White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




SOUTHERN PINES, NC—On Sunday, October 12, at 2:00 pm, four poets will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

Betty Adcock, Ronald H. Bayes, Jaki Shelton Green, and Shelby Stephenson will be honored in a ceremony at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines. They will join the fifty-three inductees currently enshrined.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. Inductions are held every other year. A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at

Largely self-educated—she has no degrees—Betty Adcock studied and wrote poetry through early marriage, early motherhood, and more than a decade working in the business world. After her first book was published, she held a teaching residency for a semester at Duke University. Other residencies followed, culminating in an ongoing position as Writer in Residence at Meredith College in Raleigh, where she taught until 2006 and twice held the Mary Lynch Johnson Professorship. She is the author of six poetry collections and the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the North Carolina Medal for Literature, among many other honors and awards.

Ronald H. Bayes is the Writer-in-Residence and Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg. His collection Greatest Hits 1960-2002 was published by Pudding House Publications in 2003, following Chainsong for the Muse (Northern Lights Press, 1993). His poetry has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, Crucible, Northwest Review, Oyster Boy Review, Pembroke Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Prism International, Solo, and TriQuarterly.



Jaki Shelton Green is a writer and activist. She received the North Carolina Award for Poetry in 2003. She has published four books of poetry through Carolina Wren Press: Dead on Arrival (1977, and reprinted in 1983 and 1996), Conjure Blues (1996), singing a tree into dance (2003), and Breath of the Song: New and Selected Poems (2005). Her works have been choreographed and performed by many renowned dance companies. She is a lifelong human services advocate; she has worked with Legal Services, and on issues such as domestic violence. She is an advocate for women, children and the mentally ill. Additionally, she has used poetry and art as a healing and empowerment tool for disenfranchised populations such as the homeless, the newly literate, and incarcerated women. She was the 2009 Piedmont Laureate, and lives in Mebane.

Shelby Stephenson has published many collections of poems, plus the poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by Roger Manley). Shelby is former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, judged by Allen Grossman. Stephenson’s latest collection, The Hunger of Freedom (2014), is from Red Dashboard ( Shelby's website is

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.


Shelby StephensonThis October, poet Shelby Stephenson will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

But this summer, writers have the chance to "sit at the feet" of one of North Carolina's most beloved poets by registering for the 2014 North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 10-13, at William Peace University in Raleigh

"I try to set an atmosphere for writing," says Stephenson, who will lead the weekend-long poetry workshop. "I use the participants' writings as text. We will read each other's work aloud and respond. And as the sessions gain momentum, we shall hope to see the sessions make themselves, with discussion, revisions, visions for new, the breakthoughs which might free us from stasis or stoppage, blockage. Hopefully things like image, forms, figures, personal experiences, reading—all those matters—plus the music of the lines (I've forgotten who said poetry is the music of the soul)—those things will happen, as the writing, the poem or poetic expression, finds itself.... Mainly we shall read our work to each other. And respond. I have learned this: if a poem, a piece, wants to live—it will. And the magic word seems to be 'cut.'"

Shelby Stephenson has published many collections of poems, plus the poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by Roger Manley). Shelby is former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, judged by Allen Grossman. Stephenson’s latest collection, The Hunger of Freedom (2014), is from Red Dashboard ( Shelby's website is

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry), with fifteen hours of workshop sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

Plus, conference-goers will benefit from being a short walk from many historical and cultural sites in downtown Raleigh. Karen Wells, Executive Director of ARTS North Carolina, will lead a Table Talk in a special program on Friday night.

Admission is limited to the first fifty registrants. And while workshops are at the heart of the conference programming, the weekend is a “residency” in the sense that attendees will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations. Free WiFi and parking are available.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. There are fifty-three current members. Stephenson will join other renowned poets such as Kathryn Stripling Byer, Fred Chappell, and Randall Jarrell in the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame's hallowed halls.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


Scott HulerRALEIGH, NC—Registration for the 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency closes June 25. On-site registration will not be available, so now is the time to sign up for the Network's coziest and most intense writing conference of the year.

Click here to register now.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency, held July 10-13 on the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh, offers a focused course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry), with fifteen hours of workshop sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency may be the most fun the Network has,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “Registrants tend to form close bonds that last long after the Residency is over.”

Former Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler will lead the track in Creative Nonfiction. He has written six books of creative nonfiction, most recently On the Grid (Rodale, 2010), about the infrastructure systems that make our world work. He has written about everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing (he likes to say he is for one and against the other), with his essays and reporting appearing in newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times and in magazines like ESPN, Backpacker, and Forbes. He contributes writing and video regularly to Our State and Walter magazines.

Randall KenanRandall Kenan, a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead the fiction workshop. He 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; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Writers’ Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize.

Shelby Stephenson, who will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in October, will lead the poetry workshop. He has published many collections of poems, plus the poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by Roger Manley). Shelby is former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, judged by Allen Grossman. Stephenson’s latest collection, The Hunger of Freedom (2014), is from Red Dashboard.

Shelby StephensonAdmission is limited to the first fifty registrants. And while workshops are at the heart of the conference programming, the weekend is a “residency” in the sense that attendees will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations. Free WiFi and parking are available.

Plus, conference-goers will benefit from being a short walk from many historical and cultural sites in downtown Raleigh. Karen Wells, Executive Director of ARTS North Carolina, will lead a Table Talk in a special program on Friday night.

Registration for the 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency is open now through June 25.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


William Peace UniversityRALEIGH, NC—Whether you want to write hard-nose, investigative journalism or you're working on a buttery memoir about being raised on a dairy farm, rendering truth is the key to writing effective and powerful creative nonfiction. This summer, writers will have the chance to spend fifteen workshop hours with former Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler, refining the key principles of the genre and improving their craft in a focused, residency-style learning environment.

The 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency will be held July 10-13 on the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh. Registration is now open.

"In nonfiction, good writing begins with good reporting, progresses through rigorous thinking, and comes into being through disciplined writing and fierce, unsentimental revision," says Huler, who will lead the workshop in creative nonfiction. "That doesn’t mean you can’t write an emotional, sepiatone reminiscence of the smell of your Aunt Sophie’s pound cake, it just means you’ll need to understand where your information comes from and what you’re trying to say, and you’ll need to be willing to work hard enough to keep at it until you’ve said exactly what you mean.

"We’ll talk about telling true stories so they engage the reader, satisfy the writer, inform the cultural conversation—and above all remain true. We’ll work on personal memoir, descriptive prose, highly reported documentary-style narrative, and whimsical, voicey short essays. We’ll keep our hands busy in class by doing exercises and sharing them, and we’ll try to emerge with at least one small finished piece by the end of the weekend. Come prepared to write, to read, and to fool around."

Scott HulerHuler has written six books of creative nonfiction, most recently On the Grid (Rodale, 2010), about the infrastructure systems that make our world work. He has written about everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing (he likes to say he is for one and against the other), with his essays and reporting appearing in newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times; in magazines like ESPN, Backpacker, and Forbes; and on websites like Scientific American and Grist. His radio work has been heard on “All Things Considered” on NPR and “Marketplace” and “The Splendid Table” on PRI. He contributes writing and video regularly to Our State and Walter magazines and was the 2011 Piedmont Laureate in creative nonfiction.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry), with fifteen hours of workshop sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

Admission is limited to the first fifty registrants. And while workshops are at the heart of the conference programming, the weekend is a “residency” in the sense that attendees will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations. Free WiFi and parking are available.

