NC Literary Hall of Fame




RALEIGH—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference, November 4-6 in Raleigh, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and current NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson will be the featured guest at Saturday night's annual banquet. He'll talk writing, read some poetry, and maybe even strum a little bit on his guitar.

Shelby Stephenson 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. He was a 2014 inductee to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Since 2015, Shelby has served his home state as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate. His website is

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference is open.

We asked Shelby, “What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger writer self?”

I think the main thing is to believe in yourself. Make sure you face the page with some discipline. Once you do that you may find the words finding themselves and you are following them, as your story or poem or essay makes.

What I'm trying to say is that everyone is different. The thing to do is DO it. And the vulnerable places, the subjects you think you cannot write about, the whole matter of not having anything to say, perhaps—well, please know you will feel better if you just let go and try, let the syllables find you. See what happens.

To register for the NCWN 2016 Fall Conference, visit

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


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