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WINSTON-SALEM—Given the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Squire Summer Writing Workshops will move entirely online for 2020.

The first-ever Squire Online 2020 runs July 9-12. Click here for information.

The weekend includes three 90-minute workshop sessions; craft lectures; and an "Evening Introduction" on Thursday which will help writers to get to know one another before embarking on an immersive, creatively fulfilling weekend devoted to the craft of writing.

Each workshop is limited to twelve participants. Registrants should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.

"In three and half days, we shared the equivalent of a week of class time," reflects Bo Bowden, who's attended several summer workshops. "The comradery built was unique to this NCWN event—for me, it's where the 'network' came to life!"

Bryn Chancellor will lead the Fiction workshop, "Begin Again; Begin Better."

Story and novel openings are a tall order with a ticking timer. In a short space, fiction writers must establish character, voice, point of view, and setting; put the situation and plot in motion; offer some sense of trouble or tension; and deploy arresting language and style that mesmerize and propel a reader deeper into the narrative. In this workshop, we’ll examine some pitfalls of beginnings—throat clearing, feet dragging, false starts—and practice how to craft compelling openings, especially through compression and simultaneity. Of course beginnings don’t exist in a vacuum, so we’ll also talk about middles and ends, those other pesky parts of story-making.

We’ll use the openings of your own submitted pieces (see below), which we will read in advance and discuss in each session, and revise them till they shine. Along the way we’ll start some new ones through prompts. Please also have ready a favorite opening page of a novel or short story that you love.

Bryn Chancellor is the author of the novel Sycamore, a Southwest Book of the Year, and the story collection When Are You Coming Home?, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, The Common, Publishers Weekly, and elsewhere, and she is a grateful recipient of fellowships from the North Carolina, Alabama, and Arizona arts councils and the Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. A graduate of Vanderbilt University’s M.F.A. program, she is associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Patrice Gopo will lead the workshop "But It Really Happened Just Like That: Our Stories, Our Truth: Creative Nonfiction."

Have you ever written a story from your life, only to discover the details created a dull tale on the page? Or perhaps you wonder if the story you’ve lived, the story you are here to tell, will hold a reader’s attention and matter in this vast world steeped in a multitude of words? In this creative nonfiction workshop, we’ll use the personal essay as our springboard for discussion about how we write creative nonfiction that rises above anecdote and moves forward with unstoppable momentum.

Workshop participants will submit essays or excerpts up to 1,200 words when they register. We’ll intentionally use these contributions to move us into fruitful conversations about craft—both general and specific to creative nonfiction.

Patrice Gopo was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and she is the child of Jamaican immigrants. Her writing often considers racial identity formation, race relations, and the search for a sense of belonging. Her essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Catapult, Creative Nonfiction, and online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is the recipient of an NC Arts Council Literature Fellowship, and her essay collection, All the Colors We Will See, was a Fall 2018 B&N Discover Great New Writers selection. When she’s not writing, she enjoys speaking to groups about the power of personal storytelling. She lives with her family in Charlotte: www.patricegopo.com.

"Courting the Muse, Finding Your Voice and Other Good Things that Don't Happen without Applying the Elbow Grease: Poetry" will be led by Dannye Romine Powell.

Using the three poems each participant submits with his or her registration, we will look at ways to improve each poem. Is each poem saying what the poet intended? Extra words? Enough music? Cliches? Does the poem make an emotional connection with the reader and with the poet herself?

Using poems by widely published poets as examples, we will look at how mystery works throughout a poem, how sound creates emotion, how repetition appeals to the ear, how dreams can spark poems, how emotion connects the poet to the reader. Also, the tricks of the trade. Respecting the muse. Showing up to write. Reading aloud. Taking care of that fascinating organ called the brain.

Dannye Romine Powell's fifth collection, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver, is out in the spring of 2020. She has won fellowships in poetry from the NEA, the NC Arts Council, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared over the years in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Southern Review, Harvard Review Online, Beloit Journal, 32 Poems, and many others. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers. For many years, she was the book editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Registration is closed.

