White Cross School Blog

 

NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

 

Friday-Sunday
November 8-10
DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore
115 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 274-1800

 

When booking your hotel reservation, use this link to reserve your room online, or call the hotel at (828) 274-1800 and mention Group Code “NCWN Fall Conference 2019” to make reservations at the discounted group rate.

Special thanks to our Blue Ridge Level Sponsor, UNC-Asheville's Great Smokies Writing Program

 

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

FEES AND DEADLINES | COMPLETE SCHEDULE-AT-A-GLANCE | COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

SESSION I | SESSION II | SESSION III | SESSION IV | SESSION V | MASTER CLASSES | CRITIQUE SERVICE | MANUSCRIPT MART | FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

 

Fees & Deadlines

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Early registration: On-site registration:

Member Rates

  • $275 (full conference, with meals)
  • $225 (full conference, without meals)
  • $225 (full conference, without workshops)*
  • $225 (Saturday only, with meals)
  • $125 (Sunday only, without meals)

Nonmember Rates

  • $400 (full conference, with meals)
  • $325 (full conference, without meals)
  • $325 (Saturday only, with meals)
  • $225 (Sunday only, without meals)

Other Fees

  • $30 for a Master Class
  • $165 for Manuscript Mart
  • $150 for Critique Service

 

  • $450 (full conference, without meals—for members and nonmembers)
  • $350 (Saturday only, without meals—for members and nonmembers)
  • $250 (Sunday only, without meals—for members and nonmembers)

*This is our “Hangout” rate, for NCWN members who want to come hang out with their friends, enjoy the group meals and general sessions, but not take any classes or workshops.

 

Scholarships

Limited general scholarship aid is available for the Fall Conference. To apply, send your current CV and a statement of writing intent—describing your background and goals as a writer—to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In addition, we offer two scholarships for specific groups:

The Mary Belle Campbell Scholarships are open to applications from poets who teach full-time. For more information, please follow the link above, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Elliott Bowles Screenwriters Scholarships are open to applications from any North Carolina resident who has written an unproduced and unoptioned screenplay. For more information, please follow the link above, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline for all scholarship applications is Tuesday, October 15.

 

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network by 4:00 pm on Friday, November 1, 2019, for you to receive a refund of the registration fee, less 25%.

No-shows or cancellations after November 1 are nonrefundable.

Manuscript Mart, Critique Service, and Master Class fees are not refundable if you cancel. However, if we are unable to find a place for you in the Manuscript Mart or Critique Service, we will return your check(s) for related extra charge(s).

Master Class application fees are nonrefundable.

Send all refund requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Deadlines

 

October 15 Deadline for all scholarship applications (Fees & Deadlines)
October 18

Deadline to reserve hotel rooms at low conference rate*
($150 + taxes & fees/night) Please click here or call (828) 274-1800 to make reservations at the discounted group rate

* Conference-rate rooms subject to limited availability, and will be allocated on first-come, first-served basis.

October 25 Deadline for Master Class registration (see guidelines)
October 25 Deadline for Manuscript Mart / Critique Service registration (see guidelines)
November 1 Deadline for early registration (4:00 pm by phone or mail; midnight if registering online). 
November 8-10 On-site registration available at conference
November 8-10 Fall Conference in session

 

For Writers with Special Needs

The North Carolina Writers’ Network strives to make our programs and services accessible to all writers, including those with special needs. If you require conference materials either in large print or in Braille, or if you require a sign-language interpreter, please register for the conference and submit your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than October 18. If you require any other special assistance, please let us know as soon as possible at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will do our best to accommodate all reasonable requests.

 

e-Packets

In an effort to save money, time, and resources, the Network will send to all 2019 Fall Conference registrants, exhibitors, and faculty an E-Packet, prior to November 8. The E-Packet will contain all the usual conference packet materials, in the form of a PDF that registrants can print or download to bring with them to the conference.

Name tags, personalized schedules, and copies of the Schedule-at-a-Glance still will be available at the registration table the day of the conference.

If you prefer to receive a traditional printed packet at the conference, please indicate this preference in the space provided on your registration form.

 

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Complete Schedule-At-A-Glance

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Friday, November 8

12:00 pm...........Pre-Conference Tailgate with A.K. Benninghofen
 (Location: Flatiron Writers Room
Sponsored by The Flatiron Writers Room
*Please note, writers may attend the Pre-Conference Tailgate without registering for NCWN's 2019 Fall Conference. This event is free and open to the public.

3:00 – 9:30 pm...........Registration and Book Sales open
5:00 - 9:30 pm..............Exhibitor Tables open
7:00 – 8:00 pm.............Opening Reception (Sponsored by The Thomas Wolfe MFA in Creative Writing Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University)
8:00 – 9:00 pm.............Keynote Address by Ron Rash
9:00 – 9:30 pm...........Ron Rash Book Signing (Sponsored by Asheville FM 103.3)

 

Saturday, November 9

7:30 – 9:00 am............Continental Breakfast available
7:30 am – 7:30 pm......Registration, Book Sales and Exhibitor Tables open
8:00 – 9:00 am............All Stories Connect panel discussion and presentation of Linda Flowers Literary Award
Sponsored by the The North Carolina Humanities Council

9:00 am – 10:30 am......Session I

Pre-Writing Is a Matter of Pre-Trusting (fiction) with Kevin McIlvoy
Write with the Wolfe—a Poetry/Prose Poetry Rebellion with Laura Hope-Gill
The Elements of the Industry with Gold Leaf Literary Services
Screenplay: Fake vs. Fiction with Maryedith Burrell
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Exploding Your Drafts with Jeremy B.Jones
Body & Soul—Studies in Character Development: Fiction Master Class with Abigail DeWitt**Closed**
Coming Back to Your Senses: Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

