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Elliott University Center
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Saturday, April 28, 2012

The North Carolina Writers' Network and the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Greensboro bring you a full day of workshops on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We're giving you more of what you've asked for—small classes, top writing faculty, and intensive workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children's writing, publishing, and accounting and marketing skills for authors.

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

FEES AND LOGISTICS | SCHEDULE AT-A-GLANCE | CONFERENCE CLASSES | FULL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE | FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES


Fees and Logistics

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

Early registration ends Friday, April 20. Members may register on-site April 28 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

Scholarships

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

Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network office by 4:00 pm, Thursday, April 19, for you to receive a 50 percent 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 19 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 at Greensboro.

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 April 9. 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.

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Schedule At-a-Glance

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

Saturday, April 28
8:30-9:00am Registration
Exhibit Tables and Book Sales (open from 8:30 am - 6:00 pm)
9:00-10:30 am

Workshop Session I:

  • Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker**Closed**

     

  • “What Did You Say?”: Dialogue Matters in Nonfiction (All-Day Nonfiction) with Randall Kenan

     

  • Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction (fiction) with Mylène Dressler

     

  • The Persona Poem (poetry) with Janice Fuller

     

  • A Nonfiction Story: From Idea to Book with Justin Catanoso

     

  • Accounting for Writers with Ted Shalek

     

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open Mike Readings - Sign up at registration table

12:00-1:00pm Lunch on your own OR "Lunch with an Author": A new chance for the Network to network. From 8:00-9:00 am, registrants can sign up to join a group of no more than ten 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
Link: www.uncg.edu/euc/foodcourt
Exhibit Tables Open, Book Sales
1:00-2:00 pm Faculty Readings
2:30-4:00 pm

Workshop Session II

  • Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker**Closed**

     

  • “What Did You Say?”: Dialogue Matters in Nonfiction (All-Day Nonfiction) with Randall Kenan

     

  • Showing AND Telling (poetry) with Rebecca Black

     

  • Writing the Natural World with Paul Bogard

     

  • Breaking into Children’s Publishing with Megan Bryant

     

  • Guerilla Tactics: Promotional Strategies for the Cash-Strapped Author with Charles Fiore

     

4:30-5:30pm

Introducing the Literary Map of North Carolina

5:30-6:30pm

Publishers Panel

 

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Conference Classes

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

All-Day Workshops

  • Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker**Closed**
  • “What Did You Say?”: Dialogue Matters in Nonfiction (All-Day Nonfiction) with Randall Kenan

     

Intensive Half-Day Workshops with

 

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

Or

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 8:30-9:00 am
  • Morning sessions from 9:00-10:30 am
  • Open Mike Readings from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (Sign up at registration table)*
  • Lunch with an Author from 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Faculty Readings from 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Afternoon sessions from 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Keynote Address from 4:30-5:30 pm*
  • Publishers Panel from 5:30-6:30 pm*
  • Exhibits open all day*

 

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

*Open to the Public!

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Full Conference Schedule

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

8:30–9:00 am Registration
8:30 am – 6:00 pm Exhibits & Book Sales Open

9:00–10:30 am Workshop Session I

Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker **Closed**
You can’t make it all up, right? Nor can you render religiously exactly what happened—stories need invention, the mechanics of time, re-telling, and shape. Stories need characters and scenes: life doesn’t always accommodate. So what’s the best way to combine experience and imagination and write the best fiction? In this class, we will focus on questions of fidelity, distortion, fancy, and freedom, as we examine various ways to approach the writing of fiction. Bring a pen, lots of paper, and a good-sized ball of string (really). In the morning, exercises and discussion: in the afternoon, more, as well as a little adventure…

“What Did You Say?”: Dialogue Matters in Nonfiction (All-Day Nonfiction) with Randall Kenan
A tension has always existed between nonfiction (factual) writing and the siren call of fiction, where the writer can make the characters say whatever we like. How do we capture quality, telling speech from real people without crossing the line into “invention”? What is good dialogue? Dialogue is first and foremost about characterization. We will examine the concepts of subtext, “Amurican” English, of spelling and of phonetics. How does one develop a good ear? In workshop we will be closely reading brief samples from recognized masters of nonfiction writing—Joseph Mitchell, Joan Didion, John McPhee, and others. Participants are asked to bring a page or two from their work involving reported speech. Recommended reading: Up In the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell.

Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction (fiction) with Mylène Dressler
As writers, we face a daily challenge: we create (and live, much of the time) in the spaces inside our heads, yet our task is to create dynamic, breathing characters and active, arcing stories capable of moving our readers as well as stopping them dead in their tracks. How can we notice and break through “brain-locked” writing, and learn to craft fiction that inhabits the physical world, packing visceral as well as emotional punch? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the limitations of writing that happens only-inside-our-heads, and explore techniques and exercises that will help you—and your audience—connect with your stories and characters in charged, vital, and vivid ways.

The Persona Poem with Janice Fuller
In his poem “Ars Poetica,” Czeslaw Milosz proclaims, “The purpose of poetry is to remind us / how difficult it is to remain just one person, / for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, / and invisible guests come in and out at will.” This workshop will explore the reasons writers turn to persona poems and the creative value of this experience. The persona (or mask) poem is a first-person poem in which the poet assumes the voice of an object or person. The workshop will begin with a reading of some canonical and contemporary models of the persona poem in order to consider which qualities make the poems successful. The session will also include tips for how to invite “invisible guests” into our poems.

A Nonfiction Story: From Idea to Book with Justin Catanoso
In this session, journalist and author Justin Catanoso will take you through the process of producing a nonfiction book: developing the idea, working with an agent, obtaining a publisher, and doing the work necessary to write a 350-page manuscript in 15 months. In Catanoso’s case, the result was his first book, a family memoir published by HarperCollins in 2008. This interactive session will also share such documents as the book proposal, outlines, and note cards used to organize each section of each chapter, and examples of edited chapters.

Accounting for Writers with Ted Shalek
This workshop will cover the accounting basics that writers need to know: how royalties are taxed, what expenses can be deducted, what authors have to do to (legally) sell their books themselves, and the point at which a hobby becomes a business.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Open Mike Readings
Sign up at registration table

12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
“Lunch with an Author” sign-up at registration table

1:00–2:00 pm Faculty Readings

2:30–4:30 pm Workshop Session II

Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker **Closed**

“What Did You Say?”: Dialogue Matters in Nonfiction (All-Day Nonfiction) with Randall Kenan

Showing AND Telling (poetry) with Rebecca Black
“Show, don't tell,” is the first rule of writing well—you've heard that often enough. However, good poems can arise from the right mixture of scenes, images, and striking moments when the writer speaks his or her mind with clarity and boldness. During this workshop, we’ll explore poems that delight in exploiting the delicate balance between showing and telling. As the session progresses, we’ll try drafting our own poems by imitating a few model poems by Louise Gluck, Elizabeth Bishop, Billy Collins, and other masters, using simple, timed writing exercises to generate new work. Students will leave with a sense of accomplishment, knowledge of some excellent model poems, and a new poem draft.

Writing the Natural World with Paul Bogard
In this workshop we will explore writing about the natural world. No matter what genre you write most, a careful and colorful representation of the natural world can add life and credibility to your work. We will look at a few examples of nature writing and environmental writing, then try our hand at some of the techniques we've talked about. While our focus will be on creative nonfiction literature, writers of fiction and poetry can benefit as well from learning new ways of incorporating an attention to the natural world into their work.

Breaking into Children’s Publishing with Megan Bryant
Children’s publishing is more competitive than ever before. In this workshop, you’ll gain an understanding of the current business climate that will provide a solid foundation for pitching and selling your manuscript in today’s especially competitive conditions. We’ll also discuss tips, tricks, and practical advice about writing for children.

