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NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—You know the old expression, "You have to crawl before you learn to walk?" The same might be true for writing. Before we get published, we need to master our craft.

But eventually, we're probably going to want to be published.

That's where this year's Spring Conference sessions "The Basics of the Book Business, Parts I & II," led by literary power couple Ed and Jamie Rogers Southern, come in.

The NCWN 2019 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 27, a full day of fun on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Register at www.ncwriters.org.

Ed Southern, NCWN's Executive Director, will lead "The Basics of the Book Business, Part I."

Creative writing is usually solitary, personal, idiosyncratic, and emotional. Writers who want to publish their writing, though, must understand that they are entering the business world: in the case of the book business, a world with visible roots in the Renaissance, with jargon, quirks, and practices unlike any other industry.

"The Basics of the Book Business" will be less a how-to manual than a glossary or compendium of useful information for writers who hope to enter the book business, with answers to questions you may not even know to ask. Part I will cover what would-be authors likely will encounter before publication: submitting, contracting, editing, and pre-publication marketing. What counts as “published”? Why is there no such thing as an “unpublished book” or “ISBN number”? Do you need to file for a copyright before submitting your work to a publisher? (Spoiler Alert: No, but come to the class to learn why.)

Jamie Rogers Southern, the Operations Director at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, will lead "The Basics of the Book Business, Part II."

"The Basics of the Book Business, Part II," will cover what brand-new authors likely will encounter once their book is published, especially working with bookstores and booksellers to help their writing find readers. What should an author expect at a book signing? Who are these Ingram, Baker, and Taylor people that booksellers keep talking about? What are “returns” and why should authors learn to live with them?

Please note that you do not have to take both parts of "The Basics of the Book Business" to register for one of them.

Ed Southern has been Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network since 2008, after almost a decade as Sales Director and Vice President of John F. Blair, Publisher. He is the author of four books, including the short-story collectioen Parlous Angels, and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, Change Seven, The Dirty Spoon, the Asheville Poetry Review, South Writ Large, and lsewhere. He received the 2015 Fortner Award from St. Andrews University for his service to the literary arts in North Carolina.

Jamie Rogers Southern worked at the Alabama Booksmith in her native Birmingham for more than five years as event organizer, buyer, and store manager. She moved to New York in 2007 to work for the American Booksellers Association as Education Coordinator; in addition to writing and leading education sessions for ABA, she was their coordinator for BookExpo America and Winter Institute in 2008. She has been working with Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, since 2011, currently as Operations Director. Bookmarks' nonprofit independent bookstore opened in downtown Winston-Salem in July 2017.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference runs through April 21.

Register now: www.ncwriters.org.


GREENSBORO—Thanks to a generous but anonymous matching donor, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will provide new More Seats Scholarships to allow writers from underserved communities to attend the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 27, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Each More Seat scholarship (as in, “More Seats at the Table”) will cover the full cost of conference registration, including a Lunch with an Author session at midday, as well as one year of Network membership—a total value of nearly $200.

The anonymous donor behind the More Seats scholarship fund will match donations up to $750.

“The more donations we receive, the more scholarships we will provide,” NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern said. “Even us writer types can do math that simple.”

The goal of the More Seats Scholarships is to encourage beginning writers from underserved communities who may not have found a place at the proverbial literary table.

“The donor wants to celebrate and amplify new North Carolina voices,” Southern said. “They especially encourage writers from rural counties, writers of color, and LGBTQ+ writers to apply.”

Selection criteria will focus on commitment to writing rather than degrees or publications.

“In a way, we’re looking for writers who are going to keep writing, whether or not they get this scholarship,” Southern said. “We hope, though, that those who do get these scholarships will get a little boost from it—in training, in inspiration and encouragement, in exposure to the literary community, in the literary community’s exposure to them and their work.”

The NCWN 2019 Spring Conference will begin with a keynote address by poet and North Carolina Award winner Michael McFee. Classes, workshops, and readings will round out the day. The faculty includes music writer Eddie Huffman; authors Joseph Mills and Krystal A. Smith; poets Amy Catanzano and Ashley Lumpkin; and more.

To apply, send a current CV—with contact information and a list of any work, education, publications, or other relevant literary experiences or achievements—and a Statement of Writing Intent of no more than 1,000 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The subject line should specify the applicant’s interest in a More Seats Scholarship. Questions should be sent to that e-mail address, as well.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, April 5.

For more information about the NCWN 2019 Spring Cconference, and to register, click here.


GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference will once again host its annual Slush Pile Live! on Saturday, April 27, a fun and enriching way to end a full day of programming on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration for the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference is now open.

Beginning at 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 27, attendees may drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry in the room of their choice (prose and poetry will be read in both MHRA rooms 1214 and 1215). The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.

At 5:00 pm, a panel of editors will listen to the submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading if the piece were being submitted to their publication. The editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the sample, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. All anonymous—all live! 

Those interested in having their anonymous submission read should bring a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work or one page of poetry (40-line max) to one of the Slush Pile Live! rooms. Submissions should be double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font. No names should appear on the submissions.

This year's panelists include: 

As many submissions as the panelists can get to in an hour, that's how many they'll read. Authors can reveal themselves at the end, to thunderous applause, befitting their bravery, but only if they want to.

“If you’ve never worked or volunteered for a publisher or literary magazine before, the submission process can seem kind of mysterious,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “Slush Pile Live! will give attendees a peek into the editorial screening process, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Other familiar programs will 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 conference-goers 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. Pre-registration and an additional fee are required for this offering.

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 21. Register now!

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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.


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