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by Anthony S. Abbott

Anthony S. AbbottMy name is Tony Abbott. I have lived in North Carolina since 1964, when I came with my family to Davidson College as Assistant Professor of English. My field of special interest was modern drama. I taught plays, I acted in plays, I directed plays. But I did not write poetry. As a poet I am a very late starter. My first poems were published in the 1970s, and my first collection of poetry, The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat, did not appear until 1989, when I was fifty-four years old. By then I had been teaching poetry and fiction writing at Davidson for about ten years. I had gone to the Breadloaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College twice, and it was here that I learned a good deal about how to teach poetry and how NOT to teach poetry. I learned to avoid the egotistical cruelty of some of the teachers I met in Vermont, and most of all I learned the importance of building a class into a community, where each class member contributes to the welfare of the whole, where class members trust one another, and learn to see their own work more objectively.

I taught creative writing at Davidson for more than thirty years, and retired in 2001, after publishing my second collection, A Small Thing Like a Breath, in 1993, and my third, The Search for Wonder in the Cradle of the World, in 2000. Now that I was retired, I had more time, and I went back to work on a novel I had started in the 1970s and revised in the 1980s. That novel became Leaving Maggie Hope, which won the Novello Award in 2003, and prompted me to write a sequel, The Three Great Secret Things, published in 2007. Writing fiction was good for my poetry. It made me more conscious of both narrative and of character. Your poems are like little stories, people have told me. I liked that, and wrote a whole book of “little stories” called The Man Who (2005), each poem about a different man who had a story to tell.

When my New and Selected Poems: 1989-2009 was published by Lorimer Press in Davidson, I began a fairly rigorous schedule of readings, and I was anxious to do something to make the readings more interesting, more lively, more fresh….And so I began reciting poems. By 2011 I was reciting more poems than I was reading, and I loved it. I found that the poem I was reciting became new each time I spoke the words. The words were not always the same, not always spoken with the same emphasis. Sometimes I had to search for the words, and that made it seem to me as if I had just found the words for the first time. I began reciting poems by other poets (Mary Oliver, Galway Kinnell, James Wright, as well as Yeats, Keats, Shakespeare and Milton)….People enjoyed it, and when I became President of the NC Poetry Society in May of 2009, I began the practice of opening each meeting with a recitation. And now I begin all my programs—lectures as well as readings—with a recitation.

And so I thought, why not do a workshop on memorization and recitation—a practice that has been so good to me, a practice that has infused new life into this seventy-six-year-old body? Why not help other people do the same thing? And I thought, as I contemplated this workshop, that not only was the practice helpful to me as I wrote and performed my own poems, but it was a means of discovering what the poem was actually saying. That is, the practice of memorization and recitation may be, in some particular ways, more important than analysis in getting at the heart of a poem—the soul of the poem, if you will. My new book, If Words Could Save Us, is due for publication by Lorimer Press in October. It will contain a CD of me reading twenty of the poems in the book. For years, people have asked me if I have recording my poems. And I always said no….Now I can say yes. I hope participation in this workshop may lead you toward the creation of your own CDs and the use of your own voice to make poetry live.

***

ANTHONY S. ABBOTT is the author of two novels and six books of poetry, including the Pulitzer-nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. His awards include the Novello Literary Award for Leaving Maggie Hope (2003), and the Oscar Arnold Young Award for The Man Who (2005). A native of San Francisco, Abbott was educated at the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. He received his A.B. from Princeton University, and his AM and Ph.D from Harvard University. He is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, where he lives with his wife Susan.

He will lead a poetry workshop at the 2011 Fall Conference. Registration is now open.

 

Mary Belle CambpellASHEVILLE, NC—Starting this year, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer Mary Belle Campbell Scholarships to allow poets who teach to attend the annual North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference, November 18-20 in Asheville, NC.

These scholarships will honor the memory of the late Mary Belle Campbell and the legacy of her many contributions to North Carolina’s literary traditions.

