GREENSBORO—Dannye Romine Powell of Charlotte has won the 2020 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “Argument.” Powell will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

Final judge Nicole Stockburger said, “This poem struck me with its ability to move down the page effortlessly but also carry a type of tension that had me holding my breath. ‘Argument’ has a feeling of restraint that is well suited to the language of its title and crafted couplet structure, always implying the 'Something said or unsaid,' until the very last line. The poet creates a disturbed, fascinating interiority, marked by the images of the long drive, that is both mysterious and familiar. There is a leaving and returning that feels necessary, and I am grateful to have encountered this voice that calls home, this eye that looks back.”

Powell's fifth collection, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver, is out in the spring of 2020. She has won fellowships in poetry from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared over the years in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Harvard Review Online, Beloit, 32 Poems, and many others. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers. For many years, she was the book editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Stockburger named “New Year’s Eve” by Tina Barr as Runner-Up.

Barr’s third full-length collection of poems, Green Target, won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize, judged by Patricia Spears Jones, and was published in the Fall of 2018. Green Target won the Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society as the best book of poems published by a North Carolina poet in 2018. Her second book, Kaleidoscope, was released in 2015 by Iris Press. Her first book, The Gathering Eye, won the Tupelo Press Editor's Prize. She has also published three chapbooks.

Stockburger also selected two poems for Honorable Mention: “Navigation” by Michael Boccardo and “Canoe Song” by Mark Caskie.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet 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, 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."

Nicole Stockburger is the author of Nowhere Beulah (Unicorn Press, 2019). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Adroit Journal, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Nicole received an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Studio Art and English from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied darkroom photography. Nicole was a recent fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. She lives and works on a stretch of land in the North Carolina foothills near her hometown, Winston-Salem.

The non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


TAOS, NM—Throughout this campaign season, we'll hear plenty of short speeches about what candidates can do for us. And sure, these candidates may end up raising our wages or feeding all the starving children...but the real question is, can they make us better playwrights?

After all, what's the difference between a stump speech and a dramatic monologue? 

On Tuesday, June 16, at 7:00 pm EST, playwright Raegan Payne will lead the online class "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident."

Registration is open.

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

Political stump speeches and plays are basically the same thing—you have precious few seconds to grab your audience's attention, and get them fully invested in the outcome of your story, and in the end—there is always the ask. In this class, we will explore the importance of picking an appropriate inciting incident to propel our story forward, whether we’re speaking at a city council meeting or writing the opening of a new play. Using an inciting incident from our own lives, we will find the perfect jumping-off point to construct a story of change.

Registrants will be invited to participate in an online reading later this summer, where they may share work generated in this class (details forthcoming).

Raegan Payne is a published playwright whose plays have been produced from Los Angeles to Lagos. She studied Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy and improv/sketch writing at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She is a member of Ammunition Theatre Company’s Writers Group, the Dramatist Guild, Actors' Equity, and SAG-AFTRA.

Raegan’s play “The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer” won the McNerney Playwriting Award, Long Beach Playhouse’s New Works Festival, was a Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, and an O’Neill semi-finalist. Her play “Timeless: A Scientific Comedy” was picked by Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok to win the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Playwriting Prize, and was a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. She has stayed at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, participated in The Royal Court Theatre’s Peckham Writers Group in London, the Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio, the HBMG Foundation’s Winter Playwrights Retreat in Colorado, The Lark’s Roundtable Reads, and Iceland’s Klaustrid Artists Residency. In 2019, she was awarded the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Grant. She's a graduate of the National Democratic Training Committee Communications Staff Academy.

Her website is

"From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" 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 "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, June 16, 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


WINSTON-SALEM—The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator.

The Buckner Fellowship, in the amount of $500 awarded to one writer each year, supports North Carolina emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program will accept applications from writers working primarily in one of four specified genres, rotated over a four-year cycle.

The 2021 Buckner Fellowship will support an emerging writer of creative nonfiction.

Fellowship recipients will use the $500 award to allay the costs associated with the business of writing: paper, printing, writing supplies, submission fees, research expenses, travel, conference registration fees, etc. In addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a complimentary one-year membership in the North Carolina Writers’ Network, as well as scholarship aid to attend the Network’s annual Fall and Spring Conferences.

Applications will be accepted only through Submittable from May 1 to June 30, annually.

Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Writers must have established legal residence in North Carolina for at least one year prior to applying, and plan on residing in North Carolina through the Fellowship year.
  • Writers must be between the ages of 21 and 35, as of December 31 of the year in which they apply.
  • Students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply, even if the focus of study is not directly related to writing. (If at any point during the judging process an applicant accepts an offer to study in a degree-granting program, please alert NCWN immediately to have the application pulled from consideration.)
  • Fellowship recipients should “pay it forward.” Fellowship winners, in the course of their award year, are invited to help at least one other writer, in whatever fashion they see fit (mentoring, critiquing, providing a reference, etc.), carrying on Sally Buckner’s lifelong support of other writers.
  • Applicants are required to submit a completed application form and accompanying work sample, letter of support, and vitae by June 30. (For a sample vitae, click here.)

For NCWN members, there is no cost to apply for the Fellowship; for non-members, the application fee is $10. A committee appointed by NCWN will review applications, and invite finalists to interview (via virtual platform) with committee members. The Fellowship winner will be formally introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference. At the end of the award year, recipients will be required to complete a brief report on writing progress made over the past year.

The Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship seeks to support North Carolina writers as they navigate the challenges (and expenses) of the literary world, honoring and continuing Sally Buckner’s devotion to North Carolina’s literary tradition and community.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves writers of this state, providing education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write.

For more information about the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and NCWN, visit or contact June Guralnick, Fellowship Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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