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Build Your Online Home

An important aspect of any author marketing strategy is to build an attractive and easy-to-navigate author website that is easily discoverable through the major search engines. An author website is a writer’s online business card. It’s where you want everyone to go when you want them to learn more about you—and buy your book(s)!

My Author Home is one online service that offers website hosting for authors. They let writers take control of their brands while offering full support and promotional services. After all, writing isn’t just your hobby—it’s your business!

Their URL is:

Tiered membership options allow authors to choose what features they’d like to include on their sites, as well as how much paid advertising. My Author Home includes each site in their member directory; offers free business cards and promotional bookmarks; and features websites in their newsletters and through social media.

They also offer a few free downloadable resources, including a list of promotional opportunities for authors and a promotional checklist.

Got questions? Visit their FAQ page.

Win a Free Book from Carolina Woman

Who doesn’t love free?

Every week through the end of December, Carolina Woman is giving away two free copies of the new novel Lift and Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.

Simply “Like” the post about the novel on Facebook (December 13 post date) to enter a random drawing! Click here to view Carolina Woman’s Facebook page.

Lift And Separate is a laugh-out-loud, heartwarming story that begs to be a blockbuster starring Nicholson and Keaton and shares the vulnerability, wisdom, and brilliance of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn,” says Jennifer Belle, bestselling author of High Maintenance.

Here’s the description:

Marcy Hammer’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband, the head of a global brassiere empire, didn t think twice about leaving her after thirty-three years of marriage for a 32DD lingerie model. Now Harvey the Home-Wrecker is missing in action, but Marcy’s through thinking about what a cliche he is. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a good support system, and a new dress.

Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy manages to find traces of humor in her heartbreak. Even while devastated by Harvey’s departure, she still has her indomitable spirit and her self-respect. She has no intention of falling apart, either, even when her adult children drop a few bombshells of their own and she discovers a secret about her new, once-in-a-lifetime friend. Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all.

For more than twenty-five years, Marilyn Simon Rothstein owned an advertising agency in Connecticut. She grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, and married a man she met in an elevator. Marilyn received a master of arts in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and a master of arts in Judaic studies from the University of Connecticut.

Established in 1993, Carolina Woman is the largest and longest-running women’s magazine in the Carolinas. Its readership includes 100,000 upscale, professional women in the high-tech Research Triangle area, a region covering Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill, with a population of almost 2 million. They also sponsor a writing contest each Spring.

The Greensboro Review Turns 50

GreensboroReviewJHappy anniversary to The Greensboro Review, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—meaning they’ll publish Issue 100 in the spring of 2017.

How much can change in half a century? In 1966, a stamp cost $0.04; Medicare began; and a biochemist finished deciphering the DNA code.

But The Greensboro Review? Well, it appeared more or less exactly as it does today, offering readers a simple cover, no distracting graphics, and a complete and total focus on the quality of the text.

“People tend to appreciate the simple approach,” said Jim Clark, director of the creative writing program and longtime editor of The Greensboro Review. “It puts the priority on the work.”

100 issues in, The Greensboro Review has published enough fantastic authors to fill a concert hall. Authors appearing in TGR include Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Claudia Rankine and Pulitzer-nominated fiction writer Kelly Link. The 100th issue will include poetry and fiction that explore a variety of themes, from death and grief to immigration and small-town Texas.

TGR accepts submissions year-round. Send 5-7 poems or up to 7,500 words of fiction: for more information on how to submit, click here.

For the full press release, click here.

Happy Anniversary to The Regulator

Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop turned forty this month. From all of us at the Network: happy birthday!

The Regulator Bookshop has been at 720 Ninth St. since December 4, 1976. Back then, Durham was still very much a mill and tobacco town. Ninth St. was occupied by grills that served only breakfast and lunch; a hardware store; a post office. As founder Tom Campbell tells it, the bookstore’s opening was:

a harbinger of change to come. More change than we could ever have imagined at the time.

It’s impossible to name every luminary who has read and signed books at The Regulator in the past forty years. It’s safe to say pretty much anybody you might have heard of has had an event there, and plenty of lesser known—and relatively unknown—writers as well. Because The Regulator is above all a community bookstore, intent to serve.

