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GREENSBORO—Lines are the building blocks of poetry. From the basis of lines, all poems, no matter the formal style, come into being.

Whether we're writing prose poems about the worst job we ever had or deep diving into collections by our favorite poets, it's impossible to talk about any of it without talking about lines.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 21, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Registration is now open.

Emilia Phillips will lead the Master Class in Poetry, "Walk the Line: Syntax and the Poetic Line."

Emilia Phillips is the author of two poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, Signaletics (2013) and Groundspeed (2016), and three chapbooks, most recently Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear widely in literary publications including AGNI, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her third book, Empty Clip, will be published by the University of Akron Press in Spring, 2018.

In her workshop, registrants will consider the relationship between poetry's vehicles of meaning: the line and the sentence. In doing so, attendees will investigate the ways in which these structures support, nuance, and deny one another to achieve resonance, depth, and subtext within a poem. This course will be generative, with exercises that rely on close reading and formal manipulation of texts, as well as the drafting of new pieces. Whether you want to learn more about what your favorite poets are doing with their poems or discover how to break lines in your own, this course will insist that poetry is a craft, honed by exercises and study.

For full details on applying to the Master Class in Poetry, click here.

Beginning poets, or those who want to sample a broader selection of classes, may register for additional offerings.

Charmaine Cadeau, author of two poetry collections and an Associate Professor of English at High Point University, will lead the session "Prose Poems."

Prose poetry suggests disorder from its very name, being a little of this, and a little of that. Its fluidity, folding in drama, nonfiction, fiction, and other poetries, insists on writers and readers engaged in thinking about how we read, what we read, and how it all connects. Beyond being just poems without line breaks, or narratives written by poets, prose poetry folds in conventions from other genres to push at the limits of form. In this workshop, we will look at a few models and generate some new writing.

"What Work Is: Poetry from our Working Lives" with Valerie Neiman, whose second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy (2015), had work nominated for the Pushcart Prize and cited in Best Small Fictions 2016, will discuss how work provides “our daily bread,” but also shapes the daily substance of our lives, whether that work takes place in the home, in the mall shop or mill, on the farm or behind a desk in a corporate tower. It is the framework for the story of our communities and ourselves. In this workshop, suitable for all writers, attendees will look at ways to tap into the history and culture of work to create new writing. Poetry about work will get folks started, followed by a writing exercise to help stimulate memory and imagination. Participants are asked to bring photographs of a family member at work, as well as a tool or some other memento of the workplace. Handouts will provide further inspiration and resources to help writers.

Additional conference programming includes "Lunch with an Author" (only available to those who pre-register); faculty readings and open mics; and the fourth annual Slush Pile Live! where poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile.

Register now.

 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.

 

GREENSBORO—Writers of creative nonfiction aren't off the hook just because they need to stick to the truth.

Elements of craft familiar to writers of fiction or poetry apply to narrative nonfiction as well: the importance of imagery; a strong opening; and structuring your piece for maximum pay-off are the considerations of all writers.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 21, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Registration is now open.

Cynthia Nearman will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction. Nearman is chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College in Greensboro. Since 2009, she’s served as creative nonfiction editor for storySouth. She writes flash nonfiction, cultural commentary (rants, really), and experiments with lyric essays that sometimes turn into poems or works of speculative fiction.

Her workshop invites writers to explore and enhance their process of working with vivid images from the earliest drafting stages to making decisions about an essay’s structure and organization. The workshop is designed to engage and invigorate participants’ approaches to the smallest yet most essential elements of nonfiction storytelling: sensory images and concrete details, objects and actions. Attendees will look briefly at vivid scenes from nonfiction works published online and in print, paying careful attention to the connection between concrete details and characters’ desires, and between descriptions of actions and objects and larger meanings or ideas. They'll also consider together how and why image-driven essays work in conventional narrative forms as well as more experimental forms (e.g., lists, lyrics, braids, etc.). The main focus will be on what it means to imagine and create from within images as we generate and revise nonfiction prose. Registrants will practice strategies for discovering and selecting images that do "double duty"—i.e., concrete detail and sensory information that work organically to create living, moving pictures resonant with meaning.

For full details on applying to the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, click here.

Beginning writers interested in nonfiction, or those who want to sample a broader selection of classes, may register for additional offerings.

Thomas Mira y Lopez, the 2017-2018 Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC-Chapel Hill, will lead the session "Opening Well: Strategies and Possibilities for Starting a Personal Essay."

This class will explore how to begin a personal essay or work of creative nonfiction. What makes an effective or engaging opening? What different strategies are available and how might writers work towards their own style and voice within these tropes? The class will examine examples of different openings in works of creative nonfiction before writing their own openings that reflect and develop on these openings.

"Cinematic Storytelling Techniques for All Writers" with Susan Emshwiller, a produced screenwriter and co-writer of the film Pollock, will enrich your storytelling dramatically. Attendees will see film clips, do prompt writing, and learn tips on effective exposition, dialogue, theme, the power of reactions, creating mystery by withholding information, show-don’t-tell, how to hide setups for surprising payoffs, writing with “shot-sizes” to invigorate their work, and more. This class will benefit writers of all genres.

Additional conference programming includes "Lunch with an Author" (only available to those who pre-register); faculty readings and open mics; and the fourth annual Slush Pile Live! where poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile.

Register now.

 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.

 

GREENSBORO—The Keynote Address at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference kicks off a full day of classes and sessions on the craft and business of writing. Past speakers have included Michael Parker and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductees Fred Chappell and Jaki Shelton Green.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 21, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. On-site registration will be available beginning at 8:00 am in the MHRA Building lobby on the UNCG campus.

2018 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle will give this year's Keynote Address.

McCorkle has the distinction of having her first two novels published on the same day in 1984. Since then she has published four other novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, while three of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories anthologies. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis, where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. A native of Lumberton, she lives with her husband, photographer Tom Rankin, in Hillsborough.

You can read McCorkle's essay "Cuss Time" and her short story, "Me and Big Foot," on the American Scholar website.

When McCorkle is inducted into the NC Literary Hall of Fame this October, she will join journalist Joseph Mitchell as one of two from Robeson County. Other inductees include Dr. James W. Clark, Jr., of Raleigh; Randall Kenan of Hillsborough; Penelope Niven of High Point; and Marsha White Warren of Chapel Hill.'

“I am Robeson County born and bred,” McCorkle said. “To me it’s an important place, and my work does reflect this place.”

McCorkle is working on her next novel, which weaves her memories of growing up in Lumberton with her father's recollections of a famous train wreck in Robeson County during World War Two. There is "a courtroom trial as a backdrop" as well as plenty of Robeson County history.

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Spring Conference offers classes on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as cinematic storytelling techniques; how to submit; and law for writers. Popular programs include the open mics, faculty readings, "Lunch with an Author," and Slush Pile Live! where anonymous submissions are read aloud infront of a panel of editors, who offer constructive feedback each piece—live! 

For a taste of what to expect at this year's Keynote Address, you can listen to Fred Chappell give the Keynote Address at the NCWN 2017 Spring Conference, here.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide 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). Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.

Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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