Plus, conference-goers will benefit from being a short walk from many historical and cultural sites in downtown Raleigh. Karen Wells, Executive Director of ARTS North Carolina, will lead a Table Talk in a special program on Friday night.

Registration for the 2014 Squire Summer Writing Residency is now open.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who had five poems accepted for an international, English-language anthology: Gust of Wits. Also, her poem "Red Hawk" will appear in the August issue of the Indiana Voice Journal.


Hats Off! to Anne Anthony whose 150-word flash fiction piece, "The Chase," won A3 Review’s Monthly Writing Contest. The theme was "Playground." Her story will be published in September.


Hats Off! to Kim Church whose debut novel Byrd was a finalist for the Balcones Fiction Prize, awarded annually to a work of literary fiction, and won the Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal for Literary Fiction.


Hats Off! to Eric Roe whose short story "Notes from Lazarus" won the 2015 Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, sponsored by The Bellingham Review. The story will be published in the Spring 2016 issue.


Hats Off! to Alice Osborn whose new poetry collection, Heroes without Capes (Main Street Rag), is forthcoming in October. "In her fast-paced, well-crafted and boisterously entertaining narrative poems, Osborn manages to give all her heroes their distinct voices while never losing her own" (Richard Allen Taylor).


Hats Off! to David Payne whose memoir Barefoot to Avalon was named an August Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story "A Glass of Water" received an honorable mention in the Pikes Peak Pen Women's Flash Fiction Contest. The story will be included on their website.


Hats Off! to Wayne Drumheller, a North Carolina-based photojournalist, writer, and photographer, who is the Featured Artist at the Burlington Artists League Gallery in Burlington during the month of June. The exhibit will feature thirty-seven matted and frames photographs and 5x7 and 6x9 signature prints from his soon-to-be released book, A Photographer’s Notebook: My Journey Into Everyday Life. The book is a 197-page photographic exposé with notes, prose, and reflections on his life as a photojournalist, writer, and photographer from 1963 to the present. Wayne is Vice President of the NCWN Board of Trustees.


Hats Off! to Rebecca Duncan, Janet Hartman, and Katherine Wolfe—finalists all in the 2015 Carteret Writers 24th Annual Writing Contests. Rebecca, of Trent Woods, won Second Place in the Flash Fiction category for “Middle Girl." Beaufort's Janet Hartman received an Honorable Mention in the Fiction category for her short story “Paul and Miriam.” And Katherine, of Goldsboro, claimed Second Place in the Poetry category for “Christmas Pie.”


Hats Off! to Carol Roan whose short story "The Designer" appears in Fractal Magazine (USC). Also, her essay "Waiting for Marshall" appears in the anthology Lonely Whale Memoir (Chatsworth Press, 2015).


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose 21-word short story, “At the Farm Stand,” is forthcoming in Penny Dreadful.


Hats Off! to Michael R. Hassler of Garner who won second prize in the nonfiction category of the Carteret Writers 2015 contest for his essay "I Find Myself at 7:00".


Hats Off! to Charles "LC" Fiore whose short story, "In Limbo," was featured in an excerpt on the Tuscany Press, LLC website.


Hats Off! to Janet Joyner whose poetry collection, Waterborne, won the Holland Prize and will be published by Logan House Press in late summer or early fall.


Hats Off! to Carol Roan whose essay "Living Art" appears in Pythia: A Journal of Arts, Literature, and Spirituality.


Hats Off! to Esther Whitman Johnson and Dawn Reno Langley who won First and Second Place, respectively, in the 2015 Memoirs Contest from The Writers' Workshop. Johnson, of Roanoke, VA, won for her essay "A Box of Chocolates in China." Langley, of Roxboro, was named First Runner-Up for her essay, "Amtrak to Boston."


Hats Off! to Jeanne Julian of New Bern and Jennifer Weiss of Cary who claimed Second and Third Place, respectively, in the 2015 Poetry Contest sponsored by The Writers' Workshop. Julian's poem was "Found," and Weiss' poem was "Tomes and Ducks."


Hats Off! to Laurence Holden whose illustrated poem "This Line Drawn" appears in the current online issue of Eyedrum Periodically, Issue 7.











Guardian by A.L. Crouch

$7.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-483528229
May, 2014
Fiction: Thriller
Available from the author and

"Couldn't stop reading! Page to page kept me on the edge of my seat...excellent ending!"
—Jaime Casada

"What an awesome book! Kept me in suspense the whole time. I cannot WAIT for the next one!"
—Sean Avent

"As an avid reader this book was one of the best I have read in a while. The story grabbed me from the first chapter and kept me reading until the end. Even when I thought I had it figured out, it still threw me for a loop at the end. The best combination of thriller and spiritual ever written. This one is definitely a must read!"
—Keisha Rock

Alex Nolan wants nothing more than to forget Saluda, North Carolina, and the devastation she suffered there. But when she is called back to the sleepy mountain town to reclaim her family home, she is forced to face her fears and the memories she has tried so desperately to suppress. When the same evil that murdered her family returns, Alex must learn to rely on her broken faith and the strength of her Guardian, Donovan, to survive. But there is a problem—Alex cannot see him. Donovan exists in a reality apart from Alex and her lack of belief limits their interactions to spoken words and fleeting glimpses. When nothing is what is seems and seeing is believing, can Alex open her mind enough to see before it's too late? Guardian is a heart-pounding story of loss and redemption with more unexpected twists and turns than a dark mountain highway.

A.L. Crouch, author of the Guardian series, graduated with honors from North Carolina State University with a degree in English. She currently teaches high school creative writing in her hometown of Cary, North Carolina. She is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network and spends her summers off from teaching formulating tales of suspense and the supernatural. When she's not at work raising up young writers or keeping her readers jumping, she is spending time with her husband and two sons exploring the majestic mountains or the alluring coasts of North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Maureen Sherbondy who discussed her new poetry collection, Beyond Fairy Tales, on WUNC's The State of Things with Frank Stasio.











The Tiger Whisperer by Belea T. Keeney

JMS Books
$14.50, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-611525908
June, 2014
Fiction: Thriller/Action-Adventure/Animals
Available from your local bookstore and

 A man. A tiger. A tornado.

Jared Montaine owns a big cat rescue in Florida and faces financial pressures, getting over his ex-wife, and the challenge of suburbia creeping ever closer to his enclave for the animals. But when a tornado wrecks part of the refuge, Jared's worst fear comes to life: his Siberian tiger, Sultan, escapes.

It's a big cat handler’s nightmare: a tiger on the loose, confused, lost—and hungry.

Jared races against the police, the media, and the hysterical public, all of whom are clamoring for the tiger's hide. He must re-capture Sultan before the cat is killed—by traffic, by SWAT, or by a civilian who just wants to shoot a tiger. With fellow wildlife handlers at his side, Jared fights desperately to find and capture Sultan before the tiger injures or kills a human. Because that would lead to his worst nightmare—having to kill the tiger he hand-raised from a cub. Jared’s commitment is tested—to his animals, his refuge, and his belief that saving the life of even one tiger is worth losing everything.

