NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

 

Friday-Sunday
November 19-21
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
4700 Emperor Blvd., I-40 at Exit 282
Durham, NC 27703
(919) 941-5050

 

When booking your hotel reservation, use this link to reserve your room online, or call the hotel at (919) 941-5050 and mention Group Code “NCWN Fall Conference 2021” to make reservations at the discounted group rate of $139 per night.

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

In registering to attend the NCWN Fall Conference in person, you certify and attest that you will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 19; that you will produce proof of vaccination* along with a valid photo ID at conference check-in; and that you will abide by any and all local, state, and/or national masking/social distancing mandates in place at the time of the conference.

* Proof of vaccination can be a physical vaccination card, or a photo/scan of the front and back of a vaccination card on a mobile device.

 

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**Registration is closed**

 

Registration:

IN-PERSON

Member Rates

  • $275 (full conference, with meals)
  • $225 (full conference, without meals)
  • $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

We will not offer On-Site Registration for this Fall Conference.

 

ONLINE

Member Rates

  • $150 -- full conference (choose from two classes in each of the five sessions)
  • $35 -- per class

Nonmember Rates

  • $300 -- full conference
  • $75 -- per class

Livestreams of all general sessions will be free to view.

 

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 receipt deadline for all scholarship applications is Friday, October 29.

 

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network by 4:00 pm on Friday, November 12, 2021, for you to receive a refund of the registration fee, less 25%.

No-shows or cancellations after November 12 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..

If safety demands, the NCWN will move our Fall Conference to an online-only event. Should that happen, we will offer refunds and/or "transfers" to all FC21 registrants.

 

Deadlines

 

October 29 Deadline for all scholarship applications
November 5

Deadline to reserve hotel rooms at low conference rate*
($139 + taxes & fees/night) Please click here or call the hotel at (919) 941-5050 and mention Group Code “NCWN Fall Conference 2021” to make reservations at the discounted group rate of $139 per night.

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

November 5 Deadline for Master Class registration (see guidelines)
November 5 Deadline for Manuscript Mart / Critique Service registration (see guidelines)
November 12 Deadline for registration (4:00 pm by phone or mail; midnight if registering online)
November 19-21 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 29. 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 2021 Fall Conference registrants, exhibitors, and faculty an E-Packet, prior to November 19. 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.

We will not provide traditional printed packets at this year’s Fall Conference.

 

Return to Top

 


 

Complete Schedule-At-A-Glance

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

Friday, November 19

12:00 pm...........Pre-Conference Tailgate with Arshia Simkin
 (Location: Redbud Writing Project, 719 N. Person St., Raleigh, 27604) 
Sponsored by Redbud Writing Project
*Please note, writers may attend the Pre-Conference Tailgate without registering for NCWN's 2021 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 Alice Osborn: Author/Editor/Book Coach)
8:00 – 9:00 pm.............Keynote Address by Jaki Shelton Green (Sponsored by NC Humanities)
9:00 – 9:30 pm...........Jaki Shelton Green Book Signing

 

Saturday, November 20

7:30 – 9:00 am............Continental Breakfast available
7:30 am – 7:00 pm......Registration, Book Sales, and Exhibitor Tables open
8:00 – 9:00 am............All Stories Connect panel discussion
“From Lore to Lit and Back Again” with the NC Folklife Institute

9:00 am – 10:30 am......Session I

Getting Back into the Writing Groove (all genre) with Heather Bell Adams—Online Option (Sponsored by Freedom.to)
Dealing with Ghosts (poetry) with Han VanderHart
Writing Scripted Audio with Tamara Kissane
To Tell the Truth (creative nonfiction) with Cat Warren—Online Option
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Writing the Artful Memoir with Marianne Gingher
Fiction Master Class: Get Out Your Jungle Red Fingernails, or How to Write Your Way Off the Plateau of Mediocrity with Mesha Maren**Closed**
Poetry Master Class: Entering ‘The Cave of One's Self' with Tyree Daye
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

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

Adaptation (all genre) with Daniel Wallace—Online Option
Re-writing the Eye: A People's Look at Ekphrastic with Fred Joiner
How to Give Your Characters Voice (fiction) with Barbara Claypole White**Closed**
How to Get Paid Without Anyone Getting Hurt with Alice Osborn—Online Option
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Writing the Artful Memoir with Marianne Gingher (Cont.)
Fiction Master Class: Get Out Your Jungle Red Fingernails, or How to Write Your Way Off the Plateau of Mediocrity with Mesha Maren (Cont.)**Closed**
Poetry Master Class: Entering ‘The Cave of One's Self with Tyree Daye (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:30 pm.........Luncheon, “Community Journalism” panel discussion wirh Kyle Villemain of The Assembly, Cierra Brown Hinton of Scalawag, and Sara Pequeno of The News & Observer in Raleigh (Sponsored by PEN America)

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

The Art of Work (all genre) with LC Fiore—Online Option
A World of Words: The Stories All around Us with Dasan Ahanu 
“I Want to Start with an Earthquake and Build to a Climax” (playwriting) with Ian Finley
For Love and Money: Business Professionalism for Writers with Karin Wiberg—Online Option 
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Writing the Artful Memoir with Marianne Gingher (Cont.)
Fiction Master Class: Get Out Your Jungle Red Fingernails, or How to Write Your Way Off the Plateau of Mediocrity with Mesha Maren (Cont.)**Closed**
Poetry Master Class: Entering ‘The Cave of One's Self with Tyree Daye (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

4:00 – 4:30 pm......Break
4:30 – 5:30 pm......Faculty Readings 
6:00 – 7:00 pm......Happy Hour (Sponsored by Blair)
7:00 – 8:00 pm......Network Almost-Annual Banquet
8:00 – 9:00 pm......Open Mic Readings (Sign up at registration table) 

