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NC Literary Hall of Fame




WINSTON-SALEM—The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, which honors the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina, is now open.

The deadline is January 2, 2019.

The contest, sponsored by NCWN and administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina. Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must not have been published before (including on any website, blog, or social media), and must be no more than 3,000 words.

The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

The final judge of the inaugural Jacobs/Jones contest will be the acclaimed author Rion Amilcar Scott.

Scott’s short-story collection, Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. The World Doesn't Require You, his sophomore story collection, is forthcoming from Liveright.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors the nineteenth-century writers Harriet Jacobs and Thomas H. Jones. Jacobs was born in 1813 near Edenton, escaping to Philadelphia in 1842, after hiding for seven years in a crawl space above her grandmother’s ceiling. She published her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, under a pseudonym in 1861. Jacobs died in 1897 and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jones was born into slavery near Wilmington in 1806. Able to purchase the freedom of his wife and all but one of his children, he followed them north in 1849 by stowing away on a brig to New York. In the northeast and in Canada, he spoke as a preacher and abolitionist, writing his memoir, The Experience of Thomas Jones, in 1854, as a way to raise funds to buy his eldest child’s freedom.

This Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize was initiated by Cedric Brown, a Winston-Salem native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Though Brown has lived in California the last three decades, he has “deep roots, an abiding love, and a little house in the Tar Heel State,” he said.

“The literary award was borne out of my frustration with being unable to readily find much fiction or creative nonfiction that conveys the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians,” Brown said. “I wanted to incentivize the development of written works while also encouraging Black writers to capture our lives through storytelling.”

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.



Postmark Deadline: January 2 (annual)
Submissions Accepted: November 1 – January 2

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors Harriet Jacobs and Thomas Jones, two pioneering African-American writers from North Carolina, and seeks to convey the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians. The contest is administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication of the winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina.
  • Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must be unpublished, no more than 3,000 words, and concerned with the lives and experiences of North Carolina African-Americans. Entries may be excerpts from longer works, but must be self-contained. Entries will be judged on literary merit.
  • An entry fee must accompany each submission: $10 for NCWN members, $20 for nonmembers. You may submit multiple entries, but the correct fee must accompany each one.
  • You may pay the members’ entry fee if you join the NCWN when you submit.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • If submitting by mail, submit two copies of an unpublished manuscript, not to exceed 3,000 words, on single-sided pages, double-spaced, in black 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • To submit by USPS:

Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize
UNC Creative Writing Program
Attn: Anita Braxton
Greenlaw Hall, CB#3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520

  • To submit online, go to https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members / $20 nonmembers). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner will be announced in February.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 www.ncwriters.org.


CHARLOTTE—If you're arriving early for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall Conference, or if you're local to the Charlotte metro area, consider enjoying The Pre-Conference Tailgate hosted by Bryn Chancellor and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte English Department.

This event is free. There is no registration required, and you do not need to have registered for the conference to participate.

This special program will take place:

Friday, November 2, 12:00-1:30 pm
Fretwell 290B, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9203 Mary Alexander Rd., Charlotte, 28262

Attendees can park for free in East Deck 1. Simply enter the gate and bring your ticket with you to the Pre-Conference Tailgate. During the program, your ticket will be replaced with a validated ticket, which will allow you to exit the garage for no charge.

Bryn Chancellor will lead "The Alchemy of Paying Attention."

We live in a world of distractions that keep us from granting our attention in meaningful ways. For writers, paying attention—to the world, to our imaginations and memories, and to our work—is essential. To be observant as a writer demands engagement; we must slow down and open ourselves up—not just to see/witness but to listen, smell, touch, and taste. We must activate and fine-tune our senses, which takes constant refinement, especially when we’re busy with other demands. In this session, we’ll practice transforming our observations and memories into language that can be rich material for our stories or poems—maybe even gold.

Bryn Chancellor is the author of the novel Sycamore (Harper/HarperCollins 2017), which was a Southwest Book of the Year, an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Editors’ Best Book of 2017, and among Bustle’s Best Debuts of 2017. Her story collection When Are You Coming Home? (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications. A recipient of a 2018 North Carolina Artist Fellowship, her honors include fellowships from the Alabama and Arizona state arts councils and the Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. A graduate of Vanderbilt University’s MFA Program, she is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Pre-Conference Tailgate is meant to get writers' creative juices flowing prior to the weekend.

