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NC Literary Hall of Fame




CHARLOTTE—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Fall Conference, November 2-4 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, will deliver more programs for more types of writers than ever before.

For the first time, Fall Conference will offer a full slate of sessions designed specifically for writers of stage and screen. In addition, as part of the Network’s ongoing mission to serve writers at all levels of experience, the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts will sponsor a “Business of Writing” track at Fall Conference for those who feel ready to take their manuscripts to market. And, because of the Hilton’s convenient location, getting to (and parking!) at a Fall Conference in the Charlotte Metro area has never been easier.

Registration is open at www.ncwriters.org.

Randall Kenan, a 2018 inductee to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, will give the Keynote Address.

Kenan is the author of the 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 for Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Randall also will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “The Gothic Imagination and Good Fiction,” which will examine Gothic literature as a cornerstone of the Western literary tradition, and its significant impact in forming the American literary tradition.

On Saturday night, the annual Network Banquet will feature an abbreviated production of the play Native by Ian Finley. Native explores the true story of the collaboration between NC native and Pulitzer-winning playwright Paul Green and Native Son author Richard Wright, as they attempt to co-write the 1941 stage adaptation of Wright’s novel. The play highlights discussions between Green and Wright about the realities of systemic racism in America. Finley is the 2012 Piedmont Laureate and the Head of Drama at Research Triangle High School in Durham.

Sessions designed for writers of stage and screen include “Dramatic Structure, or The Story of My Tattoo” with Finley; “Creating Diverse Characters for the Stage, Page, and Screen” with fiction writer, playwright, and screenwriter Paula Martinac; and “From the Page to the Stage” with playwright and television script writer Robert Inman.

Along with an increased presence of programming for playwrights and screenwriters, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer the Elliott Bowles Screenwriters Scholarship, which will provide conference registration and two nights’ accommodation for up to four North Carolina-based aspiring screenwriters.

Additional program offerings include Saturday morning’s “All Stories Connect” panel discussion “Does Place Still Matter?” and the Saturday luncheon featuring the winner of the Linda Flowers Literary Award, sponsored by the NC Humanities Council.

Sunday morning will once again feature the popular Brilliant at Breakfast panel discussion “Agents and Editors,” with Kaitlyn Johnson of Corvisiero Literary Agency, Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary, Betsy Thorpe of Betsy Thorpe Literary, and Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media.

The Master Class in Creative Nonfiction will be led by Judy Goldman, whose memoir, Together: Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, will be published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in February, 2019. “How to Get the Words on the Page to Match the Fabulous Vision You Have in Your Head” will focus on structure, pacing, building potent sentences, dialogue strategies, scene vs. summary, and use of reflection to improve the participants’ manuscripts. Judy has received the Hobson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for “outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community,” and Queens University’s Beverly D. Clark Author Award.

Those who prefer to stick to the absolute truth in their writing also can sign up for nonfiction offerings such as “Write What You Don’t Know” with NCWN trustee Georgann Eubanks, author of the three-volume Literary Trails series commissioned by the NC Arts Council and published by UNC Press; “The Basics of Writing Compelling Personal Essays ” with Patrice Gopo, author of All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way, an essay collection about race, immigration, and belonging; “Get People Talking” with the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson College, Cynthia Lewis, whose latest book is “The game’s afoot”: A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare; and “Making a Living as a Writer: Freelancing for Magazines” with Jodi Helmer, who has made her living as a full-time writer since 2002.

Maureen Ryan Griffin will lead the Poetry Master Class, “The Art and Craft of Polishing a Poem,” which will offer registrants the opportunity to learn and practice specific revision tactics, as well as get detailed feedback/critique on at least one of their poems. Maureen has taught the art and craft of writing for twenty-five years. She is the author of three poetry collections and a recipient of the 2018 Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award honoring a community member who has contributed outstanding service in support of local and regional writers.

Additional poetry classes include “Imagery: Source and Function in Poetry” with NCWN trustee Julie Funderburk, author of the poetry collection The Door That Always Opens (LSU Press); “Principles of the Verse Line” with Pulitzer-nominated poet Morri Creech; “The Prose Poem: Hybrid Genre or Structural Choice?” with NCWN trustee Terry L. Kennedy, author of the poetry collection New River Breakdown and editor of The Greensboro Review and storySouth; and “Nobody Writes Alone: How to be a Well-Versed Citizen of the Poetry World” with Lisa Zerkle, author of Heart of the Light and a former editor of Kakalak.

Fiction writers seeking a wider variety of offerings or who don’t quite feel prepared to tackle the intensive atmosphere of a Master Class can also choose from stand-alone sessions including “Dialogue from the Ground Up: Amplifying Place and the Sensory World” with Bryn Chancellor, 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; “’You Talking to Me?’ How Less Really Can Mean More When Writing Dialogue” with Susan Rivers, whose debut novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Award 2017 and for the SIBA Southern Book Prize 2018 for Southern Fiction; “Scene Sequencing in Novel Structure” with the 2017 recipient of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, Kim Wright; and “Worldbuilding: Making Your Setting Come Alive!” with bestselling speculative fiction author Gail Z. Martin.

