White Cross School Blog

 

NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

 

Friday-Sunday
November 3-5
Holiday Inn Resort
1706 North Lumina Ave.
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
910-256-2231

 

When booking your hotel reservation, use this link and the group code NCW to reserve your room online, or call the hotel at (877) 330-5050 and mention NC Writers' Network 2017 Fall Conference to make reservations at the discounted group rate.

 

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

FEES AND DEADLINES | COMPLETE SCHEDULE-AT-A-GLANCE | COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

SESSION I | SESSION II | SESSION III | SESSION IV | SESSION V | MASTER CLASSES | CRITIQUE SERVICE | MANUSCRIPT MART | FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

 

Fees & Deadlines

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Early registration: On-site registration:

Member Rates

  • $260 (full conference, with meals)
  • $200 (full conference, without meals)
  • $200 (full conference, without workshops)*
  • $210 (Saturday only, with meals)
  • $100 (Sunday only, without meals)

Nonmember Rates

  • $375 (full conference, with meals)
  • $300 (full conference, without meals)
  • $325 (Saturday only, with meals)
  • $200 (Sunday only, without meals)

Other Fees

  • $30 for a Master Class
  • $160 for Manuscript Mart
  • $150 for Critique Service

 

  • $450 (full conference, without meals—for members and nonmembers)
  • $350 (Saturday only, without meals—for members and nonmembers)
  • $250 (Sunday only, without meals—for members and nonmembers)

*This is our “Hangout” rate, for NCWN members who want to come hang out with their friends, enjoy the group meals and general sessions, but not take any workshops.

 

Scholarships

Limited scholarship aid is available for the Fall Conference. To apply, send your current CV and a statement of writing intent—describing your background and goals as a writer—to Ed Southern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition, the Mary Belle Campbell Scholarships are open to applications from poets who teach full-time. For more information, please e-mail Ed Southern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline for all scholarship applications is October 13.

 

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network by 4:00 pm on Friday, October 27, 2017, for you to receive a refund of the registration fee, less 25 percent. No-shows or cancellations after October 27 are nonrefundable.

Manuscript Mart, Critique Service, and Master Class fees are not refundable if you cancel. However, if we are not able to find a place for you in the Manuscript Mart or Critique Service, we will return your check(s) for related extra charge(s).

Master Class application fees are nonrefundable.

Send all refund requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Deadlines

 

October 13

Deadline to reserve hotel rooms at low conference rate*
($149 Oceanfront, $129 Standard, + taxes and fees/night); please click here or call 877-330-5050 to make reservations at the discounted group rate) ++

* Conference-rate rooms subject to limited availability, and will be allocated on first-come, first-served basis.

October 13 Deadline for all scholarship applications (Fees & Deadlines)
October 20 Deadline for Master Class registration (see guidelines)
October 20 Deadline for Manuscript Mart / Critique Service registration (see guidelines)
October 27 Deadline for early registration (5:00 pm by phone or mail; midnight if registering online). The first 12 Fall Conference registrants to mention this sentence at the registration table will receive $20 off their next year’s NCWN member dues.
November 3-5 On-site registration available at conference
November 3-5 Fall Conference in session

 

For Writers with Special Needs

The North Carolina Writers' Network strives to make our programs and services accessible to all writers, including those with special needs. If you require conference materials either in large print or in Braille, or if you require a sign-language interpreter, please register for the conference and submit your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than October 13. If you require any other special assistance, please let us know as soon as possible at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will do our best to accommodate all reasonable requests.

 

e-Packets

In an effort to save money, time, and resources, the Network will send to all 2017 Fall Conference registrants, exhibitors, and faculty an e-Packet, prior to November 3. The e-Packet will contain all the usual conference packet materials, in the form of a PDF that registrants can print or download to bring with them to the conference.

Name tags, personalized schedules, and copies of the Schedule-at-a-Glance will still be available at the registration table the day of the conference.

If you prefer to receive a traditional printed packet at the conference, please indicate this preference in the space provided on your registration form.

 

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Complete Schedule-At-A-Glance

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Friday, November 3

12:00 pm.....................Pre-Conference Tailgate:

Writing from Place: A Poetry (or Prose) Walk
with Anna Lena Phillips Bell

3:00 – 10:00 pm...........Registration and Book Sales open
5:00 - 9:00 pm..............Exhibitor Tables open
6:00 – 8:00 pm.............Writers Week Closing/Fall Conference Opening Reception

(Sponsored by the UNCW Department of Creative Writing)

8:00 – 9:00 pm.............Keynote Address by Wiley Cash
9:00 – 10:00 pm...........Wiley Cash Book Signing

(Sponsored by The Arts Council of Wilmington / New Hanover County

 

Saturday, November 4

7:30 – 9:00 am............Continental Breakfast available
7:30 am – 7:30 pm......Registration Table open
8:00 am - 7:30 pm.......Book Sales and Exhibitor Tables open
8:00 – 9:00 am............All Stories Connect:

The NCHC Linda Flowers Literary Award
and the Importance of Story to Understanding
with Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, Krista Bremer, Marian Fragola,
and the winner of the 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award
(Sponsored by Coastal Carolina University)

