NC Literary Hall of Fame




WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH—North Carolina native and New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash will give the Keynote Address at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Fall Conference, November 3-5, at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach.

Registration is now open.

Wiley Cash is The New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind than Home, This Dark Road to Mercy, and The Last Ballad, which are available from William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers. Wiley holds a BA in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an MA in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Garden & Gun, O. Henry Magazine, and The Carolina Quarterly. Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two young daughters.

NCWN has been celebrating literary journals this year, so we asked Wiley to tell us about his first publication.

"My first publication was a short story in an anthology of O.Henry Festival stories out of Greensboro," he said. "At the time, I was a sophomore creative writing major at UNC-Asheville, and I saw a flyer hanging the English department that advertised the festival's fiction contest. I submitted a short story, and while it didn't win, it was published in the O.Henry Festival Anthology. I told my professors about it, and I somehow made it seem that I had won an O. Henry Award, the esteem of which I was totally unaware of at the time! Anyway, it was the first time I had ever submitted a story to anything—contest, publication, etc.—and I thought, 'Well, that was easy.'

"I wouldn't have another story published for ten years, despite hundreds of submissions. I learned two valuable lessons: one, always be certain about who's publishing you, and, two, never give up."

The Keynote Address happens on Friday, November 3, at 8:00 pm. Aftewards, Wiley Cash will sign books, programming that is sponsored by The Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. This year's Master Classes will be led by Dan Albergotti (Poetry); Wendy Brenner (Creative Nonfiction); and Nina de Gramont (Fiction).

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


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