10:30 – 11:00 am...........Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm.....Session II

Power Up the Truth You Tell with Christine Hale
Capturing the Persona Poem with Keith Flynn
Why Not Ask? (all genres) with Dale Neal
What Writers Should Know About Book Design with Meg Reid
CNF Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones (Cont.)
Body & Soul—Studies in Character Development: Fiction Master Class with Abigail DeWitt(Cont.)**Closed**
Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:30 pm.........Luncheon featuring Joseph Bathanti and Brothers Like These

1:30 – 2:00 pm...........Network Town Hall Meeting
2:00 – 2:30 pm...........Break
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm.....Session III

The Limits of Perception . . . in CNF with Tessa Fontaine
Ekphrasis: Growing Art from Art (poetry) with Eric Tran 
Write Your Best Agent Query Letter with Catherine Campbell
Improv’s Increasing Role in Comedy Writing with Tom Chalmers (Sponsored by Katie Winkler and Teach.Write.)
CNF Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones (Cont.)
Body & Soul—Studies in Character Development: Fiction Master Class with Abigail DeWitt(Cont.)
Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

4:00 – 4:30 pm......Break
4:30 – 5:30 pm......Faculty Readings (Sponsored by WNCW 88.7)
6:00 – 7:00 pm......Happy Hour (Sponsored by Alice Osborn: Author/Editor/Book Coach
7:00 – 8:00 pm......Network Banquet featuring Pan Harmonia
8:30 – 9:30 pm......Open Mic Readings (Sign up at registration table) (Sponsored by Western Carolina University's MA in English Program)

 

Sunday, November 10

7:30 – 9:00 am.............Continental Breakfast available
7:30 am – 1:00 pm.......Registration, Book Sales and Exhibitor Tables open
8:00 – 9:00 am.............Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: "Agents and Editors"(Sponsored by Smoky Mountain Living)

9:00 am – 10:30 am.......Session IV

Thievery, Loss, & Scars: A Fiction Workshop with Heather Newton
Story Medicine 2.0 with Meta Commerse
“It Looks Like a Hairball” (poetry) with Catherine Carter
The Ins & Outs of Small Press Publishing with Luke Hankins
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

10:30 – 11:00 am............Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm......Session V

If You’re Afraid to Write About It, Write About It with Tommy Hays
Freedom & the Imagination (poetry) with Mildred Barya
Creative Ways to Promote Your Book (& Yourself) with Anne Fitten Glenn
Panel Discussion: Writing Out Loud with Alli Marshall, Kevin Evans, Lockie Hunter, and Steve Shell
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:00 pm.............Closing Conversation and Raffle Drawing

 

*by prior registration only

 

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Course Descriptions

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Friday, November 8

12:00 pm

Pre-Conference Tailgate with A.K. Benninghofen
 (Location: Flatiron Writers Room
Sponsored by The Flatiron Writers Room
The best stories are built not on structures and outlines, but on curiosity and intuition. Still, we writers sometimes find it difficult to let go and trust that our subconscious knows more than we do. In this short workshop, we’ll use exercises and prompts to practice the art of discovery. We’ll allow ourselves to get messy, to let the words lead us to those moments of surprise and wonder that keep our narratives fresh and alive. Come with pen and paper and a willingness to share your messiness with others.
Please note, writers may attend the Pre-Conference Tailgate without registering for NCWN's 2019 Fall Conference. This event is free and open to the public.

 

Saturday, November 9

8:00–9:00 am

All Stories Connect Panel Discussion and presentation of Linda Flowers Literary Award
Sponsored by the The North Carolina Humanities Council

 

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session I

Pre-Writing Is a Matter of Pre-Trusting (fiction) with Kevin McIlvoy
In this class, we’ll discuss the set of decisions a fiction writer makes at the first stages of pre-writing. We’ll talk about the storytelling methods you naturally place your trust in at first, and how your choices affect your insight, energy, and confidence. We’ll also explore how "the moment of first trust" helps you recognize whether you will be writing a short-short story, a short story, a long story, a novella, or a novel.

Write with the Wolfe—a Poetry/Prose Poetry Rebellion with Laura Hope-Gill
Thomas Wolfe inspired/obsessed Jack Kerouac, Ray Bradbury, William Faulkner, Betty Smith, Pat Conroy, and Robert Morgan. In the town made immortal in Look Homeward, Angel, let's delve into Wolfe's poetic prose to break free of the constraints we place on ourselves. Where we might ask, “Is it too much?” Wolfe howls at us: NO! It's not nearly enough! Develop an expansive drafting-and-revision approach that can gather more, more, more of the essence of life and of your own soul. Let go of the censorship and the feeling that our poems need to be as tidy and assembled as an IKEA showroom. Cut loose, be free, write a million words. I will present a selection of Wolfe’s poetic passages and direct attention to technical choices that hold the work together. I'll also provide a thematic overview to show the benefits of not holding back when writing including cultural truth telling and to give non-Wolfeans entry points into Wolfe's books and stories. 

The Elements of the Industry with Gold Leaf Literary Services
We will cover the elements that together make the book industry, including publishers, distributors, small presses and university presses, booksellers, consignment programs, self-publishing in regards to the rest of the industry, agents, publicists, editors, and reviewers. We will discuss how you, the author, fits into this larger community and how to maximize your influence and success by using these elements to your advantage.

Screenplay: Fake vs. Fiction with Maryedith Burrell
"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.