 

Sunday, November 21

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 The Piedmont Laureate Program)

9:00 am – 10:30 am.......Session IV

The Art of the Interview (all genre) with Georgann Eubanks and Donna Campbell—Online Option (Sponsored by UNC Press)
Poetry Nap: Relax Your Way to Great with Mimi Herman
Conjuring Magic in Fiction with Karen Tucker
Nerd Cool 101: Making Your Book Shine Online with Ellen C. Bush and Phillip Loken—Online Option (Sponsored by UNC Press)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

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

The Power of Mindset for Your Writing Life with Michele T. Berger—Online Option
Creative Nonfiction 101 with David Menconi
So You Want to Write a Children’s Book? with Kelly Starling Lyons
Pathways to Publishing: Know ALL Your Options with Tracy Crow—Online Option
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:00 pm.............Closing Conversation

 

*by prior registration only

 

Return to Top

 


 

Course Descriptions

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

Friday, November 19

12:00 pm

Pre-Conference Tailgate with Arshia Simkin
 (Location: Redbud Writing Project, 719 N. Person St., Raleigh, 27604
Sponsored by Redbud Writing Project

 

Saturday, November 20

8:00–9:00 am

All Stories Connect Panel Discussion
“From Lore to Lit and Back Again,” with the NC Folklife Institute
From Charles Chesnutt and Paul Green to Kathryn Stripling Byer and John Ehle, North Carolina's writers have used the state's folklore and folk life as a rich resource. This discussion will explore the intersections between what is passed down and what is put on the page. The panelists include folklorist Sarah Bryan, the executive director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute, and three contemporary North Carolina writers who draw from folklore and folk life in their work: Tyree Daye, Han VanderHart, and moderator Ed Southern.

 

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session I

Getting Back into the Writing Groove (fiction) with Heather Bell AdamsOnline Option
Sponsored by Freedom.to
Maybe your creativity has suffered during the past year. Or you used to eagerly anticipate picking up your pen, but now you dread it. Perhaps you’re trying to decide what to write next. Let’s re-connect to your authentic writer self and find the spark that will ignite your manuscript. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to identify the heart and soul of your project and develop strategies for setting goals and confronting obstacles. After our time together, my hope is that you’ll emerge anew—unstuck and re-oriented, and maybe even excited about writing again.

Dealing With Ghosts (poetry) with Han VanderHart
What is it that haunts your poetry? This class is concerned with how to write into ghostly presence and ghostly absence in your work—how to approach the spectral histories of your writing. We will look at who and what are treated as ghosts in American poetry—specifically focusing on examples from C.D. Wright and Deborah Luster’s collaborative One Big Self, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, Aracelis Girmay’s The Black Maria, and Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead. We will also write responsively to a ghostly prompt together, and discuss practical resources (cemeteries, genealogy, family oral traditions) for engaging your ghosts.

Writing Scripted Audio Fiction with Tamara Kissane
Have you considered adapting your theatre scripts into audio fiction pieces? Would you like to dip your pen in writing for audio? As podcasts grow exponentially, audio storytelling is flourishing, providing opportunities for writers to create robust contemporary audio dramas. These aren’t your grandpa’s radio plays!

Join playwright and audio dramatist, Tamara Kissane, and get started down this burgeoning path. Topics include: the hallmarks of audio as a medium, pros and cons, practical tips and considerations, writing for audio vs. adapting to audio, and more.

To Tell the Truth (creative nonfiction) with Cat Warren—Online Option
Lee Gutkind, dubbed the “Godfather behind creative nonfiction” by Vanity Fair, described fine nonfiction succinctly, “True stories, well told.” John McPhee took a little longer to describe it. That’s because he’s been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1963 and gets to go on as long as he wants: “Things that are cheap and tawdry in fiction work beautifully in nonfiction because they are true. That’s why you should be careful not to abridge it, because it’s the fundamental power you’re dealing with. You arrange it and present it. There’s lots of artistry. But you don’t make it up.” In this class, we’ll look at how great narrative nonfiction writers, from Truman Capote to Rebecca Skloot to Ta-Nehisi Coates, combine deep reporting and researching with fictional techniques. And you’ll practice some hands-on exercises in creative nonfiction, where you’ll steal cheap and tawdry fictional techniques to create your own true stories. Well told, of course.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Writing the Artful Memoir with Marianne Gingher
It’s a wild ride, life. Messy and unruly. Yet for all its rambunctiousness, you’re trying to lasso it to the page. The more you write, the more complicated telling true stories seems. Some days you doubt your skill at writing a narrative that others might find compelling. How much truth is too much and how much is too little? How might you generate some sense of dramatic urgency or suspense? How do you make a quiet life seem interesting? Do you find yourself prone to digressions? Is your project suddenly feeling too unwieldy? The workshop will focus on crafting personal narrative and memoir with special emphasis on selectivity, streamlining, and editing. Participants will also be introduced to “flash” non-fiction as an editing tool for longer form narratives. Suggested readings: The Writing Life by Annie Dillard; “Winter in the Abruzzi,” by Natalia Ginsburg from her essay collection The Little Virtues; The Boys of My Youth, by Joanne Beard; and two excellent online magazines: Creative NonFiction and Brevity.

