NC Literary Hall of Fame




Carole Boston WeatherfordThe North Carolina Writers' Network and the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts bring you a full day of workshops on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. We're giving you more of what you've asked for -- small classes, top writing faculty, and intensive workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, publishing, and public speaking.

Keynote: Carole Boston Weatherford

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Spring Conference 2011 is made possible with support from the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, UNC-Greensboro, and the North Carolina Arts Council.
UNC GreensboroNC Arts Council

Conference Classes

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All-Day Workshops

  • Closed Writing What You’ve Lived (All-Day Fiction) with David Halperin

  • Closed Writing For Your Life: How Personal Narrative Morphs into Memoir (All-Day Nonfiction) with Marianne Gingher

Intensive Half-Day Workshops with

Choose one of the all-day workshops, which meet in the morning and resume after lunch.


Choose from among the half-day workshops and select one class for the morning session and another class for the afternoon session.

Either way,

  • Registration from 8:00 - 9:00 am
  • Morning sessions from 9:00 - 10:30 am
  • Keynote Reading from 10:45 - 11:45 *Open to the Public!
  • Lunch with an Author! - Keep the conversations going 12:00 - 1:00 pm
  • Faculty Readings 1:00 - 2:00 pm
  • Afternoon sessions from 2:30 - 4:00 pm
  • Publishing Panel from 4:00 - 5:00 pm *Open to the Public!
  • Publisher Exhibits open all day

See the full schedule for more information about the day's activities.

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Early registration ends Thursday, April 22. Members may register on-site April 30 for $135.

Early registration:

  • $99 for members
  • $150 for non-members
  • You can join the Network when you register, and pay the $99 registration fee plus the appropriate member dues:
    $75 standard 1-year membership
    $55 senior (65+), student, disabled membership
    $130 2-year membership
    $130 household 1-year membership
On-site registration as a walk-in:
  • $135 for members
  • $165 for non-members

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If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please send a C.V. and a letter of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network office by 4 pm, Friday, April 22, for you to receive a 50% refund. Send request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. No refunds for cancellations received after April 22 or for no-shows.

Nearby Hotels

For favorable rates at the following hotels, mention that you are attending an event at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Faculty Biographies: Spring Conference 2011

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Carole Boston Weatherford Carole Boston Weatherford’s books have received the Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Award, NAACP Image Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Jefferson Cup, and Carter G. Woodson Award, and have appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. Her more than two dozen children’s books include Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom; Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People; Birmingham, 1963; Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane; Becoming Billie Holiday and The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights. A recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, she teaches at Fayetteville State University.

Spring Conference Faculty

Anjail Rashida AhmadAnjail Rashida Ahmad is currently the director of the Creative Writing program at North Carolina A&T State University. As a poet who experiences blindness, she believes that each person’s voice and vision can be vital to the life of a community. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications such as The Black Scholar, Obsidian III, The African American Review, Washington Square Review. She is founder of Black Ink Writers Workshop in Greensboro and The Fractured Writer: A Resource for Writers. She has also received the Margaret Walker Alexander Award for Poetry, the Robert Frost Prize in Poetry, the Southern Literary Festival Prize for Poetry, and two Janet Preston Prizes for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets.

Dan AlbergottiDan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008), selected by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII: Best of the Small Presses. A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti currently teaches creative writing and literature courses and edits the online journal Waccamaw ( at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Traci  O Connor Traci O Connor is the author of the short story collection Recipes For Endangered Species, published by Tarpaulin Sky Press (2010). She has also published fiction, non-fiction and poetry in many journals and anthologies, including Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, LIT Magazine, PANK, Barrowstreet, and others. She is currently a professor of writing and literature at Guilford College and lives in Greensboro with her spouse—the writer Jackson Connor—their four children, one labradoodle, and a ‘cat.’

Paul  CuadrosPaul Cuadros is an award-winning investigative reporter and author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Time, and other national and local publications. His 2007 book A Home on the Field, How One Championship Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America, has been selected as required summer reading at several universities and colleges. Cuadros is currently an assistant professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Marianne GingherMarianne Gingher writes fiction and non-fiction and is the author most recently of Adventures in Pen Land, a memoir of her writing life, and the editor of Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by Sixty-Five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers. She is a Bowman and Gordan Gray Distinguished Term Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

David Halperin Before he became a novelist, David Halperin was professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He taught for 24 years, published five non-fiction books, and won numerous awards for excellence in teaching. His special skill is leading interactive groups of all sizes. His novel Journal of a UFO Investigator has been published by Viking Press (2011), and translated into Spanish, German, and Italian. For more information, go to
Angela Harwood Angela Harwood is the director of sales and electronic marketing at John F. Blair, Publisher. She has worked in almost every area of publishing from publicity, editing, and design to sales, marketing, and acquisitions. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Denver Publishing Institute, and a co-author of Travel North Carolina. She lives in Greensboro.