Exploding Your Drafts: CNF Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones
No matter the formmemoir, personal essay, lyric, biography—a draft often benefits from an explosion: making the material more ambitious, rangier, and, sometimes, messier. This class will explore the seams of your material to see where you might place a charge and blow things open. What’s the story under the story? Could a counter thread create unexpected meaning? Where could you dig deeper into memories to discover bigger questions? We will read excerpts of complex, ambitious nonfiction and try numerous exercises to build our writerly muscles. Then we’ll put those muscles to work, as we workshop your drafts and consider where they might go next, how they might blow wide open.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Body & Soul—Studies in Character Development: Fiction Master Class with Abigail DeWitt **Closed**
Stories take off when our characters surprise us. When we are no longer trying to control the narrative, but are, instead, allowing our characters to lead the way, the work comes alive in ways that can seem equally magical to the writer and the reader. But how to achieve that seemingly magical state? One of the most powerful ways we have of creating characters who are capable of surprising us is by focusing on their bodies. What physical scars or imperfections do they have? What smells do they hate or love? How do they see themselves physically? How do they walk/dance/swim/drive a car? What textures, tastes, colors, and sounds move or scare or excite them? By focusing on these and other sensory-based questions, we can discover key traits and histories we didn’t realize they possessed. At the same time, attending to our characters’ bodies forces us to write from our own bodies, rather than our heads. We leave our abstract ideas behind and begin to access more of the unconscious story that motivated us to write in the first place.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Coming Back to Your Senses: Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
With so much of our lives spent in the disembodied world online, this poetry intensive will focus on reconnecting you to your senses, encouraging greater awareness of yourself and your environment, and strengthening your 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.

Please submit three poems, totaling no more than five pages, on the same day that you register for the conference. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. Please also send your C.V. in a separate attachment. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session II

Power Up the Truth You Tell: 5 Techniques for Realizing the Creative Potential of Your Nonfiction with Christine Hale
This class, open to new and experienced writers of creative nonfiction (CNF) features 5 mini-lessons (examples + explanation + exercise in application) in creative technique plus Q&A at the conclusion.

Capturing the Persona Poem: The Narrator in First Person with Keith Flynn
Persona, from the Latin, means mask, and this workshop will focus on the perspective of first person narration in composing poetry from behind the mask and the development of the poet speaking in the voice of historical figures, incorporating the poet's own personal experience into the presentation. The dramatic monologues of Robert Browning will be examined. The figures speaking through the poems of Frank Bidart, Ai, Margaret Atwood, John Berryman, Terrance Hayes, Anne Sexton, and others will be discussed, illustrating how authenticity is captured through the accumulation of specific detail and intimacy between the audience and the author. The theatrical vagaries of detachment and the manipulation of identity will be viewed as strategies in the construction of the poem's narrative.

Each participant should submit two poems in first person, prior to the workshop, for group discussion and any poems deemed exemplary will considered for publication in The Asheville Poetry Review.

Why Not Ask? (all genres) with Dale Neal
Most writers like to think of themselves as shy introverts, wallflowers, bashful bystanders. We like to be observers, making witty notes about characters in our heads. But making up all those stories and poems all in the privacy of your own imagination can be awfully daunting task. Why not simply ask people about their stories? You may be surprised how much people are willing to talk, which can be a godsend not just to creative nonfiction writers, but to fiction writers and poets. This class will talk about talking to other people, interviewing tips, how to conquer your own self-consciousness, and how to respectfully use other people’s stories in your own work. Come prepared to talk to others.

What Writers Should Know About Book Design with Meg Reid
This course will cover the basics of book design, with a particular eye toward book covers. What makes an effective and powerful cover? Why do some covers, while being objectively good, still feel wrong for a particular book? How do trends and genres influence decisions about how a book should look? We'll discuss ways that an author can advocate for themselves in the cover design stage of traditional publishing process, as well as address what independent authors should know about directing your own design process, including hiring and managing a freelance designer.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Classwith Abigail DeWitt **Closed**
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
Cont. See Above.

 

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Luncheon featuring Joseph Bathanti and Brothers Like These
Brothers Like These is comprised of stories and poems written by Vietnam combat veterans in Classroom B, an out-of-the-way room in the basement of the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. They gathered to write every Wednesday for almost two years under the guidance of former state poet laureate, Joseph Bathanti of Appalachian State University, and Dr. Bruce Kelly, a primary care physician at the VA. Brothers Like These is an enduring testimony to their shared sacred sense of community, love, and brotherhood. These are stories and poems, large and small, funny and heartbreaking, that only these men can relate in their own inimitable styles—stories and poems not just invaluable to succeeding generations of soldiers, but to every citizen of our country, and beyond. Brothers Like These, the staged reading, premiered on August 31, 2016, at the Asheville Community Theater to a packed house and has now been performed in a number of other venues across North Carolina. A companion book to Brothers Like These was published in 2017 by St. Andrews University Press.

 

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Network Town Hall Meeting
This is your chance to ask questions about, and make suggestions for, the Network.

 

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Break

 

2:30 – 4:00 pm: Session III

The Limits of Perception: Invention & Speculation in Creative Nonfiction with Tessa Fontaine
Our memories are flawed, perception limited, experiences constrained to our own lives. And yet, as we're writing creative nonfiction, we often come up against important moments or questions that dwell outside the known facts—what then? In this practical, hands-on class, we'll examine the techniques that a handful of writers use to address the unknown in nonfiction, and engage in mini writing-prompts to practice the techniques along the way.

Ekphrasis: Growing Art from Art (poetry)with Eric Tran
It’s not a bold statement that most of us started writing because of our love of reading. But other mediums of art—movies, TV, comics, music, drama—have also moved us, taught us, challenged and comforted us in ways that have and will continue to influence our writing. In this course, we will move from merely witnessing art to playing an active role with it. We will explore ekphrasis—writing inspired by art—with traditional writing forms that engage with art, such as erasure, as well as unexpected forms, such as the monastic tradition of lectio divina. We will be guided by authors that include Eduardo C. Corral, Jessica Jacobs, Morgan Parker, Ocean Vuong, and others.