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 an 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 Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

Fiction Master Class: Get Out Your Jungle Red Fingernails or How to Write Your Way Off the Plateau of Mediocrity with Mesha Maren **Closed**
In this seminar we will explore constraint-based writing techniques that will help us to surprise our own selves with our writing, avenues towards that white-hot flame of risk that resides at the center of all great writing. We will look at prompts and constraints that writers such as Amy Hempel, Mary Robison, Gordon Lish, and Robert Stone have used to enliven their writing as well as a few original constraints that I myself have developed and we will talk about methods to help ourselves shake it up and use our hard-earned writing skills in brand new ways.

Writers who have participated in workshops for any extended length of time come to know, in an almost subliminal way, what other workshop participants are going to say about our work. We know the basics, of course, and could chant in our sleep: show don’t tell, use active language, Freytag’s triangle, sentences must work on more than one level! We also come to know the specifics of our teachers and peers: Professor X will question my use of poetic language or Professor Y will tell me I’m not starting the story in the right place. And we begin to realize what will be praised for. Professor Z loved my descriptions of pine trees, we think, so I’ll put some beautiful pine trees in my next story and hope that Professor A praises me too. And in this way we can, if we are not careful, become very comfortable with crafting our precious little pieces. We coast along the plateau of mediocrity, painstakingly writing our short stories just like Professor X taught us to. We are following Freytag’s model (or very carefully not following it), we are emulating the masters, we are following the advice of Professors X, Y and Z and we are hoping fervently that our piece will be praised at the workshop table. But are we writing the most blindingly brilliant and shatteringly original literature that we could possibly imagine? No, probably not. We are afraid of falling because we know how falling feels and finally now we are kind of not falling down all the time, but that is exactly when we must learn to get our own jungle red fingernails, stop being afraid and push ourselves to write wilder and deeper.

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 an 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 Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

Poetry Master Class: Entering “The Cave of One's Self" with Tyree Daye
The poet Vievee Francis introduced the concept of entering “the cave of one's self” during my grad school years at North Carolina State University. Vievee encouraged me to explore my narrative, to investigate my symbols, and to break them open and to look inside of them. My narrative is that I'm black, Southern, raised by a single mother. Knowing my narrative helps me understand why tobacco fields and dirt roads show up in my poems. By identifying and exploring my symbols, I can begin to telescope inside them, making the language I use to speak about them fresh, and discover why these symbols were given to me. I believe our images come from God and are our egoless souls trying to make us see our connection to the world. In our workshop, I will ask students to enter “the cave of one's self" through several writing exercises.

Please submit three poems, totaling no more than five pages, on the same day that you register for the conference, along with your current CV in a separate attachment. 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.. The Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session II

Adaptation (all genre) with Daniel Wallace—Online Option
Our time together will be spent talking about the pleasures of adapting work from one form to another, from stories and novels to script and film, with examples from his own experience provided by the author. Discussion will follow.

Re-writing the Eye: A People's Look at Ekphrastic Poetry with Fred Joiner
This workshop will look at poetry that is in conversation and intersects with other disciplines of art, with an emphasis on writers and artists from under-represented communities. This is a step in "re-writing" how we view works of art (and the artists that produce them), the museum and gallery, agency, and voice as writers. It is also an invitation to re-think/re-write how poets and creative writers might approach engaging visual art critically. Think Fred Moten, Simone White, Kevin Young, Dionne Brane, & so on & so forth: https://www.blackekphrastic.com.

How to Give Your Characters Voice (fiction) with Barbara Claypole White**Closed**
Whether I’m creating a secondary teen character or breathing life into a male protagonist with PTSD, character voice is my everything. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to honor your story by building powerful characters with distinct and memorable voices. We’ll discuss the importance of character research and how to edit by character. POV will also come under our microscope: How many POV characters do you need and how can you weave together multiple POV chapters without slowing the pace? Bring your work-in-progress or a blank page, and we’ll play with different techniques. Character rules, y’all.

How to Get Paid without Anyone Getting Hurt with Alice Osborn—Online Option
We writers are introverts and it’s sometimes tough asking clients to pay us what we are worth. But, my friends, you ARE worth it and the writing and communication skills you bring to the world are invaluable. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to arrive at the money conversation with ease by building that muscle, just like we go to the gym to keep fit. No more undercharging! We will discuss payment systems and how contracts can help prevent job creep with the necessary boundaries so that you are paid more if you do more work; we’ll also cover how to make sure your procrastinating client pays you without resorting to unsavory tactics. Writing can be emotional, but negotiating a proper fee should never be. Alice Osborn’s writing and editing business of 15 years has survived a recession, a pandemic, and a few toxic clients—come to this workshop with your questions and come away from it feeling empowered.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Marianne Gingher
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Class with Mesha Maren **Closed**
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Tyree Daye
Cont. See Above.

 

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Luncheon with “Community Journalism” panel discussion
“Local news is dyyyiing!” comes the anguished cry. In many places, though, journalists of all ages are filling the breach, using media platforms unavailable just a few years ago: websites, of course, but also podcasts, social media, Substack and other subscription-based delivery platforms, and more.

This panel discussion, “Writing Community: Place-Based Journalism in a Fracturing Age,” will bring together representatives from some of these new outlets to discuss their missions and their means, the advantages they have and the challenges they face, and how writers can both chronicle and influence their communities.

Panelists include Kyle Villemain of The Assembly, Cierra Brown Hinton of Scalawag, and Sara Pequeno of The News & Observer in Raleigh.
Sponsored by PEN America.

 

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 Art of Work (all genre) with LC Fiore—Online Option
If you sometimes think to yourself, "Wouldn't it be nice to wake up in the morning and just write?" instead of waking up in the morning and going to work or other obligations, and then finding time to write, you're not alone. But from Chester Himes to David Foster Wallace, from Mary Oliver to Sylvia Plath, there is a long literary tradition of mining our jobs for inspiration. Not only do our vocations inform our avocations, our creative work would be lesser without them. In this conversation / generative workshop, we'll look at different examples of writing about work, ponder the best and worst jobs we've had in our lives, write a bit, and share what we've written, if we want to.

