White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame



Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose life-experience essay, "The Front Porch," won First Place in the 2018 Cherokee/Clay Counties Senior Games Silver Arts Literary Contest. She qualified for the state finals that will be held this fall in Raleigh.


Bent 31 Poems by T. A. Price

Grateful Steps Publishing
$9.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-945714-08-5
November, 2017
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"...clearly one of our state’s best poets."
—Foreword by Ron Rash

"As a linguist and translator, I have spent my life puzzling over the nature of patterns and the miracle of their representation in words. The ability to effect this miracle is—as we all know—accessible to the mind and pen of only a select few. I have had the pleasure of sitting for hours and hours with one of these few, T. A. Price, reading these gems aloud, sometimes not breathing, sometimes breathing deeply, sometimes weeping. I hope many others can have this pleasure."
—Dwight Stephens, Ph.D, Shingle Hollow, North Carolina

"T. A. Price’s poetry is approached with trepidation, for you know you will lose yourself in the words, you will find yourself thrown into the world she has created with them."
—Vanessa Seijo, Puerto Rico

Bent 31 Poems is a slim collection with themes that share a glimpse of the personal and a touch of the rural. Readers often say they read and reread Price's poetry, and that each reading adds a new layer of meaning. In the foreward, distinguished poet, short story writer, and novelist Ron Rash, author of Serena and many other notable works, has acclaimed T.A. Price as one of North Carolina's best poets.

T.A. Price, poet, reader, writer, soap crafter, lives in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, where she enjoyed a long career as a distinguished teacher and school administrator. A former feature writer for Lake Lure's The Mountain Breeze, Price has also received first place awards for poetry in The Anuran and in Reflections literary magazines. She has been published in: WNC Woman, Rutherford County News, Survivor's Review, The Advocate, Fictionique, Open Salon (Scupper), and Our Salon. Prior publications include two chapbooks, and one collection of verse, Perennial Heart.

She is a member of North Carolina Poets Society and North Carolina Writers' Network.

Somewhere and Nowhere by Emily Buehler

Two Blue Books
$20.00, paperback / $3.00, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9778068-2-9
April, 2018
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from www.Amazon.com

"In this beautifully written memoir, author Emily Buehler shares the hard won joys and sorrows of her bicycling journey across America. She thought it was going to be many things. But the surprising outcome was a deep change in her way of looking at life. She shares her experiences with an honest voice, and how they shifted her understanding of letting go, finding balance, and living with the rhythms of life—both the ups AND the downs. An enjoyable and worthy read for anyone interested in living a more balanced and happy life."
—Ragini Elizabeth Michaels, author, Unflappable—Six Steps To Staying Happy, Centered, And Peaceful No Matter What

It’s Eat Pray Love meets Wild, on bikes.

One summer in her late twenties, Emily and her friend Mary rode their bicycles from Cape May, New Jersey, to Oceanside, Oregon. In three months on the road, they battled 14 percent grade hills, tornado-force winds, and 110 degree heat. They were sheltered and fed by everyone from nuns to cowboys. They swam in the Missouri River, climbed the Rocky Mountains, and crossed the Continental Divide—three times. And eventually, they reached the Pacific.

Emily left on the trip in the hope of finding peace and happiness away from the clutter of life, a permanent solution to depression that she could bring home with her. With nothing to do but ride her bike all day, out under the open sky, life would be simpler…or would it?

Emily Buehler is an author and editor based in Hillsborough. Her first book, Bread Science, covers the science and how-to of baking bread. Emily teaches classes and workshops on bread baking. After finishing her second book, Somewhere and Nowhere, Emily began writing fiction. In addition to being an author, Emily is an editor. She received her Ph.D in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began her editing career working on research reports and academic papers before moving into a wider range of material.

Hats Off! to Michele Young-Stone whose new novel Lost in the Beehive was named one of the "Best New Books of Spring" by Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine. "In this heartrending and ultimately heartwarming novel, a spunky sixteen-year-old fakes her way through gay conversion therapy and absconds with another patient to experience the boho buzz of 1960s New York."


Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose short poem "Forest Light" was chosen by editor Ron Harton for the 2018 Selections for Plum Tree Tavern, Volume 3. Her poem "Brown Witch's Butter" and her photograph of the hydrated fungus were posted at NatureWriting (May 17, 2018), while her humorous piece "Where's the Pizza Party?" and an accompanying photo of a squirrel holding a slice of pizza, taken by her daughter Sara, appear on NatureWriting as well (May 23, 2018).


Hats Off! to Steve Mitchell and NCWN membership coordinator Deonna Kelli Sayed, two of the organizers for Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, who appeared with poet Coen Cauthen on Gate City Live. Listen to the full interview here.


Hearing Voices by Beth Thran Bunch

$14.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book / $33.95, hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1504386210
August, 2018
Ficiton: Metaphysical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Beautifully written. This volume is an incredible voyage into insights—it answers questions I could not let myself ask."
—Carla Parvin, co-owner/founder of Niki Silver adult therapeutic coloring books

"A fascinating read about what it feels like to have psychic abilities—they can be scary until you learn to accept and embrace them."
—Karyn Davis, Soul Gardener

Hearing and seeing people's thoughts is frightening and exhausting. To Hannah Davis, it's more a curse than a gift. She has carried this burden for as long as she can remember and it keeps her from forming meaningful relationships or holding on to jobs.

Finding herself, once again, at a crossroads, an invitation from a stranger prompts the young woman to quit her job and head to 1980's Sedona.

The weeklong retreat challenges Hannah to confront her feelings about her ability. The exercises presented to Joyful Explorers' participants trigger new psychic encounters and stir up memories and flashbacks of haunting visions.

Beth Thran Bunch's first novel, Hearing Voices, draws on some of her own experiences from her spiritual journey begun in the 1980s. Trained as a massage therapist, Reiki Master/Teacher, and Bach Flower Registered Practitioner, she practices energy healing modalities in Brevard. She also works as a distance healer with Casa de Santa Maria in San Luis, CO. Beth enjoys hiking and exploring Transylvania County's numerous waterfalls.

Hats Off! to Michael K. Brantley whose new nonfiction piece is up on daCunha, a literary journal based in the United Kingdom. "Those Old Barns" is about the tobacco barns on his parents' farm, and how the barns have been given new life—albeit in another location. It is a chapter from a work in progress.


The Red Dog: A Tale of the Carolina Frontier by Carole Troxler

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$11.99, paperback / $8.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1544869506
June, 2017
Fiction: YA / Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"The Red Dog was a favorite in our family. It's the book you will read with pleasure and you will pout when it is finished. . . It exposes the racial issues from way back then and helps me to understand how we have come to today's racial problems. Buy this book, read it with pleasure and share it with those you love. They will thank you!"
—Amazon reviewer Bev Kerr

"Carole Troxler has written a fine work that gives the reader a unique view of the complexity of life on the Carolina frontier during the 18th century. The characters form a part of a compelling story interwoven within the economic, political and social fabric of the period. It is a 'must read' both for novices and for those long interested in the history of our country."
—Amazon reviewer MJH

"I did not expect it to be a page-turner, but it was. I have read Dr. Troxler's historical non-fiction and always learned from the precise language, information and documentation, but I never found myself emotionally involved with the people about which the works were written. I cared about the people in Red Dog, enjoyed their stories, and even learned some history, especially about The Regulator Movement."
—Amazon reviewer Tanczo

It is 1764 in the North Carolina Piedmont. Thirteen-year-old Lizzy worries for her younger brother. They are orphans, separated by apprenticeships to different masters.

As a white girl, she is curious about slavery, which is not yet secure in the Piedmont. Readers will gain insights on how white supremacy increased there during Lizzy’s lifetime. Lizzy bonds with ethnically diverse friends, and their help to one another brings danger.

Throughout their adventures, she tries to keep herself steady and make the best of her apprenticeship by thinking about her mother’s example. With memories of her mother fading, Lizzy learns to think—and feel—her own way.

There are nuggets of recognition to engage twenty-first century readers and connect them with the backcountry world of Lizzy and her friends. Their stories display everyday habits, folk knowledge and stories, religious identities, and experiences with fosterage and apprenticeship. The teenagers use skills such as papermaking, guiding a pack line of horses across a stream, and using snakes to kill bad guys.

Carole Troxler loves living in the woods in Alamance County, North Carolina, where she encourages native plants and plays Old-Time Music. She and George Troxler are in their fifty-first year of marriage. They are blessed with two accomplished and happy daughters, the world’s cutest grandbaby, and a near-granddaughter whose elegance is reflected in the heroine of The Red Dog.

A native of LaGrange, Georgia, Carole holds a Ph.D in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former Woodrow Wilson Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, she has received three book awards and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association’s Christopher Crittenden Award.

Carole’s more than twenty essays in books and historical journals contribute to understanding the impacts of the American Revolution in the southern backcountry, maritime Canada, and the Bahamas. She continues to research and write scholarly history as Professor Emerita at Elon University. Decades of research fed her imagination while she created The Red Dog: A Tale of the Carolina Frontier, her first work of fiction, during summer breaks from her usual writing.

Her nonfiction books are:

  • The Loyalist Experience in North Carolina (1975)
  • Shuttle & Plow: A History of Alamance County, North Carolina (co-author with William Murray Vincent, 1999)
  • Pyle’s Defeat: Deception at the Race Path (2003)
  • Alamance County, North Carolina, Transcripts of Census and Tax Records (2003)
  • Farming Dissenters: The Regulator Movement in Piedmont North Carolina (2011)
  • Sallie Stockard and the Adversities of an Educated Woman of the New South (scheduled for publication Spring, 2018) 

Hats Off! to Cynthia Lewis who has been awarded the 2017 Meringoff Prize in nonfiction by the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. “Body Doubles,” an interview-based essay, narrates what happened when a bomb in a St. Louis parking garage injured the unintended victim, a lawyer whose car was nearly identical to that of the intended victim, also a lawyer. The essay will be published in Literary Matters, the literary magazine sponsored by the ALSCW.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose essay "Cousinly Love" appears in the May issue of Sasee Magazine. Her poem "Weekend Solitude" appears in Issue 78 of the Ghazal Page (April, 2018), and Joan will be a featured performer at Roadside Tales in Pittsboro on May 18—tellin gfood tales.


Swimming Betweeen Worlds by Elaine Neil Orr

Berkley/Penguin/Random House
$16.00, paperback / $22.50, audiobook / $11.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0425282731
April, 2018
Fiction: Historical / Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“A perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace. The struggle of its deftly-drawn young characters to navigate the monumental changes—cultural and personal— that the civil rights movement brought to the South is rich and compelling.”
—Charles Frazier, New York Times bestselling author

“Poignant and agonizing, the novel captures the South the moment before the gun went off, prefiguring our current national trauma around race and society.”
—Fenton Johnson, author of The Man Who Loved Birds

“A blistering story told by a gifted writer. From the moment I began this compelling novel, it followed me around; the riveting plot and real-life characters would not let me go.”
—Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

Tacker Hart left his home in North Carolina as a local high school football hero, but returns in disgrace after being fired from a prestigious architectural assignment in West Africa. Yet the culture and people he grew to admire have left their mark on him. Adrift, he manages his father's grocery store and becomes reacquainted with a girl he barely knew growing up.

Kate Monroe's parents have died, leaving her the family home and the right connections in her Southern town. But a trove of disturbing letters sends her searching for the truth behind the comfortable life she's been bequeathed.

On the same morning but at different moments, Tacker and Kate encounter a young African-American, Gaines Townson, and their stories converge with his. As Winston-Salem is pulled into the tumultuous 1960s, these three Americans find themselves at the center of the civil rights struggle, coming to terms with the legacies of their pasts as they search for an ennobling future.

Elaine Neil Orr writes fiction, memoir, and literary criticism. With stories set in Nigeria and the American South, she delves into themes of home and displacement. Her novels are journeys of conscience. Swimming Between Worlds, her newest, is described by Charles Frazier as “a perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace.” Anna Jean Mayhew writes, “the riveting plot and real-life characters would not let me go.” In a starred review, Library Journal said of Orr’s last novel, A Different Sun, “this extraordinary novel shines with light and depth.”

Her memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life (Virginia, 2003), was a Top-20 Book Sense selection and a nominee for the Old North State Award. She is associate editor of a collection of essays on international childhoods, Writing Out of Limbo, and the author of two scholarly books.

In 2016, she was Kathryn Stripling Byer Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.

Orr has published extensively in literary magazines including The Missouri Review, Blackbird, Shenandoah, and Image Journal. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast by Debbie Moose

University of North Carolina Press
$35.00, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-469640501
April, 2018
Nonfiction: Cookbook
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"A great starting point for anyone looking to explore fish."
—Ashley Morris, Wilmington-Star News

"Terrific and tantalizing, spritely and informed, Debbie Moose's Carolina Catch features a wide variety of exciting ways to cook fish, including many interesting regional and international recipes—all of which I want to try."
—Nathalie Dupree, co-author of Nathalie Dupree's Shrimp and Grits

"Starting with a quick mountains-to-sea tour explaining how fisheries have created cultures and communities across North Carolina, Debbie Moose offers a friendly and enlightening cookbook that will both comfort and embolden the fish-fearful while tantalizing those of us who love the bounty of our state's rivers and coastline. Featuring recipes and species suggestions that open a wide world of good eating, Carolina Catch shows that one of the best ways to steward our precious fisheries is to recognize the seasonality of North Carolina's seafood and cook with it!"
—Ann Cary Simpson, interim director, N.C. Catch, and photographer, Little Rivers and Waterway Tales

Early in life, North Carolinian Debbie Moose encountered fish primarily in stick form, but once she experienced her first raw oyster and first fried soft-shell crab, their pure flavors switched her on to shellfish and fish forever. Moose has now written the cookbook that unlocks for everyone the fresh tastes of North Carolina grilled tuna, steamed shrimp, pan-seared mountain trout, fried catfish, and baked littleneck clams, to name just a few of the culinary treasures sourced from the waters of a state that stretches from the mountains to the sea.

In ninety-six dishes, Moose shows how to prepare North Carolina fish and shellfish—freshwater, saltwater, wild-caught, and farmed—in both classic southern and inventive, contemporary ways. The book's Best Basics section provides a much needed one-stop resource for confident selection, preparation, and storage, and the Think Seasonal section offers a comprehensive list with descriptions and peak availability of North Carolina fish and shellfish. Recipes include suggestions for appropriate alternate fish or shellfish—the idea is to try new varieties in season and support local fisheries. And, as Moose explains, dock-to-door services and local seafood organizations are making sourcing easier for home cooks.

Debbie Moose of Raleigh knows that nothing connects people—and helps them have a good time—like food. Her seventh cookbook will be published in 2018. Her freelance work appears in newspapers and magazines, and she is a five-time winner for essay writing from the Association of Food Journalists. Debbie is a member of Southern Foodways Alliance. As a native North Carolinian and lifelong resident, she believes that eastern North Carolina barbecue is The One True 'Cue. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit her website, www.debbiemoose.com.


Hats Off! to NCWN regional rep Tracy Crow of Randolph County: her military arts nonprofit, MilSpeak Foundation, received a grant from Wounded Warrior Project® to host two free weekend writing workshops for women military veterans and women military family members.

The events, On Point Women Warriors Writing Workshops, will be held May 18-20 at The University of Tampa in Florida and June 8-10 at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. For workshop descriptions and faculty profiles, visit MilSpeak Foundation.

Overnight dorm accommodations are available for the Charlotte event at $26 per night.

Tampa Eventbrite register: https://bit.ly/2GN7ncj. Charlotte Eventbrite register: https://bit.ly/2IUxIC6.


Hats Off! to Carol Childers Crawford whose essay "Deliveries" appears in the April, 2018, issue of Adelaide Magazine. It's about all the assorted packages she has mailed to her three daughters over the years.


Hats Off! to Judy Hogan whose memoir Baba Summer One has been picked up by Adelaide. The book, which consists mainly of diary entries between 1990-92 and letters that chronicle Judy's Russian friends and experiences, will be published in early 2019.


Jack, Love, and the Daily Grail by Joan M. Howard

Kelsay Books
$30.00, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-947465381
March, 2018
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Joan Howard's poems, crafted like finely cut jewels, reflect a joyful and sustaining force in the natural world, even as the poet confronts a major loss. Whether she is kayaking on the lake ('I glided into diamonds') or noting a solitary clematis blooming on her late husband's birthday, she presents a remarkable tapestry of all of our lives, in which, as William Blake wrote, 'Joy and woe are woven fine.'"
—Janice Townley Moore, author of Teaching the Robins

"Joan Howard's collection is pure music: love songs, laments, hymns. She has an incredible ear for sound, including rhyme and meter. This, coupled with an eye and heart for discovering the sublime in nature, gives her poems a classical feel—a formality that ups the poignancy while keeping sentimentality at bay. These are short poems, packed with grief and wonder: '"Let me go," you said, and divine/ownership took you in a breath.' Howard has written a profound tribute to her beloved. It is their story and her story: the hard and beautiful necessity of moving on while never forgetting."
—Karen Paul Holmes, author of Untying the Knot

"Poetry written in beauty leaves the reader with nourishing aftereffects. Happily, Howard's sonnets, such as 'Time Travel,' 'The Secret,' and 'Grace' shimmer with superb craft, evidence of a clear and powerful intelligence. Like those of Gerard Manley Hopkins, her use of word links: 'lake wed, these now years, and life hearts on' create new meanings and illuminations."
—Maren O. Mitchell, author of Beat Chronic Pain: An Insider's Guide

This is a modern day hero's attainment of the grail and his widow's seventeen-year poetic journey. It is a love story.

Joan Howard's poetry has been published in the Aurorean, Poem, Victorian Violet, The Deronda Review, Lucid Rhythms, The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry, The Wayfarer, and other journals. She has also published a chapbook: Death and Empathy: My Sister Web, available on Amazon. Howard was a former teacher and enjoys walking, kayaking, and birding around beautiful Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Precision Pilots," about hummingbirds, was accepted for the Poetry Leaves Project of Waterford Township, Michigan. Her poem will be exhibited May 1-31, 2018, and appear in the Poetry Leaves bound volume. "The purpose of the Poetry Leaves project is to make poetry a part of the everyday lives of Waterford residents and visitors to the Township." The project is similar to North Carolina's Poetry in Plain Sight.

Also, two of her tankas were included in Issue 7 of the Tanka Journal, and her poem "Yet, We Laughed," a poem addressing her personal experience with breast cancer, won The Monthly Lighthearted Poetry Contest #4 on April 30, 2018, sponsored by Angela Poetry Magazine/Wax and Art Magazine.


Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community by Renée Hodges

She Writes Press
$16.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-63152-375-5
May, 2018
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“…heartfelt, inspiring, and deeply moving...”
Kirkus Reviews

“…This book is a must-read for all of us.”
—Kim Leversedge, MD, Board Certified Pediatrician

“…a very loud, clear wakeup call that we must heed…”
—Claude T. Moorman, III, MD, Former Executive Director, Duke Sports Sciences Institute and Head Team Physician, Duke Athletics

When Renee Hodges invited her nephew, Bobby, to come stay with her for a few weeks so he could visit a doctor about his back pain, she knew he was recovering from an addiction to prescription painkillers. She believed that if he could address his back problems, he would have a better chance of staying clean—but she had no idea what a roller coaster ride she was getting on.

Unlike other books about addiction, Saving Bobby begins after rehab is over. Told in part through journal entries, e-mails, and personal recollections, this raw, honest, deeply moving memoir—begun to keep the family accountable—describes the sixteen months that Hodges, her husband, and their community struggled alongside Bobby as he attempted to successfully re-enter the day-to-day world. Using a holistic and open approach, the shame and stigma associated with addiction was lessened—and ultimately, Bobby learned he had to save himself.

A gripping and heartrending story of survival, Saving Bobby is an essential, timely read for those concerned about America's most pressing epidemic.

Although her Louisiana roots run deep, Renée Hodges and her husband have called North Carolina home for the past thirty years. She co-wrote and self-published the Best Kept Secrets series of guides in the 1980s. Settling into motherhood and raising a family, however, has been her most satisfying work, and today she is a wife, mother of three, writer, investor, community volunteer, and avid tennis player. She is also a Shatterproof ambassador. Learn more about her book and her appearances by visiting www.ReneeHodgesAuthor.com.

Hats Off! to Maren O. Mitchell whose poems have been published this spring in the following journals: “U for a Time” and “An Amputated M” in Hotel Amerika; “What matters Is that I” and “What doesn’t matter to me” in the May online issue of The Lake (UK); “Welcome home, meteor” and “How to Grow Younger in One Night” in Tar River Poetry; “Hearing/Listening” and “Mourning Doves” in POEM; “Curriculum Vitae” in Slant: A Journal of Poetry; and “Dancing with the Refrigerator,” “Night Light,” and “Travels in Good Sleeping Weather” in Poetry East, Barcelona, 93/94 Issue.


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Mei Lan" appears in Zoomorphic Magazine, Issue 8.


Pioneers Press
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-939899286
May, 2017
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Trace Ramsey imbues his writing with a humanity that can’t be faked. He writes from a core of truth with illuminating, descriptive, deeply personal prose. If we read to learn we’re not alone in our feelings, then this is a guide to understanding there are plenty of others out there who feel the same.”
—Bart Schaneman, author of Someplace Else: On Wanderlust, Expatriate Life, and the Call of the Wild

“Trace’s descriptions of the nature around them and attention to detail are superb, putting the reader right into their writing, as though you’re experiencing the dry grass beneath their feet, the hot summer nights in the South, and the personal family tragedy that lives in your blood and veins and travels on to your children.”

"There’s a certain rare type of writing, to see beyond the obvious and easy, to fix upon the translucent forms that dance elusively about our periphery. Trace Ramsey ventures unflinchingly into the emotional landscape. Intimate and sometimes stark, he engages us by tapping a common well of humanity, and shining light into dark corners. There are no wasted words."
—Jack Cheiky, Syndicated Zine Reviews

Trace Ramsey’s All I Want to Do is Live personalizes common themes of survival, depression, and life in America at a time of division and upheaval. In this collection of short stories, essays, and poetry, Ramsey examines his family history and shows us how darkness can trickle through generations. He looks to people like his grandparents and his partner for hope and works to move beyond abuse and mental illness to find what is worth passing on to his children. In a unique voice of clean, deliberate prose, he relays stories about the damage of the past and recovery in the present that is both brutal and achingly pretty. As the personal often sheds light on the universal, Trace's memories of his childhood and the scenes from his life today also give us the story of our time, our country, and a people longing to find substance, freedom, and meaning.

Trace Ramsey is a recipient of the 2015 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Award in Literature, a 2015 contributor in nonfiction at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and winner of the 2016 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize from the North Carolina Literary Review. Trace’s recent publications include essays in At Length Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, and I Don’t Know How to Help You, a compilation zine from Pioneers Press. In December, 2014, Trace received a certificate in documentary arts in nonfiction writing from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Trace lives in Durham with his partner and two children.

BOONE—"Monks knows her monsters, both literal and figurative," said Publisher's Weekly in a starred review of Sheryl Monks' debut story collection, Monsters in Applachia. "And she knows the territory of hills and hollers, where reality is sometimes heightened so sharply that it bleeds into myth."

Monks will lead the Fiction class July 13-16 at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops at Appalachian State University in Boone. Registration is open.

Her workshop, "How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction," will examine the ways in which conflict is the engine that drives any good story, long or short. Bad things simply must happen to good characters. Drawing upon contemporary examples, participants will discuss the fundamental way that short stories and novels differ in structure, beginning with the most fundamental element of any narrative: conflict. How does it work in short fiction? How does it work in the novel? Why is it important to know the difference?

Sheryl Monks is the author of Monsters in Appalachia, published by Vandalia Press, an imprint of West Virginia University Press. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Sheryl’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Butter, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, Regarding Arts and Letters, Night Train, and other journals, and in the anthologies Surreal South: Ghosts and Monsters and Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary West Virginia Fiction and Poetry, among others. She works for a peer-reviewed medical journal and edits the online literary magazine Change Seven. Visit her online at www.sherylmonks.com.

Her Pinterest account offers a Board titled "Books I Love." Titles include Serena by Ron Rash, The Landbreakers by John Ehle, Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, and several titles by Toni Morrison. These are the books that have affected Monks, and SW17 participants can expect these titles to be touchstones during her workshop.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, amid the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Joseph Bathanti will lead the course in Poetry. Eric G. Wilson will lead the class in Creative Nonfiction.

Register now.

Support for these workshops is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.


Hats Off! to Terri Kirby Erickson and Miriam Herin! Terri's full-length poetry collection, Becoming the Blue Heron (Press 53, 2017), is a finalist in the "Poetry" category of the 2017 International Book Awards. Miriam's novel, A Stone for Bread (Livingston Press, 2015), is a finalist in the "Literary" category.