9:00 am – 10:30 am......Session I

The Art of Novel Writing (fiction) with Michele Young-Stone
Myth & Modern Magical Thinking for Mere Mortals with Catherine Woodard
Understanding the Editorial Process with Beth Staples
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: The Power of Voice with Wendy Brenner
Fiction Master Class: The Heart of the Matter with Nina de Gramont
Poetry Master Class: The "What It Is" and the Unteachable Lesson: On Form in Free Verse and the Search for Metaphor with Dan Albergotti
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

10:30 – 11:00 am...........Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm.....Session II

The Experimental and the Exquisite: A Generative Nonfiction Workshop with Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams
Charting Your Path to Publication: Tips, Techniques, and Lessons for Writers with Michele T. Berger
Object, List, & Place Poems with Peter Makuck
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: The Power of Voice with Wendy Brenner (Cont.)
Fiction Master Class: The Heart of the Matter with Nina de Gramont (Cont.)
Poetry Master Class: The "What It Is" and the Unteachable Lesson: On Form in Free Verse and the Search for Metaphor with Dan Albergotti (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:30 pm.........Luncheon featuring Dev T. Smith and CreativeNC
1:45 – 2:15 pm...........Network Town Hall Meeting
2:15 – 2:30 pm...........Break
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm.....Session III

Such a Character (fiction) with Jason Mott
The Art of Creative Research with Philip Gerard
Writing the Query Letter that Sells! with Malaga Baldi
Creative Nonfiction Master Class: The Power of Voice with Wendy Brenner (Cont.)
Fiction Master Class: The Heart of the Matter with Nina de Gramont (Cont.)
Poetry Master Class: The "What It Is" and the Unteachable Lesson: On Form in Free Verse and the Search for Metaphor with Dan Albergotti (Cont.)
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

4:00 – 4:30 pm......Break
4:30 – 5:30 pm......Faculty Readings (Sponsored by WHQR Public Radio 91.3 FM)
6:00 – 7:00 pm......Happy Hour (Sponsored by Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author)
7:00 – 8:00 pm......Network Banquet Celebrating 50 Years of the North Carolina Arts Council

with Secretary Susi H. Hamilton, North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources

8:30 – 9:30 pm....Open Mic Readings (Sign up at registration table) (Sponsored by Al Manning)

 

Sunday, November 5

7:30 – 9:00 am.............Continental Breakfast available
7:30 am – 1:00 pm.......Registration Table open
8:00 – 1:00 pm.............Book Sales and Exhibitor Tables open
8:00 – 9:00 am.............Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: "Agents and Editors"

with Malaga Baldi, Jaime Coyne, Christopher Rhodes, and Emily Louise Smith

9:00 am – 10:30 am.......Session IV

Writing the Short Personal Essay with Robert Wallace
Fine Lines with Melissa Crowe
Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Plot Twists: Developing a Mystery with Thomas Kies
Panel: Finding Readers through Lit Mags with Terry L. Kennedy, Robin Miura, and Ross White
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

10:30 – 11:00 am............Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm......Session V

The Writing Life: Strategies for Being an Artist in the Real World (or How to Make the Writing Life Happen) with Deonna Kelli Sayed
Booksellers and Authors: Building Partnerships that Last with Nicki Leone
The Ordinary Extraordinary (poetry) with Michael White
Screenwriting 101 with Jason Mott
Manuscript Mart/Critique Service*

12:30 – 1:00 pm.............Closing Conversation

 

*by prior registration only

 

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Course Descriptions

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Friday, November 3

12:00 pm

Pre-Conference Tailgate: Writing from Place: A Poetry (or Prose) Walk with Anna Lena Phillips Bell
The kind of close looking and listening that makes for good poems is also key to good sentences and paragraphs. And exploring a place, whether new or beloved, is a perfect way to amp up those observational skills and generate new material.

This small jaunt is designed to do just that. Starting from the Holiday Inn Resort, we’ll meander through Wrightsville Beach, pausing often in the shade to write. Suggested prompts will be provided along the way. After we’ve taken in some of the town/beach and gathered lines and ideas, we’ll adjourn to the Holiday Inn Resort for a few more minutes of writing, and for optional sharing of the work we’ve begun.

Bring a small notebook and something to write with. A water bottle and sun protection are recommended, although this will not be a strenuous walk, and we'll be stopping frequently to write. A minibook of prompts will be provided to all participants for future adventuring.

 

Saturday, November 4

8:00–9:00 am

All Stories Connect: The NCHC Linda Flowers Literary Award and the Importance of Story to Understanding with Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, Krista Bremer, Marian Fragola, and the winner of the 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award (Sponsored by Coastal Carolina University)
The North Carolina Writers’ Network is pleased to welcome our friends from the North Carolina Humanities Council as they announce the winner of their 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award. The announcement will be accompanied by a reading of the winning entry, and a panel discussion on Linda Flowers, her work in and for North Carolina, and the importance of story in fostering real understanding.

