NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—We tried. We planned. We hoped. And we will gather together—face-to-face, not screen-to-screen—again someday.

That day, though, will not be this April.

Due to UNC-Greensboro’s ongoing COVID-19 response, we will not be able to hold our 2021 Spring Conference in person. Instead, the entire Spring Conference will move online, via Zoom.

Registration is open.

All dates and times will remain the same, as will the schedule of events. The Master Classes will take place across Thursday and Friday evenings, April 22 and 23.

Most of the Spring Conference will take place Saturday, April 24, including the classes, the Faculty Readings, and the Open Mic Readings. The classes will be decoupled from the genre tracks, so that registrants can choose their classes for the morning and afternoon sessions. In place of “Lunch with an Author,” we will plan an online social hour for casual conversation.

The “pay what you can” registration fee will remain in place, as well.

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 poetry classes led by Ashley Lumpkin and Joseph Mills; a creative nonfiction class on “Writing Trauma,” led by James Tate Hill; and “Dramatic Tension and the Core of Hope vs. Fear,” a fiction class with Zelda Lockhart. Both the morning and afternoon sessions will include “Authors as Entrepreneurs,” led by Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White.

Registration and full details are available on


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


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