Beaver Creek Blues by Mary Ann Rose Hart

Dog Ear Publishing
$12.95, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5053-9
March, 2017
Fiction: MG / Historical
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Mary Ann Rose Hart’s Beaver Creek Blues is a nostalgic coming-of-age story that is rich in period details, including big issues from segregation to polio.

“Going on twelve years old, Willie is a self-described ‘Jelly Belly’ in the 1950s rural South. He loves baseball, and he grapples with family challenges and bullies in the year before he enters sixth grade. Hart vividly recreates his setting …

“The big issues that Willie, his baseball team, and his family members face are handled with sensitivity and optimism.

“In his last journal entry, Willie reflects ‘I know now that life is going to be full of hits and strikeouts.’ It’s an important epiphany, and one that will resonate with middle grade readers approaching adolescence.

“Quiet, thoughtful historical fiction suited for middle grade readers, Beaver Creek Blues has the potential to spark important intergenerational discussions in home and classrooms about the politics of the 1950s and beyond, and would make a great read-aloud for baby boomers to share with the young people in their lives.”

How does an eleven-almost-twelve-year-old boy deal with a jelly belly he never asked for, the never-ending taunting by bullies, and the need to level the playing field for himself and his friends? Life's not fair as Willie sees it! What's a boy to do when he is not good enough to play on a tournament baseball team? How is a boy to befriend the school's worst bullies at the request of the school principal? It's the 1950s and Willie is jolted into the reality that even skin color can cause problems for a boy. Baseball at Beaver Creek Bottom teaches Willie and his buddies, The Beaver Creek Nine, how to deal with hits and strikeouts in life.

This is the second book for Mary Ann Rose Hart. As in the first book, Mary Ann’s Mountain, Beaver Creek Blues continues with the theme of problems faced by preteens. Having taught grades 3-6 in the public schools for thirty-six years, the author knows “tweens” well. She has a master’s degree from Appalachian State University, emphasizing the emerging adolescent and reading skills instruction. The author served as a math lead teacher, writing math activities presented at regional and state math conferences.

It was her fifth graders and her husband who inspired this writer to create Beaver Creek Blues. Mary Ann and her husband, David, both animal lovers, live in North Carolina with a cat named Gus, their latest adopted orphan.

The author’s blog and free downloads for guided reading activities and math activities for this book are available on her website, www.maryannrosehart.com.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Longing for Your Call" has been selected for the Winterwolf Press’ Howl of the Wild Anthology. Also, her poem "Sea Sparkle" is forthcoming in Women's Voices Anthology by These Fragile Lilacs Poetry Journal.


Hats Off! to Drew Bridges and William Finger. Drew's book The Family in the Mirror, was chosen as one of five finalists in the Next Generation Indie Book contest, the "General Fiction/Novel Under 80,000 Words" catagory. William's book, The Crane Dance: Taking Flight in Midlife, is a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the "Memoirs" category. The memoir recounts how he drew on the energies of the men’s movement, the power of expressive arts, and the quiet force of meditation, along with antidepressants and therapy, to come to terms with patterns deeply ingrained in his behavior and brain. Drew and William found out about the contest through the North Carolina Writers' Network and completed their manuscripts in the same writing group, proof that nobody writes alone!


Hats Off! to Dori Ann Dupre whose debut novel, Scout's Honor, was named a finalist in the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.


Hats Off! to NCWN board president Margaret Dardess whose debut thriller, Brutal Silence, received a glowing review from Donna Meredith in Southern Literary Review. "Brutal Silence is a thrill-a-minute that educates readers about a serious—and seriously overlooked—social problem." says Meredith. "Human trafficking couldn’t exist without the cooperation of respected members of our communities. Often we are silent instead of speaking up, and Dardess makes clear that our silence results in brutality we should never countenance." Proceeds from Brutal Silence support the efforts of those who work heroically to combat human trafficking.


Hats Off! to Kathy Izard who received a Christopher Award for The Hundred Story Home: A Journey of Homelessness, Hope, and Healing (Grace Press). Her book is one of twelve for adults and young people to be celebrated along with the writers, producers, and directors of ten feature films and TV/Cable programs on May 16, 2017, at the 68th annual Christopher Awards in New York. The awards were created in 1949 to celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors, and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”


Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16 by Grace and Harvey Roys (Judy Hogan, Editor)

Wipf and Stock
$26.00, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-5326-0939-8
April, 2017
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“This thoroughly annotated five-year diary, including contemporary accounts of the retreat colony Kuling and schools in Nanking, provides rich and illuminating primary documentation toward understanding the daily personal, family, social and professional lives of American educators and missionaries in early 20th century China, the native culture in which they devoted themselves, and their influence on subsequent generations. A graceful window on the lives of Westerners and Chinese alike.”
—J. Samuel Hammond, Duke University

“Grace, a rich portrait of missionary life in early twentieth century China, is told through diary entries, photos, narratives, and an epilogue by Judy Hogan, editor and annotator of her grandmother’s diary. Most poignant for me, as a former missionary child, is Hogan’s appreciation of Grace’s difficult transition from the China where she spent her first 32 years to the United States where her mental illness took flight.”
—Nancy Henderson-James, author of Home Abroad: An American Girl in Africa

Grace Woodbridge Roys suffered from bi-polar disease before it was well understood. Her daughter feared that her children would also suffer mental illness. This annotation of Grace’s diary opens the early 1900s missionary world in China and the personality of Grace to the reader.

In December, 1910, Grace married Harvey Curtis Roys, who was teaching physics at Kiang Nan government school in Nanking, under the sponsorship of the YMCA. Grace had had a mental breakdown weeks earlier when her missionary father forbade the marriage. The diary records their early married life, the births of their first two children, their social life with other missionaries in China, many of whom made major contributions to Nanking life and education: medical doctors and nurses; theology professors; agricultural innovators; founders of universities, hospitals, nursing schools, and schools for young Chinese women and men. Included is their experience evacuating during the Sun Yat-sen Revolution of 1911. Well-known missionaries of that time came to tea and taught at the Hillcrest School the mothers began for foreign children. The Nanyang Exposition took place in 1910, too, as China was in the throes of entering the modern era, with trains, electricity, telegraph, and a new interest in democracy.

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 publication is Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16, which she edited and annotated, and Political Peaches, The Fifth Penny Weaver Mystery. Six other mystery novels 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 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. Judy served as Chair of the North Carolina Writers' Network from 1984-87. She lives and farms in Moncure, near Jordan Lake.

BOONE—If you're driving to Boone, host of the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops, via I-40, you can take Route 321 north through the town of Granite Falls, population 4,700.

There, you can stop by Granite Falls Brewing Company, which earlier this spring released Tailypo, a 14.9 percent APV Belgian-Quad. Beyond the obvious, why would you make a special stop for this admittedly intimidating but undeniably delicous beer? Because 10 percent of proceeds from Tailypo go directly to the North Carolina Writers' Network.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops run July 13-16 at Appalachian State University. This intimate and focused weekend offers conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, amid the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Joseph Bathanti will lead the class in poetry, "Writing the Longer Narrative Poem." Sheryl Monks will lead the fiction course, "How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction." Eric G. Wilson will lead the creative nonfiction workshop, "Creating Presence: Voice in Creative Nonfiction."

Registration is capped at forty-two attendees: register now.

Boone, home to Appalachian State University, is the cultural center of North Carolina's High Country. TripAdvisor named this small town, which is a popular vacation destination, the number-two "Diamond in the Rough," and National Geographic named it among its "Best Places to Live and Play." Along with great breweries, restaurants, and local businesses, Boone typically boasts temperatures no warmer than 76 degrees, which will come as quite a relief to many Squire Summer Writing Workshops registrants by mid-July.

Tailypo is the first in Granite Falls Brewing Company's new Appalachian Storytellers series based on the legends and tall tales that arose in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where their brewery was born.

Aged in thirty-year-old Nicaraguan rum barrels and ringing in at an imposing 14.9 percent ABV, it is a brew for the discerning beer lover. Notes of raisin, date, and fig play with undertones of chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar to create a complex tapestry of flavor that is both unique and unforgettable. 14.9 percent ABV is the highest ABV allowed by North Carolina law.

For more information about the Squire Summer Writing Workshops, and to register, click here.

For more information about Granite Falls Brewing, visit www.granitefallsbrewing.com.

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.

Hats Off! to Alice Osborn who won Second Place for her poem “Southern Ice Storm” in the 2017 Women's National Book Association Writing Contest.


Hats Off! to Robert Lee Kendrick who has been awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in Poetry for the 2017 Sewanee Writers Conference. From July 18–30, The University of the South gathers a distinguished faculty to provide instruction and criticism through workshops and craft lectures in poetry, fiction, and playwriting.


Random Road by Thomas Kies

Poisoned Pen Press
$15.95, paperback / $26.95, hardcover / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-464208027
May, 2017
Fiction: Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Kies tells a taut, fast paced tale, imbuing each character with memorable, compelling traits that help readers connect with them. …those who enjoy J.A. Jance’s Beaumont series or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone will appreciate Geneva Chase."

"The bad choices made by Geneva 'Genie' Chase, the narrator of Kies’s arresting debut, have landed her back in her hometown of Sheffield, CT, working for the local paper. When a multiple murder—the six victims were all members of a sex club, and murder site was their clubhouse—is discovered in a Long Island Sound mansion, Geneva is the only reporter on the scene. …Kies has created a likable if flawed heroine readers will want to see more of."
Publisher's Weekly

"A hard-living newspaperwoman juggles multiple men and battles the bottle on her way to redemption via a high-profile murder story. …Kies’ fiction debut lays the groundwork for an entertaining series."
Kirkus Reviews

"Reporter Geneva Chase has written hundreds of stories, but what brings her back to Sheffield, CT, and her hometown newspaper, isn't a news piece, it's her alcoholism. Yet this may be her chance at professional redemption, as she investigates one of the most grisly murder scenes of her career. Probing the brutal slaughter of six people at an exclusive gated community, the intrepid journalist also uncovers all kinds of secrets, from a young man whose father bribes a judge to let him off on a hit-and-run charge to a swingers' club. At the same time, Geneva also tries to hide her drinking problem from the newsroom. A chance encounter at an alcoholics anonymous meeting will change her life, but not before it's jeopardized by her connecting the dots and tracking down a vicious killer. Kies' debut mystery introduces a reporter with a compelling voice, a damaged woman who recounts her own bittersweet story as she hunts down clues. This suspenseful story will appeal to readers who enjoy hard-nosed investigative reporters such as Brad Parks's Carter Ross."
—Library Journal , Debut of the Month for March, 2017

Currently living on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina, Thomas Kies has a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York.

When he’s not writing mysteries, Thomas Kies is the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He’s currently working on the second book in the Geneva Chase series: Darkness Lane.

Hats Off! to Katie Winkler whose essay appears in Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South (Bottom Dog Press), edited by Julia Watts and Larry Smith. "We are a people as varied as the Southern landscape, from the mountainsof Appalachia to the deltas of Mississippi to the skyscrapers of Atlanta," says Watts in the introduction. "We are urban and rural, old and young, poor and rich, and all points in between. We are all these things, plus more that don’t fit into neat categories. The voices in this collection represent some of the diverse voices of our region."


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams whose essay "Topaz" won Third Prize in the annual Carolina Woman Writing Contest. Heather wins a one-year membership with the North Carolina Writers' Network!


Hats Off! to Wim Coleman's new play The Shackles of Liberty will be performed by the University of Jacksonville Department of Drama on May 19 and 20. This workshop production and a $1,000 prize are the rewards of winning last year’s Southern Playwrights Competition, which was open to writers in thirteen states. The play was also a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s 2017 New Playwrights Conference; one of two finalists of 2015 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition; and a semifinalist for the 2016 Ashland New Plays Festival. The Shackles of Liberty is a fictionalized account of Thomas Jefferson’s last day in Paris. It focuses on his relationships with three women—his European lover Maria Cosway, his older daughter Martha (“Patsy”), and his young slave mistress Sally Hemings.


Vampires on the Run by C.M. Surrisi

$16.99, hardcover / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-512411508
March, 2017
Fiction: Middle Grade / Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

In the months after Quinnie Boyd cracked the mystery of her missing teacher, she expected life in her small Maine town to snap back to normal. But two writers from New York City have arrived in Maiden Rock, and there's something not quite right about them. Sure, Ceil and Edgar are pale. And they dress in all black. And they don't go near the sunlight. But could they really be vampires? To find out, Quinnie turns to Dominic—a new kid in town who's an expert on everything geeky. Together, they'll risk their necks to find an answer....

C. M. Surrisi is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Asheville. Vampires on the Run is her second novel in the Quinnie Boyd Mystery Series. The first is The Maypop Kidnapping.


Hats Off! to Alice Osborn whose poem "Hunger Is" took Second Prize in the annual Carolina Woman Magazine Contest. She wins a phone case bundle from Urban Armor Gear valued a $120. The poem appears in the May/June issue.


Hats Off! to Ashley Memory whose story "To-Do List of a First-Time Teleworker" won First Prize in the annual Carolina Woman Magazine Contest. She wins an AcuRite Weather Station with Lightning Detection valued at $210.


Hats Off! to Raleigh Review which was favorably reviewed in The Review Review, concurrent with Raleigh Review's seventh anniversary. "As the editorial team proudly states on its website, the aim of each Raleigh Review issue is to offer readers a new worldly lens through which they can better understand and identify with their neighbors, 'whether across the street or across the globe.' The Spring 2017 issue is no exception," says reviewer Darienne Dickey. "Rob Greene’s review of Small Crimes by Andrea Jurjević really ties the entire issue together as it describes Jurjević’s work as full of 'global poems of genuine humanness.' It’s safe to say that Raleigh Review has achieved that as well."


Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town by Leslie Tall Manning

Leslie Tall Manning
$14.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0996130653
February, 2016
Fiction: Young Adult / Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Brooke's voice feels authentic as she struggles to reconnect with her fractured family, and Manning's historical research shows...an entertaining novel with realistic characters readers should find it easy to invest in."
Publishers Weekly

"An eye-opening story for people who think their life is tough and for people who need to appreciate what is right in their lives."
Story Circle Book Reviews

"[A] coming-of-age story with equal parts humor, angst, grit, and charm."
—Padgett Gerler, author of The Gifts of Pelican Isle

Recipient of the Sarton Women's Literary Award for Young Adult Novel!

It has been a long and difficult year for the Decker family, especially for sixteen-year-old Brooke. Her grades have plummeted. She deliberately breaks curfew. She makes out with boys she hardly knows. And now her father has totally lost it.

When Tim Decker signs up his family of three to be contestants on a Hollywood reality show, Brooke’s life turns upside down. The place: The North Carolina backcountry. The year: 1861.

Brooke is forced to trade in her Victoria’s Secret bra for a rib-cracking corset, her comfy jeans for an ugly farm dress, and her private bathroom for an outhouse. Television cameras will follow her every move as she lives the grueling life of a mid-nineteenth-century farm girl: milking a cow, churning butter, fetching water countless times a day, and riding in a horse-drawn wagon along a rutted road to spend pennies in town. This will be Brooke’s life for four awful months. Unless, of course, she breaks the rules and the producers kick her off the show…

Other families are scattered throughout Sweet Sugar Gap. The snotty Prudence Miller soon becomes Brooke’s rival. Wendell Murphy, who works at the local mercantile, is instantly smitten with Brooke—but also makes her suspicious. Does the only cute boy in town really like her, or is he merely showing off for the cameras?

Brooke Decker may just have to find a way to make it in the backcountry, leaving behind the modern frills she can’t live without. But can a young girl’s wishful heart surrender to a time and place she believes she can never call home?

Leslie Tall Manning is a seasoned writer of both Young Adult and Adult novels. In 2002, she left Southern California for the Real South, and has since considered North Carolina her home.

As a private English tutor and writing specialist, she spends her evenings working with students of all ages, and her days working on her own writing projects.

She is happily represented by the TriadaUS Literary Agency.

BOONE—The North Carolina Writers' Network is coming to the High Country for the 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops. This intimate, weekend-long residency-style immersion happens July 13-16 at Appalachian State University, in Boone.

Registration is capped at forty-two attendees: register now.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, atop the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Joseph Bathanti will lead the class in poetry, "Writing the Longer Narrative Poem." Sheryl Monks will lead the fiction course,"How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction." Eric G. Wilson will lead the creative nonfiction workshop, "Creating Presence: Voice in Creative Nonfiction."

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award; Land of Amnesia; Restoring Sacred Art, winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded annually by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association for best book of poetry in a given year; Sonnets of the Cross; Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in 2016. His novel, East Liberty, won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories, The High Heart, won the 2006 Spokane Prize. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. His recent book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, winner of the Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is from Mercer University Press. A new novel, The Life of the World to Come, was released from University of South Carolina Press in late 2014. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, and the University’s Watauga Residential College Writer-in-Residence. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville.

Sheryl Monks is the author of Monsters in Appalachia, published by Vandalia Press, an imprint of West Virginia University Press. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Sheryl’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Butter, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, Regarding Arts and Letters, Night Train, and other journals, and in the anthologies Surreal South: Ghosts and Monsters and Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary West Virginia Fiction and Poetry, among others. She works for a peer-reviewed medical journal and edits the online literary magazine Change Seven. Visit her online at www.sherylmonks.com.

Eric G. Wilson is a professor of English at Wake Forest University, an Appalachian State alumnus, and the author of five works of creative nonfiction: Keep It Fake, How to Make a Soul, Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace, and Against Happiness. His essays have appeared or are appearing in the Portland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Fanzine, Georgia Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Our State, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also published a volume for Muse Books: The Iowa Series in Creativity and Writing, My Business Is To Create: Blake’s Infinite Writing. His most recent book, a work of fiction called Polaris Ghost, is coming out with Outpost 19 this winter.

The 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops are built around the same programming as past Squire Summer Writing Residencies: it's the same great content, but with a new name.

"We felt that 'workshop' was more accurate, because registrants will study classic examples of their chosen genre, and both offer and receive feedback on works-in-progress," said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "The foundation of the conference, though, is the same: lauded instructors, personalized attention, and a supportive, focused environment in which to strive for excellence in writing."

Boone, home to Appalachian State University, is the cultural center of North Carolina's High Country. TripAdvisor named this small town, which is a popular vacation destination, the number-two "Diamond in the Rough," and National Geographic named it among its "Best Places to Live and Play." Along with great breweries, restaurants, and local businesses, Boone typically boasts temperatures no warmer than 76 degrees, which will come as quite a relief to many Squire Summer Writing Workshops registrants by mid-July.

Registration for the 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops is now open.

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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.


Hats Off! to Clare Beams whose short-story collection We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books, 2016) is a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the Young Lions Fiction Award. “Beams is an expert at providing odd and surprising details that make her stories come alive," says Publishers Weekly, "and the result is a powerful collection about what we need from others and, in turn, what we can offer others of ourselves.”


Hats Off! to Jospeh Bathanti who was profiled on Southern Literary Review. Bathanti is the former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and the author of several books of poetry that have been nominated for the National Book Award and won several prizes. He is is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone.


Hats Off! to Ty Stumpf whose debut poetry collection Suburban Burn was a finalist for the Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Chapbook Award (Main Street Rag).


Death and Empathy: My Sister Web by Joan M. Howard

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$10.50, paperback
ISBN: 978- 1-542906319
April, 2017
Nonfiction: Inspirational / Grief
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Teacher and poet Joan M. Howard began keeping a diary of poems in 1995, when her beloved sister, Susan McAllister Swap, passed away. The poems were focused not only on her grief but also on the incredible gift of life itself, as well as the beauty of the lives of both her sister and Howard's husband, Jack.

Howard uses formal and free verse poetry to create a tribute to the holy gift of existence, which shows itself in many wonderful forms: through nature, animals, travel, and love. Her themes are universal and capture the humility, strength, courage, and resilience that live inside all of us-and all of which were essential parts of both her sister's and husband's lives. Their genuine love of life and their ability to empathize were what Howard most admired about them, and they serve as the lifeline through all her poetry.

This book is a diary of poems written sequentially from 1995 to 1997. Its deepest purpose is a celebration of their characters: their love of nature and life witnessed in their humility, strength, resilience and courage in the face of great suffering. Through their daily lives they achieved what is present daily—the miracle of the every day, the possibility of reaching and exemplifying ever-present grace.

Joan M. Howard earned her B.A. from Indiana University and her M.A. from the University of Oregon. She has had a long career of teaching students in Illinois and Georgia. Her poetry has been published in the Aurorean, Lucid Rhythms, The Road Not Taken:The Journal of Formal Poetry, The Wayfarer, POEM, Victorian Violet, The Lyric, The Deronda Review, The Reach of Song 2012 (Georgia Poetry Society), Vox Poetica, and other literary journals. She lives in Athens and Hiawassee, Georgia, enjoys birding, and kayaking on beautiful Lake Chatuge in northern Georgia.

GREENSBORO—Lisa Zerkle has won the 2017 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem "Relics of the Great Acceleration." Lisa will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

Final judge David Blair chose Lisa's poem from a record number of submissions.

"'Relics of the Great Acceleration' is a poem of great presence in time and space, which are the natural elements of poetry," said Blair. "The poem has wonderful tactile qualities, bringing back the heaviness of a rotary phone on an index finger. The long lines and the stanzas convey a sense of movement and a sense of things being held in suspension, so this a poem that does not only remember, it embodies the act of remembering. There is a sense of psychological and personal detail and a novelistic sense of detail that poets too often neglect in favor of more personal caves. I love the grapefruits in the garden. This poem truly dwells. The ending of the poem, the volta, is felt and both inevitable and surprising."

Lisa Zerkle’s poems have appeared in The Collagist, Comstock Review, Southern Poetry Anthology, Broad River Review, Tar River Poetry, Nimrod, Sixfold, poemmemoirstory, Crucible, and Main Street Rag, among others. She is the author of Heart of the Light and a former editor of Kakalak. She lives in Charlotte, where she is the curator of 4X4CLT, a public art and poetry poster series, for the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts.

Eric Smith was named Runner-Up for his poem "Orrery." This poem will be considered for publication by storySouth.

Eric Smith's poems have been published recently in The Arkansas International and The New Criterion. He has new critical prose published and forthcoming in the Pleiades Book Review and The Writers' Chronicle. He is an assistant professor of English at Marshall University, and lives in Carrboro.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio. 

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international." Published poets include Cathy Smith Bowers, Al Maginnes, Dannye Romine Powell, and Elizabeth Swann.

Final judge David Blair grew up in Pittsburgh. He is the author of three books of poetry: Ascension Days, which was chosen by Thomas Lux for the Del Sol Poetry Prize, Arsonville, and Friends with Dogs. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Slate Magazine, and many other places as well, including the anthologies The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Devouring the Green, and Zoland Poetry.

He has taught at the New England Institute of Art and in the M.FA. Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter, and he has a degree in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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 Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript: Turning Life's Wounds into the Gift of Literary Fiction, Memoir, or Poetry by Zelda Lockhart

LaVenson Press Studios
$25.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-978910266
March, 2017
Nonfiction: Self-Help / Art Therapy
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amzon.com

"This book should come with a warning label: 'Be ready, you are going to have to go deeper than you ever imagined.'"
—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

"Zelda Lockhart's soulful guide for fledgling writers is an extraordinary gift of generosity and eloquence, a treasure map of our uncharted imaginative topographies."
—Dana Heller, Eminent Scholar of English, Old Dominion University

"Rather than hiding from our past and the difficulties we have each endured, Lockhart teaches us how to shine a light on those painful memories and make sense of them through writing resolutions to those stories. Part creative writing and part therapeutic writing, Lockhart's work is open, accessible, and allows writers to gain new perspectives on life events that have shaped us."
—Dr. Michele Forinash, director of Expressive Therapies Division, Lesley University

Utilize your emotional, psychological, and spiritual self to produce the first draft of a full-length manuscript. This book helps you take the stuff that has been making a mess of your life and use it instead to make art, harmonized with craft. It acts as creative companion for individuals (those with or without writing experience) as they journey through the sharing of an impactful event in life, do exercises that help them transform internal obstacles into external gifts, and then write resolution and outcome. Lockhart's own rough drafts and excerpts from published fiction, memoir, and poetry of writers like Toi Derricotte, Helena MarIa Viramontes, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, along with films by writers and directors like Sherman Alexie, offer kinship on the journey of unearthing and sharing a personal plot.

At times, you will feel that the book is designed to produce a new emotional, psychological, and spiritual you and that your resulting manuscript is merely the byproduct. Both are true of the design, because the purpose of art is to make yourself vulnerable about your experiences here in life--to have the courage to be vulnerable about those experiences so that you can connect with others who came here solo like you and will leave solo just like you.

And that process of sharing is transformative.

