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On Tuesday, November 10, the first night of The Writingest State Online Conference, author Tracy Crow will lead The Pre-Conference Tailgate, "Awaken Your Sixth Sense."

The Pre-Conference Tailgate is a fun way for attendees to kick-start five days of online literary programming. Attendees will be asked to keep a writing journal in the days leading up to the event, which means your Writingest State Online Conference might start next week! 

Registration for the WSOC is closed.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder once joked that the strangest question he’d been asked about the writing process is, "When do you put in the metaphors?" All joking aside, writing with metaphor actually requires an activation of a sixth sense—an ability, willingness, and fresh approach toward making connections that will layer meaning and resonance to our stories and poems. To activate and hone this sixth sense, we can turn to the natural world.

For several days leading up to this workshop, writers are encouraged to create an awareness log, a recording of their encounters with the natural world—both in waking and in dream states: the deer leaping across your walking path; the startling morning discovery of a snake skin by the back door of your home; a bluebird feather on your sidewalk; a groundhog appearing in a dream. We’ll share our discoveries, and through writing prompts, further awaken our shamanic sixth sense. (Please know that sharing anything written during this workshop is voluntary!)

Tracy Crow is president of Tracy Crow Literary Agency, LLC, and president and CEO of MilSpeak Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated toward supporting the creative endeavors of military service members, veterans, and their families. She is the author or editor of six books including her award-winning memoir, Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine, and the breakthrough writing text, On Point: A Guide to Writing the Military Story, in which Tracy combines her skills and experience as a former Marine Corps officer, award-winning military journalist, author, editor, and assistant professor of creative writing and journalism. Her short stories and essays have also appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies. Tracy has a B.A. in creative writing from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. She and her husband, Mark Weidemaier, bench coach for the South Korean baseball team, the Kia Tigers, live on ten storybook acres in central North Carolina with their four dogs — Cash, Hadley, Hope, and Fenway.

The Writingest State Online Conference is a five-day festival for writers featuring 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 NaNoWriMo Gathering and a Prompt Party to get creative juices flowing, online Open Mic readings and Happy Hour virtual gatherings, and an Agents & Editors panel discussion.

Registration for the Writingest State Online Conference closed November 9.

 

WINSTON-SALEM, NC—According to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, nothing in life is permanent, nor can it be, because the very nature of existence is change. Or, as Bob Dylan sang, "He not busy being born is busy dying."

Life is full of changes, and the same should be true in our fiction. Change sparks action which sparks conflict which sparks reader interest. Easy, right?

On Wednesday, December 9, at 7:00 pm EST, author Jacinda Townsend will lead the online class "Finding Your Voice" (fiction).

Registration is open.

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

D.H. Lawrence once wrote, "Tragedy is like strong acid—it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth." Having traveled through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had the kind of intense collective experience that has changed our sense of time, our sense of the past, our sense of the future, our sense of ourselves. Accordingly, in this class, we will focus on the theme of "alteration," marrying theme to narrative as we explore, in our work, the ways in which characters reshape their senses of selves and their senses of other characters. We will talk a bit about Kevin Brockmeier's novel The Brief History of the Dead and Chris Cleave's novel Little Bee; though you need not have read the novels beforehand, you may find it helpful to have done so. We will do a bit of writing in our time together: you need not write work about the pandemic itself, though you are welcome to digest and/or heal this experience through your fiction. We will also focus a bit on creative process, with an opening discussion on the practices that most help us cook.

Jacinda Townsend is the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Saint Monkey was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

"Finding Your Voice" 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 "Finding Your Voice" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, December 9, 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

The Writingest State Online Conference, November 10-14, not only offers classes on the craft and business of writing, but attendees can choose to attend special programs designed to get you writing, keep you writing, and get you across the finish line to complete your manuscrirpt.

Registration for the Writingest State Online Conference is open.

On Thursday, November 12, at 7:30 pm, NCWN will host a "NaNoWriMo Gathering" sponsored by Freedom.to

Anyone planning to take part in NaNoWriMo, or anyone even mildly curious, is invited to meet for a casual, informal gathering. Some light refreshments will be provided, but participants should also feel free to BYO!

November is National Novel Writing Month, and so the Network is offering a little virtual space within our Writingest State Online Conference for those taking part in—or curious about—NaNoWriMo to check in with each other, discuss your novels-in-progress, and share advice an encouragement. Novel writing is not required, only a serious interest in the craft and discipline of fiction.

National Novel Writing Month asks writers to commit to writing 50,000 words during the thirty days of November. A 501(c)(3) non-profit that has become an international phenomenon, NaNoWriMo values "enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline...for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel."

The NaNoWriMo website allows users to create accounts where they can plan their novel, receive online encouragement, and be part of a worldwide community of writers all trying to crank out 50K words in a month.

For more information about NaNoWriMo, click here.

On Saturday, November 14, at 12:45 pm, the final day of the fall extravaganza,  NCWN will host a "Prompt Party" sponsored by Plottr.

Prompt Party is an opportunity for writers to gather and work together on a specific prompt, with time to share results at the end. The goal is to collaborate, perhaps work in an unfamiliar genre, and have fun. Prompt Party-goers will receive their prompt, divide into groups by genre—poetry, flash fiction (1,000 words or less), or one-act plays—and head off into Breakout Rooms to write a piece based on the prompt. Party-goers will have 30 minutes to collaborate and create a draft in their assigned genre. Then, everyone gathers again to read (or perform) their pieces, up to five minutes each.

The Writingest State Online Conference is a five-day festival for writers featuring 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.

Registration for the Writingest State Online Conference is open.

 

 
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