A World of Words: The Stories All around Us with Dasan Ahanu
Stories are powerful ways to make concepts tangible in people’s minds. Telling these stories is more than writing what happened, and can be as creative and expressive as our imagination. In this workshop we will delve into narrative perspective, source variety, and nonlinear approaches to storytelling. Together we will embark on an exploration of poetry construction, playful manipulation of syntax and diction, and objective correlative (TS Eliot). We will also talk about how to convey your work to others, from visual presentation to performance.

“I Want to Start with an Earthquake and Build to a Climax” (playwriting) with Ian Finley
For a playwright or screenwriter, the key to keeping the audience engaged is conflict, but it turns out that conflict is also the engine to develop character and draw out theme. In this workshop, we'll explore the crisis-response cycle: its power to organically drive your story, keep the audience's attention, and making your writing life easier.

For Love and Money: Business Professionalism for Writers with Karin WibergOnline Option 
If Karin ruled the world, writers would be able to write all day and not worry about money . . . Sigh. But most of us have to pay attention to business as well as craft, so let’s make it as easeful as possible. In this session, we’ll cover the foundations of being a writing professional—things like bookkeeping (aargh!), client contracts (hmm), getting paid (yay!), and processes and tools for looking like a pro. We’ll also explore some of the issues writers tend to struggle with (pricing, anyone?) and ideas for moving past the struggle. You’ll walk away with a checklist of priorities and tips for implementation. Whether you’re trying to get a book deal or land a client, showing up as a professional pays dividends.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Marianne Gingher
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Class with Mesha Maren **Closed**
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Tyree Daye
Cont. See Above.

 

4:00–4:30 pm

Break

 

4:30–5:30 pm

Faculty Readings

 

6:00–7:00 pm

Happy Hour
Sponsored by Blair

 

7:00–8:00 pm

Network Almost-Annual Banquet

 

8:00–9:30 pm

Open Mic Readings
(Sign up at Registration Table)

 

Sunday, November 21

8:00–9:00 am

Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: Agents & Editors
Sponsored by The Piedmont Laureate Program

 

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session IV

The Art of the Interview with Georgann Eubanks and Donna Campbell—Online Option
Sponsored by UNC Press
Explore a range of interviewing techniques and polish your listening and observation skills. How much homework on your subject should you do in advance? How far can you veer from prepared questions? How can you put your subjects at ease and inspire trust? How can you get the most out of an interview when the time allowed is very short? We'll also discuss release forms, the ethics of taking someone’s story, point of view, and the role of the interviewer in framing the final piece. We'll also conduct in-class interviews with each other as a way to test some ideas. The goal of the class is to help each participant become a more experienced and confident interviewer.

Poetry Nap: Relax Your Way to Great Writing with Mimi Herman
If your life feels like one commitment piled on top of another, with no time for writing, to ease your way into inspiration. You’ll slowly relax, breathe deeply as we rarely get the opportunity to do, and take a journey into the deepest part of yourself. When you emerge from your poetry nap, you’ll be ready to spill ideas and images onto the page, and craft them into poetry. This workshop is designed for writers of all levels.

Conjuring Magic in Fiction with Karen Tucker
In her essay “The Site of Memory,” Toni Morrison says, “If writing is thinking and discovery and selection and order and meaning, it is also awe and reverence and mystery and magic.” Together in this class we'll explore multiple passages and passageways to help us find the hidden magic lurking in even the most mundane of objects and characters. Craft topics include transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, vanishing acts, the reverse trick of rendering the invisible visible, and other illusions. Participants can expect published examples to read and discuss, guided free-writes, and props from a magic bag.

Nerd Cool 101: Making Your Book Shine Online with Ellen C. Bush and Phillip Loken—Online Option
Sponsored by UNC Press
In this crash course on how to effectively promote your work online, we’ll outline the basic principles of metadata, online discoverability, and search engine optimization (SEO); offer tips for engaging with online platforms and social media; and examine a case study of a successful online marketing campaign. An in-class exercise will get you started planning your own campaign, and we’ll answer all your burning questions about promoting your work online. Whether you have a book to promote or just want to establish a more visible platform for your work, this session will help you create an online presence that amplifies your own authentic voice and helps you build new creative connections and relationships.

 

10:30–11:00 am

Break

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session V

The Power of Mindset for Your Writing Life (all genre) with Michele T. Berger—Online Option
We’ll explore the role of author mindset as vital to publishing success. How does a writer keep on the path to publication? We’ll spend time exploring new ways to combat what stops us from writing including: procrastination, perfectionism, distraction, imposter syndrome and feeling overwhelmed with creative ideas. We’ll explore how a variety of diverse and successful writers meet these challenges. This workshop draws on the latest research in neuroscience on creativity, motivation, habit-stacking and resiliency. Participants will leave with an action plan for concrete steps forward. For emerging and established writers.

Creative Nonfiction 101 with David Menconi
From longform features to books, this class will cover how to find CNF stories, how to write CNF stories, and how to sell CNF stories. The class will discuss pointers about what editors are looking for, and how to make them happy enough for repeat business. 

So You Want to Write a Children's Book with Kelly Starling Lyons
Have you dreamed of writing for kids? Start your journey with Piedmont Laureate Kelly Starling Lyons in a workshop designed to introduce you to the field. Gain an understanding of children’s book genres. Mine your life for ideas. Get insight into the business of writing for kids including submitting and persevering.