Belea T. Keeney was born and raised in the balmy tropics of Florida and still dreams of velvet-humid nights, the smell of orange blossoms, and the croak of alligators. Her writing has appeared in Florida Horror: Dark Tales from the Sunshine State, The Beast Within, Sniplits, Boundoff, WordKnot, along with many other outlets. Her stories have placed in the Writers in Paradise Short Story competition, the 2010 Florida Review Editor's Choice Award, the 2007 Left Coast Writing Contest, and the 2011 Saints & Sinners Literary Festival. She works as an editor and spends her time off collecting caladiums, feeding birds, and, of course, reading.

For more information, please visit

Hats Off! to Mark Cox who ruminates on family and parenthood in three short prose pieces in the Spring, 2014, issue of Crazyhorse.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, "Leaving Sunset Beach," and one of her sunset photos will be on the cover of the July issue of Righter Monthly Review. Also, her essay "To Fly," about her first car, is forthcoming in the July issue of Sasee magazine.


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose photo and essay about Hayesville, NC, appeared on "The Picture Postcards Project."


Hats Off! to Kim Church who was interviewed on "Who's Talking with D.G. Martin" on 97.9 FM WCHL. Kim is a Raleigh attorney whose stories and poetry have appeared in Shenandoah, Mississippi Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. Her debut novel is Byrd.








If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant by Ellen Fischer

Scarletta Press
$14.95, paperback / $9.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-938063-39-8
July, 2014
Children's: Picture Book
Available from your local bookstore or

Slurp! Munch! Crunch!

Would an armadillo order spaghetti with meatballs if she went to a restaurant? No way! She would order a plate of ants and worms.

Through a series of questions and answers, readers learn about animals, where they live and what they eat. And in the end, you might find yourself asking just what you might like to order.

Ellen Fischer was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but has lived in North Carolina for over thirty years. She graduated from Washington University with a degree in Speech and Hearing and taught special need children for over twenty years. She loves writing for children and if she can make them laugh even better. If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant is Ellen's sixth picture book. She lives in Greensboro, NC.











 The Scarlet Wench by M.K. Graff

Bridle Path Press
$12.00, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9852331-7-4
May, 2014
Fiction: Mystery; Amateur Sleuth; Police Procedural
Available from the publisher or

"The Scarlet Wench has all the ingredients of a good read: atmospheric setting, intriguing characters, complex plot and excellent writing."
—British mystery author Rebecca Tope

"M. K. Graff does it again with another compelling and intriguing Nora Tierney classic. As always, the characters are multifaceted, the plot twists are unpredictable and intriguing, and the backdrop of Ramsey Lodge in Bowness-on-Windermere will make you want to hop a plane for the U.K. locale. The Scarlet Wench is another winner!"
—P.M. Terrell, award-winning author of Vicki's Key, The Tempest Murders, and River Passage

"A lively cast of characters, an intriguing mystery and a heroine you have to love ... M. K. Graff does it again, with a new novel you can't put down!"
—Susan Sloate, bestselling author of Forward to Camelot and Stealing Fire

In this third Nora Tierney Mystery, American writer Nora awaits the arrival of a traveling theatre groups that will stage Noel Coward's play Blithe Spirit at Ramsey Lodge, her temporary home in Cumbria. Her son now six months old, Nora must juggle parenting with helping her illustrator friend Simon Ramsey run the lodge. She's also hoping to further her relationship with the only lodge guest not in the cast: DI Declan Barnes, ostensibly there from Oxford on a hiking trip. When a series of pranks and accidents escalate to murder during a flood that strands everyone, Nora realizes her child is in jeopardy and determines to help Declan unmask a killer.

M.K. Graff is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. She is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and effective critique methods. A member of Sisters in Crime, Graff writes the weekly crime review blog, Auntie M Writes ( and conducts the Writers Read program in Belhaven, NC. A frequent workshop leader and creating writing teacher, Graff has also published creative nonfiction, essays and poetry and wrote for seven years for Mystery Review magazine.

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh whose short story "This Month's Fall Look" is forthcoming in Clapboard House and whose short story "Out at Poplar Springs" is a Top Ten Finalist for Southern Writers Magazine's 2014 Short Story Contest.


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh whose short story "Blue Eyes" will appear in the July issue of Hermeneutic Chaos and whose short story "Prognosis" won the 53-Word Story Contest for the month of May, sponsored by Press 53 and judged by Kim Wright.











In a Country None of Us Called Home: Poems by Peg Bresnahan

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN 978-1-941209-01-1
May, 2014
Available from your local bookstore or

“Welcome to Bresnahan country! It’s a place at once real and mystical, familiar and strange. There are open plains, foreign settings, the Great Lakes, forests, and mountains. Peg Bresnahan looks closely at her surroundings, especially animals and citizens of all ages in her densely populated country. There’s the woman who listens to the televangelist, the rescue dog, the unexpected opera singer, the unnamed whistler, the girls who put radium on their tongues, the woman looking for her son’s grave. Bresnahan writes with compassion and affection, but there’s often something unsettling, maybe even too frightening to be more than implication. Her country cannot be called home. Her discomfort, her edginess, is subtle, yet always there. ‘Each heart knew its own breaking,’ she writes in ‘At the Jordan Street Café.’ Bresnahan has a unique voice, a true sense of poetic cadence and story, an understanding of the life sequence. She has put the whole world, even with its evanescence, into this fine collection. In 'Slipstream,' wondering who will die first, she or one whom she addresses, she says ‘. . . If you do go before me, / I will give away your empty shoes.’ But her country will remain.”
—Anne Harding Woodworth, author of The Artemis Sonnets, Etc.

“What a true gift we have in Peg Bresnahan’s dazzling new collection, In a Country None of Us Called Home. The narrative voice in these poems has a focus that is honest, steady, and absolutely clear. There is also a sharpness of observation (and of implication), as when the poet comments on the everyday birds of Sri Lanka that hover daily in smoke, insignificant and scientifically unnamed. But they too carry their own signature, ‘since they always wake at dawn,/ fly to burning fields /and sleep at night/ wrapped in wings/ the color of tropical seas.’ This poet’s gift is to offer the ordinary a moment of uniqueness that each life deserves. This collection indeed is a gallery of the extraordinary and small planted in time—a vision that perhaps only the photographer or poet can arrest perfectly. Inspiration radiates from every life and distant land visited in this eloquent book of poems.”
—Katherine Soniat, author of The Swing Girl

“‘When the unthinkable/begins, haven’t people always filled/their arms, carts, carriages, cars/with what they couldn’t leave?’ This evocative and heart-rending question is followed by the even more poignant one— ‘Who’s to say what I’ll grab first/when the sirens wail?’ Peg Bresnahan’s In a Country None of Us Called Home, is, itself, the answer to that question. Bresnahan shares with her lucky readers intimate explorations of the things she cannot leave behind. This is one of the most beautifully crafted and deeply moving collections I have read in a long time. If and when ‘the sirens wail,’ this will be one of the books I grab first.”
—Cathy Smith Bowers, author of The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers and Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2010-2012

In a Country None of Us Called Home is Peg Bresnahan’s second collection of poetry. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received her MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

She moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina and the land of waterfalls from the Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin, exchanging what she thinks of as the horizontal water of Lake Michigan for water that is decidedly vertical. She is a past board member of the Friends of DuPont Forest where she lives next to DuPont State Recreational Forest in Cedar Mountain with her husband, sculptor Dan Bresnahan, their dog and two cats.

