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September 6 is National Read a Book Day

You can make the argument that every day is “Read a Book Day,” because, as writers, we need to be constantly reading both inside and outside of our chosen genre(s). But today, you can really let your freak flag fly and read books in public without shame: it’s “National Read a Book Day.”

While this may sound like a made-up holiday—one of 1,500 national holidays we might choose to celebrate in any given calendar year—it’s still one worth recognizing.

So, if you need an excuse to ignore that pile of laundry, that inbox overflowing with e-mails, or your knee-high lawn, grab a book and read for as many hours as you’d like. It’s your day. Read silently to yourself; read to a child or loved one; read to your houseplants.

And if you’re so inclined, let the world know how you’re partying with book in hand by using the hashtag #NationalReadaBookDay.

Are you between books? Why not pick up the newest titles from our Master Class instructors at our upcoming Fall Conference, November 3-5, in Wrightsville Beach?

It’s a special day. Let’s celebrate.

NCWN at Bookmarks on September 9

The signing lines started early in 2016

For staffers here at the Network, the second Saturday in September marks the unnofficial beginning of Fall.

For years now, we’ve had a booth at Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors. Memories abound. There was the afternoon tempest that washed away all the exhibitor booths several years ago. There was blinding heat, last year, which sent exhibitors cowering beneath the shade of our tents like vampires afraid of the sun.

There have also been amazing talks by Lev Grossman, Robert Morgan, Jason Mott, and many, many more. And it’s a relaxed way to catch up at length with old friends.

Rain or shine, Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors always turns out to be one of the most fun days of the year.

The 2017 festival happens September 7-10. Saturday, September 9, offers a free, all-day event outside the Rhodes Center for the Arts in Downtown Winston-Salem.

Our Executive Director, Ed Southern, will moderate two Slush Pile Live! panels, at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on the Downtown Stage, with esteemed editors Steven Kirk (formerly of John F. Blair, Publisher), Robin Miura (Carolina Wren Press), and Julia Smith (Bull City Press). Slush Pile Live! lets editors respond to anonymous submissions read out loud, as if they had come across the submission in an slush pile. (We host something similar every year at our Spring Conference.) Always a rolickin’ good time!

At 12:15 pm in the Calvary Moravian Sanctuary, Ed will moderate a panel celebrating fifty years of the North Carolina Arts Council, featuring North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductees Allan Gurganus and Jaki Shelton Green, and bestselling author Jill McCorkle.

Other highlights include:

  • A Flash Fiction Workshop with Greensboro author Steve Cushman at 1:30 pm on the second floor of the Rhodes Center (free, but registration required)
  • A “Fictional Retellings” panel at 10:45 am in the Rhodes Center with friends of the Network John Claude Bemis, Charlie Lovett, and Stephanie Powell Watts
  • North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Maron in the Calvary Moravian Sanctuary at 3:45 pm
  • And a whole lot more!

For the complete schedule, click here.

The Network will have a booth—Booth 29, to be exact, along Spruce Street. We’d love to chat with you. If you’re around in the morning, be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to our new membership coordinator, Deonna Kelli Sayed!

For more information about Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors, click here.

Announcing Recipients of NCAC Artist Fellowship Awards

Trace Ramsey

The North Carolina Arts Council has announced the recipients of the 2017–2018 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of literature, musical composition, and songwriting. These nineteen artists will receive $10,000 to support creative development and the creation of new work.

In the interest of space, we’ll list the literary recipients below, but if you’d like to see the full list, click here.

In alphabetical order:

Bryn Chancellor, Charlotte
“Among my abiding interests as a reader and a writer are stories about characters who tend to go unnoticed, both in the world and in literature: those who live in marginal places, who are overworked, whose daily lives are, on the surface, ordinary” says writer Bryn Chancellor. “Those are the voices I am most interested in putting on the page.” Her books include When Are You Coming Home?: Stories, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and Sycamore: A Novel, which received a pick of the week designation from Publisher’s Weekly. She received a 2015 Jentel Artist Residency, Banner, Wyoming; a 2014–15 Literary Arts Fellowship, Alabama State Council on the Arts; a 2004 David R. Sokolov Scholarship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; and a 2004 Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among others. www.brynchancellor.com.

