NC Literary Hall of Fame




RALEIGH—By a unanimous vote, the North Carolina Writers’ Network Board of Trustees has welcomed Raleigh poet and literary organizer Ina Cariño as its newest member.

This election is a milestone in the Network’s history, as Cariño is the first trustee born after the NCWN’s founding in 1985.

“Ina has been an inspiring force in North Carolina's writing community for many years, and I'm very glad the Network can now count on their insight and experience to help steer it,” said NCWN president Shervon Cassim. “I'm looking forward to all that Ina brings to the Board.”

Ina Cariño is a Filipinx American poet with an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. Their poetry appears in Wildness, Waxwing, New England Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Ina is a Kundiman fellow, a Best of the Net finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a recipient of a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. They are the winner of the 2021 Alice James Award for their manuscript Feast, forthcoming from Alice James Books in March 2023.

They also—coincidentally—led the Network’s most recent Online Series workshop, “Words as Symbols, Words as Spells: How Poems Alchemize Our Realities.” Find out more about Ina’s work at

“As a queer poet of color in the South, I’m excited to join the NCWN board, an organization that welcomes writers of all skill levels and backgrounds,” Cariño said. “Writing is a solitary act; and yet, even as intimate as the writing process is, there is always room for everyone. I think this accessibility is what the writing world needs more of—especially now that emerging voices in the field are finally being heard—and I am deeply honored to become a member of this organization.”

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


ASHEVILLE—NCWN member Lou Schlesinger has won the 2021 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for his story “Post-Traumatic MoonPie.”

Schlesinger, who lives in Shelby, will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final judge Therese Anne Fowler said of Schlesinger’s entry, “I moved through this atmospheric tale with keen interest, breath held, heart hopeful. The story is evocative, suspenseful, effective, and affecting––an impressive accomplishment of writing craft and storytelling. My congratulations to the author.”

Schlesinger is a Mineral Process Engineer turned fiction writer, with memberships in both the North Carolina Writers’ Network and West Virginia Writers (WVW). He was a finalist for NCWN’s 2020 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition and won First Honorable Mention in WVW’s 2020 competition for prose by an emerging writer.

Fowler also selected two entries for Honorable Mention: “After Hours” by Andrew Scrimgeour of Cary, another NCWN member, and “The Scent of Water” by Lisa Leyenda of Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Therese Anne Fowler is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Week, Harper’s Bazaar, the Telegraph, and more, and her books are sold in translation worldwide. A Good Neighborhood, her most recent work, debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and was the Barnes & Noble Book Club selection for March 2020. Her 2018 novel A Well-Behaved Woman was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her 2013 novel Z has been adapted as an original television series for Amazon Studios, starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Fitzgerald. Therese earned a BA in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing, both from NC State University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and PEN America, she lives in Raleigh with her husband, author John Kessel.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which is awarded to a work of short fiction of 3,000 words or less, is administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), was born in Asheville. His Look Homeward, Angel is considered one of the most important coming-of-age novels in the English language. Wolfe was considered at the time of his death to be the greatest talent North Carolina had given to American literature. His novels and collected short stories go beyond autobiography, trying to, in William Faulkner’s words, “put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin.” His intense poetic language and thoughtfully developed symbology, combined with his uncanny ability to enter the minds of his other characters and give them powerful voices, elevate the books from memoir to undeniable literary art.

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


WINSTON-SALEM, NC—On Saturday, April 24, the North Carolina Writers' Network Online Spring Conference 2021 will offer two poetry sessions aimed at helping poets give memorable readings and find the form(s) of their truest expressions.

Registration is open.

This year's conference will offer one session between 10:30 am and noon and a second session between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm. This year's conference is "Pay What You Can." Can you afford $10? $75? 0? Great! We can't wait to see you.

Ashley Lumpkin will lead the session "Form and Freedom," an exploration of traditional and more recently created poetic forms. In this generative workshop, participants will explore how forms are developed and the many creative doors opened by adhering to the constraints they provide.

Ashley is a Georgia-raised, Carolina-based writer, editor, actor, and educator. She is the author of five poetry collections: {} At First Sight, Second Glance, Terrorism and Other Topics for Tea, #AshleyLumpkin, and Genesis. Her book I Hate You All Equally is a collection of conversations from her years as a classroom teacher. A lover of performance as well as the written word, she has been a competing member of the Bull City Slam Team since 2015 and currently serves as its assistant coach. She is one-fifth (and only Slytherin member) of the Big Dreams Collective and currently serves as a member-at-large on the board of the North Carolina Poetry Society. Above all else, Ashley considers herself a teacher, poet, and fryer of food. She is a lover of mathematics and language. She loves you too.

"How to Read Your Work to Others" will be lead by Joseph. Mills. Why does listening to some readers help us more fully understand their work while others make us wish we were anywhere else, even the dentist? What are the elements of a “good reading”? What should someone consider when giving a reading? In this workshop, we’ll talk about what it means to have an audience and what, if any, are your obligations to them. Some topics will include delivery, “poet voice,” poem selections and sequences, forums, and, yes, Zoom.

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, and has been honored with a UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has published six collections of poetry with Press 53, including Exit, pursued by a bear which consists of poems triggered by stage directions in Shakespeare. His book This Miraculous Turning earned the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family. In 2019, he published his debut collection of fiction, Bleachers, which consists of fifty-four linked pieces that take place during a youth soccer game. He also has edited the collection of film criticism A Century of the Marx Brothers, and with his wife, Danielle Tarmey, he researched and wrote two editions of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries. More information about his work is available at

Other features of the NCWN Online Spring Conference 2021 include classes on creative nonfiction, fiction, and "Authors as Entrepreneurs," as well as faculty readings, open mics, and an online picnic lunch social hour. Spring Conference is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. 

Register here.

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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