"Imagine, if you can, a room full of thoughtful readers who have all read your manuscript with the precision of a good editor and are ready to get you on your way to publication," says author Pam Van Dyk. "If you can imagine this, then you will be at home at the NC Writer’s Squire Workshops."

Squire Online 2020 is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.

 

GREENSBORO—Dannye Romine Powell of Charlotte has won the 2020 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “Argument.” Powell will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

Final judge Nicole Stockburger said, “This poem struck me with its ability to move down the page effortlessly but also carry a type of tension that had me holding my breath. ‘Argument’ has a feeling of restraint that is well suited to the language of its title and crafted couplet structure, always implying the 'Something said or unsaid,' until the very last line. The poet creates a disturbed, fascinating interiority, marked by the images of the long drive, that is both mysterious and familiar. There is a leaving and returning that feels necessary, and I am grateful to have encountered this voice that calls home, this eye that looks back.”

Powell's fifth collection, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver, is out in the spring of 2020. She has won fellowships in poetry from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared over the years in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Harvard Review Online, Beloit, 32 Poems, and many others. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers. For many years, she was the book editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Stockburger named “New Year’s Eve” by Tina Barr as Runner-Up.

Barr’s third full-length collection of poems, Green Target, won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize, judged by Patricia Spears Jones, and was published in the Fall of 2018. Green Target won the Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society as the best book of poems published by a North Carolina poet in 2018. Her second book, Kaleidoscope, was released in 2015 by Iris Press. Her first book, The Gathering Eye, won the Tupelo Press Editor's Prize. She has also published three chapbooks.

Stockburger also selected two poems for Honorable Mention: “Navigation” by Michael Boccardo and “Canoe Song” by Mark Caskie.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet 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, 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."

Nicole Stockburger is the author of Nowhere Beulah (Unicorn Press, 2019). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Adroit Journal, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Nicole received an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Studio Art and English from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied darkroom photography. Nicole was a recent fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. She lives and works on a stretch of land in the North Carolina foothills near her hometown, Winston-Salem.

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.

 

TAOS, NM—Throughout this campaign season, we'll hear plenty of short speeches about what candidates can do for us. And sure, these candidates may end up raising our wages or feeding all the starving children...but the real question is, can they make us better playwrights?

After all, what's the difference between a stump speech and a dramatic monologue? 

On Tuesday, June 16, at 7:00 pm EST, playwright Raegan Payne will lead the online class "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident."

Registration is open.

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

Political stump speeches and plays are basically the same thing—you have precious few seconds to grab your audience's attention, and get them fully invested in the outcome of your story, and in the end—there is always the ask. In this class, we will explore the importance of picking an appropriate inciting incident to propel our story forward, whether we’re speaking at a city council meeting or writing the opening of a new play. Using an inciting incident from our own lives, we will find the perfect jumping-off point to construct a story of change.

Registrants will be invited to participate in an online reading later this summer, where they may share work generated in this class (details forthcoming).

Raegan Payne is a published playwright whose plays have been produced from Los Angeles to Lagos. She studied Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy and improv/sketch writing at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She is a member of Ammunition Theatre Company’s Writers Group, the Dramatist Guild, Actors' Equity, and SAG-AFTRA.

Raegan’s play “The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer” won the McNerney Playwriting Award, Long Beach Playhouse’s New Works Festival, was a Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, and an O’Neill semi-finalist. Her play “Timeless: A Scientific Comedy” was picked by Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok to win the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Playwriting Prize, and was a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. She has stayed at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, participated in The Royal Court Theatre’s Peckham Writers Group in London, the Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio, the HBMG Foundation’s Winter Playwrights Retreat in Colorado, The Lark’s Roundtable Reads, and Iceland’s Klaustrid Artists Residency. In 2019, she was awarded the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Grant. She's a graduate of the National Democratic Training Committee Communications Staff Academy.

Her website is www.raeganpayne.com.

"From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" is part of the North Carolina Writers' Network's 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 "From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, June 16, 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.

Register here.

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.

 

 
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