Pathways to Publishing: Know ALL Your Options with Tracy Crow—Online Option
During this session, we'll explore the various options available through traditional publishing&mdahs;whether we're talking a Big 5 imprint, small press, or indie—and why writers actually have more say than they might imagine, and why they might purposefully choose one option over another.

 

Return to Top

 


 

Master Classes

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

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, November 5—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.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Writing the Artful Memoir with Marianne Gingher
It’s a wild ride, life. Messy and unruly. Yet for all its rambunctiousness, you’re trying to lasso it to the page. The more you write, the more complicated telling true stories seems. Some days you doubt your skill at writing a narrative that others might find compelling. How much truth is too much and how much is too little? How might you generate some sense of dramatic urgency or suspense? How do you make a quiet life seem interesting? Do you find yourself prone to digressions? Is your project suddenly feeling too unwieldy? The workshop will focus on crafting personal narrative and memoir with special emphasis on selectivity, streamlining, and editing. Participants will also be introduced to “flash” non-fiction as an editing tool for longer form narratives. Suggested readings: The Writing Life by Annie Dillard; “Winter in the Abruzzi,” by Natalia Ginsburg from her essay collection The Little Virtues; The Boys of My Youth, by Joanne Beard; and two excellent online magazines: Creative Nonfiction and Brevity.

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 an 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 Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

Fiction Master Class: Get Out Your Jungle Red Fingernails or How to Write Your Way Off the Plateau of Mediocrity with Mesha Maren**Closed**
In this seminar we will explore constraint-based writing techniques that will help us to surprise our own selves with our writing, avenues towards that white-hot flame of risk that resides at the center of all great writing. We will look at prompts and constraints that writers such as Amy Hempel, Mary Robison, Gordon Lish and Robert Stone have used to enliven their writing as well as a few original constraints that I myself have developed and we will talk about methods to help ourselves shake it up and use our hard-earned writing skills in brand new ways.

Writers who have participated in workshops for any extended length of time come to know, in an almost subliminal way, what other workshop participants are going to say about our work. We know the basics, of course, and could chant in our sleep: show don’t tell, use active language, Freytag’s triangle, sentences must work on more than one level! We also come to know the specifics of our teachers and peers: Professor X will question my use of poetic language or Professor Y will tell me I’m not starting the story in the right place. And we begin to realize what will be praised for. Professor Z loved my descriptions of pine trees, we think, so I’ll put some beautiful pine trees in my next story and hope that Professor A praises me too. And in this way we can, if we are not careful, become very comfortable with crafting our precious little pieces. We coast along the plateau of mediocrity, painstakingly writing our short stories just like Professor X taught us to. We are following Freytag’s model (or very carefully not following it), we are emulating the masters, we are following the advice of Professors X, Y and Z and we are hoping fervently that our piece will be praised at the workshop table. But are we writing the most blindingly brilliant and shatteringly original literature that we could possibly imagine? No, probably not. We are afraid of falling because we know how falling feels and finally now we are kind of not falling down all the time, but that is exactly when we must learn to get our own jungle red fingernails, stop being afraid and push ourselves to write wilder and deeper.

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 an 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 Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

Poetry Master Class: Entering “The Cave of One's Self” with Tyree Daye
The poet Vievee Francis introduced the concept of entering “the cave of one's self” during my grad school years at North Carolina State University. Vievee encouraged me to explore my narrative, to investigate my symbols, and to break them open and to look inside of them. My narrative is that I'm black, Southern, raised by a single mother. Knowing my narrative helps me understand why tobacco fields and dirt roads show up in my poems. By identifying and exploring my symbols, I can begin to telescope inside them, making the language I use to speak about them fresh, and discover why these symbols were given to me. I believe our images come from God and are our egoless souls trying to make us see our connection to the world. In our workshop, I will ask students to enter “the cave of one's self" through several writing exercises.

Please submit three poems, totaling no more than five pages, on the same day that you register for the conference, along with your current CV in a separate attachment. 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.. The Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

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

 

Return to Top

 


 

Manuscript Mart

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

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 20, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 21, 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, NOVEMBER 5.

 

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. 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.

Maggie Cooper, Aevitas Creative
Tracy Crow, Tracy Crow Literary Agency
Kim Lindman, StonesongAvailable for online appointments only
Cassie Mannes Murray, Howland LiteraryAvailable for online appointments only

 

Return to Top

 


 

Critique Service

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

The Critique Service provides writers with in-depth literary critique of fiction or nonfiction 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 20, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 21, 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, NOVEMBER 5.

 

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. Download and print the Critique Service cover sheet, which you may also download from the online Registration Form. 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.

Linda Hobson (fiction/nonfiction)
Karin Wiberg (nonfiction)

 

Return to Top

 


 

 

Faculty Biographies

Register Online | Download Registration Form**Registration is closed**

 

 

Heather Bell Adams is the author of Maranatha Road (West Virginia University Press 2017), which won the IPPY gold medal for the Southeast, and The Good Luck Stone (Haywire Books 2020), which won Best Historical in the Next Generation Book Awards. A recipient of the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, Carrie McCray Literary Award, and James Still Fiction Prize, Heather’s work appears in Still: The Journal, Atticus Review, The Thomas Wolfe Review, The Petigru Review, Pembroke Magazine, Broad River Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Raleigh where she works as a lawyer.

