- Written by: Administrator
- Category: Network News
GREENSBORO—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2020 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 18, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, fiction writers will learn to better plan their stories and begin assembling structures using scenes as foundational building blocks.
Those who have registered for the Master Class in Fiction may also find that, instead of building something traditionally "beautiful," they may want to build something a little more messy instead.
Registration for the NCWN 2020 Spring Conference is open.
Class options for fiction writers include "Make a Scene: Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction" with Quinn Dalton and "Planning Your Creativity: Hybrid Outlines" with Jorge D. Cortese.
What is a scene? How do you know when you need one? How do you get “in” and “out” of it? Through discussion and in-class exercises, "Make a Scene: Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction" will help us understand the necessary elements of scenes, how they are built, and how to use them to propel our story.
Quinn Dalton is the author of two story collections and two novels, most recently Midnight Bowling. She also co-authored The Infinity of You & Me under the pen name JQ Coyle with award-winning novelist and poet Julianna Baggott. Dalton has taught creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and Wake Forest and has published numerous articles on the publishing business and writing craft. Her Spring NCWN course "Make A Scene" is based on her editing experience and a resulting article of the same name.
Most writers are inspired to write a novel starting with a single idea or scene. And they are frequently told that writing is a linear, spontaneous process, not unlike reading, and that outlining would stifle their creativity. The resulting process can disregard the complexities of a finalized manuscript, where parallel tracks need to be in perfect balance. In "Planning Your Creativity: Hybrid Outlines for 21st Century Writing (all genres)," we will learn how to create and use hybrid outlines—combining written and graphic elements—as scaffolds to develop and preserve new ideas, ask questions about plot, save editing time, and control all components of writing: story, character, setting, and theme. To practice, we will outline a new story and create a personalized idea cluster to preserve it for future writing.
Jorge D. Cortese is an award-winning scientist and educator. He wrote a regular column for a nationwide newspaper, The Scientist, developed projects for major publishing houses, and created innovative strategies to blend online and classroom teaching. He received the 2015 literary award of The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville and published his first novel, The Sound of a Broken Chain, in 2018. His second novel, The Watchtowers, will be released in 2020. He writes science fiction echoing magical realism and obsesses about time, fate, and the future of humanity. After generously pinning a world map, he settled in Durham and now serves as the NCWN’s Regional Rep for Durham County.
Additional course offerings include "Public Speaking for Writers" with Cameron Kent and "What a Long Strange Trip: From Manuscript to Finished Book" with Robin Miura and Lynn York of Blair, Publisher.
Familiar offerings remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conferencegoers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Pre-registration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.
Xhenet Aliu will lead the Master Class in Fiction, "Messing Up Good." Registration for the Fiction Master Class is closed.
Many of us seek to produce writing that our readers will recognize as beautiful: seamless structure, lush language, elegant and universal themes. Sometimes, however, the most striking work is the unrecognizably beautiful, stories that still us with misfit imagery, conspicuously crude prose, or disjointed narrative structures. This class will focus on macro and micro methods of unprettying our stories, with discussions on why and when we might consider such effects and how to deploy them in ways that serve our work without sabotaging it.
Xhenet Aliu’s novel, Brass, was awarded the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize, was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, was long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize, and was named a best book of the year by numerous outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Simple, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Aliu’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glimmer Train, Hobart, American Short Fiction, Lenny, LitHub, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the UNC-Greensboro and has previously worked as an academic librarian, private investigator, waitress, and secretary.
Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide coffee for conference-goers during registration and check-in. Other sponsors include Written Word Media and the North Carolina Arts Council.
Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.
- Written by: Administrator
- Category: Network News
GREENSBORO—Fellowship. Learning. Support.
These principles are at the heart of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective, and they happen to be central tenets of the North Carolina Writers’ Network as well.
NCWN, which turns thirty-five this year, will host its 2020 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Registration is open.
The Keynote Celebration will feature four CAAWC writers—founder Lenard D. Moore; Dr. L. Teresa Church; Bridgette A. Lacy; and Crystal Simone Smith—as they chronicle the history of the organization and read passages from All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers Collective (Blair, 2020).
Founded in 1985, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will celebrate its 35th anniversary throughout the year.
The Poetry Master Class, “Now Look at What You Have Done,” will be led by Stuart Dischell, author of Good Hope Road (Viking), a National Poetry Series Selection, and four other poetry collections. He is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UNC-Greensboro.
Other poetic options include “More than Meaning” with Timothy O’Keefe, whose collection You Are the Phenomenology won the 2017 Jupiter Prize for Poetry, and “Crowded House: Imagery in Poetry” with Jennie Malboeuf, author of the forthcoming collection God had a body.
Xhenet Aliu will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Messing Up Good.” Aliu’s novel Brass won the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize; was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection; and was named a best book of the year by several national media outlets.
Randal O’Wain will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, “Our Memories and Our Words: The Art of Writing Memoir.” O’Wain, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow at Alderson Federal Correction Institute in West Virginia, is the author of Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South (Nebraska, 2019).
Writers who prefer truth to fiction also may choose “Narrative Medicine” with Aimee Mepham, co-chair of the Story, Health, & Healing initiative at Wake Forest University; and “Writing Your Life: Turning Personal Stories into Universal Narratives” with Bridgette A. Lacy, a longtime features writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh and author of Sunday Dinner (UNC Press), a finalist for the Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize.
No conference would be complete without options for those ready to take their book to market, including “Public Speaking for Writers” with Cameron Kent and “From Manuscript to Finished Book” with Blair editors Robin Miura and Lynn York.
Kent is a member of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and won an Emmy for his reporting on the Pentagon after 9/11. Blair is a Durham-based press that publishes diverse fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about the American South and beyond.
There’s even a class for those who write across genres: learn the value of foresight with “Planning Your Creativity: Hybrid Outlines for 21st Century Writing” with the NCWN Regional Rep for Durham County and speculative fiction author Jorge Cortese.
In addition, guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing, NCWN will host its sixth “Slush Pile Live!”
During this favorite program, poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile. Many attendees have commented how much they learn in this hour of rapid-fire tidbits of wisdom and common sense.
Familiar features remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conferencegoers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Preregistration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.
Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide coffee for conference-goers during registration and check-in. Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.
Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.
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