Hats Off! to Valerie Nieman. Six poems from her novel-in-verse, The Leopard Lady Speaks, will be published in the Summer 2014 issue of The Missouri Review. A seventh poem earlier appeared in TMR poem of the week feature.










Thoughts to Fold into Birds by Julie Funderburk

Unicorn Press
$12, paperback / $20, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-87775-924-9
May, 2014
Available from the publisher

In Thoughts to Fold into Birds, Julie Funderburk writes about the connection between childhood and what comes after. Memory blooms into mythology in these poems about metaphorical figures and landscapes of the mind. The elegant and compact narratives in these poems are grounded in the coastal carolina’s wind, sun, and sea.

Julie Funderburk’s poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Best New Poets, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, and Ploughshares. She holds an MFA from the Writing Program at UNC Greensboro. The poetry editor of storySouth, she is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers' Network. She lives with her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina, and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.

Hats Off! to Janet Hartman whose story "Love Me, I'm Siamese" will appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What anthology, planned for Aug. 18, 2014, release.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "The Printer's Out of Ink" will appear in Thema literary journal out of Metairie, LA, in March, 2015.


Hats Off! to Terri Kirby Erickson and Janet Joyner whose poems were chosen for the month of June as part of the "Poetry in Plain Sight" program. Joyner's "2 Yellow Leaves" and Erickson's "Empathy" will be displayed on posters in sixteen shop windows throughout Winston-Salem’s Arts District and downtown. This Winston-Salem Writers’ program is a collaborative effort with Press 53, with a monthly event at Barnhill’s Books.


Hats Off! to humor columnist Cappy Hall Rearick who has been chosen as one of three finalists in the National Society of Newspaper Columnist awards to be given on June 29 in Washington, DC. Eight of Rearick’s short stories are featured in the Not Your Mother’s Books anthologies: NYMB On Women; NYMB On Travel; NYMB On Dogs; NYMB On Being a Parent; NYMB On Home Improvement, and NYMB On Cats. The June 17 publication of Not Your Mother’s Book On Family will feature another of Rearick's humorous essays in the anthology series.











Untying the Knot by Karen Paul Holmes

Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books)
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0615998985
May, 2014
Available at

"Turning back toward the past, to reckon with and reclaim it, this book seeks to untangle memory. On its surface, Untying the Knot is about severance—about leaving the beloved behind and, likewise, getting left—but it is also a meditation on the sources of love and language. 'It's a comfort / to imagine our rounded bones / becoming round bits of the globe / our spirits rising to orbit among spiral galaxies / joining those who completed the circle before us,' writes Holmes, whose voice pushes readers forward into the unknown with confidence, precision, and empathy. "
—Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men and Facts About the Moon

"These poems are poems about the pains of a broken marriage. About half the people who have ever been married would be eligible to write on the subject, but very few, if any others, could do it with such grace, humor, self-awareness, and without a dollop of self-pity, as Karen Paul Holmes has in Untying the Knot. This is a courageous, deeply human, book."
—Thomas Lux, author of Child Made of Sand and God Particles

"In Karen Paul Holmes’ Untying the Knot, betrayal and sorrow are recontextualized into an acknowledgment of the transitory nature of relationships and the capacity to find joy through language. Indeed, in this work, one that dignifies a sadness so many feel, 'a spark ignites the dry leaves' in lucid and radiant ways, creating poetry that not only enriches us, but possesses the potential to teach us ways to navigate and ultimately transcend the difficulties of divorce and the feelings of loss and grief such division engenders."
—William Wright, series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, author of Night Field Anecdote and Bledsoe

A memoir in poetry about the end of a long marriage and the healing process written, according to Poet Thomas Lux, with "grace, humor, self-awareness, and without a dollop of self-pity."

This is the author's first poetry collection. It was therapeutic to write, and she hopes it will be helpful to anyone going through the grieving process.

Karen Paul Holmes has an MA in music history from the University of Michigan. She eventually moved south and worked her way into a career that involved her love of writing: she became Vice President-Marketing Communications at ING, a global financial services company. Karen is now a freelance writer and owner of two naughty Welsh Terriers.

Karen founded/hosts the Side Door Poets group in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2012, she received an Elizabeth George Foundation emerging writer grant for poetry. Her publishing credits include a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Main Street Rag, Caesura, POEM, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), and the Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia (Texas Review Press). You may contact her through her website:










You've Got Verve, Jamie Ireland! by Lisa Otter Rose

$9.99, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ASIN: 1484800702
March, 2014
Available from your local bookstore or

"A must read for anyone with learning issues. Beautifully written! I am recommending this book to all the children in my practice."
—Dr. Michael Hart, author of Your Child Restored: The Path from Suffering to Success

So far, fifth grade is off to a rotten start for ten-year-old Jamie Ireland. Her best friend, Alexanna, moves away, and not just across town—she's now 818 miles away from Jamie's home in Westcott, North Carolina. She might as well be on the moon. Jamie’s spelling tests are a disaster. She reads well, but when she tries to write, her brain seems to shut down. It's like the letters have turned into a big jumble of spaghetti noodles that she can’t untangle. To make matters worse, Daniel, the meanest bully in school, is making Jamie's life miserable, and sticking out her tongue at "Dan-evil" doesn't even faze him. It has the opposite effect.

Pretty much the only time Jamie enjoys school is during the recess races, but even here she's running into obstacles. No matter how fast she runs, her best is usually fourth place.

Jamie would never guess a "ghost" in her attic, a dead man's bones, a learning disability test, and a baking contest could help her solve her spelling troubles and show her how to deal with Dan-evil, but sometimes solutions show up in the most unexpected places.

Told, in part through entries in Jamie's diary, You've Got Verve, Jamie Ireland! shows how through creativity, determination, and yes, plenty of verve that Jamie can overcome her problems as she triumphs over Dan-evil, her best friend's move, and her learning disability. And along the way she makes some new friends. As for verve, Jamie now spells it Vegetable pie, Egg, Rice-a-roni, Vegetable pie, Egg.

Lisa Otter Rose is a writer and visual journalist. She appreciates how creativity, determination, and courage play key roles in every child's development. Like Jamie, Lisa and her children have learning disabilities. She has experienced firsthand the frustration that undiagnosed learning disorders bring, and then the relief that proper diagnosis and intervention offer. Lisa, who has always loved books and knows the power of story, has crafted a funny and realistic character, Jamie Ireland, who defies any label. Lisa lives in North Carolina with her husband, Gary, and their three children. She's a member of SCWBI. Please visit her Twitter page:

Hats Off! to Marilynn Barner Anselmi whose short play "Floral Deliveries" will be presented by Riot Act Theatre for the New Play Festival in Jackson, Wyoming, June 12-13, at the Center for the Arts.


Fedoras Off! to Joseph Cavano whose flash fiction story, Blue's Bar: Biloxi, appeared recently in Every Writer's Resource. Facebook members may be interested in reading his running account of his just completed trip to Tanzania, where he spent time with Maasai warriors, fought a losing battle with the tsetse fly, and was introduced to the treat of warm cow's milk and freshly drawn cow's blood. His newly completed short-story collection, presently untitled, will soon be sent packing and looking for a home.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Dreaming Across the Styx" appears in Red Wolf Journal.


