. I was enthralled as I read, captivated by the characters every bit as much as the original storyline. 'Page turner' is an overused phrase, but I can guarantee that when you start to read this novel you won't want to stop until you reach the end."
—David Evans, author of The Mistress of Dimmiga Berg

What wouldn't you do for love?

No damsel in distress, twenty-year-old Rylee James hides in plain sight of the enemy, hoping to rescue her brother—a Confederate soldier captured by Union forces. Disguised as a man, she's counting on her skills as a doctor to see her through while she risks it all to save the only family she has left.

But even the best-laid plans can go awry when love is at stake, and all too soon she is faced with the reality that life's choices aren't always easy. Love of family, love of country, or love of a good man—agonizing decisions to be made when she finds that setting her brother free has left her a prisoner of the heart.

A historical romance set in the midst of the American Civil War, In Plain Sight intrigues right from the start, taking you on a wild and perilous ride through the war-torn Virginia countryside. An emotional journey of courage, daring and love, that keeps you enthralled right to the very end.

Born and raised primarily in Northern Virginia, Sephira and her family moved to North Carolina in 2006. Married for over twenty years, she and her husband have two boys and a gaggle of cats.

For Sephira, writing is a great stress reliever. She can let her mind wander and let her emotions run free in a way that is generally not possible in everyday life. Her writings run the gamut in terms of style and genre—for instance her debut novel is a historical romance set in the American Civil War, but some of her other projects in the works are fantasy or thrillers, among other things. You can find out more about Sephira and her books at www.SephiraAllen.com.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Autumn Treats" appears in issue #310 of The Weekly Avocet. Her poem beginning "Thunderous waves crash over rocks" appears in issue #49 of Three Line Poetry. And her flash fiction piece "The Dare" will appear in the upcoming print anthology Empty Silos published by Inwood Indiana Press, a subsidiary of Prolific Press.

 

Hats Off! to Loren Leith of Andrews who won the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA). Leith’s winning entry, "Basement Level," won First Place for Unpublished Nonfiction Short Story Genre. The award was announced at the Florida Writing Association's recent four-day annual conference in Altamonte Springs, Florida. This annual competition, which received 420 qualified submissions, was RPLA’s seventeenth. The Royal Palm Literary Awards competition is a service of the Florida Writers Association established to recognize excellence in members’ published and unpublished works while providing objective and constructive written assessments for all entrants.

 

CHARLOTTE—During an illustrious career spanning fifty-six years, reporter, feature writer, and columnist Rose Post won numerous state and national awards for her writing. Now, the contest that bears her name seeks to honor the best nonfiction writing by writers across North Carolina and beyond.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open. The deadline is January 15, 2019.

This year's contest will be administered by the  MFA in Creative Writing Program at Queens University of Charlotte.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of NCWN. Entries must be no more than 2,000 words.

The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in Ecotone.

The final judge is North Carolina native and Queens MFA graduate Madge McKeithen.

Growing up amid the white sand and tall pines of eastern North Carolina, Madge McKeithen headed to the College of William and Mary and then to Washington, DC, to graduate school at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

In 2001, the search for a diagnosis for her older son’s progressive degenerative illness led her to take a leave from full-time high school teaching and subsequently to begin writing seriously.

She studied in the Queens low-residency MFA program in Charlotte from 2003 to 2006, had her first book published in 2006, and that fall began teaching nonfiction writing at The New School in New York where she continues to teach nonfiction writing workshops.

Her first book, Blue Peninsula (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006), is a collection of essays that tell of her turn to poetry in the wake of her older son’s undiagnosed degenerative neurological illness. Since his death in 2016, she has been working on a collection related to his life.

Madge’s writing has been published in The New York Times Book Review, TriQuarterly, Utne Reader, Lost and Found: Stories from New York (Mr. Bellers Neighborhood Books, 2009), Best American Essays 2011, Lumina 2018, and in other journals, newspapers, and anthologies.

Madge blogs at www.madgemckeithen.com and tweets @MadgeMcKeithen.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively.

Designed to benefit committed writers who want to hone their craft without uprooting their lives, the Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program brings together experienced and emerging writers for intensive residencies and connects students and teachers online through the rest of the year as they work on their writing in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. With courses of study in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and writing for stage and screen, the MFA program offers a community of writers in-residence and online who share the immersive experience over four semesters of intense study and writing.

Queens faculty includes NCWN trustee Julie Funderburk; Pulitzer-nominated poet Morri Creech and fiction writer Jonathan Dee; Myla Goldberg; Judy Goldman; and more.

Learn more about the Queens MFA Program here.

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

 

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • If submitting by mail, send submission to:
North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

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

 

The Giggle Box by Patricia Schoch
Illustrated by Lisa Lowell

Peak City Publishing, LLC
$9.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-935711476
October, 2014
Children's: Illustrated
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Children love to laugh. Well, most children do. But when Michael moves to a new school where he doesn't know anybody, he doesn't even feel much like smiling, let alone laughing.

One day, the school bus driver got very mad because everyone was making too much noise, and she changed everyone's seats. Michael found himself sitting next to Davey, who has always loved to giggle, but despite Davey's efforts, Michael just won't laugh. That is until Giggleina uses her magic to help Davey share his gift of laughter with Michael.

It has been said that laughter is the best medicine, and in a world where children face more problems and pressures than any child should ever have to, isn't it nice to know that something as simple as laughing just might make a difference?

Pat hails from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, moving to North Carolina in 1990. She has lived in Durham and Rocky Mount, and now calls Cary home. She is a wife, mother of four, and grandmother of five. A Registered Nurse, Pat graduated from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in Bethlehem and is currently working for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in their Campus Health Services. Besides writing, Pat's first love is her family. In whatever spare time she has left, she enjoys sewing and gardening.

Hats Off! to Lori Johnson whose essay “A Lesson In Failure” appears in the newly released anthology Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Advice I Ever Heard. Earlier this year, her essay “MaDear’s Scrapbook” appeared in the August 10, issue of Chapter 16, and in April, Mississippi Folklife featured her essay “Forgotten Images of An Invisible Man: Resurrecting the Memory and Art of Photographer TC Reese.” Also, her short story “The Inheritance” was featured in the June 3 issue of The Root.

 

Hats Off! to Meagan Lucas whose short story "Voluntary Action" was chosen by Wiley Cash as a Judge's Choice Finalist in the 2018 Still: The Journal Short Fiction Competition and was published in Issue 28 of Still: The Journal.

 

Shadows at War by Kenneth L. Capps

BQB Publishing
$16.95, paperback / $4.61, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-939371-94-2
August, 2018
Fiction: Military / Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

In the background of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Iraq, with a dedicated soldier as their own pawn, two powerful men play a high-stakes game. One works on the side of good, but is corrupted when he realizes what he could gain by utilizing his position to his own advantage. The other has been working for years, patiently waiting for his chance to possess his prize. but which of them is the lesser of the two evils? The line between them is blurred by a shadow that grows darker with each carefully crafted lie.

Kenneth L. Capps joined the US Marine Corps in 1979 for a 13-year career. His debut novel, Forgiving Waters, won a 2012 Readers Favorite Award and a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the First Novel category. Ken’s writing career started at 50 years of age in what he considers to be the best years of his life.

WINSTON-SALEM—When the North Carolina Writers' Network first went virtual in 2008, it was a very different World Wide Web from what we find today.

The internet was flourishing, yes, but authors needed more help promoting their successes and finding news about the literary scene in North Carolina and beyond.

In the past ten years, we've gone from a brick 'n mortar office to one that exists only in cyberspace (unless we're at a conference, or sitting face-to-face with our members at a regional rep group event). We're even hosting online classes now, the first of which is now open for registration.

A lot has changed in the past decade.

NCWN is committed to a full redesign of our website very soon. Before we do this, though, we need to know how you, our members, use our current website.

We've created a short, ten-question survey. It won't take you even five minutes to complete. But it will let us know how you're using our website, how you'd like to use our website in the future, and what you need our website to be so that we can serve you for another ten, twenty, thirty years.

To start the survey, click here.

We know our current website looks a little outdated. We're gonna freshen it up. Let us know what you'd like to see, and we'll see if we can make it happen.

Thank you.

 

Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction From a Small Planet - Vol III edited by Clifford Garstang

Press 53
$19.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-87-5
October, 2018
Fiction: Short Story Anthology
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

In Volume I of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, we discovered that it’s a dangerous world.

In Volume II, we concluded that it’s also a mysterious world.

Now the world’s no less mysterious, and it’s still as dangerous as ever, but it’s also filled with adventure! Our twenty stories in Volume III take us on an expedition in Australia’s outback, to a discovery on the steppes of Mongolia, and a leap of faith on the coast of Croatia. We come upon an American boy exploring Saudi Arabia, a war veteran dealing with his past in Finland, and a political dissident who vanishes in Chile. With fictions on every continent, we take readers to places they might not otherwise see. We hope you will join us on this great adventure!

Contributor Deonna Kelli Sayed is an internationally published author, a storyteller, and an award winning podcast producer. She is the membership moordinator for the NCWN. She writes from Greensboro with a global perspective in mind.

Hats Off! to Gabrielle Brant Freeman whose poems "Medusa Swings her Hammer," "Fault Lines," and "evening : girl" were published in Whale Road Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and SWWIM, respectively, in October.

 

Hats Off! to Barbara Dullaghan who has placed three creative nonfiction/memoir pieces ("Harsh Realities", "A New House, A New Family," and "Making a Statement") and one poem ("An Unexpected Journey") in the new anthology from The Writers of the Forest, It's All Relative(s).

 

WINSTON-SALEM—Standard (and worthwhile) advice for any writer is to read widely and read as much as possible. Know your market; know what books are being published in your genre; be an active member of the community.

The same is true for those who write books for children. What if there was a person who read untold numbers of children's books a year and could help you focus your project for a specific market and write a great book?

On Thursday, December 13, at 7:00 pm, longtime writer and book critic Susie Wilde will lead the online class "Good Book or Bad Book? A Workshop for Children’s Book Writers." 

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $30 fee to register.

Susie Wilde, children’s book columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, reads thousands of books a year. These have helped guide her teaching those who write children's books. So what makes the books she reads worthy of review? Why do books fail? Workshop participants are invited to join her in examining picture books and determining what makes good children’s book writing succeed. Participants are encouraged to share their favorites and the books they've discovered that don't work for them. Together registrants will compose a list of recommendations to consider when writing children's books.

Susie is passionate about igniting readers and writers. She’s been a member of NCWN for more than five years and a writer for much longer. She currently writes reviews for The News & Observer in Raleigh and AudioFile Magazine and writes with children. She teaches adults how to write children’s books and works on her memoir when she can find the time. Find out more on her website: www.ignitingwriting.com.

"Good Book or Bad Book? A Workshop for Children’s Book Writers" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 2018-2019 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class ""Good Book or Bad Book? A Workshop for Children’s Book Writers" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, December 13, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration has been capped at 40.

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.

 

A Walking Shadow by Gary Bolick

Unsolicited Press
$17.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-947021-49-5
October, 2018
Fiction: Literary / Speculative
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Ever play chess with your shadow?

Is it true? Do we whittle down our lovers in an attempt to find a clearer picture of how we, ourselves, connect to the universe?

Eight billion separate universes walking the earth. Is it possible to ever feel, touch or understand anything outside of your own?

After walking away from a horrific car accident, untouched, Jonas Bellingham Ayre sells his business, divorces his wife, and moves to the desert. It is there, in the desert searching for answers, that his his shadow, steps out and becomes a taunting foil. Months pass and still no answers. A burlap sack is thrown out from a passing train. Inside the sack, Jonas discovers and nurses back to health, Eva, an abused, near-dead woman, who in return, helps Jonas find redemption and a measure of peace as he becomes the moving force in reuniting Eva with her daughter.

Gary Bolick was born and raised in Winston-Salem/Clemmons. Lived and studied in Paris for a year before graduating from Wake Forest University. It was at Wake that Bolick enjoyed the privilege of studying under and being mentored by world renowned critic and scholar Germaine Bree. While living in Paris, he was able to secure the first translation into French of antiquity's greatest alchemist: Jabir ibn Hayyan. His Book of Sixty-Nine Treatises, at that time, had no English translation. His study of the French language and literature suddenly had a more interesting purpose. Jabir and alchemy are two of the central themes in Bolick's novel that channel into and include a tip of the hat to Carl Jung and his master work Psychology and Alchemy. Jung demonstrated that science and religion were on an ever-widening, divergent paths, but the alchemists were the only group attempting to bridge the two disciplines. The battle of the conscious and the unconscious attempting to find balance: Jonas and his shadow, dueling out in the desert.

Tormentil Hall by Judy Hogan

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$15.00, paperback /  $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-977523570
November, 2017
Fiction: Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Poet Penny Weaver and her Welsh policeman husband Kenneth Morgan persuade their close friends Sammie and Derek Hargrave to accompany them to their beloved Gower peninsula in Wales, where they spend several months a year away from their home in Riverdell, a central North Carolina village.

Even before they arrive at Kenneth's sister Gwyn's B&B in the village of Pwll du, Sammie panics at how her lively colors and exotic clothing is causing even the proper British to stare at her. There are few African Americans on Gower. The next day the visit turns into a real nightmare when an obnoxious woman guest dies after falling down the stairs. Derek, who was the only one awake in the house, is accused of pushing her and soon arrested.

Kenneth normally works for the Swansea CID when he and Penny are in Wales, but his chief is on holiday, and xenophobic substitute Chief Investigator Williams wants to pin the death on the visiting African American cop.

Despite Penny's efforts to cheer her up, Sammie feels alien, persecuted, and can't seem to take in the beauty, the fascinating history or anything good about Gower and its Welsh inhabitants. Racism and xenophobia on Gower is unnerving to her compared to racism at home where she is known and accustomed to coping with it. Penny and Sammie have always worked together secretly to solve Derek's cases at the Riverdell Sheriff's Department, but Penny can't persuade Sammie to help her once again uncover what actually set off the death.

Sammie's desperation causes her to stay behind on the Worm's Head rock when the tide rolls in, and the footpath crossing is under water. She has to be rescued by the Royal Lifeboat Rescue people. Embarrassed by the trouble she caused by this incident, Sammie agrees to help Penny work on who might have pushed the victim down the stairs.

Judy Hogan was co-editor of a poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970-81). In 1976, she founded Carolina Wren Press. She has been active in central North Carolina as a reviewer, book distributor, publisher, teacher, and writing consultant. Her newest publications are Tormentil Hall, Political Peaches, and Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16, which she edited and annotated. Six other mystery novels, Killer Frost (2012), Farm Fresh and Fatal (2013), The Sands of Gower (2015), Haw, Nuclear Apples?, and Formaldehyde, Rooster (2016) are in print. She has published six volumes of poetry with small presses, including Beaver Soul (2013) and This River: An Epic Poem (2014). Her other published prose is Watering the Roots in a Democracy (1989) and The PMZ Poor Woman's Cookbook (2000). Her papers and twenty-five years of extensive diaries are in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University. She has taught creative writing since 1974 and Freshman English 2004-2007 at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh. She also edits manuscripts for other creative writers. Judy lives and farms in Moncure near Jordan Lake.

Hats Off! to Lee Zacharias, author of Across the Great Lake, who was featured in Southern Literary Review. The interview includes shouts-out to the Wildacres Writing Retreat, NCWN trustee Tommy Hays, and more.

 

Hats Off! to Tom Wood whose story in the Nashville Ledger takes a look at the new Sports Illustrated podcast on the 2009 murder of Tennessee Titans legendary quarterback Steve McNair.

 

Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel by Jeff Jackson

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-374-53766-1
October, 2018
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“At some point, I began to think of it as an ancient folk tale. It’s fine work, with a kind of scattered narrative set within a tight frame. Fast-moving throughout—fragile characters who suggest a bleak inner world made in their own collective image. Birds and deer very impressive.”
—Don DeLillo, author of White Noise and Underworld

“Delightful in its use of playful forms—including, appropriately, an A and B side—this taut, atmospheric rock and roll thriller touches a raw nerve with its subject matter. Add the artist’s struggle authentic power and the carrot of fame—Destroy All Monsters is rock enough for anyone.”
—Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

"Jeff Jackson is one of contemporary American fiction's most sterling and gifted new masters. With Destroy All Monsters, he has raised the high bar his work already set. It's a novel that impresses on many levels, with its beautifully hypnagogic, catastrophic story and writing that is a wonder to behold."
—Dennis Cooper, author of Closer and The Marbled Swarm

An epidemic of violence is sweeping the country: musicians are being murdered onstage in the middle of their sets by members of their audience. Are these random copycat killings, or is something more sinister at work? Has music itself become corrupted in a culture where everything is available, everybody is a "creative," and attention spans have dwindled to nothing?

With its cast of ambitious bands, yearning fans, and enigmatic killers, Destroy All Monsters tells a haunted and romantic story of overdue endings and unlikely beginnings that will resonate with anybody who’s ever loved music.

Like a classic vinyl single, Destroy All Monsters has both a Side A and Side B—you read one side, then flip the book over and upside down to read the other.

At the heart of Side A, “My Dark Ages,” is Xenie, a young woman who is repulsed by the violence of the epidemic but who still finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery. Side B, "Kill City," follows an alternate history, featuring familiar characters in surprising roles, and burrows deeper into the methods and motivations of the murderers.

Jeff Jackson is the author of the cult classic novel Mira Corpora, which was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected as one of the Best Books of 2013 in Slate and Salon. His short fiction has appeared in Vice, Guernica, and The Collagist. Six of his plays have been produced in New York City by the Obie Award winning Collapsable Giraffe theater company.

Hats Off! to Diana Pinckney whose poem "Guernica Triptych" won Press 53's Prime Number Magazine 2018 Award for Poetry. It is an ekphrastic poem about Picasso's famous "Guernica" painting. The painting itself is a triptych, as is the poem. It can be read three ways: all the lines, only the longer lines, and only the shorter italicized lines. It is now up on Prime Number Magazine's fall issue, along with the short-story winner for 2018. Diana wins $1,000; the final judge was Terri Kirby Erickson.

 

Hats Off! to Charley Pearson who revealed the cover for his next novel, Scourge, forthcoming in August, 2018.

In this medical thriller, financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of humanity?

Sally St. Johns by Denise Heinze

BookLocker Publishing
15.95, paperback / $5.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-1634921022
May, 2017
Fiction: Humor / Eco-Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Denise Heinze creates a raucous story full of animated dialogue and humorous character interaction in this action packed novel."
—Lisa McCombs, Readers’ Favorite

"The author is clearly a talented writer who has the ability to provide in-depth character formulation and an easy to follow and intriguing storyline. I believe most readers would find this novel well worth the read."
—Frank Princiotta, Retired EPA Research Director

Forty-three-year-old Sally St. Johns is in up to her very long neck. A major player in alternative energies, Sally is on the verge of a revolutionary breakthrough in energy consumption. But before she can unveil her discovery, she is arrested and implicated in a terrorist plot to destroy all competing energy sources.

To exonerate herself, she must join forces with the U.S. government to find the real terrorist, a shadowy figure named Switchgrass whose goal is to control the nation's power grid. But time is short. If, in forty-eight hours, Switchgrass' demands are not met, a series of bombs planted in nuclear plants around the country will be detonated.

For Sally to save the day, she must draw on her checkered past to help identify and locate Switchgrass. She thinks back to her childhood when she grappled with Marfan syndrome. She relives her professional basketball career, a brief stint as a madam, and the eureka moment when she discovered the solution to global warming. In the midst of the crisis, she relies for the first time on others, including her idealistic attorney, Bud, and her fiercely protective mother who, though racked with advancing age and a heart condition, becomes an unlikely hero.

After a career analyzing other authors' fiction, Denise Heinze decided it was finally time to write her own. A former literature professor and now full-time writer, Heinze is an award-winning author who has published scholarly work, essays, memoirs, poetry, and short fiction. One short story, "The Grid", was named a quarter-finalist in the 2015 Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award contest, and has been published both as an e-book and in the Fall 2017 issue of Thema, a print-only literary journal. Her debut novel, Sally St. Johns, is a "wickedly funny" eco-thriller that dramatizes the deadly seriousness of global warming.

