NC Literary Hall of Fame




WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH—Award-winning author and longtime professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Philip Gerard will lead the class "The Art of Creative Research" at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Fall Conference, November 3-5, at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach.

Registration is now open.

Philip Gerard is the author of four novels and six books of nonfiction, most recently The Art of Creative Research—A Field Guide for Writers. His novel The Dark of the Island (2016) was awarded an Ippy for regional fiction. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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

"I used to send out my short stories, and as the rejections came back in the postpaid manila envelopes, I’d stack them on my desk," Philip said. "Then every few weeks, I’d open them and extract the rejected manuscript. And send it off again. A story called 'Death by Reputation' came back that way from New England Review/Bread Loaf Quarterly and I threw it on the pile. Some weeks later when I opened it, I found a very gracious letter along with the returned manuscript. Indicating that the editors wanted to publish the story but didn’t feel that the ending was quite right, and would I make another pass at it?

"So as you can imagine, I immediately dashed off a letter (in those pre-email and texting days) and wound up writing several more versions of the ending before I got it right—and they published the story, which appears in my collection Things We Do When No One Is Watching. So now I read my mail a little more diligently. It was my first story to be published in a reputable magazine."

"The Art of Creative Research" will address ways to explore the world in search of stories. Crucial to this process is re-imagining the "known"—applying imagination as an investigative tool. Research is an adventure that can reinvigorate the writer’s work in any genre, grounding stories, poems, and essays of ideas in the authentic stuff of the world. Participants will leave with a template for how two plan their own research adventure.

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). New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash will give the Keynote Address.

Register here.

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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