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GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 23, in the MHRA Building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration is now open.

Michael Parker, of Greensboro, will give the Keynote Address. Michael is the author of six novels, including All I Have in This World, and two collections of short stories. He has received fellowships in fiction from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the North Carolina Award for Literature. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, he is the Vacc Distinguished Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and since 2009 has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Quinn Dalton, author of the novel High Strung, will lead the Fiction Master Class, “Make a Scene: Learn How to Use the Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction.” Midnight Bowling, her next novel, will be published by Carolina Wren Press in March. The Infinity of You & Me, a novel co-written with novelist and poet Julianna Baggott under the pen name J.Q. Coyle, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in the fall of 2016.

Augusta University Assistant Professor Jim Minick will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, “Tension in Your Prose.” Jim is the author of four books, including his most recent, The Blueberry Years, a memoir that won the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. His novel, Fire Is Your Water, is due out in 2017.

The Poetry Master Class will be taught by Jennifer Whitaker, author of The Blue Hour, winner of the Brittingham Prize and forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press later this year. Jennifer’s poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals. She is an assistant poetry editor at storySouth. She currently lives in Greensboro, where she is Director of the University Writing Center at UNCG.

Additional Spring Conference offerings include poetry classes with Vievee Francis, recipient of the Rona Jaffe Prize and a Kresge Fellowship, and Matthew Olzmann, the 2015-16 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; fiction sessions with Sweetgirl author Travis Mulhauser and Greg Shemkovitz, author of Lot Boy, who teaches writing and literature at Elon University; creative nonfiction with Myléne Dressler, the director of the Sherwood Anderson Creative Writing Program at Guilford College; writing tween nonfiction with Bonnie J. Doerr, author of eco-mystery novels for tweens; and two sessions focused on the business of books: “The Facebook Advantage” with twenty-year publishing veteran Karen M. Alley, and “Getting the Word Out: Marketing Your Book on Your Own or with Your Publisher” with Lauren Moseley, Marketing Manager at Algonquin Books.

The Network will offer the second installment of the popular “Slush Pile Live!”, but with one major change: poetry and prose will now be read in two rooms, so that more attendees have a chance to receive feedback on their writing.

Beginning at 4:00 pm, attendees may drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry in the room of their choice. At 5:00 pm, a panel of editors will listen to the submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading if the piece were being submitted to their publication. The editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the sample, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. All anonymous—all live!

“If you’ve never worked or volunteered for a publisher or literary magazine before, the submission process can seem kind of mysterious,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “‘Slush Pile Live!’ gives attendees a peek into what goes through an editor’s mind as they read their way through a stack of unsolicited submissions, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Many familiar features remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conference-goers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Pre-registration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record; WFDD 88.5 FM: Public Radio for the Piedmont; and UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide free parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). For directions, click here.

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 17.

The non-profit 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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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