White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




WILMINGTON—The 2018 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is open for submissions.

This contest awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece 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.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive $1,000, $300, and $200 respectively. The winning entry will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

Benjamin Rachlin grew up in New Hampshire. He studied English at Bowdoin College, where he won the Sinkinson Prize, and writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he won Schwartz and Brauer fellowships. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Virginia Quarterly Review, TIME, Pacific Standard, Orion, LitHub, and Five Dials. His first book, Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption, is available now from Little, Brown & Company.

The 2018 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition 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. The contest is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2018 (postmark).

The 2017 winner was Joseph Mills of Winston-Salem, whose funny and contemplative essay "On Hearing My Daughter Trying to Sing Dixie" showed a mastery of tone and explored the South in "all of its glorious contradiction."

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

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 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    • 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.
    • Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • 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 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.
  • If submitting by postal mail, send submission to:

North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120


RALEIGH—Nominations for the state's next poet laureate, the ambassador of North Carolina literature, will be accepted from Wednesday, Nov. 15 to Friday, Dec. 8 online at www.NCArts.org.

The public is invited to nominate any North Carolina poet, or themselves, if they feel they are best suited for the position. Only current North Carolina residents are eligible to be nominated. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • A North Carolinian with deep connections to the cultural life of the state;
  • Literary excellence of the poet’s work;
  • Influence on other writers, and appreciation of literature in its diversity throughout the state;
  • Ability and willingness to conduct the public engagement duties of the office;
  • Statewide, national or international reputation.

The post of Poet Laureate was created by the General Assembly in 1935 to promote North Carolina writers and the power of poetry and the written word. The program is implemented by the North Carolina Arts Council, and is an example of how artists are recognized and supported across the state.

Poets nominated for the post will be contacted to affirm their interest in being considered, and will be invited to submit materials in support of their nomination by the deadline, January 5, 2018.

After review of all applicants, a selection committee will recommend names to Governor Roy Cooper, who will choose the ninth poet laureate of North Carolina. An installation ceremony, open to the public, will take place during the first quarter of 2018.

Shelby Stephenson was installed as the poet laureate of North Carolina in February, 2015. An accomplished poet and educator, Stephenson has been a tireless advocate for literacy and a respected ambassador for literature in service to the people of our state.

Since his installation, Stephenson has made 129 appearances in forty-three different North Carolina counties; published three books of poetry (one a reissue), with two additional books scheduled to be published; was awarded the prestigious 2016 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, for Elegies for Small Game; and received The William "Singing Billy" Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Letters from the University of South Carolina-Union, to name a few highlights.

Stephenson’s signature areas of interest included conducting writing workshops in assisted living and retirement communities; implementing workshops for those interested in exploring local archives and their family histories; and promoting writings about farming and farm life in North Carolina.

To start the nomination process, click here.

To learn more about the North Carolina Poet Laureate program visit: https://www.ncarts.org/resources/north-carolina-poet-laureate.

For more information contact David Potorti, Literature and Theater Director at the N.C. Arts Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (919) 807-6512.

Media inquiries should be directed to: Rebecca Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (919) 807-6530.

About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in new innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. www.NCArts.org.


Crystal Simone Smith

DURHAM—In this current media environment, we are bombarded with snippets and soundbites. It's easy to forget why Henry David Thoreau once said, "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." It takes time and effort to write short, especially for poets, whose medium is already defined by the somewhat narrow constraints of the form.

On Wednesday, December 13, at 7:00 pm, Durham poet and editor of Backbone Press Crystal Simone Smith will lead the online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" 

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Less is more is so cliché, but who can deny the genesis of tiny poems? They can embody a narrative or sear a stunning image into our minds. Using very few words one must craft a worthwhile poem that is, at once, complex and poignant. In this course, we will discuss aspects of the micropoet’s practice and the concept of “outside” inspiration mirrored by the idea that poetry is  “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”—W.B. Yeats. Rather haiku or free verse, accomplishing the task of a tiny poem is challenging. We’ll take a look at some techniques that make up this exciting genre. 

Crystal Simone Smith is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Routes Home (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Running Music (Longleaf Press, 2014). She is also the author of Wildflowers: Haiku, Senryu, and Haibun (2016). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including: Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Durham with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing. She is the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.

"Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's first offering in their 2017-2018 Winter Series of online classes.

"This new program initiative is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "These online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Micropoetry, the Ritual of Chiseling Words!" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, December 13, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration is closed.

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.


Joomla Template: by JoomlaShack