This will primarily be a generative class with ample room for exploration and exercise for writers of all levels. Writers are encouraged to bring art that moves them, which can range from formal visual art to home movies to photographs to other writing to songs. If possible, writers should bring a copy that can be written on.

Write Your Best Agent Query Letter with Catherine Campbell
So you're ready to start querying your novel, short-story collection, or nonfiction book but the idea of catching an agent’s attention in one page or less intimidates you . . .  or perhaps you started querying agents but no one is responding to your query letter or requesting pages.

During this workshop, we’ll examine the elements of a successful query, review examples of query letters that landed agents, and help you prepare to write your own. Bring your current query letter if you have one for a chance to sit in "the hot seat" and receive real-time feedback from the instructor. 

This workshop includes:

  • An engaging walk-through lecture with information about how to write a query letter, standard guidelines, query do’s and don’ts, where to find agents, how to research them, and what to ask them once you get one on the phone.
  • Worksheets to help you build out the blocks of your query letter.
  • An easy spreadsheet method to keep track of your agent outreach efforts
  • A Q&A discussion
  • One attendee will have a chance to sit in the "hot seat" and have your query critiqued in real time: find out what's working and opportunities for improvement

Improv's Increasing Role in Comedy Writing: How Making Things Up Can Help You Write Things Down with Tom Chalmers - ** Sponsored by Katie Winkler and Teach.Write. **
It is no accident that many of the comedy writing rooms today are filled with former improvisers. These people are not just funny, they are also proficient in the practice of clear set-up and execution of a comedic idea. This workshop will explore how the principles of improvisation lend themselves to quality comedy writing: principles such as agreement, active listening, line building, commitment, and the selfless support of the group mind.  The discussion will cover how saying “yes and,” the encouraged mantra in most improv classes, can help writers find comedy gold instead of fostering the fear of “that's not funny.” Prompts will be given for quick, short writing exercises for ways to improvise on the page. Some examples will be shared with the rest of the group. 

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Classwith Abigail DeWitt **Closed**
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
Cont. See Above.

 

4:00–4:30 pm

Break

 

4:30–5:30 pm

Faculty Readings
Sponsored by WNCW 88.7

 

6:00–7:00 pm

Happy Hour
Sponsored by Alice Osborn

 

7:00–8:00 pm

Network Banquet featuring Pan Harmonia
The premiere of a music and poetry fusion work, "Rubble Becomes Art," a triptych of songs composed by Dosia McKay inspired by poetry by North Carolina writers Sally Atkins, Valerie Foote, and Cathy Larson Sky.

 

8:30–9:30 pm

Open Mic Readings
(Sign up at Registration Table)
Sponsored by Western Carolina University's MA in English Program

 

Sunday, November 10

8:00–9:00 am

Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: Agents & Editors
(Sponsored by Smoky Mountain Living)
This is your annual chance to ask professional agents and editors your burning questions about queries, submissions, slush piles, and the winding path to publication.

 

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session IV

Thievery, Loss and Scars: A Fiction Workshop with Heather Newton
Books on creative writing sometimes encourage you to interview your characters to get to know them, but does discovering that your character’s favorite color is blue and her favorite food is beef stroganoff really make your fiction better? In this generative workshop we’ll dig deep into your characters’ minds, memories, and emotions, to force them to tell us the good stuff. Come prepared to write and share your work with others.

Story Medicine 2.0 with Meta Commerse
In this workshop, we’ll take a look at the hidden value and power of story. Our ancestors’ story medicine was lost to us through modern age “progress.” Reclaiming and exploring this modality now in pressing times, we rediscover story as far more than a way to document our lives as it is to fundamentally change them. If you knew your own story and those of your people, how would this knowledge change your worldview? Your work and sense of purpose? Join us for this heartfelt and eye-opening discussion.

“It Looks Like a Hairball”: Building Short Lyrics Around Sound (poetry) with Catherine Carter
In this lecture/workshop, Catherine Carter will use contemporary poems to discuss a few of the ways in which a poem can be built around the sounds of single words, model one possible process for revising a poem in this way, and encourage participants to do this with their own works. Participants should bring a hard copy of one or two of their own short poems to work on.

The Ins and Outs of Small Press Publishing with Luke Hankins
This course will give students an overview of small press publishing from the perspective of an editor and publisher. We will discuss types of publishers, financing, manuscript acquisition and contracting, royalty structures, editing, design and layout, printing methods, distribution and marketing, and more. we will also discuss tips for submitting your work to small presses.

 

10:30–11:00 am

Break

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session V

If You’re Afraid to Write about It, Write about It (fiction) with Tommy Hays
Often a writer’s breakthrough comes when they finally face up to the material they’ve been avoiding. Maybe it’s too personal or too painful, or maybe they assume it just wouldn’t interest anyone. Whatever the reason, we writers often overlook our own obvious strengths, dismissing the very things that are central to us. In this workshop, we’ll take a hard look at our self-limiting assumptions about what we tell ourselves we shouldn’t write about. Through discussion and in-class writing, we’ll try to identify at least one or two new possibilities in our own work that, for one reason or another, we haven’t taken advantage of.

Freedom and the Imagination (poetry) with Mildred Barya
Good writing relies on the senses. In this poetry workshop, we will learn how to pay attention and closely observe our environments whether physical or imaginary. There’s one rule: honesty to the experience you’re describing—which could mean your sense/state of feeling, thinking, perceiving, and intuition. In other words, your authentic writing that makes your work truly yours rather than imitative. We will aim to enjoy the writing process and have as much fun as possible without abandoning craft and poetic vision that make poetry sing when working hand in hand with the imagination. 