On-site registration for the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference will open at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 2, in the lobby of the Hilton Charlotte University Place. Those who have not pre-registered will be able to sign up for classes at that time.

The NCWN 2018 Fall Conference is a full weekend of classes, panels, readings, open mics, a NaNoWriMo launch party, and more. For full details, click here.


CHARLOTTE—The pre-registration deadline for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall Conference has been extended until 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 28. If you haven't yet registered, you can do so online at www.ncwriters.org.

While the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference, which runs November 2-4 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, offers a terrific lineup of faculty and programming, the weekend is made possible through the generosity of its sponsors.

The Arts and Science Council of Charlotte serves as the designated “Office of Cultural Resources” for the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and six suburban towns by providing advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops, and trainings for the cultural community. They work to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector. Follow ASC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit them on the web.

The Arts and Science Council is the official sponsor of Saturday morning's Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion, "Does Place Still Matter?", with Julie Funderburk, Patrice Gopo, Dannye Romine Powell, and Kim Wright.

The nonprofit Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts (Charlotte Lit) is the greater Charlotte community’s center for engaging with and studying the literary arts. They provide a physical space—the Plaza Midwood studio—where people gather, teach, learn, and create. And they are a virtual community hub where people discover local literary events and connect with literature and each other. They offer ongoing classes in the craft and business of writing; a reading series; and other events and programming, many in collaboration with local groups. This fall, their 4X4CLT series continues when they release four different posters featuring four poems and four works of art. A reading and celebration will be held with featured poets and artists. After each event, the posters are displayed in public places throughout the city—coffee shops, waiting rooms, libraries, storefronts. 

Charlotte Lit is the sponsor of the Business of Writing Track at Fall Conference, which includes sessions such as "The Perfect Pitch" with Kim Boykin, Erika Marks, and Kim Wright; "The Passion Project: Writing and Selling a Book that Matters" with Kathy Izard; "Technology Toolkit: Software and Tech Stuff for Writers" with Charlotte Lit co-founder Paul Reali; as well as the Critique Service and Manuscript Mart programs.

The Davidson College English Department annually sponsors and co-sponsors significant contemporary writers and scholars, often winners of Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur "genius grants," National Book Awards, and various other honors. All writers brought to campus work with students personally; all public presentations are free. To check on upcoming events, visit https://www.davidson.edu/the-arts/literary-arts.

The Davidson College English Department is the official sponsor of the Faculty Readings on Saturday night.

Get Freedom and focus on what really matters most to you: writing. Freedom is used by over 750,000 people worldwide to control digital distractions like social media, email, videos, online shopping, chat, games…Schedule a Freedom session and block the websites and apps that you find most distracting. Freedom syncs across all your computers, phones, and tablets. Freedom users report gaining 2.5 hours—every day!

Freedom is sponsoring the session "Shut Up and Write," led by NCWN trustee Michele T. Berger. This session will ask registrants to do exactly that: Shut up, and write. Think of it as study hall, except you’re writing instead of reading (or passing notes—none of that, now). Registrants for this option will get ninety minutes of glorious, uninterrupted silence in which to dream, plan, create, or edit.

Al Manning, aka The Resident Curmudgeon, is the NCWN regional rep for Chatham and Lee Counties. One exhibitor table at Fall Conference will be devoted to our regional groups. The North Carolina Writers’ Network hosts monthly, free literary events through our regional and county representatives in fifty-one counties in North Carolina plus one each in Georgia and South Carolina. Come to the table to find information about ongoing events in an county near you!

Al is once again sponsoring the Open Mics on Saturday night. Sign-up for the Open Mics at the registration table, first-come, first-served.

The North Carolina Arts Council has nominated a new poet laureate for North Carolina, Jaki Shelton Green, who will be among the panelists at Fall Conference following the staging of Ian Finley’s new play, Native. The NCAC has also been instrumental in connecting individuals and organizations in need of disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Florence with the appropriate resources. Over the years, the NCAC has been at the forefront of bringing arts tourism to North Carolina, publishing several guidebooks to heritage trails and designating the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The NCAC also offers fellowships to artists and organizations each year. The deadline for the next Artist Fellowship grant is November 1. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and learn much more on their website.

