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GREENVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Squire Summer Writing Workshops run July 18-21 on the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer a limited number of attendees the chance to spend fifteen hours studying one genre with one instructor in a small-group setting, along with ample time to attend programs and readings, write, reflect, and dine with one another. In other words, the chance to live a literary life, at least for one long weekeend.

Register here.

Alex Albright will lead the creative nonfiction workshop, "Dramatic Plot Not Required."

Good creative nonfiction is an immersion into another world. It needn’t be plot driven: it’s always more than a record of what happened, and much more than simply writing from an "I" point-of-view. Its definition, in fact, sometimes seems fluid and subjective. This session will begin with a brief historical overview of how the newest literary genre came to be before, and of how it’s variously defined. Writers will soon settle on personal goals of CNF that match their interests in writing nonfiction prose: memoir? travel, history, review or opinion piece? biography? Primary emphasis is on how writers at any stage in their career can employ the techniques usually common to writing fiction—setting, dialog, and character development especially—to better authenticate their creative nonfiction work, with a special emphasis on developing settings and a narrator’s identity appropriate to both your story and the time and place in which it occurs. Participants should bring to class introductory paragraphs for two or three of their favorite nonfiction pieces by other writers.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.

"I don't so much teach writing as personal editing skills," says Alex. "How do you get the distance needed to read your own manuscript with the same kind of attention to detail that you bring to others' manuscripts?

"Why you're wanting to tell the story you're telling is your business—and I'm glad for it. What I want to happen in a good workshop is to help you better authenticate the two traditional aspects of good writing, setting and character development.

"To that end, I'm interested in raising awareness of the importance of multiple layers of temporal and spatial settings, often with a mix of emotional and literal takes on the particular times and places in which your narratives occur.

"And too many writers, it seems, demonstrate in their writing the belief that creative nonfiction is merely a true story told from an 'I' point of view, a partial truth at best. Without making your narrator a real character, no one can really hear your voice or know the motivations of your lead character. Your relationships to the narrative you're telling and to the places and times of that narrative ought to round out your character in a way that draws readers in. But if the narrator remains a generic 'I,' that's a tough sell. To that end, I find it helpful to add to almost any major character, narrator included, a sense of distant and recent pasts as well as notions of what will happen soon in their lives, as well as what they hope, or dream of, for their future.

"It's a package, of course, in different sizes and wraps, depending on you, the maker. And the best packages are personal in a way that transcends the facts of their narrative. Helping you to find that transcendence is one of the most important ways a community of writers functions, and it's a major reason for treasuring these communities wherever you can find them. They are never guaranteed and they almost always take work and patience, some good editorial eyes, and writers whose egos are strong enough to withstand questions.

Alex Albright developed one of the first creative nonfiction curriculums in the U.S. while teaching at East Carolina University, where he also founded the North Carolina Literary Review. A Graham native, he earned degrees in English and journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from UNC Greensboro, where he studied with Fred Chappell. His book The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy was a 2014 Montaigne Medal finalist. In 2015, the NCLR established the Alex Albright Award for Creative Nonfiction. His recent publicatons include “Langston Hughes in Reno” in Nevada Magazine; “Carolina Bluegrass Band: Getting Good Grades from Russell Johnson” in Bluegrass Unlimited; “On Bohemian Bluegrass, Beer, Some Barbecue and a Few Weeks in Prague” in storySouth; and “Mose McQuitty’s Band and Minstrel Days, 1899-1937” in Bandwagon, which won the 2017 Stuart Thayer Prize for Best Publication on Circus History. He lives in Fountain and with his wife, Elizabeth, operates Fountain General Store; they were co-recipients of the 2012 Brown-Hudson Award from the NC Folklore Society.

Additional workshops include Fiction led by Emily Colin and Poetry led byLenard D. Moore.

Registration for the Squire Summer Writing Workshops is open. Register now.

 

GREENVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Squire Summer Writing Workshops run July 18-21 on the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer a limited number of attendees the chance to spend fifteen hours studying one genre with one instructor in a small-group setting, along with ample time to attend programs and readings, write, reflect, and dine with one another. In other words, the chance to live a literary life, at least for one long weekeend.