Creative Ways to Promote Your Book (and Yourself) with Anne Fitten Glenn
Long gone are the days of publisher-organized book tours, press junkets, and author travel per diems. In this class, we’ll talk about the tried and true ways to promote your book and yourself as an author as well as exploring creative options that cost next to nothing. We’ll cover how to best use various social media outlets, how to engage regional and national media, how to solicit reviews and testimonials, and how to launch your book and organize a tour. We’ll discuss the least time-consuming things you can do to promote your book without losing your mind! While this class will focus on book promotions, if you haven’t written a book yet, it will help you learn how to find a wider audience for your writing. 

Panel Discussion: Writing Out Loud with Alli Marshall (moderator), Kevin Evans, Lockie Hunter, and Steve Shell
Asheville-based writers will discuss the adventures, challenges and best practices of performative work, such as live readings, poetry slams, radio appearances and the theatrical applications of spoken word. The conversation will also include thoughts on curating literary events, from the selection process to marrying diverse voices onstage, to marketing the event. Panelists have worked in radio, print media and education. Their combined experiences include organizing and performing at events such as The Moth StorySLAM, the Asheville-Biscuithead Slam Poetry Series, WordPlay Radio Show, the Juniper Bends Reading Series, Asheville Poetry Cabaret, and HomeWord Youth Poetry open mic. 

 

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Master Classes

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Master Classes offer intermediate and advanced writers a chance to delve more deeply into a particular genre. Each Master Class will take place over the course of Sessions I, II, and III, and will be limited to the first twelve qualified registrants.

While publication credits are not required, Master Class participants should be experienced writers, dedicated to their craft. Applications will be reviewed, and qualified registrants admitted, on a rolling basis, until the Master Class fills or we reach the deadline of Friday, October 25—whichever comes first.

When you register for a Master Class, please choose another class as a back-up in case you are not admitted to the Master Class.

Please submit your current CV, along with the required manuscript (see each Master Class’s course description, below, for its manuscript requirements), to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., on the same day that you register for the Fall Conference.

Application to a Master Class requires a non-refundable $30 processing fee, in addition to the Fall Conference registration fee. If registering for the conference online or by phone, you can pay this processing fee with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. If registering by mail, you must include a separate check for $30.

MASTER CLASS REGISTRATIONS (INCLUDING REQUIRED MANUSCRIPTS) MUST BE RECEIVED THE SAME DAY YOU REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE.

Exploding Your Drafts: Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Jeremy B. Jones
No matter the form—memoir, personal essay, lyric, biography—a draft often benefits from an explosion: making the material more ambitious, rangier, and, sometimes, messier. This class will explore the seams of your material to see where you might place a charge and blow things open. What’s the story under the story? Could a counter thread create unexpected meaning? Where could you dig deeper into memories to discover bigger questions? We will read excerpts of complex, ambitious nonfiction and try numerous exercises to build our writerly muscles. Then we’ll put those muscles to work, as we workshop your drafts and consider where they might go next, how they might blow wide open.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Body & Soul—Studies in Character Development: Fiction Master Class with Abigail DeWitt**Closed**
Stories take off when our characters surprise us. When we are no longer trying to control the narrative, but are, instead, allowing our characters to lead the way, the work comes alive in ways that can seem equally magical to the writer and the reader. But how to achieve that seemingly magical state? One of the most powerful ways we have of creating characters who are capable of surprising us is by focusing on their bodies. What physical scars or imperfections do they have? What smells do they hate or love? How do they see themselves physically? How do they walk/dance/swim/drive a car? What textures, tastes, colors, and sounds move or scare or excite them? By focusing on these and other sensory-based questions, we can discover key traits and histories we didn’t realize they possessed. At the same time, attending to our characters’ bodies forces us to write from our own bodies, rather than our heads. We leave our abstract ideas behind and begin to access more of the unconscious story that motivated us to write in the first place.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Coming Back to Your Senses: Poetry Master Class with Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
With so much of our lives spent in the disembodied world online, this poetry intensive will focus on reconnecting you to your senses, encouraging greater awareness of yourself and your environment, and strengthening your 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, generative exercises, and traditional workshops, 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.

Please submit three poems, totaling no more than five pages, on the same day that you register for the conference. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. Please also send your C.V. in a separate attachment. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

 

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Manuscript Mart

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Manuscript Mart provides writers with the opportunity to submit their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency. A one-on-one, thirty-minute session will be scheduled for you, to take place on Saturday, November 9, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 10, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm.

Please note, a Manuscript Mart session can lead directly to publication—but don’t expect it to do so. Think of it, instead, as a learning opportunity, and you’ll get more out of it.

Manuscript Mart sessions are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. YOUR MANUSCRIPT MART REGISTRATION, WITH MANUSCRIPT AND PAYMENT ENCLOSED, MUST REACH THE NETWORK BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25.

 

Guidelines

Submit two copies of no more than twenty double-spaced, single-sided, sequential pages of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript, along with two copies of a one-page query or synopsis. Make sure your name is on each page of your manuscript, and number those pages. For best results, submit the opening pages of your manuscript.

All submissions must be double-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins.

You must be registered for the conference for your Manuscript Mart session to be scheduled.

Download and print the Manuscript Mart cover sheet, which you may also download from the online Registration Form at www.ncwriters.org. Mail it with two hard copies of your submission to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Fall Conference Manuscript Mart
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checklist:

  • two copies of manuscript and query letter or synopsis
  • Manuscript Mart cover sheet;
  • Check to cover Manuscript Mart ($165);
  • A separate check to cover all other conference fees, if you are registering for the conference through the mail.

 

NOTE: If Manuscript Mart fills, your check will be returned to you.