Hats Off! to Carol Pearce Bjorlie who won The Haiku Award and publication in Pine Song from the North Carolina Poetry Society. She has also had a Young Adult Trilogy accepted by Second Wind Publishing. Book One will be published in September, Book Two, in February, and Book Three, later.









Doing It at the Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose

St. Martin's Press/Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books
$24.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-250046383
May, 2014
Fiction: Mystery/Cozy
Available at your local bookstore or

“Moose’s delightful first cozy... stars Beth McKenzie, who returns to her hometown of Littleboro, NC, to open the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast… Little old ladies in gloves and hats, financial shenanigans, a large rabbit, and the fishbowl life of a small town add to the fun.”
Publishers Weekly

“I loved it! So much fun to read--Ruth Moose has fashioned a fast-paced romp through small town society... mayhem and maybe even murder lurk behind those frilly lace curtains at the Dixie Dew B&B. This entertaining novel is just as rich and delicious as innkeeper Beth McKenzie's lemon crème cake.”
—Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls

“As deliciously Southern as pecan pie, Doing It at the Dixie Dew is a dazzling and delightful debut mystery.”
—Carolyn Hart, national bestselling author of Death at the Door

Beth McKenzie’s wealthy first guest 
at her Bed and Breakfast, The Dixie Dew, arrives in a pricey sports car and leaves in a hearse. Beth has to find the real killer when the clueless two-man police force in her small Southern town name her prime suspect in the murder.

Ruth Moose’s first novel, Doing it at the Dixie Dew, won the 2013 Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Award, published by St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books, May 2014. She was on the Creative Writing faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill for fifteen years.

She’s published three collections of short stories, The Wreath Ribbon Quilt, Dreaming in Color, and Neighbors and Other Strangers with individual stories in The Atlantic, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, Southern California Review, and other places including publications in Holland, South Africa, England, and Denmark. Moose has published six collections of poetry, most recently, The Librarian and Other Poems and Tea. She’s received, among other awards for poetry and short story, a MacDowell Fellowship and a prestigious Chapman Family Teaching Award. A native North Carolinian, she now lives in Pittsboro, NC. Her website is











Sarranda's Heart: A Love Story of Place by Celia H. Miles

Stone Ivy Press
$11.46, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0983471714
May, 2013
Available from the author or

A sequel to Sarranda (2006), the novel chronicles the return of Sarranda to Western North Carolina in the early 1800s, in the company of a young Irish serving girl, from a "training time" in Massachuettes where she was recruited to aid impoverished women and children following the Civil War. In an isolated area where North and South may meet, even merge, without rancor and bitterness, their grit, grace, and humor allow for opportunity and love in unexpected places. Choosing independence over comfort, the present over the past, they forge new paths for themselves and create hope and support to the community.

Celia Miles is a native of Jackson County, now living, retired, and writing in Asheville. Her website is











A Journey to Heaven by Tammy Brodowski Mott and Bruce Brodowski

Carolinas Ecumenical Healing Ministries
$9.99, paperback
ISBN: 9780982658130
May, 2013
Available at your local bookstore or

"No story has affected my heart as deeply as this one."
—Melissa Moreno,

"Tammy's heartbreaking account will touch every mother's heart."
—Yuke Man, Allbooks Review International

Four-year-old Emmy Mott was diagnosed with brain-stem cancer. Doctors gave her eight weeks to live. Her mom Tammy was devastated. God had other plans. During the next 41 weeks, Emmy’s story touched thousands of hearts all over the world through her Facebook page. Many came back to Christ and began to pray. Emmy’s story changed their lives.

The National Indie Excellence Awards named A Journey to Heaven: A Daughter’s Short Life Gives a Family Lessons in Love and Miracles the Winner of its "Death & Dying" category.

Tammy Brodowski Mott is a mother and a homemaker. She lives with her husband Denny in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. They are devoted to bringing up their children JP and Jesse. Tammy has the heart and the love to bring happiness to children. Writing about Emmy's journey in A Journey to Heaven has been her way to cope with this great loss and share her experiences with others.














pale blue mercy by Sally Stewart Mohney

Main Street Rag
$8.00, paperback
February, 2013
Available from the publisher

"Pale blue mercy is a compelling collection of daring poems. Poetic power rests in Sally Stewart Mohney's style—each poem stripped of excessive language—and in her fearlessness as a writer to bare the truth with emotional restraint. Haunting images are distilled from her refusal to look away from what she is learning about mortality through heart-rending, stark observations: 'So now, your mother's head, a white plastic mask—/…. A London wax museum piece to be studied/or a Greek marble statue in sheer ecstasy of pure pain' ('Spurs'). Tenderness prevails, especially when Mohney touches on a mother's longing to protect loved ones from harm and on the human need for comfort and relief from grief, made palpable in 'Next May': 'you'd like to not suffer a huge loss./You'd prefer to not tiptoe/and have to speak/to/strangers/at a sudden death/or lingering one./You'd like to pull out/beach towels/and/pure nestlings of warmth./And, never once, regret.'"
—Irene Blair Honeycutt

A native of Charlotte, Sally Stewart Mohney graduated from the University of North Carolina with an Honors degree in Creative Writing and Art History, and has taken graduate writing courses from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, The University of Florida, Georgia State University, and Callanwolde. She has had short stories published in literary journals, as well as articles published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While a student at UNC, she was the recipient of the Jesse Rehder Prize, the University's most prestigious writing award. She was a presenter at the 2009 Southern Women Writers Conference, and presented poems from this collection for the 2012 SWWC conference. Her career in Art History has included working for art appraiser Sigmund Rothschild in New York, as well as working as curator and coordinator in galleries and museums all over the country. After moving to Atlanta, she founded her own tutoring business.


Hats Off! to Sandra Ervin Adams, who was again invited to post on the Contributor's Blog for Minerva Rising Literary Journal. Her article, "Visual Art and Poetry Blend Well," appears here.


Hats Off! to Kathryn Lovatt and Gregg Cusick. Kathryn, of Camden, SC, took First Prize in the 2013 Press 53 Open Awards "Short Story" category for her story, "Vermin." Durham's Gregg Cusick was named a Finalist for his story, "Gutted."


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams (Raleigh) and Jodi Barnes (Cary), who were named as Finalists in the 2013 Press 53 Open Awards "Short-Short Story" category.


Hats Off! to four NCWN members who did quite well in the 2013 Press 53 Open Awards "Poetry" category. Peg Bresnahan of Cedar Mountain claimed Second Prize, while Susan Schmidt (Beaufort), Crystal Simone Smith (Durham), and Lisa Zerkle (Charlotte) were named as Finalists.



Hats Off! to Karen Paul Holmes. The Lascaux Review invited her to submit and published her poem "Bessie Arrowood's Circle of Life."

Lililan's Garden by Carrie Knowles

Lillian's Garden by Carrie Knowles

Roundfire Books
$18.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1780998305
April, 2013
Available at your local bookstore or

Just when Helen thinks she can take charge of her life, a devil-hunting itinerant preacher upsets the delicate balance she has managed in a family locked in secrets and headed for trouble. When Helen breaks down, her husband, Richard, angry and ashamed, commits her to a mental institution without telling their children where their mother has gone. Lillian's Garden is a novel about failure and finding redemption through learning how to ask for what you want and accepting what love has given you.