Elisabeth Lewis Corley, Pittsboro
“Like most poets, poetry for me remains a practice,” says writer Elisabeth Lewis Corley. “I work in more than one form, but it is poetry that is in some ways the most elemental and the most demanding. Work that emerges through that practice comes from the most central concerns, often arising from the unconscious. Without that element, I don’t trust it.” Corley’s work has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, New Haven Review, mahmag.org, BigCity Lit, Feminist Studies, Southern Poetry Review, and Carolina Quarterly. A great deal of her work in recent years has come out of wrestling with war, specifically her father’s experiences in Vietnam and the experiences of her family around his military service. www.piedmontperformancefactory.org.

Mark Cox, Wilmington
“Poetry, for me—art, generally—is a reckoning with time,” says poet Mark Cox. “An understanding of the self within time and perhaps, ultimately, some reconciliation with it.” Cox’s volumes of poetry include Smoulder, Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone, Natural Causes, and Sorrow Bread: Poems 1984-2015. Readiness, a new book of prose poems, is slated for release in 2018. Cox has a 30-year publication history in prominent magazines, and has received a Whiting Writers Award and a Pushcart Prize, among others. “It goes without saying that rhythm, syntax and sound should be inseparable from meaning,” he says. “One seeks that elusive treasure—the poem that exists as a beautifully made object, but which seen, and heard, from the right angle becomes transparent—an emotional and psychological experience transcending its construction.” www.markcoxpoet.com.

Angela Davis-Gardner, Raleigh
“My subject is past trauma–either in a character’s childhood or in an historical event (the bombing of Hiroshima)–and its crippling effect on the present,” says author Angela Davis-Gardner. “My aim is to portray characters’ emotions in the most accurate words possible.” Her two most recent novels, Butterfly’s Child and Plum Wine, had their inception in her life-long interest in Japanese culture and Japanese-American relations. Her other novels include Forms of Shelter, which won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and Felice. In 1982, Davis-Gardner received the first fellowship award granted to a writer of fiction by the N.C. Arts Council; this marks her second award. www.angeladavisgardner.com.

Patrice Gopo, Charlotte
“We live in a time when many in society seek to confront issues of racial injustice and acknowledge the presence of global hierarchies,” says writer Patrice Gopo. “Writing personal essays becomes a way for me to engage in these discussions and consider the way movement, migration, and injustice impact identity formation.” A black Jamaican American who grew up in a predominantly white environment, Gopo gathers reflections and images from her life, and looks for intersection points of the personal with the larger culture in which she exists. Her essays have appeared in a number of publications, including online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. www.patricegopo.com.

Rebecca Gummere, Sugar Grove
Rebecca Gummere calls herself a “professional wonderer” to describe her calling as a writer of creative nonfiction. “When I was 12, I discovered the short stories of Ray Bradbury and the sonnets of William Shakespeare. It was as if someone had pulled back a veil on a secret world,” she says. “Hundreds of books, authors, and decades later, I still feel that sense of astonishment at the beauty and power of language to illuminate the human story with all its big questions and small sacred events.” Gummere’s essay, “Cooper’s Heart,” on dealing with the loss of her infant son, was published in O, The Oprah Magazine, and will be included in the forthcoming anthology, O’s Little Guide to the Big Questions, to be published January, 2018. Her stories, “The Transit of Venus” and “The Departure,” were each nominated for a Pushcart Prize. www.rebeccagummere.com.

Allison Hutchcraft, Charlotte
“My work looks outward to the natural world, particularly to animals and the expansive spaces of meadows and oceans, as well as inward to the landscape of the mind,” says poet Allison Hutchcraft. “Anchoring my poems is a desire to see beyond surfaces—to encounter the thing itself, as well as its creative possibilities.” Hutchcraft’s poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, The Cincinnati Review, Barrow Street, the Beloit Poetry Journal, American Letters & Commentary, West Branch, and other journals. She has been awarded scholarships from the Tin House Writers Workshop, Key West Literary Seminar, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and received a 2016 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. www.allisonhutchcraft.com.

Alison Mauldin, Charlotte
“Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to creative pursuits,” says screenwriter Alison Mauldin, “but writing stories is the one constant in my life.” Mauldin has been a writer and producer of short films and promotional videos for organizations including Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, and has also performed the roles of make-up artist and costume designer for films and plays. She spent several years as a teaching artist for StageWorks Theatre/Creative Kids in Charlotte, but it was only recently that she decided to get serious about screenwriting. She was a fellow at the 2016 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive in Charlotte for her screenplay, Youthless, and made it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for Missy that same year. www.alisonrmauldin.com.