Zelda Lockhart is currently Alumni Endowed Chair for the Department of Language and Literature at North Carolina Central University teaching creative writing, and is director at LaVenson Press Studios: Inspiring Women to Self-Define through Writing & Publishing. She is pursuing a Ph.D in Expressive Art Therapies, holds an MA in literature, and a certificate in writing, directing, and editing film from the NY Film Academy. She lectures across the US on issues specific to the human struggle and on ways that consuming and creating literature are good for what ails us. She welcomes visits to her websites: www.ZeldaLockhart.com and www.LaVensonPressStudios.com.

Hats Off! to Karen Paul Holmes who recently had poems in Poet Lore, Tar River Poetry, and Tinderbox. She also has a poem in Prairie Schooner's forthcoming spring issue.


Hats Off! to Sam Love whose children’s book My Little Plastic Bag (with illustrator Samrae Duke) won a Silver Medal for Children’s Picture Books in the International Nautilus Book Awards. The Nautilus Book Awards are an annual accolade of books in the genre of social and environmental justice. Established in 1998, they are considered "major" book awards and have been conferred on prominent authors including The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Kingsolver, Thich Nhat Hanh, Amy Goodman, the Prince of Wales, and Desmund Tutu. Most Nautilus Awards are granted to books from major commercial presses or occasionally, independent presses. My Little Plastic Bag is independently published by Sam. The Nautilus Book Award recipients are selected through a three-tier process presided over by an assembly of editors, professors, writers, librarians, publishers, schoolteachers and bookstore owners. "The issue of plastic in our water is a critical issue," Sam says. "I’m glad we can help educate children about this."


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story "Annual Meeting" is forthcoming in Kings River Life. Her piece "Lost Earring" appeared in Silver Birch Press, and her poems "He Seemed So Nice" and "My Daughter Gave Me the Moon" appeared in Writing in a Woman's Voice. Additional poems are forthcoming in Whisper's ("Spring's Return"), SoFloPoJo ("Cascade"), and haikus in Brass Bell and Fourth River ("Roadside Poppies").


The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert

Amberjack Publishing
$15.99, hardcover / $8.49, e-book
ISBN: 978-I-944995-II-9
April, 2017
Fiction: Middle Grade / Young Adult
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"If nothing else, The Legend of Skyco is an important book for our mainstream urban-industrial culture that in general has little knowledge of the natural world and essentially no initiation rites, ceremonies, nor celebrations for young men or women coming of age. Nothing that deliberately defines those transitions from one stage of life to another. But this book is just as entertaining as it is informative. In essence it’s a great ride in a literary time machine that takes us back to what some might say was 'a better time.' When things were just as God or The Great Spirit made them, and when we humans were more at home and at one with it all. Lucky are we to be travelers on this great ride with Jennifer Frick-Ruppert and the historical characters she has brought back to life through her fiction. And the 'ride' doesn’t end with 'Spirit Quest,' as this is only the first book of a series on the adventures of Skyco."
—Thomas Crowe, Smoky Mountain News

"A biologist and environmental scientist, Dr. Jennifer Frick Ruppert’s The Legend of Skyco greatly expands part of that forgotten world. It is based on the writings of explorers, the contemporary watercolors of John White, folklore, and Frick-Ruppert’s masterful knowledge of Chowan River basin wildlife. The Chowan River itself it is frequently overlooked in North Carolina histories, yet the first explorers saw it as a key path to settlement and several nations lived in and around it."
—Marvin Jones

Skyco, an Algonquin boy, is heir to the great chief Menatonon, but he has much to learn before he can take his place within the tribe. He studies with the shaman Roncommock, who teaches him how to enter the spirit world and communicate with spirits and other animals, while he also learns practical skills of hunting, fishing, and starting a fire from other men in his village. But learning to throw a spear with an atlatl and shoot arrows with a bow are just precursors to the ultimate test, the husquenaugh, when he is challenged to use his hard-earned skills to survive the harrowing life-or-death ritual. A book of rousing adventure and historical relevance, The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest brings to life the world of the Algonquin tribe before the arrival of English explorers.

Dr. Jennifer Frick-Ruppert earned her P.hD in Zoology from Clemson University and holds the Dalton Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Brevard College in Western North Carolina. Originally from South Carolina, she grew up with a love of nature and the outdoors. Her other two books are Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians and Waterways: Sailing the Southeastern Coast. Both are about southeastern biodiversity.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Restorative Cloudburst" is forthcoming in the spring cycle of "Consider," the May 27 weekly edition of The Remembered Arts Journal.


Bayou My Love by Lauren Faulkenberry

Velvet Morning Press
$11.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-692556238
March, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Read it for the mystery, read it for the fire, read it for the magic."
—Katie Rose Guest Pryal, author of Entanglement

"I loved this book. It has so many different dimensions that you will literally be glued to the pages....There is mystery, intrigue, and some unexpected pieces to the story... PICK UP THIS BOOK. It's a MUST READ."
Pretty Little Book Review

"From the moment Jack spoke in that French/Creole drawl he and Faulkenberry had me hook, line and sinker. I was a goner, and I didn't surface until the novel's end. I may be in love."
—Page One Books

Romance, fire, suspense... Louisiana's about to get a whole lot hotter!

Thirty-year-old Enza Parker is at a crossroads. To prove to her overbearing father she can flip a house on her own, she takes on an ambitious project and it puts her in the path of the most alluring man she's ever met.

Enza plans to flip the house she inherited from her estranged grandmother, Vergie, in Bayou Sabine, Louisiana. As a child, she spent summers there until the day her mother—Vergie's daughter—inexplicably left. Since then, Enza hasn't let anyone get close to her.

Arriving in Bayou Sabine, Enza finds her house occupied by bedeviling firefighter Jack Mayronne. Enza has no intention of being a landlord, but Jack convinces her to let him stay in exchange for helping her with repairs. With only six weeks to fix the house and sell, she's determined to prove her father wrong, but she didn't count on all the delicious ways Jack could distract her.

When Enza's fling with Jack intensifies, she finds herself entangled with a vengeful arsonist from Jack's past. As she reaches her breaking point, she must decide: Should she sell the house and leave her past in Bayou Sabine behind for good, or can she overcome her fears and build a new life there with Jack?

If you like the heart & story of novels by Emily Giffin such as The One & Only, but also enjoy the steam of Bella Andre and Melissa Foster’s romance novels, this sexy Southern romance is for you!

Lauren Faulkenberry is author of the novel Bayou My Love (Velvet Morning Press, 2016), the novella Back to Bayou Sabine, and the children's book What Do Animals Do on the Weekend?

Lauren divides her time between writing, teaching, and making artist books. Originally from South Carolina, she has worked as an archaeologist, an English teacher, and a ranger for the National Park Service. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Georgia College & State University, where she attended on fellowship, and earned her MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama. She was a finalist for the Novello Festival Press First Novel Award, won the Family Circle short fiction contest for her story "Beneath Our Skin," and was nominated for an AWP Intro Award.

She currently lives in western NC, where she is at work on her next novel in the Bayou series.

Website: www.laurenfaulkenberry.com.

CHARLOTTE—Those who write creative nonfiction know how to tell the truth, even if it hurts. And they know how important it is to present an engaging narrative, even while sticking to the facts.

At the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Squire Summer Writing Residency, June 23-26, at Queens University of Charlotte, creative nonfiction writers will consider the challenges of a sustained narrative and explore methods of meeting those challenges through a variety of narrative approaches and forms.

Under the guidance of instructor Cynthia Lewis, attendees will examine some of the ways in which briefer stories—anecdotes or summaries—can enliven and give immediacy to nonfiction, and what considerations attend the construction of plot.

As a starting point and a bit of common ground, nonfiction registrants will be asked to do some minimal reading from Keep It Real, by Lee Gutkind, and others.

Cynthia Lewis is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson College, where she has been teaching Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, and creative nonfiction since 1980. Her nonfiction has been published in The Hudson Review, Southern Cultures, The Antioch Review, The Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, Charlotte Magazine, Our State, and elsewhere. Three of her personal essays have been included by the editor of The Best American Essays on the “Notable Essays” list and another has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently finishing a book about sports and Shakespeare and working on two others, one about a political scandal and a parking garage bombing in St. Louis in the early twenty-first century, and the other about professor-on-student sexual harassment and assault.

The 2016 North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is the Network’s most intimate and intensive conference: only forty-two registrants will be admitted. Potential attendees should apply with a writing sample and be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Residency.

For more information, and to register, click here.


Hats Off! to NCWN Central Foothills regional rep Scott Owens: this year's edition of Pinesong, the annual anthology of contest-winning poems published by the North Carolina Poetry Society, will be dedicated to Scott, a "prolific poet and dedicated organizer of literary events" who has given many years of service to the poetry community of North Carolina.


Strange Goings on at Mother Natures by David R. Tanis

Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
$13.99, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-937327-87-3
March, 2016
Fiction: Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"...the emphasis is on unique and shady characters. You feel like you are very familiar with the town of Pine Ridge and the strange denizens who make it come alive and intriguing."
—Joseph L.S. Terrell, author of the Outer Banks Harrison Weaver Mystery Series

"...vivid characters...fast paced and often hilarious tale of murder and mayhem. Once you start reading it you will not want to put it down or stop laughing."
—Thomas Keith, District Attorney (ret.), Forsyth County, NC

When Patrolman Wayland North finds a homeless man rifling the already empty pockets of a corpse in an alley, luckless local lawyer Hamish O'Halloran is appointed to represent him. The strange saga that follows portrays the squalid underbelly of the idyllic little town of Pine Ridge, North Carolina, as two more corpses are discovered. O'Halloran becomes dangerously involved as Detective Crouse and Frank X. Farrell work with little evidence to connect the murders and uncover the nefarious secrets of Mother Natures, a restaurant/bar cum brothel, whose subliminal connection to the murders is exposed. A satirical parody rife with vignettes of pitiable and pathetic courtroom characters as O'Halloran plies his profession, this highly amusing story, characterized by pathos and bathos, is a delightful follow up to the first Hamish O'Halloran mystery, Just Add Water.

Tanis attended Lehigh University on a basketball grant. After graduating, he entered the US Army, became an officer, qualified as a paratrooper, and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. Tanis retired from the Army as a Captain after being seriously wounded in combat in Viet Nam. After recuperating, he attended graduate school in political science at East Carolina University and law school at Wake Forest University, where he was the Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board. Thereafter, he spent over thirty years as a prosecutor, trial attorney, and District Court Judge. He served as president of the County Criminal Trial Lawyers, Chairman of the North Carolina Viet Nam Veterans Leadership Association, coached basketball and baseball, and served on many boards. He lives on North Carolina's Outer Banks with his wife. This is his second book.

Hats Off! to Alida Woods whose poetry has appeared recently in Amsterdam Quarterly, The Great Smokies Review, and The Avocet.


600 Letters Home by Cindy Horrell Ramsey

Loggerhead Press
$19.95, paperback / $7.95, e-book
ISBN-13: 978-0-692639627
April, 2016
Fiction: Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, eighteen-year-old Georgia farm boy Roy Harrison joins the Navy, leaving behind his family and seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Evelyn. For almost four years—except for one brief trip home in the summer of 1944—letters are their only means of communication.

For the first seven months, the correspondence is exciting and informative. Roy tells Evelyn about boot camp, being assigned to a ship, traveling up and down the east coast, and seeing sights they both had only dreamed of seeing—like the Statue of Liberty and New York City. But in July, 1942, Roy’s battleship, the USS NORTH CAROLINA, enters the war in the Pacific—first stop being a ravaged Pearl Harbor. After seeing sunken battleships, oil and debris still floating in the water, and a glimpse of what he believes to be body parts, Roy is thrust into the realities of war.

An uncertain future and government censorship take their toll on Roy’s letters. He cannot tell Evelyn where his ship is or anything about the battles, death, and destruction he witnesses and experiences. He begins writing a forbidden diary trying to purge the truths of war from his mind before he writes home.

When Evelyn graduates from high school and takes a government job that moves her from Georgia to Washington, DC, to New York City, and finally to a secret place in Tennessee, she cannot tell Roy anything about her job and little about where she lives. Their epic love story unfolds in the midst of war and secrets.

Cindy Horrell Ramsey is the author of the nonfiction narrative, Boys of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. She lives with her husband in southeastern North Carolina where they grew up, married, and raised a family. After all their children were grown, Cindy attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she earned a BA in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She is published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and is a regular contributor to Wrightsville Beach Magazine. In addition to being a published author, Cindy has worked in newspaper and magazine publishing and education administration. She now spends her time writing, enjoying retirement, and being Mimi to four beautiful granddaughters.

Hats Off! to Sandra Ann Winters whose poetry collection The Place Where I Left You was reviewed by Susan Laughter Meyers in the North Carolina Literary Review Online 2016. “In her poems, Sandra Ann Winters works to clear away the busy world to get to the depth and core of one individual life. Her poems move toward a singular, up-close focus, as befits one who settles into a rural life in the midst of nature, and the poems gain intimacy for that.” “There is nothing gimmicky or pyrotechnic about these poems. They are forthright and grounded in clarity, with enviable variety in both language and syntax.”


Hats Off! to Blaine Paxton Hall whose editorial "At Home in Our Common Humanity" appeared in Raleigh's The News & Observer.


CHARLOTTE—What makes great fiction? Specifically, what elements of the craft, once mastered, lead to unforgettable prose and spectacular stories?

Sarah Creech will lead the fiction workshop at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Squire Summer Writing Residency, June 23-26 at Queens University of Charlotte. 

Registration is open.

In this workshop, attendees will begin with the advice given by Elena Ferrante's protagonist in the brilliant “Neapolitan Novels.” The protagonist, who is also named Elena, tells the reader that great writing has three key components: sincerity, naturalness, and mystery.

Conferencegoers will let this advice guide their discussions as they focus on the most important techniques of fiction (character, conflict, yearning, setting, structure, and language). They will read aloud from professional short stories, and they will write together and share creative exercises that highlight the techniques of fiction they’ve discussed during workshop. They will also workshop short fiction submissions.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is the Network’s most intimate and intensive conference: only forty-two registrants will be admitted. Potential attendees should apply with a writing sample and be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Residency.

Sarah Creech is the author of the novel Season of the Dragonflies, published by William Morrow in 2014. The novel was a SIBA OKRA pick for the summer of 2014. Publishers Weekly described the book as “charming and suspenseful...a memorable debut.” Her second novel will be published by William Morrow in 2017. Her short fiction and essays have appeared at various publications, including The Cortland Review, Writer'sDigest.com, storySouth, and Literary Mama. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and children and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.

The 2016 North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

For more information, and to register, click here.


Hats Off! to June Guralnick whose new full-length play, Birds of a Feather: A Comedy about De-Extinction, is a 2016 winner in the Festival51 national competition and will be performed in Providence, Rhode Island, in July, 2016.


Sultana Awaits by Paul Andrews

$2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-311260260
April, 2016
Fiction: Historical
Available from www.Amazon.com

The Civil War had ended, but not their sacrifice. Robert E. Lee had surrendered and Abraham Lincoln was dead.

Jacob and Jeremiah Winslow, parolees of the worst Confederate prison camps, are finally heading home. Their last step, a journey north on the Mississippi, on a riverboat name SULTANA. But that journey will be the end for one, and a transformation for the other. For in the dead of night, just north of Memphis, the Sultana's boiler will explode!

Paul Andrews of Durham is the author of historical thrillers, mysteries, and more. Sultana Awaits, two years in the making, joins his other historical novels and novellas: Firebrands, Swept Away, and The Man Who Would Not Die.

Hats Off! to Robert Golden and Dana Stone whose poems, "The Call" and "Dance Interrupted," respectively, were chosen for production by Music for the Prose, a podcast that sets original musical scores to poetry or verse. These poems were selected from the first open submission period ever held by Music for the Prose, and should be available to listen and download in July.


Hats Off! to Margaret A. Harrell who attended the 2016 Gonzo Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. There, she had a private dinner in the luxurious Brown Hotel with Hunter Thompson's son, Juan Thompson (Stories I Tell Myself). Together, they looked over some of Hunter S. Thompson's letters to Margaret. She also met, for the first time, Laila Naibulsi, the producer of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, among other films, and more, including Douglas Brinkley, the Literary Executor. Afterwards, a Gonzo Today writer interviewed her extensively by e-mail for a Gonzo Today story on Margaret's new book, Keep This Quiet! IV, which should be out this week. She was also interviewed by a local Louisville reporter. Click here for photos.


The Osprey's View by Lucia Peel Powe

Wisdom House Books
$12.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-692-56194-2
April, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

A ten-foot wooden motorboat swerved around, negotiating with difficulty the rapidly-racing current of the Roanoke River, when the shortest of three men crowded in lost his footing and, thereby, control of his tiller. The second man was flung into the bottom of the boat, and the third man, the tallest, was thrown backward, slamming into the gunwale before sliding broken-backed into the swift, cold water. How in hell did this happen? Did the boat crash into a submerged rock? Did it collide with an underwater cypress stump?

What does an osprey diving for fish and causing an awful boating accident on the Roanoke River have to do with a romance years later in Richmond and Milan? Follow the sly stylings of Lucia Peel Powe in her novella The Osprey’s View, watch closely as she reveals many keen observations of life and love, of surprises and reversals, in the World War II-era South, and be nicely rewarded indeed!

Lucia Powe earned her BFA in speech and drama at Wesleyan Conservatory in Macon, Georgia, and later attended UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke and East Carolina University for graduate work. Eastern North Carolinians remember her as “Miss Lucia” on the syndicated program, Romper Room, produced in Greenville, NC. Over the years she has taught creative writing, speech, drama, music and art history at both college and high school levels. Along with her first husband, Judge Elbert “Junie” Peel, of Williamston, Lucia reared four daughters (Lucia Claire Peel, Mimi Peel Roughton, Sydney Peel Woodside, and Elizabeth Peel), one horse, and several dogs and cats. Widowed for ten years, she married another attorney, E.K. Powe, of Durham, the father of three daughters.

Hats Off! to Jeanne Julian whose poems placed First, Second, and Third in the Poetry category of the 2016 Carteret Writers 25th Annual Writing Contest. A clean sweep! Her poems were "Cocky," "Recitative," and "Capital."


Hats Off! to Jennifer Weiss whose story "Juan and the Eagle" won First Place in the Children's Picture Book category of the 2015 Seven Hills Literary Contest and was published in the 2016 Seven Hills Review.


Haw: The Second Penny Weaver Mystery by Judy Hogan

Hoganvillaea Books
$2.99, e-book
May, 2016
Fiction: Mystery
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Haw is a testimony to how jealousy and anger can propel an average person to murder.

"Penny often wonders what kind of mother could have raised such immature, impulsive, careless young men as both Curt and his twin brother Sy. Through her conversation with Kenneth, there is interesting social commentary on modern child rearing. Chrissy's behavior provides point and counterpoint to Penny's speculations.

"There are other pairs in the book as well and more social commentary. Penny and Kenneth's romance is 'old love.' Their relationship is a foil for that of Penny's daughter Sarah and her husband Ed. Theirs is new, young love. Penny's ability to hold her own in the relationship is contrasted with Sarah's clingy dependence on her husband.

"Ms. Hogan seems to be saying through her characters that a good marriage is indeed possible, but that it must be based on respect, as well as a mutual desire to allow the other person to be the best that he or she can be. Haw is a wonderful old school 'Who Done It?' and a masterful social commentary on marriage and children. I loved it!!!"
–Mary Susan Heath, writer in Goldsboro

Penny Weaver, living in a shared house to save money, finds her unsavory, sex-obsessed landlord dead the day after Christmas. An unusual snow storm, a housemate undeterred by detective orders from moving his inordinately large number of possessions, certified and uncertified maniac suspects, which include her housemates, the neighbors, and both the landlord’s wives, make it difficult for Penny and her Welsh lover to find love-making time, much less solve the mystery. Despite the Sheriff’s detectives arresting two innocent people, while keeping Penny in the dark, she collects the key information, and stops the killer when he finally panics.

Judy Hogan writes mystery novels, poetry, autobiographical books, reviews, and articles. Her Hoganvillaea Farm provides about half her food. She sells eggs and figs. Her newest book, The Sands of Gower: The First Penny Weaver Mystery came out December 1, 2015. Last year, This River: An Epic Poem, came out from Wild Embers Press in December, 2014. Her mystery Killer Frost was published by Mainly Murder Press on September 1, 2012. Julia Spencer-Fleming rated it "A stellar debut!" Farm Fresh and Fatal was published October 1,2013 and is still in print. Mystery Scene Mag called it "fascinating." Judy is a founder and was the first president of the North Carolina Writers' Network.


CHARLOTTE—The word “constraint” often carries a negative connotation, bringing to mind a loss of freedom or a hemming in of our creativity. But for many writers, “constraint” is just another word for “form,” which, instead of holding back the muse, can actually help to free it.

Pulitzer-prize nominated poet Morri Creech will lead the poetry workshop at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Squire Summer Writing Residency, June 23-26, at Queens University of Charlotte. Registration is now open.

For the poetry tract, the focus will be on form, which, rather than proving to be a constraint, for many poets helps to generate content, provide a sense of discovery, and liberate the poetic imagination. In this workshop, registrants will analyze poets who compose in a variety of forms, reading published formal poets, and writing original poems using formal techniques—as well as workshopping poems by students in the class. Participants will focus primarily on blank verse, sonnets, villanelles, and triolets. Students will workshop at least one of their submitted poems in class, in addition to generating new material.

Morri Creech was born in Moncks Corner, SC, in 1970, and was educated at Winthrop University and McNeese State University. He is the author of three collections of poetry, Paper Cathedrals (Kent State U P, 2001); Field Knowledge (Waywiser, 2006), which received the Anthony Hecht Poetry prize and was nominated for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Poet’s Prize; and The Sleep of Reason (Waywiser, March 2013), a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of NEA and Ruth Lilly Fellowships, as well as grants from the North Carolina and Louisiana arts councils, he is the Writer-in-Residence at Queens University of Charlotte, where he teaches courses in both the undergraduate creative writing program and in the low residency MFA program. He lives in Charlotte with his wife and two children.

The 2016 North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is the Network’s most intimate and intensive conference: only forty-two registrants will be admitted. Potential attendees should apply with a writing sample and be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Residency.

Registrants may also choose the creative nonfiction tract led by Cynthia Lewis, or the fiction workshop led by Sarah Creech.

For more information, including full faculty bios and registration details, click here.

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


Some Wonder: Poems by Eric Nelson

Gival Press
$15.00, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-940724-02-7
October, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Winner of the 2015 London Book Festival Award for Poetry and the 2015 New England Book Festival Award for Poetry!

"I love the voice in these poems, so accessible, so conversational, yet frequently able to extract from the ordinary places and everyday moments of our lives a kind of holy instant, of joy, of tenderness, of wonder, of insight that is 'crisp as snapped fingers.' Eric Nelson's poems are peopled with chickens, guns and lovers, poets and writers, mountains and dogwoods and camellias, and lots of birds. Plus more than a couple of dogs. And his poems have something of the genius of dogs about them, knowing when and exactly how to roll around in dead and earthy things, and consistently sniffing out the 'loamy aroma of love.'"
—Paul Hostovsky, author of The Bad Guys and Selected Poems

"Reading these new poems by Eric Nelson, some may wonder that his work is not more widely known. Interweaving fertility and mortality, the poems brim with a reverential incredulity. With its signature tenderness for human vulnerability, an expansive sense of place, and crystalline language threaded with wit, Some Wonder is a collection that appeals on every page."
—A. E. Stringer, author of Late Breaking and Human Costume

"Eric Nelson is a barker in a language bazaar, and Some Wonder is, well, some wonder of lyric and imagistic intensity… Some Wonder is filled with poems that take risks, ‘like a circus tent in flames,’ where we ‘begin to look for the alarm we missed.’ Don’t miss reading this terrific book of poems."
—Seth Brady Tucker, judge and author of We Deserve the Gods We Ask For

Whether writing about backyard chickens, dead friends, bodily odors, dog walking, punctuation marks, or the ordinary joys and sorrows of family life, the poems in Some Wonder show that there is nothing more wondrous, finally, than ordinary life passing through the lens of a rich imagination.

Eric Nelson’s five previous poetry collections include The Twins, winner of the Split Oak Press Chapbook Award; Terrestrials, winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Award; and The Interpretation of Waking Life, winner of the Arkansas Poetry Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Cincinnati Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Oxford American, The Sun, and many other venues. He taught creative writing at Georgia Southern University for twenty-six years. He and his wife, Stephanie Tames, moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2015.

Hats Off! to Kim Church whose piece “M Train by Patti Smith, a Partial Index” appears in The Believer Logger.


Low Country, High Water by Sally Stewart Mohney

Texas Review Press
$8,95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-68003-067-9
April, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Winner, Texas Review Press Breakthrough Poetry Prize: North Carolina!