Guerilla Tactics: Promotional Strategies for the Cash-Strapped Author with Charles Fiore
Unless money’s no object, you’ve got to be ferocious when publicizing your book. And whether you’re a self-published author or you’ve gone the traditional route, nobody loves your book like you do, and no one is going to work harder, or be a better proponent, for your book than you. In this workshop, we’ll discuss low-cost strategies for being your own marketing and PR department—the same strategies used by professional PR agents and publishers that you can do for a fraction of the cost. We’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of author website design; how to mobilize the robots at Amazon.com to work for you; and develop successful tactics for getting media attention for your book and your events. You’ll leave this workshop energized and fully equipped to begin promoting your book—whether or not you’ve got the backing of a publisher’s marketing department.

4:30–5:30 pm Introducing the Literary Map of North Carolina
Archivists Jennifer Motszko, Kathelene Smith, and Keith Gorman discuss the development of an online map devoted to the literary heritage of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries, working with the North Carolina Center for the Book, is developing an innovative online literary map of North Carolina to support public interests, encourage student research, and document the state’s rich literary tradition. This unique project is a database-driven, searchable/browse-able, multi-level, multi-media online research tool which provides an extensive amount of content on works written about North Carolina and authors associated with the state. Currently, a formal launch for the website is planned for the fall of 2012. The presenters will also give a sneak peek at the project’s future plans, which include digitization of original manuscript materials, development of educational and cultural resources, and sustainability of the Map.

5:30–6:30 pm Publishers Panel

 

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Faculty Biographies

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is now closed. On-site registration available 4/28**

Introducing the Literary Map of North Carolina

NC Literary MapArchivists Jennifer Motzko, Kathelene Smith, and Keith Gorman discuss the development of an online map devoted to the literary heritage of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries, working with the North Carolina Center for the Book, is developing an innovative online literary map of North Carolina to support public interests, encourage student research, and document the state’s rich literary tradition. This unique project is a database-driven, searchable/browse-able, multi-level, multi-media online research tool which provides an extensive amount of content on works written about North Carolina and authors associated with the state. Currently, a formal launch for the website is planned for the Fall of 2012. The presenters will also give a sneak peek at the project’s future plans, which include digitization of original manuscript materials, development of educational and cultural resources, and sustainability of the Map.

Spring Conference Faculty

Rebecca BlackIn 2011,Rebecca Black was a Fulbright fellow at the Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her first book, Cottonlandia (2004), won a Juniper Prize. A former Wallace Stegner and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, she is an assistant professor at UNC Greensboro; she and her family divide their time between San Francisco and North Carolina. She is at work on a second manuscript, Presidio.

Paul BogardPaul Bogard is the author of The Geography of Night: Discovering Darkness in an Age of Light (Little, Brown, 2013) and the editor of Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark (2008). His essays have appeared in such places as Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, Gettysburg Review, Audubon, and Outside. He teaches writing at Wake Forest University.

Megan E. Bryant Megan E. Bryant has written more than 190 children’s books (including a New York Times bestseller and two VOYA Nonfiction Honor Books) for several major publishers including Chronicle Books, Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Running Press, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Disney. As a former children’s book editor, she has edited more than 325 children’s books in all genres.

Justin CatasanoJustin Catanoso became senior lecturer and director of journalism at Wake Forest University in September 2011. He has had a thirty-year career as a professional journalist at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and North Carolina, including eleven years as a reporter with the Greensboro News & Record, where he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1992 for his investigative reporting into fraud in the tobacco industry. He was founding executive editor of The Business Journal in the Triad, which started publishing in 1998. In 2008, HarperCollins published his first book, a family memoir titled My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles, a Book of the Month Club selection, and a summer reading pick by the Order Sons of Italy in America. Justin's writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BusinessWeek, Attache, and Delta Sky inflight magazines, Catholic Digest, and on National Public Radio.