 

Manuscript Mart Reviewers

From the names below, select your first, second, and third choice on your registration form. We will try to accommodate your first choice; if we cannot, we will select an appropriate editor or agent for you. The name of your assigned agent or editor, as well as the time and location of your session, will be included in the packet you will receive at the conference registration table.

Adam Eaglin, Elyse Cheney Literary Associates
Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative **Closed**
Luke Hankins, Orison Books
Meg Reid, Hub City Press

 

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Critique Service

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The Critique Service provides writers with in-depth literary critique of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, by a seasoned writer or editor. A one-on-one, thirty-minute review session will be scheduled for you, to take place on Saturday, November 9, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 10, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm.

Critiques are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. YOUR CRITIQUE SERVICE REGISTRATION, WITH MANUSCRIPT AND PAYMENT ENCLOSED, MUST REACH THE NETWORK BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25.

 

Guidelines

Submit two copies of no more than twenty double-spaced, single-sided, sequential pages of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript (for book-length projects, you must include a one-page synopsis of the work as a whole, in addition to the twenty pages), or ten pages of poetry. Make sure your name is on each page of your submission, and number those pages.

Prose submissions must be double-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins.

Poetry submissions must be single-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins, and should include no more than one poem per page.

Download and print the Critique Service cover sheet, which you may also download from the online Registration Form at www.ncwriters.org. Mail it with two hard copies of your submission to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Fall Conference Critique Service
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checklist:

  • Two copies of manuscript (and synopsis, if appropriate);
  • Critique Service cover sheet;
  • Check to cover Critique Service ($150);
  • A separate check to cover all other conference fees if you are registering for the conference through the mail.

 

NOTE: If Critique Service fills, your check will be returned to you.

 

Critiquers

From the names below, select your first, second, and third choice. We will try to accommodate your first choice; if we cannot, we will select an appropriate critiquer for you. The name of your assigned critiquer, as well as the time and location of your session, will be included in the packet you will receive at the conference registration table.

Caroline Green Christopoulos, Gold Leaf Literary Services
Lauren Harr, Gold Leaf Literary Services (fiction/nonfiction)
Catherine Carter (poetry)

 

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Faculty Biographies

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Mildred K. Barya  directs the creative writing program at UNCA where she teaches poetry, fiction, innovative hybrids and literature. Her publications include three poetry collections: Give Me Room to Move My Feet (2009), The Price of Memory after the Tsunami (2006), and Men Love Chocolates But They Don't Say (2002). She has also published prose, poems, or hybrids in Tin House, on the Poets.org site, Asymptote, Prairie Schooner, Per Contra, Northeast Review, and Poetry Quarterly. She received her Ph.D in English from the University of Denver, Colorado, MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University, New York, and B.A in Literature, Makerere University, Uganda. She is a board member of the African Writers Trust and blogs at: http://mildredbarya.com.

Joseph Bathanti  is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is the author of seventeen books. Bathanti is McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education & Writer-in-Residence of Appalachian State University’s Watauga Residential College, in Boone. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville.

A.K. Benninghofen holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Southern Mississippi. She worked as an actress in New York and Los Angeles for many years before moving to Asheville where she started a family and began her life as a writer. She is a member of Asheville’s Flatiron Writers Group. A.K.’s work has appeared in Word Riot, Passages North, Evergreen Review, Monkeybicycle, Necessary Fiction, Deep South Magazine, the anthology A Book of Uncommon Prayer, and elsewhere. She has been a fiction contributor at Sewanee Writers' Conference, a writing fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities and Wildacres Retreat. In 2012, she was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant by the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, she is at work on her first novel, Gloaming Season, as well as a collection of linked stories titled Landmine Maps of the Hospitality State.

Nickole Brown is the author of Sister, first published in 2007 with a new edition reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and most recently, a chapbook of poems called To Those Who Were Our First Gods won the 2018 Rattle Chapbook Prize. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville.

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 24 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.

Catherine Campbell is an award-nominated writer, editor and book critic. Her work appears in The New York Times, Writer's Digest, The Millions, The Rumpus, Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares online, and elsewhere. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing (UNC-Asheville), her MFA in Creative Writing (Queens University), and formerly taught as an adjunct professor in Lenoir-Rhyne University’s M.A. Writing program. Since 2006, Catherine's professional book industry work has included bookselling, marketing for a rare book company, and marketing and public relations for authors. She lives in Asheville with her husband, the poet Brandon Amico.

Catherine Carter has published two collections of poetry with LSU Press, The Memory of Gills and The Swamp Monster at Home, with a third, Larvae of the Nearest Stars, forthcoming from LSUP in fall 2019. Her poetry has won the North Carolina Literary Review’s James Applewhite Prize, the NC Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke-Chowan Award, the NCWN’s Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, Jacar Press’ chapbook contest, Still: The Journal’s poetry prize, and the NC Poetry Society’s poet laureate’s prize; it has also appeared in Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Poetry, Ecotone, Tar River Poetry, Cortland Review, and Ploughshares, among others. She is a professor of English at Western Carolina University and a poetry editor at Cider Press Review.

A graduate of Columbia University, Tom Chalmers was the Artistic Director of NYC's Groundlings East and Literary Manager of LA's Sacred Fools Theatre, He has appeared in a few feature films that screened at Sundance, an assortment of short films, and a number of national commercials. Tom has written for SHOWTIME Television, TBS, and USA Networks. He has taught at NYU and Warren Wilson College. He currently teaches classes through the Flatiron Writers Room and the Asheville School of Improv (which he started). He is a member of the acclaimed improv comedy troupe, Reasonably Priced Babies, and is host and producer of the monthly storytelling series, Listen to This. On Wednesday nights, you can hear Tom co-host a sports talk radio show, called Steve Sax Syndrome, on Asheville FM 103.3. Let him know if he has left anything out.