"Inhabiting myriad landscapes, including the marshes, rivers, and sounds of the North Carolina foothills, as well as gulfs, floodplains, and the overflowing banks of the Chattahoochee, Sally Stewart Mohney’s Low Country, High Water consists of delicate, often minimal explorations of family, mortality, nature, and the world behind perception. Often dreamlike and painterly, these poems brim with a lyrical and imagistic power, a contemplative force that ignites the imagination. With a Dickinsonian penchant for portraying states of mind through telescoped metaphors, Mohney crafts poetry that proves insightful, compassionate, and subtle. Even as this work conveys the transitory nature of our world and the people and places that construct our lives, this poetry glows with mystery, vitality, and timelessness."
—William Wright

"Sally Stewart Mohney is a keen observer of estuary and ocean, landscape and flower, birds and weather. She translates her landscapes, waterscapes, and interiors ('Her Mother’s Kitchen' being one of the gems) into connections with family, loss, and beauty, creating small, delicate patterns that intrigue and charm. A child’s going away, a father’s jigsaw sky, a mother’s loss to Parkinson’s, and the wide world in which all things live—here is the physical and the spiritual at once, touchable and fine."
—North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee, Betty Adcock

"Sally Stewart Mohney takes us into a world of remarkable beauty and threatening terrain. Her weather is indeed unsettled whether the locale is coastal Carolina storms—detritus flies past: 'hair, wind, sock/ bits of tainted bitten heart/ to the river Seine' where she scatters ashes from a Paris footbridge. Mohney’s water—marshes to ocean, carry us to the natural world and all its inhabitants in lyrical and scenic ways. Family stories flow and ebb as does Mohney’s own deeply felt and beautifully told story. Digging in her garden, she finds her son’s old toys—'my shoulders folded like napkins, / knees baptized /.' Her delicate lines fall like snow in winter, the silence in just the right spaces, the subtle, soft build of each poem until we are swept along, so completely, we forget ourselves, the magical place where every reader hopes to dwell."
—Diana Pinckney


Salvation can finally come
as simply as lighting heat
in an early kitchen.

You enter, chilly in slippers,
start several small fires
to find your way.

Coffee, chimney,
bacon, then toast.

Setting out white cups
bowls, plates—a creamer
pewter spoons.

Light pours in, as

pale blue mercy

A native of Charlotte, Sally Stewart Mohney’s publications include pale blue mercy, as part of Main Street Rag Publishing Author’s Choice Series, and A Piece of Calm, from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Broad River Review, Cortland Review, Iodine Review, San Pedro River Review and Town Creek Poetry, among others. She has published in anthologies such as Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, The Reach of Song, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. She is the recipient of the First Prize Award in Excellence from the Georgia Poetry Society and of the Jesse Rehder Writing Prize from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil

$14.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
March, 2016
Fiction: Young Adult / Sci-Fi
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Not only did I love Facsimile for its unbelievably creative settings and plot lines, but I also became strongly attached to all of the characters. Weavil truly built a new universe full of love, conflict and deep personal connectivity. After turning the last page of the novel (metaphorically since I read it as an e-book) I felt a sort of sadness—the kind of sadness you get when you have to leave your high school friends behind before going to college. I only hope that Weavil will write a sequel soon since I can't wait to be reunited with Ann, Dace, and the rest of the Facsimile family. Facsimile is truly a book for dreamers. It is a book for people who are ready to look beyond the confines of earth and towards bigger and better things. Happy reading!"
—TeenReads.com, reviewed by Aliza M., Teen Board Member

"Which leads me on to one of two big wins for this book: positive feminist messages. Unlike in other books, where seventeen-year-olds are looking for their happily ever afters and soulmates, Facsimile showed teenagers as teenagers. Ann and Emie (her bestie) did not slut-shame each other or force each other to choose a guy. They had each other’s backs and wanted the best for each other. Plus, they stood up for and loved themselves! WOO! And let’s not forget that Emie is apprenticing to be the local IT girl. High five to all my techie ladies!!!

"The other win is Diversity! Ann’s paternal grandparents were originally from South America, and she speaks Spanish with them and her father. Raid was of Mongolian descent, while Dace was born in Mumbai to an Indian mother and an absent Caucasian father....

"Overall, Facsimile was an engaging YA sci-fi with a hint of realistic romance, and I recommend it to anyone looking for diverse characters and positive messages about women and sexuality."
Dani Reviews Things blog

"Now how should I put my feelings about this book into an informative and honest review? Well, for starters this book was freaking phenomenal! I could not put this book down for the life of me. AND! I could not stop swooning at this gorgeous book cover!

"This book encompassed everything my Bookish Self needed. It had the perfect amount of Science Fiction, Otherworldly, Space Adventure, kickass fun perfectly woven throughout it. And let's just say that the Main Character was on point! Ann was totally someone who was just the right amount of relatable and badass to make me root for her the whole book.

"The descriptiveness of the author (Vicki L Weavil) was wonderful and kept me whole-heartedly engaged into the story. The writing flowed very smoothly and was very easy to read and in so very quick to enjoy. I just wanted to jump into this book and live in it!

"When's book two coming out?! I need it now please!"
Robin the MockingjayLives! blog

For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is ready to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Her mission is easy: escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann's determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants. This is the story of a girl who must choose between fulfilling the dream that has always sustained her or saving the planet she’s never considered home.

Vicki L. Weavil is an author of YA and adult Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Vicki's debut novel, Crown of Ice—a YA retelling of H. C. Andersen's "The Snow Queen"—was published by Month9Books in 2014. It is Book One in the Snow Queen Saga. Book Two, Scepter of Fire—a mashup retelling of "The Ugly Duckling" and "the Steadfast Tin Soldier"—will be published in Fall, 2016. Book Three, Orb of Light—a retelling of "The Little Match Girl"—will be released in 2017.

Vicki's YA Sci-Fi, Fascimile, was published by Month9Books in March 2016. Its sequel, Derivation, will release in 2017.

Vicki is a member of SCBWI. She is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY. She lives in Winston-Salem and is the Director of Library Services for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Terror's Identity by Sarah Maury Swan

Sable Books
$12.95, paperback / $4.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9968036-3-2
January, 2016
Fiction: Young Adult
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Once I picked this up I couldn't put it down. Terror's Identity is a thought-provoking, well-timed, and emotionally gripping coming-of-age story that leads to discoveries about oneself, friendship, love, and family. Swan has chosen a massive and urgent topic in her debut novel, dynamic and insightful."
—Ann Eisenstein, author of Hiding Carly and Fallen Prey, from the Sean Gray Junior Special Agent Mystery Series

"From Maze Runner to Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments to Divergent, stories that can hold interest, empower the reader, and provide a satisfying ending or intense cliffhanger are not only guaranteed to sell (and often secure a film deal) but they serve a much more important purpose: in the age of cyber-tech and video gaming (often the same thing), they keep traditional book-based storytelling alive. Terror’s Identity, by Sarah Maury Swan, delivers the best of YA in all the right ways."
—Joey Madia, founding editor of www.newmystics.com

Sixteen-year-old Aidan Knox's life turns upside down when he, his sister, and his mother enter a witness protection program and begin a dangerous new life because of his father's work investigating a terrorist organization operating in the U.S. How will he remember the details of his new life with a new name and a made-up past? And will he be able to settle in to a new school and all that entails? Whom can he trust and can he keep his mother and sister safe?

Terror's Identity will keep you urging Aidan to succeed and empathize with his having to make new friends in a new school and new town.

Sarah Maury Swan and her husband transplanted themselves from Maryland a little more than five years ago from a horse farm. Their new roots have slipped deep into Carolina's fertile artistic soil, and Sarah enjoys letting the welcoming, fertile atmosphere nourish her writer's soul. Terror's Identity is her first published novel, but certainly not her first published piece of writing. She is an active member and past president of Carteret Writers. She also belongs to the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators-Carolinas Chapter. She is a frequent winner in the Carteret Writers' annual contest and took Honorable Mention for nonfiction in this year's Pamlico Writers' annual contest.

Hats Off! to Vickie Blackwell Morrow who won Second Place in the Tortoise and Finch Productions “On Courage” Nonfiction Writing Contest. “He Keeps On Truckin’” tells of the struggles of a father of eight who was “on the road” for over seventy years. It reveals how his truck became his solace and a source of strength and comfort during difficult and turbulent times.


A Shadow All of Light by Fred Chappell

Tor Books
$27.99, hardcover / $14.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-765379122
April, 2016
Fiction: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Humorous
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Fred Chappell's A Shadow All of Light, a stylish, episodic fantasy novel, follows the exploits of Falco, a young man from the country, who arrives in the port city of Tardocco with the ambition of becoming an apprentice to a master shadow thief. Maestro Astolfo, whose mysterious powers of observation would rival those of Sherlock Holmes, sees Falco's potential and puts him through a grueling series of physical lessons and intellectual tests.

Falco's adventures coalesce into one overarching story of con men, monsters, ingenious detection, cats, and pirates. A wry humor leavens this fantastical concoction, and the style is as rich and textured as one would hope for from Chappell, a distinguished poet as well as a World Fantasy Award-winning fantasy writer.

Fred Chappell is the award-winning author of more than twenty books of poetry and fiction, including I Am One of You Forever, Brighten the Corner Where You Are, and Look Back All the Green Valley. He has received many major prizes, including the Bollingen Prize in Poetry from Yale University and the Award in Literature from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He is an inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife, Susan in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Tony Wayne Brown whose "Reunion Passed" will be published in the Spring 2016 issue of Greensilk Journal, scheduled for the first week of May. It is at least his sixty-sixth publication.


Hats Off! to Sandra Ann Winters whose poem "The Clock Tower" has been included in the newly published anthology Even The Daybreak by Salmon Press (Ireland), celebrating thirty-five years of Salmon poets.


Fate Ball: a Novel by Adam W. Jones

Wisdom House Books
$19.99, hardcover / $13.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-692-57830-8
January, 2016
Fiction: Romance / Coming of Age
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Fate Ball recounts the love story between Able Curren and Ava Dubose. Able is entranced by the beautiful Ava's devil-may-care spirit, and the two become inseparable. The characters' lives take them through Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, the beaches of GA and SC, and worlds away to Los Angeles, but their love guides them and ties them through geographic and emotional travels.

As their story unfolds, however, it becomes apparent that Ava's spirit includes a destructive and addictive side that injects a tortured element into their relationship. What starts as a youthful love story becomes Able's determined quest to save his first love from herself. Fate Ball tells the all-important story of the many sides of an intense and enduring love.

Adam W. Jones was born in Raleigh and is one of five siblings who all were brought up to be free-thinkers. After a year-long sojourn across Europe after high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After finishing with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, he worked for fifteen years in advertising and marketing before starting his own real estate firm in 2002. Adam has had children's and travel stories published in a variety of local and regional magazines throughout the years.










Survival by H.V. Purvis

Second Wind Publishing
$13.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-63066-048-2
January, 2015
Fiction: Sci-Fi / Horror / Suspense
Available from www.Amazon.com

In the first book of the Extinction series, the Roberts family established a small foothold in the new violent world populated by murderous mutants.

In book two, Survival, they must now move forward to expand this foothold. Each day is filled with deadly adventures as they push to find and rescue other survivors. Along the way, they discover mutants are not the only danger. Other survivors are just as deadly.

H.V. Purvis was born in 1952 and reared in rural North Carolina near Siler City. He was raised in the country where he was exposed to farming, raising animals, hunting, and fishing.

While a youngster, he learned to 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 43,000 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.

Purvis is an avid reader. Several years ago, he and his active imagination developed a story idea. He wrote it out and began to develop it as a book. That story and the encouragement he received from his friends and family led to an obsession for writing.

Hats Off! to Margaret Donovan Bauer whose book A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara and Her Literary Daughters, an "intelligent analysis of five novels with strong female characters," was reviewed in the Southern Literary Review.


Hats Off! to Maren O. Mitchell whose poem “Cougar, Blue Ridge” will appear in Appalachian Heritage. Also, her poems “Catching the Flu after a 10 Year Hiatus” and “Hank, Clarinetist, The Platinum Lounge, Chicago, 1932” will be published by Iodine Poetry Journal.


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Reece Farm" appeared in eno Issue 4 | 2015. This magazine is published by Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who has three poems forthcoming in The Art of Being Human (Volume 15): "The Autistic Boy," "A Secret Mermaid," and "Waiting (on a train platform)."


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Morning Comes" is forthcoming in Anthology: The State of Open Mic in NC, edited by Melissa Hassard, published by Sable Books. Joan was about to give up on the poem when a positive audience reaction at a reading convinced her to tweak it and send it out again.











Red Sky Dawning by Ian J. Malone

Sharkflight Publishing
$14.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9890327-5-9
April, 2015
Fiction: Space Opera / Military Sci-Fi / Adventure
Available at www.Amazon.com

Five years after the historic Battle of Dulaston, Danny Tucker, Lee Summerston, and the Renegades have settled nicely into life on Aura—yet none more so than Tucker. Fueled by a rising career as an ASC staff sergeant and a love unlike any he’s ever known, Danny is in the prime of his life and at last free of the demons that have stalked him for years.

Some demons never die, though, and when an old enemy beckons to settle a personal score, Danny soon finds himself swept up in the backlash of a climaxing civil war, and straight into the crosshairs of a father’s bloodlust for revenge.

Red Sky Dawning is the much-anticipated sequel to 2013’s Mako, and the tale of one man’s quest to bury his past and protect those dearest to him as the fate of billions hangs in the balance.

As a graduate of Florida State University, Ian J. Malone has written in a number of arenas over the years ranging from public health to news and sports. When it comes to his fictional work, however, he's a firm believer that nothing shapes an author's writing like experience. That's why he credits his tenures in radio, law enforcement, sport management, and the military for much of his thematic inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who've stood with him along the way.

Beyond writing, he's an avid fan of audiobooks and sports, though it's also not uncommon to find him at a concert (LOVE music!), a movie, or somewhere by a grill.

At present, he resides in Durham, North Carolina, with his incredible wife, son, and two dogs—but he'll always be a "Florida boy" at heart.

Hats Off! to Rachel Unkefer whose flash fiction piece "Perfection of the Life, or of the Work" has been published in the 2014-2015 issue of The Gingko Tree Review.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who inked a contract to publish her first children's picture book, Whoosh, with THEAQ, LLC, a Minnesota-based publisher. The release date is scheduled for August, 2015.











How to Talk to Rockstars by Alli Marshall

Logosohia Books
$16, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-981575780
May, 2015
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"This bright, fleet novel is a true delight—an engaging, perceptive, precisely observed, and slyly funny meditation on fame and love, in particular the love of music."
—Charles Frazier, winner of the National Book Award for Cold Mountain

"A very interesting take on the world of rock ’n’ roll. An unheard perspective."
—Joseph Arthur, musician and artist

Wallflower-turned-journalist Bryn Thompson has a dream job: she interviews rock stars. Bryn's professionalism keeps her on track, but also emotionally removed from the gritty world of back stage, bars, and drugs that she writes about. That is, until she meets musician Jude Archer, whose songs haunt her. As an unlikely friendship grows out of Bryn's obsession with Jude's album, Bryn begins to rethink all of the carefully-contrived rules that until now have helped her maintain a professional distance.

How to Talk to Rockstars is an exploration of love, loneliness, and rock 'n' roll. The novel was inspired by ten years of experience interviewing musicians for Mountain Xpress, in Asheville.

Alli Marshall grew up in Western New York and has called the mountains of North Carolina home for more than twenty years. She's a Warren Wilson College graduate and completed her MFA in creative writing at Goddard College. She's been named the best arts reporter in Western North Carolina in the annual Best of WNC reader's poll, 2011-2014.

She received awards in editorial reporting from the North Carolina Press Association in 2005 and 2014, and from the International Festivals & Events Association in 2004. She also took home top honors in the Cupcakes for the Cure bake-off (local ingredient category) — but that’s another story.

And though Alli doesn't like to brag or anything, over the course of her career she's interviewed Yoko Ono, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Aimee Mann, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Michael Franti, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Ziggy Marley, Peter Murphy, Grace Potter, Jamie Lidell, Kishi Bashi, and many, many others.

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose feature "Angels Over Iraq" appeared in Angels on Earth (a Guidepost publication) May/June 2015.











Loose Change by Joycelyn Pompey

DJP Literary Group, LLC
$10.00, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0985483135
February, 2014
Available from www.Amazon.com

At thirty-eight years old, Zoe Brinkley appears to have it all! She owns one of the largest minority family therapy practices and has been named one of the wealthiest women in Durham, North Carolina. However, Zoe's personal life is a stark contrast to her professional life.

For years, Zoe had successfully managed to barricade her past inside the secret chambers created in her mind, in order to cope with the abuse sustained as a child and into adulthood by those who promised to love, honor, and protect her. However, during several of her therapy sessions, Zoe's past reemerged with a vengeance, determined to destroy her chances of love and happiness.

Loose Change takes you into the whirlwind life of Zoe Brinkley and will have you engulfed with a wide range of emotions as you travel with Zoe on her many escapades to finding internal peace and self-discovery.

Joycelyn Pompey was born in Charlotte and raised in the small town of Lexington. She graduated from Lexington Senior High School. She is an honors graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College where she received a BSBA degree in Business Administration and Psychology.

Hats Off! to Kim Church whose debut novel Byrd (Dzanc Books) won Bronze in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Literary Fiction.


Hats Off! to Beth Browne and Susan Lefler, who claimed third place in two contests sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society. Beth's poem "Happiness Postponed" showed in the Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award. Susan's poem "In which Leonard Cohen takes up smoking again and I consider getting struck by lightning" finished third in the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award.


Hats Off! to Ashley Memory, Crystal Simone-Smith, and C. Pleasants York, who seized second place in four contests sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society. Ashley's poem "Phalaenopsis" placed in the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award, and her poem "Napoleon and Antosia" placed in the Carole Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award. Crystal claimed second place in the Girffin-Farlow Haiku Award (first line: "plantation tour"), and C. Pleasants York placed in the Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award for her poem "Pretzel."


Hats Off! to Marty Silverthorne and Sarah Edwards, who both won 2015 contests sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society. Marty won The Poet Laureate Award for his poem "Testimonial of Jars." Sarah won the Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award for her poem "Tryst."


Hats Off! to John Hartness whose novel Paint it Black (BelleBooks, Inc.) won the Horror category of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award.


GREENSBORO, NC—Gabrielle Freeman of Greenville, NC, is the winner of the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem, “Failure to Obliterate.”

She will receive $200 and publication in a special supplement of storySouth.

“Combining a haunting and incandescent world with full attention to sound textures, ‘Failure to Obliterate’ is wholly original,” final judge William Wright said. “Centered on the motif of the manta ray, the speaker and the reader are drawn into a primordial, fully realized world in which identity conflates with other realities, other sentience.”

Gabrielle Brant Freeman's poetry has been published or is forthcoming in many journals including Beecher’s Magazine, Chagrin River Review, Gabby, Hobart, Melancholy Hyperbole, Minetta Review, Shenandoah, and Waxwing. She has been nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and she was a finalist in 2014. In 2013, she earned her MFA in poetry through Converse College. Gabrielle lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina where she blogs about poetry at www.whythewritingworks.com, and about writing and all things random at www.ladyrandom.com.

“There is a sense of loss and danger here, of ‘scarred skin [at the] throat’; simultaneously, there is a Stevens-like otherworldliness that delights in the imagination,” Wright said. “‘Failure to Obliterate’ is centered, understandable, surprising, and genuinely beautiful.”

The first runner-up was “Testimony” by Ann Deagon of Greensboro. “Every Field of Paradise” by Chapel Hill’s Ralph Earle was second runner-up.

Honorable Mentions went to Malaika King Albrecht for her poem “The Way Desire Touches”; Michael White for “Blackout”; and Luke Hankins for his poem “Divided.”

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years.

The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG.

Final judge William Wright was the winner of the 2012 Porter Fleming Prize for Poetry, and is the author of four full-length poetry collections, including the forthcoming Tree Heresies (Mercer University Press). His chapbook Sleep Paralysis (Stepping Stones Press, 2012) won the South Carolina Initiative Prize. His work has appeared in various literary journals including Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Southern Poetry Review.

Wright is the founding editor of Town Creek Poetry and series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology. He currently serves as a contributing editor for Shenandoah and has reviewed poetry and interviewed poets for Oxford American. Wright will serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2016.

storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer.

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.











Mine, Not Hers by Betsy Anne

$12.43, paperback / $2.99, e-book
April, 2014
Fiction: Contemporary Romance
Available at www.Amazon.com

Katie and Jason have the perfect life. Soulmates and best friends since high school, nothing has ever threatened their happiness....until now.

Katie's strange, erotic dreams foretell an unwelcome intrusion into their perfect world. A sex-crazed stalker with her sights on Jason, or is he a willing participant? With her friends by her side, Katie tries to make sense of it all, and she may just find she's stronger than she ever thought.

Betsy Anne is a happily married, hopeless romantic with three children. Her first novel Mine, Not Hers was completed in April 2014 and published digitally and in paperback on Amazon.com. The sequel, A Love We Deserve, was published in March, 2015. Betsy Anne holds a BS degree in Sociology from The University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She and her New Jersey born husband Henry love hanging out with their children and families, traveling, their secondary children (two cats and a dog), and spending time at their beach house in South Carolina. She is currently writing her third novel.










Degotoga by Hugh J. Willard

Dark Alley Publishing
$9.95, paperback / $1.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0990846802
February, 2015
Fiction: YA Fantasy
Available at www.Amazon.com

Degotoga is a fantasy novel about Degu, an oversized misfit with borderline selective mutism. He is acutely self-conscious about his alopecia, and suffers from obnoxious, self-absorbed parents and a broken family heritage.

Degu had just turned eighteen when El-li-si, his Cherokee grandmother, was brought to live with his family due to her increasingly bizarre behaviors. She recently had taken to flopping around on the ground in a ritualistic dance and then urinating on herself. El-li-si hadn't spoken in thirteen years when she turned to Degu with an urgent plea that his brother was in trouble. “Degotoga, you got to listen to me good,” she said raising her stare and holding motionless. “You got to come with me. Your brother is in trouble and we got to help him. We got to find him afore more bad stuff happens.”

"El-li-si, what are you talking about? I, I, I don’t have a brother. I’m an only child.”

Degu would soon embark on his first vision quest, entering a parallel world, one in perilous imbalance, to search for his long lost brother, Wohali. Along the way, he will accompany his new friend, Ebony, as she seeks to bring peace to the restless Cherokee souls that died along the infamous Trail of Tears. He will also come face to face with the Raven Mocker, the omnipresent malevolent life force that is seeking to maintain dominion over him.

Degotoga takes Young Adult readers through a maze of shifting realities to a poignant and triumphant conclusion.

Hugh J. Willard is an author and psychotherapist living and working in Holly Springs, NC. His previous books include Alphatorts: with X-tra Yummy Zucchinis (children's) and the critically acclaimed The Goodwill Vultures Club chapter book series (middle grades). Degotoga is Hugh's first YA novel.

Hats Off! to Jill Story whose first poem, "By Night," was published by Silly Tree Anthologies in The Way the Light Slants.


GREENVILLE—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Squire Summer Writing Residency.

The Residency runs Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26, at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The long weekend offers intensive workshops with accomplished instructors, group events such as readings and discussions, a chance to share work with other dedicated writers, and a unique opportunity to bond with writers from across the state and beyond.

Registrants will spend the entire weekend in one workshop, in either fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. Participation is limited to the first sixteen qualified registrants in each workshop, for a total of forty-eight attendees. For more information, and to register, click here.

Jan DeBlieu will lead the Creative Nonfiction workshop.

Which stories in our lives most demand to be told? What themes connect them? We will study the art of the personal essay, in which scraps of material with no apparent connection can be woven together to form elegant, compelling narratives. We will learn to create what John Gardner called the “fictive dream”: writing that, whether invented or true, draws readers wholly into our worlds.

Jan is the author of four nonfiction books and has published dozens of articles and essays in national magazines. Her fifth book, in progress, explores how working to benefit others can heal even the most badly broken heart. Until 2009 she concentrated on writing about the natural world and how our attachments to our landscapes—the places through which we move each day—help shape who we are.

The Poetry workshop will be led by Amber Flora Thomas.

This workshop will provide space and time for participants to generate new poems, evaluate existing poems, and engage with tool building activities and discussions to inspire revision and more writing. Our time will be divided between the critique of existing poems and the crafting of new poems. The environment in this workshop is one of support and encouragement, welcoming self-expression, and development for writers at all levels. Participants will submit three poems in advance of the workshop, all of which should not have been in a workshop elsewhere. Please be prepared to write during and outside workshop sessions, using writing prompts designed to help you “stumble to the door” and find those poems, no matter what.

Amber is the recipient of several major poetry awards, including the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize and Ann Stanford Prize. The author of two collections of poetry, she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University.

The Fiction workshop will be led by Luke Whisnant.

