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NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 21, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Register here.

The Spring Conference is a full day dedicated to learning about the craft and business of writing. Attendees can receive feedback on their works-in-progress, get to know faculty members in small-group settings, and mingle with other publishing professionals both in the classroom and in the exhibit hall, where presses and literary journals will have books and other treasures for sale.

2018 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle will give the Keynote Address.

McCorkle has published six novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, and she has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Emilia Philipps, whose third poetry collection Empty Clip is forthcoming this Spring from Akron Press, will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “Walk the Line: Syntax and the Poetic Line.” Philipps is an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at UNCG.

Joining her will be Naima Coster, a professor at Wake Forest University, who will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Cracking Character: Voice, Choice, and Inner Life.” Coster is the author of Halsey Street, a story of family, loss, and renewal, set in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn.

The Master Class in Nonfiction, “Images, Lists & Fragments in Creative Nonfiction,” will be led by Cynthia Nearman, chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College, and creative nonfiction editor for storySouth.

In addition, Thomas Mira y Lopez will lead the session “Strategies and Possibilities for Starting a Personal Essay.” Mira y Lopez is the 2017-2018 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Writers who are more inclined to make stuff up may choose between fiction offerings such as “Essentials of Scene-Crafting” with Heather Bell Adams, whose debut novel Maranatha Road was published in 2017 by Vidalia Press; and “Writing the Character You Know Best: The Strengths and Pitfalls of Autobiographical Fiction” with David Halperin, author of Journal of a UFO Investigator: A Novel (Viking Press, 2011).

Poets may choose from a la carte selections such as “Prose Poems” with Brockman-Campbell Award winner Charmaine Cadeau and “What Work Is: Poetry from Our Working Lives” with prize-winning poet Valerie Nieman.

The 2018 NCWN Spring Conference offers an expanded selection of courses focused on the business of books, as well as classes on writing for the stage and screen.

“Cinematic Storytelling Techniques for All Writers” with writer and filmmaker Susan Emshwiller will teach participants the “tools and tricks” of screenwriting to enhance any kind of manuscript. Brandon J. Huffman of Odin Law & Media will tackle sticky legal wickets with “Basic Law for Writers.” And Anne Anthony, editor of the anthology The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory (2018) will lead “How to Start Submitting” to teach attendees where to begin, how to submit like a pro, and yes, how to handle rejection.

In addition, NCWN will host its fourth annual “Slush Pile Live!,” guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing. 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 parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.

Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.


WINSTON-SALEM—Today, writers have more publishing options than ever. Indie or "self" publishing no longer holds the stigma it once did, and many authors are deciding that self-publishing offers the best combination of financial return and artistic control.

However, as the ancients knew all too well, the path to Hell is paved with good intentions: deciding to self-publish is a major decision, and would-be indie authors need to make sure they're doing it right.

On Wednesday, March 14, at 7:00 pm, writer, editor, and designer SP Rankin will lead the online class "Self-Publishing Basics for Authors." 

Registration is now closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Authors interested in self-publishing their work quickly learn that writing a book is only the first step in a long journey, and navigating the process to publication can often be confusing and frustrating for the uninitiated. Understanding some of the ground rules and best practices in book production and design—whether you want to do it yourself or work with a professional—can help you publish a book to be proud of and that reflects the hard work you put into writing it. This workshop will introduce the basics of turning a manuscript into a book, including how to prepare your manuscript for production, common conventions of book interior design, cover design basics, limitations of DIY self-publishing, resources for self-publishers on a budget, tips for e-books, and working with a professional designer/service.

Sarah Park (SP) Rankin is writer and designer from Mount Holly. She currently works for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as editor of www.AuthorsRoundtheSouth.com, as well as in freelance book design and production. SP has designed and produced books for both traditional and print-on-demand platforms, and has worked as the photo editor for books published by Arcadia Publishing and John F. Blair, Publisher (now Blair). In 2014, SP wrote, designed, and produced Common Threads: Gastonia and Gaston County Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Beers & Associates). A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, SP also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.

"Self-Publishing Basics for Authors" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's fourth and final offering in their 2017-2018 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Self-Publishing Basics for Authors" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, March 14, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration has been capped at 40.

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 www.ncwriters.org.


GREENSBORO—The 2018 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is now open for submissions.

The contest awards a single poem $200 and publication in storySouth. The deadline is Thursday, March 1.

To submit, click here.

Final judge Lauren Moseley is the author of Big Windows, which was recently named one of "12 Most Anticipated Poetry Collections Hitting Bookstores in 2018" by Bustle. Lauren's poems have appeared in the anthologies Best New Poets and Women Write Resistance and in such magazines as FIELD, Narrative, Copper Nickel, West Branch Wired, and Pleiades. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lauren has been a fellow at Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a recipient of an artist’s grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She lives in Durham.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the 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." Published poets include Cathy Smith Bowers, Al Maginnes, Dannye Romine Powell, and Elizabeth Swann.

Here are the complete guidelines to the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition:

  • 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 http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • 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).
  • 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

The non-profit 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 www.ncwriters.org.


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