The Campbell Scholarships will further the craft and careers of at least two poets who teach full-time. Each scholarship will cover the cost of a standard registration fee, group meals, and two nights’ lodging at the conference venue, at the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s annual Fall Conference. The estimated monetary value of each scholarship is $550.

The Campbell Scholarship application process will be open to those who teach full-time at the K-12 level, and who have produced a significant body of poetry. Teaching poets who live in North Carolina and adjacent states (VA, TN, GA, SC) will be eligible, but special consideration will be given to applicants from the Asheville area, as well as to Network members.

Applications will include a curriculum vita or resume, proof of employment with a public school system or accredited school, a statement of written intent describing both what the applicant hopes to accomplish as a poet and what the applicant hopes to learn at the Fall Conference, and 10-12 poems of the applicant’s own creation (published or unpublished) that demonstrate their skill with and commitment to the genre.

A committee created by the NCWN Board of Trustees, which will include published poets and/or editors of poetry journals, will review all applications and award available scholarships. Applications will be reviewed without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, religious or political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

Scholarship recipients will be allowed to select from all poetry workshops offered at that year’s Fall Conference, including the Master Class, as well as one workshop concerned with publishing, marketing, or another aspect of the business of writing.

Applications, as well as any questions concerning the Campbell Scholarships, should be sent to NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern at ed@ncwriters.org.

Registration for the 2011 North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference is now open.

 

Malaprop's Bookstore/CafeAsheville, NC--On Sunday, October 16, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will try a new kind of event for writers and readers.

Southern Fictions/Southern Identities” will be a reading by former North Carolina poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer, followed by a panel discussion on issues of Southern history and identity with Pamela Duncan and Joseph Bathanti, moderated by Ed Southern.

“Southern Fictions/Southern Identities” also will be an effort to raise both donations and visibility for the Network and the 2011 Fall Conference, to be held in Asheville November 18-20.

Perhaps most importantly, though, “Southern Fictions/Southern Identities” will be a chance for writers and readers to come together and discuss important questions–topics that rarely make the daily news, but play a role in shaping our lives and work.

The program will begin at 5:00 pm, October 16, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Admission is free, but donations will be appreciated. Donations to the Network will support scholarships and instructors for the Fall Conference, and are tax-deductible.

Please help us spread the word about this exciting new Network program. We hope to offer similar readings/discussions/fundraisers on an ongoing and regular basis. Come join us at Malaprop’s on October 16, and be there at the beginning of a new Network tradition.

Southern Fictions/Southern Identities
5:00–7:00 pm
Sunday, October 16
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801

For more information, contact Ed Southern at ed@ncwriters.org.

 

by Vicki Lane

Vicki Lane“...by next week you should have decided on a protagonist, a setting, and a plot. Remember: Write what you know; write what you read. Your assignment for next week is to write a two page scene ....”

September of 2000. On a whim, I’d signed up for a class called "WRITING FICTION THAT SELLS." The class met six times; the fee was forty dollars.

Why not? I thought. I’d been an English major—about forty years back. Hey, I’d even written a short story in a creative writing class back then. And I still knew my way around a sentence. So I’d signed up—without a thought in my head of what it was I might want to write, never having been one of those folks who just knows they have a novel in them.

As I walked away from that first class, I wondered what in the world I could have to say that was worth a novel. After all, I’d been living on a small mountain farm in a rural county, doing small mountain farm stuff for the past twenty-five years. My connections to and experience in the larger world were minimal—what made me think I could write a novel?

"Write what you read," our teacher had said. Hmm, I read lots of things but have always enjoyed mystery series. And there are so many types of mysteries published, ranging from really mediocre to quite literary. Maybe I could find a place within this genre. One big advantage, I thought, my spirits lifting as I considered my assignment, is that with a murder mystery, your plot is already there–there’s a murder and your protagonist has to find out whodunnit. Great, there’s my plot.