In fiction we’re always using patterns and shapes, whether deliberately or intuitively. A character tears up her life and hits the road: Journey. An older couple stays home and an angry grandson comes to spend the week: Visitation. A husband and wife are in bed talking, remembering, and watching a movie: Onion. A character dies and everyone in the book goes to the funeral: Gathering. Using these and other shapes from Jerome Stern’s Making Shapely Fiction, plus some not included in the book, this workshop will help you identify, deploy, and exploit some patterns in your fiction. We’ll also learn about character routines, emotional connect/disconnect, the unique event, lingering in your key scenes, and mashing up a model story. And as time permits, we’ll write a few short pieces using prompts.

Luke is the author of the story collection Down in the Flood, the poetry chapbooks Street and Above Floodstage, and the novel Watching TV with the Red Chinese, which was made into an independent film in 2011. He edits the journal Tar River Poetry, and is Professor of English at East Carolina University, where he has twice won his department's Excellence in Teaching award.

East Carolina University, in Greenville, lies about halfway between the Triangle and North Carolina's coast. Support for this residency is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire. Registration is open.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is a nonprofit 501(c) (3). For more information, visit www.ncwriters.org.











The Dancin' Man by Mary Ann Claud

Lystra Books and Literary Services
14.95, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9884164-9-9
April, 2014
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“Claud’s characters experience family dynamics with heartbreak and humor … No one who reads this book will fail to be moved by the dramatic resolutions.”
—Elizabeth Cox, author of The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love and The Slow Moon

“Mary Ann Claud has a peregrine eye for detail and an ear for truth telling dialogue.”
—Jon Buchan, author of Code of the Forest

The Dancin’ Man tells the story of a thoughtful, ambitious young man who marries into a fabled Southern textile family and becomes one of them … almost.

Mary Ann Claud has been a published writer for thirty years. Raised in Lancaster, SC, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Converse College.

She has attended writing course at Duke and VCU, taught adult education courses in creative writing and Southern literature. She wrote a weekly front page column for the Hendersonville (NC) Times News. She lives in Tryon with her husband, Olin Sansbury.

Hats Off! to award-winning author Marni Graff whose third Nora Tierney Mystery is in print and e-book. Set in Cumbria, the mystery revolves around a theatre troupe who arrive at the lodge where Nora lives to stage Noel Coward's play Blithe Spirit. Chapter epigrams are lines from the play, and its plot affects the action. A copy of the book has been installed in Coward's archives by his estate.


Hats Off! to Mark Havlik, Lynn Veach Sadler, and Michele Tracy Berger who finished First, Second, and Third respectively in the "Creative Nonfiction" category of the 2014 Anthology Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Havlik's winning essay was titled "In a Word." Sadler ("Tourist Roulette in the New Russia") and Berger ("Navigating the Man-cession") will be published along with Havlik and other category winners in the Winston-Salem Writers 2014 Anthology.


Hats Off! to Janet Joyner, Joan Leotta, and Michele Tracy Berger who finished First, Second, and Third respectively in the "Short Story" category of the 2014 Anthology Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Janet's winning story was titled "Anna Greene's Coke Break," and it will be published in the Winston-Salem Writers 2014 Anthology along with the stories by Leotta (“The World Turned Upside Down”) and Berger (“The Invisible Son”).


Hats Off! to Janet Joyner whose poem "2 Yellow Leaves" won the 2014 Anthology Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Joyner also took Second Place in the Flash Fiction category with her story, "Dawson Honeycutt." First, second, and third place winners in each category will be published in the Winston-Salem Writers 2014 Anthology.


Hats Off! to Laurel Ferejohn whose short story “Bear” is a finalist in the Southeast Review's World’s Best Short-Short Story contest (judge: Robert Olen Butler). It will appear in The Southeast Review 33.1 (2015).


Hats Off! to Art Taylor whose short story "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" has been nominated for a 2014 Anthony Award. This story originally appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March-April, 2013.










Just Add Water by David R. Tanis

Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
$12.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-8-1937327-40
February, 2014
Fiction: Mystery/Humor
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Hamish O'Halloran, a lawyer in the 'Eden' of Pine Ridge, North Carolina, is an archetypal southern rounder who, despite his rather unconventional ways, and the string of misadventures that he triggers, is pretty hard not to like. In fact he's downright unforgettable. David Tanis knows his fictional hamlet and each and every one of his endearing and otherwise characters, and he by God knows every last molecule of a courtroom. Just Add Water, a decidedly picaresque novel, written in a conversational engaging manner, is vintage small-town hijinks at its best."
—Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate and Professor of English Appalachian State University

"David R. Tanis has an easy and comfortable writing style that brings vividly to life the small North Carolina town and the characters in his thriller so that they live for you. With twists and turns we follow a rather rumpled lawyer, Hamish O'Halloran, who appears to be bumbling along ineptly but managing to get things to go in his favor as he deals with a host if thugs who could take his life...unless he manages to pull off still another one of his unlikely successes."
—Joseph L.S. Terrell, author of Not Our Kind of Killing and other Harrison Weaver mysteries

"Follow Hamish O'Halloran, a clumsily claustrophobic, disheveled, small town lawyer, as he becomes trapped in a series of unwanted legal representations that leads to the thrilling unraveling of an extraordinary drug trafficking conspiracy in a completely unpredictable ending, Just Add Water is an excellent, compelling, and fun read. I challenge the most astute reader to guess the ending before the mystery of the street drug 'murti-bing' is revealed by the author."
—Henry ("Hank") P. Van Hoy, II, Attorney, Martin & Van Hoy, LLP, Mocksville, NC

Hamish O'Halloran, a tawdry, slack lawyer in a small North Carolina town, finds himself reluctantly appointed to a series of cases involving Murti-Bing, a new drug which renders its users automatons. He becomes obsessed with finding who is behind the epidemic, increasingly finding himself in dangerous situations, barely escaping with his life. Fast-paced with numerous humorous episodes, some of which are downright hilarious. A totally unexpected conclusion leaves the reader smiling.

David R. Tanis is a retired trial attorney with dozens of Federal Drug conspiracy trials. Former prosecutor and District Court Judge, thirty-two years of legal experience. Graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law. Order of Barristers, Chief Justice Moot Court Board. President, Forsyth County Criminal Defense Lawyers. Former Green Beret. Seriously wounded in combat in Vietnam while serving as a Task Force Commander. Received Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge. Served as North Carolina Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, Chairman, Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities, Board of Directors, North West Forsyth Little League, Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Graduate of Lehigh University majoring in International Relations, starting Center on basketball team, Graduate studies in Political Science George Washington University Sino-Soviet Institute, East Carolina University. Fluent in French and German.

Hats Off! to Caryn Studham Sutorus whose short story "Aviatrix" won Third Prize in Grey Wolfe Publishing's American Short Story Contest and will be published in their Ni Bóna Na Coróin anthology.


Tom Davis










The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel by Tom Davis

Old Mountain Press
$20, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-931575-83-6
June, 2014
Available from the publisher

We would RON (Rest Over Night) in the tree squares; I would set up a poncho, blow up my air mattress, and hang my body mosquito net under the poncho and over the air mattress. Then I would dig a body trench about a foot deep. Of course, the trench filled with water; but should we receive incoming, I could roll over into it, finding some protection. As daylight gave way to twilight, the ants left the scene to be replaced by mosquitoes. I have never seen anything like it. I could lie on my air mattress and watch the outside of my mosquito net turn darker as the infuriating little insects blocked out the twilight. I would tap the net with my finger and a hole of light would appear, then close up again as the mosquitoes returned.

In his memoir the author relates his experiences during the thirty-one years spent in the US Army, rising through the ranks from private to full colonel. Twenty of those years he served with US Army Special Forces (Green Berets). This book chronicles his time in three combat zones: Vietnam, Bosnia, and Iraq/Turkey. Included are his experiences commanding Special Forces Operational A Detachments which specialized in Underwater Operations, High Altitude Low Opening Parachuting, Mountaineering, and Small Atomic Demolitions Munitions as well as two Special Forces Battalions and a Joint Special Operations Task Force. Each chapter covers his duties and responsibilities at the Army Installation where he served. Some times funny. Some times sad. Always interesting.

Thomas (Tom) Hoyt Davis, III (AKA The Squid), holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Tom entered the Army as a private and retired as a full colonel. He spent twenty of his more than thirty years in the Army serving with Special Forces (Green Berets) on four continents and in ten foreign countries. He has worn a Green Beret at every rank from 2LT to Colonel and commanded at every level from Special Forces A Teams to a Joint Special Operations Task Force. The various A Teams he commanded specialized in Mountaineering, Underwater Operations, High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute techniques, and Small Atomic Demolitions Munitions (SADM). In addition to the Army’s Command and General Staff College and Army War College, he has attended Airborne, Ranger, Special Forces, Underwater Operations (UWO), Danish Combat Swimmer, Special Forces Surface Swimmer Infiltration Technique Course, High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute school, Small Atomic Demolitions Munitions (SADM) and others.

His short stories, articles, and poetry have been published in Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, ByLine, Georgia Athlete, The Saturday Extra (magazine section of the Fayetteville Observer), A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, and Special Warfare (a professional military journal published by the Special Warfare Center). Many of his short stories have received honors in writing contests sponsored by ByLine magazine. Other books by Tom include The Life and Times of Rip Jackson, The Patrol Order, and The R-complex.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Falling Shells" is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly/Prolific Press. Also, her short story "Cottonwood Grove" will be published in an anthology of Westerns from Cane Hollow Press. "Cottonwood Grove" is also available as a Kindle Single.


Hats Off! to Tom Hooker of Hendersonville who received First Prize in the Four Seasons Silver Arts short fiction competition for his story, "Heads Up," and Third Prize in the poetry competition for, "More." “Heads Up” will compete in the state level competition this fall.


Hats Off! to Peg Bresnahan whose poem, "In A Country None of Us Called Home," was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac. Peg has a new poetry collection out from Press 53, by the same name.


Hats Off! to Peggy Payne whose most recent novel, Cobalt Blue, has received an IPPY in the category of Visionary Fiction. These Independent Publisher medals for 2014 will be awarded in New York on May 28 during Book Expo America. The contest was open to books published in English last year by publishers outside of the five major New York houses. Cobalt Blue was released in six countries by a British house, Roundfire Books. In this novel, set in Pinehurst and New Orleans, a woman artist has a mysterious physical and spiritual experience that overwhelms her and disturbingly unsettles her life.


Hats Off! to Ross White whose poem “American Supernatural” won the 2014 Pocotaglio Poetry Contest from Yemassee. Judge Tyehimba Jess called White's poem “haunting.” He said the poem was “well executed and imaginative in tone and execution.” White's poem will appear in an upcoming edition of Yemassee and will include Jess’s full comments on the poem.


Hats Off! to Mary Ricketson who has two poems in the Kentucky Review.


Icy Shadows by Rob Robertson










Icy Shadows by Rob Roberston

Warren Publishing
$17.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9960506-9-2
April, 2014
Fiction: Crime
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com


"The agent knelt down to look at the surreal artificial simian and beheld one of the most bizarre sights he'd ever come across in his career as a law enforcer. No, it was not the goriest sight he had ever witnessed, nor was it the kind of thing that startles or repulses a person with a sudden, gut-wrenching jolt. Instead, it was the creepy little stuff of which childhood dreams are made, dreams of an ilk that can be filed away in the subconscious alongside evil clown faces, wicked dolls, and grotesque puppets coming to life, the sort of weirdness that slowly burns in one's soul, leaving behind a wrenching residue of tucked-away fears waiting to surface during an unplanned solitude."

Small, southern towns are known for their hospitality, fried foods, and eccentric citizens. Set against the backdrop of the hip and happening '70s, Rob Robertson's first book in the Jet Jericho series packs a wallop of a mystery.

In a community of small-town farmers, SBI Agent Jet Jericho sticks out like an atheist at a Baptist barbeque with his expensive car and tailored suits. Someone has brutally murdered a beloved citizen in Icy Springs. Jericho is assigned to the case and the flashy, cheeseburger-loving outsider finds it's not so easy working with local law enforcement or the bizarre residents of Icy Springs.

With a pack of Kool cigarettes as his only lead amidst the surreal ramblings of Icy Springs' resident eyewitnesses, Jericho must get the killer before the killer gets him.

Robertson describes the novel as a quirky twist on crime drama: "A novel of mystery and intrigue laced with action and spiced with equal doses of humor and romance."

Icy Shadows is the first in a series called The Jericho Trilogy. Robertson has begun work on the sequel, The Blue People, to be followed by Gin!.

Dr. Rob Robertson is an author, educator, musician, and researcher. Having won numerous awards as an educator, Robertson was one of a handful of pioneers in the field of gerontological music. Being a concert pianist and former master of gymnastic stunts, Rob considers himself a "Renaissance man." He currently resides in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Polly Davis whose prologue to her forthcoming memoir, Stumbling Toward Enlightenment, appears in the Great Smokies Review.


Devil's Oath by j g sauls

Robbins Hunt
$16.00, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-937921064
March, 2014
Fiction: Crime
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Praise for Volume I: "The Magician's Secrets is a strikingly ambitious debut novel that delivers the real goods—compelling readability, sharply realized characters, a watchspring-tight plot, the perils and pleasures of memory, the burden of guilt, and the promise of redemption. The real magician here is j g sauls, and that is a secret that no reader will be able to keep for long."
—Keith Ferrell, New York Times bestselling author of History Decoded and Passing Judgment, former Editor-In-Chief, OMNI magazine

"Devil's Oath combines realistic love and the right amount of action with some great twists and turns. He paints a picture of the FBI from his own experience as an agent and 'it ain't your father's FBI.' I love strong female characters with wit and confidence and we have two of them here with surprising story lines, and I love the dialogue between the male and female characters. If I had the money, I'd option the entire trilogy for a series of films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I haven't yet read the third book of the trilogy, but it's on my wish list for summer."
—Peter J. Mclaughlin, author of Feedback Revolution and Catchfire

In this eagerly anticipated second volume of the Rob Hanson Trilogy, Agent Hanson, having escaped FBI purgatory, returns to investigative duties. But it appears he's been groomed by management for failure. His investigation into a massive fraud is impeded by a lawyer's apparent suicide, but a disabled child claims to have witnessed the lawyer's murder. Characteristically uncompromising, Hanson pursues a controversial solution that may end his career.

j g sauls is a native of North Carolina, and has lived there except when the FBI stubbornly required him to be elsewhere. Author of The Magician's Secrets, Devil's Oath, and Double Feature Boy (which will be released in June, 2014), he is currently at work on Devil's Conquest, the concluding volume of the Rob Hanson trilogy.

Hats Off! to Joe Morris who was a finalist in the North Carolina Poetry Society's 2014 Poet Laureate Award for his poem "Necessities".


Hats Off! to Susan M. Steadman whose one-act play, The Thing with Feathers, is a finalist in the St. Louis Actors’ Studio’s LaBute New Theatre Festival and will be performed in July at the Gaslight Theater. The finalists were chosen from over 250 worldwide submissions.


Hats Off! to Joanna Chapman whose book Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood has been named as a gold or silver winner of the Bill Fisher Prize for Best First Book, to be announced by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) in New York City prior to the Book Expo. Since its release date, Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood has been featured at the Decatur Book Fest, Books by the Bank (Cincinnati), the National Women’s Cancer Survivors Conference (Nashville), the Virginia Book Festival (Charlottesville) and the Blue Ridge Book Festival (Hendersonville).


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem, "Crazy Quilt," will appear in the Spring, 2014, edition of Poet's Espresso Review.


Tate Publishing
$16.99, paperback / $13.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-62854-190-8
April, 2014
Fiction: Romance / Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Marjan is the daughter of the Kashvili chieftain, the most powerful man in their province in Persia. Beautiful and educated, she was married at age nine to a rich merchant who is absent for months at a time. When he does return, his obligation to his two other wives keep him away from Marjan, leaving her sad and lonely.

Russ is a British Christian missionary doctor stationed in Shiraz just as World War II is breaking out. He is a handsome man with golden hair and green eyes, which catches the attention of many women. Thirty-five years and single, Russ wants something more than the love of God and the satisfaction of helping people achieve health.

When Marjan and Russ meet, desire surges through each of them. In spite of all the obstacles between them—his deep Christian beliefs, her married life, the different cultures they grow up in, and the fact that they could be stoned to death for engaging in an affair—they fall in love.

After a religious cleric discovers their affair, a mob of fundamentalists breaks into Russ’s car and threaten not only their love but their lives.

Maryam Tabibzadeh was born in Darab, Pars, Persia (known as Iran). After receiving her master’s degree from Shiraz University and moving to the United States, she attended Sunny Binghamton to further her education. For the past twenty years Maryam has written short novels and poems in Persian, which have been published locally. She now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story "Egidio Decides to Fish" has been accepted for the third Sisters in Crime "Guppies" anthology, Fish or Cut Bait. Guppies is an online chapter of Sisters in Crime, catering to newbies in the genre. The anthology is tentatively scheduled for Fall, 2014.











Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-04-2
May, 2014
Fiction: Country Noir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Almost all Taylor Brown’s stories are family dramas, stories of blood and kinship, betrayal, and conflicted loyalties. Set sometimes in the past, other times in the present or future, and told with verve in a fresh and memorable voice, these stories reward the reader with surprise, authenticity, and the mystery of human connection."
—Robert Morgan, author of The Road from Gap Creek and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee

"With ferocious economy and a great big heart, Taylor Brown writes one of the best debuts I've ever picked up. These are stories, verses, meditations, and accusations—everything, in short, you could hope to get from important fiction.This work demands your attention."
—Charles Dodd White, author of A Shelter of Others and Sinners of Sanction County

“Taylor Brown’s prose is stark but electric; it grabs you by the shoulders and the heart, and doesn’t let go. The signing of this collection is a cause for celebration for Press 53 and our readers.”
—Christine Norris, Fiction Editor, Press 53

In his debut story collection, In the Season of Blood and Gold, author Taylor Brown presents the reader with twelve stories told "with ferocious economy and a great big heart" (Charles Dodd White). These are stories of bootleggers and poachers, outlaws and alligator wrestlers, set in the hills and coasts of the American South, written in prose that's been called "stark but electric" (Christine Norris).

In "Rider," winner of the 2009 Montana Prize in Fiction, game wardens catch a poacher red-handed with his kill: geese for Christmas supper. In "Kingdom Come," a finalist for the 2010 Press 53 Open Awards, a young moonshiner is pursued by the McEvoy clan, a family of notorious outlaws hell-bent on vengeance. In "The Tattooist's Daughter," first published in The Coachella Review, a successful tattoo artist parries blows from her disapproving mother. And in "The Vizsla," a young gun-dog trainer must decide whether to save his abusive, alcoholic father from a savage beating.

Robert Morgan calls these "stories of blood and kinship," told "with verve in a fresh and memorable voice."

Taylor Brown's short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Chautauqua, The Baltimore Review, The New Guard Review, BULL, CutBank, The Coachella Review, storySouth, and many others. He won the 2009 Montana Prize in Fiction, and he's been a finalist for the Machigonne Fiction Contest and Doris Betts Fiction Prize. His story collection, In the Season of Blood and Gold, was published by Press 53 in 2014. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and his website is www.taylorbrownfiction.com. You can follow him on Twitter @taybrown.

Hats Off! to Jodi Barnes of Cary who was a finalist in the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction.


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams whose short stories "Siler Road" and "Compensation" were finalists for the 2014 Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award, and to Denise S. Cline whose essay "Raising" was a finalist for the 2014 Penelope Niven Award for Creative Nonfiction, both sponsored by The Salem College Center for Women Writers.


Maggie MorganDURHAM, NC—The North Carolina Writers' Network is pleased to welcome Maggie Morgan as the new Membership Coordinator.

After a brief post-college fling with Oxford, Mississippi, Maggie accidentally settled down in Durham eleven years ago. She lives near downtown with her partner of six years and two handsome cats just barely old enough to not be kittens anymore.

Only a week ago, she finished her Masters in English at North Carolina Central University, an experience that was both challenging and fulfilling. With the amount of free time that finishing school has opened up, she plans to conquer her epic list of things to do which includes taking on some craft projects, writing a novel, and finally learning to cook, as well as conquering several shelves of books that have been waiting too long to be read.

As the Membership Coordinator, Maggie is the “front line” for all membership contact with the Network. All membership questions, complaints, donor inquiries, and more should be directed to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 919-308-3228

She is available by phone between the hours of 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, Monday-Friday. If you aren't able to call during this time, leave a message, and she will get back to you as soon as possible.

“We're thrilled Maggie has decided to join us,” said Executive Director Ed Southern. “We hope the addition of a Membership Coordinator will allow us to expand our programs and services—and enhance the quality of those programs and services for all of our members—for years to come.”

If handling customer relations for 1,200 writers sounds daunting, Maggie is up for the challenge. She's no stranger to Herculean tasks.

As an intern with Oxford American magazine, she was directed to secure the rights for what she describes as “The Holy Grail” of unpublished manuscripts: a vampire screenplay written by none other than William Faulkner.

“It was a rite of passage with the magazine,” Maggie explained, “for the editor to assign difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, tasks to the interns."

But Maggie stubbornly called around and found a provision that allowed the screenplay to see the light of day. The magazine was able to secure the rights to publish an excerpt of the screenplay after a bit of nuanced negotiation with the Faulkner estate. The vampire screenplay ran in Oxford American in January of 2002.

Questions about what you've read here? Call Maggie.

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 Tom Wood whose story on former Vanderbilt Commodores Jordan Matthews and Fitz Lassing appears in the Nashville Ledger.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story "Ups and Downs" has been accepted by OverMyDeadBody.com, publication date TBA. Also, her short story "Voice of an Angel" has been accepted into a North Country anthology of historical fiction dealing with upstate New York (J. Mierk, editor).


Hats Off! to Debra Madaris Efird whose article "More Than Just a Place to Sleep" appeared in the March 2014 issue of The Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


Hats Off! to Benjamin Darnell whose short story "It Was Called The Ship of Dreams" appears in Quail Bell Magazine. This is his second published story.


Scott HulerRALEIGH, NC—The 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency will be held July 10-13 on the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh. Registration is now open.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry), with fifteen hours of workshop sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency may be the most fun the Network has,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “Registrants tend to form close bonds that last long after the Residency is over.”

Former Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler will lead the track in Creative Nonfiction. He has written six books of creative nonfiction, most recently On the Grid (Rodale, 2010), about the infrastructure systems that make our world work. He has written about everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing (he likes to say he is for one and against the other), with his essays and reporting appearing in newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times and in magazines like ESPN, Backpacker, and Forbes. He contributes writing and video regularly to Our State and Walter magazines.

Randall KenanRandall Kenan, a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead the fiction workshop. He is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Writers’ Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize.

Shelby Stephenson, who will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in October, will lead the poetry workshop. He has published many collections of poems, plus the poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by Roger Manley). Shelby is former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, judged by Allen Grossman. Stephenson’s latest collection, The Hunger of Freedom (2014), is from Red Dashboard.

Shelby StephensonAdmission is limited to the first fifty registrants. And while workshops are at the heart of the conference programming, the weekend is a “residency” in the sense that attendees will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations. Free WiFi and parking are available.

Plus, conference-goers will benefit from being a short walk from many historical and cultural sites in downtown Raleigh. Karen Wells, Executive Director of ARTS North Carolina, will lead a Table Talk in a special program on Friday night.

Registration for the 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency is open now.

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.


Color and Conversation by Beebe Barksdale-Bruner

Willow Manor Press
$0.99, e-book
Available at www.Amazon.com

"In stunning photographs and a few lines of text that are at times brooding and lonely, often fanciful, yet always hopeful, Beebe Barksdale-Bruner demonstrates how simple objects cast a long shadow."—Nancy Pinard

Selected photographs with poems written for the photos.

Beebe Barksdale-Bruner's latest work, Color and Conversation, combines poetry and photography. She has one poetry book in print: It Comes to Me Loosely Woven (Press 53). Her poems, paintings, and photography have won awards and been published in books, journals, and anthologies. She has a BFA in painting and an MFA in poetry. Photography website at Fine Art America: beebe-barksdalebruner.artistwebsites.com.