Travis Mulhauser

Travis Mulhauser, Durham
“My fiction tends to center on startling events in small towns where poverty, addiction, and isolation are at the root of most conflicts,” says writer Travis Mulhauser. After writing Greetings from Cutler County: a novella and stories, his novel Sweetgirl was named an Indie Next Pick, was one of Ploughshares Best Books of the New Year, was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Award, and was #2 on Harper’s List of Best Debuts of Spring. It has since been published/translated in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil. Mulhauser names Ron Rash, Lewis Nordan, Michael Parker, and Kaye Gibbons as his biggest influences. “I write,” he says, “simply because I feel the day has been wasted if I do not!” www.travismulhauser.com.

Trace Ramsey, Durham
“I am drawn to experimental and lyrical memoirists such as Eula Biss and Maggie Nelson,” says writer Trace Ramsey. “But unlike them, I do not have a background in writing, so my style is unorthodox.” Ramsey says he writes in “lightly-tethered vignettes” that both stand alone and flow with a larger body of work. “The vignettes come from all periods in my life and appear in any order that makes sense to me,” he explains. “For example, I break the linear structure and reassemble the stories of my life to make my grandparents, parents, and children into intergenerational peers.” He has written two books, Good Luck Not Dying and All I Want to Do is Live: A Collection of Creative Nonfiction, which earned the 2016 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize from the North Carolina Literary Review. He received the 2015 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant in Literature from the Durham Arts Council. www.traceramsey.com.

Eric Smith, Carrboro
“My favorite poems are poems of permission—the poems that say “yes” to a new order of thinking, that affirm alternative ways of constructing or reflecting a world, that spark in me some sense that I am seeing what I’ve always known in an entirely new way,” says poet Eric Smith. His work has been published in the Indiana Review, The New Criterion, Southwest Review, and the Best New Poets 2010 anthology. He has received scholarships from Convivio and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is a founding editor of the text-message poetry journal cellpoems. “I feel that my work is at a number of thresholds,” Smith says, “between experiments in both formal and free verse, between the comic tone of my earlier work and the more serious (but still playful) components of the newer work, between my family’s origins in rural Georgia and my own present as an intellectual removed from that place and its history.”

Julie Steinbacher, Raleigh
“Much of my work centers on relationships and identity—finding the self, losing the self, and accepting the self, peripheral to one’s romantic or familial ties,” says writer Julie Steinbacher. “Relationships are one of the most human topics, regardless of whether they involve people, post-human characters like androids or cyborgs, artificial intelligences, or non-human characters.” Steinbacher’s “The Pokémon Game” was a finalist for the 2016 James Hurst Prize for fiction. “Collectors” was a finalist in Beecher’s Magazine’s fiction contest, and “Chimeras” (originally published in Escape Pod, February 21, 2015) was recognized as a Notable Story in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016. “What does being in the body mean, and what could it mean in a future where bodies may be constructed, or may become obsolete?” Steinbacher asks. “How do we live as our fullest, truest selves when those identities may cost us our livelihood or even our lives?” www.julie-steinbacher.com.

Julie Zografos, Statesville
“I’m interested in voice and muteness; in the ways we process loss,” says screenwriter Julie Zografos. “I think as kids, we’ve all experienced the ground falling away suddenly. We’ve all felt that tiny flame inside us gutter, try to stay lit, while the world crashes around us.” Zografos’ feature length screenplay, Dark Quarry, is adapted from her poetry and tells the story of a defiant mute girl, and a boy, haunted by guilt after his brother’s death, struggling with loss, violence, and redemption in a North Carolina tobacco town in 1963. She received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship in poetry writing from the University of Virginia, where she studied and taught under U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. She’s also a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Fellow, and received a B.F.A. in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. As an undergraduate, she wrote and directed What Remains, which received a Directors Guild of America Jury Award, and went on to be a finalist for the Student Academy Awards®.

The Sun: Independent, Reader-Supported

The Sun, produced in Chapel Hill, recently published its 500th issue (August, 2017). Inside, they devoted “more than half our pages” to excerpts from the archives—as much to offer up historical perspective on the current divisions in our country as to showcase its long tradition of excellence.

The response was so overwhelmingly positive, this special section will continue to be a regular part of the magazine for the forseeable future.