Carrie Knowles was born in Detroit and grew up in Wayne, Michigan, in the shadow of Eloise Mental Hospital. She wrote Lillian's Garden because she strongly believes women often forget to plant the seeds of their own dreams while they are busy juggling the responsibilities of being both a good wife and a mother. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.









Ginnungagap: New and Selected Poems: Part 1 byLiza Sisk

Aldrich Press
Paperback, $14.00
ISBN: 978-0615755021
February, 2013
Available at

"Liza Sisk has listened well to her inner port's voice and crafted a book of poems that spans a life's journey through motherhood, family, travel, spiritual quest, a journey that has led her eventually to the transformative power of art. These poems sparkle with electricity, with an honesty and attentiveness that can often make the reader step back from the page to take a deep breath."
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, former NC Poet Laureate

"Also, notice Liza's ability to use a variety of forms so appropriate to the subject matter that we barely notice the form until we have finished reading. She seems to work under Archibald MacLeish's dictum that 'a poem must not mean, but be.'"
—William Sommers, leader of the Fearrington Poet's Corner

"The result is a sharply original vision, a clear-eyed honesty, and a jagged and—yes—quirky music. Here is a reading experience as fresh as spring water—with crawfish in it."
—Fred Chappel, former NC Poet Laureate

Liza Sisk holds a BA in math (Phi Beta Kappa) and an MA in English both from SUNY-Buffalo, and a Ph.D in English from the University of Wisconsin. After briefly teaching math at SUNY-Buffalo and English at U.Wisc. and three other universities, she switched careers to Marketing Communications with Sylvania, Westinghouse, and GE and set up her own consulting company named ComSci Associates: Communications, Training and Productivity. One of her specialties was to teach Communication Skills to engineers, scientists, and their managers. Clients included Westinghouse, Merck, Turner Corporation, NASA, American Chemical Society and Mellon University.

Since retiring, she switched careers once more, hopefully to become a poet. New and Selected Poems: Part 1, Ginnungagap, is partially based on her chapbook, Four Months Around the World, now out-of-print, and two earlier books of poetry, On Being Alive and Condominiums, Conch Shells and Consciousness, which are still available.


Hats Off! to Glenda Beall and Susan Snowden. Glenda interviewed Susan, author of Southern Fried Lies and winner of an IPPY Award, for the Netwest blog.


Hats Off to Richard Allen Taylor and Richard G. Sharp, who won Second Place and an Honorable mention, respectively, in the 2013 Dean Ritch Lomax Poetry Prize sponsored by the Charlotte Writer's Club. The Final Judge was Richard Krawiec. Taylor claimed Second Place for his poem “Ways of Leaving,” while Sharp was awarded an Honorable Mention for his poem "Requiem for Luciana."



Hats Off! to Maren O. Mitchell, author of Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide (Line of Sight Press, 2012), who was interviewed by Robin Watts of Regency Hospice in Hiawassee, Georgia, on three half-hour radio programs on WJUL-FM 97.5 and WJRB-FM 95.1 during the Silver Linings Show.


Hats Off! to Ray Morrison, who won First Place in the Winston-Salem Writers 2013 Anthology Contest (Flash Fiction) for his short story "Lost," and Second Place in the Fiction category for his short story "Preston Manor."


Tales from Farlandia: Ozette's Destiny by Judy Pierce

Pants on Fire Press
$9.99, paperback
ISBN 978-0-9827271-9-5
February, 2013
Available from your local bookstore or

Ozette, a rare white squirrel, flees Earth World when she is wrongly blamed for the destruction of the animals' beloved forest simply because she is different. Clutching only a golden acorn, which was gifted to her by her grandmother, Ozette escapes to Farlandia, a magical kingdom where her grandmother has said the young squirrel will find her destiny.

With innate innocence and sweetness, Ozette quickly forms close friendships with the residents of Farlandia including zany elves, fairies and animals, and soon finds herself tapped to be the caretaker of this old-growth forest. Forging strong alliances through life's challenges, Ozette and her magical friends will have you laughing and crying as you follow them through adventures that will warm your heart with gentle lessons of kindness, loyalty, and self acceptance.

Originally from Washington state, Judy Pierce earned her master's degree from the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University. She moved to the southeast and taught mass communication courses at the university level.

Her interest in herbs led her to teach adult education classes on their uses, and she has published extensively on incorporating herbs in cooking, medicines and cosmetics. She was instrumental in expanding a conservation education program for the island of Guam where she published numerous articles on the environment.

Judy's writing is influenced by her love of nature and work with Bichon Frise rescue and wildlife rehabilitation. When she's not writing, she loves to garden, bicycle, hike, camp, photograph white squirrels, and visit family on the West Coast. Judy lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband and three rescued Bichon Frises.

She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


AMERICA ONE: The Odyssey Begins (Book 3) by T.I. Wade

Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
$6.97, e-book
April, 2013
Available at

Ryan Richmond has dreamed about going to space since the age of seven. Reading space updates—and seeing pictures of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface in National Geographic—was the ignition of this dream.

At nineteen he sold his first company and employed the remnants of the Russian Space Program, three of the best space brains in the world.

In his twenties he founded and sold two more companies and hired the most outstanding scientists and engineers from the European Space Authority.

During his thirties, after selling his third company, he invested heavily in Internet start-ups, like Google, netting billions.

Then he patiently waited until NASA’s shuttle program came to an end and contracted the best brains in the U.S. Space program.

Now, Ryan Richmond is in his forties, and is going into space, whether anybody likes it or not!

T.I. Wade was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1954. His father, a banker was promoted with his International Bank to Africa and the young family moved to Africa in 1956. The author grew up in Southern Rhodesia.

Once he had completed his mandatory military commitments, at twenty-one he left Africa to mature in Europe. He enjoyed Europe and lived in three countries; England, Germany, and Portugal for fifteen years before returning to Africa; Cape Town in 1989. Here the author owned and ran a restaurant, a coffee manufacturing and retail business, flew a Cessna 210 around desolate southern Africa and finally got married in 1992. Due to the upheavals of the political turmoil in South Africa, the Wade family of three moved to the United States in 1996. Park City, Utah was where his writing career began.

To date T.I. Wade has written ten novels. The author, his wife, and two teenage children currently live twenty miles south of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Narratives II

The Narratives II: Dusk or Dawn by Vince Guaglione

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$6.95, paperback / $0.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1484879924
May, 2013
Available at

The Narratives is a collection of short introspective essays written by an average guy in an effort to better understand himself, his life, and his relationship with the world around him while traveling the road of self-discovery.

The Narratives II: Dusk Or Dawn, is the second volume in The Narratives series.

Vince Guaglione is a guy who asks lots of questions, not only of himself but of his society and the world around him. Although he claims he's found no real answers, that hasn't stopped him in his quest to gain perspective on a little something we call life. When he's not at his real job, you can find him sucking down venti-sized coffees at a brisk pace his local Starbucks, thinking up new writing projects, or pondering his mystery questions of life. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Vince now resides in Raleigh, NC.


Hats Off! to Gwenyfar Rohler, whose profile of North Carolina playwright Anthony Lawson appears in the premier issue of Salt Magazine.


The Fur, Fish, Flea and Beagle Club by R. M. Byrd

$24.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0615751689
February, 2013
Available from

Shy wise-acre Jamie Garrath goes to work at his father’s sawmill specifically to be with him. But Ned Custis, a strangely quiet boy he barely knows from school, throws a wrench in Jamie's plans when he invades for the summer to work at the mill, too. Jamie feels his idyllic vision of working with his father slipping away.