Margaret A. Harrell










Keep This Quiet! III: Initiations by Margaret A. Harrell

Saeculum University Press
$17.95, paperback / $4.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-0983704560 (pb) / 978-0983704577 (e-book)
March, 2014
Memoir: Mind-Body-Spirit
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Margaret Harrell’s Keep This Quiet! III best demonstrates a journey of self and personal transformation through Jungian study for an already self-aware seeker. As a practicing Reiki master, I received a great deal of insight from Harrell’s spiritual study, as well as her ability to connect patterns and puns (Watergate/Flood Gate) with both humor and reverence."
—Alice Osborn, author of After the Steaming Stops

“I thought the whole series was remarkable, original, and transcendent!”
—Russell D. Park, board-certified transpersonal psychologist, co-author of The Power of Humility

“I’m reading it NOW! I’ve got my highlighter and am really appreciating the depth of Margaret’s initiation and how much she did for her spiritual emergence!! I thank her for writing it for me and the world!”
—Jonette Crowley, author of The Eagle and the Condor and Soul Body Fusion

"Jung and Pauli . . . Courageously, competently Harrell guided this reader through mazes of scientific exploration, all the while keeping her engaging 'anima' voice as lure to read on."
—Puanani Harvey, Advanced Studies Coordinator, New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts

"Margaret has done an amazing job witnessing for us all the deep path of walking with the Self. She has presented this information, while weaving the amazing discovery of the multi-layers of psychology and the depth the journey revealed."
—Jyoti, Spiritual Director, Center for Sacred Studies

"The information on the universal nature of each soul offers a good potential to remove some of the barriers or veils between otherwise divergent ways of thinking and believing. I'm glad Margaret is 'putting this out there.'"
—Al Miner, author (with Lama Sing) of Seed Thoughts and other books of esoteric philosophy and metaphysics

"I could feel a welling form in my chest . . . An emotional surge was building, I was sure of it. I had no intention of heading it off. I was into this book for the duration."
—Martin Flynn, owner of www.hstbooks.org

Keep This Quiet! III: Initiations begins in the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich, where Margaret was enrolled in 1984. She is headed for a big initiation there, which she narrates for us—showing how initiations are life-transforming. Notably, she also dives into the debate between physicist Wolfgang Pauli and psychiatrist Carl Jung about how science/matter and psyche/spirit/synchronicity emerge from a unified psychophysical realm. Dreams lend assistance, as do the brilliant Jung-Pauli letters. Exercises in the back offer practical help in how to work with energy.

The author of eight books in the Love in Transition: Voyage of Ulysses - Letters to Penelope nonfiction series, Harrell copy edited Hunter Thompson's first book, Hell's Angels, at Random House. HST acknowledged her in Gonzo Letters 2. She is the author of the new memoir series, Keep This Quiet! and is also an editor, cloud photographer, and mentor to people trying to maximize their potential. In this mentoring process she teaches human potential in courses in the light body. Her website is www.hunterthompsonnewbook.com.

Hats Off! to Jane Shlensky, Joan Leotta, Brenda Kay Ledford, and Patricia Podlipec: Shlensky's poem "Great Ideas for Young Risk Takers” won First Place in the Caldwell Nixon, Jr., Award category of the North Carolina Poetry Society's 2014 contest. Joan Leotta won Third Place for her poem, "Five Little Bears Came to My House Today.” Ledford ("Flying Squirrel") and Podlipec (“Bird Talk”) both received Honorable Mentions.


Hats Off! to Jacinta V. White and NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, who spoke with WUNC's Phoebe Judge in a radio segment titled "The Poets Of North Carolina," in honor of National Poetry Month. You can listen to them read from their poetry, here.



Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories by Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard

McFarland & Company
$40, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-7864-7467-7 (paper) / 978-1-4766-0348-3 (e-book)
April, 2013
Art / Essay
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Have you ever looked at a painting and wondered what the story was behind it? Two North Carolina natives, artist Stephen Shoemaker and writer Janet Pittard, have teamed up to present a selection of Shoemaker's paintings and the stories behind them.

The Virginia Creeper, a train that ran from Todd, North Carolina, to Abingdon, Virginia, from the early 1900s through the mid-late 1970s, is a favorite subject of Shoemaker's and figures prominently in the book, reflecting its influence on the culture and history of Shoemaker's mountain home.

The book features forty-eight images, including the eight watercolors in Shoemaker's Virginia Creeper series and many paintings and drawings created especially for the publication. The thirty-two stories, spun together by Pittard over a two-year period of interviews and conversations with the artist, are an eclectic blend of humor, adventure, and tragedy.

The result is a scrapbook of the artist's life growing up in a small town and his development as an artist, full of insights into the thought process involved in creating his artwork, sources of inspiration, and the clues or symbols incorporated in the scenes he creates. The narrative is peppered with short poems by Pittard, adding another dimension to the text and an element of the unexpected.

Told in Shoemaker's voice, Pittard's text is informal and entertaining, geared toward a general audience, suitable for children, as well as adults, particularly train buffs, lovers of regional history, and fans of Shoemaker's work.

Stephen Shoemaker is a nationally known artist from West Jefferson, North Carolina, best known for his detailed paintings of the train called the Virginia Creeper. Shoemaker's work has been exhibited at the Mint Museum and Queen's Gallery in Charlotte and regularly at the Ashe County Arts Council. He is also co-owner and designer for the Appalachian Mint, LLC. His studio is located in downtown West Jefferson, his hometown.

Janet Pittard is a freelance writer whose work appeared in Our State and Signature magazines from 2003 to 2009. Pittard has also written for UNC-TV's Our State program, and, more recently was published in Mountain Memoirs: An Ashe County Anthology, edited by Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend, and Scot Pope and released by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in Charlotte in 2012. A native of Southern Pines, Pittard now lives in Raleigh and West Jefferson.


Hats Off! to Jean Rodenbough, whose poem "Katie Sings to the Neighborhood" is published online in Wild Goose Poetry Review.



Hats Off! to Harol Marshall, whose new mystery The Shadow Cabinet (Storyteller, 2013) appeared in the the Spring 2013 issue of The Triad Retirement Resource Guide. The reviewer noted that Marshall is a "retired UNCG academic," author of seven books, and her current political mystery is "alive like today's news..."


Hats Off! to Gwenyfar Rohler, whose profile of noted North Carolina author Karen Bender appears in the May 2013 issue of Wilmington Magazine. Bender is the author of Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms.


Hats Off! to Tammy Brodowski Mott, whose book A Journey to Heaven:A Daughter’s Short Life Gives a Family Lessons in Love and Miracles won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in the Death and Dying category.

Timothy W. Tron

Bruecke to Heaven: Children of the Light

WestBow Press
$19.95, paperback
ISBN 976-1-4497-5656-7
April, 2013
Fiction: Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Author Timothy W. Tron reveals the transformational power of the word of God in his new historical fiction, Bruecke to Heaven: Children of the Light (published by WestBow Press).

Set in the regions that now make up France and Italy circa 1170, Bruecke to Heaven tells the story of two of Jesus’ disciples, the journey they made into the wilderness and how the messages they purportedly received directly from God have been passed down through generations of believers.

Tron’s inspiration for Bruecke to Heaven came after he spent years researching the Waldensians, the group of Christians exiled to the valleys of the Cottian Alps who were persecuted by Roman Catholics for hundreds of years.

“After reading John Wiles’ History of Christianity, I was even more convinced there was more to the story than history was providing,” Tron explains. “I also discussed this with other individuals knowledgeable about the Waldesians and found they too questioned it, and in fact our family history could be traced back to the time of the Apostles.”

Tron’s historical epic shows how these early inhabitants of the Cottian Alps were tasked with preserving the word of God and details how they were able to pass down messages from the original apostles that would still be heard nearly 1,000 years later. Bruecke to Heaven gives a compelling account of the deliberate, meticulous preservation of God’s lasting word.

“What the reader will find in this story is purity of faith,” Tron writes. “This faith was untouched by the external forces that existed well beyond its original delivery unlike any other place on earth. This word had not been obscured by the biases of mankind.”

Timothy W. Tron lives near Goldston, NC, on a small farm with his wife, Sheryl, and two children, Jonathan and Mary. He was born in Evansville, Indiana, and spent the next sixteen years in southern Indiana, living in mostly rural areas around the historic small towns of New Harmony and Newburgh. There, he established his love for the country, which would eventually lead him back to his roots after spending four years in the Air Force and then graduating college from the University of Florida with a BSEE degree. After moving to North Carolina in 1993, he rediscovered his long-lost joy for writing and soon found God leading him to begin authoring a book.


Hats Off! to Barbara Taylor Woodall. BBC-TV's “Tin Can Productions” has asked to feature her book, It’s Not My Mountain Anymore, in an upcoming documentary on the Appalachian Mountains. Barbara is a seventh-generation mountaineer and a veteran of The Foxfire Books. Filming begins June 2-3.


Hats Off! to Malinda Dunlap Fillingim, whose poem "KinShip" has been selected to be published in the BellaMuse's Summer 2013 Solstice edition.


Hats Off! to Ruth Moose, whose FIRST novel Doing it at the Dixie Dew will be published in 2014 by St. Martin's Press. Dixie Dew won the $10,000 Malice Domestic prize. Though Moose has published three collections of short stories and six collections of poetry, Dixie Dew is her first novel. She says it pays to persevere.

Walt Pilcher

The Five-fold Effect: Unlocking Power Leadership for Amazing Results in Your Organization by Walt Pilcher

WestBow Press
$35.95, hardcover / $19.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-449790066 (hardcover) /978-1-449790059 (paperback) / 978-1-449790042 (e-book)
May, 2013
Nonfiction ; Organizational Leadership
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Author and business professional Walt Pilcher reveals a revolutionary, faith-based concept to help businesses prosper in his practical new guidebook, The Five-Fold Effect: Unlocking Power Leadership for Amazing Results in Your Organization.

In an unprecedented approach to organizational leadership, The Five-Fold Effect takes inspiration from Biblical wisdom, specifically Ephesians 4:11-16. “The apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, teaching, and evangelistic gifts power a five-fold leadership plan that’s for the church and the marketplace,” Pilcher writes. “Everybody has one or more of these five and other gifts, and by using them strategically in your business, or any organization large or small, you can supercharge productivity and enjoy potentially unlimited success.”

Pilcher draws on his and others’ church and business experiences to lay out the steps readers can use to create highly successful leadership teams. “God provided the five-fold plan for all organizations,” he writes, “because he wants us all to succeed!”

A former apparel company CEO, church elder, and Regent University board member with a passion for seeing people grow personally, professionally, and spiritually, Walt Pilcher serves on the board of the international evangelistic ministry Global Awakening. He is a member of NCWN and Writers' Group of the Triad. He and his wife, Carol, live in Greensboro, NC.


Hats Off! to Leigh Sanders, whose Mother's Day essay "In Two Words, What Every Mother Wants" appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer's Point Of View on May 12, 2013.

The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change by Rebecca McClanahan

Indiana University Press
$22.00, paperback / $17.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-253-00859-6 (paper) / 978-0-253-00867-1 (e-book)
March, 2013
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or www.Amazon.com

“…[A] magnificent book. The Tribal Knot is a loving portrait of a family across its generations”
—Lee Martin, From Our House and Turning Bones

“…[O]ne of the fullest reading experiences I have had in a very long time”
—Ann Hood, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief and The Knitting Circle

“…[A] brilliant revitalizing of the oldest narrative we know…”
—David Huddle, Nothing Can Make Me Do This and Blacksnake at the Family Reunion

“I have never seen the familial panorama captured as living knowledge in such a moving way.”
—Suzannah Lessard, The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family

Are we responsible for, and to, those forces that have formed us—our families, friends, and communities? Where do we leave off and others begin? In The Tribal Knot, Rebecca McClanahan looks for answers in the history of her family.

Poring over letters, artifacts, and documents that span more than a century, she discovers a tribe of hardscrabble Midwest farmers, hunters, trappers, and laborers struggling to hold tight to the ties that bind them, through poverty, war, political upheavals, illness and accident, filicide and suicide, economic depressions, personal crises, and global disasters. Like the practitioners of Victorian "hair art" who wove strands of family members' hair into a single design, McClanahan braids her ancestors' stories into a single intimate narrative of her search to understand herself and her place in the family's complex past.

Rebecca McClanahan, the author of nine previous books, including The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow award in nonfiction, has received a Pushcart Prize, the Wood Prize from Poetry, and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.


Hats Off! to Debra Madaris Efird, whose article "Best Practices for Groups" was published in the NC School Counselor Association Spring 2013 newsletter which is sent to all NCSCA members in the state.


Hats Off! to David Hopes, who won Third Place for his poem "Spade" in the 2013 William Matthews Poetry Prize. His poem will be published in the Asheville Poetry Review, and he will be featured at a reading at Malaprop's Bookstore this summer.












A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands by Arthur Powers

Press 53
$17.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-935708-83-4
May, 2013
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or www.Amazon.com

“Set in the vast and sometimes violent landscape of contemporary Brazil, this is a gorgeous collection of stories—wise, hopeful, and forgiving, but clear-eyed in its exploration of the toll taken on the human heart by greed, malice, and the lust for land.”
—Debra Murphy, Publisher of Idyll's Press, Founder of CatholicFiction.net

"This is a remarkable collection. The Brazil that Arthur Powers brings to life in these stories is a testing ground for the human heart, an alarmingly real place where the extremes of poverty and opulence, iniquity and justice, hate and love, bring his characters—and readers—face to face with life."
—Bernardo Aparicio García, Publisher of Dappled Things

A Hero for the People is a stirring narrative about the people, history, and culture of Brazil. At root are the working-class men and women who sparkle with delight and labor in pain—and the reader is implicated intimately in their elemental emotions and vital experiences. This is a book where otherwise parched historical details become life stories worth imbibing, remembering, and repeating.”
—Gregory F. Tague, Professor of English, General Editor of Editions Bibliotekos

“Arthur Powers is more than a totally captivating, adventurous storyteller. He is a wonderfully accomplished writer who enriches the reader's experience of life, and is a mighty skillful reporter who knows the ins and outs of people and places. While his locations are often fascinatingly exotic, more importantly his people are always engagingly real! In short, Powers is in that rare company of authors who are impossible to put down!”
—John Reid, director of the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest

Arthur Powers went to Brazil in 1969 as a Peace Corps Volunteer and spent most of his adult life in that country. In the late 1970s, while practicing international law, he accompanied his wife in her work as a community organizer in the Rio de Janeiro slums. From 1985 to 1992, they worked for the Catholic Church in the eastern Amazon region of Brazil, organizing subsistence farmers and rural workers' unions in a region of violent land conflicts. Subsequently they directed relief and development programs in the drought-ridden Brazilian Northeast.

Arthur has received a Fellowship in Fiction from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, three annual awards for short fiction from the Catholic Press Association, earned 2nd Place in the 2008 Tom Howard Fiction Contest, and 1st Place in the 2012 Tuscany Press Novella Award. He was a Press 53 Open Awards Finalist in 2011 and 2012. His poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous magazines and reviews. His award-winning novella, The Book of Jotham, is forthcoming from Tuscany Press in 2013.

The Red Leather Chair by Ingrid Kraus

Wry Hill
$10.98, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-615723709
November, 2012
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

The Red Leather Chair is a fast-paced family drama. Each character reacts to the extreme betrayal of a key family member and follows his or her own path through rage, revenge, and redemption. The Red Leather Chair is set in the American Heartland and examines how a woman born in an age of deference may emerge as her own person, how a man raised to embrace a traditional notion of masculinity may reconstruct his identity, and how a family on the brink of disintegration may establish a renewed foundation. As one reviewer noted, "The Red Leather Chair holds up a mirror to each of our lives."

Watch Ingrid Kraus read at the 2013 NCWN Spring Conference!

Ingrid Kraus is a writer and psychologist who lives with her husband in the mountains of North Carolina. The Red Leather Chair is her debut novel. She is currently at work on a new project about the integration of a premier Alabama high school in the mid-1960s. She is fascinated by themes of similarity and difference, acceptance and bigotry, and the overarching role that our points of view play in what and whom we are drawn to and repelled by.


Hats Off! to Tony Wayne Brown of Greenville, who has just had three short stories accepted: "The Unfortunate Assumptions of A Glamorous Woman" by Huffington Post; "Addicted" by Static Movement Press' Broken print anthology; and "Suspicion" by 100 Words.












Turnings Poems of Transformation by William Johnson Everett

Wipf and Stock Publishers
$11.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-62032-735-7
March, 2013
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or www.Amazon.com

"William Everett's beautifully structured Turnings gathers together limpid poems of memory that shine like pebbles underneath the clearest flow of water, as well as poems of personal faith and theological wisdom. Rising up from the pages like long-forgotten messages, they glow in the light of Everett's language: lyrical, crystal clear, as if on the brink of turning into nothing less than song itself."
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, author of Descent and Wildwood Flower

"Everett is a master of words, fitting the right words together the way a master mason fits stones to shape beautiful structures. Poems he constructs reflect solid integrity. Readers can depend on his writing to convey thoughtful expressions, ethical conclusions, and invigorating structural styles selected to match the themes of each piece. His poetry reassures us that all good poetry does not belong to the past."
—J. C. Walkup, Penny Morse, and Buffy Queen, editors of Fresh Magazine

Like works in wood upon a lathe, these poems are word-turnings that reveal the inner grain of our human experience. They are bowls to catch our turnings of memory, conversion, falling in love, and passing through our seasons and the wrenching turns that mark our lives. Above all these turnings are a shout of praise, a murmur of wonder, a turning away from life as usual, a merciful re-turning to the songs, images, and stories that move our lives.

William Johnson Everett taught Christian social ethics for over thirty years in theological schools in the US, Germany, India, and South Africa before turning to fiction and poetry. His many books and articles in ethics were followed by an eco-centric work of historical fiction, Red Clay, Blood River (2008). His poems have appeared in Spiritus, Bay Leaves, and Fresh. Both his ethics and his poetry have tried to explore the ways we give shape and meaning to our thoughts, feelings, and actions within the mysterious powers of creativity and love that undergird our existence.

When not writing, he constructs furniture for worship settings in his home shop near Waynesville, NC. His online journal is at www.WilliamEverett.com.


Kathryn Stripling Byer

NORTH CAROLINA—The North Carolina Writers' Network Board of Trustees elected three new members in a vote held Friday, May 3. Kathryn Stripling Byer, Jason Mott, and Alice Osborn will join the Board effective immediately.

"The Board is excited to welcome these talented individuals," said NCWN Board President Margaret Dardess. "Their creativity, diversity, energy, and proven dedication to furthering the mission of the North Carolina Writers' Network will have a lasting impact on writing communities across our state."

Kathryn Stripling Byer was raised on a farm in southwest Georgia, where the material for much of her first poetry originated. She graduated from Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia, with a degree in English literature, and then received her MFA degree from UNC-Greensboro, where she studied with Fred Chappell and Robert Watson, and formed enduring friendships with James Applewhite and Gibbons Ruark.

After graduation she worked at Western Carolina University, becoming Poet-in-Residence in 1990. Her poetry, prose, and fiction have appeared widely, including Hudson Review, Poetry, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review. Often anthologized, her work has also been featured online, where she maintains the blogs Here, Where I Am, and The Mountain Woman. Her body of work was discussed along with that of Charles Wright, Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Jeff Daniel Marion, and Jim Wayne Miller in Six Poets from the Mountain South, by John Lang, published by LSU Press. Her first book of poetry, The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, was published in the AWP Award Series in 1986, followed by the Lamont (now Laughlin) prize-winning Wildwood Flower, from LSU Press. Her subsequent collections have been published in the LSU Press Poetry Series, receiving various awards, including the Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Award, and the Roanoke-Chowan Award. She served for five years as North Carolina's first woman poet laureate. She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and three dogs. Her website is www.kathrynstriplingbyer.com.

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Thomas Wolfe Review, The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, Measure, and Chautauqua. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize. He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” His debut novel, The Returned, is slated for publication this August. The Returned has also been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. The pilot is currently being filmed.

Alice Osborn, M.A., is the author of three books of poetry: After the Steaming Stops, Unfinished Projects, and Right Lane Ends; she is also a manuscript editor, freelance writer, and storyteller. She earned her B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic and State University and her M.A. from North Carolina State University. A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the United Arts Artists in the Schools program since 2009, and has taught creativity, poetry, memoir, and blogging workshops to Triangle residents for six years. Her work has appeared in Raleigh’s News and Observer, Soundings Review, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website: www.aliceosborn.com.

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.


Hats Off! to Nancy Purcell, whose short story, "Displaced Persons," was accepted by the ezine The Final Draft. Also, her flash fiction piece titled "Wasted Lovers" was accepted by the ezine Pound of Flash.


Alan Michael ParkerNORTH CAROLINA—Alan Michael Parker of Davidson has won the 2013 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for his poem, "The Ladder."

Final judge Gabriel Spera said of Parker's poem, "This poem spoke to me on a very personal level. The voice—world-weary, wistful, but not without hope—is immediately familiar and sympathetic....I love the unexpected turn in the phrase. Mostly, though, I'm drawn to how this poem conveys the quintessentially human drive to find clarity in confusion, to conquer desire, to believe in new beginnings, and to accept and even savor the fleeting nature of all human endeavors."

Parker will receive a prize of $250, and his poem, along with the runner-up and the two honorable mentions, will be published by storySouth in an special section this summer.

Parker is the author of three novels, Cry Uncle, Whale Man, and The Committee on Town Happiness (Dzanc Books, forthcoming in 2014); and seven collections of poems, including Long Division (Tupelo Press, 2012) winner of the 2012 North Carolina Book Award for the best collection of poetry; and editor of three other volumes, including Who's Who in 20th Century World Poetry, for which he served as Editor for North America. He has been awarded three Pushcart Prizes, the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, among other honors; he has published over 200 poems and stories in journals.

Gabriel Spera, a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the author of two poetry collections, named Joseph Mills' poem "Simple Architecture" as runner-up. Katherine Soniat's "Early Life Triptych" and Ross White's "Michelangelo's David" were awarded honorable mentions.

Of Mills' poem, Spera said, “This poem grew on me with each re-reading. Though simple in tone and diction (and title), it is complicated, in the sense that it forges internal linkages that are not immediately apparent....I was taken in by the exploration of the ambiguous nature of the artist, the sudden awareness of the poet's desire to rewrite or whitewash a world that defies any such attempt.”

Joseph MillsJoseph Mills is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He holds the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. His published work includes poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism. He has published four volumes of poetry with Press 53: Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet; Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers; Somewhere During the Spin Cycle; and Love and Other Collisions. Joseph and his wife, Danielle Tarmey, are the authors of A Guide to North Carolina's Wineries (John F. Blair, Publisher). The second edition was released in 2007. He blogs about various topics at "Icing and Ink" and occasionally posts on Twitter @JosephRmills.

The 2013 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition drew 122 entries. Nineteen finalists included Jim Clark, Terri Kirby Erickson, Coppie Green, Ruth Moose, Valerie Nieman, Lynn Veach Sadler, Maureen Sherbondy, and Jim Whiteside.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Visit www.ncwriters.org for more information on this and other contests.


Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman, whose story, "Wanted- A Good Christmas Likeness," is a finalist for Not Your Mother’s Book…on Holidays. So far, her stories have found homes in three other editions of this anthology: the one on being a woman, the one on travel, and the one on parenting. This new publication seeks humorous stories.












Allegiance and Betrayal: Stories by Peter Makuck

Syracuse University Press
$19.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8156-1015-1
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or www.Amazon.com

"Makuck returns to one of the most fertile wellsprings of literature—the family. With grace and wit, he dramatizes family matters in post—World War II America, drawing attention to why families matter and what is the matter with so many of them. . . . As he points to the tragic and comic ways family members exacerbate and resolve their differences, he repeatedly surprises us with the mysterious ways people act. These stories are destined to beguile."
—Henry Hart, author of James Dickey: The World as a Lie

"These stories dramatize the paradoxes of felt or forced connections as in a first kiss from a troublesome married cousin that burns the narrator’s cheek like a brand. Allegiance and Betrayal sears the reader with recognition."
—Allen Wier, author of the award-winning novel Tehano

The stories in Allegiance and Betrayal are set in cars, on top of a water tower, in a bar, on a fishing boat, at a family farm, and at a swimming pool. Each story carries an aura of the mystery surrounding family relations, the enigma of love, the gaping rift between generations, the give-and- take between husbands and wives, and the inevitability of loss.

The book begins with a suite of three stories about Tim Budney. In the first, he reluctantly leaves home and his beloved hot rod Ford to attend a small Catholic college; in the second, he experiences a conflict of allegiances—loyalty to a friend versus lying to his teacher and priest; in the third, he imagines that his uncle, a pool hustler, is in danger and returns to the uncle’s tavern where he witnesses something unforgettable. In other stories, a Yankee house painter trying to sell his car encounters a tricky, Bible-quoting southerner; a married couple hurtfully moves away from their friends of twenty years without saying goodbye or leaving an address; a near fatal scuba dive revives a friendship of many years; a family reunion turns ugly on the subject of religion; and a high school French teacher arranges an offshore fishing trip to settle a score with the football coach.

With deft prose and a generous spirit, Makuck explores the deep but subtle range of human emotion. Humorous and tender, these stories offer rich portraits of individuals struggling to overcome failed dreams and searching for an answer to the question of what truly matters.

