NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

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WINSTON-SALEM—True, the Writingest State Online Conference likely will not be as fun as the Network’s traditional Fall Conference.

Also true: the Writingest State Online Conference will not be as likely to kill you.

This November, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer its first-ever Writingest State Online Conference, a five-day festival for writers, November 10-14

Registration is open.

The WSOC will feature classes and conversations on the craft and business of writing, as well as a keynote address by North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, a Pre-Conference Tailgate and a Prompt Party to get creative juices flowing, online Open Mic readings and Happy Hour virtual gatherings, and an Agents & Editors panel discussion.

“This will be the first year since 1985 that the North Carolina Writers’ Network has not offered its Fall Conference, and we hope it will be the last,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “We’re very excited to offer the Writingest State Online Conference, though, and suspect this will not be its last year. We prefer, though, that in years to come we offer an online conference in addition to the Fall Conference, not in place of it.”

The WSOC will begin Tuesday evening, November 10, with an Online Happy Hour, followed by a Pre-Conference Tailgate featuring writing exercises, led by author and USMC veteran Tracy Crow, on the theme of “Awaken Our Sixth Sense.”

The conference will resume on Wednesday evening, November 11, with an Opening Conversation on “The Place & the Past” between North Carolina novelists Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Therese Anne Fowler. Fowler’s 2020 novel A Good Neighborhood explores gentrification and displacement. Clapsaddle is a Network trustee whose debut novel Even As We Breathe came out this summer, making her the first enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to publish a novel.

After this conversation, novelist, memoirist, Army veteran, and Wake Forest University graduate Matt Gallagher will lead a class on “Imagination and History” for writers in all genres.

The WSOC will continue into the weekend, with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective (originally planned for the 2020 Spring Conference), a check-in for writers participating or interested in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Green’s keynote address, and three sessions offering two classes each.

Instructors include poet Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, mystery writer Art Taylor, editors Lyndsay Hall and Betsy Thorpe, multi-genre author Mathieu Cailler, and debut author Leah Hampton, a past winner of the NCWN’s Doris Betts Fiction Prize.

Saturday’s sessions will begin with the Agents & Editors panel discussion, and end with online Open Mics and a “One More On & In the House” Happy Hour.

Full details and a registration form are available on www.ncwriters.org.

 

WINSTON-SALEM—“How do I get a book published?”

If that’s not the most common question Network staff hears, then it’s “How do I get my book in bookstores?” or maybe “How do I sell more books?”

The most honest and tempting answers* we could give would not be very helpful. A helpful and thorough answer would take hours to share, and would be full of caveats and exceptions.

Now, NCWN staff can direct members to our new webpage, Book Business Basics, on www.ncwriters.org.

This webpage is filled with links to materials and resources on the publishing process, from starting to submit short work to journals to advice on conducting a successful author tour.

These materials all come from classes taught at recent NCWN conferences, and are available only to current NCWN members.

“Learning all the ins and outs of the book business is the work of a lifetime, but these resources are a great place to start,” the webpage’s introductory text says. “They will give you an overview of the literary industry and community, introduce you to key players and terminology, and cover the basics of how to approach publishing like the business it is.”

The Book Business Basics web address is www.ncwriters.org/index.php/members-only/book-business-basics. You must be logged in as a current NCWN member to reach the page.

“Publishing isn’t every writer’s goal, nor should it be,” NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern said. “But for writers who do want to see their work in print, this new resource will give them essential information and guidance.”

 

* “Nobody really knows for sure: If you figure it out, please tell us,” and “Write better.”

 

SOUTHERN PINES—The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will postpone its induction ceremony scheduled for this fall to Sunday, October 17, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have no way of knowing what phase of lockdown the state will be in come this October, and we’d rather go ahead and postpone the ceremony now than have to cancel it at the last minute,” said Ed Southern, the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, which oversees the NCLHOF.

The five Tarheel authors selected for the NCLHOF this year—Anthony S. Abbott, Charles Frazier, Bland Simpson, Max Steele, and Carole Boston Weatherford—will join the other inductees in the Hall this fall. Their profiles will appear on www.nclhof.org, and their portraits will be hung as soon as possible in the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, which houses the NCLHOF.

“Though the induction ceremony traditionally takes place outside, we could not keep a safe social distance between the attendees without severely restricting their number,” Southern said. “We decided to wait and hope to hold a full ceremony next year, rather than hold a half-ceremony this year.”

Since 2008, a collection of North Carolina literary organizations has helped the NCWN coordinate the NCLHOF and its activities: the North Carolina Center for the Book, now a part of the North Carolina Humanities Council; the North Carolina Collection at the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; and the Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities.

“Every other year, the NCLHOF induction is a family reunion for North Carolina’s writers and readers,” Southern said. “We’ll miss it this year, but next year the reunion will be especially joyful.”

 

 
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