Hats Off! to Patricia Hooper whose fourth book of poetry, Separate Flights, which won the 2016 Anita Claire Sharf Award and was published in 2016 by the University of Tampa Press, has won the 2017 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society.

 

The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans edited by Chris Arvidson and Diana Nelson Jones

McFarland & Company
$19.99, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-476669830
September, 2017
Nonfiction: Baseball
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Written by and for baseball fans (or those trying to live with one), this collection of essays joins a perennial conversation all fans have--"Why do we love baseball?" Thirty contributors share personal narratives of how they found an abiding passion for the sport and how their relationship to it changed over the years. Tracing the thematic arc of a typical season, the essays begin with stories of spring training optimism, followed by the guts and grind of the regular season, and ending with the glory (or heartbreak) of the playoffs.

Contributors include North Carolina Writers' Network members Joseph Bathanti (former North Carolina poet laureate); Charles "LC" Fiore (communications director for NCWN); Caroline Kenna; Stephen Kirk; and Becky Mason Stragand.

Chris Arvidson s a writer who has worked in nonprofit communications and politics. She lives in West Jefferson.

Diana Nelson Jones lives in Pittsburgh, where she is a reporter and columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose Tanka poems beginning "Grandmother's Treasure...." and "Swinging their clasped hands...." appear in issue 6 of the Tanka Journal.

 

The Three Sisters: Family Like It Or NotThe Three Sisters: Family Like It Or Not by Rose Borden

Rose Borden
$11.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1979232302
November, 2017
Fiction: Women's Contemporary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Fran Mattison is living peacefully in the hills of Vermont when her mother’s unexpected death plunges her back into a world she had left behind.

Her mother’s last wishes force Fran to take a long trip with her two sisters, overly cheerful Dixie and the irritating Carm, and to Fran that is the worst punishment ever. She hates to be with them, especially Carm who deceived her and broke her heart twelve years ago. Forget the fact that Carm never shuts up.

Fran would rather stay in the secluded, bitter shell she has created for herself, where there is no forgiveness. The task before her will not be easy but she has to try and do it for the mother she loves so much.

As they travel to different parts of the country to settle Mom’s affairs, the three sisters are in for one shock after another. They learn that their lives have been a lie from the start, they’ve been deceived, and their mother is not the person they thought she was.

A roller coaster of feelings is encountered as each new place they visit brings a new surprise. Their emotions keep blending and tearing apart as they face these situations together. A new layer is uncovered when Fran learns that there is yet another deep secret being hidden between the sisters themselves.

What should have been a simple road trip turns into life shattering changes that test the already strained bonds between the women. Their journey makes them question the true meaning of the word family. It may not be what they expected but it’s their family whether they like it or not.

Rose Borden has enjoyed living in different parts of the U.S. and has spent the last eighteen years in sunny North Carolina. She loves spending time with her family, writing, traveling, and relaxing at the beach.

Hats Off! to Denise Heinze who was named a finalist in the 2017 University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize for her novel The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew.

 

DURHAM—In this current media environment, we are bombarded with snippets and soundbites. It's easy to forget why Henry David Thoreau once said, "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." It takes time and effort to write short, especially for poets, whose medium is already defined by the somewhat narrow constraints of the form.

On Wednesday, December 13, at 7:00 pm, Durham poet and editor of Backbone Press Crystal Simone Smith will lead the online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" 

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Less is more is so cliché, but who can deny the genesis of tiny poems? They can embody a narrative or sear a stunning image into our minds. Using very few words one must craft a worthwhile poem that is, at once, complex and poignant. In this course, we will discuss aspects of the micropoet’s practice and the concept of “outside” inspiration mirrored by the idea that poetry is  “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”—W.B. Yeats. Rather haiku or free verse, accomplishing the task of a tiny poem is challenging. We’ll take a look at some techniques that make up this exciting genre. 

Crystal Simone Smith is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Routes Home (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Running Music (Longleaf Press, 2014). She is also the author of Wildflowers: Haiku, Senryu, and Haibun (2016). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including: Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Durham with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing. She is the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.

"Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 2017-2018 Winter Series of online classes.

"This new program initiative is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "These online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, December 13, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration is closed.

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.

 

RALEIGH—Nominations for the state's next poet laureate, the ambassador of North Carolina literature, will be accepted from Wednesday, Nov. 15 to Friday, Dec. 8 online at www.NCArts.org.

The public is invited to nominate any North Carolina poet, or themselves, if they feel they are best suited for the position. Only current North Carolina residents are eligible to be nominated. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • A North Carolinian with deep connections to the cultural life of the state;
  • Literary excellence of the poet’s work;
  • Influence on other writers, and appreciation of literature in its diversity throughout the state;
  • Ability and willingness to conduct the public engagement duties of the office;
  • Statewide, national or international reputation.

The post of Poet Laureate was created by the General Assembly in 1935 to promote North Carolina writers and the power of poetry and the written word. The program is implemented by the North Carolina Arts Council, and is an example of how artists are recognized and supported across the state.

Poets nominated for the post will be contacted to affirm their interest in being considered, and will be invited to submit materials in support of their nomination by the deadline, January 5, 2018.

After review of all applicants, a selection committee will recommend names to Governor Roy Cooper, who will choose the ninth poet laureate of North Carolina. An installation ceremony, open to the public, will take place during the first quarter of 2018.

Shelby Stephenson was installed as the poet laureate of North Carolina in February, 2015. An accomplished poet and educator, Stephenson has been a tireless advocate for literacy and a respected ambassador for literature in service to the people of our state.

Since his installation, Stephenson has made 129 appearances in forty-three different North Carolina counties; published three books of poetry (one a reissue), with two additional books scheduled to be published; was awarded the prestigious 2016 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, for Elegies for Small Game; and received The William "Singing Billy" Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Letters from the University of South Carolina-Union, to name a few highlights.

Stephenson’s signature areas of interest included conducting writing workshops in assisted living and retirement communities; implementing workshops for those interested in exploring local archives and their family histories; and promoting writings about farming and farm life in North Carolina.

To start the nomination process, click here.

To learn more about the North Carolina Poet Laureate program visit: https://www.ncarts.org/resources/north-carolina-poet-laureate.

For more information contact David Potorti, Literature and Theater Director at the N.C. Arts Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (919) 807-6512.

Media inquiries should be directed to: Rebecca Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (919) 807-6530.

About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in new innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. www.NCArts.org.

 

The Road to Bittersweet by Donna Everhart

Kensington
$15.95, paperback / $9.99, .e-book
ISBN: 978-1496709493
December, 2017
Fiction: Women's Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Pre-Order Now!

Set in the Carolinas in the 1940s, The Road to Bittersweet is a beautifully written, evocative account of a young woman reckoning not just with the unforgiving landscape, but with the rocky emotional terrain that leads from innocence to wisdom.

For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, life in the Appalachian Mountains is simple and satisfying, though not for the tenderhearted. While her older sister, Laci—a mute, musically gifted savant—is constantly watched over and protected, Wallis Ann is as practical and sturdy as her name. When the Tuckasegee River bursts its banks, forcing them to flee in the middle of the night, those qualities save her life. But though her family is eventually reunited, the tragedy opens Wallis Ann's eyes to a world beyond the creek that's borne their name for generations.

Carrying what's left of their possessions, the Stampers begin another perilous journey from their ruined home to the hill country of South Carolina. Wallis Ann's blossoming friendship with Clayton, a high diving performer for a traveling show, sparks a new opportunity, and the family joins as a singing group. But Clayton's attention to Laci drives a wedge between the two sisters. As jealousy and betrayal threaten to accomplish what hardship never could—divide the family for good—Wallis Ann makes a decision that will transform them all in unforeseeable ways....

USA Today bestselling author Donna Everhart grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has lived close to her hometown for most of her life. For several years she worked for high tech companies, specializing in project management and product introduction. She carries a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She lives in Dunn with her husband and a tiny, heart-stealing Yorkshire terrier named Mister. Readers can visit her website at www.donnaeverhart.com.

Chinaberries and Beyond: A Teacher's Childhood Journey by Patricia L. Bostic

WestBow Press
Paperback, $13.95 / $30.95, Hardcover / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-5127-8292-9
July, 2017
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

In 1937, Patricia's parents were married in a small, Southern textile town: Belmont, North Carolina. Born during World War Two, Patricia was their fourth child. Thanks to her father's mistake, eventually there were eight children and two parents living in a cramped, crude house in an isolated area of four houses for blacks.

There was a single tree, a chinaberry, for shade and several other uses, and a spring in the woods, a good place for mischief. Nevertheless, there was lots of nature to explore, fun and humor at home, church, and school, as well as some challenging situations.

Patricia was shy during her early years but later blossomed. She graduated from high school and prepared for North Carolina College at Durham's campus (now NCCU).

This book prepares you for Part 2, He's Got Me Covered: A Teacher's Personal and Professional Journey, Spiritual Visions, and Revelations.

Patricia holds a BS from NC Central University, a MAT degree from Winthrop University, and Special Education Certification from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a retired teacher and lives in Matthews. Patricia has a son, daughter, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. In addition to writing her memoir, she enjoys writing poetry. However, playing tennis replaced running across the pasture, as during her childhood.

The University of New Mexico Press published Lock & Load: Armed Fiction, a collection of literary stories in which guns play a compelling role. Sadly, the book's official pub date coincided with the Las Vegas shootings, which makes marketing Lock & Load more delicate but more urgent than ever. When editors BettyJoyce Nash and Deirdra McAfee published their own "gun stories," they became interested in how writers handle guns on the page and how gun stories reflect our gun-obsessed society. They solicited stories by master writers Annie Proulx, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Pinckney Benedict, Rick DeMarinis, John Edgar Wideman, and Jim Tomlinson. Nationwide calls brought in stories from which thirteen new voices were chosen. Be part of the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "House by the Creek" appears in Rockvale Review's October, 2017, issue.

 

Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha

Sourcebooks
$15.99, paperback / $15.19, e-book / $29.99, audiobook
ISBN: 978-1492655381
January, 2018
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Flat Broke with Two Goats is a funny, moving and unflinchingly honest reckoning. Reduced by desperate circumstances, Jennifer and her husband find themselves living a life that echoes the hardscrabble Appalachian ways of their grandparents. This sweet miracle of a memoir tells the story of a struggling couple who have to lose their house, and just about everything else, to find home."
—Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was Mine

Just as the Great Recession was easing in some parts of the country, Jennifer McGaha experienced an economic crisis of epic proportions. Her home was in foreclosure; she had $4.57 in the bank; and worst of all, she had recently discovered that she and her accountant husband owed four years of back taxes to the state of North Carolina and the IRS. And then things got really bad…

Flat Broke with Two Goats takes readers on a wild adventure from a Cape Cod-style home in the country to a hundred-year-old, mice-infested, snake-ridden cabin in a North Carolina holler. With self-effacing humor and unflinching honesty, Jennifer chronicles the joys and difficulties of living close to nature, and in the process she comes to discover the true meaning of home.

Pushcart Prize nominee Jennifer McGaha is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared in The Good Men Project, PANK, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Baltimore Fishbowl, Your Impossible Voice, and The Brooklyner, among other publications. An experienced teacher and workshop facilitator, she holds an MA from Western Carolina University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. In her free time, when she is not milking goats or whipping up a batch of soap, she can be found hiking and biking the trails and backroads of her native Appalachia.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Aged" won an Honorable Mention for "Free Verse" in The Amy Woodward Fisher World Day of Poetry Contest sponsored by the Poetry Scribes of Spokane, Washington.

 

What Does Love Sound Like? by Padgett Gerler

CreateSpace Publishing Platform
$14.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-692927229
September, 2017
Fiction: Women's / Upmarket
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

When Knox Collier's father, Charlie, rejects him, Knox relocates to New York City to begin a new life. Knox's mother, Jinx, is torn between her husband and her only child, but as a dutiful wife, she supports Charlie, yet seethes with resentment over her husband's narrowmindedness.

But when Charlie dies without reconciling with their son, Jinx, along with the family maid, Polly Ann, heads for New York City. Leaving behind all of her friends and family and the only home she has ever known, Jinx hopes to reunite with her son. There she finds Knox waiting for her with love and forgiveness.

And with the help of Knox, his family, and her new friends, she finds that she hasn't lost her family, after all. 'Cause as wise Polly Ann Bondurant once said, "Family isn't what you're given; family is what you make."

Padgett Gerler was born on the coast of South Carolina but grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In the 1980's she relocated to Raleigh to attend North Carolina State University. Upon graduating with a BA in accounting, she passed the CPA exam and began her career as a certified public accountant, first in public accounting and then as a CFO in corporate accounting. In 2010, she left accounting to pursue a career in writing. Prior to What Does Love Sound Like?, Padgett published her novels, Getting the Important Things Right, Lessons I Learned from Nick Nack, and The Gifts of Pelican Isle. Lessons I Learned from Nick Nack was awarded the indieBRAG Medallion, as well as honorable mention in the 2014 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards competition. She also authored the short story "I Know This Happened 'Cause Somebody Seen It," which was published in the anthology Self-Rising Flowers. She is the First-Place recipient of the Southwest Manuscripters Short Story Award for her short story "The Art of Dying." Padgett and her husband, Ed, reside on pastoral and inspirational Winchester Lake in Raleigh.

Hats Off! to Liza Wieland who was named the 2017 recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The author of four novels, three collections of short stories, and a collection of poetry, Liza is an NEA and NC Arts Council fellow and teaches fiction at East Carolina University. She also judges the annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network.

 

Hats Off! to Staci Lynn Bell whose poem "The Best of Times" will appear in Kakalak 2017 (Main Street Rag, December).

 

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH—If you're arriving early for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Fall Conference, or if you're local, the Network will host a Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday, November 3, at 12:00 pm.

This event is free. There is no registration required, and one need not register for the conference to participate.

Anna Lena Phillips Bell will lead "Writing from Place: A Poetry & Prose Walk" that will begin in the lobby of the conference venue, the Holiday Inn Resort.

The kind of close looking and listening that makes for good poems is also key to good sentences and paragraphs. And exploring a place, whether new or beloved, is a perfect way to amp up those observational skills and generate new material.

This small jaunt is designed to do just that. Starting from the Holiday Inn Resort, attendees will meander through Wrightsville Beach, pausing often in the shade to write. Suggested prompts will be provided along the way. After they've taken in some of the town/beach and gathered lines and ideas, participants will adjourn to the Holiday Inn Resort for a few more minutes of writing and for optional sharing of the work they’ve begun.

Bring a small notebook and something to write with. A water bottle and sun protection are recommended, although this will not be a strenuous walk, and writers be stopping frequently to write. A minibook of prompts will be provided to all participants for future adventuring.

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the 2016 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, and A Pocket Book of Forms, a limited-edition, travel-sized guide to poetic forms. The recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, she teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, where she is the editor of Ecotone and edits manuscripts for the magazine’s sister imprint, Lookout Books. She lives with her family near the Cape Fear River, and calls Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.

The "Writing from Place: A Poetry & Prose Walk" was featured recently in The Lumina News

NCWN trustee and NCWN 2017 Fall Conference sponsor Alice Osborn will be on-hand as the Network representative for the Pre-Conference Tailgate.

On-site registration for the NCWN 2017 Fall Conference will open at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 3, in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Resort. Those who have not pre-registered will be able to sign up for classes at that time.

The NCWN 2017 Fall Conference is a full weekend of classes, panels, readings, open mics, a NaNoWriMo launch party, and more. For full details, click here.

 

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Masterful Sculpture" appears online at Naturewriting (October 21, 2017). Her autumnal haiku beginning "Scampering chipmunk..." appeared in Issue #252 of The Weekly Avocet (October 8, 2017), and another Fall haiku beginning "Nightly woods' silence..." appeared in Issue #254 (October 22, 2017). Her haiku beginning "Swaying tree tops..." was published in The Weekly Avocet, Issue #255 (October 29, 2017), and her haiku beginning "Suspended halo..." was published in The Haiku Journal, Issue 54. Finally, her three-line poem beginning "Pristine snowfall blankets the land...." appears in Three Line Poetry, Issue 46.

 

Hats Off! to Miriam Herin whose novel Sun is a finalist for the 2016 Lee Smith Novel Prize sponsored by Carolina Wren Press.

 

 

The Body at StarShine Mill: A Marcy Dehanne Grist Mill Mystery by Celia H. Miles

Stone Ivy Press/Old Mountain Press
$13.95, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-15323-2048-4
October, 2016
Fiction: Mystery (Cozy)
Available from www.Amazon.com

Flush off the first successful project of her second career that offered the unexpected surprise of a dead body, ex-college teacher, Marcy Dehanne, undaunted, sets off to restore yet another old mill in western North Carolina.

StarShine Mill boasts the largest waterwheel she has ever seen, but Marcy is sure it is redeemable. Her enthusiasm is dampened, however, by the mill’s desolate and eerie atmosphere and—you guessed it—another dead body.

Marcy knows the chances of saving StarShine diminish if she doesn’t solve the mystery surrounding the young man’s death. In a college town beset with its share of problems from hikers to bikers, she faces a formidable foe in a sheriff suspicious of her “nosing around.”

Ignoring common sense, direct orders, and unwanted advice, Marcy, along with a young townie named Charlene and enigmatic reprobate Axel, determines to get the job done and to see justice prevail.

Celia Miles, a native of western North Carolina and retired community college instructor, edits and writes from Asheville. Old grist mills intrigue and enchant her—and get her heroine into difficulties and danger. When not traveling to find and photograph old mills and Neolithic sites, she’s reading about them and plotting the next novel: www.celiamiles.com.

Hats Off! to Greenville's Tony Wayne Brown whose short story "The New Wall on Rue de la Maison" received an Honorable Mention in Oval Magazine's 2016 short-story contest and is included in their annual print publication. It is his sixty-eighth accepted/published piece.

 

Hats Off! to Paula Martinac who was recently awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant from Charlotte's Arts & Science Council to support work on her fifth novel.

 

Hats Off! to Greenville author Tony Wayne Brown whose short story "A Bud to a Blossom" has been accepted by Kind of A Hurricane Press for its upcoming Emergence anthology. It is his sixty-seventh accepted/published piece.

 

Hats Off! to Blaine Paxton Hall whose essay "Space Exploration Is Our Destiny" appeared in the November 16 issue of The News & Observer in Raleigh.

 

AJ's Wish by Renee Filippucci-Kotz

Archway Publishing
$8.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-48083-746-1
October, 2016
Fiction: Children's
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Pets are a big part of many children's lives. They can be a child's first—and maybe bestfriend. But do you know what needs to be considered when bringing one into your home?

Ten-year-old AJ isn't sure. She only knows she has always loved animals. She enjoys playing with her grandma's pets and the pets of her friends. But in author Renee Filippucci-Kotz's AJ's Wish you'll read about her greatest wisha pet of her own! After she and her family watch a program about all the animals in shelters, she asks her parents for a pet. When they say no, she sets out to prove she is responsible enough to care for an animal.

Renee Filippucci-Kotz is a longtime volunteer with her local, county animal shelter, and several rescue organizations. AJ's Wish is more than an entertaining story of AJ's quest for a pet. The author shares with readers what kind of research you should do before deciding on the right pet for your family, or even if your family should have a pet. After all, bringing a pet into a family is a serious commitment.

Hats Off! to Charles "LC" Fiore whose unpublished short story collection, A Shot of Light into Which We Disappear, was named Runner-Up in the Cypress & Pine Fiction Series competition from Yellow Flag Press. Fiore is the communications director for the North Carolina Writers' Network.

 

Camino Poems by Newton Smith

Argura Press
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9976614-0-8
October, 2016
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

This book is a collection of poems written as Newton Smith walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago Frances in 2014. They represent a poetic travelogue of his pilgrimage along the Way. The poems are a spiritual inquiry into the nature of being human, walking with others on a pilgrimage, and experiencing the abundance and expansiveness of this life. Buddhist teachings on mindfulness, silence, and interconnectedness with the natural world are recurring themes in the poems.

Writing these poems became a spiritual and physical pilgrimage. Because the walk was 500 miles across northern Spain, Smith decided to closely observe the physical world around him and become much more attentive to the physical and mental patterns as they occurred. This led him to record his experiences in poems rather than as journal entries. He committed to writing at least one poem a day, but because much of the day was spent in solitary walking and silence, he often wrote more than one a day.