Peter Makuck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University. He is the author of Long Lens: New and Selected Poems and two collections of short stories, Breaking and Entering and Costly Habits. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in the Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, the Nation, and Gettysburg Review.

Hats Off! to Sandra Ervin Adams, whose poem "Wolf" was printed on a special bookmark by Onslow County Public Library, which celebrated National Poetry Month by having a poetry contest with the theme of Onslow County history. Also, Sandra won Third Place in the literary/poetry division of the 2013 Onslow Senior Games for her poem, "Surrendered," and First Place for her visual-mixed media art work, titled, "Stepping Stones," which included her poem, "Stepping Stones."



Hats Off! to NCWN Regional Rep Betty Dotson-Lewis (Iredell-Yadkin). The National Library of Scotland is adding three of her nonfiction books to their special collection: Appalachia: Spirit Triumphant, Sago Mine Disaster, and The Sunny Side of Appalachia. Due to their connection to Scottish and Scots-Irish culture and history, the National Library believes they will make "lovely additions to the material (they) hold on the Scots-Irish influence in the United States."

Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts by Nora Gaskin

Lystra Books & Literary Services
$11.95, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9884164-0-6 (pb) / 978-0-9884164-1-3 (e-book)
October, 2012
Fiction - Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts is fiction, and a mystery. Two young women are murdered in their homes, forty years apart. One of the crimes is solved; the other is not. Both crimes involve the same two extended families. After the first one, both families tried to forget, to hide, to keep secrets. The second crime reminds us of Faulkner's famous words about the past--it is not even past. And it doesn't lose its power.

The seed-thought for Until Proven was a murder that took place in Chapel Hill in 1963. Nora was a twelve-year-old living in Chapel Hill at the time. The crime and its aftermath made an impact on her, so much so that decades later she wrote her novel, and she wrote a nonfiction account of the actual events. That account is Time of Death (below), available as an e-book.


Time of Death by Nora Gaskin

Lystra Books & Literary Services
$3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9884164-2-0
January, 2013
Available from www.Amazon.com

An account of a true crime in Chapel Hill, NC, and the ways justice is denied. The death of Lucille Rinaldi and the accusations brought against her husband, Frank, became the seed-thoughts of Nora Gaskin's novel, Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts.

Nora Gaskin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in English, with Honors in Creative Writing. She studied with the great Max Steele and Louis Ruben. She then got her MA in English from the University of Washington in Seattle. As life will, hers took a detour and she had a long career as a stock broker and financial planner. After 24 1/2 years, she retired from that to resume her life as a working writer.


Hats Off! to Scott Owens, who is interviewed in the current issue of Pirene's Fountain about writing and his two poetry collections, Shadows Trail Them Home and For One Who Knows How to Own Land. In the same issue, Royce Hamel reviews For One Who Knows How to Own Land. There are also two new poems of Scott's.


CULLOWHEE—The 2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency will be July 11–14 on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is the Network’s smallest and most intensive conference. Admission is limited to the first fifty registrants who sign up for one of three three-day workshops:

  • Poetry with Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina’s first woman Poet Laureate. Byer has published six full-length collections of poetry, including Descent (LSU Press, 2012), her most recent. A re-print of her first, the AWP Award-winning The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, is forthcoming from Press 53. Her work has appeared in many journals and newspapers, including The Atlantic, Hudson Review, Boston Globe, and Georgia Review.


  • Fiction with Elizabeth Lutyens. Lutyens returned to her native North Carolina after a career in the Boston area as a journalist in print and television. Her novel-in-progress, Medicine Island, was a semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. A faculty member of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC Asheville since 2006, she currently teaches its by-invitation Prose Master Class and is editor-in-chief of its online literary magazine, The Great Smokies Review.


  • Creative Nonfiction with Catherine Reid. Reid is the author of Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst (Houghton Mifflin) and Falling into Place (forthcoming from Beacon Press); she has also edited two anthologies and served as editor of nonfiction for a literary journal. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre, and Bellevue Literary Review. She is currently the director of creative writing at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in literary nonfiction and environmental writing.


The Residency will begin on Thursday evening, July 11, with registration and check-in. Workshops begin on Friday morning, July 12, and continue until the early afternoon of July 14. The Residency will also feature panel discussions and readings by faculty and attendees.

Registrants also will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations.

“The small class sizes and extended, intensive format of the Squire Summer Writing Residency makes it especially safe for writers to share their work, get to know other writers, and find inspiration,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said.

Registration for the 2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency is open now on www.ncwriters.org.

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.

Three Times Lucky










Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin
$16.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0803736702
May, 2012
Young Adult Fiction
Available at local bookstores or www.Amazon.com

"Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn't put to good use. Miss Lana's voice is 'the color of sunlight in maple syrup,' while '[r]umors swirl around the Colonel like ink around an octopus.' But it's Mo's wry humor that makes this first novel completely memorable."
--Publisher's Weekly

“Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children’s fiction.”
--Kirkus Reviews

Meet Miss Moses LoBeau, rising sixth grader, borderline straight-A student, and natural born detective. Mo, a “possible orphan” who washed into Tupelo Landing NC the day she was born, looks forward to a lazy summer. She’ll take karate with her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, continue her search for her long-lost mother, and help out at the café operated by the Colonel and Miss Lana-–the good-hearted but quirky folks who took her in when she was a baby.

But when the café’s crankiest customer turns up dead and a city-slick lawman comes to town, Mo’s life in Tupelo Landing turns upside down. Mo and Dale set out to solve the murder and protect the people they love, and end up solving the mysteries of their own lives in the process.

Three Times Lucky, for ages 10 and up, has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. It’s a Junior Library Guild selection, a SIBA “Okra Pick,” and a recommended children’s book on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com for the month of May.

Sheila Turnage lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, a blind dog and an ill-tempered cat.

A native North Carolinian, she's spent most of her life surrounded by the poetry and humor of rural NC. She writes books, articles and poems, and enjoys writing about the South in general and NC in particular. Her books include Compass American Guides: North Carolina and Haunted Inns of the Southeast.

Three Times Lucky is her first novel for kids. It's set in the fictitious town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina--population 148 minus one (murder).

Connect with Sheila on Facebook, or on her website.

Southern (dis)Comfort











Southern Discomfort by Heather Daughtridge

Aberdeen Bay
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-60830-080-8
May, 2012
Available where books are sold and at www.Amazon.com

At thirty-five, Samantha London must reevaluate her entire life when she uncovers the secrets that her newly deceased grandmother desperately tried to hide. Lost and confused, Sam desperately attempts to put together the pieces of her past that could derail her perfectly planned future with her endearing husband and story-book two children.

Sam and Matt’s marriage and family don’t just seem perfect, they are perfect. Or at least that’s what Sam thought. As Sam begins the journey of closing her grandmother’s estate and parsing through her final belongings, Sam is faced with reevaluating her past as well as future.

A ghost from long ago appears at Sam’s wedding boutique, je t’aime, not as a visitor but as a customer. As pieces from the past begin to unfold, Sam realizes this encounter with her prior lover and best friend are not happenstance. As secrets are revealed and the past is uncovered, Sam must face that her beloved Grandmother is no longer alive to pull her to the surface.

While Matt pursues a professorship opportunity in Savannah, Sam must decide if her heart will move with her if they relocate to Georgia. Her experiences as established business owner, PTA volunteer of the year, and fixer of all boo boo’s, never prepared her for the discovery and heartache that would be coming next.

Heather is a native North Carolinian and currently resides in Raleigh with her husband and two children. She holds the position of Director of Development at an Episcopal private school. Southern Discomfort is Heather’s first novel. Visit her website at www.heathersnovelty.com.


Hats Off! to LC Fiore and Liza Wieland, who were both finalists in the 2011 Balcones Fiction Prize: Fiore for his debut novel, Green Gospel, and Wieland for her collection of stories, Quickening.


Hats Off! to Glenda Beall whose poem, "One Flaw", was published in the most-recent issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review.












Code of the Forest: A Novel by Jon Buchan

Joggling Board Press
$24.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-9841073-5-3
May, 2012
Available from the publisher

“Smart characters appear at every turn of the story.... The book also recognizes the beauty of a fragile ecosystem and the connections between personal and national histories. It celebrates the quiet crusader who believes ‘The truth shall set you free.’ [Buchan’s] knowledge of history, geography, and small-town life in coastal South Carolina permeates the prose. ”
--ForeWord Reviews

Code of the Forest is a novel that, once begun, is nearly impossible to put down. Jon Buchan tells a story filled with drama and compelling characters, including the ruthless but charismatic Senator Buck Ravenel, a villain you will love to hate. Jon Buchan is a gifted storyteller, and this book should gain him a large and appreciative audience.”
--Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author

“Jon Buchan drops you into a story of smart journalists and lawyers having to make tough decisions. There’s a little romance, a lot of natural beauty and many cold beverages. Find a comfortable chair. Once you start this book, you won’t be getting up anytime soon.”
--Tommy Tomlinson, columnist, The Charlotte Observer

When Wade McNabb, publisher of the Georgetown Pilot, exposes high-level political corruption surrounding a chemical plant on the South Carolina coast, a powerful senator, steeped in the ancient code of the state’s insider politics, threatens to bring down McNabb and his newspaper.

Wade turns for help to Kate Stewart, a young lawyer who has left a large law firm for a fresh start on her own in Georgetown. These two fiercely independent souls form a wary alliance for the legal battle that follows. It’s a fight that shows them the power of connections–good and bad–to change their lives forever.

Jon Buchan, a First Amendment attorney and former newspaper political reporter, drew on his expert knowledge to produce Code of the Forest, a legal drama that, in the words of New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash, is “nearly impossible to put down.” An authoritative voice with an insider’s understanding of Southern politics, Buchan takes readers into the courtrooms, newsrooms, and political backrooms of the South Carolina Lowcountry in this tale of corruption and quest for human connection. His website is www.jon-buchan.com.

Summer of Wolves










Summer of the Wolves by Lisa Williams Kline

$10.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-310-72613-5
May, 2012
Young Adult Fiction
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Stepsisters, yes. Friends? Maybe ... "I smelled the wolf now--sharp and musky. I scanned the pen and saw a shadow behind one of the bushes that might be another wolf. Probably two of the most miserable looking creatures I'd ever seen."

Stephanie and Diana are having a hard time adjusting to life as new stepsisters. The girls 'pretend' to like each other, but it's pretty hard considering they are complete opposites. When their new family takes their first-ever vacation to a horse ranch in North Carolina, not even long horse-back rides in the forest can tame their tempers. Diana's anger issues and Stephanie's fear of everything prove disastrous, until Diana discovers the caged wolves in the deep woods. She vows to free them, and surprisingly, Stephanie agrees to help. But their actions have unforeseen consequences, and if there's any chance to make things right, Stephanie and Diana must put their differences aside.


Wild Horse Spring










Wild Horse Spring by Lisa Williams Kline

$10.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0310726159
May, 2012
Young Adult Fiction
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

For once Stephanie and Diana want the same thing. That's the problem. Diana and Stephanie are still trying to decide if they like each other when their blended family goes to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for spring break. They're headed in opposite directions--Diana is crazy about the wild horses and Stephanie is crazy about the boys---until one guy catches both their interests. Soon they're butting heads--again. But when their crush is accused of committing a crime against the horses, can the stepsisters band together to prove his innocence?

Lisa Williams Kline is the author of Floods, The Princesses of Atlantis, Write Before Your Eyes, and Eleanor Hill, winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Her stories for children have appeared in Cricket, Cicada, Spider, and Odyssey. She earned her MFA from Queens University. Lisa lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, with her veterinarian husband, where their grown daughters visit frequently. In addition to writing, Lisa has also been a tongue-tied disc jockey, a radio copywriter, a zoned-out waitress, and a disorganized but trustworthy veterinary hospital office manager. Recently she learned to drive a forklift. Now she is an editor, writer, and English teacher. Lisa enjoys reading, running, watching movies, kayaking, and playing golf.


Hats Off! to Valerie Nieman and LC Fiore. Nieman and her novel, Blood Clay, won the General Fiction category of the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, while Fiore's debut, Green Gospel, was named First Runner-Up. Nieman was also short-listed for the Montaigne Medal, while Fiore was short-listed for the First Horizon Award.


Hats Off! to Lisa Williams Kline, whose new book, Summer of the Wolves, received the following favorable review from Kirkus:

"Blended families that resist blending are a middle-grade–fiction staple, but this funny, gentle and compassionate story feels fresh, thanks to appealing, closely observed characters, both major and minor, and a compelling setting.

"In alternating chapters, Diana and Stephanie describe their eventful week at a rustic North Carolina resort where Diana’s mom and Stephanie’s dad have arranged their new family’s first vacation. Both girls are entering eighth grade, but Diana, having repeated third grade, is older. Burdened with an unspecified mood disorder, she’s a difficult kid—inattentive, impetuous, angry—bonding more deeply with animals, especially horses, than people. Pretty, timid Stephanie is smart and kind but anxious about horses and river rafting; Diana tries her patience and exacerbates her fears. Each—her self-confidence shaken by family breakup and reconfiguration—pushes the other’s buttons until, in a rare bonding moment, they set two captive wolves free. However, the fallout from their “good deed” will have unpredictable consequences on those around them, human and animal. Mitigating the damage will take individual soul searching and cooperation. While drawing from several well-known Cherokee tales, Kline avoids didacticism; the girls’ discoveries, flowing from their natures and experience, feel earned. Recognizing how much of life they can’t control is tough but liberating, freeing them to focus on what is within their power: their own responses. A fresh take on an old story."


Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina











Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina compiled and edited by Jack J. Prather

Future Now Publishing
$29.95 (hardcover) / $19.95 (paperback)
May, 2012
Available from the publisher

"Prather takes a fascinating look at people living the American dream by relating personal and career journeys in a fine book for everyone, not just those with historical interest."
--Bruce Chadwick, Biographer and Columnist

"This book is not only thoroughly enjoyable, it promotes the quality of life and strong business and professional spirit obviously prevalent in Western North Carolina."
--Douglas Laird, former County Chamber President

"Rev. Dan Matthews is one of the kindest and most empathetic people I've met, has unusual wisdom and depth, and is a constant source of support. He's a mixture of Spencer Tracy and Jack Lemmon, and I love his mischievous grin!"
--Katie Couric, ABC-TV

Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina is a collection of mini-biographies featuring compelling life journeys as told to author Jack J. Prather. Each comprehensive bio includes career and life highlights, writings by and about the Notable, and moving testimonials from such luminaries as Katie Couric, Doc Watson, former NC Gov. Jim Hunt, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshal and NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Exum. At 400 pages in length and featuring an astonishing 133 photos it is safe to say that Jack has genuinely captured the true essence of each and every one of these Notables.

The Twelve Notables:

  • Rev. Dr. Dan Matthews, O.B.E. - Waynesville (Priest at Ground Zero on 9-11 / Recipient Order of the British Empire)
  • Musician David Holt - Fairview (Grammy winning Musician-Storyteller / PBS-TV and NPR-Radio Hostf)
  • Captain Ray F. West, Jr., USNR, Ret. - Flat Rock (Moldova World Childrens Fund Founder / UNCA Distinguished Alumnus)
  • Judge Harry C. Martin – Biltmore Forest (Former NC and Cherokee Supreme Court Justice / Honorary Cherokee)
  • Olson Huff, MD, FAAP - Black Mountain (Founding Medical Director of Mission Children’s Hospital, Asheville)
  • Glenis Redmond – Asheville (Hall of Fame Performance Poet / Kennedy Center Teaching Artist)
  • Douglas M. Orr, Ph.D. – Black Mountain (President Emeritus Warren Wilson College / Author / Musician)
  • Billie Ruth Sudduth – Bakersville (Basket Artist / Smithsonian Collection / 1st Female NC Living Treasure)
  • Matthew J. Hayes, M.D. - Hendersonville (Pioneer of National Emergency Medical Services / ACEP Fellow)
  • Joe Epley, APR - Tryon (Global Public Relations Leader / UNC Journalism School Hall of Fame)
  • Richard Ritter – Bakersville (Glass Artist / NC Living Treasure 2011 / Governor’s Award as Fire Chief)
  • Julyan Davis - Asheville (Southern Art Oil Painter / Galleries on East-West Coasts and Europe)


Jack J. Prather is a multiple award-winning journalist, freelance fiction and nonfiction writer and poet, and the author of six diverse books. He is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network and Netwest.


Hats Off! to Sandra Ervin Adams, who had three winning poems in the 2012 Fields of Earth Poetry Contest sponsored by Writers' Ink Guild. "The Thread" won third place in the love category; "Sanctuary in the Park" won an honorable mention in the religious/inspirational category, and "Gone" received an honorable mention in the "open" category. Sandra also won third place in the literary/poetry division of the 2012 Onslow Senior Games for her poem, "Finding Yesterday," and third place in the literary/life experiences division for her story, "My Santa Claus Memories." In addition, she won first place for her visual-mixed media art work, titled "True Art," which included her poem, "True Art." Also, Sandra's poem, "Blue Bell Wood," appears in the 2012 Lyricist, published by Campbell University.


Michael Gaspeny

GREENSBORO, NC–Michael Gaspeny, the winner of the 2012 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, was as a college freshman inspired by Jarrell himself.

“At Randolph-Macon in 1961, I was prepared to stay awake long enough to respond to my name on the roll when my teacher brought a guest to class, Randall Jarrell. We had to be told who he was. He read Frost's poem ‘The Witch of Coos’ and spoke about its glories with such eloquence that the louts in that class were stunned by his brilliance,” Gaspeny said. “So this award has a special shine for me, and maybe a little redemption.”

Gaspeny’s poem “Shore Drive” was picked by judge Maria Hummel out of more than 100 entries. “It's hard to say what I liked more about this poem: the surprising and tender characterizations of speaker and subject or its gorgeous, slant-rhyming musicality,” Hummel wrote. “I also admire how the poem's syntax moved from complexity to a painful, candid simplicity, and the end sent me back to the beginning to appreciate it all over again.”

Gaspeny will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the contest’s sponsor, and his winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible. Gaspeny is a poet and fiction writer living in Greensboro. His work has appeared in Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, Cave Wall, and Main Street Rag. He won the O. Henry Festival Short Story competition in 1998. For many years, he reviewed books for the Greensboro News & Record. A former reporter and retired High Point University professor, Gaspeny has also received the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence for his work with hospice. He’s married to the novelist and essayist Lee Zacharias; they have two sons, Al and Max.

Hummel also named “My Kitchen” by Sandra Ann Winters and “Then Wear the Gold Hat If That Will Move Her” by Dannye Romine Powell as runners-up.

Maria HummelCurrently teaching at Stanford University, Hummel is the author of the novel Wilderness Run (St. Martin's) and the chapbook City of the Moon (Harperprints). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry, The Missouri Review, New England Review, Narrative, and Creative Nonfiction. Her awards include the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award (2009), runner-up for The Iowa Review Creative Nonfiction Prize (2010), and a Pushcart Prize (2011). This year, she is coordinating and teaching in the Creative Nonfiction program at Stanford University.

This year’s preliminary judge was David Bruzina, whose poems have appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines including storySouth, The Greensboro Review, and Waccamaw. He received his Ph.D in creative writing from Ohio University and teaches reading, writing, and rhetoric at the University of South Carolina - Aiken.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Visit www.ncwriters.org for more information on this and other contests.


Hats Off! to Philip Gerard, whose collection of essays, The Patron Saint of Dreams , won the Gold Medal in Creative Nonfiction in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing.


Leah HamptonGREENVILLE, NC--Leah Hampton of Waynesville, NC, is the winner of the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for her story “The Saint.” Hampton will receive a prize of $250, and her story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2013 issue.

Leah Hampton teaches English at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where she currently serves as the Associate Director of WCU's Writing and Learning Commons. She is a native North Carolinian and a longtime resident of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She lives in Waynesville with her husband Joel.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Hampton’s story from twelve finalists, saying “I chose 'The Saint' as winner of the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize because I was moved by the quiet, deliberate voice in the story, as well as by the energy of the language. I was also impressed by the story’s experiment with chronology, its demonstration that grief can dismantle time and thus in some way make time useful to us. This is a story that is both disarmingly wise and breathtakingly beautiful.”

Eighty-nine stories were submitted to this year’s competition. Wieland also noted Ronald Jackson’s “The Shower,” Kathryn Lovatt’s “A Cure For Dreams,” and Gregg Cusick’s “Entanglement” for honorable mentions, each of whom is an NCWN member. Other finalists were NCWN members Leah Berkowitz and Kermit Turner, as well as Allison Reavis, Nancy Richard, Beth Hatcher, Faith Holsaert, Haley Edwards, and Susan Walker.

Read Liza Wieland's comments on the Honorable Mentions here.

"The past year has been full of surprises and learning experiences," said Hampton."My background is in technical writing, so I've always been rather shy about my creative side. Recently I'd been intensely focused on some challenging work-related writing projects, and I was feeling really burned out. I became determined to take some time for myself and finally submit this story, which had been on the back burner for some time. It felt so good to finish it, to feed that part of myself. I am so thrilled and fulfilled by this whole experience."

NCWN member Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill won the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story, "Boundaries."

Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations. Fiction editor Liza Wieland is the author of three novels and three collections of short stories.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development.


Hats Off! to MariJo Moore, who was featured in the May-June issue of Southern Writers Magazine.


Hats Off! to Gregg Cusick, Ronald Jackson, and Kathryn Lovatt, whose stories were selected as Honorable Mentions in the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize contest. To read nice things about each of the Honorable Mentions, click here.


Kathryn Stripling ByerSOUTHERN PINES – Bestselling poet and memoirist Maya Angelou, former state Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer (right), and 18th-Century explorer and naturalist John Lawson will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame this fall.

The induction ceremony will be 2:00 pm, Sunday, October 14, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, where the NCLHOF is housed. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

In addition to the three new inductees, the NCLHOF has launched a new website, www.nclhof.org, with expanded multimedia resources on the fifty North Carolina writers currently enshrined.

Maya Angelou is the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, whose faculty she joined in 1982. A celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist, Angelou is perhaps best known for her 1970 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Lincoln Medal, three Grammy Awards, and more than thirty honorary degrees.

Dr. Edwin G. Wilson, Provost Emeritus at Wake Forest University, will present Angelou for induction, and accept the induction on her behalf. Poet Jaki Shelton Green, the Triangle’s first Piedmont Laureate, will read Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” in her honor.

Kathryn Stripling Byer served as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate—the first woman to serve in that role—from 2005 to 2009. She has published six books of poetry, with a seventh due from the Louisiana State University Press this fall, and taught for many years at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Byer and her work have won the AWP Award, the Roanoke-Chowan Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the SIBA Book of the Year Award in poetry, fellowships from the National Endowment for Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Hanes Award in Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Sally Buckner—herself a noted poet, editor, and advocate for North Carolina literature—will present Byer for induction. Bestselling novelist and fellow NCLHOF inductee Lee Smith will read Byer’s poem “Mountain Time.”

John Lawson Captured by IndiansJohn Lawson came to the Carolina colony in 1700, appointed by the Lords Proprietors to survey the colony’s interior. Setting out from Charleston on December 28, Lawson covered about 550 miles in fifty-nine days, ending his journey near Bath on the Pamlico River. His observations on the topography, flora and fauna, and native peoples were published in England in 1709 with the title A New Voyage to Carolina, considered “the first significant effort to describe the natural history and the natives” of North Carolina and North America, and “a classic of early American literature.” Lawson was also one of the founders of New Bern, and was the first casualty of the 1711 Tuscarora War.

Lawson will be presented for induction by noted nature writer Phillip Manning. Danny Bell, the Program Coordinator for the curriculum in American Indian Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, will read an excerpt from A New Voyage to Carolina. Kay Williams, the executive director of Tryon Palace in New Bern, will accept the induction on Lawson’s behalf.

The NCLHOF was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.


Hats Off! to NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern, who was featured in the May-June issue of Southern Writers Magazine.


Pat MacEnultyCHARLOTTE – Registration is now closed for the 2012 Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 19–22 at Queens University of Charlotte.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency was open only to the first fifty registrants, who chose from one of the following workshops: Creative Nonfiction with Pat MacEnulty, Poetry with Morri Creech, or Fiction with Robert Inman.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency has become one of our most beloved programs,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “It’s the most effective at forming close bonds between writers from across the state.”

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor.

MacEnulty’s most recent book, Wait Until Tomorrow: A Daughter's Memoir, was nominated for the 2012 SIBA Nonfiction Book Award. She has also published four novels, a short-story collection, a children's play, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews. She is an Associate Professor of English at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, where she teaches creative writing, journalism, and film.

Morri CreechCreech is the Writer in Residence at Queens University of Charlotte, where he teaches courses in both the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program and in the Low-Residency M.F.A. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Paper Cathedrals (Kent State University Press, 2001) and Field Knowledge, which received the Anthony Hecht Poetry prize and was nominated for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Poet’s Prize. His third book, The Sleep of Reason, is forthcoming in 2013.