Caroline Green Christopoulos (right) is co-owner, with Lauren Harr (left), of Gold Leaf Literary Services, which provides a range of pre- and post-publication assistance for authors. In addition, Caroline works at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, where she has been a bookseller for eighteen years and buyer for fourteen and is on the programming committee for the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. She lives in Asheville with her husband and daughter.

Meta Commerse studied health, history and writing at Goddard College. Her community-based healing work began with a focus on domestic violence prevention. Blending her study and work, she demonstrates story as medicine across genre. She is an award winning writer, performer and seasoned teacher originally from Chicago, living in North Carolina since 2009. Meta founded and launched Story Medicine Asheville in 2011, and continues to empower her students with story medicine applied to today’s topics, both through UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and as an independent scholar. She is the author of six books, including Landscapes of Abuse (2001), Rainsongs: Poems of a Woman’s Life (2012), her novel The Mending Time (2014), her forthcoming untitled memoir, and her second poetry collection, Rhubarb Pie.

Abigail DeWitt is the author of three novels: Lili, Dogs, and News of Our Loved Ones. Described by BookList as a work of “masterful artistry,” News of Our Loved Ones was chosen as an Editor’s Choice by BookBrowse and the Historical Novel Society. Her short fiction has appeared in Narrative, Five Points, Witness, the Alaska Quarterly Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Drafthorse, and elsewhere. She has been cited in Best American Short Stories, nominated for a Pushcart, and has received grants and fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Tyrone Guthrie Center, the McColl Center for the Arts, and the Michener Society. Follow her on Instagram at @abigaildewittauthor or visit her website: www.abigaildewitt.com.

Adam Eaglin joined The Cheney Agency as a literary agent in 2012. He began his publishing career in editorial at Basic Books before working as an agent at The Wylie Agency. He represents a range of literary fiction and nonfiction, including history, politics, current events, narrative reportage, biography, memoir, and popular science.

Kevin Evans was born into a military family in Maricopa County, Arizona. He has resided in Asheville altogether about half of his life. Kevin first began writing creatively in the third grade and, as a teenager, was mentored by the poet Glenis Redmond while attending Project STEAM. He had the opportunity to perform at Diana Wortham Theatre at that time; that’s when he fell in love with performing in addition to writing. In recent years, Kevin has been a part of the Asheville Poetry Cabaret and has organized events of his own called The Human Side. Kevin recently led a workshop as part of this year’s Asheville Wordfest.

Keith Flynn (www.keithflynn.net) is the award-winning author of seven books, including six collections of poetry: most recently Colony Collapse Disorder (Wings Press, 2013) and forthcoming The Skin of Meaning (Red Hen Press, 2020). He is the Executive Director and producer of the TV show, “LIVE at White Rock Hall,” and Animal Sounds Productions, both which create collaborations between writers and musicians in video and audio formats. His award-winning poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world, including The American Literary Review, The Colorado Review, Poetry Wales, Five Points, Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Poetics of American Song Lyrics, Writer’s Chronicle, The Cimarron Review, Rattle, Shenandoah, Word, and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry, Crazyhorse, and many others. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, a 2013 NC Literary Fellowship, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for NC. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994.

Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, a New York Times Editors' Choice; A Southern Living Best Book of 2018; An Amazon Editors' Best Book of 2018; A Refinery29 Best Book of 2018; A New York Post Most Unforgettable Book of 2018. Tessa spent the 2013 season performing with the last American traveling circus sideshow, the World of Wonders. Essays about the sideshow won the 2016 AWP Intro Award in Nonfiction. Her writing can be found in Glamour, The Believer, LitHub, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She's taught in prisons, jails, colleges, community centers, for The New York Times summer journeys as well as founding a Salt Lake City Writers in the Schools program. She lives in Asheville with her fella and pup, and teaches at Warren Wilson College.

Lori Galvin represents both fiction and nonfiction. Her clients include Kwame Owuachi’s memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf); Cambria Brockman’s debut thriller Tell Me Everything (Ballantine); and Holly Watt’s debut thriller To the Lions (Dutton; U.S. Rights). She is specifically looking for writers of thrillers, mysteries, and crime as well as grounded sci-fi or speculative fiction, book club fiction, and women’s fiction.

Award-winning author and journalist Anne Fitten Glenn has been writing about and working in the beer business since the 1990s. She is the author of two books, Western North Carolina: A Mountain Brew History (2018) and Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing (2012), both published by Arcadia/The History Press. She was the national public relations director and east coast marketing manager for Oskar Blues Brewery for three years. Currently, she consults to breweries across the country in the arenas of communications and public relations as well as writing for both beverage trade and consumer magazines. She pens a regular “Mountain Brews” article for Edible Asheville and has written for numerous other publications, including All About Beer, Smoky Mountain Living, Edible Aspen, WNC Magazine, Asheville Citizen-Times,  and www.CraftBeer.com. She's lived in and written about the Asheville area since 1997.

Christine Hale is the author of a novel, Basil's Dream (Livingston Press 2009) and A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations (Apprentice House Press 2016), which The Los Angeles Review of Books calls "a portrait of a consciousness...[that] will bruise you... even leave you permanently marked." Her prose has appeared in Role Reboot, Arts & Letters, Hippocampus, Prime Number, and The Sun, among other publications. A finalist for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a fellow of MacDowell, Ucross, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hale earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College. She teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program in Asheville.

Luke Hankins is the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, and a collection of essays, The Work of Creation. He is also the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets. His latest book is a collection of translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, recently released in an international edition by Seagull Books. Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

A former publicist for Coffee House Press in Minneapolis, Lauren Harr (left)  is co-owner, with Caroline Christopoulos (right), of Gold Leaf Literary Services, which provides a range of pre- and post-publication assistance for authors. Lauren has worked in the book world for twenty years in bookstores, independent publishing, and in literary nonprofits. She spent eight years at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe as a bookseller and events coordinator. She lives in Asheville with her husband and daughter.