There are wonderful people from all over the world who are walking the Camino, and one quickly makes deep friendships even for a day or two as the paces soon diverge. Each is feeling the pains and aches of walking twelve to eighteen miles a day, carrying only one change of clothes, and looking for places to stop to eat or have a beer. Each has their own reasons for walking, some still looking for a way to put their reasons. No matter your religious or lack of religious persuasion, the walk becomes a pilgrimage, taking you deeper into yourself, revealing how small you are in the scope of things, immersing you in the wonder of the natural world, and opening you to gratitude to be able to experience this Pilgrimage.

At the beginning of the book, Smith has included a map tracing the journey. The title of each poem is followed by a line indicating where the poem was written. This book is travelogue that give the reader the experience of following along the Pilgrimage themselves. Smith also includes a few black and white photos at the end of poems that heighten the experience, as well as some of the stamps one collects along the way as a demonstration that indeed one has walked the whole way. As a result, the book is a collection of poems and images that encourage the reader to walk with him on his pilgrimage

Poetry has been an essential part of Newton Smith’s life for more than fifty years. He has published widely in literary magazines beginning in the 1970s, including Southern Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Ann Arbor Review, and others. His most recent poetry publications are in the Asheville Poetry Review, Rivendale, Main Street Rag, Pisgah Review, and Jonah. During his 2014 pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, he wrote a poem every day reflecting on the physical body, nature, and the spiritual as he walked along the Way.

Life is Short, Pack Your Bags Now! by Ann Ipock

Ann IPock
paperback
November, 2016
Nonfiction: Humor
Available from your local bookstore or the publisher

"It's a shame that more people haven't discovered the perfectly delightful humor of this Southern 'siren' (you'll have to buy the book to understand.) You can thank me for the belly laughs later."
—Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, author of Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy

“Southern recipes for living, y’all! You can’t go wrong with Ann Ipock’s humor or approach to life.”
—Barbara Claypole White, best-selling author of Echoes of Family

The culminating book in the Life is Short series, Bags explores the beautiful yet strange human race: elderly ladies hogging church pews, ridiculous Siri voice interpretations, and marital matches not made in heaven. Other subjects include holiday hysteria, kitchen misadventures—including a large ham that needs its own seat belt—and, of course, travel: bad vacation karma and tips on never packing light. Ipock’s zany humor is balanced by nostalgic tales of growing up in the sixties and affectionate family portraits, from her still dancing 85-year old father to her lovable (but hairy) Grandog, Gus.

Ann Ipock is an award-winning Southern author, speaker and humorist, who’s found writing to be her safest career to date. After catching the Mayor’s mustache in her dental hygiene polisher, she joined a writer’s group, began acting in community theatre and changed her hair color at least three times. She now lives in Wilmington with her loving, loyal, and confused husband, Russell. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.

Her book Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller follows Life is Short, So Read This Fast! and Life is Short, But It’s Wide and completes the Life is Short trilogy.

Ann has written for Georgetown Times, South Carolina's oldest newspaper, Sasee Magazine, Columbia County Magazine, and Salt Magazine. She has taught at the SC Writer’s Workshop in Myrtle Beach, the Foothills Writers Guild Conference at Anderson University, and was selected as a judge for Catfish Stew anthology.

WINSTON-SALEM—In December, the North Carolina Writers' Network will offer its first online class, "How to Be a Rock Star at PR," led by author and NCWN trustee Alice Osborn.

The class will take place on Wednesday, December 14, at 7:00 pm, online. The course has reached capacity, and registration is now closed. 

Instructions for accessing the online class will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

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.

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.

"How to Be a Rock Star at PR" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their Winter Series. More online classes are planned for January, February, and March.

"This new program initiative allows us to further our mission to connect and serve all the writers of North Carolina," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We view these online courses as a supplement to our current programs, and we remain committed to continuing to offer ample opportunities for all of us to get together face-to-face and in-person as well."

 

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

 

Hats Off! to Debra Madaris Efird whose short story "Palette of Love" was named a Finalist in the 2016 North Carolina State University Prize for Short Fiction Contest, judged by Percival Everett.

 


WILMINGTON—The 2017 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now closed. This contest awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

For more information, click here.

The final judge is Garrard Conley, author of the memoir Boy Erased (Riverhead, 2016), featured in Buzzfeed, Travel + Leisure, the LA Times, and many other publications as a must-read book. Megan Daum of The New York Times calls Boy Erased a story written "through the lens...of compassion," and Publisher's Weekly, in a starred review, calls it an "exceptionally well-written memoir." Conley's fiction and nonfiction can be found in Time, Vice, CNN, Buzzfeed, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation writers' conferences. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

The 2017 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, a community of passionate, dedicated writers who believe that the creation of art is a pursuit valuable to self and culture. The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2017 (postmark).

The 2016 winner was Karen Smith Linehan of Carolina Beach, whose meditative nature essay "Magnolia grandiflora" displayed "solid sense of voice, language, and dramatic arc," threading detailed memories into a lyrical read.

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    • Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    • Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • If submitting by postal mail, send submission to:

North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

Bogalusa and Beyond: Slices of Life by Lorraine Packard

StoryTyme Productions
$12.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-682738191
August, 2016
Essays and Short Stories
Available from the publisher

Bogalusa and Beyond: Slices of Life is a two part collection of memoir and fiction. The memoir includes vignettes and short stories that reflect the writer's childhood experiences in a small paper mill town. Some stories serve as reminders of the the hardships of poverty and lack while other stories warm readers hearts and transport them back to their own childhoods.

The second part of the book is a collection of fictional tales of life, living, and love. Readers are entertained by little kids who steal plums; a man who discovers new life in his back yard; and a young man who falls in love with an old woman.

Lorraine Packard is the pen name of Gilda Thompson. Gilda is a native of Bogalusa, Louisiana and a graduate of the University of Connecticut. She lives in Durham. This is her debut book.

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford who won the Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her blog Blue Ridge Poet.

 

 

Re-Membering: Putting Mind and Body Back Together Following Traumatic Brain Injury by Ann Millett-Gallant

Wisdom House Books
$12.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-692772355
October, 2016
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Re-Membering is a memoir about being congenitally physically disabled and experiencing traumatic brain injury. Millett-Gallant recounts her accident, recovery, and consequential discoveries by engaging multiple genres of writing. Each chapter is composed of: personal narrative, research on brain injury and art therapy, disability studies and other critical theory, information from medical records, and voices from other memoirs, as well as examples of her artwork. She underscores the vital roles of her family and friends, as well as art, in her recovery and provides hope and direction for others with brain injury, based upon one survivor’s first-hand experiences.

Ann Millett-Gallant is an art historian, disability studies scholar, and visual artist who specializes in painting and collage. She holds a Ph.D in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently serves as a Senior Lecturer for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

WINSTON-SALEM—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers' Network's first online class, "How to Be a Rock Star at PR," led by author and NCWN trustee Alice Osborn.

The class will take place on Wednesday, December 14, at 7:00 pm, online. This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served.

Register here.

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.

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.

"How to Be a Rock Star at PR" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their Winter Series. More online classes are planned for January, February, and March.

"This new program initiative allows us to further our mission to connect and serve all the writers of North Carolina," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We view these online courses as a supplement to our current programs, and we remain committed to continuing to offer ample opportunities for all of us to get together face-to-face and in-person as well."

The online class "How to Be a Rock Star at PR" is available to anyone with an internet connection. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, December 14, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Register here.

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

 

The Superwoman Complex: A Follow- Up Visit
$7.99, e-book / $15.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0986370212
September, 2016
Nonfiction: Health / Transpersonal
Available from www.Amazon.com

Since the release of her first book, How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex: 12 Ways to Balance Mind, Body and Spirit in March, 2015, Dr. Swiner (AKA DocSwiner) has been speaking locally and nationally for organizations, groups, high schools, and universities about stress management, health matters, and self-care. Her first book described what the Superwoman Complex is, this follow-up book describes what to do about it. As a follow up to the first book, she has added more in-depth information on a plan of action to attack this syndrome in order to live a fuller, more satisfied life. DocSwiner continues to give real-life examples of how she works to achieve a work-life balance as a working mom and entrepreneur to help others.

Dr. C. Nicole Swiner, MD, is a Partner and Family Physician at Durham Family Medicine in Durham. She attended the University of North Carolina completing her Family Medicine Residency in 2007. She graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 2004 and she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Duke University. She is the author of two books: How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex: 12 Ways to Balance Mind, Body and Spirit and The Superwoman Complex: A Follow Up Visit. Dr. Swiner is also the founder of “New Year, New You” a women’s health conference currently set for January 7, 2017.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose ekphrastic poem "Glovemaker's Collection for Artists" appears on Visual Verse. Also, two of her poems—"The Bee's Grocery" and "A Handful of Bears"—are forthcoming in the children's anthology Words & Other Wild Things (Brick Street Poetry, November, 2016).

 

ASHEVILLE—Tommy Hays has joined the North Carolina Writers' Network Board of Trustees, effective immediately.

Tommy’s first middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, was chosen as a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and was selected for the 2014 SIBA Book Award Long List as well as the American Booksellers 2014 ABC Best Books for Children Catalog. His novel The Pleasure Was Mine was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award in 2006, and has been chosen for numerous community reads, including the "One City, One Book" program in Greensboro and the "Amazing Read" in Greenville, SC. The novel was read on National Public Radio’s Radio Reader and South Carolina ETVRadio’s Southern Read. His other adult novels are Sam’s Crossing, which has been recently re-released, and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer in the Master of Liberal Arts program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Murray State University. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives in Asheville with his wife, Connie, and their children, Max and Ruth.

The Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-Asheville administers the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves the writers of this state. It provides education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write. The North Carolina Writers’ Network believes that writing is necessary both for self-expression and a healthy community, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance, and that the deeply satisfying experiences of writing and reading should be available to everyone.

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.

Spark: Poetic Creations by Aruna Gurumurthy

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$14.00, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-535026604
August, 2016
Poetry
Available from CreateSpace and www.Amazon.com

Spark is a vibrant and colorful work of art that is a manifestation of author Aruna Gurumurthy's mind and its many ramifications.

It is an original collection of poems that uses captivating words and visuals to "spark" our minds to think, act, and react in a manner contributing to unity in diversity and collective harmony. It draws values from personal challenges, catastrophes, and sacrifices, and is a summary of Gurumurthy's vision and victory in the modern world.

Using a splash of creativity and imagination, Spark hopes to end modern day evils such as discrimination, dogma, stigma, violence, and war.

"I am repulsed by ill treatment to humanity, a lack of respect and overall animosity between people and countries and I urge all of us to change and carry the 'spark' for change," says Gurumurthy.

Aruna Gurumurthy is a fun-loving dreamer, visionary thinker, and writer all rolled into one. Born in India, her experiences and discoveries brought her across continents to Amherst, MA, at the turn of the century.

She developed a keen interest in social change by closely studying vulnerable people she came in contact with. Spending time in labs, classrooms, clinics, and the community while at Duke, University of North Carolina, and beyond, she discerns the mental divide between "normal" and "abnormal." Through her poems, Aruna creates solutions to complex problems and strives to achieve balance in the human mind and the world.

Aruna lives with her wonderful family—her husband and toddler daughter in Chapel Hill. She enjoys caring for her plants, finds excitement in beauty, and has an incessant curiosity for life. She has an avid ear for music of all hues and enjoys lap swimming. Spark is Aruna’s first book of poems.

A Clearing in the Forest by Kim Love Stump

Foxcroft Publishing
Hardcover, $21.99 / Paperback, $10.99 / e-book, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-997591408
August, 2016
Fiction: Young Adult Fantasy
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Spellbinding and untraditional, this fantasy with a brave royal could teach Disney a few things about princess adventures."
Kirkus Reviews

"This book was completely refreshing! Stump is one to watch for, she's going to make herself known in the YA indie world!"
—Megan (A Page To Turn)

"This novel is about family, friendship, love, and taking responsibility for oneself and others. No doubt—an auspicious and classic beginning to the Journeys from Ayrden series."
—Karon Luddy, author of Spelldown and Bewilderment of Boys

Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year.

If she is ever to ascend to the throne, Adriana must go—alone and unarmed—into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the Journey her entire life, just like all the royals who preceded her—even the ones who never returned.

Adriana leaves Ayrden on Sultan, the black stallion gifted to her by her brother just the day before at her birthday celebration. With bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return, she soon encounters three paths: one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones. She chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she quickly finds that she will have to overcome nearly impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship changes not only Adriana, but the very kingdom she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?

Kim Love Stump has loved to read and write ever since she can remember. While fiction is her first writing love, she has written everything from equity recommendations for a bank trust department to Bible studies. She’s also a frequent writer of memoir. Whether a snippet of real life or an intricate fantasyland, Kim loves world-building through words. The real-life world she has created in Charlotte is happily shared with her husband of thirty-plus years.

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.

 

Hats Off! to Charles "LC" Fiore whose essay, "Death: a Father's Lesson about Being a Warrior," appears in The Good Men Project.

 

RALEIGH—Attendees at this year's North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference will be able to enhance their conference experience with a new event app developed in-house by NCWN staff and NCWN trustee Paul Jones.

Technically a website, the URL will function as an event app when viewed from a mobile device. Bookmark: www.NCWNFallConference.com.

The app includes:

  • The Fall Conference Schedule, including room assignments
  • Faculty bios
  • Sponsor details
  • Exhibitor information
  • Conference logistics inluding tips on
    • Parking
    • Wi-Fi
    • Connecting through social media
  • And more!

"Attendees have been asking for something like this for a couple of years now," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We look forward to receiving feedback from users during and after the conference, so that we can add features in the future to make this app a one-stop enhancement of everyone's Fall Conference experience."

The NCWN Fall Conference runs November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley, in Raleigh. On-site registration opens at 3:00 pm on Friday. For full conference details click here.

Access the app at www.NCWNFallConference.com.

 

 

When She Was Bad by Gabrielle Brant Freeman

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-47-9
October, 2016
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Gabrielle Freeman’s When She Was Bad is about passion: sex, love, loss, life at its most elemental. One poem challenges, “Did you bare your neck or your teeth?” These poems bare neck and teeth. They are fierce and tender, and each poem so full of energy that the page can barely contain it."
—Suzanne Cleary, author of Beauty Mark

"The poems of Gabrielle Freeman’s When She Was Bad are by turns amorous, witty, fierce, ironic and erudite, but they are always sensual and often erotic. As the title suggests, Freeman explores the promises and surprises of the human heart, and her deft free verse addresses temptations, rewards and disappointments. Her bold inquiries sharpen both her eye and her tongue, but her first collection is far from single-minded, as she makes room for owls, spider wort, Bela Lugosi, Stephen King, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Renoir. When She Was Bad is entertaining and enlightening, and with its publication Gabrielle Freeman steps onto the stage in full voice, singing true."
—R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah and author of In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems

"Gabrielle Freeman's poetry is fecund, sensuous, and refreshing. I admire the strangeness in these poems—not a strangeness of obliquity or constructed befuddlement, but an unpredictability that ultimately clarifies, inducing empathy. In her poems I can hear "on the morning road . . . the cello's throat" as it "opens into a blur of birds and fog." Her poems transcend delicate transcription of events; instead, they entice and enrich, offer room for a reader's imagination to blossom with interpretation. These are pieces by a soul who understands the importance of the world behind the world, a place to which few gain access."
—William Wright, series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology and author of Tree Heresies

"Lust. Love. Betrayal and loyalty. Temptation and hilarity. Gabrielle Freeman dissects her speakers’ hearts, tenderly, with supreme attention to what it is to be human, female, and fierce. Gabrielle Freeman’s poems are bad—by which I mean bad-ass bold. Michael Jackson bad. Freeman’s bad and you know it. That’s why you read her. When She Was Bad is a smart, compassionate, tightly crafted and explosive debut." 
—Denise Duhamel, author of SCALD

Gabrielle Brant Freeman's poetry has been published in many journals, including Barrelhouse, Hobart, Melancholy Hyperbole, Rappahannock Review, Shenandoah, storySouth, and Waxwing. She was nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and was a 2014 finalist. Freeman won the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, and she received a Regional Artist Grant in 2015 from the North Carolina Arts Council. Freeman earned her MFA through Converse College. When She Was Bad is her first book of poetry.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Black Dolphin Dawn" appears in the Fall issue of Pink Panther Magazine. Also, her ekphrastic poem "Woman with a Dog" that she wrote for Poetry Marathon is forthcoming in an anthology from TheaqLLC. A haiku has been accepted by Helen: A Literary Magazine; her poem "Old News" appears on Social Justice Poetry; her poem "Carving Out the Moon" was included in the October issue of Ruby for Women magazine. Finally, one of her short stories has been longlisted for the Bath Fiction Award and is forthcoming in their anthology.

 

Murder in Caney Fork by Wally Avett

BelleBooks
$13.73, paperback / $6.15, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-61194-416-7
March, 2014
Fiction: Mystery/Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Rape, murder, vigilante justice—trial of the century in a small Eastern North Carolina county seat. Marine war hero Wes Ross has to save his uncle but hide the truth about the killing of Frog Cutshaw, a swaggering bully whose backwoods kingdom is known as Caney Fork.

Sent home after being wounded in a Pacific commando raid, Wes is soon caught in the middle and knows all too well who pulled the trigger on the 12-gauge pumpgun and could go to Death Row.

Inspired by a true story.

Wally Avett is a retired newspaperman living in the extreme Southwestern tip of North Carolina. Also a gardener, outdoorsman, gospel singer, and reluctant handyman.

His column, "Hillbilly Ranger," appears periodically in the weekly Cherokee Scout at Murphy. His four novels are available in local stores as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other websites.

Mary Ann's Mountain by Mary Ann Rose Hart

Dog Ear Publishing
$11.95, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4575-3266-5
December, 2014
Fiction: Juvenile
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"This book should be on every middle school shelf in America!"
—Paddy Fievet, author of When Life Cried Out

"I like the way your book talks."
—Fifth-grader, Coeburn Middle School

"In this debut novel set in the late 1950s, young Mary Ann shares stories about life on a mountain farm in Virginia. These lively tales inspired by her life indeed serve as a striking showcase of postwar childhood. Her novel may attract general interest as well, given how its plucky heroine and family-positive spirit are reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie and other beloved children's classics. . .. her narrative is full of feisty characters (and cats) as well as gentle images. . . A charming debut full of endearing family stories with universal appeal.
Kirkus Reviews

Life on a farm in the mountainous coalfields of Virginia brings ups and downs for a fifth-grader leaving a two-room school on the mountain for a two-story school in town. The new farm cat won't give Mary Ann the time of day, and she encounters the class bully at her new school. For the first time, Mary Ann witnesses prejudice and problems that affect her friends. Challenges and changes at school highlight the changes happening in Mary Ann's own life, but her three protective older brothers, grandparents and mom work together to make sure the family sticks together through some difficult circumstances. Caught between being a child and a teenager, Mary Ann must discover for herself that the world exists in a spectrum of colors as varied as those found in a Caney Ridge sunrise.

Request book signings and children's readings, preview the book, see upcoming events, read her blog, and download free guided reading and pre-algebra tangram math activities at www.maryannrosehart.com. Visit on Twitter and Facebook.

Mary Ann's Mountain is the first novel for Mary Ann Rose Hart and is a nod to her mountain heritage. Growing up in the mountainous coalfields of Virginia in the 1950s and '60s give this author a first-hand knowledge of the mountain people's pride in their land and their stoic adaptations to whatever life brought.

This retired teacher taught French in grades 3-6 in Kingsport, Tennessee, and grades 3-5 in Mooresville and High Point, North Carolina. The author received a master's degree from Appalachian State University with emphasis on the emerging adolescent and reading skills instruction. While serving as math lead teacher, Hart presented her work at regional and state math conventions.A 36-year career teacher, the author writes about the age group she knows so well.

Mary Ann now lives in North Carolina with her husband, David, and their cat, Gus. Look for more books to come.