Continuing to take the easy way out—write what you know—I decided that the setting would be a small mountain farm in a rural county and the protagonist would be fifty-ish woman living on that farm. And that was the birth of my Elizabeth Goodweather series, published by Bantam Dell. (My sixth novel, Under the Skin, comes out October 18.)

I took no other classes, attended no workshops or conferences, but, with the help of a critique group comprised of myself and two women from that class, managed to write a novel that got me an agent. (I wouldn’t have known one needed an agent without the class.) And during the past ten years of writing and teaching, I’ve learned a lot about publishing and come up with some useful tips and strategies–the importance of the hook; how to construct a plot (I quickly learned there was more to it than just finding out whodunnit); aids to continuity; tips for realistic dialogue that propels the action; ways to create a believable setting rather than a backdrop; and, as they say, many, many more.

In this brief workshop, I’ll try to give you some useful items for your writer’s toolkit. We’ll also take time (twenty to thirty minutes) for questions about writing, publishing, and marketing. Who know, it might be all you need to get going on the book that will change your life.

***

VICKI LANE will lead a workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2011 Fall Conference, November 18-20. She is the author of The Day of Small Things and the Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Mysteries, which include Signs in the Blood, Art's Blood, Old Wounds, Anthony-nominated In A Dark Season, and Under the Skin. Vicki draws her inspiration from the rural western NC county where she and her family have lived on a mountainside farm since 1975. Since 2007, she has led writing classes in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. Visit Vicki at her daily blog or her website: www.vickilanemysteries.com.

Registration for the 2011 Fall Conference is now open.

 

by Danielle "Danny" Bernstein

Danny BernsteinYou already know about the importance of finding a community of writers. That's why you've joined NCWN and are coming to the Fall Conference.

But what are you writing about? Cooking, the environment, a Revolutionary War battle, dealing with your mother's dementia? Any subject you're writing about has a natural community of people interested in the topic. These folks are your potential readers, boosters, and helpers. How do you find this community and make it work for you?

After Tommy Hays wrote The Pleasure Was Mine, a novel about Alzheimer's, he was asked to speak to several groups who dealt with the disease. Ron Rash, who writes novels (including Serena), speaks at history and teachers' conferences.

Like many writers, I have two books in my trunk--in my case on my disc drive which I transfer from computer to computer. Finally, I got a contract to write a hiking guide. I had to convince a publisher that I was steeped in the outdoors community and that these people would be interested in buying my book. By the time we talked about a second book, I had done over fifty book events--talks, book fairs, and signings.

We'll talk about finding and creating an online community--that's important. We also need to make contacts with real, live people who are involved in our topic. Since this is a workshop and not just a presentation, we'll share ideas of what works, what doesn't work, and what may work but isn't worth our time.

My goal is have us leave the workshop with several new ways to identify and find our community that we can use on Monday morning.

***

DANIELLE "DANNY" BERNSTEIN will lead a workshop on community at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2011 Fall Conference. She is a hiker, hike leader, and outdoor writer. Her two guidebooks Hiking the Carolina Mountains (2007) and Hiking North Carolina's Blue Ridge Heritage (2009) were published by Milestone Press. She writes for regional magazines including Mountain Xpress and Smoky Mountain Living and blogs about the outdoors at www.hikertohiker.com.

Registration for the 2011 Fall Conference is open.

 

The Hunger GamesPlenty of award-winning movies have been filmed in Asheville, including Cold Mountain (seven Oscar Nominations), Forrest Gump (thirteen Oscar Nominations), and Last of the Mohicans (one Oscar Nomination). But if you come to our 2011 Fall Conference and stay at the DoubleTree Asheville-Biltmore, you may stay in the same room where Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, or any of the cast and crew of the forthcoming movie, The Hunger Games stayed while they on location in western North Carolina during the spring and summer of 2011.

The Hunger Games is based on the book by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, 2010), the first in a series. From IMDB.com:

"Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match."