Work at the mill is hot and brutal, Jamie’s father is too busy to spend time with him and a vicious mill worker tries to kill Toby, his dog. And as if all this trouble wasn’t enough, Jamie meets Deidre, the daughter of an Irish migrant worker, and falls head-over-heels in love.

Ned’s not exactly jumping for joy either. His father pawned him off on the Garraths to get him out from underfoot in the family hardware store. He’s an exile in a strange place he doesn’t want to be, doing things he doesn’t want to do and his work at the mill turns out to be tree scouting in the deep woods with Cyrus, an enigmatic Indian and ex-shaman, who he’s afraid will butcher him with a bush axe. It’s going to be a stressful summer for both of them. As the only two boys in the company of hard working men, Jamie and Ned are driven together for better or for worse, forced to forge a friendship. They form a club of two – or three if you include Toby the dog.

R. M. Byrd lives in North Carolina with his wife and two cats, as well as wild deer, hummingbirds and, appropriately, the odd nuthatch. He has been writing since before he can reliably recall. Though he has great trouble writing short, his short fiction has appeared in the literary journal The Iconoclast, the Best Raleigh Reading collection of The Main Street Rag, and in Offshoots, the literary collection of the Geneva Writers’ Group of Geneva, Switzerland.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, whose poem "Voices in the Fog" won an Honorable Mention in the Voices of Angels competition in Thynks Magazine (British).


Hats Off! to Tamra Wilson, whose short story “The Bird Watcher” appears in the 2013 issue of Penumbra, a journal of California State University at Stanislaus. Another story, “Stringed Beef,” is in the inaugural issue of South Florida Arts Journal.


Hats Off! to Brenda Wilson, whose poem “Pond From My Deck” will be displayed in sixteen shop windows in Winston-Salem’s Arts and Entertainment District as part of Poetry in Plain Sight, sponsored by the Winston Salem Writers, Press 53, Barnhill’s Books, Competitive Edge, Downtown Arts District Association, Delta Arts Center, and Forsyth County Public Library.


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh, whose poem “The Tablecloth” earned an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Carolina Woman Writing Contest. Also, her short story “Gaston Street” was recently published in Deep South Magazine.











The Episcopal Church in North Carolina During the War Between the States by E. T. Malone, Jr.

Literary Lantern Press
54 pages, $15.00
ISBN 0-9621668-6-3
April, 2013
Available from the publisher

This publication is expanded from a lecture given by the author at historic St. James' Episcopal Church, Kittrell, North Carolina, on August 31, 2010. Drawn primarily from the 1861-1865 journals and newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, this study summarizes how the diocese became part of the Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, opinions about secession and its effect on church polity, church operations during the war, African-Americans in the church, Episcopal Confederate chaplains, Robert E. Lee's connection to Episcopal North Carolina, and the unique role that North Carolina's Bishop Thomas Atkinson played in the national reunion of the Episcopal Church in 1865. It contains five appendices listing congregations, clergy, chaplains, and the names of every lay delegate and alternate delegate elected to all diocesan conventions held during the war.

North Carolina was the only Southern diocese able to hold its annual convention every year during that conflict and to publish journals of each such gathering. There is a comprehensive index and Mississippi Bishop William Mercer Green's prayer for the success of the Confederate Army. The Episcopal Church in North Carolina During the War Between the States contains much specific information not published elsewhere.

E. T. Malone, Jr., was book editor with North Carolina Historical Publications Section and served as historiographer of Episcopal Diocese of NC, 1996-2006.


Hats Off! to Ellen Shepard, Assistant Professor of Film at Saint Augustine's University, who is a juror for the North Carolina Arts Council Playwrights/Screenwriters Fellowship.











Groups in Practice: A School Counselor's Collection by Debra Madaris Efird

$49.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-415-50-3723
June, 2012
Available from the publisher or

"Efird draws on her years working with students and her experience in leading groups to create an excellent resource for middle school counselors. She tackles difficult subjects that are rarely found in group resource materials for counselors. This is a very useful and practical guide for school counselors and others who work with middle school students."
- Bob Barret, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

"This cutting-edge book provides group counseling sessions on a variety of relevant issues facing students today. Unique group topics (such as Juvenile Diabetes and Latina Pride) will help school counselors effectively support underserved populations. Aligned with the ASCA standards, the lessons and handouts shared should be a "must have" in any school counselor's library."
- Tamara Davis, PhD, Professor, Department of Counseling, Marymount University

This practical, user-friendly manual will provide school counselors with the information they need to set up and run twelve different counseling groups. Though the author has test-driven the groups with middle school students, the content is easily adaptable for upper elementary and high school students. Each chapter is devoted to a specific group and includes:

  • a rationale for the group
  • step-by-step breakdowns of each session
  • reproducible worksheets and activities
  • group-specific evaluation form.


Special sections within each chapter provide tips to make implementation easier and address potential problems. Also included are the American School Counselor Association standards that are addressed during the course of the group. Traditional group topics such as Divorce, Grief, and Study Skills join unique groups tailored for students dealing with Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, Juvenile Diabetes, and Relational Aggression. The author has used her extensive experience to create this invaluable guide which school counselors at all levels of experience will find an essential tool in their group work.

Debra Madaris Efird, MEd, NBCT, has been a school counselor and active member of the American Counseling Association for over 20 years. She currently works for Cabarrus County Schools, CC Griffin Middle School, in Concord, North Carolina.


Hats Off! to Edwin Bouldin, whose two short stories, "Fishing with Aida” and “Final Note,” were named Honorable Mentions in the 2012 Short Story Anthology contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers.


Welcome to SR12!CHARLOTTE – Registration closes at 5:00 pm EST today for the 2012 Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 19–22 at Queens University of Charlotte. And with only fifty slots open for registrants, only a few remain.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Workshops include Creative Nonfiction with Pat MacEnulty, Poetry with Morri Creech, or Fiction with Robert Inman.

Having trouble choosing which workshop to register for? Check out these insightful posts, written by our instructors, about their chosen genre:


In addition to the workshops, the 2012 Squire Summer Writing Residency will feature a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, a “Writingest State” trivia contest, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in guest rooms that will be set aside for this conference.

“The Squire Summer Writing Residency has become one of our most beloved programs,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said. “It’s the most effective at forming close bonds between writers from across the state.”

The Squire Summer Writing Residency is named in honor of the late Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire, whose support made the residency possible.

Find more information—and register—at, or by calling 336-293-8844.


Hats Off! to Anthony S. Abbott, co-recipient of the annual Brockman-Campbell Award for best book of poetry by a North Carolinian for his book If Words Could Save Us (Lorimer Press, 2011). The award is granted by the North Carolina Poetry Society.












The Taxi by Jenny Johnson

$16.95, paperback
ISBN: 9781602902725
March, 2012
Fiction (Faith-based Romance/Suspense)
Available from your local bookstore or

An unexpected encounter with strangers changed everything about reporter Jannia Redmon’s life…A gripping story packed with action, surprise, satisfying romance, and international intrigue…

It all started with a taxi one Saturday morning outside a fast-food restaurant....

