NC Literary Hall of Fame




ASHEVILLE—Rachel Taube had just defended her MFA thesis when she got the news that her short story “The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth” won the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.

Taube, who earned her MFA at UNC Wilmington, will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final judge Randall Kenan, in selecting Taube’s story, said, “’The Gentle Clack of a Fox’s Teeth’ feels like a fresh take on the South and confronts a very serious controversial subject with humor and wit and pathos. This writer is wise.”

Taube's writing has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, and The Millions. She has been a C.D. Wright / Nan Snow Emerging Writer, a Tent Creative Writing Fellow, and an Electric Literature–Catapult Scholarship recipient. She is the managing editor of Ecotone at UNC-Wilmington.

Kenan also selected two entries for Honorable Mention: “Patriotism” by Jason Gray, and “The Runaway” by Sarah David.

Gray is the Senior Fellow for Research and Policy at the North Carolina Rural Center, and a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “Patriotism” is an excerpt from his novel-in-progress.

David is an architectural historian and supervisor with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. A native of Germanton, she now lives in Raleigh.

Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Mrs. Giles Whiting Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. Kenan is a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which is awarded to a work of short fiction of 3,000 words or less, is administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers. The program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes led by published writers and experienced teachers. Each course carries academic credit awarded through UNC-Asheville.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), was born in Asheville. His Look Homeward, Angel is considered one of the most important coming-of-age novels in the English language. Wolfe was considered at the time of his death to be the greatest talent North Carolina had given to American literature. His novels and collected short stories go beyond autobiography, trying to, in William Faulkner’s words, “put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin.” His intense poetic language and thoughtfully developed symbology, combined with his uncanny ability to enter the minds of his other characters and give them powerful voices, elevate the books from memoir to undeniable literary art.

The nonprofit 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—We may pen lush descriptions and plots that move at breakneck speed. But at some point, our characters are going to need to talk to one another.

No matter our genre, dialogue should never appear just because it's probably time for our characters to say something. Instead, dialogue has a whole lot of work to do...and not a lot of room to do it in.

On Wednesday, May 20, at 7:00 pm, author Xhenet Aliu will lead the online class "Revealing Character Through Dialogue."

Registration is closed.

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

Writers are articulate, but our characters may not be. So how does one write compelling, natural dialogue that communicates meaning and intent when our characters evade, lie, stammer, and suppress? In this class, we'll work on methods to implant context and subtext into our characters' conversations while respecting their natural language patterns and psychologies.

Xhenet Aliu’s novel, Brass, was awarded the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize, was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, was long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize, and was named a best book of the year by numerous outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Simple, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Aliu’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glimmer Train, Hobart, American Short Fiction, Lenny, LitHub, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the UNC-Greensboro and has previously worked as an academic librarian, private investigator, waitress, and secretary.

"Revealing Character Through Dialogue" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 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 "Revealing Character Through Dialogue" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, May 20, 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


WINSTON-SALEM—For years, the North Carolina Writers’ Network has offered a Critiquing & Editing Service to its members. Through this service, NCWN members can have their unpublished work reviewed by established editors and writers, at below-market rates.

Now, they can have their work reviewed without ever leaving their desk chairs, thanks to the C&ES’ new e-delivery option.

The new e-delivery option allows NCWN members to register and pay for the Critiquing & Editing Service using an online form, and submit their work as an e-mail attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“E-delivery saves our members money and time,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said, “and saves the Network money, time, resources, and aggravating trips to the post office.”

Electronic submissions to the C&ES will cost the same per-page as printed submissions: $3 per page for up to 50 pages, and $2 per page thereafter.

The administrative fee for electronic submissions, though, is only $15, compared to $30 for printed submissions.

All but two of the Network’s current critiquers will accept electronic submissions. Turnaround time will be faster, of course, since no packages will travel through the mail.

“Seriously, if you know how congested the parking lot of our local post office gets, you’ll wonder why we didn’t do this sooner,” Southern added, perhaps missing the point.

“We had planned to start offering e-delivery long before we were all sheltering-in-place,” Southern said, “but social distancing did make this move a higher priority.”

For more information on the NCWN’s Critiquing & Editing Service, or on the Network itself, visit


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