 

Basically, take the mouthy girl from Juno, drop her in that over-sized Ewok forest from Return of the Jedi, and give her a bow and arrow that would make Robin Hood blush and—well, you get the idea.

According to RomanticAsheville.com:

“[The Hunger Games] filmed nine days in Henry River Mill Village, an abandoned ghost town just outside of Hildebran (about one hour's drive east of Asheville on I-40, about 1/2 mile from exit 119). The ghost town drew curious visitors long before it was featured in the movie, but now locals are expecting a steady stream of tourists checking out the site that was turned into Mellark's Bakery, a well-known location in the books. They also filmed in nearby Connelly Springs.

Entertainment Weekly interviewed Josh Hutcherson at the Early Girl Eatery in downtown Asheville during the filming. Other movie locations included DuPont State Forest, home to popular waterfalls and hiking. Filming took place around the Triple Falls Trail (lower end), Hooker Falls Road and Bridal Veil Falls Road.”

The Hunger Games will be released in March of 2012. You can watch a trailer here.

Regsitration for the Manuscript Mart, Critique Service, and Marketing Mart closes today; general conference registration closes November 11.

Be part of cinema history: attend the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2011 Fall Conference.

 

 

By Anne Clinard Barnhill, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, “Historical Fiction”

Anne Clinard BarnhillNorth Carolina is full of writers. It just makes sense that the Triangle, in the heart of the state, would be a hive of literary activity. Writers seem to be buzzing in every bush—poets in the pansies and short story writers in the shrubs—the entire area is humming with writerly endeavors. The Triangle is a great place for writers to sip the sweet nectar of inspiration at the NCWN Conference, then return to their homes to make the tastiest honey.

At this year’s Fall Conference, I’ll be leading a workshop titled, “Digging up the Past.” Does your heart beat faster when you see an authentic arrowhead? Do you get excited listening to stories about your family, stories that took place long ago? Does the idea of a new episode of Downton Abbey make your blood race with anticipation? If so, you are a prime candidate for Digging Up the Past, a workshop about writing historical fiction.

In this workshop, we will look at a few of the pitfalls surrounding writing about the past—how much fact and how much fiction? How can you handle 16th-Century dialogue and make it suitable for the 21st-Century? Where can you find suitable sources? How can you begin a conversation with your readers about your mutual historical interests even before your story is completed? Join us for a hands-on workshop.

***

Anne Clinard Barnhill's first novel, At the Mercy of the Queen, was released in January 2012. Her chapbook, Coal, Baby, was released in March from Finishing Line Press. Her previous books include the memoir At Home In the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister and Me and the short story collection What You Long For. Ms. Barnhill holds an MFA from UNC-Wilmington. Her stories have won awards and she is the recipient of several grants. Ms. Barnhill loves reading, playing bridge, dancing, tickling the ivories, and baking cookies with her grandchildren.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2012 Fall Conference is now open.

 

By Sheri Castle, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, "Food Writing"

Sheri CastleWhen I write food journalism, I aim for my readers to understand the facts. When I write fiction, I strive for my readers to understand my thoughts. When I write food stories, I pray for my readers to understand their thoughts.

Southerners are particularly susceptible to stories, and food stories hold particular sway over us. That is because Southern food is evocative. It makes us Southerners talk (and sometimes write) because it makes us remember. Before we tell you how a thing tastes, we need to tell you how it makes us feel and what it reminds us of. We cannot tell of the food without telling of the people who made it for us, and why, and how well they did or didn't do. Southern is on the tip of our tongues.

That isn't to say that all Southern food memories are good because, of course, not all Southern food and cooking are good. On the other hand, some Southern meals are so exalted we are sure it's what the angels eat on Sunday. Whether good or bad, food memories are hard to shake. There is no more tenacious nostalgia: one bite of food or one whiff of an aroma from our past is swift transport to somewhere else. The persuasion of a food memory is association, not accuracy.

