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Wilmington, NC--The 2015 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions, and that means contest season is officially upon us.

The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation 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.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Post family, in 2014 the North Carolina Writers' Network began offering the first-place winner $1,000, while the second and third place winners receive $300 and $200 respectively. The winning entry also will be considered for publication by Southern Cultures magazine.

The Final Judge is Jason Frye, a travel, culinary, and culture writer from Wilmington. After his first experience with North Carolina—a family vacation to the Outer Banks—he felt drawn to the state. He moved here in 2002 to attend UNC-Wilmington and pursue his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing; after graduating in 2005, he stayed and began to explore the state through the lens of a poet, essayist, journalist, culinary critic, and travel writer.

His work has appeared in print in crazyhorse, Our State magazine, the Official North Carolina Visitor Guide, The Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, the StarNews, AAA Go!, and others; and his monthly column on the culture and nightlife in and around Wilmington appears monthly in Salt. Online, he has written for Our State Eats, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, VisitNC.com, Forbes, and Moon.com. He has two travel guides—Moon North Carolina and Moon North Carolina Coast—in print through Avalon Travel Publishing, and a third—Moon Road Trips: Blue Ridge Parkway—will be released in spring 2015.

Chapel Hill resident Laura Herbst won the 2014 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay, "Breast Cancer: A Love Story." Jason Hess of Wilmington won second place for his essay “The Adopted Person,” while Chapel Hill’s Joanna Catherine Scott won third place for her essay “How I Went to Adult Prison as a Child,” based on interviews with a prisoner in Central Prison.

The contest 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.

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 17.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. 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.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Send submission to:
North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
 

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference closes Friday, November 14. There, Karon Luddy will sit on the panel titled "The Many Paths to Publication" with Kim Boykin and John Hartness. Traditional or Indie, Big 5 or Small Press, Digital or Print: writers have never had more possible, viable paths to publication to choose from, which can make choosing harder than ever before. This panel discussion will feature three authors who have followed more than one of those paths, and can tell you what they discovered along the way.

Register now!

Karon Luddy grew up in Lancaster, SC, and lives in Charlotte with her husband Tom. She is the author of the award-winning novel Spelldown published by Simon and Schuster and Wolf Heart, a book of poetry, published by Clemson University Press. In 2005, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University and became an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where she teaches writing intensive classes in the American Studies Department. In 2014, Luddy's passion for writers, readers, and literature inspired her to create Backbone Books. The debut title of this new imprint, Bewilderment of Boys, was published in June. It is also the sequel to Spelldown, Luddy's first novel.

 

What are you reading right now?
Byrd by Kim Church.

Where is your favorite place to write? For fiction, I love to write in my home office.
For poetry and journal writing, I love to write sitting on the old white sofa in my living room.

If you weren't a writer, what kind of job would you like to have?
Singer-songwriter.

Who has influenced your writing style the most?
My younger self.

If you could switch places with one fictional character, who would it be?
I have no desire to switch places with any fictional character.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from Fall Conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
To put your best work out there and to help other writers, editors, and publishers do the same. It’s all about community and co-marketing.

Charlotte is known as both "The Queen City" and "The Hornet's Nest." Does one of those nicknames ring more true for you than the other?
The Queen City because I love female monarchs and my daughter is named Charlotte.

Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast" panel discussion is titled, "The Many Paths to Publication." What's the first thing you ever published?
My first publication was a poem titled “Graffiti on a Bathroom Wall.”

Give us three adjectives you hope critics use to describe your next book.
Mind-blowing. Whimsical. Authentic.

What is the most frustrating or rewarding part of the writing process?
When the poem, story, or novel itself breathes a sigh of relief that I am finished with it.

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
Lighten up. Take your work seriously, but not your Self.

Describe your ideal literary festival. Who would give the keynote address? Who would be the featured readers? What else?
My ideal literary festival would be a Women’s Book festival run by women, with all women authors and participants held in the Southeast. The focus would be on Narrative Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Three Keynote Speakers: Cathy Smith Bowers, Dannye Romine Powell, and Sheri Fink. For ages 16 and up.

Do you steal hotel pens?
No. I have a fetish for pens and I prefer to write with uniball Vision pens.