Those registrants hoping for feedback on their manuscripts should consider additional special options.

By pre-registering for either the Critique Service or the Manuscript Mart, writers receive in-depth literary critique of their fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a seasoned writer or editor (Critique Service) or the chance to get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency (Manuscript Mart). While either of these programs might lead to publication, conferencegoers will get more out of these half-hour sessions if they approach them as an opportunity to, above all else, learn to write better.

While writing well is an end unto itself, the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference offers several sessions designed to help attendees take the next step on their path to publication and beyond. The “Business of Writing” track is sponsored by Charlotte Lit, which engages Charlotte Metro community members through classes, community conversations, explorations in creativity and culture, and more.

In “The Perfect Pitch,” novelists Kim Boykin, Kim Wright, and Erika Marks—who have collectively published twelve books with Big Five publishers—will offer tips on what makes an effective pitch and how to break your big idea down into a few potent paragraphs. “The Passion Project: Writing & Selling a Book that Matters” with Kathy Izard, whose self-published memoir was recently re-released by publisher Thomas Nelson, will offer tips on how to turn that passion project into a successful book; Paul Reali, founder of Charlotte Lit, will lead “Technology Toolkit: Software and Tech Stuff for Writers”; NCWN trustee and speculative fiction author Michele T. Berger will lead the first-ever program offering of “Shut Up and Write!” sponsored by Freedom.to, a session that will ask registrants to do exactly that: shut up, and write; Tracy Crow, NCWN Regional Rep for Randolph County, will teach “Finding Our Stories from Photographs and Art,” an ekphrasis session; and “Understanding the Players in the Book World” with Betsy Thorpe will walk registrants through the ins and outs of queries, agents, publishers—traditional and hybrid—and much more.

Bryn Chancellor, author of the prize-winning novel Sycamore and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will lead the Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday. Once again, the Network will offer Mary Belle Campbell Scholarships, which send up to three poets who teach full-time to the Fall Conference.

2018 Fall Conference sponsors include the Arts & Science Council; the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts (Charlotte Lit); the English Department at Davidson College; Freedom.to; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN Regional Rep Al Manning; the North Carolina Arts Council; the North Carolina Humanities Council; Odin Law & Media; Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of English.

For more information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.


CHARLOTTE—To preserve the memory and share the dream of an aspiring screenwriter, his parents have endowed the new Elliott Bowles Screenwriters Scholarship, allowing up to four aspiring screenwriters to attend the annual Fall Conference of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

“The Elliott Bowles Screenwriting Scholarship has been created in remembrance of our son’s screenwriting passion and generous nature,” Beverly Nipper Bowles, Elliott’s mother, said. “This scholarship seeks to lend support to aspiring young screenwriters as they continue to learn and refine their craft, develop connections with industry advisors and production companies, and pursue their dreams in the love of film.”

This scholarship will pay for full Fall Conference registration and two nights’ lodging in the conference hotel. Recipients also will receive a one-year complimentary membership in the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Any North Carolina resident who has written an unproduced/unoptioned screenplay may apply for the Elliott Bowles Screenwriting Scholarship. Applicants will submit a twenty-page sample of their screenplay, along with their resume or C, and a cover letter describing their habits and goals as a screenwriter. Applicants will submit these materials to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with “Elliott Bowles Screenwriting Scholarship” in the subject line.

The 2018 NCWN Fall Conference will be November 2–4 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place Hotel. The conference will offer at least one workshop or class for dramatists (writers for screen or stage) during each of the five breakout sessions Saturday and Sunday, including classes on dialogue with Bryn Chancellor and Susan Rivers; “Dramatic Structure, or the Story of My Tattoo” with Ian Finley; “From the Page to the Stage” with Robert Inman; and “Creating Diverse Characters for the Stage, Page, & Screen” with Paula Martinac.

Dramatists also will be able to submit twenty-page excerpts from one of their works for a one-on-one critique session.

Full details and registration for the 2018 Fall Conference will be available on Monday, August 27.

“The inspiration for this scholarship sprang to mind during my darkest day,” Beverly Nipper Bowles said. “I was planning the memorial service. The initial thought was a dim but emerging ray of sun, mixed with the tiniest sparkle of joy. When I heard myself share the idea with my husband and saw his face, it was suddenly obvious that this was the path we were intended to take as a way to preserve the memory and share the dream of our beloved Elliott.”

Others can donate to support the Bowles Scholarship, either with a check made out to “NCWN-Bowles Scholarship” and mailed to P. O. Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC, 27120; or with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover at www.ncwriters.org.

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.


WINSTON-SALEM—This November, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will launch a new annual contest to honor the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, named for two pioneering African-American writers from North Carolina, will be open to short works of fiction and creative nonfiction. The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

This award 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 contest, sponsored by the 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 full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

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.

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.



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..


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