NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

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WILMINGTON—Wilmington prose writer Sophia Stid is the recipient of the 2022 Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, which honors North Carolina’s beloved poet, editor, and educator.

Sophia is the Ecotone Postgraduate Fellow at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches creative writing and serves as an associate editor for Ecotone. Originally from California, Sophia graduated from Georgetown University, where she studied poetry and theology, and earned her MFA from Vanderbilt University, winning the Sedberry Prize in Poetry. Her work has been supported by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and the Collegeville Institute. Recent poems appear in Pleiades, Best New Poets 2020, and Poetry Daily, and a prose micro-chapbook, Whistler’s Mother, is out now from Bull City Press. Sophia is currently at work on a collection of linked lyric essays that circle around gender, wilderness, mythologies of the American West and South, exterior and interior spaces, and domestic labor.

“The judges were uniformly impressed by Sophia’s compelling work and her commitment to the craft of writing,” said June Guralnick, Program Coordinator for the Buckner Fellowship.

Sophia was one of three finalists for the 2022 fellowship, along with Hampton Williams Hofer and Sara Graybeal. This year’s judges were Barbara Presnell, Trace Ramsey, and Banu Valladares.

In addition to a $500 stipend, Sophia will receive a full scholarship to attend the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2021 Fall Conference, November 19-21 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham/RTP, as well as scholarships to the Network’s 2022 Spring and Fall Conferences. All three finalists will receive complimentary one-year NCWN memberships.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers the annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator. The Buckner Fellowship supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career. Award recipients are invited to ‘pay it forward’ in the spirit of Sally Buckner’s generosity and support of Tar Heel authors. Sophia’s goal is to host place-based writing workshops, as well as to mentor younger writers.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program accepts applications from writers working primarily in one of three specified genres, rotated over a three-year cycle. The 2023 genre will be announced at a later date; submissions open for the 2023 Buckner Fellowship on May 1 and run through June 30.

A native of Statesville, Sally Buckner taught every level from kindergarten through graduate school, including twenty-eight years as a faculty member at Peace College, inspiring thousands of young people to find their own unique writing voices. Buckner’s published nonfiction, fiction, and poetry can be found in numerous journals, and in 1986 her collection of poetry, Strawberry Harvest, was published by St. Andrews Press. Other poetry collections include Collateral Damage (2008), and Nineteen Visions of Christmas (2011). Buckner edited two well-known anthologies of North Carolina literature: Our Words, Our Ways: Reading and Writing in North Carolina (1991) and Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry (1999).

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 visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

HILLSBOROUGH—Author Barbara Claypole White will lead the session “How to Give Your Characters Voice” (fiction) at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2021 Fall Conference, November 19-21, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham/RTP.

Conference registration is open.

Originally from England, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes and gardens in the forests of Orange County. Her passion for chipping away at stereotypes of mental illness inspires quirky stories about troubled but courageous characters, complicated relationships, and crazy critters . . . topped off with a dollop of hope. Her novels include The Perfect Son (a Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist for best fiction), and The Promise Between Us, which won an international Nautilus Award for books that foster change. Novel six, The Gin Club, is currently on submission. To connect with her, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com.

This year, NCWN is asking authors for "one good piece of advice," either something they were once told that they never forgot, or something they wished they could go back and tell their younger selves.

"Don’t rush to publication," Barbara says. "Take the time to honor the story and excavate its true heartbeat. Publishing can be infuriatingly slow, but the end result should be nothing less than your best work. Write with passion and pride and keep learning your craft."

Whether Barbara Claypole White is creating a secondary teen character or breathing life into a male protagonist with PTSD, character voice is her everything. In “How to Give Your Characters Voice” (fiction), we’ll talk about how to honor our story by building powerful characters with distinct and memorable voices. We’ll discuss the importance of character research and how to edit by character. POV will also come under our microscope: How many POV characters do we need and how can we weave together multiple POV chapters without slowing the pace? Bring your work-in-progress or a blank page, and we’ll play with different techniques. Character rules, y’all.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will give the Keynote Address. Other fiction classes include "Conjuring Magic in Fiction" with Karen Tucker and multigenre offerings such as "Getting Back into the Writing Groove" with Heather Bell Adams, sponsored by Freedom.to, and "The Power of Mindset for Your Writing Life" with Michele T. Berger.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

RALEIGH—Playwright Ian Finley will lead the session “I Want to Start with an Earthquake and Build to a Climax” (playwriting) at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2021 Fall Conference, November 19-21, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham/RTP.

Conference registration is open.

Ian Finley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, where he earned the Harry Kondoleon Award for playwriting. He is the author of plays, including Native (featured at the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference), The Nature of the Nautilus (winner of the Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Award 2002), and the Our Histories series of plays for Burning Coal Theatre Company. For this body of work, he was named the 2012 Piedmont Laureate. He has taught at Southern Methodist University, as well for the OLLI programs at NC State University and Duke University.

This year, NCWN is asking authors for "one good piece of advice," either something they were once told that they never forgot, or something they wished they could go back and tell their younger selves. Ian advises: 

"In the words of the great Charlie Purpura, Emmy Winner and Professor of Television Writing at NYU: 'JUST FINISH IT!' Charlie passionately believed that the first draft can, and should, be awful. Otherwise, are you really trying anything new? So the goal was to power through, boldly ignoring mistakes, until you'd finished the draft, and discovered what it was you were writing. Then, you could go back, and anything could be fixed. Nothing is so bad that it can't be revised. But you can't revise what you haven't written. So throw caution to the wind, bravely set your course, and JUST FINISH IT."

For a playwright or screenwriter, the key to keeping the audience engaged is conflict, but it turns out that conflict is also the engine to develop character and draw out theme. In “I Want to Start with an Earthquake and Build to a Climax” (playwriting), we'll explore the crisis-response cycle: its power to organically drive your story, keep the audience's attention, and making your writing life easier.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will give the Keynote Address. Other. session offerings for writers of stage and screen include "Adaptation" with author Daniel Wallace;"Writing Scripted Audio" with Tamara Kissane; and "The Art of the Interview" with Donna Campbell and NCWN Trustee Georgann Eubanks.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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