The NCAC provides general programming support to the North Carolina Writers' Network and the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference.

The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities dedicated to exploring and celebrating our state’s heritage, history and people. Through its programs, partnerships and scholarships, the Council preserves and shares the stories that bring North Carolina’s culture to life and enrich the lives of residents across the state. The NC Humanities Council offers the annual Linda Flowers Award which celebrates excellence in the humanities by those who not only identify with our state, but who explore the promises, the problems, the experiences, the meanings, in lives that have been shaped by North Carolina and its many cultures.

At Saturday's Luncheon, the NC Humanities Council will feature the winner of the 2018 Linda Flowers Award.

Odin Law & Media strives to be “the conduit between digital and interactive media, technology and the law.” Serving the interactive media, games, and internet industries, Odin works to understand each client’s specific needs, from advertising to VR. “Through consulting and crisis communication services, [Odin] advises on rules for professional communication, media advocacy, and reputation defense. In short, Odin is a new kind of law firm. Odin assists media and technology clients with the law, and advocates for media and technology in the law.” Areas of focus include entertainment (including the literary world); video games; digital media (an umbrella term that applies to journalists publishing their stories online as much as it does to virtual reality and augmented reality developers); the internet; and crisis PR. “In each of these areas, the firm works to provide efficient service with a predictable and flat fee, whenever possible.”

Odia Law & Media is the official sponsor of the Happy Hour on Saturday evening.

In the past twelve years, Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author, has taught writing workshops to thousands of aspiring fiction, poetry, and memoir authors of nearly all ages from nine to ninety, both around the corner and across continents.  She now combines her twin loves of books and history by serving as a “Let’s Talk About It” scholar with the NC Humanities Council which takes her all across North Carolina.  Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry and Old Derelicts is her most recent CD featuring crowd-pleasing favorite originals. Previous poetry collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects.  A former editor for Wake Living magazine, Alice is also the editor of the anthologies Tattoos and Creatures of Habitat, both from Main Street Rag.  A NC Writers’ Network, NC Poetry Society, and NC Songwriters Co-op board member and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in the News and Observer, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review and in numerous journals and anthologies. Alice is the artist-in-residence for the Western Wake Farmers’ Market, a senior docent at the NC Museum of History, and she also plays Celtic fiddle and bluegrass banjo. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and four birds. Check out her music at  www.reverbnation.com/aliceosborn.

Alice is sponsoring the Welcome Reception on Friday night, prior to the Keynote Address by 2018 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Randall Kenan.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of English graduate program offers an M.A. in English, a cerificate in Technical/Professional Writing, and a certificate in Applied Linguistics, as well as an English strand of the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. There are a variety of specialized concentrations for students pursuing the M.A. in English. Students can also benefit by pursuing a certificate while focusing on another concentration for the M.A. UNC-Charlotte’s graduate program in English has developed a very strong profile not only within the university but with programs and corporations across the United States. Our students graduate to pursue successful careers in commerce and education, or to move forward into the very best doctoral programs nationwide. Graduates of the UNC Charlotte masters programs have chosen to teach in public schools and/or community colleges or to work in corporate and non-profits as professional writers. Other graduates have gone on to Ph.D. studies.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of English will host the Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday at 12:00 pm at the Fretwell Building on UNCC's campus. "The Alchemy of Paying Attention" will be led by Bryn Chancellor. We live in a world of distractions that keep us from granting our attention in meaningful ways. For writers, paying attention—to the world, to our imaginations and memories, and to our work—is essential. To be observant as a writer demands engagement; we must slow down and open ourselves up—not just to see/witness but to listen, smell, touch, and taste. We must activate and fine-tune our senses, which takes constant refinement, especially when we’re busy with other demands. In this session, we’ll practice transforming our observations and memories into language that can be rich material for our stories or poems—maybe even gold.

Check www.ncwriters.org next week for more information about the Pre-Conference Tailgate.

Online pre-registration for the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference ends on Sunday, October 28. Register now: www.ncwriters.org.


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