“In our best moments we realize that this place exists only as a partnership with our community and our customers,” says Tom. “We hope you always feel free to contribute to our ongoing dialogue, and that you will want to participate in our partnership for many years to come.”

Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 18, 2017, when The Regulator will have “a big anniversary party at the store, with refreshments, great company, local authors, and more!”

The Regulator is located at 720 Ninth St. in Durham:

America, I Sing You Back

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Poet Allison Adelle Hedge Coke grew up in North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University. Her poem “America, I Sing You Back” was recently featured on UNC-TV (PBS News Hour).

Before America began to sing, I sung her to sleep,
held her cradleboard, wept her into day.
My song gave her creation, prepared her delivery,
held her severed cord beautifully beaded.

To read the full poem, and listen to Allison read her work, click here.

Hedge Coke is a distinguished professor of creative writing for the University of California, Riverside. Her books include The Year of the Rat (chapbook), Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Streaming, Blood Run (poetry/verse-play); and a memoir Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. Hedge Coke has edited eight additional collections, and directs the Literary Sandhill Crane Retreat & Festival and has been awarded fellowships/residencies with Weymouth Center for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, MacDowell Colony, and many others. Her honors include an American Book Award, Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship, a Lifetime Achievement Award, a Mentor of the Year Award, an IPPY Medal, a Pen Southwest Book Award, three distinguished positions, and numerous literary and arts grants.

Hedge Coke has worked as a mentor and teacher with Native Americans—on reservations, in urban areas, in juvenile facilities, mental institutions, and in prisons—and several other at-risk youth communities. She is a poet, writer, performer, editor, and literary activist. She came of age cropping tobacco and working fields, waters, and working in factories.

Hedge Coke says says this particular poem was born not out of anger but concern for what she saw happening in the United States twelve years ago. She said she was especially alarmed by the greediness of politicians to take natural resources from the land.

For the full story, click here.

Helping Western North Carolina

1130150943bAt the Fall Conference the first week of November, we asked for your donations to help North Carolinians affected by floods in the eastern part of the state.

This last week of November, we’re asking for your donations to help North Carolinians affected by fires in our western mountains, as well as in the mountains of east Tennessee.

Catherine Carter, our volunteer Rep for Jackson County, reports that the Center for Service Learning at Western Carolina University is collecting donated supplies for the firefighters who have battled these wildfires for several weeks now. They especially need the following:

beef jerky – lip balm – eye wash – wool caps/toboggans – bandannas – protein and breakfast bars – boot socks – travel-size hand wipes – travel-size hand lotion – travel-size Gold Bond foot powder – handwarmer gloves

Please mail these items to:

Center for Service Learning
Western Carolina University
90 University Way
Belk 273
Cullowhee, NC 28723

Cash donations can be made to the American Red Cross, as well as other service organizations, including the Dollywood Foundation’s “My People Fund.”

Thank you for helping our neighbors in this time of need.

Give to the Network on Giving Tuesday

Writing lectureIf you are in a giving mood on this Giving Tuesday, we hope you will give to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

After all, the Network has given a great deal to a great many writers in 2016:

Maybe you were one of the hundreds of writers who came to our Spring Conference in Greensboro, our Squire Summer Writing Residency in Charlotte, and/or our Fall Conference in Raleigh.

Maybe you used our Critiquing & Editing Service, or came to one (or more) of the monthly events hosted by our Regional and County Reps all over the state.

Maybe you took part in our beta online class last summer, or you’ve signed up to take part in our official first-ever online class, coming up December 14.

Maybe you entered (or won!) one of our four annual writing contests. Maybe you plan to enter (and win!) one of them, or all of them, in the coming weeks.

Maybe you’re one of the many writers who volunteered to take part in our new Prison Writers Outreach.

Maybe you found a writing class or critique group near you thanks to our weekly NC Literary Calendar e-blast, or answered a call to submission you found in our Opportunities e-blast, or listed your own events in our Member Readings e-blast.

The Network cannot continue to give so much to so many writers, though, unless you give us your support.

A gift in any amount will help us continue our support, education, promotion, and connection of writers at all levels of skill and experience, all across this state, and beyond. Your gift to the Network will help the Network remain as accessible as possible, to as many writers as possible, for as long as possible.