Robert InmanInman is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter who in 1996 left a thirty-one-year career in television journalism, much of it as the lead anchor for WBTV in Charlotte, to devote himself full-time to fiction writing. He is the author of four novels, and his fifth novel, The Governor’s Lady, will be published later this year. He has also written seven produced plays for the stage, and the screenplays for six motion pictures for television.

In addition to the workshops, the 2012 Squire Summer Writing Residency will feature a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, a “Writingest State” trivia contest, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in guest rooms that will be set aside for this conference.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is named in honor of the late Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire, whose support made the residency possible.

More information about the Squire Summer Writing Residency can be found at www.ncwriters.org, or by calling 336-293-8844.

... to Rebecca Petruck.  She recently secured an agent, Kate Testerman of kt literary, to represent her manuscript.  More information about Rebecca Petruck can be found on her website. (www.rebeccapetruck.com)

... to Janet Hartman.  Her creative nonfiction story, "Cairn Mind Meld", appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life, which was released in April 2011.

 .. to Kelley Harrell. The Spirit of a Woman: Stories to Empower and Inspire, an anthology where her story "Telling the Bees" is featured, won a 2011 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Medal Winner.  More information about the anthology is here.

The Hilton New Bern/RiverfrontNEW BERN – Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2011 Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 14-17 at the Hilton Riverfront in New Bern.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is open only to the first fifty registrants, who can choose one of the following workshops: Creative Nonfiction with Virginia Holman; Poetry with Peter Makuck; or Fiction with Liza Wieland.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency has become one of our most beloved programs,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “It’s most effective at forming close bonds between writers from across the state, which is what the Network is here to do.”

This year the Residency has been extended from three days to four, with two additional workshop sessions and an extra evening program.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor.

Holman is the author of Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing Up Sane in a Decade Gone Mad, which was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Authors Selection and a Boston Globe Recommended Read. Holman has also published essays and articles in DoubleTake Magazine, Redbook, Women's Health, Prevention, Glamour, Self, O Magazine, More, Book Magazine, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hartford Courant, and numerous other publications. She teaches in the creative writing program at UNC Wilmington.

The InnMakuck’s collection Long Lens: New & Selected Poems, released in 2010, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has also published two collections of short stories, Breaking and Entering and Costly Habits; the latter was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Founder and editor of Tar River Poetry from 1978 to 2006, he is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University. His poems and stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The Sewanee Review, The North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Nation, among others.

Wieland has published three novels (The Names of the Lost, Bombshell, and A Watch of Nightingales); three collections of short fiction (Discovering America, You Can Sleep While I Drive, and the new book Quickening); as well as a book of poems (Near Alcatraz). She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, and the North Carolina Arts Council, and has won two Pushcart Prizes. She teaches at East Carolina University, where she is the fiction editor at The North Carolina Literary Review, and lives near Oriental.

The Stanly HouseIn addition to the workshops, the 2011 Squire Summer Writing Residency will feature a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in guest rooms that will be set aside for this conference.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is named in honor of the late Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire, whose support made the residency possible.

More information about the Squire Summer Writing Residency can be found at www.ncwriters.org or by calling 336-293-8844.


Two poems by Sandra Ervin Adams, "Transition," and "Feline Therapy," have been accepted by Nurturing Paws, to be published by Whispering Angel Books this summer.

Nancy Simpson  will be the featured poet
workshop leader at Blue Ridge Bookfest on May 21.
Her book, Living Above the  Frost Line: New and Selected Poems, has been named a SIBA Poetry Award finalist. 

Brenda Kay Ledford's poem, "Beckoning," won first place in the 20th annual Clay County Historical and Arts Council Poetry Contest.  She read her poem during "Evening With the Arts" at Hayesville High School Lecture Hall on May 5.  Nancy Simpson judged the poetry contest.

... to Erika Hoffman.  Her non-fiction tale about a volunteer dog at a VA Hospital, Mitzi and Her Men, has been accepted by Whispering Angel Books for their anthology, Nurturing Paws.

Dannye Romaine PowellGREENSBORO, NC – Charlotte Observer writer Dannye Romine Powell has won the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “I Am the Girl.”

Poet and editor Dan Albergotti chose Powell’s poem from close to 100 entries.

“I love how this deceptively simple poem navigates what is actually highly complex at the level of syntax, temporality, perspective, and emotion,” Albergotti said. “It's a poem strongly driven by voice and idea, but it doesn't neglect the necessity of image: the high window, the spring breezes, the brown dress and ivory beads, and the wonderfully surprising peach of the final line. There may be only one sentence here, but it magically reveals a lifetime in a way that only poetry can.”

Powell will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the contest’s sponsor, and her winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible.

Powell has written for the Charlotte Observer since 1975, in various capacities, including book editor, feature writer, metro columnist, and restaurant reviewer. She has twice won the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian published in the preceding year. Her poems are forthcoming from Prairie Schooner and the Tampa Review. Her latest collection is A Necklace of Bees (2008, University of Arkansas Press). She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers.

Albergotti also named “From Dry Seed Casings” by Mary Jo Amani as runner-up, and poems by Terri Kirby Erickson, Maureen Sherbondy, and Nancy Martin Young as honorable mentions.

A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti currently teaches creative writing and literature c ourses and edits the online journal Waccamaw at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. He is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008), selected by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.

The preliminary judge for this year’s contest was Amanda Rutstein, a former poetry editor for The Greensboro Review. She is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at UNCG, where she teaches courses in literature and poetry writing.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Visit www.ncwriters.org for more information on this and other contests.


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.

.... to Joseph Cavano. His short story, ”Story Cloth,” has been accepted for publication by the Potomac Review.  The story will appear in the Spring 2012 issue.  The recent acceptance of his story, “The Honey Wagon,”  by the North Carolina Literary Review for its Summer 2012 issue, has made for a nice few weeks.

NORTH CAROLINA—Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill is the winner of the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for his story "Boundaries." Wolf will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2012 issue.

Wolf is a previous Doris Betts Fiction Prize winner, and his 2007 winning story “Distance” appears in the 2008 issue of NCLR. He has an MFA in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He and his wife, Patricia L. Bryan, co-authored Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America’s Heartland (Algonquin Books, 2005), a nonfiction narrative about a now century-old Iowa murder case.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Wolf’s 2011 submission, saying, “The impressive power of the winning story, ‘Boundaries,’ comes from the quiet longing with which it is told. The tone is acutely reasonable, the perfect foil for the act of violence at the story’s center. The narrator’s tangential relationship to this act allows him to peer more and more closely into the lives of those involved and finally feel beautifully and horribly touched by it: ‘I wonder,’ he says, ‘how it feels to be loved like that.’ ‘Boundaries’ shows us quite brilliantly the truth of Faulkner’s notion of the past—that it is never dead, and not even past.”

Wieland named a second place finisher in this year’s competition: Joseph Cavano’s “The Honey Wagon.” Of this story she says, “I admire ‘The Honey Wagon’ for the consistency and authenticity of its narrative voice and the way that voice guides the reader through a complicated progress of responses. We follow him from humor and happiness to uncertainly and finally to the complex world of adult knowledge and deception. It’s remarkable to see a voice grow up in this way, to change subtly but surely and gracefully in the course of twenty pages. I ache for this narrator.” Born in upstate New York, Cavano currently lives in Charlotte. He was a lso a finalist for last year’s Doris Betts Fiction Prize.

This year’s competition received nearly 100 entries. Of the 9 finalists, Wieland also noted for Honorable Mention "You Never Know Who's Watching You" by Gwendolyn Bikis, "Falling Through Chairs" by Carol Cooley, “Jump” by Doris Iarovici, and "The Yellow Forsythia" by Sandra Lunsford Mason. Other finalists were “Yang Rising” by Kathryn Etters Lovatt, “The Cops” by Bernard Lumpkin, and “Life Choices” by Sarah Meyer.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and managed by the editorial staff of the North Carolina Literary Review. Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations. Fiction Editor Liza Wieland is the author of three novels and four collections of short stories.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2011 issue, featuring the winning story from the 2010 Betts competition, as well as the 2012 issue, featuring stories from this year’s competition. Subscribe by June 1 to avoid postage charges.

.....to member Elizabeth Gaucher.  Her blog, Esse Diem (www.essediemblog.com), was recently recognized by the multimedia web magazine and creative collective, WestVirginiaVille.com in its "ongoing quest to seek out the finest writing on the Web in.....the Transcendent New Nation of Appalachia." 

... to Stephen McCutchan. He has written, recorded, and produced a new CD, Laughter From the Well, that is available from www.cdbaby.com.  It combines comedy sketches about various aspects of being a pastor with music by both David Bailey and Bryan McFarland that also reflects on the work of ministry in both a humorous and serious vain.  

Katrina Parker Williams will have a short story "Remembering His Voice" published in the Patchwork Path: Treasure Box  anthology in November 2010.

Claude Limoges' photograph titled, "The Visitor", was chosen as the cover photo for the current issue of the literary journal Up The Staircase. The photo was taken at Old Salem in Winston-Salem.  More at http://www.upthestaircase.org/ and http://claudelimogeswhat.blogspot.com/

Allen Paul has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award which will enable him to spend a year at Warsaw University in Poland researching a book about Solidarity, the famous trade union movement that played such a dramatic role in bringing down the Iron Curtain.  

Sherry Ginn wrote a chapter entitled “Sexual Relations and Sexual Identity Issues: Brave New Worlds or More of the Old One?” for the newly-released book, Illuminating Torchwood, edited by Andrew Ireland.

RALEIGH, NC—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2010 Squire Summer Writing Residency, to be held July 23–25 on the campus of Peace College in downtown Raleigh.

Zelda Lockhart

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is open only to the first fifty registrants, who can choose one of the following workshops: Fiction with Zelda Lockhart, Creative Nonfiction with Elaine Orr, or Poetry with David Rigsbee.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency has become one of our most beloved programs,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “It’s the most effective at forming close bonds between writers from across the state, which is what the Network is here to do.”

“I found an open, welcoming community of people who immediately accept anyone who has a desire to write,” said NCWN member Karen Landis Price, who attended the 2009 Squire Summer Writing Residency. “Everyone is received equally as a peer.”

Ivy Rutledge, another 2009 residency participant, said, “The entire group brought a sense of community to my writing that I hadn't had before.”

The NCWN’s Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, with eight hour-and-a-half sessions over the three days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor.

Elaine OrrLockhart is author of the novels Fifth Born and Cold Running Creek, as well as the forthcoming Fifth Born II: The Hundredth Turtle. She is the 2010 Piedmont Laureate for the Triangle and surrounding areas.

Orr is an award-winning professor of literature and creative writing at North Carolina State University. She was born and grew up in southwestern Nigeria. Her memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life, was a BookSense selection and nominated for the Old State Award and the SEBA Book Award in creative nonfiction.

Rigsbee is the author of eighteen books and chapbooks. His latest books, The Red Tower: New & Selected Poems and The Pilot House, will be published in the fall of 2010. Winner of the 2010 Black River Poetry Prize, the Pound Prize, and the Vachel Lindsay Award, he has also been the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Academy of American Poets. He is a 2010 winner of the Sam Ragan Award for contribution to the arts in North Carolina.

David  RigsbeeIn addition to the workshops, the 2010 Squire Summer Writing Residency will feature a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together on campus, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in Peace College campus housing that will be set aside for this conference.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is named in honor of the late Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire, whose support made the residency possible. The North Carolina Arts Council, Peace College, and the Josephus Daniels Charitable Fund have also provided support for this year’s residency.

More information about the Squire Summer Writing Residency can be found at www.ncwriters.org, or by calling 336-293-8844.

GREENSBORO, NC—Rebecca Warren, a retired teacher from Greensboro, has won the 2010 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Acclaimed poet and publisher Rhett Iseman Trull chose Warren’s poem “Grass Bridge” from close to one hundred entries.

“‘Grass Bridge’ is a gently powerful poem. The voice is clear and melodic, the details vivid. The images speak to each other, creating layers of meaning that unfold throughout the poem,” Trull said. “This is a beautiful poem about diligence, connection, work, and love.”

Warren will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal the Crucible.

Warren, a native of Edenton, has lived in Greensboro since 1979. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Southern Poetry Review, International Poetry Review, and other magazines and anthologies. Her poem “Chalk” won the Guy Owen Prize for 2000. In 2009, her poem “In the Neighborhood of Fire” won North Carolina State University’s Brenda L. Smart Prize for Poetry, and her poem “Doorway” was awarded the Spoon River Poetry Review Editors’ Prize. Her chapbook, Prayers for Someone Else, was the 2002 winner of the Ruah/Power of Poetry award. She is a certified healing touch practitioner, and also a volunteer at Greensboro’s Women’s Hospital, where she works with babies in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Poets selected for honorable mention were Lynn Veach Sadler, Dannye Romine Powell, and Jeff Miles.

Rhett Iseman Trull's first book of poetry, The Real Warnings (Anhinga Press, 2009), received the 2008 Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2008, Prairie Schooner,the Southern Review, and other publications. Her awards include prizes from the Academy of American Poets and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. She received her BA from Duke University and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she was a Randall Jarrell Fellow. She and her husband publish Cave Wall in Greensboro.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Visit www.ncwriters.org for more information on this and other contests.

Claudette Cohen has a short fiction piece accepted in Cream City Review.  Check for "To Step Into The Flood" in the next issue. Website: http://www.creamcityreview.org

CULLOWHEE, NC – Catherine Carter, an assistant professor of English at Western Carolina University, has won the 2009 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Acclaimed poet Sarah Lindsay chose Carter’s poem “Toast” from close to 100 entries.

“It has a greater energy and rhythm . . . creates tension with a split viewpoint, and maintains the imagery throughout,” Lindsay said.

Carter will receive a $200 prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her winning poem will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible.

Carter was “raised by wolves and vultures on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,” and now lives with her husband in Cullowhee, where she coordinates the English education program at Western Carolina University.  Her work has appeared in Poetry, North Carolina Literary Review, Tar River, Main Street Rag, and Cider Press Review, among others.  She will have work in the upcoming Best American Poetry 2009, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart prize.  Her first book, The Memory of Gills (LSU Press, 2006), won the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award.  Her chapbook, The Swamp Monster at Home, is currently circulating.

Poets selected for honorable mention were Marjorie Hudson, Jeff Miles, Rebecca Warren, and Mary Elizabeth Parker.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly 18 years.  The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the graduate program in creative writing at UNCG, and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.  Visit www.ncwriters.org for more information on this and other contests.

Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2009 Squire Summer Writing Residency.

This year’s Summer Residency will be held Friday–Sunday, July 24–26, at Warren Wilson College outside Asheville, NC.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is open only to the first fifty registrants, who can choose one of the following workshops: Poetry with Cathy Smith Bowers, Fiction with Tommy Hays, or Creative Nonfiction with Catherine Reid.

Cathy Smith Bowers’s work has appeared in publications such as the Atlantic Monthly, the Gettysburg Review, the Georgia Review, Poetry, the Southern Review, and the Kenyon Review. She served for many years as poet-in-residence at Queens University of Charlotte, where she received the 2002 J. B. Fuqua Distinguished Educator Award. She now teaches in the Queens low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, and at conferences throughout the United States.

Bowers is the author of three collections of poetry: The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas, Texas Tech University Press, 1992; Traveling in Time of Danger, Iris Press, 1999; and A Book of Minutes, Iris Press, 2004. A fourth collection, The Candle I Hold Up to See You,is forthcoming from Iris Press.

Tommy Hays's latest novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was chosen for the One City, One Book program in Greensboro and for the Amazing Read—Greenville, SC’s, first community read. Read on NPR’s “Radio Reader,” it was a finalist for the SIBA 2006 Fiction Award. His other novels are Sam’s Crossing 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 UNC-Asheville.

Catherine Reid is an award-winning essayist and author of Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst (Houghton Mifflin), one of Bookloft’s “top twenty bestsellers for 2006.” Other work has appeared in such journals as Massachusetts Review, Green Mountains Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, where she was the featured writer for their inaugural issue. She teaches at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in creative nonfiction.

The NCWN’s Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, as well as a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together on campus, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in Warren Wilson campus housing that will be set aside for this conference.

“The form of the Summer Residency provides a heightened sense of collegiality, a sense that you’re not alone,” said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is named in honor of the late Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire, whose support made the residency possible.

More information about the Squire Summer Writing Residency can be found at www.ncwriters.org, or by calling 336-293-8844.

Albert Howard Carter IIIThe distinguished editor and publisher Shannon Ravenel has selected Chapel Hill resident Howard Carter’s story, “Mr. Mason’s Request,” as the winner of the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize from the N.C. Writers Network.  Ravenel  picked “Dickhead” by Anne Barnhill of Garner as the first runner up, and “Shack on Fire” by Bill Morris of Durham as the second runner up. The winner will receive a prize of $1,000 from the Network, and all three stories will be considered for publication by The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Ravenel selected the winners from a group of nine finalists sent to her by preliminary judge, David Radavich of Eastern Illinois University. The other six finalists were Samantha Talley of San Antonio, TX, for “The Mermaids Singing”; C. Stuart Wright of Ruffin, NC, for “Murdering Edna”; Ann McMurray Simpson of Knoxville, TN, for “Robert’s Shadow”; Julia Davis of Durham, NC, for “Revive Us Again”; Kurt Corriher of China Grove, NC, for “The Caretaker”; and Robert McCall of Saluda, NC, for “Ash Wednesday.”

Ravenel, the editor of The Best American Short Stories series for 13 years and the founding editor, with Louis Rubin, of Algonquin Press, praised Carter’s story: “Based on a brilliant premise, this story is perfectly executed to make the most of that premise and convincingly characterize the three players.” Carter, having retired from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL, is now adjunct professor of Social Medicine, College of Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill, and, part-time, a massage therapist specializing in cancer patients. He has written articles, poems, stories and full-length books about ways in which literature and the humanities can help medical patients. He has an A.B. in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Comp. Lit from the University of Iowa, with supporting courses in the Writers’ Workshop.

Anne Barnhill, the first runner-up for “Dickhead,” is the author of a memoir, At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister and Me.  Her short story collection, What You Long For, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing Co. in May of this year. She holds an M.F.A. in creating writing from UNC-Wilmington. Ravenel calls her story “a daring first person narrative that overcomes what could have turned raunchy or crude. Originality and finesse work beautifully here.”

Bill Morris, the second-runner up for “Shack on Fire,” writes a story, says Ravenel, “about place and its hold on human beings” in which “setting is the protagonist, and the author manages the twist nicely.”  He divides his time between Durham and the soundside village of Straits in “Down East” Carteret County. The Core Sound area is the setting for his first novel, Saltwater Cowboys, as well as for his story, “Dinah’s Dog,” the winner of the 2003 Doris Betts Prize for short fiction.


Greensboro, NC – More than one hundred writers from across North Carolina (and beyond) came together at the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s annual Spring Conference last Saturday.

Held once again at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the 2009 Spring Conference featured ten workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and public speaking, as well as readings by instructors and attendees, a panel discussion with magazine and small press publishers, and a keynote address by bestselling novelist Sharyn McCrumb.

“I was well fed,” one metaphorically inclined attendee said. “I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to partake of this banquet.”

The 2009 Spring Conference offered attendees a chance to study fiction with Quinn Dalton, Valerie Nieman, and Jack Riggs; nonfiction with Marianne Gingher, Ed Southern, and Lee Zacharias; poetry with David Roderick and Carolyn Beard Whitlow; playwriting with Alan Cook; and public speaking with Carol Roan.

Attendees also had the chance to get to know these authors and their fellow registrants better at “Lunch with an Author,” in which small groups signed up to take a faculty member to lunch.

“I loved (my) session,” an attendee said. “I learned how to better get inside a character’s head, what questions to ask them, and what drives them.”

Another attendee described the conference as “time well spent. This was my first conference of this type. I will attend more!”

Charlotte, NC – Registration is open at www.ncwriters.org for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2008 Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Residency, July 25 – 27 on the campus of Queens University of Charlotte.

Writers from Queens, UNC-Charlotte, and Davidson College will teach intensive, three-day workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The residency will also feature faculty and student readings, a publishing forum, and a picnic at Freedom Park with an outdoor reading. Registrants stay on-campus to further an atmosphere of collegiality, although “commuting students” are also accepted for the program at a reduced rate.

Julie Funderburk“We’re very excited to offer the Summer Residency again,” said NCWN executive director Ed Southern. “Past attendees have called this their favorite of all the programs that the Network offers.”

Julie Funderburk, who came to Queens in 2003 after serving as assistant director of UNC-Greensboro’s MFA program, will teach the poetry workshop, which “will focus on giving participants specific ways to analyze and classify poems.”

Aaron GwynUNC-Charlotte assistant professor of English Aaron Gwyn, whose novel The World Beneath will be published in 2009 by W. W. Norton & Co., will teach a fiction workshop that “will explore what successful authors do to start their novels and stories, as well as potential pitfalls they avoid . . . and discuss effective ways of shaping the beginning of novels or stories to attract the attention of agents and editors.”

Cynthia LewisCynthia Lewis, the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson and part-time bartender, will teach a creative nonfiction course designed to “focus primarily on group review of participants’ writing samples and secondarily on topics relevant to the craft of creative nonfiction.”

The 2008 Summer Residency will be the first held outside the Triangle. Southern said the decision to move the program’s venue around the state, as well as to shorten it from five days to three, was made to make the Summer Residency more accessible to a greater number of writers.

“The Summer Residency generates such passion among the writers who attend that we felt we had to make it easier for more writers to sign up,” Southern said. “This year, not only does the residency cost less, but you don’t have to take a week off work to attend.

“Several of last year’s attendees told me it was so much fun, we should set up cameras and pitch it as a reality show,” Southern added. “I don’t think I want to know why.”

Information on registration and fees is available at www.ncwriters.org.

The sun shone, the flowers bloomed, and writers from across North Carolina – and the North Country (seriously: one guy came all the way from here) – met in Greensboro last Saturday for the Network’s 2008 Spring Conference.


Those writers enjoyed their choice of eight workshops on the craft and business of writing, as well as a panel of editors and publishers, a chance to meet exhibiting journals and presses, the inaugural “Lunch with an Author,” a keynote reading of poetry by prize-winning poet Linda Gregg, and faculty readings by Lee Zacharias, Valerie Nieman, and Anjail Rashida Ahmad.


“I was pleased with my first conference as director of the Network,” Ed Southern said.  “No natural disasters, nothing caught fire, and the publishers’ panel didn’t end in a brawl.  What more could you ask for?”


“Lunch with an Author” allowed attendees to sign up Saturday morning to take one of the faculty members to lunch in groups of no more than 10, so that they could discuss issues that writers face and get to know one another in a relaxed, informal setting.  “There’s a reason we’re called the ‘North Carolina Writers’ Network,’” Southern said.  “The best thing we can do for writers is bring them together with other writers, at all levels of experience, from all across the state, nation, and planet.  We’re always looking for new and better ways to accomplish that.”


“The spring conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet other writers and just talk about writing - what we love about it, what we hate about it, and why we do it,” Marilyn Wolf of Greensboro said.  “I left feeling energized to tackle my own writing with new tools from the workshops and greater confidence from all the support.”


Dianne Farris of Fayetteville said, “I learned more than I thought was possible in one afternoon.  Travis Mulhauser’s presentation of plot & character (in fiction) was good. In particular, I liked the literature selections he used to demonstrate the different aspects of development. He picked authors with strong, unique voices. From Lewis Nordan to Raymond Carver, there was bound to be something that stood out for everyone.  Mark Smith-Soto’s (poetry) workshop was outstanding as well. I hate to admit it but, I’m not a huge poetry fan. I was attracted to Mark’s workshop for two reasons. First, as a member of a critiquing group that does poetry, it’s helpful to have some understanding of how poetry works. Second, I need to learn how to insert effective images into my short stories. I left Mark’s presentation with a little of both. I also gained an appreciation for poetry in general, something I thought was impossible.  In all, my experience at the conference was very positive and I feel lucky to have been able to go.”


Jan Parker of Fuquay-Varina said, “Once again, our wonderful Writers’ Network provided an impressive array of interesting and high-level classes for almost every different writing discipline. Coupled with the opportunity to meet and learn from published authors, well-known professors, editors of important review magazines and book publishers based here in NC, we were able to network with other writers from across the state. Plain and simple, it was the best Spring Conference I've ever attended. Like my country cousins say, it were good!”


Paul Austin of Durham, fresh from having his book Something for the Pain accepted for publication in September 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company, said, “I attended a lecture at the NCWN Spring Conference titled 'The Writer/Author Divide: The Basics of Marketing Your Book and Yourself.'  The lecture provided a solid framework for thinking about book publicity, along with specific tips on how to promote your book.  At each stage of my writing career, the NCWN has provided just what I've needed to know."

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