 

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session I

The Art of Novel Writing: From Idea to Polished Manuscript and Beyond with Michele Young-Stone
In this class, novelist Michele Young-Stone will discuss how to take an idea and develop it into a publishable novel. She will talk from personal experience in addition to discussing the discipline of writing, outlining, breaking through plateaus, revision, and finding the right agent.

Myth & Modern Magical Thinking for Mere Mortals with Catherine Woodard
George Lucas and J.K. Rowling built empires by re-interpreting the timeless hero/heroine’s journey at the core of myth. The rest of us mere mortals can inject creative sparks into our writing by understanding the opportunities—and pitfalls—of mining myth for creative tension in any genre. The author of Opening the Mouth of the Dead, a story in poems, explains the evolution of what worked and didn’t when her third-grade narrator in a small town in eastern N.C. in the 1960s was obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead for clues to solve her family’s problems.

Understanding the Editorial Process with Beth Staples
Many writers feel uneasy at the very idea of having their work edited. Picture an editor, and you might think of an angry red pen, someone intent on finding mistakes. But Beth, Editor at Lookout Books and Senior Editor at Ecotone Magazine, believes very strongly in a collaborative writer-editor relationship, one that can do wonderful things for a piece of writing. This class will aim to demystify the editorial process and give advice about the best way to receive edits and work with an editor. From smaller pieces at literary journals to book-length projects, Beth will give you a peek behind the editorial curtain, and explain the various stages of the editorial process, from acquisition to proofreading and everything in between.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class: The Power of Voice with Wendy Brenner
In this class we’ll focus on voice in creative nonfiction, exploring methods and modes of storytelling that writers may overlook or not feel confident enough to use. As nonfiction writers, we often feel our own voices are limited by facts, or that we must adhere to rules of a particular form or project – but there are many different ways to tell the truth, and narrative voice is in fact a flexible, wide-ranging instrument. Likewise, the voices of others can deepen and enliven our work in wonderfully unexpected ways. Whether you’re working in memoir, biography, journalism, history, or some other sub-genre, this class will provide you with new tools and perspectives. In addition to our workshop discussions of your work, we’ll read and discuss excerpts from a range of published nonfiction in class.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Fiction Master Class: The Heart of the Matter with Nina de Gramont
In every novel or story, there is one event that matters most – the moment in time the arc revolves around, whether that moment is your story’s beginning, middle, or end. How do we make sure this moment is not only emotionally resonant but vivid, absorbing, psychologically astute, and inevitable? In this class we will discuss the placement of your most crucial scene, the events that will surround it, as well as craft techniques to make sure it will have the strongest possible effect on your reader.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Poetry Master Class: The “What It Is” and the Unteachable Lesson: On Form in Free Verse and the Search for Metaphor with Dan Albergotti
We'll take a close look at several poems that illustrate: (1) the truth that "free verse" is never truly free of form and (2) the god-like and elusive power of metaphor. And of course we'll talk about the poems submitted by the participants as well.

Please submit three poems, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the Spring Conference. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session II

The Experimental and the Exquisite: A Generative Nonfiction Workshop with Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams
The trick here is to astonish yourself, to outsmart and outwrite yourself. This workshop will provide you with ways to leap into ideas you didn’t know you had and deliver language you didn’t know you could. The exercises in this class will further equip you with methods for deepening and enriching your writing practice in the long term. Our generative focus may foster new starting points, or it may complicate and develop essays and memoirs already underway. We will explore how to incorporate lyricism and write beautiful sentences without endangering the unbreakable contract we have with our readers to tell the truth. This class is open to writers at all levels, with or without a current project.

Charting Your Path to Publication: Tips, Techniques, and Lessons for Writers with Michele T. Berger
You’ve written your best work and honed it to perfection. Now what? Getting published is challenging. This workshop will teach you strategies to beat the odds of rejection. “Charting Your Path” is designed for writers at all levels. We’ll focus most of our time on how and where to submit short fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We’ll examine a variety of venues including literary journals, magazines, newspapers, anthologies as well as how to submit to agents and publishing houses. We will also discuss the role of author mindset as vital to publishing success. There is no one path to publication, but we can follow and replicate the strategies of accomplished writers. Each participant will leave with an action plan with concrete steps toward publication (or, if already published with a plan about how to become more widely so).

Object, List, and Place Poems with Peter Makuck
In this workshop we will focus our attention on list, place, and object poems, emphasizing overall the importance of imagery. I will distribute model poems by writers like Gary Soto, Ellen Bryant Voigt, James Wright, May Swenson, Richard Hugo, and others. These we will look at closely for structure and technique. My goal is to have writers leave the workshop with a draft or the beginnings of a poem of their own. Time permitting, I will talk about the art of revision and the range of questions we should ask ourselves when we think a poem is ready to be submitted for publication.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Wendy Brenner
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Classwith Nina de Gramont
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Dan Albergotti
Cont. See Above.