Likewise, this isn't to say that all Southern food writing is good. Just because something happened doesn't mean it's interesting or worth repeating. The worst food stories are so mawkish that Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm would roll her eyes. The best food stories enable us to shine a personal light onto our shared cultural experiences. A satisfying food story says as much about what was on our minds and who was in the kitchen as what was on our plates. A shrewd food writer pivots a premise around the table until he catches on the right point of view, then the story can take off from there.

A good meal is a found poem. When we food writers are lucky, we can apply the right words to do it justice. The writer and the story leave the table full.

***

Sheri Castle will lead the "Food Writing 101" workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2012 Fall Conference. Castle is a professional food writer, recipe developer, recipe tester, and culinary instructor. Her book The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Boxes was selected as the 2012 Cookbook of the Year by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). It was also named a notable book by The New York Times and The Washington Post. Recipes and excerpts from the book have appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and websites across the country. Sheri’s work has appeared in Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Cooking, People Country, WNC Magazine, Living in Style, Edible Piedmont, Edible Blue Ridge, Taste of the South, Cornbread Nation 3 and 4, Gilt Taste, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Times-Picayune, and numerous other magazines, cookbook anthologies, syndicated newspaper columns, websites, and blogs. She is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Slow Foods USA, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Her website is www.shericastle.com.

 

By Alice Osborn, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, "How Book Reviews are the Magic Pill to Elevate Your Writing Career"

What I love about writing book reviews is that my graduate school degree in English is put to good use. In other words, I can use my analytical, literary skills and love for reading all at the same time. I’ve come across a lot of writers who I know are quite capable of writing book reviews, but many don’t know where to start. They don’t want to throw out their opinions to the world, or they don’t feel they have enough of a literary background to write a worthy review. The workshop I’m teaching at the upcoming Fall Conference, “How Book Reviews Are the Magic Pill to Elevate Your Writing Career,” is a direct result of these conversations.

During our ninety minutes together in this class, I’ll discuss how although each review is subjective, the reviewer always needs to be objective. You’ll also learn how to organize your review, craft that difficult opening line, the ethics of the genre, and time management. Most of all, you’ll learn it’s not all about getting free books!

We’ll also talk about the qualities of a good book reviewer, which are:

  • a good command of the language
  • knowledge of the genre and its canons
  • analysis without jargon
  • providing connections and acknowledging patterns
  • evaluating the book’s meaning
  • honesty/tact
  • objectivity

 

I’d also add that a good reviewer has a strong working knowledge of pop culture, history, film, religion, and political science of the 20th and 21st Century so she can allude and reference when necessary.

Whew, that’s a lot to ask!

No one taught me how to write a review—I decided to use my gut instincts and graduate school training to light my way. I also read a lot of reviews in the Sunday News & Observer and New York Times. I noticed that every reviewer was different and brought her own set of opinions and views to the book. I was determined not to bland anything down. No one wants to read that.

After the Independent Weekly published my essay in their “Front Porch” section, I asked my editor to consider me for writing book reviews. Wish granted! My first reviews for them maybe didn’t have the sophistication and confidence of my more recent reviews, but they weren’t simply recaps. I jotted down page numbers, repeating motifs, and words in the book’s front matter. I bent back pages, wrote “image similar to p. 27” on p. 73, and also wrote comments to myself not meant for anyone else’s eyes, like, “this is crap!” “drivel,” “misspelling here,” “awesome,” “cool,” and “confusing.”

Later, I concentrated my review efforts in the poetry genre. Soon I was able to reference similar classic and contemporary works within the review. I also gave myself permission to have fun with similes, metaphors, and wordplay. My personality was shining through.

Writing reviews are one of the best ways to build your writing portfolio and, if you’re a blogger, help you gain followers who will convert into readers for your other work. Being a reviewer makes you a better writer, not only because of the extensive close reading you’re doing, but also because of your work deconstructing and explaining the author’s craft.

