NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—Let’s try this again, shall we?

And we do mean “try.” After 12 months like no other, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will hold a Spring Conference like no other, April 22—24.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2021 Spring Conference is open.

The Spring Conference Master Classes will take place online, on the evenings of April 22 and 23.

The bulk of the conference will take place on Saturday, April 24, online. The day will include traditional Spring Conference features such as two class sessions, faculty readings, optional open-mic readings, and an online picnic lunch.

Much will be different, though. The biggest difference will be the registration fee. In lieu of set fees, those who register for the 2021 Spring Conference will pay what they can. Each registration option—Master Classes, Lunch with an Author, and the Spring Conference itself—will include a suggested fee, but registrants only have to pay whatever amount makes them comfortable. Amounts above the suggested fee will be considered tax-deductible donations.

“We know this has been a tough year for many people,” Southern said. “We hope this will make the Spring Conference accessible to all writers who want to take part. At the same time, we know how much our members value our programs, and we trust those who can to recognize that value.”

The Spring Conference Master Classes will be led by Eric G. Wilson (creative nonfiction), Valerie Nieman (fiction), and Emilia Phillips (poetry).

Saturday’s offerings will include a Poetry track with classes led by Ashley Lumpkin and Joseph Mills; a Creative Nonfiction track with “Writing Trauma,” led by James Tate Hill; and a Fiction track with Zelda Lockhart. Both the Fiction and Creative Nonfiction tracks will be rounded out by “Authors as Entrepreneurs,” led by Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White.

“We all want to see each other again, face-to-face instead of screen-to-screen,” Southern said. “But we have to remain responsible, and cautious.”

For full details and to register, visit


WINSTON-SALEM, NC—As writers, we constantly experience transformation. When we revise our words on the page, we transform the world around us by rendering it as art.

Whether we've got a poem that could use some suggestions to move it toward its next transformative stage, or we need an inspirational jumpstart to connect to our transformational muse, a writing community can ground us in our present reality—and help us imagine a better one.

On Thursday, March 11, at 7:00 pm EST, poet Ina Cariño will lead the online poetry class "Words as Symbols, Words as Spells: How Poems Alchemize Our Realities."

Registration is closed.

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

In his craft book The Art of Description: World into Word, acclaimed poet Mark Doty, who won the National Book Award in 2008, says that writing is akin to “trying to see inside [himself],” that “all perception [is]…an opportunity for interpretation.” Art is inherently a form of interpretation, one that seeks to find meaning in this world. And art and language have power over how we view our realities, how we create them.

In this course, we will write poems as “spells” that have the ability to reach for truth even in abstraction. By examining a few poems that “magic” realities into being, and by using prompts to flex the mind, we will each write through the lens of transformation. Again, to quote Doty: “…it is possible to feel, at least for a moment, language clicking into place, into a relation with the world that feels seamless and inevitable.”

Ina Cariño is a queer Filipinx poet who was born in the Philippines. Their poetry appears in Waxwing, New England Review, The Oxford Review of Books, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals. Ina holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. They are a Kundiman fellow, and was a finalist for the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize. In December of 2019, Ina founded a reading series, Indigena Collective, centering othered and underrepresented creatives in the community, including but not limited to BIPOC, QTPOC, and people with disabilities. Find out more about Ina’s work at

"Words as Symbols, Words as Spells" 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 "Words as Symbols, Words as Spells" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, March 11, 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


GREENSBORO—The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is now open for submissions. This annual contest awards $200 and possible publication to a single poem. The deadline is March 1.

This year's judge is Jennifer Militello, the author of The Pact (Tupelo Press, 2021) and Knock Wood, winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize (Dzanc Books, 2019). She also is the author of four additional collections of poetry: A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and the Sheila Margaret Motton Prize; Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named one of the top books of 2013 by Best American Poetry and runner-up for the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award; Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award; and the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail.

The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit), original, and previously unpublished. While there are no restrictions in terms of theme, poets can read past winners, free, in a special section on the storySouth homepage.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international." 

Dannye Romine Powell won the 2020 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem, "Argument."

The complete guidelines are below.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is March 1
  • Entries can be submitted one of two ways:
    1. Send one printed copy through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Poem will not be returned. If submitting by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a list of winner and finalists. The winner and finalists will be announced in May.
  • An entry fee must accompany the poem. Multiple submissions are accepted, one poem per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $15 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit), original, and previously unpublished*.
  • Poem must be typed (single-spaced) and stapled in the left-hand corner.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • When you submit online at, Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information. For more information about Submittable, click here.)
    • To submit as a Member of NCWN ($10), click here.
    • To submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($15), click here.
  • If submitting by mail, send submissions to:

Terry L. Kennedy
MFA Writing Program
3302 MHRA Building
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170


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