If you could mandate that everyone in the world read one book, which one would you choose?
Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

 

At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference, Priscilla Goudreau-Santos will lead the workshop "Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign."

You’ve worked hard on your book and now it’s time to let people know about it. Get them talking about you with a marketing and publicity campaign that includes press releases, media interviews, social media and more. Since most authors are more comfortable writing their book than marketing it, this workshop will talk about the platforms and techniques that are critical to selling your book. Whether you’re an author with a book being released by a traditional publisher that may not have the resources for publicity, or you’re self-publishing and responsible for your own publicity, this workshop will help you lay the foundation for a successful book launch with your own efforts.

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a publicist and marketing specialist who specializes in promoting authors and their books. She’s a Jacksonville, Florida, native and University of Florida graduate (Go Gators!) and served as assistant public relations director for a major hospital, as marketing director for a regional commercial real estate firm, and as news reporter for The Florida Times-Union before beginning her own firm in 1996. She moved to Charlotte a year and a half ago and loves being part of the vibrant book community. She is the new WNBA-Charlotte Publicity Chair. Priscilla is also a writer. That’s what inspired her to begin her business and to work with authors. Her articles have appeared in numerous local and regional publications and one day she hopes to pen a novel.

Registration for the NCWN 2014 Fall Conference is now open.

 

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
Have patience, persistence, confidence, and curiosity–oh, that’s four.

Did you have a teacher or mentor who had a big, positive impact on you?
I’ve worked with many creative, talented people. Most recently, my mentor and friend, Lynn Thompson with Thompson Writing & Editing in Jacksonville, FL, has been a wonderful motivator. She holds my feet to the fire to build the framework for a great campaign–all the details behind the glitz. And, Carin Siegfried with Carin Siegfried Editorial has been a huge help to me in Charlotte with her knowledge of the book industry and the book community. She is the new President of WNBA National and also just published her own book, An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Book Publishing.

Who is your literary hero?
Wow, that’s a tough one! There are so many authors that have had an impact. I really like Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer) and just finished The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Author Khaled Hosseini is definitely a literary hero because he offers a window into a world we know little about and he can break your heart and leave you changed.

If you could live in any literary world for the rest of your life, where would you find yourself?
It would be fun and probably involve fantasy. Maybe Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum universe without all the money problems or cars blowing up. Actually, it might be more fun to be Janet Evanovich.

If you could have written one book that someone else wrote, which book would it be?
That’s really hard because there are so many choices! Author Maria Semple did a great job with Where’d You Go Bernadette and because I like nonfiction, too, Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise would be fun to write.

Many writers are solitary creatures. Coming to an event like Fall Conference can be a little intimidating, navigating the exhibit hall and ballroom events. Any advice for working the room?
Relax and have fun! Also, take breaks and go outside.

Who gave the best reading or talk you've ever been to? What made it so good?
Again, tough question because I like to hear others speak. There was an event at Park Road Books in Charlotte featuring a number of new authors that was excellent. About six authors talked about their books and process. Drew Perry, author of Kids These Days, was very genuine and really funny.

Any advice for attendees who sign up for the Open Mic?
Breathe deeply and enjoy!

The city of Charlotte was founded on two established Native American trading routes. Now, of course, it's the 2nd biggest banking center in the country. Fall Conference will boast an exhibit hall packed with vendors. How do you approach an exhibit hall at a conference such as this? To shop, to chat, or both?
Absolutely, you’ll want to browse, buy and talk with people that you know as well as meet new friends.

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but of course most of us do. What is one—or some—of your favorite book cover(s)?
The first that comes to mind is Kim Wright’s The Unexpected Waltz. The colors are vibrant and the photo of a woman in a ball gown and high heels reflects what the story is about–even down to the requisite three to four-inch heels. I also like the covers for Khaled Hosseini’s books: The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from the conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
That they understand the basics of an interactive media campaign and have confidence in putting one together using all of the tools for success.

What is your guilty pleasure read?
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I also like John Sandford, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Carl Hiaasen and am a big fan of the late Robert Parker.

What makes you cringe when you see it on the page?
A misspelling or poorly constructed sentence.

Caffeine of choice? (English Breakfast, Caramel macchiato, etc.)
I like them all but usually stick to coffee, tea and diet coke.

***

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. Registration is now open.

 

 
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