White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




CLEVELAND, OH—We live in a world dominated by sound bites, inflammatory headlines, and 30-second soapbox diatribes. More often than, not, it is the loudest voice that gets heard.

How then should poets respond? Is there room for poets to move in the spaces between, in the margins and mortar, and to do so in a powerful way that lets them cut through the noise and touch readers in an authentic way? 

On Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 pm, poet Leila Chatti will lead the online class "Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem."

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $30 fee to register.

In a time of seemingly endless bustle and noise, a quiet moment can be rare or too easily overlooked. In this workshop, we’ll turn the volume down and discuss how to notice and render the poetry of these “ordinary” moments. Using the work of masters such as Mary Oliver, Jane Hirshfield, Li-Young Lee, and Louise Glück, we will learn how to best use the tools of breath, space, syntax, and the line, and to recognize and communicate the power and beauty in what does not shout for attention, but quietly demands it.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar; grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation; and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing.

Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest, Narrative's 30 Below Contest, the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets. In 2017, she was the first North African poet to be shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She is the Consulting Poetry Editor for the Raleigh Review and her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.

"Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's fourth and final offering in their 2018-2019 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, March 12, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

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.


GREENSBORO—Can’t make it all the way to Oregon for this year’s AWP Conference? Then has the Network got a deal for you.

Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will host a one-day Career Development Workshop for Writers, presented by Creative Capital, on Saturday, March 30, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Register here.

Creative Capital’s intensive one-day Career Development Workshop will cover strategic planning, business management, goal setting, negotiations and income streams—all geared towards the specific needs and circumstances of writers. Participants will learn key business, management, and communications skills and hear first-hand from other writers how these tools can be used to achieve success, however they define it.

In addition to lecture presentations, participants will join in interactive exercises, hear case studies, have the opportunity to meet with leaders in small working groups, and take home a Strategic Planning workbook to help guide their process.

Burnsville novelist Abigail DeWitt, a past participant in a Creative Capital Career Development Workshop, said of her experience, “It was great—life-changing, actually.”

DeWitt is the author of three novels, most recently News of Our Loved Ones.

The March 30 workshop will be co-led by poet and Creative Capital Awardee Tracie Morris and strategic planning consultant Colleen Keegan.

Morris is a writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor, and multimedia performer. She is the author of Intermission, Chap-T-her Won, handholding: 5 kinds, Rhyme Scheme, and was co-editor, with Charles Bernstein, of BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing. She leads her own eponymous band and is a lead singer for Elliott Sharp's group, Terraplane. Morris has earned numerous awards and fellowships for poetry and performance, including New York Foundation for the Arts, Asian Cultural Council, Franklin Furnace and Creative Capital fellowships as well as residencies at Millay, Yaddo and MacDowell colonies. She is a former Poetics fellow of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, a Cave Canem Fellow, and Professor and Coordinator of Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, New York. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, a Ph.D in Performance Studies from New York University, and has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and at Michael Howard Studios. Morris is currently visiting professor of poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Keegan is a corporate Strategic Planner and Arts Activist. She is a partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, an equity investment and consulting firm specialized in providing strategic planning and business affairs services to companies in the communications and entertainment industries. Previously, Keegan served as the president of Pacific Arts Video Production and Washington Video Services, and also worked as a producer for MTV Networks, WETA, and Showtime. Keegan is the art business adviser for the TED Fellows program and the Co-Chair of the TED Fellows Arts Committee. She lectures on art and new markets at California College of Art, Cal Arts, and the Wharton Business School among others.

Workshop participants will learn key skills, including:

  • A personalized system for using strategic planning to increase your satisfaction in your life and career
  • Improved communication techniques to represent yourself and negotiate with clarity and confidence
  • Strategies for balancing time and money
  • Calculating the real cost of your time for budgets and negotiations
  • Essentials for running your art practice as a small, independent business, including employment, contracts, incorporation options, budgeting and cash flow
  • How to write and use a business plan and why it is crucial to both personal and professional development
  • How to analyze, navigate and secure teaching and other related opportunities

Accepted participants will leave the workshop with a personalized plan of action based on their own goals for their writing careers, a close community of informed and educated peer artists (including participants and workshop leaders) who can act as resources for future endeavors, and the Strategic Planning Workbook, which includes exercises and evaluation processes to work toward personal goal setting and financial management.

The registration fee for this full-day workshop—a value of more than $200, including morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, and the Strategic Planning Workbook—is only $35 for NCWN members, $75 for non-members.

This Career Development Workshop is open only to the first 24 qualified applicants. Those who wish to register must apply online through the NCWN Submittable page, submitting a short writing sample, a current CV, and a brief Statement of Writing Intent, along with the registration fee. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the workshop fills or the registration deadline of Monday, March 18, whichever comes first—so don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Applicants who are not accepted into the workshop will receive a refund of their registration fee.

Kim Church, author of the award-winning novel Byrd, said, “I’ve taken two Creative Capital workshops, one at Penland and one through the NC Arts Council when I got a fellowship a few years ago. I found them useful in that they helped me be clear about my professional goals and how much time I needed to allocate to career development and marketing. The workshops are probably most useful for writers just starting to think about the business of writing, but they’re also good refreshers.”

“I loved the CC workshop I attended,” said poet Anna Lena Phillips Bell, author of the Vassar Miller Prize–winning Ornament and editor of Ecotone. “It was really clarifying, and a different perspective than I often hear about living and working as an artist . . . one that acknowledges artists should be and can be paid for their work, and offers helpful guidance on how to make that happen more.”

Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Made possible through public and private philanthropy, Creative Capital has committed $45 million in financial and advisory support to 561 projects representing 700 artists, and our peer-to-peer career development program has reached more than 15,000 artists in 700 communities through in person and online workshops. Learn more online at http://www.creative-capital.org.

The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future, and serving as an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions, while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. Visit them online at http://www.NCArts.org.


GREENSBORO—The 2019 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is now open for submissions.

The competition recognizes a single previously unpublished poem up to forty (40) lines and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. 

The winner receives $200 and publication in a Special Feature of storySouth. The postmark deadline is March 1.

To submit, click here.

This year's final judge is Jim Whiteside.

Jim Whiteside’s debut chapbook, Writing Your Name on the Glass, is forthcoming from Bull City Press in 2019. His poems have received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned his MFA. Jim’s recent poems have appeared or will soon appear in journals such as Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, and Washington Square Review. Originally from Cookeville, Tennessee, he has recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin.

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."

Sylvia Freeman of Durham won the 2018 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem "Burnt Offerings," which juxtaposed Christian and pagan imagery in a "rushed voice" that never felt forced.

The winning poem and the finalists can be read for free on www.storysouth.com.

Here are the complete guidelines:

Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition
Postmark deadline: March 1 (annual)
Submissions accepted: January 15 – March 1

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions. The contest awards the winner $200 and publication in storySouth. Questions may be directed to Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director, MFA Writing Program, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 http://ncwriters.submittable.com, 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.)
  • If submitting by mail, send submissions to:

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

Questions may be directed to Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director, MFA Writing Program, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.


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