NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—Fellowship. Learning. Support.

These principles are at the heart of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective, and they happen to be central tenets of the North Carolina Writers’ Network as well.

NCWN, which turns thirty-five this year, will host its 2020 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration is open.

The Keynote Celebration will feature four CAAWC writers—founder Lenard D. Moore; Dr. L. Teresa Church; Bridgette A. Lacy; and Crystal Simone Smith—as they chronicle the history of the organization and read passages from All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers Collective (Blair, 2020).

Founded in 1985, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will celebrate its 35th anniversary throughout the year.

The Poetry Master Class, “Now Look at What You Have Done,” will be led by Stuart Dischell, author of Good Hope Road (Viking), a National Poetry Series Selection, and four other poetry collections. He is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UNC-Greensboro.

Other poetic options include “More than Meaning” with Timothy O’Keefe, whose collection You Are the Phenomenology won the 2017 Jupiter Prize for Poetry, and “Crowded House: Imagery in Poetry” with Jennie Malboeuf, author of the forthcoming collection God had a body.

Xhenet Aliu will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Messing Up Good.” Aliu’s novel Brass won the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize; was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection; and was named a best book of the year by several national media outlets.

For fiction writers wanting more variety, Quinn Dalton will lead “Make a Scene.” Dalton is the author of four books, including Midnight Bowling and Bulletproof Girl.

Randal O’Wain will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, “Our Memories and Our Words: The Art of Writing Memoir.” O’Wain, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow at Alderson Federal Correction Institute in West Virginia, is the author of Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South (Nebraska, 2019).

Writers who prefer truth to fiction also may choose “Narrative Medicine” with Aimee Mepham, co-chair of the Story, Health, & Healing initiative at Wake Forest University; and “Writing Your Life: Turning Personal Stories into Universal Narratives” with Bridgette A. Lacy, a longtime features writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh and author of Sunday Dinner (UNC Press), a finalist for the Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize.

No conference would be complete without options for those ready to take their book to market, including “Public Speaking for Writers” with Cameron Kent and “From Manuscript to Finished Book” with Blair editors Robin Miura and Lynn York.

Kent is a member of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and won an Emmy for his reporting on the Pentagon after 9/11. Blair is a Durham-based press that publishes diverse fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about the American South and beyond.

There’s even a class for those who write across genres: learn the value of foresight with “Planning Your Creativity: Hybrid Outlines for 21st Century Writing” with the NCWN Regional Rep for Durham County and speculative fiction author Jorge Cortese.

In addition, guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing, NCWN will host its sixth “Slush Pile Live!”

During this favorite program, poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile. Many attendees have commented how much they learn in this hour of rapid-fire tidbits of wisdom and common sense.

Familiar features remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conferencegoers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Preregistration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide coffee for conference-goers during registration and check-in. Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.

Learn more and register at


SOUTHERN PINES—Five writers—a beloved poet, novelist, scholar, and literary citizen; the author of a literary blockbuster; an award-winning chronicler of the coast, who is also an internationally-renowned musician; a short-story writer who led UNC’s creative writing program to national prominence; and one of the most prolific and honored children’s writers in America—will enter the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame this fall.

Anthony S. Abbott, Charles Frazier, Bland Simpson, the late Max Steele, and Carole Boston Weatherford will join the sixty-five inductees currently enshrined in an October ceremony at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, where the NCLHOF is housed.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. Inductions are held every other year. A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at

The winner of the 2015 North Carolina Award for Literature, Anthony S. Abbott is the author of seven books of poetry, two novels, and four books of literary criticism. He joined the English department of Davidson College in 1964, becoming Charles A. Dana Professor of English in 1990. His other prizes include the Brockman-Campbell Book Award and the Novello Literary Award. Abbott also has served as president of the Charlotte Writers Club, the NC Poetry Society, and the NC Writers’ Network.

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Cold Mountain (1997), his highly-acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, won the National Book Award in 1997, and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Anthony Minghella in 2003. His next three novels—Thirteen Moons, Nightwoods, and Varina—all were New York Times bestsellers, as well.

Bland Simpson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has played piano with the Red Clay Ramblers since 1986.  His books include The Great Dismal, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, Into the Sound Country, Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals, The Coasts of Carolina, Two Captains from Carolina, and Little Rivers & Waterway Tales, and his theatrical collaborations include Diamond Studs, Hot Grog, Life on the Mississippi, King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running, Cool Spring, Tar Heel Voices, Kudzu, and Fool Moon.  Simpson’s awards include the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts (2005) and the NC Humanities Council’s John Tyler Caldwell Award in the Humanities (2017). 

After World War II service in the Army Air Corps, Max Steele graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1946, later studying French language and literature at the Sorbonne while serving as advisory editor to The Paris Review. His only novel, Debby, won both the Harper Prize and the Mayflower Award in 1950, but he was best-known for his short stories, collected in four volumes. He began teaching at UNC in 1956, and retired in 1988, seventeen years before his death.

Baltimore-born and -raised, Carole Boston Weatherford composed her first poem in first grade and dictated the verse to her mother on the ride home from school. Her father, a high school printing teacher, printed some of her early poems on index cards. Since her literary debut with Juneteenth Jamboreein 1995, Weatherford’s books have received three Caldecott Honors, two NAACP Image Awards, an SCBWI Golden Kite Award, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and many other honors. Weatherford has received the Ragan-Rubin Award from the North Carolina English Teachers Association and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a professor at Fayetteville State University.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.

For more information, visit the NC Literary Hall of Fame at or the North Carolina Writers’ Network at


GREENSBORO—The 2020 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competitionis 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 Nicole Stockburger.

Nicole Stockburger is the author of Nowhere Beulah (2019), winner of the Unicorn Press First Book Award. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Journal, The Adroit Journal, and Frontier Poetry, among others. 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. She lives and works on a stretch of land in the NC foothills near her hometown, Winston-Salem.

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."

Alan Michael Parker of Davidson won the 2019 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for his poem "Psalm," which posited a series of conditional statements that unfolded beautifully.

The winning poem and the finalists can be read for free on

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, 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


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