Scott OwensJoseph Mills has published three collections of poetry: Love and Other Collisions; Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers; and Somewhere During the Spin Cycle. He has edited a collection of film criticism, A Century of the Marx Brothers, and researched and wrote two editions of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries with his wife, Danielle Tarmey. His work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” and Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers was called “a must-have for wine lovers” by The Washington Post. After earning a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of California, Davis, he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he holds the Susan Wall Burress Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. He also is the poet-in-residence at Salem College.

Edmund Schubert Edmund Schubert is the author of over thirty-five short stories and one novel, Dreaming Creek (Oct. 2008). He's held a variety of editorial positions, currently serving as editor of Orson Scott Card's online magazine of science fiction and fantasy, InterGalactic Medicine Show (IGMS). An anthology of IGMS stories, co-edited by Schubert and Card, was published by Tor (Aug. 2008). His latest editing project, How To Write Magical Words: A Writer's Companion (Jan. 2011), is a collection of essays about the craft and business of writing, written by members of the writing blog Several more books are due out in the next few years, including a collection of his short stories, The Trouble With Eating Clouds (Spring 2011).
Kevin Morgan Watson Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor of Press 53, a small literary publishing company in Winston-Salem. As a publisher and editor, he has worked with writers ranging from newly published authors to winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Kevin also serves as an advisor on adaptation of short stories to screenplays for the screenwriting faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.

Ross WhiteRoss White is the editor of Inch, a magazine of short poetry and microfiction, and the executive director of Bull City Press. His work has appeared in New England Review, Poetry Daily, The Collagist, and Southern Poetry Review, among others. He lives in Durham, and teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



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8 – 9 am Registration
8 am – 6 pm Exhibits & Book Sales Open

9 – 10:30 am Workshop Session I

Writing What You’ve Lived (All-Day Fiction) with David Halperin Closed
“Write what you know” is familiar advice. Many of us start out writing fiction with stories taken from our most powerful personal experiences. This writing has the strength of authenticity. But it also has its pitfalls. We can shackle ourselves to “what really happened,” hold our stories back from becoming all they can be. Rejection letters from editors and agents tell us we’ve fallen short.

We’ll devote the morning session to working together on this issue—the challenge of turning transformative experience into transformative fiction, of giving our writing the power of free imagination without forsaking the deeper power of truth. The afternoon session will be spent discussing participants’ submissions.

Writing For Your Life: How Personal Narrative Morphs into Memoir (All-Day Nonfiction) with Marianne Gingher Closed
So you have a weird or wild or provocative story about your own life to tell. “I should write a book about my life,” you’ve probably said a thousand times. But is the narrative you’re contemplating worth an entire book? Maybe it’s a story you can tell in a few pages. How do you know? How much is too much and how much is too little? What makes your story truly distinctive? How could you keep a reader reading? How might you generate suspense? The workshop will focus on crafting the personal narrative and examining its possibilities (or limitations) for expansion, including lots of good writing prompts for mining “forgotten” stories. You don’t have to have a “big” story to write. You only have to believe it’s big. Recommended reading: This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff.

The Telling Detail (fiction) with Traci O Connor
In response to the question, What makes a story work?, Flannery O’Connor suggests, “that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies.” It is through, and upon, such telling moments that the enormous energy, beauty, even magic, of good fiction emerges. So, just what is a “telling detail”? How do we, as writers, uncover them? How do we recognize them? Further, how can we realize and sustain the kind of writing practice that engenders this kind of creative discovery and revelation, rather than disallowing it all together?

Elegies, Laments and other Lyric Notions (poetry) with Anjail Rashida Ahmad
The heralding of springtime is often fitfully anticipated beneath the chilly husk of winter’s long night, and this year has been no exception. Is April really the cruelest month? Sometimes the effort to move forward can be compounded by that which remains within us unresolved. In this workshop, we will explore the elegiac form and its usefulness for exercising sorrow’s pangs. While elegy has traditionally been reserved for mourning the dead by offering hope and consolation through religion, philosophy, or culture, we will turn our attention to its modern and contemporary descendents which follow a different path that regularly questions all possibility of resolution. As 21st century poets, we will also take up the form to confront our notions of loss and the sorrow that can intrude upon the personal, intellectual, and cultural aspects of daily life. Through our use of the elegy to explore how loss touches each of these areas, we can become aware of that which defines us around notions of family, marriage, community and ideas of the self.

