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ASHEVILLE—Jessica Jacobs, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, will co-lead the Master Class in Poetry, "Coming Back to Your Senses," at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Fall Conference, November 8-10, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.

Registration is open.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books) and Pelvis with Distance(White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Julie Suk Awards. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Orion, New England Review, Guernica, and The Missouri Review.  An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock-climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Associate Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, who will co-lead the Poetry Master Class at the NCWN 2019 Fall Conference.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating libraries, so we asked Jessica to give us her best library memory.

Here's what she wrote:

"I first read Sylvia Plath as a high school freshman, discovering Ariel in my local library in Central Florida. At a small table tucked behind the furthest row of shelves, the room frigid with too much air conditioning and swimming with dust motes, I flipped to 'Daddy': 'You do not do, you do not do / Any more, black shoe. . . .' Two lines in and the day disappeared—that emphatic, relentless end-rhyme of the long u. The simple, mostly monosyllabic diction that nonetheless expressed complex despair and rage. History and war twining around the intensely personal. Only after 'Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through,' did I return to myself, stunned and panting, as though I’d forgotten to breathe while reading. I started writing in earnest after that library afternoon, believing if I could create even one piece that made a single person feel that way, it was the finest thing I could do with my life."

With so much of our lives spent in the disembodied world online, "Coming Back to Your Senses: Poetry Master Class" will focus on reconnecting us to our senses, encouraging greater awareness of ourself and our environment, and strengthening our poems by helping them sing with the texture of the well-observed world. Through a combination of close-readings of writers both old and new, and generative exercises, this course will help writers refresh their senses and descriptive powers through a deep practice of awareness and an unflinching dedication to scrubbing away one’s preconceived notions of a thing in order to see it anew.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Jeremy B. Jones will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction; Ron Rash will give the Keynote Address.

Register here.

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.

 

ASHEVILLE—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Fall Conference, Maryedith Burrell will lead the session "Screenplay: Fake vs. Fiction."

Fall Conference runs November 8-10 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Registration is open.

Maryedith Burrell is a stage and screen veteran who has worked for just about every major film and television studio in the world. With more than twenty-four films to her credit and numerous TV series, she is an award-winning writer, producer, and actor. Her latest project, the documentary RAISE HELL: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, won raves at Sundance 2019, the Audience Award at SouthBySouthwest 2019, and is now due for wide release. An overall deal at Disney Studios introduced her to a career as a “script doctor” which she enjoys to this day. Maryedith has also contributed to Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, and Vogue, among other publications and her essay, “And Affair to Forget”, appears in the bestseller What Was I Thinking? (St. Martin’s Press). Currently she is writing Black Angel, a film about the 19th century violin virtuoso George Polgreen Bridgetower. Maryedith is a professor of Stage & Screen at Western Carolina University, a member of Flatiron Writers, and lives in Asheville with her dog, Miss Butters.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating libraries, so we asked Maryedith to give us her best library memory.

Here's what she wrote:

"I grew up in Gilroy, California. My house was across the street from the public library. When I was in grammar school, I did my homework over there because the librarian, Mrs. Grodehouse, would slip me salt-water taffy if I diagrammed sentences correctly.

"Later on, when I was an adult living in Los Angeles and a member of the Writers Guild of America, I worked on a benefit to rebuild LA libraries destroyed by the Rodney King riots. At the event, I won a day at The Getty Institute Research Library.

"For some reason, I thought I could just show up over there and browse the stacks. I had no idea how vast The Getty was or how closely its treasures were guarded. The general collection includes over one million books, periodicals and auction catalogs. It is a center for the study of Medieval and Renaissance art. The vaults house tons of prints, drawings and volumes of primary and secondary sources, plus the special collections contain rare books, photographs, sketchbooks, manuscripts, letters, etc. that trace human creative thought over millennia. In short, browsing at The Getty was not only forbidden, it was futile.

"The research staff took pity on me and asked what my interests were so they could pull items for my visit. At the time, I was working on a WWII screenplay and getting ready to direct a stage production. So what was waiting for me at The Getty?

"1) Diaghilev’s original designs for the 1910 Ballets Russes production of The Firebird. 2) Hitler’s favorite architect, Albert Speer, and his pencil-on-butcher paper plans for a vegetable garden at Spandau prison. 3) And letters Mozart wrote to his father plus a grocery list for the 1791 Magic Flute cast party.

"Fun fact: Mozart underlined 'Italian wine' twice."

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." Was Mark Twain right? When film credits announce "based on a true story," or "actual events," or a bestselling book, how can the audience know what's really true? And, more importantly, does it matter? Whether a screenwriter is dealing with history or headlines, the job is to honor the source and still deliver a good film: not an easy task. This class will explore the basics of dramatic structure and adaptation. It also highlights the purpose of storytelling and why, whether we're catching The Avengers in 3D or binging Sherlock at home, we will always need good stories.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Master Classes will be led by Abigail DeWitt (Fiction), Jeremy B. Jones (Nonfiction), and Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs (Poetry).

Register here.

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.

 

CINCINNATI, OH—Writers of creative nonfiction face a daunting challenge. Not only must they deliver facts, they must deliver those facts in a compelling way that keeps readers engaged and turning pages.

Then there are questions, such as what research to include; how to structure the narrative once the research is complete; and more.

On Thursday, October 17, at 7:00 pm, author and award-winning journalist Dani McClain will lead the online class "Creating the Structure to Carry the Story" (Creative Nonfiction). 

Registration has now closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $45 fee to register.

This class offers strategies for organizing your book, long essay, or reporting project so that readers are carried along by a seamless narrative. We'll also touch on how to combine memoir with research and how to choose sources whose storytelling and insights add depth to your work.

Dani McClain reports on race and reproductive health. She is a contributing writer at The Nation and a fellow with Type Media Center (formerly the Nation Institute). McClain's writing has appeared in outlets including Time, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Colorlines, EBONY.com, and The Rumpus. In 2018, she received a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Her work has been recognized by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. McClain was a staff reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has worked as a strategist with organizations including Color of Change and Drug Policy Alliance.

McClain’s book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was published April, 2019, by Bold Type Books (formerly Nation Books).

McClain has a B.A. in history from Columbia University and a master’s degree from Columbia’s journalism school.

"Creating the Structure to Carry the Story" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 2019-2020 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 "Creating the Structure to Carry the Story" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, October 17, 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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