 

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Luncheon featuring Dev T. Smith and Creative NC
Filmed from 2014-2015, CreativeNC is a documentary that sheds light on what it's like to be a creative in a country fueled by industrial ideals. What is a creative? Do society and our educational system stifle creativity? What's it like to build a career and find success as a creative in an area that lacks industry? Producer and Director Dev T. Smith answers those questions through the lens of North Carolina through interviews with the state's standout creatives at various points in their careers. The film debuted at the North Carolina Museum of History, accompanied by panel discussions and keynotes about creative/entrepreneurial development.

 

2:30 – 4:00 pm: Session III

Such a Character (fiction) with Jason Mott
This workshop will focus specifically on character creation, analysis, and development. We will discuss how we, as writers, can best create engaging, layered, memorable characters while still developing the story around them. Participants are encouraged to bring information about characters they might be working on, and be ready to talk about whatever challenges they, the writers, are facing.

The Art of Creative Research with Philip Gerard
“The Art of Creative Research” will address ways to explore the world in search of stories. Crucial to this process is re-imagining the ‘known”—applying imagination as an investigative tool. Research is an adventure that can reinvigorate the writer’s work in any genre, grounding stories, poems, and essays of ideas in the authentic stuff of the world. Participants will leave with a template for how two plan their own research adventure.

Writing the Query Letter that Sells!with Malaga Baldi
Participants are asked to bring in their blind query letters, omitting their names. We will have an informal and general discussion about publishing, what a query letter is supposed to do, how to write it, and why it is so important. Then I will mix your letters with some of my examples and ask volunteers to read letters aloud. We’ll review and critique each letter. Participants will offer their thoughts and opinions, then I will offer helpful criticism and pointers on how each letter can be improved and how to make each letter sell something an agent will ask to read.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Wendy Brenner
Cont. See Above.

Fiction Master Classwith Nina de Gramont
Cont. See Above.

Poetry Master Class with Dan Albergotti
Cont. See Above.

 

4:30–5:30 pm

Faculty Readings
(Sponsored by WHQR Public Radio 91.3 FM)

  

Sunday, November 5

8:00–9:00 am

Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: Agents & Editors with Malaga Baldi, Jaime Coyne, Christopher Rhodes, and Emily Louise Smith
This is your annual chance to ask professional agents and editors your burning questions about queries, submissions, slush piles, and the winding path to publication.

9:00 – 10:30 am: Session IV

Writing the Short Personal Essay with Robert Wallace
This workshop will define what makes an essay personal and what it means to make oneself a character in the story. We’ll discuss craft, narrative voice, and other devices commonly thought of in fiction-storytelling. Additionally, we’ll explore examples of short personal essays and allow time for participants to begin crafting their own short personal essay. Time will be allowed for asking questions, and for the business side of writing personal essays, such as places that publish this genre, and where to go to learn more.

Fine Lines (poetry) with Melissa Crowe
In this class, we’ll explore “line logic," the line as the poem’s primary unit of composition; we’ll pay some attention to how skilled poets make choices about line length and line breaks, and we’ll have a look at the ways in which contemporary poets trouble or test convention, fiddling with a line's music and structure, perhaps discovering new ways to create tension and energy. Participants will engage in exercises designed to get them experimenting with lines and line breaks in their own poems and should come away surprised at the difference this kind of attention to the line can make in their work.

Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Plot Twists: Developing a Mystery with Thomas Kies
How do you develop memorable characters, from your hero to your bad guys (who are people too!)? How do you make them leap off the page and land in a life or death struggle? How do you avoid TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) Syndrome? We’ll talk about that and what agents and publishers who specialize in mysteries are looking for.

Panel Discussion: Finding Readers Through Lit Mags with Terry L. Kennedy, Robin Miura, and Ross White
Building a readership means finding a readership, and literary journals provide writers with opportunities to connect with readers all over the world and build professional relationships with editors. But with thousands of literary magazines publishing new work every year, and new journals launching all the time, it's hard to know where to start. Our panel of experienced editors will walk you through discovering new literary journals, selecting the right literary journals in print and online, preparing and sending your submission, and what the responses really mean.

 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session V

The Writing Life: Strategies for Being an Artist in the Real World (or How to Make a Writing Life Happen) with Deonna Kelli Sayed
Deonna Kelli Sayed will explore various ways to honor creative space in the life you have. She’ll share writing models that highlight different approaches to creativity and craft, and how to navigate individual barriers to a successful writing practice. Participants will investigate how perceptions of creativity can erode writing confidence. The workshop will be part interactive, part lecture, and part celebration of the wild and wonderful world of writing.

Booksellers and Authors: Building Partnerships that Last with Nicki Leone
Working with bookstores can feel like an adversarial process, especially for authors who are handling their own promotion, or trying to expand beyond the promotion provided by the marketing budget they have been allotted by their publisher. But it doesn't have to be either frustrating or intimidating. Booksellers and authors are natural partners who want the same thing—a world full of avid readers and people to get excited about books. This workshop will go over some of the things authors can do to foster good working relationships with bookstores, relationships that will last beyond the first book tour and create booksellers who will be advocates for your work.

