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NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network will host its 2017 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 22, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The depth and generosity of North Carolina’ literary community, and its legacy of great writing, will be on display.

Registration is now open.

Julie Funderburk will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “A Poem that Sings.” Julie’s debut poetry collection, The Door that Always Opens, was published by LSU Press in 2016. Currently teaching in the Creative Writing Program at Queens University of Charlotte, she is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, where Fred Chappell was one of her professors.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Fred Chappell will give the Keynote Address at Spring Conference. The former poet laureate of North Carolina, Fred’s newest book is a fantasy novel, A Shadow All of Light. He taught for forty years at UNCG.

Lee Zacharias, who will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, “The Art of Structuring Personal Nonfiction,” taught at UNCG herself for thirty-three years. An NEA and NC Arts Council Fellow, Lee’s newest book is a collection of essays, The Only Sounds We Make.

Another Queens University of Charlotte faculty member, David Payne, will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Acting Out on the Page.” The New York Times Notable author of five novels and a 2015 memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, A Brother’s Story, the The Dallas Morning News called him “the most gifted American novelist of his generation.”

Fiction writers can choose from additional offerings, including “Flash Fiction: Sometimes Less Is More” with Steve Cushman, whose new novel Hopscotch is forthcoming in 2017; “The Mystery of Plot in Fiction” led by James Tate Hill, whose novel Academy Gothic won the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel; and writers for children can sign up for “Exercising the Imagination,” led by John Claude Bemis, North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature.

On the slate for poets? “Poetic Architects: Building Poems Editors Publish” with Crystal Simone Smith, poet and publisher of Backbone Press; and “Documenting Life through Poetry” with Barbara Presnell, whose Piece Work documents the textile industry in North Carolina and won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Prize.

Nonfiction writers can choose additional courses including “Asking the 5 Hard Questions: Revising Memoir” with Melissa Delbridge, whose memoir Family Bible (University of Iowa Press, 2008) evolved from essays written during her fellowship at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.

Attendees wanting to gain insight into the business of books, including self-publishing and promotion, can register for Russell Hatler and Nikki Brate’s “Social Media for Self-Published Authors” and “Big, Medium, Small, or Self?,” a class on self-publishing led by Edmund R. Schubert, who served for ten years as head editor of the online, bi-monthly magazine InterGalactic Medicine Show (including publishing three IGMS anthologies and winning two WSFA Small Press Awards).

NCWN also will host its third annual “Slush Pile Live!” Like last year, 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. Many attendees have commented how much they learn in this hour of rapid-fire tidbits of wisdom and common sense.

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,” in which 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. Preregistration and an additional fee are required for this offering.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by The MFA in Creative Writing Program at UNCG,, 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). Other sponsors include 88.5 FM WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont and the North Carolina Arts Council

Pre-registration closes April 16. Register now!


CHARLOTTE—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers' Network's online class "The Tao of Self-Doubt: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Writers" led by Malcolm Campbell.

The class will take place on Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 pm, online. This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Register here.

Writing is a difficult, lonely endeavor—one marked by occasional vacillation between self-doubt (“I’m a hack”) and grandiosity (“I’m the greatest writer ever”). Yet, self-doubt and heightened self-esteem are healthy, useful emotions for the writer, when they exist within certain limits. How can we put these and other emotions to use in our apprenticeship as writers? What are some effective means of preparing ourselves for the emotional realms of writing? Of working with editors and in writing groups? And of dealing with the time we spend alone, in reflection, both when we’re writing and when we’re not? Malcolm will present ten lessons—culled from Taoist, Buddhist, Christian, and Judaic teachings (plus from snippets of existential philosophy)—for how to work through the emotional demands on creative individuals. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll sing Kumbaya.

Malcolm Campbell is the author of two adventure travel guidebooks, editor of professional golf instructor Dana Rader’s golf instructional book, Rock Solid Golf, and founder of the independent publishing house, Walkabout Press. In Malcolm’s twenty years as a commercial writer, he’s written everything from power-tool-accessory catalogs to television commercials to cover/feature stories for national magazines. Malcolm is the 2008 recipient of the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, a member of the NCWN Board of Trustees, and teaches in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Writing Program.

"The Tao of Self-Doubt: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Writers" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's third offering in their 2016-2017 Winter Series. The final class will be held in March.

"This new program initiative allows us to further our mission to connect and serve all the writers of North Carolina," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We view these online courses as a supplement to our current programs, and we remain committed to continuing to offer ample opportunities for all of us to get together face-to-face and in-person as well."

The online class "The Tao of Self-Doubt: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Writers" is available to anyone with an internet connection. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, February 16, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Register here.

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 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is now open for submissions.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions. The contest awards the winner $200 and publication in storySouth. The deadline is Wednesday, March 1.

Final judge David Blair grew up in Pittsburgh. He is the author of three books of poetry: Ascension Days, which was chosen by Thomas Lux for the Del Sol Poetry Prize, Arsonville, and Friends with Dogs. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Slate Magazine, and many other places as well, including the anthologies The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Devouring the Green, and Zoland Poetry.

He has taught at the New England Institute of Art and in the M.FA. Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter, and he has a degree in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Read his poem "Allies in Boston," for free, here. Read his poem "Gospel," here.

Sarah Huener of Durham won the 2016 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “To Pluto.” Ruth Moose of Pittsboro was named First Runner Up; Maria Rouphail, of Raleigh, received an Honorable Mention.

Read all the winning poems, and finalists, in Issue 42: Fall 2016 of storySouth.

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international." Published poets include Cathy Smith Bowers, Al Maginnes, Dannye Romine Powell, and Elizabeth Swann.

 This competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.

Here are the complete guidelines to the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition:

  • 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 March 1.
  • Entries can be submitted one of two ways:
    1. Send one printed copy 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.
  • Poem will not be returned. If submitting by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a list of winner and finalists. The winner and finalists will be announced in May.
  • An entry fee must accompany the poem. Multiple submissions are accepted, one poem per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $15 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit).
  • Poem must be typed (single-spaced) and stapled in the left-hand corner.
  • 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.)
  • If submitting by mail, send submissions to:

Terry L. Kennedy
MFA Writing Program
3302 MHRA Building
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

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, visit www.ncwriters.org.


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