Writing and Selling Science Fiction and Fantasy with Edmund R. Schubert
Whether you’re writing short stories or novels, there are certain elements that define science fiction and fantasy. This workshop will provide an overview of those elements, as well as looking at the most effective way to work your Big Concept into a story. Learn the difference between the Big Concept and The Most Important Thing. Learn the importance of establishing firm rules in speculative writing. We’ll read aloud some story openings and discuss why certain ones work and others don’t, and conclude with a question and answer period.

Packaging Yourself as a Writer with Kevin Morgan Watson
You’ve been writing and writing and you are finally ready to send your manuscript to a publisher. But is a great manuscript enough? In today’s market, publishers large and small are looking for a package: a great manuscript delivered by a seasoned writer with connections and readers. In this workshop, Kevin Morgan Watson, founder of Press 53, will discuss several strategies writers can employ to gain an edge before approaching a publisher.

10:45 – 11:45 am Keynote Address by Carole Boston Weatherford
12 – 1 pm Lunch
“Lunch with an Author” sign-up at Registration Table
1 – 2 pm Faculty Readings

2:30 – 4 pm Workshop Session II

Writing What You’ve Lived (All-Day Fiction) with David Halperin Closed

Writing For Your Life: How Personal Narrative Morphs into Memoir (All-Day Nonfiction) with Marianne Gingher Closed

“The Worst Things Ever”: Metaphors, Similes, and Beautiful Dangerous Images (poetry) with Joseph Mills
Metaphors, similes, and figurative language can be an efficient, powerful way to pack multiple meanings and connotations into a single image. In this workshop, we'll discuss this key writing technique and its uses in poetry, as well as its applications in other genres.

Nonfiction Memoir and Narrative Journalism with Paul Cuadros
This workshop is designed to cover the ins and outs of writing a nonfiction book that also incorporates memoir, using narrative journalism techniques of reporting, researching information, and writing for this genre. The workshop will employ the use of the instructor’s own book, A Home on the Field, as a template for researching, crafting a non-fiction book proposal, writing the manuscript, and selling it to a publisher and promotion. Workshop will be discussion-led with a question-and-answer session on proposals, publishing, and crafting a manuscript.

Successful Marketing: How to Reach Your Readers and Sell Your Book with Angela Harwood
Whether you’re a published author or a writer looking to publish, knowing how to market your book effectively is imperative to the desired end result: selling your book to a wider audience. In this workshop we’ll discuss marketing must-haves and marketing myths. Learn which marketing techniques really work and why. Learn how to make your book more appealing to booksellers by reaching the end consumer: your readers. We’ll discuss real examples of successful marketing campaigns, and we’ll work together to come up with the best marketing plan for your book, whatever your budget.

Think Anyone Can Write a Children’s Book? with Carole Boston Weatherford
Well, anybody can’t, but perhaps you can. This much is certain: Writing a children’s book is more than mere kids’ stuff. You definitely have at least one book in you. So how do you get it out of you and into the world? This workshop will explore the wide world of children’s publishing, including categories, trends, resources and making the pitch. Participants will also tackle a writing exercise that summons their inner child.

4 – 5 pm Publishers Panel
with Dan Albergotti, Angela Harwood, & Ross White

5 – 6 pm Open-Mike Readings
Sign-up at Registration Table

Spring Conference 2011 Schedule at a Glance

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Saturday, April 30
8:00 - 9:00am Registration
Exhibit Tables and Book Sales (open from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm)
9:00 - 10:30am

Workshop Session I:

10:45am - 11:45pm

Keynote Address by Carole Boston Weatherford

12:00 - 1:00pm Lunch on your own OR "Lunch with an Author": A new chance for the Network to network. From 8 - 9 am, registrants can sign up to join a group of no more than 10 who will take one of our faculty members out to lunch for some good company and informal conversation. Participants will split the cost of their author's lunch, as well as paying for their own meal.

Elliott Center Food Court and Commons
Exhibit Tables Open, Book Sales
1:00 - 2:00pm Faculty Readings
2:30 - 4:00pm

Workshop Session II

  • Writing What You’ve Lived (All-Day Fiction) with David Halperin

  • Writing For Your Life: How Personal Narrative Morphs into Memoir (All-Day Nonfiction) with Marianne Gingher

  • “The Worst Things Ever”: Metaphors, Similes, and Beautiful Dangerous Images (poetry) with Joseph Mills

  • Nonfiction Memoir and Narrative Journalism with Paul Cuadros

  • Successful Marketing: How to Reach Your Readers and Sell Your Book with Angela Harwood

  • Think Anyone Can Write a Children’s Book? with Carole Boston Weatherford

4:00 - 5:00pm

Publishers Panel with Dan Albergotti, Angela Harwood, & Ross White

5:00 - 6:00pm

Open-Mike Readings
Sign-up at Registration Table



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