When Killers Collide by Tom Olsinski

Pegasus Books
$17.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-941859384
October, 2015
Fiction: Mystery/Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

What if a serial killer and terrorist plot were active simultaneously in the same beach town? The action packed novel When Killers Collide answers how do you stop a rapacious killer and subvert domestic terrorists?

The gruesome methodology found in a killing field in Indiana reappears in North Carolina as the sexually obsessed killer has re-emerged. What begins as a search for a missing woman uncovers a serial killer and unravels a plot to destroy a city. As victims appear, the paths to murder converge. The outcome is intriguing and unpredictable, as Harry Powell drives to stop killers, profiteers and terrorists. This is a powerful and inventive tale with an original storyline.

Conflict between compelling characters captivate readers in page turning actions. Unique crisscrossed story lines culminate in a dynamic cinematic conclusion.

When Killers Collide follows a treacherous conflict between those with a genealogy that drives killing and those who choose to eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Does group loyalty supersede personal integrity? Can we escape our past to control who we become? What happens when killers collide?

Tom Olsinski has always been a writer in parallel to several careers in healthcare and business. At Fordham University he wrote and edited the college newsletter. As a pharmacist he also contributed a weekly newspaper column on health for a local New York newspaper called You and Your Health. As a marketing executive, he also wrote a monthly business column for over six years for Hearst Publications, titled Mind Your Business. He has written various business publications for a Fortune 100 company on various subjects including strategic planning and leadership. He has lectured at major business schools on ethics. He has coached several sports and is currently an avid golfer. Since focusing on fiction, he has written several novels, most recently When Killers Collide. He is married with three children. After living in New York City and Indiana he currently resides in North Carolina with his wonderful wife and two cute cats.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose very short piece of fiction, "Perspective," appeared in Fifty Word Stories.

 

Hats Off! to Faith S. Holsaert and Elizabeth Zertuche, who were both named finalists in the Firefly Ridge Women's Writing Award from LaVenson Press Studios. The winner will be announced at the Winter Stage & Studio Fundraiser on December 5.

 

Hats Off! to Marianna Crane whose story "Baby in the Closet" appeared in Hospital Drive: The Literature and Humanities Journal of the UVA School of Medicine, August/September, 2015.

 

Hats Off! to David Payne whose memoir Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story has been named to Best Books of 2015 (Kirkus Reviews); Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2015; and Amazon’s Best of 2015 Biographies & Memoirs.

 

Hats Off! to North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductees Kathryn Stripling Byer and Allan Gurganus; former North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti; Clyde Edgerton, Keith Flynn, Zelda Lockhart, and many other contributors to Carolina Writers at Home, a collection of essays and photographs of writers in their homes. Published by Hub City Press, Rob McDonald's evocative photographs capture the writers in their habitat, preserving their distinct personalities as well as well as the particular character of the house and place they inhabit.

 

Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph by Lucy Margaret Rozier

Schwartz & Wade
$17.99 hardcover / $10.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-0-385-37843-7
September, 2015
Children's: Picture Book
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

In a race between speedy Jackrabbit McCabe and the electric telegraph—the newfangled contraption that's changing the way Americans communicate—who will be left in the dust? A new tall tale for grades K-2. Award-winning illustrations by Leo Espinosa (Founder's Prize in the 2015 Society of Illustrators 2015 "Original Art" show.)

Lucy Margaret Rozier is thrilled with Leo Espinosa's clever retro illustrations for her book. An artist too, she is now immersed in children's writing. Growing up in the NC mountains she heard lots of tall tales. Lucy and her family live in Durham.

 

Hats Off! to Ivy Rutledge who was a finalist in the 2015 New Southerner Literary Contest for her essay "Oz Palimpsest." The New Southerner Literary Edition will be available online and in print in December.

 

WILMINGTON—The 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions. This contest awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

The final judge is Kate Sweeney. While pursuing her MFA at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she spent time with obit writers, funeral directors, and ordinary Americans who found themselves involved with death and memorialization. The result is the popular nonfiction book American Afterlife (University of Georgia Press), which won the Georgia Author of the Year Away in the Essay category for 2014.

About American Afterlife, Paste Magazine wrote, “Sweeney writes the perfect story for our time, in the best possible way." Bestselling author Thomas Lynch calls the book “a reliable witness and well-wrought litany to last things and final details.”

A resident of Atlanta, Kate’s radio stories appear regularly on Atlanta’s NPR station, WABE 90.1 FM, and she has won five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as a number of Associated Press awards for her work. Her writing has appeared several times in Oxford American Magazine, as well as Utne Reader Online, Atlanta Magazine, and New South, among other outlets. Creative Loafing Atlanta named Kate an “author to watch” in 2013. She has taught creative writing and English at Emory Continuing Education, Clayton State University, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, a community of passionate, dedicated writers who believe that the creation of art is a pursuit valuable to self and culture. The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016 (postmark).

The 2015 winner was Jillian Weiss, whose essay "Beach Baby" was a structurally innovative rumination on the death of a sister, jealousy, and Christmas.

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    • Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    • Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • If submitting my postal mail, send submission to:

North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

Pelican Island Pharmacy by Betsy Hess Sleath

Archway
$35.95, hardcover / $17.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4808-2159-0
September, 2015
Fiction: Romance
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Five years after her divorce, Jessie thinks her problems with her ex-husband are over—until the day he attacks her on the campus where she works as a pharmacy professor. Several months later, Jessie flees Connecticut with her teenage daughter and heads to North Carolina.

After she secures a job as a pharmacist, Jessie is soon intertwined in the lives of the members of the local Methodist church. As she builds friendships with the town doctor and a lieutenant colonel, Jessie wonders if she will ever be able to trust a man again. But just as she settles into her new life, Jessie’s past rises up once again.

Betsy Hess Sleath is a pharmacist who grew up in Connecticut and studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has lived in North Carolina for the past twenty years and loves spending time on the coast. This is her first novel.

 

Hats Off! to Janet Hartman whose story "Christmas Afloat" appears in the recently released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas!

 

Hats Off! to Denise Smith Cline whose short story "Plow Under" has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Prime Number magazine, published by Press 53.

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford who received the 2015 Paul Green Multimedia Award from North Carolina Society of Historians for her poetry collection, Crepe Roses (Aldrich Press). This is the eighth time she has won the award.

 

A Closet Full of Masks: A Novella and Stories by Susan Snowden

Archer Hill Publishing
$16.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9853301-7-0
September, 2015
Fiction: Southern / Relationships
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“These stories aren’t far-fetched; this is the real South, and Susan Snowden’s dialogue is consistently pitch-perfect.”
—Steve Brown, author of Carolina Girls and The Belles of Charleston

“In this wonderfully varied collection Susan Snowden has penned intriguing characters ranging from complex and hostile to unpretentious and compassionate. Readers will find themselves zipping through to see what come next, anticipating rereading and properly relishing each story.”
—Mary Ickes, Western North Carolina Woman magazine

"Susan Snowden’s stories are infused with a literary magic that readers will not want to miss.”
—Susan Gabriel, author of The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012, and Temple Secrets

Susan Snowden’s wry humor suffuses even the most poignant of these sixteen stories, all set in the South—from south Georgia to southern Appalachia. Thematically, she treats readers to a smorgasbord of tales whose characters—young, old, affluent, poor—are all struggling in various ways. An artist, given a rare opportunity, must face his insecurity; an uneducated disabled woman longs for the respect of her grown son; a lonely librarian seeks solace after the death of her father; a divorced mother is shocked by her behavior when she starts dating again. And in the title novella, an eighteen-year-old, away from home for the first time, encounters difficulties she never anticipated.

It’s clear that the author knows and understands her characters, each with his or her own distinctive voice and worldview, and that she cares about them enough to redeem them—or at least give them hope—regardless of the challenges they face.

Snowden’s work has appeared in more than forty literary journals and anthologies. Her first novel, Southern Fried Lies, won a 2013 IPPY Award for Best Fiction (Southeast Region). An Atlanta native, Snowden has lived in western NC since 1995.

ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Pre-registration closes Friday, November 13.

Laurence Avery, former Chairman of the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead the poetry workshop "To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question."

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 Laurence 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 Laurence Avery's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"Where is the day that pursed into one rich person's snoring? Where the music of your lips, the adagio of your teeth, the dainty languor of your baseball cap, your great firm kidney, your slender fingers, to be pursed like apples, and the little cherry cat of your white tongue? And where are all the tiny stoves of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the mountains of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this beauty. You who were made for stone cutting, will laugh prostitution no more: in your dark attic the flood is silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that broken arm that we did not foresee, return not into Altamont, but into the Pisgah Inn, where we have never cried, into the enchanted wood, where we bear hunted, strewn on the basement. Come up into the hills, O my young J. Edgar Hoover: return. O lost, and by the wind-grieved W.O. Gant, come back again."

***

At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Laurence Avery will lead the poetry workshop, "To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question."

The workshop will focus on that question—whether in a given poem to make use of rhymes and rhyme schemes, or not. Rhyme can be an important element in the sound activity of a poem, and there is no question that people find rhyming sounds pleasurable. But rhyme can also bring problems for the writer, as when he or she is tempted to move words out of their normal position in a sentence in order to get the needed rhyming sound at the end of a line. For this reason and a number of others, poets frequently decide that rhyme, on balance, isn’t worthwhile in a given poem. Such decisions reflect the sensibility of individual writers, of course, and may differ from person to person. But the decisions involve questions that are important to think about as you plan a poem. For instance, would rhyme help establish the tone you aim for—humorous, solemn, ironic, earthy? Do you want to expand the pool of rhyming sounds by experimenting with assonance and consonance? What considerations would lead you to forego the use of rhyme in a poem? In the workshop we will explore such matters, using poems by recent writers as examples.

Laurence Avery had a decades-long career as teacher and scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he served as chairman of the English department. He has published numerous articles on British and American playwrights and six books, among them A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981, winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award for distinguished contributions to the study of Southern literature. Avery also published the definitive edition of Green’s The Lost Colony, the play that launched the nation-wide outdoor drama movement. In 2006 he received the NC Literary and Historical Association’s R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to North Carolina literature. Mountain Gravity, his first book of poetry, appeared in 2014.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is open through November 13.

 

 A Stone for Bread by Miriam Herin

Livingston Press
ISBN: 978-1-60489-156-0
$30.00, hardcover / $18.95, paperback
November, 2015
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Miriam Herin's novel A Stone for Bread showcases beautifully her immense talent for sweeping storytelling and poetic language. Her absolute fidelity to detail, to historicity, to research—leavened with an imaginative flair nothing short of inspired—mints a narrative as real and harrowing as documentary footage. As the novel wends back and forth in time, chapter by chapter—from pedestrian North Carolina to exotic, enigmatic France, and even into the unthinkable cauldron of a Nazi death camp—Herin builds an uncanny cautionary tale, deftly pairing rectitude with forgiveness, and serving up a cast of truly unforgettable characters. This is a supremely ambitious book from a thoroughly gifted writer."
—Joseph Bathanti, former NC Poet Laureate and author, The Life of the World to Come

"This story is piercing and evocative, imaginative and unsettling, psychologically thrilling. The suspense Herin weaves throughout is palpable. Big questions are explored: does one every really know another human being? How do we distinguish truth from rationalization? But here's the main thing I have to tell you: A Stone for Bread is an irresistible page-turner."
—Judy Goldman, Losing My Sister

"In this epic literary mystery, art is not merely a luxury item for the bourgeoisie. Instead, art is what we turn to when everything else has been lost. Although the backgrounds here are sweeping—the stuff of revolution—it is through the quiet moments of everyday life where Miriam Herin makes her most compelling connections, reminding us that art is for the moments when you've got nothing left—and art is for all of us. I found myself wanting to claim these characters as part of my lineage. With a sharp eye for detail, Herin weaves a riveting and compassionate narrative out of lifelines that, in ways I can't quite explain, have echoed across the decades and become part of my own."
—L.C. Fiore, Green Gospel

In 1963, North Carolina poet Henry Beam published a collection of poems, claiming they had been saved from a Nazi death camp. The controversy over authorship that followed cost Henry his teaching position and forced him into decades of silence. Then, thirty-four years after the book’s publication, Henry breaks his silence and begins telling grad student Rachel Singer about his year in Paris, his entanglement with the fiery right-wing politician Renard Marcotte, his love affair with the shop girl Eugenié, and his unnerving encounter with the enigmatic René, the man who supposedly gave Henry the disputed poems. The novel moves from 1997 North Carolina to post-World War I France, to Paris in the mid-50s and into the horror of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Even while Rachel wonders how much is true, Henry’s story forces her to examine her own life and the secret she has never acknowledged.

Miriam Herin’s first novel Absolution won the 2007 Novello Press Literary Award and was cited by Publishers Weekly as an “impressive” debut. A native of Miami, Florida, she has been a social worker, taught composition and literature at two universities and three colleges, and been on the editorial staffs of Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Winston-Salem Journal. She has also freelanced as a writer, editor, public relations consultant, and producer of films and videos. As a volunteer, she organized and directed an inner-city program for teenaged children of Southeast Asian refugee families. Her second novel A Stone for Bread was a top-ten finalist in the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Competition. Miriam is the mother of two, grandmother of one, and lives with her husband in Greensboro.

ASHEVILLE—Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference, November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, closes Friday, November 13. Registrations must be received by 5:00 pm on that day if registering by phone or mail, or by midnight if registering online.

Register now!

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents.

New York Times bestselling author and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith will give the Keynote Address. NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee and former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer will be the featured guest at Saturday's luncheon, while Keith Flynn & the Holy Men will entertain at the banquet on Saturday night, where the Network will celebrate its 30th birthday.

On Friday, November 20, from 12:00-1:30 pm, at The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site, Asheville's Dale Neal, author of The Half-Life of Home, will lead the Pre-Conference Tailgate. Neal will provide instruction and guide participants through a writing exercise. Both conference attendees and the general public are welcome and no registration is required: admission is FREE. For more information about the Pre-Conference Tailgate, click here.

Please note, there are no more guest rooms available at the conference venue. However, there are several hotels within walking distance in a wide range of prices. For more information on where to stay, click here.

The exhibit hall is going to be packed with vendors representing literary organizations from North Carolina and beyond. For a preview of who's going to be there, click the appropriate links for part 1, part 2, and part 3.

2015 Fall Conference sponsors include Lenoir-Rhyne University’s MA in Writing Program; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN regional rep Al Manning; Alice Osborn and Write from the Inside Out; The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site; WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio; Western Carolina University’s MA in Professional Writing Program; Robert Beatty: Disney-Hyperion Author of Serafina and the Black Cloak; and the North Carolina Arts Council.

 

The cost of the conference is significantly reduced for those registering early. Plus, pre-registrants have the option to dine at the conference venue. To pre-register, click here.

On-site registration will open at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 20, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

 

Hats Off! to Maryrose Carroll, author of Beats Me: Love, Poetry, Censorship from Chicago to Appalachia, which profiles her husband, the late prolific poet and professor Paul Carroll. Maryrose was interviewed on Chicago's WGN Radio 720 AM.

 

Hats Off! to Suzanne Adams whose story "The Severed Hand" is forthcoming in Main Street Rag's Ghost anthology. Also, her story "The Wilderness Vow" appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Minerva Rising Literary Journal.

 

Lion on the Hearth by John Ehle

Press 53
$19.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-30-1
October, 2015 (Originally published 1961 by Harper & Row)
Fiction: Historical
Available from the publisher or www.Amazon.com

NEW Press 53 Classic!

Lion on the Hearth is the story of the King family, successful merchants in Great Depression-era Asheville, North Carolina, where trading, competing, and risk-taking are necessary for survival, and where greed and lust for love and power tests the limits of a strong, ambitious family.

Lion on the Hearth is chronologically the sixth book in John Ehle’s seven-book Appalachian series that includes The Land Breakers, The Journey of August King, Time of Drums, The Road, The Winter People, and Last One Home.

Each book in this series stands independent of the others, so readers don't have to approach them chronologically, but the series, in whatever order they are read, is a journey that will never be forgotten.

John Ehle (Ee-lee) is the author of seventeen books—eleven fiction and six nonfiction—including Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. His novel, The Land Breakers, first published in 1964 by Harper & Row, was the first in a seven-book series that begins with the settling of the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina in 1779.

Ehle is a member of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and has received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the Thomas Wolfe Prize, and the Lillian Smith Award for Southern Fiction. He is also a five-time winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. He has been recipient of the Mayflower Award for Nonfiction, the Governor's Award for Meritorious Service, and the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities. Mr. Ehle holds honorary doctorates from UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Asheville, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Berea College.

ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

Betsy Teter, founder and Executive Director of Hub City Press, will serve as a reviewer for the Manuscript Mart, where registrants have the opportunity to pitch their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency. Betsy will also sit on the Brilliant at Breakfast: "Agents & Editors" panel on Sunday morning.

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 Betsy 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 Betsy Teter's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"Where is the day that watered into one rich person's use of the term "centered around"? Where the music of your elbow, the strum of your teeth, the dainty languor of your poncho, your frothy firm brain, your slender fingers, to be ironed like wild raspberries, and the little cherry groundhog of your white knuckle? And where are all the tiny hand vacuums of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the sink holes of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this Buick. You who were made for neurology, will twist electricity no more: in your dark Nana's House the hard freeze is silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that twisted ankle that we did not foresee, return not into the Land of the Cyclopes, but into Up John's Creek, where we have never sliced, into the enchanted wood, where we collected rocks, strewn on the boat garage. Come up into the hills, O my young Mao Tse Tung: return. O lost, and by the wind-grieved Addie Bundren, come back again."

***

At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Betsy will will serve as a reviewer for the Manuscript Mart, and sit on the Brilliant at Breakfast: "Agents & Editors" panel on Sunday morning. The panel is sponsored by Robert Beatty: Disney-Hyperion author of Serafina and the Black Cloak.

Manuscript Mart provides writers with the opportunity to pitch their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency. A one-on-one, thirty-minute pitch and Q&A session will be scheduled for you, to take place on Saturday, November 21, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 22, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm.

Please note, a Manuscript Mart session can lead directly to publication—but don't expect it to do so. Think of it, instead, as a learning opportunity, and you'll get more out of it.

Manuscript Mart sessions are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. YOUR MANUSCRIPT MART REGISTRATION, WITH MANUSCRIPT AND PAYMENT ENCLOSED, MUST REACH THE NETWORK BY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6.

Betsy Teter is a founder and executive director of the Hub City Writers Project of Spartanburg, SC, which serves readers and writers through its independent small press, community bookshop, and diverse literary programming. Since 1995, Hub City Press has published more than seventy titles by Southern writers and sold more than 120,000 books. Hub City also operates the city’s independent bookstore, Hub City Bookshop, which hosts dozens of readings, workshops and other events each year. The organization also runs The Writers House residency program and hosts the Writing in Place summer writers’ conference. Betsy holds a BA in History from Wake Forest University. Prior to helping found the Writers Project, she was a journalist for fifteen years and served as business editor and columnist for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. She is married to author John Lane, an English and Environmental Studies Professor at Wofford College. They have two sons, Rob and Russell.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is now open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Eyes: A Father Transformed by Paul Austin

WW Norton & Company
$25.95, hardcover / $12.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-393082449
October, 2014
Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Parents of special-needs kids will find this story particularly inspiring, and its universal message of love and acceptance should speak to a much wider audience.”
Publishers Weekly

“A poignant and candid father's memoir.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Raising a child with Down syndrome, the author had plenty of fears and preconceptions. But from babyhood to adult-hood, Sarah challenged him to accept her not as a dire diagnosis but as a beloved, inspiring daughter. This isn't a book only for those dealing with disability; it's a ferocious, illuminating look at the stunning surprise of human connection.”
People Magazine

In 1987, Paul Austin and his wife Sally were newlyweds, excited about their future together and happily anticipating the birth of their first child. He was a medical student and she was a nurse.

Everything changed the moment the doctor rushed their infant daughter from the room just after her birth, knowing instantly that something was wrong. Sarah had almond-shaped eyes, a single crease across her palm instead of three, and low-set ears all of which suggested that the baby had Down syndrome.

Beginning on the day Sarah is born and ending when she is a young adult living in a group home, Beautiful Eyes is the story of a father's journey toward acceptance of a child who is different. In a voice that is unflinchingly honest and unerringly compassionate, Austin chronicles his life with his daughter: watching her learn to walk and talk and form her own opinions, making decisions about her future, and navigating cultural assumptions and prejudices all the while confronting, with poignancy and moving candor, his own limitations as her father.