Novelist, playwright, and screenwriter Tommy Hays is the Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC Asheville. He also teaches in the Converse College Low Residency MFA.  His middle grade novel What I Came to Tell You was an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). Hays’s novel The Pleasure Was Mine was a finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award and chosen for numerous community reads. His other novels are Sam’s Crossing and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. A Trustee of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Laura Hope-Gill directs the Thomas Wolfe MFA Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University and is the founding director of Asheville Wordfest. Her collection of poems, The Soul Tree, received the first Okra Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. The National Forest Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation inducted her as the first poet laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway for her poems honoring the Southern Appalachians. She received two awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her two architectural histories of Asheville, Look Up Asheville, I and 2. While building a graduate writing program and raising a child, she has been developing a memoir about her journey to deafness and a novel based on her grandmother's experience in a Japanese Prison Camp and the aftermath of World War II. She is a champion of the vital connection between story and medicine and launched the world's first certificate program in Narrative Healthcare. Her poems, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Parabola, North Carolina Literary Review, and other beautiful publications.

Lockie Hunter (left) holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston and has taught creative writing at Warren Wilson College. Her nonfiction has been published in Brevity, The Baltimore Review, Christian Science Monitor, Quarter After Eight, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, New Plains Review, Arts & Opinion, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Nerve, and elsewhere. She serves as curator of the Juniper Bends Reading Series, co-host of the Queer Girls Reading series, and as associate producer of the poetry and prose radio program Wordplay on 103.3 FM in Asheville. She also created and curated the popular West End Reading Series and Stories by the River.

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.

Jeremy B. Jones is the author of Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland, which was awarded gold in memoir in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book of the Year awards and named the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction. His essays appear in Oxford American, Brevity, The Iowa Review, and frequently in Our State Magazine. Jeremy is an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University and the co-editor of In Place, a literary nonfiction book series from Vandalia Press.

Alli Marshall (right) is an author and performance poet. Her most recent collaborative show, “Flyer in a Dark Chamber,” will debut at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in August. She has performed theatrical spoken word at Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, Asheville Percussion Festival and the {RE}Happening. In May, she curated the inaugural Dear Satyr: An Evening of Erotic Spoken Word. Alli was the 2016 winner of the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story “Catching Out.” She holds an MFA from Goddard College and is the arts section editor at Asheville-based alternative newsweekly Mountain Xpress.

Kevin McIlvoy has published five novels, A Waltz (1982), The Fifth Station (1985), Little Peg (1988), Hyssop (2001), At the Gate of All Wonder (2018, Tupelo Press) and two short story collections, The Complete History of New Mexico (2008, Graywolf Press) and 57 Octaves Below Middle C (2017, Four Way Books). His short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Southern Review, Ploughshares, Missouri Review, and other literary magazines. For twenty-seven years he was fiction editor and editor in chief of the national literary magazine, Puerto del Sol. He has taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program in Creative Writing since 1989; he taught as a Regents Professor of Creative Writing in the New Mexico State University English Department from 1981 to 2008. He has served on the Boards of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. For ten years he has mentored writers and has edited full-length books through his website, www.mcthebookmechanic.com.

Dale Neal is a novelist and veteran journalist in Asheville. He is the author of Appalachian Book of the Dead: A Southern Buddhist Thriller (SFK Press). His previous novels are award-winning Cow Across America and The Half-Life of Home. As a reporter, he traveled everywhere from Upper Paw Paw in Madison County to Karachi in Pakistan, covering culture, books, religion, business, science and technology for the Asheville Citizen-Times. His short stories and essays have appeared in Arts & Letters, North Carolina Literary Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College.

Heather Newton’s novel Under The Mercy Trees won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and named an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Her short prose has appeared in Enchanted Conversation Magazine, The Drum, Dirty Spoon and elsewhere. A practicing attorney, she teaches creative writing for UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program and is co-founder and Program Manager for the Flatiron Writers Room writers’ center in Asheville.

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, The Cove, One Foot In Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; five collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

Meg Reid is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A book designer and editor, she also writes extensively about all areas of design. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Ecotone, and worked for the literary imprint Lookout Books.

After receiving a BA in English, Steve Shell is a long-time organizer and performer in the spoken word scene in Asheville. For seven years Steve hosted and curated Poetry Slam Asheville. In 2012, along with poet Griffin Payne and teacher Heidi Freeman, Steve helped found what would eventually become HomeWord Youth Poetry, an organization that sends teams of youth poets to the International Youth Slam Championships at the Brave New Voices Festival.  Steve is currently a host and main stage performer with The Moth in Asheville. Steve teaches English at the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences in Asheville and only feels at home in front of the classroom or behind the microphone. 

Eric Tran is a resident physician in psychiatry in Asheville, and received his MFA from UNC-Wilmington. He won the 2019 Autumn House Press Emerging Writer’s contest and his debut book of poetry, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer, will be published in 2020. He is the author of the chapbooks Revisions and Affairs with Men in Suits. His work appears in Pleiades, 32 Poems, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

 

 

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Support for the 2019 Fall Conference is provided by UNC Asheville's Great Smokies Writing Program, as well as Asheville FM 103.3; the Flatiron Writers Room; the NC Arts Council; the NC Humanities Council; Alice Osborn: Author/Book Coach/Editor; Smoky Mountain LivingThe Thomas Wolfe MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lenoir-Rhyne University; Western Carolina University's MA in English Program; Katie Winkler and Teach.Write.; and WNCW 88.7.

 

                                                                                                                                          

 

  

   

  


 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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