NC Literary Hall of Fame




TAOS, NM—Throughout this campaign season, we'll hear plenty of short speeches about what candidates can do for us. And sure, these candidates may end up raising our wages or feeding all the starving children...but the real question is, can they make us better playwrights?

After all, what's the difference between a stump speech and a dramatic monologue? 

On Tuesday, June 16, at 7:00 pm EST, playwright Raegan Payne will lead the online class "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident."

Registration is open.

The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.

Political stump speeches and plays are basically the same thing—you have precious few seconds to grab your audience's attention, and get them fully invested in the outcome of your story, and in the end—there is always the ask. In this class, we will explore the importance of picking an appropriate inciting incident to propel our story forward, whether we’re speaking at a city council meeting or writing the opening of a new play. Using an inciting incident from our own lives, we will find the perfect jumping-off point to construct a story of change.

Registrants will be invited to participate in an online reading later this summer, where they may share work generated in this class (details forthcoming).

Raegan Payne is a published playwright whose plays have been produced from Los Angeles to Lagos. She studied Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy and improv/sketch writing at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She is a member of Ammunition Theatre Company’s Writers Group, the Dramatist Guild, Actors' Equity, and SAG-AFTRA.

Raegan’s play “The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer” won the McNerney Playwriting Award, Long Beach Playhouse’s New Works Festival, was a Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, and an O’Neill semi-finalist. Her play “Timeless: A Scientific Comedy” was picked by Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok to win the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Playwriting Prize, and was a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. She has stayed at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, participated in The Royal Court Theatre’s Peckham Writers Group in London, the Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio, the HBMG Foundation’s Winter Playwrights Retreat in Colorado, The Lark’s Roundtable Reads, and Iceland’s Klaustrid Artists Residency. In 2019, she was awarded the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Grant. She's a graduate of the National Democratic Training Committee Communications Staff Academy.

Her website is

"From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" is part of the North Carolina Writers' Network's 2020-2021 series of online classes.

"The Network has offered online programming since 2016," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We're proud to already have the educational framework in place that allows us to continue to serve the writers of North Carolina, and beyond, during this time of social distancing."

The online class "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, June 16, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

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


WINSTON-SALEM—The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator.

The Buckner Fellowship, in the amount of $500 awarded to one writer each year, supports North Carolina emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program will accept applications from writers working primarily in one of four specified genres, rotated over a four-year cycle.

The 2021 Buckner Fellowship will support an emerging writer of creative nonfiction.

Fellowship recipients will use the $500 award to allay the costs associated with the business of writing: paper, printing, writing supplies, submission fees, research expenses, travel, conference registration fees, etc. In addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a complimentary one-year membership in the North Carolina Writers’ Network, as well as scholarship aid to attend the Network’s annual Fall and Spring Conferences.

Applications will be accepted only through Submittable from May 1 to June 30, annually.

Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Writers must have established legal residence in North Carolina for at least one year prior to applying, and plan on residing in North Carolina through the Fellowship year.
  • Writers must be between the ages of 21 and 35, as of December 31 of the year in which they apply.
  • Students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply, even if the focus of study is not directly related to writing. (If at any point during the judging process an applicant accepts an offer to study in a degree-granting program, please alert NCWN immediately to have the application pulled from consideration.)
  • Fellowship recipients should “pay it forward.” Fellowship winners, in the course of their award year, are invited to help at least one other writer, in whatever fashion they see fit (mentoring, critiquing, providing a reference, etc.), carrying on Sally Buckner’s lifelong support of other writers.
  • Applicants are required to submit a completed application form and accompanying work sample, letter of support, and vitae by June 30. (For a sample vitae, click here.)

For NCWN members, there is no cost to apply for the Fellowship; for non-members, the application fee is $10. A committee appointed by NCWN will review applications, and invite finalists to interview (via virtual platform) with committee members. The Fellowship winner will be formally introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference. At the end of the award year, recipients will be required to complete a brief report on writing progress made over the past year.

The Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship seeks to support North Carolina writers as they navigate the challenges (and expenses) of the literary world, honoring and continuing Sally Buckner’s devotion to North Carolina’s literary tradition and community.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves writers of this state, providing education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write.

For more information about the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and NCWN, visit or contact June Guralnick, Fellowship Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


ASHEVILLE—Rachel Taube had just defended her MFA thesis when she got the news that her short story “The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth” won the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.

Taube, who earned her MFA at UNC Wilmington, will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final judge Randall Kenan, in selecting Taube’s story, said, “’The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth’ feels like a fresh take on the South and confronts a very serious controversial subject with humor and wit and pathos. This writer is wise.”

Taube's writing has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, and The Millions. She has been a C.D. Wright / Nan Snow Emerging Writer, a Tent Creative Writing Fellow, and an Electric Literature–Catapult Scholarship recipient. She is the managing editor of Ecotone at UNC-Wilmington.

Kenan also selected two entries for Honorable Mention: “Patriotism” by Jason Gray, and “The Runaway” by Sarah David.

Gray is the Senior Fellow for Research and Policy at the North Carolina Rural Center, and a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “Patriotism” is an excerpt from his novel-in-progress.

David is an architectural historian and supervisor with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. A native of Germanton, she now lives in Raleigh.

Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Mrs. Giles Whiting Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. Kenan is a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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


Joomla Templates: by JoomlaShack