It is Sarah herself, who, in her own coming of age and her own reconciling with her difference, teaches her father to understand her. Time and again, she surprises him: performing Lady Gaga s "Poker Face" at a talent show; explaining how the word "retarded" is hurtful; reacting to the events of her life with a mixture of love, pain, and humor; and insisting on her own humanity in a world that questions it. As Sarah begins to blossom into herself, her father learns to look past his daughter s disability and see her as the spirited, warmhearted, and uniquely wise person she is."

Paul Austin, an emergency-room doctor, is the author of a previous memoir, Something for the Pain. His essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the Southeast Review, and the Gettysburg Review. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death in a Small Town by H.V. Purvis

Second Wind Publishing
$12.95, hardcover / 4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-935171-59-1
September, 2014
Fiction: Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Returning to his hometown for his best friend’s funeral is the last thing former FBI field agent John Thomas wants to do. Not only was his friend murdered, but the town itself holds dark terrors that John has spent years avoiding. Summoning all his inner strength, John arrives in town to pay his respects, not knowing he will be drawn into the intrigue and implications surrounding the murder investigation.

Family, old friends, and acquaintances complicate the situation even further. Who is involved in the murder plot? Who can John trust? The answers are not as simple as they seem.

Hoyle Purvis, who writes under the name H.V. Purvis, was born in 1952 and reared in the country between High Falls and Bennett in central North Carolina. Raised in the country, he learned to raise animals, farm, handle guns, shoot, ride horses and spent many hours daily riding the trails around his home. His talents in music lead to an Associate in Arts degree in music from Sandhills Community College, a Bachelor in Arts in music education from Pfeiffer University and a Masters in music from Appalachian State University. After college, he worked as a church music director and taught high school chorus and theatre. In 1992, he left teaching and started Purvis Appraisals, a real estate appraisal business. He has three children from his first marriage. He considers them to be three of his best friends. He and Ally, his current wife, live on a small ranch in Scotland County adjoining forty-three thousand acres of State wildlife preserve. They have eleven horses, a faithful dog, an affectionate cat, some Guinea hens and a few chickens. They ride regularly on the wildlife preserve, at the beach, and in the mountains.

Hats Off! to Kay Cheshire of Greensboro who has won the O'Henry Magazine 2014 Short Story Contest with her short story, “Missing Words.” See the November Issue.

 

Charlotte—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference opens today and runs through Sunday, November 23. On-site registration will be available beginning at 3:00 pm. For a complete schedule, click here.

Please note, the following workshops are full:

  • "All Shapes and Sizes: A Workshop on Novel Structure" with Chantel Acevedo
  • “Making Their Stories Your Own” with Rebecca McClanahan
  • “First Impressions in the First Few Pages” with Sarah Creech
  • “The Mirror Exercise: Producing a Whole Short Work in Less Than an Hour” with Zelda Lockhart

The Master Classes will be closed to on-site registration as well. But plenty of excellent options remain in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

From Saturday’s “Brilliant at Breakfast” panel discussion titled “Words in Civic Life” to Sunday’s panel discussion “Creating a Poetry Community,” the 2014 Fall Conference offers ample opportunities for writers of all levels of skill and experience to build their own communities and support networks and, of course, have fun. The inimitable Wilton Barnhardt, author—most recently—of the novel Lookaway, Lookaway, will speak during the Network Banquet on Saturday night and lead a fiction workshop.

Other fiction workshops will be led by Moira Crone and A.J. Hartley, who will focus on Y.A. fiction.

Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina’s seventh Poet Laureate, will read during the luncheon on Saturday. He fronts a stellar lineup of faculty poets including Julie Funderburk, Cedric Tillman, and Alan Michael Parker whose poetry collection, Long Division, won the 2012 NC Book Award.

Registrants looking to learn more about how the publishing industry works can look forward to the “The Art of the Pitch,” led by Carin Siegfried and Betsy Thorpe. Priscilla Goudreau-Santos will lead a Business of Writing Workshop, while Kim Boykin, John Hartness, and Karon Luddy will sit on a panel titled “The Many Paths to Publication.” The veritable smorgasbord of class offerings doesn’t stop there: Amy Rogers will teach “Food Writing,” and Zelda Lockhart will lead the all-genre "The Mirror Exercise: Producing a Whole Short Work in Less Than an Hour." Scott Owens and Jonathan K. Rice, both hosts of long-running monthly open mic events, will discuss “How to Build a Poetry Community.”

Fall Conference sponsors include Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council, the Blumenthal Foundation, Bublish, Charlotte Magazine, John F. Blair, Publisher, Alice Osborn (www.aliceosborn.com), Al Manning, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Queens University of Charlotte MFA in Creative Writing.

 

Hats Off! to Carolyn Cone Weaver whose short story "Interior Design" appears in the Fall 2014 issue of The Main Street Rag.

 

Hats Off! to Susan La Serna whose historical novel The Ghost of Battle Ridge is a finalist for The Eric Hoffer Award.

On-site registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference will open Friday, November 21, at 3:00 pm at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, in Charlotte. There, Erika Marks will sit on a panel titled, "Structure: Four Ways to Build a Book" with Kim Boykin, Marybeth Whalen, and Kim Wright.

Structure: It's hard to talk about and therefore many writers avoid the scary subject, even though a sound structure is essential to the success of any novel. On this panel, four writers will share their own unique ways of building a book, from being a “pantser” (who flies by the seat of her pants) to a “plotter” who won't begin without a detailed outline, to all the possibilities between these two extremes. We'll also discuss the issues of whether each book demands its own structure, the challenge of revision, writing when you aren't sure what happens next, and whether or not the "film formula" really works when it comes to novels. You'll leave with a new set of tools to help you find the best structural approach to your next book.

Erika Marks is a native New Englander who now makes her home in Charlotte with her husband and two children. On the winding road to publishing, she has worked as an illustrator, an art director, a cake decorator, and a carpenter--but writing has always been her greatest passion. She is the author of The Guest House, The Mermaid Collector, Little Gale Gumbo, and It Comes in Waves, all published by NAL/Penguin. Her love of the sea keeps her stories tied to the shore, as well as her love for stories of the heart. You can reach her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

What are you reading right now?
Euphoria by Lily King.

Where is your favorite place to write?
My office which happens to be the back corner of our sunroom at the moment.

If you weren't a writer, what kind of job would you like to have?
Archeologist.

Who has influenced your writing style the most?
It might be a tie between Alice Hoffman and Stephen King.

If you could switch places with one fictional character, who would it be?
Holy cow—how to pick just one? At the top would have to be Claudia from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franiweiler. She gets to live at the Met Museum, for goodness’ sake! I always envied her that adventure.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from Fall Conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
That they have a clearer sense of what kind of story-writing structure works best for them and can hit the ground running when they get home!

Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast" panel discussion is titled, "The Many Paths to Publication." What's the first thing you ever published?
My first novel, Little Gale Gumbo, which was released by NAL in 2011—I had been submitting manuscripts for twenty years at that point.

Give us three adjectives you hope critics use to describe your next book.
Engrossing, moving, well-developed.

What is the most frustrating or rewarding part of the writing process?
Most frustrating is that sense that a work is never done and knowing that one day you have to stop fussing it and simply say “It’s done” so you can move on to a new story. Most rewarding is getting to rework a story to a point where is rich and newly exciting each time you do.

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
That it takes time to get a story to a place where it’s ready to be read, either by editors or agents or other readers. Drafts are your friend.

If you could mandate that everyone in the world read one book, which one would you choose?
Another great question—Life of Pi or The Shipping News might top that list.

Do you steal hotel pens?
Yes—but I wasn’t aware that was stealing. No, really! But I take home the shampoo and soaps too because I would hate to think they get thrown away unused. (That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.)

***

The North Carolina Writers' Network runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, in Charlotte. On-site registration will be available.

 

Hats Off! to Terri Kirby Erickson and Central Foothills Regional Rep Scott Owens, whose poems were selected for November's Poetry in Plain Sight program sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers and Press 53. Erickson's poem "Orange Butterfly" and Owens' poem "Breaking Morning" will be displayed in shop windows in downtown Winston-Salem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crepe Roses by Brenda Kay Ledford

Kelsay Books
$14, paperback
ISBN: 978-0692292211
October, 2014
Poetry
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Crepe Roses, by Brenda Kay Ledford, is tithed to the deep mountains of the poet's beloved western North Carolina. This stirring collection is the plat of the heart, a litany of memory that becomes as palpable as the land itself. Indeed memory, along with the Adamic impulse to name every signpost—to list those names in sorrow and triumph, to wander among them, crying out, as if they are lost, though they remain underfoot—is this book's constant, thrumming trope. As the speaker attests in the poem, 'Ceaseless Verse,' 'The poetry of earth never ceases.' Nor does the reader's pleasure with these elegant poems."
—Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina

"Crepe Roses is a patchwork quilt of experiences and memories pieced together with the skillful words of an established poet. The multi-hued fragments give a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains where 'moments tick like hours on the wrap-around porch.' The ancient Appalachians come alive in her poems as a 'breeze ricochets across the porch resurrecting buried dreams.' A dedicated writer, her remembrances bring much to us all. Settle down and visit Chunky Gal Mountain, Winding Stairs Gap, and Cherry Mountain where a Full Wolf Moon spills honey. A delightful read!"
—C. Pleasants York, President, North Carolina Poetry Society

Crepe Roses by Brenda Kay Ledford is a delightful poetry book by an author who knows the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She has preserved the rich heritage of a hardworking people through her imagery and insight to their way of life. Ledford brings us to the top of Shewbird Mountain describing the changing seasons of her native land. The Blue Ridge Mountains come alive through verse that makes the ordinary sacramental.

Brenda Kay Ledford is a native of Clay County, North Carolina, and a retired educator. She received her Master of Arts in Education from Western Carolina University. She's former editor of Tri-County Communicator at Tri-County Community College.

Ledford belongs to the North Carolina Writers' Network, North Carolina Poetry Society, and Georgia Poetry Society. She's listed with A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, and in The North Carolina Literary Map.

Her work has appeared in many journals including Lyricist, The Broad River Review, Pembroke Magazine, Asheville Poetry Review, Our State, and many anthologies.

Wilmington, NC--The 2015 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions, and that means contest season is officially upon us.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Post family, in 2014 the North Carolina Writers' Network began offering the first-place winner $1,000, while the second and third place winners receive $300 and $200 respectively. The winning entry also will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

The Final Judge is Jason Frye, a travel, culinary, and culture writer from Wilmington. After his first experience with North Carolina—a family vacation to the Outer Banks—he felt drawn to the state. He moved here in 2002 to attend UNC-Wilmington and pursue his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing; after graduating in 2005, he stayed and began to explore the state through the lens of a poet, essayist, journalist, culinary critic, and travel writer.

His work has appeared in print in crazyhorse, Our State magazine, the Official North Carolina Visitor Guide, The Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, the StarNews, AAA Go!, and others; and his monthly column on the culture and nightlife in and around Wilmington appears monthly in Salt. Online, he has written for Our State Eats, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, VisitNC.com, Forbes, and Moon.com. He has two travel guides—Moon North Carolina and Moon North Carolina Coast—in print through Avalon Travel Publishing, and a third—Moon Road Trips: Blue Ridge Parkway—will be released in spring 2015.

Chapel Hill resident Laura Herbst won the 2014 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay, "Breast Cancer: A Love Story." Jason Hess of Wilmington won second place for his essay “The Adopted Person,” while Chapel Hill’s Joanna Catherine Scott won third place for her essay “How I Went to Adult Prison as a Child,” based on interviews with a prisoner in Central Prison.

The contest is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, a community of passionate, dedicated writers who believe that the creation of art is a pursuit valuable to self and culture.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 17.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • Send submission to:
North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This River: An Epic Love Poem by Judy Hogan

Watersong/Ariadne Books (an imprint of Wild Embers Press)
$14, paperback
December, 2014
Poetry
Available from the author (see below) or from the publisher

"This River holds our hands up to the magic in the dark moon with figurative language that pulls shards of tenderness from a world that is bloody with sting of sunlit longing and a psychic quest for redemption. These poems resurrect an ancient enchanted necklace worn by a herstorical aching that Judy Hogan bears into utterance.

“This collection is a meditation on time, memory, and the fleeting nature of life. Decoding the threads of aching and the heart of the language of two separate rivers is at the core of This River. These poems are a beautiful terrain forming the powerful backdrop for the magnificence of fragility.

“Part primordial, part philosophical, powerful story inhabiting fluid boundaries between hearts, breaking the pedestrian parameters of space, time, and sensory experiences….This River is a lesson for weaving the baskets that are needed for carrying water to the Light."
—Jaki Shelton Green, author of Feeding the Light, 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee

"In This River the speaker’s observations of nature are liquid with impassioned drive. The phrases in this poem are smooth flowing, and this fluency in language seems a reflection of the river where she studies and meditates. Each eddy, and bird, and leaf is clearly drawn and vital to the sense of place and self. Identities of the self and qualities of desire are pulled into her observations and transformations and move us as the river moves."
—Foster Foreman, author of Soundings and Co-Editor of Hyperion Poetry Journal and Thorp Springs Press

"In This River, Judy Hogan takes paths forged by Proust and Virginia Woolf down and in to the deepest most nuanced passages of the soul. Using a great Piedmont river as matter, metaphor, and muse she shows one woman’s transcendent journey beyond vulnerability to a place of abiding grace. This River is not only beautiful poetry, but a compelling story as well."
—Joanie McLean, author of Place and Up From Dust

From the preface:

“When I left Kostroma after my first Sister Cities of Durham visit in 1990, my host, Mikhail, and I had the mayor’s blessing to start exchange visits between our writers, and I had also fallen in love with this man who opened Russian culture to me and seemed my equal and my soul-mate in all the ways that mattered. I could tell that he loved me, too, but would never leave his wife and his sons. As we waited for our train back to Moscow, Mikhail said, ‘One day, Judy, we will each have a wing and we’ll fly somewhere together.’

“Perhaps it was the largest passion of my life, after my desire to write. It is the time, however, to share this whole story. May it illumine other souls as it did ours.”

This River may be ordered from Judy Hogan, PO Box 253, Moncure, NC 27559 for $15, to pick up, or $18 to be mailed. If you order two copies, it's $30 to pick up and $33 to be mailed.

Judy Hogan is a poet, a former student of Greek philosophy at UC, Berkeley (back "in the day"), was founding editor of both Hyperion Journal and Carolina Wren Press. Her early books are still available on their backlist, and on their webpages you can also find a fabulous history of Judy's work as a writer and publishing advocate...a lively reflection on the times before digital publishing, a time when women and people of color were coming into print, with support and conviction.

Working within the Durham, North Carolina writing community since the mid 1970s, Hogan is nonetheless best known for her efforts in the second wave of Feminism which brought women into the "national publishing world" during that era. Her writings and papers were recently archived at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Danny Johnson who recently signed with Kensington Books to publish his debut novel, The Last Road Home. Publication date is late 2015.

 

Hats Off! to Rebecca McClanahan whose "Adopt a Bench," first published in The Sun, received a "Notable" citation in the newest Best American Essays and "Special Mention" in the Pushcart Prize anthology. A revised edition of her multi-genre craft book Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively, will be released in late November.

 

Hats Off! to Alice Osborn whose poem "LBJ Takes Off" is forthcoming in The Comstock Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Caper Brothers by Tom Tozer

CreateSpace
$11.95, paperback
ASIN: 1495247899
October, 2014
Fiction: Coming of Age
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

For Sean Gerard and his pals, their idyllic days of freedom changed the day Candy DeLane, the new girl from California, moved into Vineyard Beach. On the surface, Vineyard Beach was a quiet village in Ohio sprinkled with eccentrics, a perfect place to grow up in the sixties.

But Candy’s arrival sets off a series of events that propelled Sean and his friends into an ongoing dispute with the village’s most prominent man. When Sean uncovered the obsessions of Vineyard Beach’s leading citizen, he feared he wouldn’t be believed and puts into motion a plan to protect himself that unwittingly spiraled out of control.

Following the advice of his psychologist, police detective Sean Gerard returns to Ohio after a forty-year absence. He tracks down an elderly Catholic priest who befriended him at the time of the tragedy. Sean wants to confess to the priest, knowingly risking his freedom to finally reveal the secrets that have dogged his life.

The Caper Brothers is a fast-paced story that transports the reader back to the shores of Lake Erie in the summer of 1967 to relive the events that shattered Sean’s life.

The Caper Brothers explores how one man’s determination to tell the truth underscores his enduring character and the ultimate need for redemption.

Author Tom Tozer’s writing experience spans a wide range of news and feature assignments during a forty-year newspaper career. Tom retired in late 2013 after thirty years in numerous leadership roles at the Charlotte Observer. Tom directed and encouraged hundreds of reporters and designers in the art and craft of storytelling. He keeps his love of a good story alive now as a freelance writer and editor in Charlotte, NC. The Caper Brothers is his first novel.

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference closes Friday, November 14. There, Karon Luddy will sit on the panel titled "The Many Paths to Publication" with Kim Boykin and John Hartness. Traditional or Indie, Big 5 or Small Press, Digital or Print: writers have never had more possible, viable paths to publication to choose from, which can make choosing harder than ever before. This panel discussion will feature three authors who have followed more than one of those paths, and can tell you what they discovered along the way.

Register now!

Karon Luddy grew up in Lancaster, SC, and lives in Charlotte with her husband Tom. She is the author of the award-winning novel Spelldown published by Simon and Schuster and Wolf Heart, a book of poetry, published by Clemson University Press. In 2005, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University and became an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where she teaches writing intensive classes in the American Studies Department. In 2014, Luddy's passion for writers, readers, and literature inspired her to create Backbone Books. The debut title of this new imprint, Bewilderment of Boys, was published in June. It is also the sequel to Spelldown, Luddy's first novel.

 

What are you reading right now?
Byrd by Kim Church.

Where is your favorite place to write? For fiction, I love to write in my home office.
For poetry and journal writing, I love to write sitting on the old white sofa in my living room.

If you weren't a writer, what kind of job would you like to have?
Singer-songwriter.

Who has influenced your writing style the most?
My younger self.

If you could switch places with one fictional character, who would it be?
I have no desire to switch places with any fictional character.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from Fall Conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
To put your best work out there and to help other writers, editors, and publishers do the same. It’s all about community and co-marketing.

Charlotte is known as both "The Queen City" and "The Hornet's Nest." Does one of those nicknames ring more true for you than the other?
The Queen City because I love female monarchs and my daughter is named Charlotte.

Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast" panel discussion is titled, "The Many Paths to Publication." What's the first thing you ever published?
My first publication was a poem titled “Graffiti on a Bathroom Wall.”

Give us three adjectives you hope critics use to describe your next book.
Mind-blowing. Whimsical. Authentic.

What is the most frustrating or rewarding part of the writing process?
When the poem, story, or novel itself breathes a sigh of relief that I am finished with it.

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
Lighten up. Take your work seriously, but not your Self.

Describe your ideal literary festival. Who would give the keynote address? Who would be the featured readers? What else?
My ideal literary festival would be a Women’s Book festival run by women, with all women authors and participants held in the Southeast. The focus would be on Narrative Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Three Keynote Speakers: Cathy Smith Bowers, Dannye Romine Powell, and Sheri Fink. For ages 16 and up.

Do you steal hotel pens?
No. I have a fetish for pens and I prefer to write with uniball Vision pens.

If you could mandate that everyone in the world read one book, which one would you choose?
Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett

Viking Adult
$27.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0525427247
October, 2014
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen.

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.

Charlie Lovett resides in Winston-Salem and is a writer, teacher and playwright whose plays for children have been seen in over 3,000 productions worldwide. He served for more than a decade as Writer-in-Residence at Summit School. He is a former antiquarian bookseller and has collected rare books and other materials related to Lewis Carroll for more than twenty-five years. Lovett is also the author of the critically-acclaimed The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession, which was released in 2013 by Viking Penguin and was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose three poems on Thanksgiving appear in the November issue of Righter Publications. Also, her poem "Bloom" has been accepted by When Women Waken and will appear in their next issue.