There’s perhaps no North Carolina publication better positioned to offer perspective on the state of our nation than The Sun, which produced its first issue in January, 1974. Billed then as a “magazine of ideas,” The Sun today is a 501(c)(3) non-profit “independent, ad-free magazine.” Over the past forty years, The Sun has established itself as a purveyor of thoughtful writing, penetrating journalism, and a showcase for the creative literary arts.

The entirety of its archives was recently made available to subscribers as part of an overall revamp of their website. This incredible vault makes the yearly subscription fee of $42 (for twelve print issues) seem eminently reasonable.

Another fun, suprisingly moving thing to do, which this author discovered by accident, is to open up the archives and scroll slowly through the cover images. Make sure some kind of lyric-based, emotional music plays in the background (I highly recommend Blind Pilot’s “Packed Powder”). It also helps if its raining outside a little bit.

What occurs is a musical montage for our nation. The photography is simply amazing: portraits, natural forces, and objects of regional fascination are sprinkled with images that seem to capture fleeting moments, that reveal life as it is lived.

Samples are available online. Past contributors include fiction by Joseph Bathanti, Brock Clarke, and Debbie Urbanski; poetry by Ellen Bass, Alan Michael Parker, and Mark Smith-Soto; and “essays, memoir, and true stories” by Brian Doyle, David Guy, and Joy Hewett, among many others.

Recent featured articles include examinations of race, faith, and resistance; living faith; and an interview with Noam Chomsky.

The Sun, with over 70,000 readers, is a paying market for writers. While there’s no minimum word count, they rarely publish anything longer than 7,000 words. Click here for the full submission guidelines, rate info, and more.

Visit The Sun’s website at www.thesunmagazine.org; or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Only Constant Is Change for Change Seven

When it comes to literary journals, North Carolina has an embarrassment of riches. Each publication offers a different point of view, a different aesthetic, and chases different aims, yet each and every one strives for, and largely maintains, widely recognized standards of excellence.

Founded in 2015, Change Seven is a recent addition to the literary chorus: a free, splashy, online-only literary journal that publishes issues twice each year while offering regular content during the “off months.” The focus here is on language. From stories to poems, essays to videos, anything published by this All-Star lineup of editors greets the world as a “highly burnished object of artistry” that takes risks—that, in short, matters.

Past contributors to issues include Valerie Nieman, NCWN Trustee Jan B. Parker, Gary V. Powell, Barbara Presnell, NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern, Jacinta V. White, and more.

Between issues, Change Seven offers interviews, essays, and multimedia. Regular columnists include longtime friends of the Network Joseph R. Mills and Susan Woodring, as well as Kelly Davio and others. Regular contributors include Jody Hobbs Hessler, Kristina Moriconi, Charlie Nickles, and more.

The way issues are archived on the website is not necessarily intuitive or easy to find, but if you click here (or go to the homepage) and scroll down below the signature line of founding editor and current editor-in-chief Sheryl Monks, you’ll find links to each issue. From here, you can navigate back issues and enjoy hours of reading.

While issues are free (supported by ads), Change Seven welcomes donations.

While they’ve always accepted interviews, essays, and reviews year-round, they’ve recently begun accepting fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions year-round as well. Poets, submit up to five poems. Writers of prose, submit up to 1,200 words (flash); 5,000 words (short stories and creative nonfiction); completed interviews up to 2,000 words; and book reviews up to 1,250 words.

Future plans include an amped-up blog, perhaps a more regular issue publication schedule, and “a new feature profiling Change Artists & Change Agents.”

In the meantime, they do a nice job of sharing news from around the literary cosmos through their various social media feeds.

Visit Change Seven online at www.changesevenmag.com. They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Read on WNC

The Read on WNC

Tipper, a regular contributor, writes about apple sauce, chocolate sauce, and food memories.

If you’re at all interested in the literature, history, and social issues of Western North Carolina, you’ll want to check out—and join—The Read on WNC.

Founded by Rob Neufeld, longtime columnist for The Asheville Citizen-Times and director of the “Together We Read” program, The Read on WNC offers a virtual community for artists, historians, and cultural connoisseurs.

Users can create their own profiles, invite friends to join, and post new content and event information. Regular features include artist interviews, book reviews, and profiles of courageous or interesting local citizens.

With nearly 1,400 members, The Read on WNC offers photos and videos curated by an online community. Visitors can watch Main Street Rag publisher M. Scott Douglass talk about his favorite book he’s published; an interview with Gary Carden, winner of the 2012 NC Award for Literature; a musical performance from the John C. Campbell Folk School; and more.

