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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH—Registration for the 2013 North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference opens in just a few days. The weekend of November 15-17 is going to be packed with workshops, panels, readings, and more, all located at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrighstville Beach. For writers of all stripes and experience levels, it's one of the most inspirational weekends of the year. And much of it is made possible by the generosity of sponsors.

The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County will sponsor the Welcome Reception on Friday, November 15. Led by Executive Director Rhonda Bellamy, the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County works to establish the region as an arts destination; promote arts-driven economic development; significantly contribute to quality of life in the region; provide a stream of funding to support the sustainability of artists and arts organizations; facilitate communication and collaboration within the arts community; and advocate for the arts at the local, state and national levels. They are now accepting applications for Regional Artist Project Grants from residents in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, and Columbus Counties through September 20.

That night, Clyde Edgerton will give the Keynote Address. This will be followed by a Booksgining and Reception, sponsored by Salt magazine.

Salt is more than a pretty lifestyle magazine. In every issue, they strive to create a magazine of uncommon literary and artistic vision that explores everything from the thriving arts community to their passion for homes and gardens. They celebrate the best of food and wine, and indulge their love of the outdoors. They showcase remarkable people who have shaped Wilmington's past and others who are busy creating its exciting future. Moreover, every issue presents outstanding short fiction and poetry, essays and features that touch the heart and stir the soul.

Saturday morning kicks off with the "Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: How to Work with a Publisher (So They Want To Work with You)." This panel is sponsored by the Wilmington-based Ecotone/Lookout Books.

Founded as the literary book imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Lookout pledges to seek out emerging and historically underrepresented voices, as well as overlooked gems by established writers. They have published Edith Pearlman's Binocular Vision (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award); Steve Almond's God Bless America: Stories; and John Rybicki's When All the World Is Old: Poems, among others.

Their sister publication, Ecotone, is a semiannual journal that seeks to reimagine place. Contributors have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, as well as MacArthur, Guggenheim, and NEA fellows. But they're just as excited to provide a home for exciting new talents.

The Fayetteville-based Veterans Writing Collective will read during Saturday's luncheon. This event is sponsored by the longtime friend of the Network and member of the Board of Trustees, Al Manning. Al is also the Regional Rep for Chatham and Lee Counties, and facilitates Pittsboro's Writer's Morning Out, which meets the second Saturday of every month at Davenport & Winkleperry.

Later that day, Bellamy Mansion will sponsor the Faculty Readings. Bellamy Mansion is one of North Carolina's most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture built on the eve of the Civil War by free and enslaved black artisans, for John Dillard Bellamy (1817-1896) physician, planter and business leader; and his wife, Eliza McIlhenny Harriss (1821-1907) and their nine children. After the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865, Federal troops commandeered the house as their headquarters during the occupation of Wilmington.

Now the house is a museum that focuses on history and the design arts and offers tours, changing exhibitions, and an informative look at historic preservation in action.

Happy Hour immediately follows the Faculty Readings, and these libational sixty minutes are also sponsored by our friends at Salt magazine.

On Sunday morning, attendees will be treated to a second "Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion" titled "Agents and Editors." This panel is sponsored by WHQR 91.3 FM Public Radio. WHQR supports and enhances the artistic life of this region in two basic ways: through their music and cultural programs on the air, and through the other events and promotions they offer. You can stream their station live here.

Registration for the 2013 North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference opens soon. Save the dates—and check www.ncwriters.org soon for more information.

 
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