The Ordinary Extraordinary (poetry) with Michael White
In this generative workshop, we will begin with a brief discussion on how the ode has been redefined by modern masters like Neruda and Olds. Contemporary odes tend to be surprising and celebratory, like so many of Neruda’s odes to common objects like socks, tomatoes, salt, and scissors. These poems breathe life into the everyday; they seek to make the ordinary extraordinary. Much of the class will be spent writing a new poem about a traditionally unsung subject. We’ll conclude with readings and discussion of revision strategies.

Screenwriting 101 with Jason Mott
This class will focus on the essential basics of screenwriting such as the three-act structure, character creation and development, the general nuts and bolts of formatting, etc. This class will also touch on considerations such as developing a pitch for your story, querying agents, and developing ideas.

 

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Master Classes

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Master Classes offer intermediate and advanced writers a chance to delve more deeply into a particular genre. Each Master Class will take place over the course of Sessions I, II, and III, and will be limited to the first twelve qualified registrants.

While publication credits are not required, Master Class participants should be experienced writers, dedicated to their craft. Applications will be reviewed, and qualified registrants admitted, on a rolling basis, until the deadline of Friday, October 20.

When you register for a Master Class, please choose another class as a back-up in case you are not admitted to the Master Class.

Please submit your current CV, along with the required manuscript (see each Master Class’s course description, below, for its manuscript requirements), to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., on the same day that you register for the Fall Conference.

Application to a Master Class requires a non-refundable $30 processing fee, in addition to the Fall Conference registration fee. If registering for the conference online or by phone, you can pay this processing fee with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. If registering by mail, you must include a separate check for $30.

MASTER CLASS REGISTRATIONS (INCLUDING REQUIRED MANUSCRIPTS) MUST BE RECEIVED THE SAME DAY YOU REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE.

Creative Nonfiction Master Class: The Power of Voice with Wendy Brenner
In this class we’ll focus on voice in creative nonfiction, exploring methods and modes of storytelling that writers may overlook or not feel confident enough to use. As nonfiction writers, we often feel our own voices are limited by facts, or that we must adhere to rules of a particular form or project – but there are many different ways to tell the truth, and narrative voice is in fact a flexible, wide-ranging instrument. Likewise, the voices of others can deepen and enliven our work in wonderfully unexpected ways. Whether you’re working in memoir, biography, journalism, history, or some other sub-genre, this class will provide you with new tools and perspectives. In addition to our workshop discussions of your work, we’ll read and discuss excerpts from a range of published nonfiction in class.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV as a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission and in the file name of the document (i.e., ‘Faulkner_Sound&Fury.docx’). The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Fiction Master Class: The Heart of the Matter with Nina de Gramont
In every novel or story, there is one event that matters most – the moment in time the arc revolves around, whether that moment is your story’s beginning, middle, or end. How do we make sure this moment is not only emotionally resonant but vivid, absorbing, psychologically astute, and inevitable? In this class we will discuss the placement of your most crucial scene, the events that will surround it, as well as craft techniques to make sure it will have the strongest possible effect on your reader.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV as a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and your name should appear on the submission and in the file name of the document (i.e., ‘Faulkner_Sound&Fury.docx’). The sample you submit will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Poetry Master Class: The “What It Is” and the Unteachable Lesson: On Form in Free Verse and the Search for Metaphor with Dan Albergotti
We'll take a close look at several poems that illustrate: (1) the truth that "free verse" is never truly free of form and (2) the god-like and elusive power of metaphor. And of course we'll talk about the poems submitted by the participants as well.

Please submit three poems, along with your current CV as a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission, and your name in the file name of the document (i.e., ‘Plath_Poems.docx’). Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

 

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Manuscript Mart

Register Online | Download Registration Form

 

Manuscript Mart provides writers with the opportunity to submit their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency. A one-on-one, thirty-minute session will be scheduled for you, to take place on Saturday, November 4, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 5, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm.

Please note, a Manuscript Mart session can lead directly to publication—but don't expect it to do so. Think of it, instead, as a learning opportunity, and you'll get more out of it.

Manuscript Mart sessions are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. YOUR MANUSCRIPT MART REGISTRATION, WITH MANUSCRIPT AND PAYMENT ENCLOSED, MUST REACH THE NETWORK BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20.

 

Guidelines

Submit two copies of no more than twenty double-spaced, single-sided, sequential pages of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript, along with two copies of a one-page query or synopsis. Make sure your name is on each page of your manuscript, and number those pages.

All submissions must be double-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins.

You must be registered for the conference for your Manuscript Mart session to be scheduled.

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Fall Conference Manuscript Mart
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checklist:

  • two copies of manuscript and query letter or synopsis
  • Manuscript Mart cover sheet;
  • Check to cover Manuscript Mart ($160);
  • A separate check to cover all other conference fees, if you are registering for the conference through the mail.

 

NOTE: If Manuscript Mart fills, your check will be returned to you.

 

Manuscript Mart Reviewers

From the names below, select your first, second, and third choice on your registration form. We will try to accommodate your first choice; if we cannot, we will select an appropriate editor or agent for you. The name of your assigned agent or editor, as well as the time and location of your session, will be included in the packet you will receive at the conference registration table.

