White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame



WILMINGTON—The 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions. This contest awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians. Subjects may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

The final judge is Kate Sweeney. While pursuing her MFA at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she spent time with obit writers, funeral directors, and ordinary Americans who found themselves involved with death and memorialization. The result is the popular nonfiction book American Afterlife (University of Georgia Press), which won the Georgia Author of the Year Away in the Essay category for 2014.

About American Afterlife, Paste Magazine wrote, “Sweeney writes the perfect story for our time, in the best possible way." Bestselling author Thomas Lynch calls the book “a reliable witness and well-wrought litany to last things and final details.”

A resident of Atlanta, Kate’s radio stories appear regularly on Atlanta’s NPR station, WABE 90.1 FM, and she has won five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as a number of Associated Press awards for her work. Her writing has appeared several times in Oxford American Magazine, as well as Utne Reader Online, Atlanta Magazine, and New South, among other outlets. Creative Loafing Atlanta named Kate an “author to watch” in 2013. She has taught creative writing and English at Emory Continuing Education, Clayton State University, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is administered by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, a community of passionate, dedicated writers who believe that the creation of art is a pursuit valuable to self and culture. The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016 (postmark).

The 2015 winner was Jillian Weiss, whose essay "Beach Baby" was a structurally innovative rumination on the death of a sister, jealousy, and Christmas.

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the N.C. Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

Here are the complete guidelines:

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    • Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    • Submit an electronic copy online at, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • If submitting my postal mail, send submission to:

North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120


ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Pre-registration closes Friday, November 13.

Laurence Avery, former Chairman of the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead the poetry workshop "To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question."

We selected a passage from Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel (one of Asheville's most famous texts) and removed a few words. Then we prompted Laurence to fill in the resulting blanks, for what we're calling "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition." Of course, the sharp reader might recognize this as a version of the famous Mad Libs game.

Below is Laurence Avery's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"Where is the day that pursed into one rich person's snoring? Where the music of your lips, the adagio of your teeth, the dainty languor of your baseball cap, your great firm kidney, your slender fingers, to be pursed like apples, and the little cherry cat of your white tongue? And where are all the tiny stoves of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the mountains of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this beauty. You who were made for stone cutting, will laugh prostitution no more: in your dark attic the flood is silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that broken arm that we did not foresee, return not into Altamont, but into the Pisgah Inn, where we have never cried, into the enchanted wood, where we bear hunted, strewn on the basement. Come up into the hills, O my young J. Edgar Hoover: return. O lost, and by the wind-grieved W.O. Gant, come back again."


At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Laurence Avery will lead the poetry workshop, "To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question."

The workshop will focus on that question—whether in a given poem to make use of rhymes and rhyme schemes, or not. Rhyme can be an important element in the sound activity of a poem, and there is no question that people find rhyming sounds pleasurable. But rhyme can also bring problems for the writer, as when he or she is tempted to move words out of their normal position in a sentence in order to get the needed rhyming sound at the end of a line. For this reason and a number of others, poets frequently decide that rhyme, on balance, isn’t worthwhile in a given poem. Such decisions reflect the sensibility of individual writers, of course, and may differ from person to person. But the decisions involve questions that are important to think about as you plan a poem. For instance, would rhyme help establish the tone you aim for—humorous, solemn, ironic, earthy? Do you want to expand the pool of rhyming sounds by experimenting with assonance and consonance? What considerations would lead you to forego the use of rhyme in a poem? In the workshop we will explore such matters, using poems by recent writers as examples.

Laurence Avery had a decades-long career as teacher and scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he served as chairman of the English department. He has published numerous articles on British and American playwrights and six books, among them A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981, winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award for distinguished contributions to the study of Southern literature. Avery also published the definitive edition of Green’s The Lost Colony, the play that launched the nation-wide outdoor drama movement. In 2006 he received the NC Literary and Historical Association’s R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to North Carolina literature. Mountain Gravity, his first book of poetry, appeared in 2014.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is open through November 13.


ASHEVILLE—Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference, November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, closes Friday, November 13. Registrations must be received by 5:00 pm on that day if registering by phone or mail, or by midnight if registering online.

Register now!

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents.

New York Times bestselling author and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith will give the Keynote Address. NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee and former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer will be the featured guest at Saturday's luncheon, while Keith Flynn & the Holy Men will entertain at the banquet on Saturday night, where the Network will celebrate its 30th birthday.

On Friday, November 20, from 12:00-1:30 pm, at The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site, Asheville's Dale Neal, author of The Half-Life of Home, will lead the Pre-Conference Tailgate. Neal will provide instruction and guide participants through a writing exercise. Both conference attendees and the general public are welcome and no registration is required: admission is FREE. For more information about the Pre-Conference Tailgate, click here.

Please note, there are no more guest rooms available at the conference venue. However, there are several hotels within walking distance in a wide range of prices. For more information on where to stay, click here.

The exhibit hall is going to be packed with vendors representing literary organizations from North Carolina and beyond. For a preview of who's going to be there, click the appropriate links for part 1, part 2, and part 3.

2015 Fall Conference sponsors include Lenoir-Rhyne University’s MA in Writing Program; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN regional rep Al Manning; Alice Osborn and Write from the Inside Out; The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site; WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio; Western Carolina University’s MA in Professional Writing Program; Robert Beatty: Disney-Hyperion Author of Serafina and the Black Cloak; and the North Carolina Arts Council.


The cost of the conference is significantly reduced for those registering early. Plus, pre-registrants have the option to dine at the conference venue. To pre-register, click here.

On-site registration will open at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 20, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore.


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