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NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

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

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

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

Registration is now open.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register now.

 The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

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

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 21, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro: registration is open.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.

Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 21, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Register here.

The Spring Conference is a full day dedicated to learning about the craft and business of writing. Attendees can receive feedback on their works-in-progress, get to know faculty members in small-group settings, and mingle with other publishing professionals both in the classroom and in the exhibit hall, where presses and literary journals will have books and other treasures for sale.

2018 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle will give the Keynote Address.

McCorkle has published six novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, and she has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Emilia Philipps, whose third poetry collection Empty Clip is forthcoming this Spring from Akron Press, will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “Walk the Line: Syntax and the Poetic Line.” Philipps is an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at UNCG.

Joining her will be Naima Coster, a professor at Wake Forest University, who will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Cracking Character: Voice, Choice, and Inner Life.” Coster is the author of Halsey Street, a story of family, loss, and renewal, set in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn.

The Master Class in Nonfiction, “Images, Lists & Fragments in Creative Nonfiction,” will be led by Cynthia Nearman, chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College, and creative nonfiction editor for storySouth.

In addition, Thomas Mira y Lopez will lead the session “Strategies and Possibilities for Starting a Personal Essay.” Mira y Lopez is the 2017-2018 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Writers who are more inclined to make stuff up may choose between fiction offerings such as “Essentials of Scene-Crafting” with Heather Bell Adams, whose debut novel Maranatha Road was published in 2017 by Vidalia Press; and “Writing the Character You Know Best: The Strengths and Pitfalls of Autobiographical Fiction” with David Halperin, author of Journal of a UFO Investigator: A Novel (Viking Press, 2011).

Poets may choose from a la carte selections such as “Prose Poems” with Brockman-Campbell Award winner Charmaine Cadeau and “What Work Is: Poetry from Our Working Lives” with prize-winning poet Valerie Nieman.

The 2018 NCWN Spring Conference offers an expanded selection of courses focused on the business of books, as well as classes on writing for the stage and screen.

“Cinematic Storytelling Techniques for All Writers” with writer and filmmaker Susan Emshwiller will teach participants the “tools and tricks” of screenwriting to enhance any kind of manuscript. Brandon J. Huffman of Odin Law & Media will tackle sticky legal wickets with “Basic Law for Writers.” And Anne Anthony, editor of the anthology The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory (2018) will lead “How to Start Submitting” to teach attendees where to begin, how to submit like a pro, and yes, how to handle rejection.

In addition, NCWN will host its fourth annual “Slush Pile Live!,” guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing. During this favorite program, poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile. Many attendees have commented how much they learn in this hour of rapid-fire tidbits of wisdom and common sense.

Familiar features remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conferencegoers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice. Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Preregistration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide parking for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House). Other sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council.

Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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