Malaga Baldi, The Baldi Agency
Jaime Coyne, St. Martin’s Press
Christopher Rhodes, The Stuart Agency
Emily Louise Smith, Lookout Books / Ecotone

 

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Critique Service

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The Critique Service provides writers with in-depth literary critique of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, by a seasoned writer or editor. A one-on-one, thirty-minute review session will be scheduled for you, to take place on Saturday, November 4, sometime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, or on Sunday, November 5, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm.

Critiques are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. YOUR CRITIQUE SERVICE REGISTRATION, WITH MANUSCRIPT AND PAYMENT ENCLOSED, MUST REACH THE NETWORK BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20.

 

Guidelines

Submit two copies of no more than twenty double-spaced, single-sided, sequential pages of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript (for book-length projects, you must include a one-page synopsis of the work as a whole, in addition to the twenty pages), or ten pages of poetry. Make sure your name is on each page of your submission. NUMBER YOUR PAGES.

Prose submissions must be double-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins.

Poetry submissions must be single-spaced, in twelve-point Times New Roman font, printed on one side only of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with one-inch margins, and should include no more than one poem per page.

Download and print the Critique Service cover sheet, which you may also download from the online Registration Form at www.ncwriters.org. Mail it with two hard copies of your submission to:

North Carolina Writers’ Network
Fall Conference Critique Service
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Checklist:

  • Two copies of manuscript (and synopsis, if appropriate);
  • Critique Service cover sheet;
  • Check to cover Critique Service ($150);
  • A separate check to cover all other conference fees if you are registering for the conference through the mail.

 

NOTE: If Critique Service fills, your check will be returned to you.

 

Critiquers

From the names below, select your first, second, and third choice. We will try to accommodate your first choice; if we cannot, we will select an appropriate critiquer for you. The name of your assigned critiquer, as well as the time and location of your session, will be included in the packet you will receive at the conference registration table.

Emily Colin , Fiction, Nonfiction
Kimi Faxon Hemingway, Fiction, Nonfiction
Terry L. Kennedy, Poetry
Beth Staples , Fiction, Nonfiction

 

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Faculty Biographies

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Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams was awarded the Whiting Writers Award for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls and her memoir-in-progress The Following Sea. She has also received a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work most recently has appeared in the Oxford American, StoryQuarterly, Mayday Magazine, and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. Abrams currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and two editions of the Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. He is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University.

Malaga Baldi has worked as an independent literary agent since 1986. The Baldi Agency is an eclectic agency specializing in literary fiction, memoir, and cultural history. She worked as a cashier at Gotham Book Mart, in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, and as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and the Elaine Markson Agency, before going out on her own. Baldi believes the strength of the author’s voice and the heart of the story to be key when considering new work. Baldi graduated from Hampshire College and lives in NYC.

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the 2016 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, and A Pocket Book of Forms, a limited-edition, travel-sized guide to poetic forms. The recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, she teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, where she is the editor of Ecotone and edits manuscripts for the magazine’s sister imprint, Lookout Books. She lives with her family near the Cape Fear River, and calls Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.

Michele T. Berger is a professor, writer, creativity expert, and pug-lover. Her main love is writing speculative fiction, though she also is known to write poetry and creative nonfiction, too. Her fiction has appeared in UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature and Science by Fighting Monkey Press; You Don’t Say: Stories in the Second Person by Ink Monkey Press; Flying South: A Literary Journal; 100wordstory; Thing Magazine; and The Red Clay Review. Her nonfiction writing and poetry have appeared in The Chapel Hill News, Glint Literary Journal, Oracle: Fine Arts Review, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, The Feminist Wire, Ms. Magazine, Carolina Woman Magazine, Western North Carolina Woman, A Letter to My Mom (Crown Press), Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Twelfth Planet Press) and various zines. Her sci-fi novella “Reenu-You” was recently published by Book Smugglers Press.

Krista Bremer is the author of A Tender Struggle: Story of a Marriage. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O: the Oprah Magazine, on CNN, and elsewhere. Her awards include a Rona Jaffe Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a North Carolina Writer's Fellowship. She lives in Carrboro with her husband Ismail and their two children and works as associate publisher of The Sun: www.kristabremer.com.

Wendy Brenner is the author of two short story collections and a recipient of the Flannery O’Connor Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her essays, stories, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Allure, Travel & Leisure, Seventeen, Oxford American, Our State, Best American Essays, Best American Magazine Writing, New Stories From the South, and many other magazines, journals, and anthologies. She earned her BA at Oberlin College and her MFA at University of Florida. She has taught creative writing in the MFA and BFA programs at UNCW since 1997.

Wiley Cash is The New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind than Home, This Dark Road to Mercy, and The Last Ballad, which are available from William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers. Wiley holds a BA in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an MA in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Garden & Gun, O. Henry Magazine, and The Carolina Quarterly. Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two young daughters.