Dasan Ahanu  is a poet, cultural organizer, scholar and performing artist based in Durham. Dasan is a resident artist with the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC where he has developed poetry and spoken word programming for youth and adults. He has competed regionally and nationally in poetry slam as a founding member and coach of Durham’s own Bull City Slam Team. The team has won two regional championships and achieved a third-place finish nationally. Dasan is co-founder and managing director of Black Poetry Theatre, a Durham based theatre company that creates and produces original poetry and spoken word-based productions. In 2004, he was awarded an Indy Arts Award by INDY Weekly for his work in arts and activism. Then in 2015, he was awarded the honor again, the first time in the award's history that has happened. He is the author of four poetry collections that include The Innovator (HWJW Publishing 2010), Freedom Papers (HWJW Publishing 2012), Everything Worth Fighting For (Flowered Concrete 2016), and Shackled Freedom: Black Living in the Modern American South (Willow Books 2020). Dasan is also an alumni Nasir Jones Fellowship with the Hip Hop Archive at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. His scholarly work is focused on art interventions, creative expression, Hip Hop and popular culture. Currently, Dasan is a visiting professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill and a consultant working with organizations on art-based strategies. He is also the Rothwell Mellon Program Director for Creative Futures with Carolina Performing Arts.

Michele T. Berger is a professor, a writer, a creativity coach and a pug-lover. Her main love is writing speculative fiction, though she also is known to write poetry and creative nonfiction, too. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire, Concrete Dreams: Witches, Warriors and Wise Women, Afromyth: A Fantasy Collection Volume 2, Stories We Tell After Midnight #2, UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature and Science, Flying South: A Literary Journal; 100 Word Story; Thing Magazine; Blood and Bourbon, FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, and Midnight and Indigo. Her nonfiction writing and poetry have appeared in The Chapel Hill News, Glint Literary Journal, Oracle: Fine Arts Review, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, The Feminist Wire, Ms. Magazine, Carolina Woman Magazine, Western North Carolina Woman, A Letter to My Mom (Crown Press), Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Twelfth Planet Press) and various zines. She is the 2019 winner of the Carl Brandon Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society for her story "Doll Seed" published in FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. In 2020, her science fiction novella "Reenu-You," about a mysterious virus transmitted through a hair care product billed as a natural hair relaxer, was published by Falstaff Books. Much of her work explores psychological horror, especially through issues of race and gender. She is currently a trustee on board of the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) and President-Elect of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Ellen C. Bush  is Digital Initiatives and Database Director at UNC Press. She has 25 years of publishing experience bringing books and journals into an ever-changing marketplace. Her chapbook Licorice was published by Bull City Press, and her poems have appeared in Four Way Review, The Collagist, Inch, and other outlets.

Originally from England, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes and gardens in the forests of Orange County. Her passion for chipping away at stereotypes of mental illness inspires quirky stories about troubled but courageous characters, complicated relationships, and crazy critters . . . topped off with a dollop of hope. Her novels include The Perfect Son (a Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist for best fiction), and The Promise Between Us, which won an international Nautilus Award for books that foster change. Novel six, The Gin Club, is currently on submission. To connect with her, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com.

Maggie Cooper is an agent with Aevitas Creative Management, representing adult fiction and select nonfiction projects. Based in Boston, Maggie joined Aevitas in 2018. She holds a degree in English from Yale University, attended the Clarion Writers Workshop, and earned her MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as an editor for The Greensboro Review. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked in the world of independent and university presses, as a bookseller, and as a teacher to students ages 10 through 85. Maggie is actively seeking imaginative, genre-bending literary fiction; capacious historical novels; beautifully told queer stories; and smart, feminist romance. Her other loves include epistolary novels, well-earned happy endings, and narratives that disrupt cisness, whiteness, and the heteropatriarchy.

Tracy Crow is a literary agent and president/CEO of MilSpeak Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated toward supporting and publishing the creative works of military veterans and family members through its imprints, MilSpeak Books and Family of Light Books. She is also the author/editor of six books to include the novella, Cooper’s Hawk: The Remembering; the popular history, It’s My Country Too: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan with co-author Jerri Bell; the award-winning memoir, Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine; the military conspiracy thriller, An Unlawful Order, under her pen name, Carver Greene; the true story collection, Red, White, & True: Stories from Veterans and Families, WWII to Present; and the breakthrough writing text, On Point: A Guide to Writing the Military Story, in which Tracy combines her skills and experience as a former Marine Corps officer, award-winning military journalist, author, editor, and assistant professor of creative writing.

Tyree Daye is a poet from Youngsville and a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is the author of two poetry collections: River Hymns, the 2017 APR/Honickman First Book Prize winner, and Cardinal from Copper Canyon Press, 2020.

Since 2000, Georgann Eubanks (left) and Donna Campbell (right) have conducted hundreds of interviews as the principals of Minnow Media, LLC, an Emmy-winning multimedia company that primarily creates independent documentaries for public television. With Donna as photographer and Georgann as writer they also created the three-volume Literary Trails series commissioned by the NC Arts Council and published by UNC Press. Their 2018 book, The Month of their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year, has just been rereleased in paperback, while their most recent collaboration took them across six States of the South to interview conservation botanists and citizen scientists in the field about endangered species and climate change. Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction, will be released by UNC Press in October.

Ian Finley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, where he earned the Harry Kondoleon Award for playwriting. He is the author of plays, including Native (featured at the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference), The Nature of the Nautilus (winner of the Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Award 2002), and the Our Histories series of plays for Burning Coal Theatre Company. For this body of work, he was named the 2012 Piedmont Laureate. He has taught at Southern Methodist University, as well for the OLLI programs at NC State University and Duke University.

L.C. Fiore’s new novel is Coyote Loop (Adelaide Books, 2021). His historical novel, The Last Great American Magic, won Novel of the Year from Underground Book Reviews. His debut novel, Green Gospel, was named First Runner-Up in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and storySouth, among many others, and he's written for various baseball publications, including The Love of the Game: Essays by Lifelong Fans. Before he was the communications director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, he held many jobs, from custodian to paperboy to Executive Assistant at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He lives in Chapel Hill with his family.

