NC Literary Hall of Fame





GREENSBORO, NC—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference offers fiction writers the chance to hone in on very specific aspects of the craft under the tutelage of three renowned authors. The Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 13, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and offer workshops focused specifically on dialog, plot, and other foundational components of successful fiction.

Lee Zacharias will lead an all-day workshop titled "Animating Fiction." There are many elements to fiction, both short stories and novels—plot, character, point-of-view, and setting, to name a few—but perhaps none so important as character, which brings the fiction to life and drives the plot. This all-day workshop will center on characterization as we talk about ways to create plot, animate description, and discover the right point of view. The morning session will focus on discussion, the afternoon session on student writing and will include a prompt for generating new writing. Please also bring a short character description—no more than a couple of paragraphs—to share with the class. The description you bring may be from your own work or from a work you particularly admire and want to talk about.

Lynn York will lead a half-day fiction session in the morning. Titled "How to Write Dynamic Dialog," this workshop, which open to all levels of writers, will focus on the role of dialog in fiction writing. What should it do? What should it not do? Most important, how do you make it sound real—and make it do as much work as possible in your story or novel? In-class exercises will provide practical support and tools for writers to apply to their own in-progress and future work.

In the afternoon, John McNally will lead a workshop titled, "Plot: The Shape of Fiction." Have you ever had a good idea for a story but couldn't figure out how best to tell it? Have you written stories that fall flat because of the way you've plotted them? This purpose of this workshop is to refine the way you think about plot, to consider the ways it should function in stories and novels, and to expand your repertoire of plot's many shapes.

Lee Zacharias is the author of Helping Muriel Make It Through the Night (short stories); two novels, Lessons and At Random; and The World You Leave Behind, a volume of personal essays forthcoming from Hub City Press. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays and numerous journals, including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, The Gettysburg Review, and The North Carolina Literary Review among others. A former fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, she is English Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she won the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence and the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Outstanding Teaching Award, and was for a decade editor of The Greensboro Review.

Lynn York is the author of two novels: The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, the Duke Summer Writer’s Workshop, NC State University, and High Point University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council and the NC Art Society and lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

John McNally is the author of three novels: After the Workshop, The Book of Ralph, and America’s Report Card; and two story collections, Troublemakers and Ghosts of Chicago. He is also author of two nonfiction books: The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist and Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction, both published the University of Iowa Press. He has edited, coedited, or guest edited seven anthologies. John’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the Washington Post, The Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, and Virginia Quarterly Review. As a screenwriter, he has a script in development with the producer of Winter’s Bone. He’s an Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University and on the Core Faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit or call 336-293-8844.

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

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