NC Literary Hall of Fame




WINSTON-SALEM, NC—As writers, we likely find our inspiration in different places, but all of us must nurture that creative spark that keeps us curious about the world. Sometimes, that creative spark needs a jumpstart.

Even if we usually find inspiration somewhere other than art, listening to music, absorbing images, and checking in with our own bodies to notice how we move through a space can serve as cross-training exercises for our creativity, which will give us more flexibility and depth as writers.

On Wednesday, June 23, at 7:00 pm ESTGregory DeCandia will lead the online class "Creative Curiosity."

Registration is closed.

Multimedia Artist Gregory DeCandia will guide a 90-minute class that curiously questions the crossroads of creativity through mindfulness, movement, and reflection. Writers will be immersed in multiple artistic mediums to explore the essences of inspiration, access the subconscious, and utilizes the power of reduction.

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

Gregory DeCandia has engaged the industry as an educator, performer, director, podcaster, and cultivator of new works in five different states and abroad. He is the Founder and current Executive Director of Ignition Arts. For the last four years he was the Head of the BA Theatre and Performance devising program at Oklahoma City University. Most recently Gregory was on stage as James Reston Jr in Frost/Nixon at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Last May marked his digital directorial debut with elevated, a devised film adaptation of the poetry graphic novel elevated thoughts: 100 shadormas from 9,000 ft. from Literati Press. His new play Animals received a reading at the National Winter Playwrights Retreat 2019 and a 2020 workshop with Ignition Arts. Gregory also tours his solo docudrama Silhouettes Of Service and has created four podcasts: Thank You 10, Fair Play, Devising, and The Brennan Book Blog Podcast. He is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill (MFA) and Emerson College (BFA) and member of Actors’ Equity Association and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.

"Creative Curiosity" is the final installment of North Carolina Writers' Network's 2020-2021 series of online classes. The 2021-2022 lineup will be announced this summer.

"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 "Creative Curiosity" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, June 23, 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


BOONE—A summer event in Boone is always something to look forward to, but even more so this year, as the NC Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021 will be held in-person, marking the first face-to-face event the Network has hosted since March of 2020.

"SW21" happens July 22-25 at Appalachian State University, in Boone. Register here.

This conference offers fifteen hours of workshop time in a single genre with a single instructor. Registration is capped, allowing plenty of time and space for registrants to get to know one another and learn one another's work. Additional weekend highlights include Faculty Readings, Open Mics, group writing activities, conversations, and more.

"We're very grateful to be able to offer in-person events again," said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "SW21 will have all the inclusiveness and creativity our members have come to expect from an NCWN event, while also keeping everyone safe."

Kathryn Kirkpatrick will lead the Poetry Workshop, "About Looking." Workshop participants will use John Berger's About Looking as a jumping-off point to write their own ekphrastic poems and to learn from other poets who have used art expansively in their work. Kathryn is the author of seven collections of poetry, including three recipients of the NC Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell award. The Fisher Queen: New & Selected Poems (Salmon, 2019) received the NC Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke Chowan Poetry Prize. She is a Professor of English at ASU.

The Fiction Workshop, "Roaring Off the Page—Writing First Chapters and First Pages," will be lead by Mark Powell, Director of the Creative Writing Program at ASU. Registrants In this workshop will focus on crafting openings of both novels and stories, discussing the differences between the forms and looking at famous examples of great openings. Mark is the author of seven novels including Small Treasons (2017, Gallery/Simon and Schuster) and Lioness, forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in 2022.

Zackary Vernon will lead the Creative Nonfiction Workshop, "Writing Place," which will explore how to write about places and spaces, while remaining mindful of the interconnections between the natural and cultural, the built and non-built, the human and animal. Participants will consider how the places they've been have made them who they are today. Zackary is an associate professor of English at ASU. He is the editor of two recent scholarly collections: Summoning the Dead: Essays on Ron Rash (USC Press, 2018) and Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies (LSU Press, 2019).

Because registration is limited, after fifteen hours of workshop time and seven group meals, including a celebratory picnic on Saturday night, attendees at the Squire Summer Writing Workshops tend to form even closer bonds than at other Network events.

"We had a wonderful, supportive, knowledge-filled (workshop) group," wrote an attendee in 2017, the last time the Squire Summer Writing Workshops were held in Boone. "I have several special memories. The support and outpouring of writing suggestions from my workshop group will stay foremost in my mind. The exposure to the various writers from so many different paths, converging into this writing community, surpassed my expectations."

Out of an abundance of caution, some changes have been made to ensure the well-being of the attendees. For 2021, there will be no "tag-along" registrations; only those who attend workshops will be allowed to use overnight accommodations at ASU. The "Shared Campus Room" registration option is only available to attendees who live in the same household. Commuters are still very welcome.

For more information about the NCWN Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021, and to register, click here.

 Support for these workshops is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.

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


WINSTON-SALEM—The North Carolina Writers' Network is very glad to share that, although they are decidedly low-hanging, we have begun to realize the first fruits of our ReCover Campaign. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, Network staff was able to upgrade our phone system for the first time since the Obama administration.

Membership Coordinator Deonna Kelli Sayed's number will remain the same, although her phone has been substantially upgraded to better serve our members, whether she's in her virtual office or on the floor of an event.

Executive Director Ed Southern's number also will remain the same and will remain the general number for the Network. However, for the first time in its history, the official Network phone will not be connected to a wall by a telephone cord. That's right: the Network's telephone system has finally gone 100 percent wireless! 

"Now that I don't have to be attached to the wall of my house when I'm on the phone," Ed said, checking his Fitbit, "I look forward to getting my steps in each day."

Not to bury the lede, but the biggest news to come out of the ReCover Campaign so far is that Communications Director Charles Fiore finally has a Network phone, period. He's worked the past decade without a dedicated work phone line, and, after being dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century, can finally admit there might be some bright side to having a phone.

"In the past, I've had to use my personal cell phone when I needed to make a call for work," Charles reflected late Friday night. "That phone has an out-of-state area code. I've lived in North Carolina long enough now to know that almost no one, from plumbers to exterminators to general contractors, calls back an out-of-state area code. Maybe now that I finally have one, people might start to return my calls!"

One interesting item gleaned from the phone system upgrade: the Triad area, which traditionally boasts a "336" area code, is plumb full-up on phone numbers. So, there's a new area code for new Triad-based phones: "743."

"Or not," Charles said.

Staff of the North Carolina Writers' Network can be reached at the following numbers:

Deonna Kelli Sayed, Membership Coordinator: 919-308-3228

Ed Southern, Executive Director, 336-293-8844

Charles Fiore, Communications Director, 743-219-7189

Network staff can generally be reached during normal business hours. 

The 2021 ReCover Campaign sought funds to address specific NCWN needs, including upgrading our websites; creating a new cleaner look for our websites, newsletter, and other visual media; purchasing livestreaming and conference equipment; and more. Supporters should expect to continue to see the results of the successful campaign over the next year to eighteen months.

The NCWN is a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. Gifts can be made online or by checks made out to NCWN and mailed to P.O. Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC, 27120.


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