 

Charlotte--Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference closes Friday, November 14. Attendees must register by 5:00 pm if registering by mail or midnight if registering online.

While on-site registration will be available, registering early saves conferencegoers nearly 40 percent. What other reason do you need? Register now.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference offers something for almost every writer, at any level of skill or experience. Your best route to getting the most out of the Network’s 2014 Fall Conference depends on where you are right now as a writer, where you want to go as a writer, and how you want to get from here to there.

Are you a novice writer? Good workshop options for newbies include Chantel Acevedo’s “All Shapes and Sizes: A Workshop on Novel Structure”; “Poetry 101” with Anthony S. Abbott; and “First Impressions in the First Few Pages” with Sarah Creech.

Are you an emerging writer? You may want to mix some of the craft workshops—maybe “Poetry and Time” with Julie Funderburk; “Making Their Stories Your Own” with Rebecca McClanahan; or Zelda Lockhart’s “The Mirror Exercise: Producing a Whole Short Work in Less Than an Hour”—with some of the appropriate business-of-writing workshops like Sunday’s panel discussion on “The Many Paths to Publication” with Kim Boykin, John Hartness, and Karon Luddy.

Are you an experienced writer? You may be ready to concentrate on the “business of writing” workshops: “The Art of the Pitch” with Betsy Thorpe and Carin Siegfried; “Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign” with Priscilla Goudreau-Santos; “The Many Paths to Publication” panel discussion; maybe even “Creating a Poetry Community” with Scott Owens and Jonathan K. Rice.

And if you're an author, well, why not come to the conference just to brag? And of course to enjoy the keynote address by Allan Gurganus, Saturday's luncheon featuring North Carolina's seventh poet laureate, Joseph Bathanti, and Saturday night's annual banquet featuring the inimitable Wilton Barnhardt.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, in Charlotte. Pre-registration is open through Friday, November 14.

 

Charlotte--Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference closes TODAY, Friday, November 14. Attendees must register by midnight if registering online.

While on-site registration will be available, registering early saves conferencegoers nearly 40 percent. What other reason do you need? Register now.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference offers something for almost every writer, at any level of skill or experience. Your best route to getting the most out of the Network’s 2014 Fall Conference depends on where you are right now as a writer, where you want to go as a writer, and how you want to get from here to there.

Are you a novice writer? Good workshop options for newbies include Chantel Acevedo’s “All Shapes and Sizes: A Workshop on Novel Structure”; “Poetry 101” with Anthony S. Abbott; and “First Impressions in the First Few Pages” with Sarah Creech.

Are you an emerging writer? You may want to mix some of the craft workshops—maybe “Poetry and Time” with Julie Funderburk; “Making Their Stories Your Own” with Rebecca McClanahan; or Zelda Lockhart’s “The Mirror Exercise: Producing a Whole Short Work in Less Than an Hour”—with some of the appropriate business-of-writing workshops like Sunday’s panel discussion on “The Many Paths to Publication” with Kim Boykin, John Hartness, and Karon Luddy.

Are you an experienced writer? You may be ready to concentrate on the “business of writing” workshops: “The Art of the Pitch” with Betsy Thorpe and Carin Siegfried; “Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign” with Priscilla Goudreau-Santos; “The Many Paths to Publication” panel discussion; maybe even “Creating a Poetry Community” with Scott Owens and Jonathan K. Rice.

And if you're an author, well, why not come to the conference just to brag? And of course to enjoy the keynote address by Allan Gurganus, Saturday's luncheon featuring North Carolina's seventh poet laureate, Joseph Bathanti, and Saturday night's annual banquet featuring the inimitable Wilton Barnhardt.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, in Charlotte. Pre-registration is open through Friday, November 14.

 

Hats Off! to Danny Johnson whose short story "The Absence of Color" appears in the Fox Chase Review.

 

Hats Off! to Marilynn Barner Anselmi whose script, The Osanbi Deal, will be developed by The Blank Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, and presented as a staged reading on March 9, 2015.

 

At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference, Priscilla Goudreau-Santos will lead the workshop "Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign."

You’ve worked hard on your book and now it’s time to let people know about it. Get them talking about you with a marketing and publicity campaign that includes press releases, media interviews, social media and more. Since most authors are more comfortable writing their book than marketing it, this workshop will talk about the platforms and techniques that are critical to selling your book. Whether you’re an author with a book being released by a traditional publisher that may not have the resources for publicity, or you’re self-publishing and responsible for your own publicity, this workshop will help you lay the foundation for a successful book launch with your own efforts.

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a publicist and marketing specialist who specializes in promoting authors and their books. She’s a Jacksonville, Florida, native and University of Florida graduate (Go Gators!) and served as assistant public relations director for a major hospital, as marketing director for a regional commercial real estate firm, and as news reporter for The Florida Times-Union before beginning her own firm in 1996. She moved to Charlotte a year and a half ago and loves being part of the vibrant book community. She is the new WNBA-Charlotte Publicity Chair. Priscilla is also a writer. That’s what inspired her to begin her business and to work with authors. Her articles have appeared in numerous local and regional publications and one day she hopes to pen a novel.

Registration for the NCWN 2014 Fall Conference is now open.

 

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
Have patience, persistence, confidence, and curiosity–oh, that’s four.

Did you have a teacher or mentor who had a big, positive impact on you?
I’ve worked with many creative, talented people. Most recently, my mentor and friend, Lynn Thompson with Thompson Writing & Editing in Jacksonville, FL, has been a wonderful motivator. She holds my feet to the fire to build the framework for a great campaign–all the details behind the glitz. And, Carin Siegfried with Carin Siegfried Editorial has been a huge help to me in Charlotte with her knowledge of the book industry and the book community. She is the new President of WNBA National and also just published her own book, An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Book Publishing.

Who is your literary hero?
Wow, that’s a tough one! There are so many authors that have had an impact. I really like Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer) and just finished The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Author Khaled Hosseini is definitely a literary hero because he offers a window into a world we know little about and he can break your heart and leave you changed.

If you could live in any literary world for the rest of your life, where would you find yourself?
It would be fun and probably involve fantasy. Maybe Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum universe without all the money problems or cars blowing up. Actually, it might be more fun to be Janet Evanovich.

If you could have written one book that someone else wrote, which book would it be?
That’s really hard because there are so many choices! Author Maria Semple did a great job with Where’d You Go Bernadette and because I like nonfiction, too, Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise would be fun to write.

Many writers are solitary creatures. Coming to an event like Fall Conference can be a little intimidating, navigating the exhibit hall and ballroom events. Any advice for working the room?
Relax and have fun! Also, take breaks and go outside.

Who gave the best reading or talk you've ever been to? What made it so good?
Again, tough question because I like to hear others speak. There was an event at Park Road Books in Charlotte featuring a number of new authors that was excellent. About six authors talked about their books and process. Drew Perry, author of Kids These Days, was very genuine and really funny.

Any advice for attendees who sign up for the Open Mic?
Breathe deeply and enjoy!

The city of Charlotte was founded on two established Native American trading routes. Now, of course, it's the 2nd biggest banking center in the country. Fall Conference will boast an exhibit hall packed with vendors. How do you approach an exhibit hall at a conference such as this? To shop, to chat, or both?
Absolutely, you’ll want to browse, buy and talk with people that you know as well as meet new friends.

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but of course most of us do. What is one—or some—of your favorite book cover(s)?
The first that comes to mind is Kim Wright’s The Unexpected Waltz. The colors are vibrant and the photo of a woman in a ball gown and high heels reflects what the story is about–even down to the requisite three to four-inch heels. I also like the covers for Khaled Hosseini’s books: The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from the conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
That they understand the basics of an interactive media campaign and have confidence in putting one together using all of the tools for success.

What is your guilty pleasure read?
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I also like John Sandford, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Carl Hiaasen and am a big fan of the late Robert Parker.

What makes you cringe when you see it on the page?
A misspelling or poorly constructed sentence.

Caffeine of choice? (English Breakfast, Caramel macchiato, etc.)
I like them all but usually stick to coffee, tea and diet coke.

***

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. Registration is now open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

University of Texas Press
$29.95, hardcover / $19.32, e-book
October, 2014
ISBN: 978-0292739055
Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"This is, by far, the best volume about a single television show that I have ever read. . . . Not only is it the most thorough and informed treatment of The Andy Griffith Show available, it also provides many insights and contexts about 1960s television in general. I think, however, that it may find its greatest audience among general readers. . . . The rabid fans—and there are many of them—would consider this required reading, but many other more casual viewers who have a warm and nostalgic relationship to the show will also find it very appealing."
—Robert J. Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture and Trustee Professor, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

"This 194-page book, the first book about The Andy Griffith Show in over twelve years, is the most scholarly book about the show to date. It's sure to be fascinating reading for the many devoted fans of the show, and is certain to expand any fan's knowledge of and appreciation for The Andy Griffith Show and what Mayberry means to all of us. And along the way, we might even learn some things about ourselves, too. So, for anyone who enjoys thinking about and understanding more about Mayberry, a description that likely fits most readers of this newsletter as much as any other community in the world, A Cuban in Mayberry is fascinating reading, maybe even essential. You probably won’t agree with all of Professor Pérez Firmat’s observations and conclusions about TAGS, but you’re sure to enjoy the journey. Professor Gustavo Pérez Firmat, you have no worries. You should know that you are heartily welcomed as a fellow citizen of Mayberry. In other words, 'Attaboy, Gus!'"
—From The E-Bullet, newsletter of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club

"Once I took a look at the first few paragraphs, I couldn't put the book down. By the time I finished reading it, Pérez Firmat had convinced me that Mayberry—long regarded as an icon of the rural, pastoral, and nostalgic South—is also a special location on the cultural map of Cuban America. Fans of The Andy Griffith Show—and they are legion—will be thrilled by this smart, witty, and moving book."
—Jorge Olivares, Allen Family Professor of Latin American Literature, Colby College

Half a century after viewers first watched a father and son walking to the local fishing hole, whistling a simple, yet unforgettable, tune, The Andy Griffith Show remains one of the most popular sitcoms in the history of American television. Tens of millions of viewers have seen the show either in its original run, its ongoing reruns, on DVD, or on the internet. Websites devoted to the show abound, hundreds of fan clubs bring enthusiasts together, and a plethora of books and Mayberry-themed merchandise have celebrated all things Mayberry. A small cottage industry has even developed around the teachings of the show's episodes. But why does a sitcom from the 1960s set in the rural South still evoke such devotion in people today?

In A Cuban in Mayberry, acclaimed author Gustavo Pérez Firmat revisits America's hometown to discover the source of its enduring appeal. He approaches the show from a unique perspective—that of an exile who has never experienced the rootedness that Andy and his fellow Mayberrians take for granted, as folks who have never strayed from home or lived among strangers. As Pérez Firmat weaves his personal recollections of exile from Cuba with an analysis of the show, he makes a convincing case that the intimacy between person and place depicted in TAGS is the secret of its lasting relevance, even as he reveals the surprising ways in which the series also reflects the racial, generational, and political turbulence of the 1960s.

Gustavo Pérez Firmat was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Florida. He is best known for his memoir, Next Year in Cuba, available in Spanish as El año que viene estamos en Cuba, and for Life on the Hyphen, a study of Cuban-American culture, also available in Spanish as Vidas en vilo. His most recent book, A Cuban in Mayberry, is an affectionate and personal look at one of America’s best-loved TV shows, The Andy Griffith Show. He has also published several collections of poetry in English and Spanish—Scar Tissue, Cincuenta lecciones de exilio y desexilio, Bilingual Blues, Equivocaciones, Carolina Cuban—and a novel, Anything but Love. His books of literary and cultural criticism include The Havana Habit, Tongue Ties, The Cuban Condition, Literature and Liminality, and Idle Fictions. Newsweek included him among “100 Americans to watch for in the 21st century” and Hispanic Business Magazine selected him as one of the “100 most influential Hispanics” in the United States. He divides his time between New York City and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon Digital Services, LLC
$0.99, e-book
ASIN: B00G1XXG4W
October, 2013
Fiction
Available on www.Amazon.com

In the hour before eagerly starting a new chapter in his life, Mark Kinney’s perspective was abruptly altered forever. In the wake of the tragic and untimely passing of his fiancée, he struggles to cope with both his loss and an impending moral dilemma, while a dark presence casts a sinister shadow over his town. When he is confronted with the realization that he is a conduit for the evil that has been brought forth, his search for answers and a resolution begins. As he is drawn down into the depths of his own misery, he comes face to face with what lurks within, and recognizes that he alone must stop the horrific chain of events before time runs out.

Vince Guaglione is a guy who asks lots of questions, not only of himself but of his society and the world around him. Although he claims he's found no real answers, that hasn't stopped him in his quest to gain perspective on a little something we call life. When he's not at his real job, you can find him sucking down venti-sized coffees at a brisk pace his local Starbucks, thinking up new writing projects, or pondering his mystery questions of life. Originally from Philadelphia PA, Vince now resides in Raleigh NC. Vince is currently working on marketing his most recent works, "Chasing Angels", and "Eva". He is also gathering ideas for the next installment in The Narratives series as well as finalizing concepts for additional fictional short stories.

You can read more about Vince and his work on his website, http://www.vinceguaglione.com, his Narratives Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheNarrativesKeepingTheSoulAlive, or on Twitter: @VinceGuaglione. Vince always enjoys hearing from his readers. You can also email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hats Off! to Gwenyfar Rohler who just secured the rights to adapt the film Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People, to the stage. Workshop Production scheduled in October, 2014.

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman who received the good news that Page & Spine would like to publish her mystery entitled "Chew On That!" Erika often finds homes for her personal essays, so she is particularly excited to discover a paying venue for her fiction.

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman whose essay “Empty the Vacuum Cleaner” has been accepted and will be published in the January 2014 issue of Screamin’ Mamas print magazine and e-zine. Her pieces also appeared in the magazine’s November and December editions.

Hats Off! to Cynthia Schaub, the daughter and spouse of a veteran, who has two poems, "By the Dumpster" and "Italian Poppies," included in the Touring Theatre of North Carolina production Deployed. Performances on November 15 and 16 at 8:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unicorn Press
$18, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-87775-900-3
October, 2013
Poetry
Available from the publisher

“Not only is Terry Kennedy’s New River Breakdown a stellar volume of prose poems, but it’s also a canny primer on that genre—a many-headed, oft-misunderstood hybrid. His querulous, introspective speaker resists his own breakdown by breaking down his universe into parcels of incremental wonder in which ‘fear and love [are] one and the same.’ The result is poem after poem of fabulous imagery and infinite possibility. We recognize in these tableaux the worlds we inhabit and long for at once—articulated so memorably in ‘What Love Comes To’: ‘One small thing I still love about you is how little of you I actually know . . . ’ Kennedy expertly explores the prose poem’s accommodating elasticity, beautifully marrying the discursive brunt of the best prose and the impressionistic language verse thrives on.”
—Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina

“Beautiful and moving, Terry Kennedy’s second poetry collection describes an elusive and haunting narrative of loss, love, and recovery. His prose poems bring us so close to the narrator that we share in our bones his predicament of wanting to go forward while fearing what may be ahead. ‘It’s neither the end nor the beginning of all we hope for,’ he discovers. Lyricism and considered thought are here, and lines that strike sparks from these passionate poems.”
—Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry

“The bright, swiftly kinetic surfaces of Terry Kennedy’s poems whisper as they pass a wistful but passionate love story. He has an Impressionist’s purpose and deftness of touch. I think of Renoir, of the etudes of Debussy. Yet his strophes stand firmly on their ground and are as strong as the seasons they portray. His every image bears the nuances of a remembrance. New River Breakdown is a rare treasure.”
—Fred Chappell, winner of the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, author of Ancestors and Others

View Lisa Gayle Tomlinson’s trailer for New River Breakdown.

Terry L. Kennedy is the author of the limited edition chapbook Until the Clouds Shatter the Light That Plates Our Lives, selected by Thomas Lux for Jeanne Duval Editions of Atlanta, GA. His work appears in numerous literary journals and magazines including Cave Wall, from the Fishouse, Southern Review, and Waccamaw, and has been honored with a Randall Jarrell Fellowship as well as fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Graduate Program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is Editor of the online journal storySouth.

Hats Off! to Walter Bennett, whose novel, Leaving Tuscaloosa, was short-listed for the First Annual Crook's Corner Book Prize. The winner will be announced Monday, January 6, at a special event in Chapel Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to Goshen Shoals by Paul W. Valentine

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$14.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-482591446
October, 2013
Fiction
Available at www.Amazon.com

The year: 1970. Rural North Carolina. At his dying mother's request, Arlis Morrow, a white newspaper reporter, returns to his small, isolated hometown to seek a black man he had known thirty years earlier as a five-year-old playmate and not seen since. With his mother's motivation strangely veiled, Arlis begins seeking clues to the man's whereabouts, encountering subtle resistance from both black and white townspeople—a courtly undertaker, a glad-handing politician, a secretively obsessed Pentecostalist, a sheriff with a shrouded past. Despite their resistance, Arlis gradually unearths truths, mixed with ancient racial ambiguities, that lead him to disturbing discoveries about his family and his old friend and propel him into a final tragic confrontation.

The Road to Goshen Shoals is more than a tale of quest and confrontation. It is a series of conversations about the powerful and sometimes equivocal impact of the civil rights movement in the South—conversations between and among the region's most important constituents, its ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) people.

Paul W. Valentine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a retired reporter for The Washington Post where he covered police, courts, prisons, law enforcement policy, and extremist politics. He is the author of two other novels, Crisscross and Dark Epiphany (also titled Crime Scene at "O" Street in its original hardback edition). He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in Baltimore, Maryland, where he plays the autoharp and enjoys his grandchildren.

Hats Off! to Debra Madaris Efird whose article entitled "Address Adolescent Anger" appears in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of ASCA School Counselor, the magazine of the American School Counselor Association.

 

NORTH CAROLINA—“I just thought we were the most privileged group of people who ever lived,” longtime columnist Rose Post once said of her years working for the Salisbury Post. “And I pinched myself all the time that I got paid for doing what I did, because I was having such a good time.”

In this spirit, the North Carolina Writers’ Network offers the 2014 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. This contest encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners of the 2014 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

The final judge is Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, whose novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls won a 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award of $50,000, one of the richest prizes in American literature. She holds an MFA (’07) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she now teaches in the English Department. She is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, a Hartshook Fellowship, and a Byington Award. Born on Guam, Abrams is currently at work on her memoir, The Following Sea, about growing up on a cutter that made port throughout the South Pacific.

Greensboro writer Jennifer Bringle won top honors in the 2013 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay “Mamaw’s House.” Jane Andrews of Raleigh won second place for her essay “Where the Heart Is,” and Helen Aitken of Swansboro won third place for her essay “The Last Wooden Boat.”

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 17, 2014.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. If submitting electronically, page 1 should be your cover sheet.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • Send submission to:
North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford who received the 2013 Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her poetry chapbook, Beckoning (Finishing Line Press).

Hats Off! to Claudette Cohen who received an $800 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County to "attend a literary conference and to obtain professional critical review of a manuscript."

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman who has two stories that have been selected as finalists for Chicken Soup for the Soul’s edition Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide. One is called “BUSY!” and the other is titled “Frenzied.” Although Erika’s stories have been featured in ten other editions of this anthology, this is the first time two of her stories could wind up in the same book.

 

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman whose story “Adult Children” will appear in Sasee Magazine’s December issue. This is the eighth time her writing has been accepted by this paying market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Saving Texas by Nancy Stancill

Black Rose Writing
$16.95, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-612962573
Fiction
October, 2013
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Annie Price is a reporter stuck in a dead-end job at a dying Houston newspaper. When she decides to profile an ambitious West Texas politician, it's as much out of boredom as ambition. But that one story sucks Annie into a web of intrigue and danger: Murder, fraud and the secessionist movement that are as big and bizarre as Texas itself. Veteran journalist Nancy Stancill has produced a chilling, fast-paced and powerful mystery in Saving Texas. This is a great read."
—Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks, and the thriller Deadline Man

Houston reporter Annie Price is looking for a career-defining story when she profiles Tom Marr. the state's first secessionist candidate for governor. But the big Texas story comes with more than she bargains for—a corrupt college president, a dangerous ex-CIA agent, and a beautiful, deadly Peruvian assassin. Before long, Annie must grapple with two murders, political shenanigans, and a love triangle that will test the limits of her ethics and her heart. Will she be able to get the story before her struggling newspaper implodes or her ruthless enemies get her? Author Nancy Stancill, formerly a reporter for the Houston Chronicle for fifteen years, goes behind the headlines and deep into the gritty heart of journalism and politics in today's Texas.