Register here.

Lenard D. Moore will lead the poetry workshop, "Form & Texture."

In this workshop, participants will write new poems in poetic forms, particularly ghazal, kwansaba, sestina, and jazz poetry. They will read and discuss poets who write in these forms. They will encourage one another to take risks in his or her poetry. They will focus on various literary elements, such as imagery, simile, metaphor, and rhythm. The workshop will emphasize creating texture in poetry. At least one of the participants’ poems will be workshopped in class.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.

"I write because it is a way of life," says Lenard. "In short, writing helps to find meaning within the natural world and the journey of life."

Lenard D. Moore a North Carolina native and U.S. Army Veteran, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective and Co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group. Moore’s poems, short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in over 400 publications, including Callaloo, Obsidian, Prairie Schooner, Southern Cultures, and North American Review, as well as in more than 100 anthologies. He is the author of The Open Eye (NC Haiku Society Press, 1985), Forever Home (St. Andrews College Press, 1992), Desert Storm: A Brief History (Los Hombres Press, 1993), A Temple Looming (WordTech Editions, 2008) and The Open Eye, Limited 30TH Anniversary Edition (Mountains & Rivers Press, 2015). He currently teaches Advanced Poetry Writing and African American Literature at the University of Mount Olive, where he directs the literary festival.

In 2014, Lenard was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state. Presented annually since 1964, the award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine art, literature, public service and science.

Teresa L. Church offers this insight into the man many consider a master of haiku:

A small notepad stays conveniently tucked into the inside pocket of his jacket, along with an assortment of ink pens. Wherever his travels take him, he observes the world around him, notes its rhythms, sights, and sounds, and sketches poems that capture significant moments in time. He has put his poetry toolbox to good use building a body of work that commands the attention of the literary world. His writings are featured in nearly four hundred major journals and anthologies and several full-length collections. Many of his poems are prize-winning works and some of his writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Additional workshops include Fiction led by Emily Colin and Creative Nonfiction led by Alex Albright.

Registration for the Squire Summer Writing Workshops is open. Register now.

 

KNOXVILLE, TN—While it can be thrilling to read about a writer's mad adventure on the Neuse River, or brave 100-mph winds on Mt. Mitchell with intrepid writer-climbers, most of us experience nature very close to home and usually without a heightened sense of danger.

For us as writers, then, the nature we encounter every day is ripe for exploration. It can inspire us precisely because it's so local and so personal. If we look closely enough, the familiar elements can reveal greater truths about the universe and ourselves.

On Thursday, June 20, at 7:00 pm, author and editor Kelly Smith Trimble will lead the online class "Nature Writing in Your Own Backyard."

Registration is open.

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

Expanding our concept of “nature” or “environment” also expands opportunities for nature writing. By embracing our backyard gardens, our ingredients for dinner, and even our pets as elements of the natural world, we open up new avenues for writing about nature and our daily experience of it. And just as writing about wild nature urges reflection on larger questions, ascribing meaning to everyday nature can help us consider meaning in our everyday experiences.

In this class, we’ll explore:

  • How we define and can redefine nature
  • Traditional examples and themes of nature writing
  • New examples and themes of nature writing
  • A natural scientist's approach to understanding the world
  • Opportunities for writing about the kind of nature we experience daily

Kelly Smith Trimble is an editor, writer, and gardener living in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her book Vegetable Gardening Wisdom, a collection of seasonal advice and inspiration for edible gardeners, was released in April, 2019. Kelly is currently the digital editorial director for HGTV and Travel Channel, and she has also been a writer and editor for Southern Living, the National Park Foundation, and other lifestyle media. She earned a B.A. in English with Concentration in Environmental Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South, and an M.S. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Writing and Communications from Green Mountain College. Her poetry has been published in the online journal Wordpeace.

A master gardener, she grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers in her suburban backyard and loves cooking and preserving.

"Nature Writing in Your Own Backyard" is part of the newly expanded series of online classes offered by the North Carolina Writers' Network.

"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."

Register here.

The online class "Nature Writing in Your Own Backyard" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, June 20, 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.

 

 
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