You can give to the Network using your VISA, MasterCard, or Discover through our online form (select “Giving Tuesday” from the dropdown menu), or by calling 336.293.8844 or 919.308.3228.

If you prefer to send us a check, please make it payable to the NC Writers’ Network, and mail it to P.O. Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC, 27120.

If you have interest in becoming a sponsor of one of our programs or services, or in advertising through the Network, please contact Charles Fiore at to discuss the available opportunities.

If you ever have questions or comments about what the Network is doing, please do not hesitate to let me know. Thank you for your support of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and for helping to keep North Carolina the “Writingest State.”

NaNoWriMo Arrives

Portrait of group of students making notes or writing test with serious guy in front

We’ve flipped the calendar to November, which means it’s National Novel Writing Month. Would-be novelists the world over have set themselves word-count goals in order to finish a rough draft of a novel-length manuscript by month’s end.

To help with that, venues are hosting NaNoWriMo events where you can pull up a chair and get to work, supported by others who’ve committed to cranking out a longer piece prior to December 1.

Here are just a few around North Carolina, courtesy of Lady Banks’ newsletter and Authors ‘Round the South:

Write-Ins at Grapes & Grounds (writers group)
11/10/2016, 4:00-6:00 PM | Grapes & Grounds | Smithfield

An Evening of Fantastical Insanity with John Hartness and Jake Bible (writers group)
11/10/2016, 07:00 pm | Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe | Asheville

Free Prompt Writing Class with Nancy Peacock (writers group)
11/12/2016, 10:00 am | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill

NaNoWriMo Writing Session (writers group)
11/14/2016, 09:00 am | City Lights Bookstore | Sylva

11/19/2016, 01:00 pm | Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe | Asheville

Writer’s Group of the Triad, Open Mic (writers group)
11/20/2016, 03:00 pm | Scuppernong Books | Greensboro

11/21/2016, 07:00 pm | Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe | Asheville


Natural Disaster Resources for the Arts

North Carolina Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin sent an e-mail in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, offering resources for artists and arts organizations should a natural disaster strike. We wanted to pass it along:

Hurricane Matthew hit our state last weekend and the torrential rain that fell continues to cause massive flooding in many regions of eastern North Carolina. The cities of Lumberton, Fayetteville, Greenville, Wilson, Kinston, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, and Princeville and many smaller towns and rural communities along our coast are dealing with Matthew’s aftermath.

The North Carolina Arts Council is conducting an informal inventory of potential damage to the arts infrastructure in eastern North Carolina and we will keep you posted on needs of our arts constituents and partners.

The following national and state resources are available for arts organizations and artists who are confronted with natural disasters and are seeking assistance.

For Arts Organizations:

ArtsReady is a national initiative of South Arts that is a web-based emergency preparedness resource designed to provide arts organization subscribers with customized business continuity plans for post crisis sustainability.

Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders,
The attached document was prepared by National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response to help artists and arts organization before, during and after disasters.

North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office,
The agency provides assistance technical preservation services to the public. Offices are located in Asheville, Raleigh and Greenville.

For Artists:
Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+),
CERF+ provides emergency grants and loans to craft artists and maintains resources for emergency readiness and recovery for artists in all disciplines.

Studio Protector,
A variety of resources for artists including tips on how to obtain assistance from FEMA and the Small Business Administration.

If any of you would like to provide financial support to assist in the recovery, donations can be made to:

North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund
Office of the Governor
20312 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-0312

Those who work in the arts here in North Carolina are a close knit community and many of us are thinking of our colleagues whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Matthew. We also know that the arts will be a means for healing and rebuilding our communities. Please don’t hesitate to contact the North Carolina Arts Council if we can be of assistance to you in the weeks and months ahead.

Wayne Martin, Executive Director
North Carolina Arts Council

Hotel Options Near Fall Conference

Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley

Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Fall Conference runs November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. While there are no more rooms available at the venue site, here are some nearby options, all less than one mile away from the conference:

Please note, rates are subject to change, but current as of this post.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2016 Fall Conference ends Friday, October 28. Register now!