Review writing isn’t for sissies, but neither is your writer’s journey.

***

Alice Osborn, M.A, is the author of three books of poetry: After the Steaming Stops, Unfinished Projects, and Right Lane Ends; she is also a manuscript editor, freelance writer, and storyteller. A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the United Arts Artists in the Schools program since 2009, and has taught creativity, poetry, memoir, and blogging workshops to Triangle residents for six years. Her work has appeared in Raleigh’s News and Observer, Soundings Review, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website: www.aliceosborn.com.

Registration for the 2012 North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference is open!

 

By Linda Rohrbough, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, "The Second Log Line"

Linda RohrboughYou don’t have to be in this business very long before you hear about the “log line.” The log line is that one sentence that sums up your book used to generate interest from an editor or an agent. Later in your career you’ll still use your log line to talk about your book to people you don’t know, like bookstore owners or the media. A quick Google search will bring you a number of log line formulas.

The only problem is, I couldn’t make that single log line technique work for me. I tried it, though. Repeatedly. I rode the elevators with editors at conferences. When they said, “So what do you write?” I just put it out there. My one log line. And it fell flatter than a three pound fritter. We both stood there looking at it when the elevator doors opened and the editor found themselves free to flee, which they promptly did.

What was wrong? I had a single line that summed up the book. Why didn’t it work to just deliver it? I didn’t have any success until I developed a three step formula I learned by watching my New York Times bestselling author friends talk about their books. I realized I needed to start a dialog about my book that had “emotional hooks” for the listener to grasp. That’s when I developed the second log line.

The second log line adds that emotional appeal, or emotional “hook,” that a listener can grab that helps them stay with you. And it helps you start a dialog about your book, so you have interaction with the editor or agent and not just a monologue.

I have developed the second log line into a formula that works for any book, fiction or nonfiction. After all, talking about each new book is going to be a life-long skill for me. I will always have someone I haven’t met before, maybe a media person, or just a new friend, that I need to talk to about my book in a way that appeals to them. So this is a skill set that I will need as long as I am writing. I hope you’ll join me at the Fall Conference in November and let me show you my discovery of the second log line. I’ve found it quite useful, and I think you will as well.

***

Linda Rohrbough will lead a publishing workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2012 Fall Conference. She has been writing since 1989, and has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and nonfiction. New York Times #1 bestselling author Debbie Macomber said about Linda’s new novel: "This is fast-paced, thrilling, edge-of-the- seat reading. The Prophetess One: At Risk had me flipping the pages and holding my breath." The Prophetess One: At Risk has garnered three national awards since its publication in 2011: the 2011 Global eBook Award, the 2011 Millennium Star Publishing Award, and the 2012 International Book Award. An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website: www.LindaRohrbough.com.

Registration for the 2012 Fall Conference closes October 29. Register now and save!

 

 

By Eleanora E. Tate, Faculty, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, “Through the Eyes of a Child: Writing for Young People”

After nearly fifty years of being a children’s short story and book-length manuscript critique and workshop leader at retreats, residencies, conferences, and in teaching I’ve read many outstanding manuscripts for children.

Almost every one yearned, hungered, craved, even, to become a published children’s writer. It’s this kind of “fire in the belly” longing that unites all writers, regardless of the genre. A writer “shows” when s/he creates sufficient action, sensory details, description and dialogue in a scene to heighten reader’s emotions, at least for the moment. Such imagery allows the reader to “see”—perhaps emotionally feel, hear, smell, even taste—what happens so vividly that the scene becomes real. The writer produces what must be shown.

I’m proud to be a children’s book author. It ain’t easy. It takes just as much skill and perseverance. It takes just as much understanding and application of character development, setting, dialogue, voice, conflict, plot, point of view—i.e., craft—to write a compelling picture book or middle grade or YA manuscript as it does to write a barnstormer for adults. Maybe even more.