Nancy Stancill was a journalist for more than thirty years, including fifteen years as an award-winning reporter for the Houston Chronicle. Her experiences as an investigative reporter in Texas inspired this work of fiction. She’s a native of Johnson City, TN, grew up in Virginia, and received a BA in journalism from UNC Chapel Hill. She worked for the Charlotte Observer for fifteen years before moving to London with her husband, a banker, in 2009. She wrote Saving Texas in London. She and her husband returned to Charlotte in late 2012.

Hats Off! to Sands Hetherington whose Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Book in the category of Juvenile Fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal River Road by Kathy Ackerman

Livingston Press
$27.00 (hardcover) / $16.95 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-604891157
Poetry
May, 2013
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Coal River Road exposes the impact that a rapidly fading oral history can have on one’s perception of cultural identity. The poet’s connection to the West Virginia mountains is as ephemeral as her connection to hearth and family, simultaneously formative and destructive, yet impossible to resist. These poems are about heritage learned and loved and lost, the quest to retrieve one’s self in the ordinary domestic day, and the ferocity of familial relationships that can never quite be fulfilled.

Kathy Ackerman has lived in the Carolinas since 1984. Coal River Road is her first full-length book of poems. She has published three chapbooks: The Time It Takes (Finishing Line Press); Crossbones and Princess Lace (NCWN Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Chapbook Award); and Knock Wood (Main Street Rag) as well as a critical biography of North Carolina proletarian novelist Olive Tilford Dargan, The Heart of Revolution (University of Tennessee Press). She is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Writer-in-Residence at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC, and resides in Tryon.

Hats Off to D.G. Martin whose essay "A Small Monument at a Small Church about a Big Story" appears in the current issue of South Writ Large.

Hats Off! to Karen Paul Holmes who has had her first poetry collection, Untying The Knot, accepted by Kelsay Books out of California for a September 2014 release. Two of the poems appear in Skive Magazine: "Matilda Waltzing," about Holmes' mother leaving Australia after World War II and settling in the U.S. with her Yankee sailor, and "Reality Show: Save This Marriage." Click on the links to hear Holmes reading her poems.

North Carolina Literary ReviewWriters from across the state and beyond can soon submit their work to one or more of the four contests sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition will accept submissions between November 15 and January 17; all entries must be postmarked by January 17. The Rose Post contest encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories, such as reviews, travel articles, profiles, or interviews; place/history pieces; or culture criticism.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize will accept submissions between December 1 and the postmark deadline of January 30. This contest honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

The submission period for The Doris Betts Fiction Prize runs from January 1 to February 15. All entries must be postmarked by February 15. The Betts Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in North Carolina) are also eligible.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions between January 15 and its March 1 postmark deadline. The contest awards the winner $200, publication in storySouth, and an invitation to read his or her poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Founders Day activities. This competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network. Read poems by the winner and three finalists in a special section of storySouth, here.

 

Hats Off! to David E. Poston who has two poems in Bearers of Distance, an anthology of poems by runners, forthcoming from Eastern Point Lit House & Press. Half of all profits from the anthology will benefit The One Fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. One of the poems, “The Kiss,” was featured in a review on WBUR, Boston’s NPR station.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH—The North Carolina Writers' Network will host a Pre-Conference Tailgate prior to opening registration for its 2013 Fall Conference.

Conference attendees as well as the general public are invited to join the "party" at the Bellamy Mansion in Wilmington, at 12:00 pm on Friday, November 15. The Sea Quills, regional reps for the NCWN Cape Fear Coast, will lead an hour-long writing workshop focused around writing prompts. This Pre-Conference Tailgate is intended to get the creative juices flowing and kick-off what promises to be an inspiring weekend. There will be light refreshments.

The Bellamy Mansion is located at 503 Market St., Wilmington. The Bellamy Mansion is one of North Carolina's most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture built on the eve of the Civil War by free and enslaved black artisans, for John Dillard Bellamy (1817-1896) physician, planter, and business leader; and his wife, Eliza McIlhenny Harriss (1821-1907) and their nine children. After the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865, Federal troops commandeered the house as their headquarters during the occupation of Wilmington.

Now the house is a museum that focuses on history and the design arts and offers tours, changing exhibitions and an informative look at historic preservation in action.

The Bellamy Mansion is the official sponsor of the Faculty Readings at the NCWN 2013 Fall Conference.

Conference registration opens at 5:00 pm on Friday, November 15, at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach. Attendees who have pre-registered may pick up their packets then, or those interested in registering on-site can do so at that time. For more information about the NCWN 2013 Fall Conference, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan by Mark I. Pinsky

John F. Blair, Publisher
$24.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89587-611-9
October, 2013
True Crime: North Carolina
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"This compulsively page-turning true crime narrative has it all: smart prose, a now-obscure unsolved murder that was notorious at the time, and an investigative journalist trying to pick up the trail. Many readers will be convinced that his dogged investigation has at last uncovered the truth."
Publishers Weekly, "Pick of the Week"/starred review

Madison County in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a place of ear-popping drives and breathtaking views.

It is also where federal antipoverty worker Nancy Dean Morgan was found naked, hogtied, and strangled in the backseat of her car in June 1970.

An inept investigation involving local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies failed to find a clear explanation of the motive or events of her murder. The case was left unsolved. Years later, after most of the material evidence had been lost or mishandled, one of Nancy’s fellow VISTA workers—the last person known to have seen her alive—became the prime suspect, based on the testimony of one of the town’s most notorious resident criminals. Did he kill Nancy, or was he another victim of the corrupt local political machine and its adherence to “mountain justice”?

Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan is a tangled tale of rural noir. Author Mark Pinsky was profoundly struck by Nancy’s story as a college student in North Carolina in 1970. Here, Pinsky presents the evolution of his investigation and also delves into the brutal history of Madison County, the site of a Civil War massacre that earned it the sobriquet “Bloody Madison.” Met Her on the Mountain is a stirring mix of true crime, North Carolina political history, and one man’s devotion to finding the truth.

A former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel, Mark I. Pinsky holds degrees from Duke University and Columbia University. As an investigative journalist specializing in capital murder cases around the Southeast, he has written for the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Though this is his first true-crime work, he has previously published four religion books.

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman who has had two nonfiction stories accepted by ScreaminMamas magazine. “ A Long Year of Waiting” appears in the November 2013 edition, and “A Christmas Rule” will appear in the December 2013 issue.

MORPH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 MORPH by Jessie Carty

Sibling Rivalry Press, LLC
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-937420-49-9
September, 2013
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Jessie Carty’s MORPH is a coming-of-age collection for all the nerdy girls and boys who were 'angry at still being unseen-unrealized-misinterpreted-mispronounced,' who 'needed a fresh / set of letters, a new narrative' to survive the torment of adolescence. These poems explore the way gender is assigned in childhood, and they pay homage to comic book heroes and heroines, to Buffy and the vampires, to movies like Dune and Labyrinth, to sci-fi and fantasy, all vehicles of power and revenge. The speaker of these poems understands that language, math, and science are the ways forward to transformations, to taking on the Truth or Dare of any given life."
—Sandy Longhorn, author of Blood Almanac

In Jessie Carty’s most definitive collection of poetry yet, the poet explores identity through a playful juxtaposition of memory and fantasy. Says Collin Kelley, "The poems in MORPH are fragmented, delicate, and searing as Jessie Carty examines the often intense need for personal transformation. If we could become someone—or something—else, would it make our lot in life better or worse?"

Jessie Carty is the author of Paper House, At the A & P Meridiem, The Wait of Atom, Fat Girl, and An Amateur Marriage. She received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

Hats Off! to Rosemary Royston whose new chapbook, Splitting the Soil, was accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press, with an anticipated release date in 2014.

Hats Off! to Bill Everett, who has signed a contract with Wipf and Stock Publishers for publication of a book on woodworking and spirituality tentatively entitled Sawdust and Soul. Bill, a retired ethicist and woodworker, is writing this book with John Degruchy, a retired theologian and woodworker in South Africa, with whom he has worked on many projects over the past fifteen years.

Hats Off! to Karen Cecil Smith whose novel, Pillow of Thorns, based on the 1850 Fayetteville murder trial of Ann K. Simpson, was honored on October 19 by The North Carolina Society of Historians with a Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award. For more information, please visit my website: www.karencecilsmith.com.

Emily Louise Smith directs The Publishing Laboratory at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and teaches courses on the culture and commerce of publishing. In 2009 she founded the literary imprint Lookout Books and now serves as publisher for both the press and its sister magazine, Ecotone. Under her guidance, Lookout titles have garnered accolades including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Paterson Fiction Prize and have been named finalists for the National Book Award and The Story Prize, among others. Her poems appear in Best New Poets, the Southern Review, New South, and Smartish Pace; and her honors include fellowships from the Studios of Key West, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Hambidge, as well as a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize. Recently she was named Woman of Achievement in the Arts and UNCW Lecturer of the Year.

At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference, Emily will sit on Saturday's "Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion" titled "How to Work with a Publisher (So They Want to Work with You)" along with Anna Lena Phillips and Beth Staples. She will also sit on Sunday's panel, "Agents and Editors," along with Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management, Paul Lucas of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, and Christine Norris of Press 53.

 

What are you reading right now?
I always have several books going at once. For my book club, I’m reading Karen Joy Fowler’s lovely We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; to satisfy my immense curiosity about the inner sanctum of Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House; and in poetry, I’m reading North Carolina poet Rose McLarney’s The Always Broken Plates of Mountains and Maurice Manning’s latest, The Gone and the Going Away. Those, and a never-ending pile of Ecotone and Lookout submissions.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, who would it be?
Atticus Finch.

What aspect of craft do you feel you handle especially well, or is especially important to you?
This isn’t craft exactly, but in terms of publishing, I seem to have a knack for crafting the story behind a book or author and pitching it successfully. Perhaps a holdover from my brief stint in advertising, I’m good at identifying a book’s target audience, as well as niche markets. And I’m absolutely devoted to book design and believe that readers naturally associate the well-written and well-designed book.

Any memorable rejections?
I try not to dwell on rejections, but there’s one acceptance I’ll never forget. The late Jeanne Leiby, editor of the Southern Review, always called writers to accept new work. I was in a meeting and couldn’t answer, but I saved her warm, generous message until my cell phone carrier eventually erased it. She’ll never know how that call buoyed me as both a poet and publisher.

Do you own an electronic reading device?
I own an iPad, but I don’t read books on it.

What's one thing that bugs you more than anything else when you see it in a piece of writing?
More than one exclamation point or question mark, though I could make a case for the return of the interrobang.

Do you steal pens from hotels?
Hotels, restaurants, students who ask me to sign permission forms. Place a pen within six inches of my hand, and it will somehow make its way into my bag or pocket.

If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be?
C. D. Wright, Jack Gilbert, or W. S. Merwin; though different stylistically, the way those poets see and sing the world—and their brokenness—humbles and inspires me. Theirs are the poems I return to again and again.

Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point (for example, from an outline)?
Always to surprise myself; then I lop off everything up to that point and begin again.

What was the first thing you ever published?
If I discount the hand drawn newspaper I co-edited with a coterie of neighborhood kids, it was a poem in Hobart Park, the literary journal of Davidson College.

Do you read literary journals? What are some of your favorites?
I read as many as I can get my hands on in Wilmington. I read them to scout for new authors, of course, but also for design innovations and trends. Favorites include Tin House, the Paris Review, Harvard Review, the Oxford American, the Southern Review, the Common, and A Public Space.

What's one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wished they had?
I wish someone had convinced me early on that editors aren’t writers’ adversaries, and we certainly don’t have it out for aspiring writers. (Rejecting submissions is hands down the worst part of my job.) On the contrary, I’m in this because I want more than anything to be bowled over, moved, provoked; I want to feel, as Dickson described it, “as if the top of my head were taken off.” And I don’t much care whether it’s by a previously unpublished writer or a Pulitzer-winning author. I just want to discover and publish works that might one day reach through time and space to touch the soul of another human being. If I’d understood that earlier in my writing life, I might have felt a little more sympathy for all the overworked editors and publishers.

Please fill in the blank: I have read __ of the Harry Potter books.
One.

***

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference closes Friday, November 8.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC—Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference ends Friday, November 8. Which means there's only one week left to sign up for North Carolina's largest and most inclusive writing conference at the discounted rate.

The deadline to pre-register is Friday, November 8, at 5:00 pm by phone or mail; midnight if registering online. Attendees who register prior to the conference can save up to 50 percent. And signing up now can help ensure registrants land spots in classes before they close.

The Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include a luncheon, an annual banquet, readings, workshop tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and an exhibit hall packed with literary organizations, presses, and publishers. Conference faculty includes professional writers from North Carolina and beyond.

Wilmington resident Clyde Edgerton will give the Keynote Address. Edgerton, a North Carolina native, is the author of five New York Times Notable Books and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Master Classes will be led by Philip Gerard (Creative Nonfiction), Rebecca Lee (Fiction), and Peter Makuck (Poetry).

Because publishing is an evolving business offering more opportunities for authors than ever before, several workshops are designed to help writers navigate this rapidly shifting landscape. Ellyn Bache, author of Safe Passage (made into a 1995 movie starring Susan Sarandon), will lead a workshop titled “Presses and Agents and E-Books, Oh My: 40 Years in the Book Biz.” Jen McConnel will lead a workshop on “The Ins & Outs of Indie Publishing,” and Bridgette A. Lacy will help writers learn how to market their books with “From Book to Buzz.”

Registrants will choose from craft-based workshops such as Virginia Holman’s “Getting Started: The Short Personal Essay” and “What’s in Your Attic? Recovering Your Old Poems” with Mark Cox. James Dodson, author of ten books including American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Age of Modern Golf (named one of the top 100 books of 2012 by the New York Times) will lead a workshop titled “Writing a Life—Including Your Own,” and UNCW’s Malena Mörling will lead a workshop on “The Short Poem.”

Wilmington-based Ecotone literary magazine and Lookout Books will lead a panel on Saturday morning titled “How to Work with a Publisher (So They Want to Work with You)”. Lookout Books publisher Emily Louise Smith will also sit on the Sunday panel, “Agents and Editors,” along with literary agents Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management and Paul Lucas of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, as well as Christine Norris of Press 53. These editors and agents will participate in manuscript and marketing marts, and the critique service, where registrants can have their manuscripts evaluated by professionals. The 2013 Fall Conference offers coastal residents their best chance this year to meet with literary agents and editors, ask questions, and pitch their manuscripts.

Registration for the NCWN 2013 Fall Conference is open through Friday, November 8. For a complete list of workshops, to see the weekend's full schedule, or to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

Hats Off! to Tamra Wilson whose short story, “The Crazy House,” took First Prize in the 10th annual Adult Literary Competition sponsored by the Arts Council of York County, SC. Meanwhile, her story, “Fit to Kill,” appears in the fall issue of The Main Street Rag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RYAN RICHMOND: One Man's Dream I by T.I. Wade

Triple T Productions Inc.
$5.97, e-book
ISBN: 9780976117001
November, 2012
Action-Adventure Fiction (Teens 13+)
Available at www.Amazon.com

From the age of seven Ryan Richmond dreamed about going to Space! Now Ryan Richmond has $3 billion to play with, he is in his forties; and still wants to go to space. His only enemy; the US Government who doesn’t have its own space program—and wants his!

He sold his first company at 19 and employed the remnants of the Russian Space Program; a couple of the best Russian space brains in the world!

Ryan founded, and sold two more companies in his twenties, and then hired most of the European Space Authority!

In his thirties he invested over $100 million into Internet Start-ups and Google, netting Billions. Then he waited until NASA’s Shuttle Program came to a sad end and employed the best brains in the U.S. Space Program.

Now he is in his forties, still wants to go to space—the only problem is that The U.S. government doesn’t have a current space program of their own—and wants his!

A good science learning tool for Middle/High students as the scientific terminology in the story is, correct, accurate, factual and educating. Paperback version out in December—Book II out for Christmas—Book III out for summer 2013.

Visit T.I. Wade on the web: http://tiwade.com.

 

Hats Off! to Barbara Gabriel, who was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Scott Owens, Editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, for her poem "Covenant". "Covenant" and other nominated poems can be read here.

 

Hats Off! to Charles "LC" Fiore, whose short story "Clean Water" appears in the current issue of New South.

. . . to Kathryn Stripling Byer, whose latest collection, Descent (LSU Press, 9780807147504), is on the Poetry Foundation's Contemporary Poetry best-seller list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Have Lunch: Conversation, Race and Community by Stephen McCutchan

CreateSpace
$9.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1480010598
November, 2012
Community/Faith/Race Relations
Available at www.Amazon.com

Let’s Have Lunch celebrates the twenty-year journey that a group of clergy and their churches took in order to confront the toxic presence of racism in the community of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is a story of hope that begins with three people having lunch in 1992. It is the story of the power of community to overcome divisions. It is a story of ordinary people tryng to understand and act against the force of racism. It is the story of the creative ways that the people of six churches addressed the issue of race. It is the story of how that effort expanded to include the inter-faith community. It is an invitation to the readers to refuse to be defeated by the complex issue of racism. It is an invitation to have lunch and be open to the unexpected and inspiring things that can happen.

Steve spent thirty-eight years in the pastoral ministry interpreting the Gospel to lay people who experience the tension of division in their world. For twenty-three years, he combined ministry with his middle-class congregation with monthly involvement in counseling the poor in his city. He helped found the Presbyterian Inter-RacialDialogue that in November, 2012 celebrated twenty years working with six Presbyterian churches, three predominantly black and three predominantly white, building community that breaks down the barriers of racism. He also helped establish a Hispanic ministry in Winston-Salem. His church has participated in regular activities with the Jewish community. Five times the church shared in an interfaith, interracial Habitat build that included Christians, Jews, and Muslims; Caucasians, Blacks, and Hispanics. He has been a featured speaker at Moravian, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Presbyterian convocations.

The author published Experiencing the Psalms with Smyth & Helwys that in 2000, received the Jim Angell award from the Presbyterian Writer’s Guild for the best first book published by a Presbyterian in that year. He has published dozens of articles in various religious journals, three devotional books based on the lectionary, and a commentary on Matthew, Good News for a Fractured Society. He has coauthored two plays exploring racism, one of which has been performed several times.

Since retirement in 2006, he has focused on developing resources to assist in the care of clergy. These include two CDs, A Deep Well for the Pastor and Laughter From the Well. The latter builds on his interest in performing standup comedy. He has also led webinars on both writing and the care of clergy and edits the Newsletter for the Presbytery Pastoral Care Network, www.pastoralcarenetwork.org. He blogs regularly on various aspects of the support of clergy. His website is www.smccutchan.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Narratives: Keeping The Soul Alive by Vince Guaglione

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$6.95, paperback / $0.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1480248175
November, 2012
Essays
Available at www.Amazon.com

The Narratives is a collection of short introspective essays written by an average guy in an effort to better understand himself, his life, and his relationship with the world around him while traveling the road of self-discovery.

 

 

Hats Off! to Alan Michael Parker, who not only was named as the new Douglas C. Houchens Professor at Davidson, but also won the 2012 North Carolina Book Award (Poetry) for his collection, Long Division.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide by Maren O. Mitchell

Line of Sight Press
$9.75, paperback
ISBN: 978-0985311902
November, 2012
Healing, Memoir
Available at www.Amazon.com

Within this book is help for those with chronic pain who do not have information on drug-free alternatives. Often chronic pain sufferers search haphazardly for too long on their own to find the help they need.

While touching on a variety of methods, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide is intentionally brief, with short chapters, as the capacity to concentrate and retain information is greatly reduced in those with pain.