Marianne Gingher is the author most recently of Adventures in Pen Land, a comic memoir of her writing life, and the editor of Amazing Place, an anthology of essays. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Oxford American, the Washington Post, the Southern Review, Our State, and elsewhere. She recently retired from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she taught creative writing for more than three decades.

Jaki Shelton Green, appointed the ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina in 2018, is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She was reappointed in 2021 for a second term by Governor Roy Cooper. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate, and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Additionally, she received the George School Outstanding Alumni Award in 2021. Her publications include Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, and i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, a poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records and released a CD, i want to undie you in 2021. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona, Martha’s Vineyard, Ocracoke, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore, Ireland.

Mimi Herman  is a writer and editor, Kennedy Center teaching artist, and co-director of Writeaways writing workshops in France, Italy, New Mexico, and online. Since 1990, she has engaged over 25,000 students with writing workshops. She is a Warren Wilson alumna and the 2017 North Carolina Piedmont Laureate, and serves as a member of the AWP Board of Directors. Mimi has held readings at Why There are Words, Symphony Space, and—with David Sedaris—at Memorial Auditorium in North Carolina. Her writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic, Prime Number, and other journals. She is the author of Logophilia and The Art of Learning. Her latest collection of poetry, A Field Guide to Human Emotions, is available from Finishing Line Press, and her novel, The Kudzu Queen, will be released from Regal House Publishing in 2023. You can find Mimi at www.mimiherman.com and www.writeaways.com.

Cierra Hinton is the Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag, a non-profit, movement journalism organization with a mission to disrupt and shift the narratives that keep power in the hands of the few in pursuit of a more liberated South. She is also a member at Blue Engine Collaborative, a network of independent consultants and advisors to media organizations around the world. Before her current role, Cierra was an individual giving officer at a number of education nonprofits including Teach For America. Cierra has also served as the Director of Network Building and Operations at Press On, a Southern media collective, and was a fellow at the Poynter Institute through the Media Transformation Challenge. She sits on the boards of LION Publishers and the NC Local News Workshop. She lives in Durham with her partner, J.

Linda Hobson, the author of a book on novelist Walker Percy and editor of a second, has a Ph.D in English from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of both Denison and Duke. A former Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, since 2007 she has worked as a writer, editor, publishing consultant, book reviewer, interviewer, public speaker, and writing workshop leader. Hobson owns and manages Triangle Editing, a contract-writing, online writing/editing, book editing, and consulting business that serves clients in the Research Triangle and beyond.

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator based in Chapel Hill. He is the Poet Laureate of Carrboro and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Obsidian, All the Songs We Sing (Blair), Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (Northwestern University Press), and other publications. Most recently, Joiner guest curated an exhibition (Micro/Macro) of the 2021 Masters of Fine Arts in Studio Art graduates at UNC Chapel Hill for the Ackland Art Museum. Joiner is the chair of the Advisory Board for the Orange County Arts Commission and board member of the American Poetry Museum and Arch Development Corporation.

Tamara Kissane is Founder & Executive Director of Artist Soapbox (www.artistsoapbox.org) and Soapbox Audio Collective. She is a Durham-based playwright, theatre-maker, parent, and podcaster. In 2020, Tamara was the Piedmont Laureate and received Outstanding Contribution to the Arts from Chatham Life & Style. She also is a co-founder and playwright for Curious Theatre Collective and leads Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ rooms, Public Works events, and Creative Accountability Groups. In North Carolina, she’s worked with University Theatre at NC State, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Seed Art Share, Burning Coal, Manbites Dog Theater, The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, Duke Theatre Studies, Transactors Improv, Summer Sisters, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, Archipelago and both hands theatre company. Recently she’s received grants from the Manbites Dog Theater Fund, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Durham150, and the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Award (Durham Arts Council). She is the parent of two young children.

Kim Lindman joined Stonesong as an assistant, and now holds the positions of Associate Literary Agent and Social Media Coordinator. Originally from the West Coast, Kim studied English Literature with a subfocus in Journalism at Seattle Pacific University. After moving to the NYC area, she has worked at a distillery and as a researcher with the United Nations, among others. She is interested in representing adult fiction, with particular interest in literary fiction and magical realism, and non-fiction, with particular interest in food and the environment.

Phillip Loken (he/him) is the Associate Digital Marketing Manager at UNC Press with 5+ years of digital marketing experience from working with Noirbnb, Lumina Clothing, Urbane Luggage, and Infinite Magazine. Phill is also a Raleigh, NC-based multimedia fine artist offering a unique approach to the documentation of Black southern culture, encompassing some of what you’re familiar with and some of what you’re not.

Kelly Starling Lyons is a teaching artist and award-winning children’s book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her more than a dozen titles span picture books, easy readers and chapter books, fiction and nonfiction, standalone and series. She counts starred reviews, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selections, National Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies and Scholastic Reading Club picks among the accolades her books have received. Titles include Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations, Going Down Home with Daddy, the Jada Jones and Ty's Travels series; and Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon.

Mesha Maren is the author of Sugar Run (Algonquin Books, 2019) and Perpetual West (2022). Her work has appeared in the Oxford American, the Guardian, Tin House, the Southern Review, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She is an assistant professor at Duke University and also serves as a NEA Writing Fellow at the federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia.