Jannia Redmon, a newspaper reporter, is an aspiring novelist always on the lookout for promising plot ideas. One weekend, while absorbed in her morning coffee and newspaper at McDonald's, she sees a battered white taxi waiting outside. Why would someone take a taxi to a fast-food restaurant?.

Curious, Jannia follows the taxi and its unusual fellow travelers...and is plunged into a world of imperiled strangers and international intrigue. When a handsome, mysterious musician asks her to take on a startling responsibility that could alter her life forever, she is thrust into the midst of a deadly plot-and emotional entanglements she's not sure her heart can handle.

An unexpected encounter packed with action, surprise, and satisfying romance.

With a background in Literature, Speech Pathology/Audiology and Special Education, Jenny Johnson (a pen name) worked and wrote for years as a university professor for the UNC System. Now retired and working part time, an item on her “never-too-late list” is fiction writing. The idea for her first novel, The Taxi, was sparked by a scene she observed during a vacation in the North Carolina mountains. The resulting novel she categorizes as faith-based or inspiration al romantic suspense. Visit Jenny at









It's Not My Mountain Anymore by Barbara Taylor Woodall

Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc.
$20.00 (paperback) / $9.99 (e-book)
ISBN: 978-0-9827611-9-9
July, 2011
Available from the publisher or

"What a VOICE!”
--Andrea Robinson, Editor, Random House

“A novel full of passion, soul, and powerful writings...”
--Appalachian Voices Magazine

“The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing...”(Job 39:8)

A pasture is a feeding place that sprouts green morsels of nourishment for hungry creatures and provides rest in green shady groves near rippling waters. My pasture is the portion of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains located in North Georgia. According to some old timers the name “Appalachian” means “People of the Other Side.” It both describes and defines my people well.

Mountain people are our greatest resource. Any disclosure about us captures national attention because in large part we remain separated from urban America by endless mountain ranges, unique folklore, damnable stereotypes and fierce independence.

There is a fascination here that holds rich and poor, strong and weak captive, not with chains and fetters but by an almost touchable solace that affords many visitors and second home owners an escape from city rat races. The mountains I once knew and loved as a child are not the same. Inevitable changes to both the landscape and its inhabitants clash harshly with cherished memories of a passing era. Giant pastures that natives had called our own to roam, hunt, fish and explore began to shrink by ownerships that established boundaries with No Trespassing signs and security gates.

Taste the harsh realities of change told in an absolutely authentic voice, written by a former Foxfire student. “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore” is balanced and satisfying with moving stories that will moisten eyes and bring laughter.

Barbara is a down-to-earth seventh generation Appalachian who tells it like it is. There is a message in her book, a message she expresses in the statement, “The mountains I once knew are not the same. Inevitable changes both to the landscape and its inhabitants clash dramatically with cherished memories of a passing era.”

As speaker, Barbara’s deep sense of humor transcends the underlying drama of her message. She speaks with the sincerity of one who totally believes in her appeal to the audience to take note of the drastic changes being brought to the landscape of the Appalachians.












The Naming of Ghosts by Steve Mitchell

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-935708-56-8
April, 2012
Fiction--Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

"Steven Mitchell's lyrical prose and beautifully crafted stories haunt the reader long after the final pages. His characters are so full and fascinating, and the urgency of their need to connect is so strong. Poignant, inspiring, and compelling, Steve Mitchell's "The Naming of Ghosts" is the finest collection of stories out there."
--Frances Badgett, Contrary Magazine

"What I admire most about Steve Mitchell's stories is the sheer beauty of his melancholic prose. His voice is outstanding and will stay with you for a long time after you finish his book."
—Peter H. Fogtdal, author of The Tsar's Dwarf

"Steve Mitchell's stories seem to play out in dimensions that fluidly interconnect our palpable and dreamy selves. Whether they "stroke waves of heat into [our] flesh" as in "Dandelion," or happen "when the world had darkened so deeply that only tears, and more tears, would soften it at all" as in "Wave," we often arrive at transformation without conscious knowledge of how we were transported. Mitchell's storytelling is remarkable in its hypnotic rhythms, in the unique voice. Story after story in The Naming of Ghosts stays with us long after the ending. This is an impressive collection that must be read, and read again."
- Alexander Pepple, Editor of Able Muse and Able Muse Anthology

Steve Mitchell has been a construction worker, cowboy, substitute teacher, chef, and has developed and managed a mental health program for the chronic mentally ill. He's worked in theatre, film, and multi-voice poetry. His work has been published in the Southeast Review, Contrary, Glossolalia, and The North Carolina Literary Review, among others, and has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. His short story, “Above the Rooftop,” was named a storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Story of 2010, and he is currently completing a novel, Body of Trust. He has a deep belief in the primacy of doubt and an abiding conviction that great wisdom can inhabit very bad movies. He has an ambivalent relationship with his cat, Mr. Zip. Sometimes, he just doesn't know. And that's all right.


Hats Off! to Scott Owens and Maureen Sherbondy, who were both finalists in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Owens was selected for his collection Something Knows the Moment (Main Street Rag), while Sherbondy was named for her collection Scar Girl (Finishing Line Press).


Hats Off! to Betty Reed. The American Association for State and Local History has selected her as a recipient for an Award of Merit based on her book School Segregation in Western North Carolina: A History, 1860s-1970s. The Award of Merit is to be presented at the AASLH annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 5.

... to Bob McCarthy. Last week, he learned that he was awarded 1st place in the 2011 Spring Shorts contest of the Virginia Writers Group in fiction.  His story was entitled "Smile a Mighty Jesus."

... to Katherine S. Crawford.  Her (unpublished) historical novel, Keowee, made it to the Quarter-Finalist round of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest."

... to Ellyn Bache.  Her novel, The Art of Saying Goodbye, has been chosen as an "Okra Pick" by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.


... to Flora Ann Scearce.  Her story, "102 Sycamore Wynd," won second place in fiction in the recent 20th annual Carteret Writers' Competition.  The nationwide competition received 145 entries, including 63 from other states. 

... to Joan Cannon. Her poem, "Evensong at Ripon Cathedral," was featured in the online literary journal, The Lowestoft Chronicle. Her poems, "Bedside Manner" and "Afterwords," appear in the latest issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review.




Ellen L. Shepard will be featured nationally on Fox TV news, Saturday, June 19, 1:00-2:00 pm, in the segment “Beyond the Dream,” which will show Ellen with her film students at Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh.





Dick Michener will receive a humor writing award for his creative nonfiction piece "The Night the Bed Broke" at the Alabama Writers Conclave's banquet in Birmingham on July 17, 2010.

Katrina Parker Williams will have a poem "The Toll of His War" published in Pens on Fire in July 2010.

Asheville author and writing teacher Peggy Tabor Millin has won the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the spirituality category for her nonfiction book, Women, Writing, and Soul-Making: Creativity and the Sacred Feminine.  The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (IBPPG) announced the awards in New York City on May 21.

Laura T. Jensen of Pittsboro, NC won second prize in the Gulf Coast Writers Association "Let's Write Literary Contest" in the creative non-fiction category for her piece, "The Long Wait". The story can be viewed at:, click "See 2010 Winners".

........... to Suzanne Adair. <> ,
whose novel Camp Follower, third in a series set during the Southern theater
of the Revolutionary War, has been nominated for the 2009 Daphne du Maurier
Excellence in Historical Mystery/Suspense award.
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