***

Eleanora E. Tate will lead a workshop titled “Through the Eyes of a Child: Writing for Young People” at the NCWN 2012 Fall Conference. Tate is a folklorist, short story writer, journalist, and author. Her children's books have won Parents Choice Awards, are ABA Pick of the Lists, are Notable Children's Trade Books, and one is a Child Study Committee Children's Book of the Year. Two are audio books and another is an award-winning television film. A former NCWN board member, a veteran writing workshop conductor, and a seminar leader over the years for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, among others, her newest book is Celeste's Harlem Renaissance (2007). Ms. Tate is an instructor with the Institute of Children's Literature, and on the faculty of Hamline University's Master's Degree-seeking low-residency program “Writing for Children and Young Adults” in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2012 Fall Conference closes at 11:59 pm on Monday, October 29. On-site registration will be available at the conference.

 

Hats Off! to Shelley Stack whose short story "Breakage" appears in the Fall 2013 issue of The MacGuffin!

 

Hats Off! to North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Allan Gurganus whose newest collection of novellas, Local Souls, was reviewed in The New Yorker (Oct. 7, 2013). Allan was also interviewed by Sir Ian Dunham for Page Turner, the magazine's book blog.

 

Hats Off! to Pam Blair whose article "The Mary B. Martin Legacy: Expanding the Arts in the Tri-Cities" was published in VISPEEN Magazine (Oct. 2013). Her profile begins on p. 47.

 

Hats Off! to Ross White who has two poems in the current issue of The New England Review. White's poem "Flock" was also nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology by Body.

 

Hats Off! to Danny Bernstein, whose book The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina is part of WUNC 91.5 FM Public Radio's "culture pack" giveaway during their fall fundraising drive.

 

Hats Off! to Ross White who has two poems in the current issue of The New England Review. White's poem "Flock" was also nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology by Body.

 

Hats Off! to NCWN Board of Trustees member Terry L. Kennedy, who was interviewed on WFDD in support of his newest poetry collection, New River Breakdown. This collection is published by Unicorn Press in Greensboro, which hand-stitches each book and provides custom cover(s).

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poems "Holy Ground" and "Full Wolf Moon" appear in the Blue Ridge Parkway coffee table book. Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway sponsored this project to celebrate twenty-five years of service to the Parkway.

 

Hats Off! to Debra Madaris Efird, author and counselor at CC Griffin Middle School in Concord, whose article "Creating an Inviting Office Space" appears in the Fall 2013 North Carolina School Counselor Association newsletter.

 

Hats Off! to Wayne Drumheller, NCNW Board member, who has teamed up with the twenty-six members of his first-grade class to write, edit, and produce a Voices From the Valley book collection. The next meeting will during their 50th High School Reunion Weekend near famed Walton's Mountain, Virginia, in the little township of Nellysford. All members of the first class and their teacher, Miss Massey, are still living. They will meet at the Rockfish Valley Foundation on October 24 from 3:00-5:00 pm.

 

Hats Off! to Michele Berger, Penny Cockrell, Todd Henderson, Mary Meinelt, and Carol Phillips, who are publishing poems, stories, and memoir this fall, some in Red Clay Review, the literary magazine of Central Carolina Community College. They are all students in Marjorie Hudson's Kitchen Table Writers Workshops and CCCC Creative writing program.

 

Hats Off! to Rebecca McClanahan whose newest book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change, published in March, in now in its second printing.

 

Hats Off! to Stephen McCutchan whose new mystery-thriller, A Star and a Tear, has just been published for Kindle through CreateSpace.

 

Hats Off! to Helen B. Aitken of Swansboro, NC, who won first place in nonfiction for the short story, “Wolf Man Howls into Manhood," in the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop 2012 Petigru Review. Ms. Aitken also is featured for her humorous creative nonfiction story, “Death for Lunch.”