The “Introduction” offers reasons why chronic pain is not always recognized, described, and treated. Chapters have personal examples of the author finding a tool, a method, and using it to rebuild her life. These tools can be used by anyone with chronic pain to improve chances of surviving the stress of constant pain, and reclaiming one’s life. Included are suggested readings and resource contacts.

Please share this information with anyone you know who may be interested in fighting chronic pain by means other than drugs. This is also an excellent resource for primary caregivers, and those who live with, or interact regularly with chronic pain sufferers.

Maren welcomes email comments and/or reviews online.

Since 1987, due to a spinal cord tumor and surgery, Maren O. Mitchell has had chronic pain, termed “central pain.” For years, through trial and error, she searched for ways to live a sane and full life again. For over twenty years now, without relying on drugs, she has been accomplishing her goal.

One of the methods Maren found for coping has been writing. Her poetry has appeared in Southern Humanities Review, The Classical Outlook, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Journal, Red Clay Reader, Volume 4, The Richmond Broom, The Arts Journal, and the anthologies Sunrise from Blue Thunder, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, and Nurturing Paws.

Poems are archived in online journals Wild Goose Poetry Review and Pirene’s Fountain, and forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V: Georgia, Pirene’s Fountain, and Wild Goose Poetry Review. Her poem “Not the Poem” won this year’s 1st Place Award for Excellence in Poetry from the Georgia Poetry Society.

Maren reads at several different poetry venues each month. She has taught poetry at Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and catalogued at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Another way of dealing with her pain is through the Japanese art of paper folding. By teaching, she shares her knowledge of origami.

A native of North Carolina, in her childhood she lived in Bordeaux, France, and Kaiserslautern, Germany. After moving throughout the southeast U.S., Maren now lives with her husband and two cats in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia on the edge of a national forest.

 

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is now accepting submissions for its annual Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition, coordinated by the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. For the first time ever, this contest is accepting online submissions. But the competition closes today at 5:00 pm!

The final judge will be award-winning author, arts journalist, and creative writing instructor Shawna Kenney. Her memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp) enjoys international translation and is in development as a television series with the FX network. She also co-authored Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher), a coffee-table book about celebrity impersonators. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Bust, Juxtapoz, Veg News, AP, Ms., Mix Mag, Transworld Skateboarding, the Baltimore Sun and the Florida Review, among others.

Kenney’s personal essays appear in numerous anthologies. She received a BA in Communications from American University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She teaches creative writing in private workshops and for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

Poet, novelist, and former Davidson College professor Anthony S. Abbott won top honors in the 2012 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for his essay “The White Dress.”

The 2013 guidelines are as follows:

Eligibility and Guidelines
Postmark deadline: January 17

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline in January 17, 2013.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. If submitting electronically, page 1 should be your cover sheet.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • Send submission to:

North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120


Berkeley Prelude by Mark Smith-Soto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berkeley Prelude by Mark Smith-Soto

Unicorn Press
$12, paperback, Smyth-sewn binding
ISBN: 0-87775-956-0
December, 2012
Poetry
Available from the publisher

A narrative in eight parts, Berkeley Prelude is the story of two men: Mark Smith-Soto and Mark Smith-Soto. With nimble humor and unflinching gaze, an older Smith-Soto traces himself through the relationships and experiences of his younger, yet-unformed self. The backdrop is the fully-matured chaos of 1970s Berkeley, California, where street preachers may work for the FBI, machete-wielding night-stalkers are a fact of life, and a man with no face sees what no one else can. In the end, Berkeley Prelude cautions that when you look back, the face you don’t recognize might be your own.

Mark Smith-Soto is professor of Spanish and editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Born in his father's hometown, Washington, D.C., and reared in his mother's native country, Costa Rica, he contributes new tonalities, by turns ironic, lyrical, or passionate, to the growing chorus of U.S. Latino poetry. His poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Louisville Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, Quarterly West, Rosebud, Southern Poetry Review, The Sun, and numerous other magazines. Award a 2005 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in creative writing, he has published three prize-winning chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections, Our Lives are Rivers (University Press of Florida, 2003), and Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006). His translation of the selected poetry of Costa Rican writer Ana Istarú, Fever Season, was published in 2010 by Unicorn Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly Cracked by Susan Whitfield

CreateSpace
$13.99 paperback / $2.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1478335017
October, 2012
Women's Fiction
Available at www.Amazon.com

In Slightly Cracked, Sugar Babe Beanblossom and best pal, Daisy Marie Hazelhurst, have been buddies since they were born two weeks to the day apart. Living near each other, they share happy and sad memories, outrageous antics and giggles, marital and health glitches. The only thing that threatens their lifelong friendship is the Old Dickeywood subdivision goose controversy.

When Daisy takes a nasty spill on her bike, Sugar Babe races to her side. After two trips to the ER, Daisy is diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and tests reveal an even more sinister affliction. As Daisy weakens, Sugar Babe embraces the realization that friends must encourage and protect one another through difficult circumstances, and …

“Driving Miss Daisy” takes on a whole new meaning.

Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets her Logan Hunter Mysteries. Genesis Beach is set along the Crystal Coast, Just North of Luck, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hell Swamp along Black River in Pender County, and Sin Creek in Wilmington. Whitfield collected family recipes from mystery writers across the country for Killer Recipes, a real cookbook with mysterious names. Proceeds go to The American Cancer Society. Her website is www.susanwhitfieldonline.com has more information including video trailers and event locations. Whitfield interviews other writers at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com. She is currently working on the fifth Logan Hunter Mystery.

 

Shawna KenneyWriters from across the state and beyond can soon submit their work to one or more of the four contests sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition will accept submissions between November 15 and January 17; all entries must be postmarked by January 17. The Rose Post contest encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories, such as reviews, travel articles, profiles, or interviews; place/history pieces; or culture criticism. The Final Judge is Shawna Kenney, author of the award-winning memoir, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix. The first-, second-, and third-place entries will receive recognition and a cash prize, and the winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize will accept submissions between December 1 and the postmark deadline of January 30. This contest honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The Final Judge will be Ruth Moose, author of the short story collection Neighbors and Other Strangers. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

The submission period for The Doris Betts Fiction Prize runs from January 1 to February 15. All entries must be postmarked by February 15. The Betts Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in North Carolina) are also eligible.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions between January 15 and its March 1 postmark deadline. The contest awards the winner $200, publication in storySouth, and an invitation to read his or her poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Founders Day activities. This competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network.

 

The Last Orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Orange: A Lost and Found Memoir by Kisan Upadhaya

iUniverse
$19.25, hardcover / $15.95, paperback
ISBN-13: 9781475948066
October, 2012
Memoir
Available from the publisher or www.BarnesandNoble.com

Kisan Upadhaya was born in Assam, India, in 1966. He was separated from his sister, mother, and father at age four and found himself starving, sick and begging for food on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Soon the bitter cold of winter got the best of him from having to work for food and he became very ill and near death. He was taken to the hospital, where he spent almost six months recovering and was discharged to the Christian home called Mendies Haven Children’s Home where he grew up. He came to the U.S. in 1987 to study and is now working in Durham, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and two children. In the intervening years he tried to search for his biological family and failed. However, 42 year later he was reunited on live TV with his mother and dear sister in August 2011.

In Arms and Idleness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Arms and Idleness by Emmett E. Slake

Publish Green
$6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-938008-47-4 (46-7)
Fiction
September, 2012
Available from the publisher or www.Amazon.com

"In Arms and Idleness vividly evokes occupied post-WWII Japan and the Korean War with well-researched details and character-driven drama."
—Jodi McMaster, IndieReader

"An unflinching picaresque of finding love and sanity in a place that was anything but The Land of the Morning Calm.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The book will appeal to anyone interested in the beginning of the Korean conflict, has an interest in this period of Asian history, or simply likes a good story. Highly recommended.”—Terry Shoptaugh, Military Writers Society

One June day at the mid-point of the twentieth century, the uneasy peace that had settled over the "Land of the Morning Calm" was shattered by an act of aggression. Not far away, on the "Islands of the Rising Sun," the first tremors of conflict were felt. In reaction to the vague threat, an Army of occupation from a previous war was ordered into action, forever altering the lives of those called upon to respond. This novel is a gripping account of the early stages of the Korean War, candidly presented without pretense or heroic embellishment. Also related in stark detail are the sordid aspects of garrison duty in Japan, graphically expressed with little sentimentality. The story features a distinctive cast of military and civilian characters, whose domain extends from the streets of Yokohama, to the halls of the Dai Ichi Building, to the treacherous landscape of Korea.

Emmett E. Slake served in the United States Army for thirty years and is a veteran of the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was stationed overseas for eighteen years. Eleven years in the Far East (Japan/Korea/Laos/Vietnam/Okinawa) and seven years in Europe (Germany). He resides in Cary, North Carolina.

 

Hats Off! to Maureen A. Sherbondy of Raleigh, who was awarded the Robert Watson Poetry Award by Spring Garden Press. A. Van Jordan selected her manuscript The Year of the Dead Fathers as the winner of this chapbook contest. Sherbondy is the first North Carolina poet to win this award.

 

Hats Off! to Heather Newton, whose novel, Under The Mercy Trees, has won the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award given by the western NC Historical Association. Past winners include Lee Smith, Ron Rash, Tommy Hays, Charles Frazier, and Wayne Caldwell.

 

Anne Clinard BarnhillThe North Carolina Writers’ Network is now accepting submissions for its annual Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition, coordinated by the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Award-winning author Anne Clinard Barnhill will be the final judge. Barnhill has signed a two-book deal with St. Martin's Press, and her debut novel, At the Mercy of the Queen, will appear in early 2012. Her poetry chapbook, Coal, Baby, will also appear in early 2012 from Finishing Line Press.

She is the author of two books: What You Long For (Main Street Rag, 2009—short-story collection) and At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me (Jessica Kingsley, 2007—memoir). Her articles and short stories have appeared in a variety of newspapers, literary anthologies, and magazines. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington. She is married to Frank Barnhill, and they have three grown sons and three very cute grandchildren.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

Submissions for this year’s contest must be postmarked by Tuesday, January 17, and mailed to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Attn: Rose Post Competition
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Winners will be announced in March. Visit www.ncwriters.org for complete guidelines.

Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition
Postmark deadline: January 16 (annual)
Submissions Accepted from November 15 – January 17

Eligibility and Guidelines:

 

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submit two copies of an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed (12-point font) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network
  • Entries will not be returned. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for list of winners.

 

 

 

Anne Clinard BarnhillNext Tuesday, January 17 is the postmark deadline for 2012 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network and coordinated by the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. And the best part is, the upcoming holiday weekend means a whole extra day to get your manuscript submission-ready!

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

Award-winning author Anne Clinard Barnhill will be the final judge. Barnhill has signed a two-book deal with St. Martin's Press, and her debut novel, At the Mercy of the Queen, was published this month. Her poetry chapbook, Coal, Baby, will also appear in early 2012 from Finishing Line Press.

She is the author of two books: What You Long For (Main Street Rag, 2009—short-story collection) and At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me (Jessica Kingsley, 2007—memoir). Her articles and short stories have appeared in a variety of newspapers, literary anthologies, and magazines. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington. She is married to Frank Barnhill, and they have three grown sons and three very cute grandchildren.

Submissions for this year’s contest must be postmarked by Tuesday, January 17, and mailed to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Attn: Rose Post Competition
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Winners will be announced in March. Visit www.ncwriters.org for complete guidelines.

Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition
Postmark deadline: January 17 (annual)
Submissions Accepted from November 15 – January 17

Eligibility and Guidelines:

 

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submit two copies of an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed (12-point font) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network
  • Entries will not be returned. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for list of winners.

 

 

 

...whose first novel, Karma Backlash, has been picked up by Snubnose Press and will be published in 2012.

   On Oct. 26, 2010, USA Books named Debra Shah's  book, Blue Smoke Memoir, as a finalist in "Best of 2010".

Acclaimed author Martin Clark, who serves as a circuit court judge when he is not writing best-selling novels, will now also judge the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2011 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.  Submissions for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize are accepted from December 1 until the postmark deadline of January 30.

Martin Clark is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and a 1984 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.  In 1992 he was appointed as a juvenile and domestic relations judge for the Twenty-first Judicial Circuit and currently serves as a circuit court judge for the Virginia counties of Patrick and Henry and the city of Martinsville, Virginia.

His first novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, was a New York Times Notable Book for the year 2000 and a Book –of-the-Month Club selection. His second novel, Plain Heathen Mischief, appeared on both Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s Top 100 list for 2004.  His third book, The Legal Limit (2008), was praised by reviewers as “the new standard by which legal fiction should be judged” and “the best courtroom story ever.”  He lives in Stuart, Virginia, with his wife Deana.

Entries for the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize must be no more than 12 double-spaced pages, and must be postmarked by January 30, 2011.  Checks must be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.  Submissions should be mailed to –

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
c/o Tony Abbott
PO Box 7096
Davidson College
Davidson, NC 28035

The winner will be announced in April.  Please see below for complete guidelines.

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Postmark deadline: January 30 (annual)
Submissions Accepted from December 1 – January 30

 

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to all writers without regard to geographical region or previous publication.
  • Submit two copies of an unpublished fiction manuscript not to exceed 12 double-spaced pages.
  • Names should not appear on manuscripts but on separate cover sheet along with address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript: $15 NCWN for members, $25 for nonmembers. You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.

The winner is announced in April.

Send submissions, indicating name of competition, to:
Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
c/o Tony Abbott
PO Box 7096
Davidson College
Davidson, NC 28035

Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is now accepting submissions for its annual Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition, coordinated by the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Memoirist Jay Varner will be the final judge of the 2011 Rose Post contest. Varner, author of Nothing Left to Burn, graduated from UNC Wilmington with an MFA in creative nonfiction. While in graduate school he taught creative writing and literature courses. He also served as nonfiction editor and eventually managing editor of Ecotone: Reimagining Place. He now lives with his wife near Charlottesville, Virginia, where he teaches adult and high school students and is at work on a novel. His website is www.jayvarner.com

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

Submissions for this year’s contest must be postmarked by Wednesday, January 5, and mailed to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Attn: Rose Post Competition
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Winners will be announced in March. See below for complete guidelines.

Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition
Postmark deadline: January 5 (annual)
Submissions Accepted from November 15 – January 5

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submit two copies of an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed (12-point font) and double-spaced.
  • Names should not appear on manuscripts but on separate cover sheet along with address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers. You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for list of winners.

Lynne Bowman was the 2009 winner of the Comstock Review's national chapbook prize and her chapbook will be coming out this December.

 Britt Kaufmann whose chapbook, Belonging, is being published by Finishing Line Press for being a semi-finalist in their New Women's Voices Series.

Marjorie Hudson’s story “Self-Portrait in Camouflage” is included in the anthology What Doesn’t Kill You, now available from Press 53, and her story “Home” is included in the anthology,Topograph: New Writing from the Carolinas and the Landscape Beyond, from Novello Festival Press. Hudson is one of five Novello Literary Award finalists whose work is highlighted in the anthology, which explores sense of place in new writing from the South.

The writing contests sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network will have new submission deadlines this year and in years to come.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition will accept submissions between November 15 and January 5; all entries must be postmarked by January 5. The Rose Post contest encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories, such as reviews, travel articles, profiles, or interviews; place/history pieces; or culture criticism. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize will accept submissions between December 1 and the postmark deadline of January 30. This contest honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize’s submission period runs from January 1 to February 15. All entries must be postmarked by February 15. The Betts Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions between January 15 and its March 1 postmark deadline. The contest awards the winner $200, publication in the Crucible literary journal, and an invitation to read his or her poetry at UNC Greensboro’s Founders Day activities. This competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the Network.

More information, including full submission guidelines, can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

To the members and friends of the North Carolina Writers’ Network:

If you love books (even if only the ones you yourself have written), you need to be aware of a recent market trend that could have a far-reaching effect on readers and writers.

This fall, some of the country’s largest retailers—notably Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon.com—have begun pricing new and often best-selling hardcover books as low as $8 or $9, 50%–60% lower than the publishers’ list price. This means that those retailers are often selling books for less than what they bought them for from the publishers. They are, in effect, losing money on each book sold.
It seems like a great deal for readers, doesn’t it? Not when you think about its long-term effects.

These pricing practices could create a climate in the book business in which new and even established authors suffer because of the irresponsibility of retailers who have little concern for the health of bookselling and publishing, much less the literary community. They are telling readers that books aren't worth the price it costs to publish them.

Do any of us really want to live in a world where publishing a new book, in commercial terms, isn’t worth the expense? Pricing a best-selling book in the single digits devalues the work the author, editor, designer, and publisher put into that book. Such pricing will inevitably push all retail prices—and thus, publishers’ revenue—down. Facing reduced revenues, many small presses, those who often serve as the discoverers of new and exciting authors, will not be able to survive. Larger publishing houses will be much less willing to take risks on authors without a proven track record on the best-seller lists (including the authors who might write tomorrow’s best sellers).

New and emerging authors—even established authors with solid but not spectacular sales histories—will find fewer and fewer venues available for their work. Those venues they do find will be less able to find and build an audience for the work of these writers.

The retailers engaging in this devaluing are using books as nothing more than loss leaders: incentives for consumers to enter their stores or Web sites, where they will be encouraged to purchase more expensive items. They are discounting not only the economic value of books, but also the intrinsic intellectual and emotional value of what books provide. They are treating books merely as the prize in the Happy Meal box.

With the holiday gift-giving season approaching, we urge everyone to be aware of the disregard in which some retailers hold the printed word, and to consider this and the possible consequences when you do your shopping.

Sincerely,

Ed Southern 
Executive Director  
North Carolina Writers' Network

Nicki Leone
President
NCWN Board of Trustees

Doris Betts Fiction Prize

Postmark Deadline: February 1 (annual)


The North Carolina Literary Review Fiction Editor Liza Wieland is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network and the North Carolina Literary Review. Deadline February 1. First prize is $250. The winning story and select finalists will be published in NCLR

Please note: NCLR’s website has recently been updated, so the link to the “submit it online” section that was previously posted on the North Carolina Writers Network website and sent out with early notices has changed. The new link is:

http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/submit-online.html

Or, you can just go to NCLR’s home page, www.nclr.ecu.edu, and click on submissions, then the submit tab.

If you have difficulty navigating our new electronic submission process, be assured, we will respond to your emailed questions, and if you mail your submission fee check in, postmarked by Feb. 1, your story will be considered in the competition.

 

Eligibility & Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible.
  • The competition is for short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts.
  • Submit stories electronically via the NCLR’s online submission process. For electronic submission instructions and to start the online submission process, go to: http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/submit-online.html.
  • Names should not appear in the Word file of the story; authors will register with the NCLR’s online submission system, which will collect contact information and connect it to story submission.
  • An entry fee must be mailed to the NCLR office (address below) by the postmark deadline (Feb. 1 each year, or Jan. 31 if Feb. 1 falls on a Sunday).
  • You may pay the Network member/NCLR subscriber entry fee if you join NCWN or subscribe to the NCLR with your submission:

$10/NCWN members and/or NCLR subscribers
$20/nonmembers (must be a North Carolina resident)

  • Checks for submission fee and/or Network membership should be made PAYABLE TO the North Carolina Writers’ Network (separate checks payable to NCLR only if purchasing a subscription).
  • Mail checks or money orders to:

North Carolina Literary Review
ECU Mailstop 555 English
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Direct competition questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Direct electronic submission process questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Nancy Purcell's short story, "Displaced Persons", has been awarded 2nd place in the inaugural contest of the Creative Writing Corner. Her non-fiction piece, "Star Light, Star Bright", has been selected for inclusion in the anthology Patchwork Path: /Friendship Star/,  due on bookshelves in late November. Nancy lives in Brevard, NC, and teaches in the adult education program at Brevard College.

Ray Morrison is one of three short story authors who will be featured in the new PRESS 53 SPOTLIGHT anthology, due for publication in January 2010. Five poets and three short story authors will be featured."



Char Solomon, author of the biography Tatiana Proskouriakoff: Interpreting the Ancient Maya, has been selected to become a speaker with the North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholars program. Her topic, "An Introduction to the Ancient Maya", will be included in the January 2010 Speakers Bureau listing.
 
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