The online forum offers topics of conversation from folklore to literary events to the Civil War. Groups include “Heritage Keepers,” “Geneologists,” and “Creative Publishing.” And users can post to the site’s blog, offering writers a great opportuity to hone their writing chops and build an audience.

It’s free to join. And like all community venues, the site works best when its members are active.

Click here to learn more!

 

NCWN Statement in Response to Charlottesville

The North Carolina Writers’ Network, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, can advocate for or against particular issues, legislation, or government action. We cannot advocate or campaign for or against candidates for office, elected officials, or political parties. We have been scrupulous in abiding by this restriction, and our membership includes—and is open to—writers who are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Partiers, Independents, and more.

We make an exception for any sort of Nazi Party. To hell with them.

The same goes for the Ku Klux Klan, Vanguard America, or any other so-called “white nationalist” or white supremacist organization. They are not political parties with valid platforms within a representative democracy. They are hate groups.

They stand against everything the Network stands for: inclusion, connection, a broad and open community, free expression, excellence of expression, creativity. They fear the multiplicity of voices we seek to encourage.

They try to intimidate. Writers try to understand. They are cowards who shun the open exchange of ideas, hiding in mobs and violence and the anonymity of the Internet. Writers open themselves to critique and argument with every word we publish. They resort to brute force. We believe in the power of words.

The board & staff of the Network issue to our members this call to action: Keep doing what you’re doing. Write as well as you can. Write to clarify, not to confuse, never to hide. Write with honesty, with sympathy when it is called for, with empathy always. Read as much as you can. Read all sorts of writers. Engage creatively with the state, nation, world, and times we live in. Explore, appreciate, and enjoy the ways in which all stories connect.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network stands with the millions of Americans who mourn the loss of innocent life this past weekend in our neighbor Virginia, and who deplore both the display of hate and those behind it. We proudly stand behind our posted Statement of Belief, “that writing is necessary both for self-expression and a healthy community, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance.” We proudly stand against all bullies who seek to silence any of the many voices that make up our community.

Veterans Writing Workshop Now Accepting Applications

From our friends at The Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project:

The Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project will return to the Outer Banks for its 5th anniversary November 4 and 5, 2017.

The Dare County Arts Council is now accepting applications for the free, two-day writing workshop, which will be held at UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese.

Beginner and experienced writers will explore the theme of Memoir writing, the art of writing biographical or historical accounts from personal experience, in this year’s workshop.

Lieutenant Commander Jerri Bell, United States Navy Retired, from the Veterans Writing Project in Washington, DC, will lead the two-day workshop for Veterans, Active Duty Servicemembers, and members of military families. Bell is the Managing Editor for O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project. Her fiction has been published in a variety of journals and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize; her nonfiction has been published in journals, newspapers and on blogs. She and former Marine Tracy Crow are the co-authors of It’s My Country Too: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan, forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books in 2017.

“Writing memoir is an exercise in examining one’s life, or some part of it, in an effort to understand the meaning and impact of our actions and choices,” said Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project Instructor Jerri Bell. “For most veterans, the things we did and the choices we made during our time in the armed forces were critical to our personal and professional growth and development. And whether or not we served in combat, we were witnesses to history and have a unique perspective on our country. The unpublished and published memoirs of women veterans that former Marine Tracy Crow and I read when we were writing It’s My Country Too gave me a new appreciation for the importance of documenting stories of our military service, and their significance for future generations.”

Dare County Arts Council encourages all former and current service men and women and members of their families in North Carolina, Virginia, and surrounding areas to submit applications for the writing workshop, which will accommodate up to twenty-five participants.

“The Outer Banks has really been leading the way in Veteran initiatives,” said Army Veteran and Dare County Arts Council Board Member Kelli Harmon. “Congress voted to increase funding to the Military Healing Arts Program in 2016 and North Carolina quickly followed with $100,000 in annual grants, as studies continue to show strong support of the Arts helping to heal combat related injuries. We will be hosting the Veterans Writing Project for its fifth year this November, so we’re excited that more people are seeing the positive effects that programs such as this are having on our communities. The Arts are helping Veterans find their voice, and we couldn’t be more excited or proud to be leading the pack.”

Modeled after the DC-based Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit foundation that teaches combat Veterans to express their military experiences through literature, the goal of the Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project is to teach enrolled applicants the art of writing.

The Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project is part of the Veteran-friendly events sponsored by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau during November’s Outer Banks Veterans Week, which hosts numerous Veteran celebrations from Corolla to Hatteras and everywhere in between.

For more information or to submit an online application for the Veterans Writing Project, visit www.darearts.org/veterans or call 252- 473-5558.

Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Dare County.

Southern Cultures Refuses Boundaries and Borders

“You won’t find us…penning a single definition of the ‘South,'” claims Southern Cultures. “From Faulkner in Bulgaria to Lebanese in Mississippi, and from teaching Gone with the Wind in Vietnam to the international avant-garde at Black Mountain, we recognize that no border can contain our complex region.”

This vision of the South as something larger than a geographic region, both overflowing its boundaries and continually making room for new voices, permeates every aspect of Southern Cultures‘ production, from its mix of print and multimedia to the fact that it makes space both for academic and creative work. This fundamental belief in the South as both a changing and accomodating phenomenon has given this journal an international readership and kept it thriving for more than twenty years.

Launched in 1993, Southern Cultures is produced from the Center for the Study of the American South and published by UNC Press. The journal counts readers in over ninety countries and continues to turn its sharp eye on both generous and nefarious aspects of the Southern existence.

Southern Cultures freely admits that, in many ways, they are a traditional academic quarterly:

We are peer-reviewed, we publish original scholarship, and we use citations (even here in this very description). But we are not your typical journal—we eschew jargon and insider speak, and in addition to scholarly articles, we print photo essays, original artwork, poetry, fiction, interviews, and narrative journalism.

The journal is published as a print edition but makes some content available for free online, and even offers some online-only content.

The most-recent issue (Summer, 2017) featured essays on the Cyclorama in Atlanta; Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah; and poetic ruminations by Michael Chitwood and Michael McFee. Past issues include poetry by Ross White; an essay on New Orleans parades; and a feature on author Dorothy Allison.

Submissions are open all year ’round on “all things Southern—from essays and articles to poetry, memoir, photo essays, features, and interviews and oral histories” (so, no ficton, scripts, etc.). Full-length essays and articles generally run 15–20 double-spaced manuscript pages (3,750–5,000 words). Shorter features typically run 8–14 pages (2,000–3,500 words).

The Spring 2018 theme is “Coastal Foodways.” Work should be submitted via Submittable; for full details, click here.

Southern Cultures has also developed “Loose Leaf,” a section of their website devoted to multimedia offerings that expand the content of their print issues. Here, visitors can watch a reading by poet Dr. Lenard D. Moore; an interview with Bulgarian Ambassador (and Tennessee Williams scholar) Elena Poptodorova; and Paul Williams on the demise of circus performer Charles Siegert, a tiger named Big Ben, and the coolest cemetery in Washington, DC.

Subscribers receive four issues a year for $40 (or eight issues for two years for $75): subscribe here.

Visit Southern Cultures on the web at www.southerncultures.org; on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, or Instagram.

Crook’s Corner Longlist Announced

From the Crook’s Corner Book Prize press release:

Algonquin Books, 2017

CHAPEL HILL—The Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation announces its annual Longlist for best debut novels set in the American South. The $5,000 prize will be presented in January, 2018.

Modeled on the prestigious literary prizes given by famous Parisian café s such as the Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, the award is co-sponsored by the iconic Southern restaurant, Crook’s Corner Bar & Café in Chapel Hill. In a tip of the hat to the Gallic source of inspiration, the winner is entitled, along with the cash award, to a free glass of wine every day for a year at Crook’s.

“That’s an idea we stole from the Flore in Paris,” says Anna Hayes, president of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation.

The goal of the prize is to encourage emerging fiction writers, who typically face some of the toughest obstacles in today’s publishing environment. Although eligible books must be set in the South, authors may live anywhere, and all genres of fiction except for Young Adult are eligible.

“We are always interested in fresh perspectives on the South,” says Hayes, “whether from a historical or modern point of view.”

The Shortlist will be announced in September. This year’s judge is author Elizabeth Cox, whose latest novel, A Question of Mercy, was published in 2016.

The longlist can be viewed here.

Previous winners include Wiley Cash, who will be the Keynote speaker at the 2017 NCWN Fall Conference, November 3-5 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Becah. Cash won the first Crook’s Corner Book Prize for his debut novel A Land More Kind than Home in 2014.