Emily Colin is the author of The Dream Keeper's Daughter (Penguin Random House, July 2017) and The Memory Thief (Penguin Random House, 2012), which was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. She helped to launch two small publishing companies, served as the Editor-in-Chief of Coastal Carolina Press, and was the editor of The Long Way Around and The Secret to Their Success, featuring essays by and interviews with women leaders from across North Carolina. The former associate editor of Ideal Living magazine, Emily also works as a freelance writer and is a 2017 Pitch Wars mentor. For a decade, she served as the associate director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge arts programming. Emily also works as an arts education consultant and has recently completed a paper for the North Carolina Arts Council exploring the “state of the state” in community arts education for vulnerable youth.

Jaime Coyne began her career in Marketing at Macmillan in 2012. After two and a half years, she transitioned to her dream job in the Editorial Department of St. Martin’s Press. Jaime is interested in literary fiction, upmarket and commercial women’s fiction, and young adult. In general, she tends to be drawn to contemporary, character, and relationship-driven narratives. Narrative nonfiction interests include memoir, biography, humor, and investigative journalism on cultural and sociological topics. Her list includes the humorous illustrated guide The Big Redhead Book, Autumn Chiklis’ young adult book Raising Mom, and a yet-to-be-announced celebrity music memoir. Jaime graduated from Colgate University with a degree in English literature and creative writing, and lives in Brooklyn.

Melissa Crowe is the author of two chapbooks, Cirque du Crève-Cœur (dancing girl, 2007) and Girl, Giant (Finishing Line, 2013), and her poems and essays have appeared in the Atlanta Review, the Crab Orchard Review, and the Seneca Review, among other journals. She’s co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and coordinator of the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNCW. She lives in Wilmington with her husband, Mark, and their daughter, Annabelle.

Nina de Gramont is the author of three books for young adults – Every Little Thing in the World, Meet Me at the River, The Boy I Love – and three books for adults – Of Cats and Men, Gossip of the Starlings, and The Last September. She has also written two novels under pseudonyms and coedited the anthology Choice. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Marian Fragola is the chair-elect of the North Carolina Humanities Council. She received her Master of Science in Library Science at UNC's School of Information and Library Science and is the director of program planning and outreach for the NCSU Libraries.

Philip Gerard is the author of four novels and six books of nonfiction, most recently The Art of Creative Research—A Field Guide for Writers. His novel The Dark of the Island (2016) was awarded an Ippy for regional fiction. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Susi H. Hamilton is the ninth secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. As a state representative, Secretary Hamilton served her constituents in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties from 2011 until January 2017, focusing her efforts on economic development and ensuring children and families have a chance to succeed by encouraging companies to bring well-paying jobs to Southeastern N.C., increasing funding for teachers and classrooms, and providing more healthcare options for families and underserved individuals. She is also a strong advocate for preserving Wilmington’s historic district. Secretary Hamilton holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Wilmington and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her first job out of college was with the State Historic Preservation Office as a National Register assistant. That position led her back to Wilmington where she served as a senior planner in the Long Range Planning Division for the city. She later accepted a position as executive director of Wilmington Downtown, Inc, where she led the effort to redevelop the downtown by encouraging and facilitating investment in real estate and by recruiting new businesses and job opportunities. Secretary Hamilton is the founder and CEO of Hamilton Planning, a consulting firm that offers marketing, real estate and business development services. She lives in downtown Wilmington with her husband Steve and their daughter Parker.

Kimi Faxon Hemingway is a lecturer of English and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. A founding editor of the literary journal Ecotone, her writing has been anthologized in Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, & Abortion, and Witness, and has appeared in magazines such as Ms., Haven, and Busted Halo.

Terry L. Kennedy is Editor of the UNCG-based literary magazine The Greensboro Review and the online journal storySouth. New River Breakdown, his collection of prose poems, was published by Unicorn Press in 2013.

Currently living on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina, Thomas Kies has a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York. When he’s not writing mysteries, Thomas Kies is the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He’s currently working on the second book in the Geneva Chase series--Darkness Lane: www.thomaskiesauthor.com.

Nicki Leone is with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, where she handles marketing and outreach for booksellers, publishers and authors, and produces "Lady Banks' Commonplace Book", a weekly newsletter for readers who love Southern literature and the Southern literary community. She has over twenty years' experience in the bookselling and publishing industries, and is a member and past president of the NCWN Board of Trustees.

Peter Makuck, twice a winner of the annual Brockman-Campbell Award for best book of poetry by a North Carolinian, lives on Bogue Banks. In 2010 his Long Lens: New & Selected Poems was published by BOA Editions and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His poems have appeared in The Nation, Southern Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Sewanee Review, and so on. His sixth collection of poems, Mandatory Evacuation, was published in October 2016, as was his fourth collection of short stories, Wins and Losses (Syracuse University Press). He founded and edited Tar River Poetry from 1978 to 2006, when he retired from East Carolina University as Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Robin Miura is Senior Editor and Associate Publisher at Carolina Wren Press. She has worked in publishing for more than fifteen years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press and then as a freelance editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, and writing coach for publishing companies and individual authors. Robin’s freelance clients have included Algonquin Books, Oxford University Press, Duke University Press, and University of North Carolina Press, and she has edited a novel and memoir series for Press 53. She is also a founding editor of the online magazine South Writ Large (www.southwritlarge.com).