 

Hats Off! to Winston-Salem author Tim Bullard, who will appear on UNC-TV's "NC Now" on October 31 at 7:30 pm to discuss his book Haunted Watauga County. The book contains ghost stories and tales of witches in the mountains passed through oral histories.

 

Hats Off! to Suzanne Baldwin Leitner, John Forster, and Lynn Veach Sadler, who were honored in the Writers' Workshop of Asheville's 2012 contests. Leitner won Second Place in the "Meet the Authors Contest" for her story, "Court of King's Bench." Forster received an Honorable Mention in the "2012 Hard Times Contest" for an essay detailing a "difficult" life experience; and Sadler won Third Place in the "2012 Poetry Contest" for her poem, "The Truth about Her Play."

 

Hats Off! to Joe Epley, whose historical novel A Passel of Hate was awarded a Silver Medal by the Military Writers Society of America. MWSA medal awards are judged by a panel of peers and based on various factors including content, style, visual appearance, and technical use of language. A Passel of Hate is Epley’s first novel and describes the events in North and South Carolina leading up to and including the Battle of Kings Mountain.

 

Hats Off! to Katherine Scott Crawford, whose novel, Keowee Valley, was reviewed in the Southern Literary Review.

 

Hats Off! to Grace Cloris Ocasio, whose poem “Little Girlfriend” received an Honorable Mention in the 2012 James Applewhite Poetry Prize sponsored by the North Carolina Literary Review.

 

...who was awarded the prestigious "Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal" by The United Daughters of the Confederacy on October 8, 2011. Presented to her for her books, Carolina Rain and Beyond Sandy Ridge.

 

 

...whose award-winning short story "Golf in Pakistan" was selected for Main Street Rag's sports anthology Suicidally Beautiful, forthcoming in January, 2012.

Debra Madaris Efird had an article entitled "For Parents: Diabetes Support at School" in the September/October 2009 issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine which recently received a 2010 National Health Information Merit Award.

Publisher Kevin Watson and poetry editor Valerie Nieman have just released a new online poetry and prose magazine, Prime Number, a publication of Press 53.

One of Mark Smith-Soto's poems was featured on Ted Kooser's online and syndicated column, American Life In Poetry. [www.americanlifeinpoetry.org].

. . . to Danny Johnson, whose short story "Dancing With My Shadow" placed in
the top 100 in Writer's Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition.  The story
will be part of a collection published by Writer's Digest in 2011.  The
story came from thinking about Ernest Hemingway in his last days.

Hats Off to Art Taylor, whose short story "A Voice From the Past," originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, was short-listed for the 2010 Best American Mystery Stories anthology, noted among "Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2009."

Kelly Gay's debut urban fantasy novel, The Better Part of Darkness, (Pocket Books, Nov. 24, 2009), was chosen by SIBA as a Fall 2009 Okra Pick!

Anna Jean Mayhew received  a two-book deal with Kensington Books for her novel,  The Dry Grass of August, and a second novel-in-progress.

One of BG Carter's short stories was published in Bobbin & Shuttle, the
annual publication of the Textile Heritage Center in Cooleemee, N. C. 

Dody Williams short story, "Betrothed", won the Scratch Contest Summer 2009 quarterly writing contest.  Contest judge Patti Callahan Henry said of "Betrothed", "This story has what all great stories should have: an intriguing opening that makes the reader want to know more. The story takes us back and forth in time, building tension with each forward movement, and then taking us backward toward the meaning of his regret. The author builds a world around his themes and then allows the reader to go with him to the very end."You can read the story here. http://www.scratchcontest.net/id19.html

 ...to Art Taylor for several recent and upcoming publications: the essay "Murder in Black & White: Novels of the Civil Rights Era" in the Fall 2008 issue of Mystery Scene magazine; the short story "Shrimp & Grits" forthcoming in the January-February 2009 issue of The Rambler; and the short story "A Voice From the Past" in an upcoming issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (pub. date t.b.d.).

 
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