Author/journalist David Menconi spent 34 years writing for daily newspapers, 28 of them at The News & Observer in Raleigh. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin, and The New York Times, also serving as the Triangle’s Piedmont Laureate for 2019. His latest book, Step It Up & Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) won the 2021 North Caroliniana Society Book Award and first runner-up in the culture category of the Eric Hoffer Awards. His next book will be a history of the folk label Rounder Records, to be published in 2022 by UNC Press.

Cassie Mannes Murray is a literary agent at Howland Literary who has sold fiction, essays, memoir, short stories, and narrative nonfiction books to corporate publishers, independent publishers, and small presses. As an agent, she hopes to work with writers who are blending genre categories and may be considered “weird” to the publishing industry. Her clients have been published in TIME, Electric Literature, Creative Nonfiction, and various literary journals. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction with Distinction from UNCW where she was a Shannon Morton Fellow and a Ralph Brauer Fellow, and worked in the publishing laboratory. She has had the privilege of working with various publishing entities including ecotone magazine, Lookout Books, and Raleigh Review, and has been published herself in magazines like The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Passages North, Fugue Journal, and Hobart. Her essay, “Love in the Belly of Beginning” received a Best American Essays 2020 notable, and she’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2022 anthology. Before going back to school for her MFA, Cassie was a high school English teacher for six years, and ran a book blog called Books & Bowel Movements. She wrote her first book in grade school titled Toe Jam Wars.

Alice Osborn’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as an author, book editor, and musician. In the past 15 years, Alice has coached and edited writers at all levels and genres both locally and around the world. Searching for Paradise is her most recent CD featuring crowd-pleasing originals about history, heroes, and hope, and Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her previous poetry collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. Alice is the recipient of a United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County 2019 Professional Development Grant; she is the President of the NC Songwriters’ Co-op, and has served for eight years on the NC Writers’ Network’s Board of Trustees. She’s currently working on a novel and CD about the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846-1847. When she’s not writing or performing, Alice teaches guitar, fiddle, and banjo. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and four birds all named after musicians. Visit Alice's website at www.aliceosborn.com and check out her music at www.reverbnation.com/aliceosborn.

Sara Pequeño is the newest Raleigh-based journalist and opinion writer for McClatchy’s North Carolina Opinion Team. She plans to use her platform to cover social issues and local politics with empathy and a passion for progressive ideas. Prior to her hiring at The News & Observer, Sara worked as the digital content manager at INDY Week, an alt-weekly newspaper based in the Triangle. There, she focused on Orange County and the UNC System, but occasionally stepped into other beats focused on social justice and state-level politics.

Arshia Simkin was born in Pakistan and spent the first six years of her life there. She grew up in Arlington, Virginia and currently lives in Raleigh with her husband. A former lawyer, she is a graduate of the North Carolina State University MFA program in creative writing and the co-founder of the Redbud Writing Project, a creative writing organization that teaches workshops in the Triangle. Her writing has appeared in Crazyhorse; she was one of three winners of the 2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction contest; and received honorable mention in NC State's James Hurt Prize for fiction. In her spare time, she enjoys playing badminton and water coloring.

Karen Tucker is the author of the novel Bewilderness (2021). Her short fiction can be found in The Missouri Review, The Yale Review, Tin House, Boulevard, Epoch, and elsewhere. Born and raised in North Carolina, she earned her Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University, and currently teaches fiction writing at UNC Chapel Hill.

Han VanderHart lives in Durham, under the pines. She has poetry and essays published in The Boston Globe, Kenyon Review, The American Poetry Review, The Rumpus, AGNI, and elsewhere. She is the reviews editor at EcoTheo Review, the editor at Moist Poetry Journal, and the author of the chapbook Hands Like Birds (Ethel Zine Press, 2019) and the poetry collection What Pecan Light (Bull City Press, 2021).

Kyle Villemain is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Assembly, a statewide digital magazine about North Carolina launched in February, 2021. Prior to The Assembly, he was a speechwriter for higher education and nonprofit leaders including UNC System President Margaret Spellings and UNC-CH Chancellor Carol Folt. He's a 2015 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Daniel Wallace is the author of six novels, including Big Fish and, most recently, Extraordinary Adventures. He directs the Creative Writing Program at UNC.

Cat Warren just retired from North Carolina State University, where she taught science journalism, editing, and creative nonfiction. Before joining NC State, Warren was a newspaper reporter. She’s covered bombers holding a school hostage, a physician who sexually assaulted dozens of patients over decades, and the deep poverty in Connecticut cities. Cat has also been a national education magazine editor and a communication director for a non-profit justice organization. Her first nonacademic book, What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World (Touchstone) became a New York Times bestseller and was long listed for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Karin Wiberg is owner of Clear Sight Books, where she helps seasoned business leaders write nonfiction books. Whether she ghostwrites, edits, or coaches, her clients develop a clear message and compelling voice; and for those who choose to self-publish, she turns manuscripts into books. Karin’s professional experience ranges from the Fortune 500 and association management to small businesses and nonprofits. She’s served on grant panels for the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and the NC Arts Council and judged writing contests for Writer’s Digest and the Jane Austen Society of North America. Karin holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a business coaching certificate from North Carolina State University. Her poetry has been published in Stirring, Petrichor Review, riverSedge, Two Hawks Quarterly, and elsewhere, and she is the author of Chicken Haiku, an illustrated book of poems. Find Karin online at www.clearsightbooks.com.

 

 

Return to Top

 

 


 

Support for the 2021 Fall Conference is provided by Blair, Publisher; Freedom.to; the NC Arts Council; the NC Humanities Council; Alice Osborn: Author/Book Coach/Editor; PEN America; The Piedmont Laureate ProgramRedbud Writing Project; and UNC Press.

                .                 .            

                                               

 

  

   

  


 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Joomla Templates: by JoomlaShack