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the bestselling author of two novels, The Returned and The Wonder of All Things, and two poetry collections.

Christopher Rhodes works for The Stuart Agency in NYC and specializes in well-crafted debut fiction and platform driven nonfiction. He represents award winning authors Taylor Brown, Peter Selgin, Gayle Brandeis, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, as well as rising stars like Jared Yates Sexton, Gwendolyn Knapp, and Andrew Hilleman. Christopher is always on the lookout for exciting debut voices and for nontraditional work from writers who may want to publish outside of their established form. Before joining The Stuart Agency, Christopher was an agent for The James Fitzgerald Agency, and before that, he worked at The Carol Mann Agency and in the sales and marketing departments at Simon and Schuster.

Deonna Kelli Sayed is an internationally published author. Her books include Paranormal Obsession: America’s Fascination with Ghosts & Hauntings, Spooks & Spirits, a cultural studies discussion on why America loves high strangeness. Her essays appear in The New York Times' featured anthology, Love, Insh’allah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, and Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Women on Why We Stay. She was a freelance writer in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is the recipient of state and national awards for her multimedia work in Yes!Weekly, an independent newspaper in Greensboro. She has appeared on NPR, The State of Things, Coast to Coast AM, and WUNC-TV. Deonna serves NCWN as Membership Coordinator, and is currently writing a memoir about faith, love, and ghosts.

Dev T. Smith is a storyteller: a writer, producer, and director who stretches his pallet across thought provoking editorial articles, web-series, television shows, and documentary filmmaking. His gift for painting pictures visually and verbally has made for a burgeoning career that narrates the life & times of creative thinkers while assessing the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment as it relates to business and culture. He has crafted digital strategies for eBay Enterprise, Radial Inc, Magento, and REVOLT TV, where he is currently a writer and producer for web and television.

Emily Louise Smith is the co-founder and publisher of Lookout Books and its sister magazine, Ecotone. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington, where she also directs the Publishing Laboratory. Titles published under her leadership have won the National Book Critics Circle Award and have been named finalists for the National Book Award and the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, among many others. Her poems and essays appear in Boulevard, Best New Poets, the Southern Review, and Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century; and her honors include fellowships from Rivendell and the Hub City Writers Project, as well as a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. She has been named Wilmington’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts and UNCW's Lecturer of the Year.

Beth Staples is editor for Lookout Books, the boutique literary press out of UNCW, and senior editor for Ecotone, its sister magazine. She edits prose, both fiction and nonfiction, and was recently the editor for the novel Honey from the Lion and the story collection We Show What We Have Learned. She is also the assistant director of the Publishing Laboratory and teaches classes at UNCW related to editing, publishing, and book design. She received her MFA in fiction writing from Arizona State University.

Robert Wallace has published more than fifty essays, many of them short personal essays in The News & Observer in Raleigh. He is also the author of over thirty-five fiction stories in journals such as the North Carolina Literary Review, the Bryant Literary Review, The Long Story, and others. He is a two-time winner of the Doris Betts’ fiction contest. He is the author of the novel A Hold on Time. Wallace has received an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council, and a Writer’s Fellowship from the NC Arts Council.

Michael White has taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since 1994. He received his Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. His four prize-winning poetry collections are The Island, Palma Cathedral, Re-entry, and Vermeer in Hell. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, the Best American Poetry, and many other magazines and anthologies. His memoir, Travels in Vermeer, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

Ross White is the Executive Director of Bull City Press, a small press based in Durham, and the Poetry Editor of Four Way Review. He is the author of two chapbooks, How We Came Upon the Colony and The Polite Society, and the editor, with Matthew Olzmann, of Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2012, Poetry Daily, New England Review, The Southern Review, and others. He is a recipient scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the 2014 Pocataligo Poetry Award from Yemassee, and currently teaches poetry writing and grammar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Catherine Woodard is the author of Opening the Mouth of the Dead, a story in poems by lone goose press (September 7, 2017 in paperback and a limited-edition book art). She swerved to poetry in 2001 after an award-winning career in journalism. Woodard helped return Poetry in Motion® to the NYC subways and is vice president of the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies and CNN online. She co-published Still Against War/Poems for Marie Ponsot and has been featured in The Best American Poetry blog. She is a former president of Artists Space. A former newspaper and new media journalist, Woodard volunteers with the News Literacy Project.

Michele Young-Stone is the author of three novels: the upcoming Lost in the Beehive (Simon & Schuster, 2018), Above Us Only Sky (2015), and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors (2010). She recently completed a fourth novel, George Glass Loves Lily Snow, and is at work on a fifth. After teaching high school English for seven years, Michele earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and son where she leads a novel-writing workshop for the Dare County Arts Council.

 

 

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Support for the 2017 Fall Conference is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Humanities Council, The Arts Council of Wilmington / New Hanover County, Coastal Carolina University, Al Manning, Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author, the UNCW Department of Creative WritingWHQR Public Radio 91.3 FM, and the William M. Hendricks Family Foundation.

 

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