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ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Registration is open.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site will host the Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday at noon. This is a chance for writers to get together prior to the conference and get your creative juices flowing. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site is considered by many to be where one of the giants of twentieth-century American literature, Thomas Wolfe, immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” Asheville, North Carolina, and “Dixieland” the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse, earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University MA in Writing Program will sponsor both the Welcome Reception on Friday evening and the Booksigning by Keynote Address speaker Lee Smith later that night. The Master of Arts in Writing (MAW) degree can help you take your writing to the next level. With courses in a variety of areas, you can not only discover the power of your voice, but Rise Up in your career and creative life. Features unique to the program include: an interactive program designed with you in mind; non-cohort base course delivery, meaning a flexible schedule at your own pace; traditional and career track admission, giving students more than one way to be admitted; and an involved and engaging faculty with extensive experience in the field.

WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio will sponsor Saturday morning’s “All Stories Connect Panel Discussion: Mountains Moving.” This panel will remind us how our own stories are enriched and deepened by knowing and celebrating the stories of others. In this discussion, poet and teacher Debora Kinsland Foerst of Cherokee, scholar Dee James of Asheville, and poet and naturalist Brent Martin of Franklin will talk about how the population and landscape of the North Carolina mountains are changing, and how writers can respond.

WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio offers public radio services to the far western portion of North Carolina. Incorporated in 1979, WCQS expands listeners' horizons through new perspectives and listening experiences; promotes the free and independent interchange of ideas and information; and enriches and reflects the cultural climate, heritage and traditions of our region and society through classical and other music, and the arts.

The Faculty Readings will happen at 4:30 pm on Saturday. The sponsor for this much-anticipated event is Western Carolina University’s MA in Professional Writing Program. This program is designed for students seeking advanced preparation for entering successful, professional writing careers in fields that regularly recruit new writers, editors, publishing assistants, or promotional talents. A total of thirty-three graduate English credit hours is required: twelve-hour core, nine-hour concentration, and twelve hours in either a thesis or non-thesis option. In addition to the coursework, all MA in English students must successfully pass written comprehensive examinations based on reading lists and content knowledge, which are specific to each concentration. For those writing a thesis, a final oral defense is required.

Alice Osborn and Write from the Inside Out will sponsor Saturday’s Happy Hour, immediately following the Faculty Readings. Alice, author of the new poetry collection Heroes without Capes, is an experienced editor-for-hire and published author who will help you achieve writing confidence and publication success. If you need one-on-one coaching, she offers mentoring that can turn you from a writer into an author. She is the expert you can trust and who will be honest and fair with you. And most of all she strives to create longterm relationships with her clients so she can be your go-to person on your writing and publication journey.

Services provided by Write from the Inside Out include:

  • Professional manuscript editing
  • Specializing in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir and poetry
  • Book writing coach
  • Book marketing specialist
  • Book publishing strategist
  • Published author
  • Sought-after speaker

Al Manning, the regional rep for Chatham and Lee Counties, is the sponsor of Saturday night’s Open Mic. Al is the author of the poetry collection Curmudgeon’s Book of Nursery Rhymes. His regional group, Pittsboro Writers’ Morning Out, meets on the Second Saturday of the month at 1:00 pm at Carolina Brewery, 120 Lowes Dr., in Pittsboro. All writers, any genre, are invited. This is the regional group of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and each month typically features special programming. For a complete list of NCWN’s regional reps, click here.

Robert Beatty, Dinsey-Hyperion author of Serafina and the Black Cloak, will sponsor Sunday's Brilliant at Breakfast Panel, "Agents & Editors." Participants include Gary Heidt of Signature Literary Agency, Stephen Kirk of John F. Blair, Publisher, Neeti Madan of Sterling Lord Literistic, and Betsy Teter of Hub City Press.

In Serafina and the Black Cloak, when children around the Biltmore Estate begin disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one. Serafina and the Black Cloak was a Summer 2015 Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference is made possible in part by the North Carolina Arts Council. The Arts Council has been a statutory state agency since 1967. Their core functions include creating a strong and efficient arts infrastructure across North Carolina; planning and implementing economic development using the arts; education; and research. The Arts Council believes that artists are an integral part of civic life as they stimulate creativity, innovation and dialogue. Our cities vibrate with the energy of the arts; and our rural communities reach deep into their roots and celebrate their unique traditions. Residents in every corner of N.C. have the chance to engage their artistic aspirations. The arts help children flourish through a complete education that prepares them for the workforce with 21st century skills. The arts build bridges where diverse communities reach across boundaries to celebrate and share their cultures. The arts are an essential ingredient in state policy, practice and pride.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference is now open.

The 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. Conference faculty include professional writers from North Carolina and beyond. Held every year in a major hotel, the conference rotates annually.

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


NORTH CAROLINA—The North Carolina Writers' Network welcomes three new members to its Board of Trustees: Margaret D. Bauer, Bill Ramsey, and Ward Brian Zimmerman.

