GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 21, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The Spring Conference is a full day dedicated to learning about the craft and business of writing. Attendees can receive feedback on their works-in-progress, get to know faculty members in small-group settings, and mingle with other publishing professionals both in the classroom and in the exhibit hall, where presses and literary journals will have books and other treasures for sale.
2018 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle will give the Keynote Address.
McCorkle has published six novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, and she has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature.
Emilia Philipps, whose third poetry collection Empty Clip is forthcoming this Spring from Akron Press, will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “Walk the Line: Syntax and the Poetic Line.” Philipps is an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at UNCG.
Joining her will be Naima Coster, a professor at Wake Forest University, who will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Cracking Character: Voice, Choice, and Inner Life.” Coster is the author of Halsey Street, a story of family, loss, and renewal, set in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn.
The Master Class in Nonfiction, “Images, Lists & Fragments in Creative Nonﬁction,” will be led by Cynthia Nearman, chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College, and creative nonfiction editor for storySouth.
In addition, Thomas Mira y Lopez will lead the session “Strategies and Possibilities for Starting a Personal Essay.” Mira y Lopez is the 2017-2018 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Writers who are more inclined to make stuff up may choose between fiction offerings such as “Essentials of Scene-Crafting” with Heather Bell Adams, whose debut novel Maranatha Road was published in 2017 by Vidalia Press; and “Writing the Character You Know Best: The Strengths and Pitfalls of Autobiographical Fiction” with David Halperin, author of Journal of a UFO Investigator: A Novel (Viking Press, 2011).
Poets may choose from a la carte selections such as “Prose Poems” with Brockman-Campbell Award winner Charmaine Cadeau and “What Work Is: Poetry from Our Working Lives” with prize-winning poet Valerie Nieman.
The 2018 NCWN Spring Conference offers an expanded selection of courses focused on the business of books, as well as classes on writing for the stage and screen.
“Cinematic Storytelling Techniques for All Writers” with writer and filmmaker Susan Emshwiller will teach participants the “tools and tricks” of screenwriting to enhance any kind of manuscript. Brandon J. Huffman of Odin Law & Media will tackle sticky legal wickets with “Basic Law for Writers.” And Anne Anthony, editor of the anthology The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory (2018) will lead “How to Start Submitting” to teach attendees where to begin, how to submit like a pro, and yes, how to handle rejection.
In addition, NCWN will host its fourth annual “Slush Pile Live!,” guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing. During this favorite program, poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile. Many attendees have commented how much they learn in this hour of rapid-fire tidbits of wisdom and common sense.
Familiar features remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conferencegoers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Preregistration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.
Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.
Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.