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Greenville, NC—The 2020 Doris Betts Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. After a brief, planned hiatus, the North Carolina Writers’ Network and North Carolina Literary Review have moved this Network-sponsored competition to the fall.

The deadline is October 31.

The competition is for previously unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Literary Review subscribers with North Carolina connections (lives or has lived in NC) are also eligible, even if they live out of state.

Find the full submission guidelines, and submit, here.

The winner receives $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Thanks to a donation from a Network board member, there is also prize money now available for any other stories accepted for publication in NCLR through this competition.

This year’s final judge is Josephine Humphreys, author of the North Carolina-set Nowhere Else on Earth, an historical novel inspired by Henry Berry Lowrie and his wife Rhoda Strong Lowrie.

Humphreys was born and raised in Charleston, SC. Nowhere Else on Earth received the Southern Book Award for Fiction. Her other novels include Dreams of Sleep, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Novel; Rich in Love, which was adapted into a feature film, and Fireman’s Fair, which takes place in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the Lyndhurst Prize, she served as the final judge of the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Prize. She is a graduate of Duke and Yale University and taught at Charleston Southern University.

Katey Schultz of Cleo won the 2019 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for her story “Something Coming,” published in NCLR 2020, released in June.

For over twenty years, East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Association have published the North Carolina Literary Review, a journal devoted to showcasing the Tar Heel State’s literary excellence. Described by one critic as “everything you ever wanted out of a literary publication but never dared to demand,” NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.

Doris Betts was the author of three short-story collections and six novels. She won three Sir Walter Raleigh awards, the Southern Book Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for the short story, among others. Beloved by her students, she was named the University of North Carolina Alumni Distinguished Professor of English in 1980. She was a 2004 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

Submit 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

CHICAGO, IL—What exactly is the power of persuasion? Different from an argument, persuasive writing doesn't try to prove someone else wrong as much as it seeks to build consensus and bring others around to a new point of view. 

Whether we're writing an op-ed for a media outlet; a speech to deliver in front of city council; or an essay for an anthology, there are tools that can help us write persuasively to engage our audience from the very first line and, through the power of persuasion, effect real change.

On Tuesday, October 20, at 7:00 pm EDT, publisher and organizer Gregory F. Augustine Pierce will lead the online class "Persuasive vs. Argumentative Writing" (or "How to Write Nonfiction that is Persuasive and Publishable").

Registration is closed.

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

In this class, we'll talk about capturing and keeping your reader’s engagement from start to finish; making your point without turning off the reader; and incorporating stories and examples into your nonfiction writing. We will use a couple of exercises, read a couple of examples of persuasive writing, and talk about where and how to get nonfiction persuasive writing published. 

"Writers—journalists, essayists, bloggers, poets, playwrights—can disturb the social oppression that functions like a coma on the population, a coma despots call peace," says Toni Morrison in her essay, "Peril," found in Burn this Book: Notes on Literature and Engagement. "A writer's life and work are not a gift to humankind; they are a necessity."

Greg Pierce is the longtime editor and publisher of ACTA Publications in Chicago. He has also worked with the Industrial Areas Foundation for 50 years as an organizer, supervisor, mentor, trainer, and leader. His publishing house has developed a line of books and booklets on organizing. He is currently compiling a book of 50 essays titled Reveille for a New Generation: Organizers and Leaders Reflect on Power, which will be published on November 3, 2020 (national Election Day in the United States).

"Persuasive vs. Argumentative Writing" 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 "Persuasive vs. Argumentative Writing" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, October 20, 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.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

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.

 

 
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