"New voices are essential for an effective board," said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "Our new trustees bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, and hail from parts of the state—the coast and the mountains—that too often have been under-represented."

A native of south Louisiana, Margaret D. Bauer is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature at East Carolina University and Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences. Since 1997, she has served as Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. She has also edited two Paul Green books: James Spence’s Green biography and a new critical edition of Green’s play The House of Connelly.

She is the author of The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist (1999), William Faulkner’s Legacy (2005), Understanding Tim Gautreaux (2010), and A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara’s Literary Daughters (2014), as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals. In 2007, Dr. Bauer was named one of ECU’s 10 Women of Distinction and received the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. She is also a recipient of ECU’s Scholar/Teacher Award, 5-Year Research/Creative Activity Award, and Centennial Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Bill Ramsey is an active supporter of literacy and literature. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Ridge Community College and as an advocate for Blue Ridge Literacy Council and the Henderson County Public Library.

In 2008, he helped to organize the Blue Ridge Bookfest and has remained on the leadership team.

In his youth, Bill wrote sports columns for the local newspaper. During his forty-year professional career he wrote technical manuals, magazine articles, and business newsletters. In retirement, writing about real-life issues became his passion. He is the author of four books and maintains a blog. He also writes op-ed columns and book reviews.

A proud and active member of the North Carolina Writers' Network, he lives the happy life of a retiree with his wife of fifty years, Donna.

Ward Brian Zimmerman is a Kansas native and alumnus of the University of Kansas where he completed undergraduate degrees in political science and economics, a masters in business administration and a Ph.D in educational policy and administration. Past positions include Director of the Budget at the University of Kansas, Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services at Murray State University, and Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs at Appalachian State University. Currently Ward is a professional testifying expert witness and CEO of EnterpriZ Economic Consulting.

His professional writing has been published in academic and financial journals. Ward’s fiction writing career was launched about five years ago, and since then he has been honored as a Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize finalist 2011; William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (Novel) contest, Short List for Finalists 2012; Novel Semi-Finalists 2013; and Short Story Finalists 2013. At this time Ward is working on a novel, four short stories, and a poem.

His personal interests include: human economic capital, higher education, religion, relative and quantum physics, astronomy, SCUBA diving, cooking, painting, photography, gardening, and aviation.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves the writers of this state. It provides education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write. The North Carolina Writers’ Network believes that writing is necessary both for self-expression and a healthy community, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance, and that the deeply satisfying experiences of writing and reading should be available to everyone.

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

RALEIGH—On Saturday, September 19, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the North Carolina Writers’ Network will host “Indiependents Day,” a chance for authors to learn about what happens to their books long after they finish writing them, and how books find readers.

Held at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown, in Raleigh, this one-of-a-kind event will offer five sessions over the course of the day, from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

NCWN members receive a special discount. The cost is $100 for members, $150 for non-members. If you're a member of NCWN, apply the following promotion code at checkout:


Not a member? Join here.

Registration will be capped at 100: Register here.

“Successful authors know that their job isn't done when they complete their latest manuscript,” said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “They know their job's not done when the book is published. ‘Indiependents Day’ will tell authors—working in any genre, with any sort of publisher, including themselves—how to finish their job, and work with bookstores to get their books into readers' hands.”

Led by both booksellers and authors, the sessions begin with “The End Is Not the End,” which will instruct registrants on what an author needs to know (and keep in mind) once he or she finishes writing a manuscript and starts thinking about publication.

Later that morning, “Your Bookseller, Your Friend” will offer a plan for how to get booksellers to stock, display, and hand-sell a book—without bugging them to death.

“Tours of Duty” is the third session, where authors will learn how to plan, promote, and behave themselves on their author tours.

Participants will then break for lunch, and have the option of purchasing a ticket to the SIBA Discovery Show Saturday Lunch featuring Lee Boudreaux, current editor at Ecco Press, who is launching her new imprint at Little, Brown: Lee Boudreaux Books. Registrants may also have lunch on their own.

Post-lunch, Session IV offers “The Shelf Is Not the End (the Reader Is),” what an author needs to do to keep their book(s) on—and flying off—the shelves, after the new-release window has closed and the tour is done.

SIBA’s Nicki Leone (aka Lady Banks) will lead the final session, “What SIBA Does, and Can Do for You.” Here, authors will learn how to work with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance to reach bookstores and readers. This session concludes with a tour of the trade show floor, which is likely each registrant's only opportunity to walk the floor, as the show is not open to the public.

Online registration closes Friday, September 11. Register here.

“Indiependents Day” runs in conjunction with the 2015 SIBA 40th Anniversary Discovery Show in Raleigh. Nearly 300 tables manned by southeastern booksellers will fill a trade-show floor that is Southern in its friendliness, social gatherings, and intimacy, and encourages many informal exchanges of ideas.

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is a trade association which represents over 300 bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi. It exists to empower, promote, and celebrate their core member bookstores in a spirit of partnership.

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


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