Mylene DressnerMylène Dressler, who has recently moved to North Carolina, is a novelist whose books include The Medusa Tree (MacAdamCage), The Deadwood Beetle (Putnam), and The Floodmakers (Putnam), and an essayist whose work has appeared in Pilgrimage, Creative NonFiction, and New Graffiti. Her fiction has been described as “splendid” by the New York Times and has been honored with “best-of” listings by Book Sense, the Christian Science Monitor, and others. A professor and frequent distinguished visiting writer at various universities, including the University of Texas at Austin and the McCullers Center in Georgia, she leads workshops designed to develop the skills, stamina, and confidence of emerging and established writers. She is the current Visiting Writer at Guilford College, where she teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and contemporary literature. For more information about Mylène and her work, please visit www.mylenedressler.com.

Charles Fiore Charles Fiore is the communications coordinator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Previously, he served as a freelance public relations specialist and the public relations director/marketing coordinator for ACTA Publications, where he led publicity campaigns for bestselling authors Bill James, Gary Graf, and Paul Wilkes, among many others. Fiore is the author of the novel Green Gospel (Livingston Press, 2011). His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines and in the anthology, Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short Short Stories (Persea Books, 2011). His website is www.lcfiore.com.
Janice Moore Fuller Janice Moore Fuller has published three poetry books—Archeology Is a Destructive Science, Sex Education, and Séance, winner of the Poetry Council of North Carolina’s Oscar Arnold Young Award (for North Carolina poetry book of the year). Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Magma (London), New Welsh Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Poems & Plays, Cave Wall, and Comstock Review. Her plays and libretti have been produced at Catawba College’s Florence Busby Corriher and Hedrick theatres, BareBones Theater’s New Play Festival, the Minneapolis Fringe Festival, and France’s Rendez-Vous Musique Nouvelle. A Fellow at artist colonies in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Portugal, she is Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at Catawba College.
Keith Gorman Keith Gorman, Assistant Head of Special Collections and University Archives at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, obtained his MLS from Simmons College and Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a career as a cultural historian, Keith left the classroom and worked at a number of different repositories from the Smithsonian to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. His current research focus is on the role of archives in shaping a community’s identity and collective memory.

Randall KeenanRandall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; a young adult biography of James Baldwin; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Recently he edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Dos Passos Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jennifer MotszkoJennifer Motszko graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with Master’s degrees in History and Library and Information Science. She has worked as the Manuscripts Archivist at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives for the past four years. Jennifer became involved with the North Carolina Literary Map project in its infancy and has worked with Kathelene Smith to write grants and supervise work on the project.

Alan Michael ParkerAlan Michael Parker is the author of two novels, Whale Man (WordFarm, 2011) and Cry Uncle, along with seven collections of poems, including Long Division (Tupelo Press, 2012). His stories and poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Pleiades, and The Yale Review, among other magazines, and in The Best American Poetry 2011 as well as the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology; his essays and reviews have appeared in The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Salon, and elsewhere. Since 1998, Parker has taught at Davidson College, where he is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing; he is also a Core Faculty Member in the Queens University low-residency MFA program.

Ted ShalekTed Shalek is the Chief Financial Officer of Smart Online, Inc., a software development company providing a unique mobile platform that allows creative writers to develop mobile applications without knowing computer codes. He is also a lecturer at UNCG in the inter-disciplinary entrepreneurship program. He teaches entrepreneurial finance to non-business students. Ted is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst. He earned an MBA from The University of Tampa and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Ted is married to Dr. Dianne Welsh, the Charles W. Hayes Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship at UNCG.

Kathelene SmithKathelene Smith works in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives as the Artifacts, Textiles, and Digital Projects Archivist. She has a master’s degree in Art History from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Smith has been involved with the North Carolina Literary Map from its initial stages and is currently working with Jennifer Motszko on the supervision and future development of the project.

 

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The 2012 Spring Conference is made possible with support from the Creative Writing Department at UNC-Greensboro and the North Carolina Arts Council.
UNC GreensboroNC Arts Council

 

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