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NC State Offers Young and Teen Writers’ Workshops

NC State UniversityNorth Carolina State University will offer workshops for youth and teen writers this summer.

Sponsored by the English Department within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and held on NC State University’s campus, in Raleigh, the Young and Teen Writers’ Workshops nurture the creative spirit and teach creative writing skills and techniques.

These summer afternoon workshops are intended for children and teens who already have a demonstrated interest in writing fiction, poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction or who have an enthusiastic desire to learn more about these kinds of writing.

The Young Writers’ Workshop accepts applications from creative writers entering 4th through 8th grades. The 2014 YWW will meet weekday afternoons, July 7-18.

The Teen Writers’ Workshop accepts applications from creative writers entering 9th grade through rising college freshmen. The 2014 TWW will meet weekday afternoons, July 21-Aug. 1.

Applications for the 2014 workshops are now open! For more information about both workshops, contact the director:

Laura Giovanelli

This program is also on Facebook—follow them!

Memorial Service for Louis D. Rubin, Jr.

Louid D. Rubin, Jr.

Louis D. Rubin, Jr.

The University of North Carolina’s Friends of the Library will host a memorial service for Louis D. Rubin, Jr., on Sunday, February 9, at 2:00 pm in the auditorium of the Genome Sciences Building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rubin was a beloved editor, novelist, essayist, teacher, and publisher. He and Shannon Ravenel co-founded Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 1983 to discover and promote talented new voices of Southern literature—voices like Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Kaye Gibbons, and Clyde Edgerton, among many others. The New York Times called him “a champion of Southern writers.”

“He became something of a literary hero to me even before I met him,” said Edgerton. “After I met him, I respected him even more.”

Rubin came to the University of North Carolina in 1967, following two years at the University of Pennsylvania and ten at Hollins College in Virginia, where he chaired the English department for several years. He remained on UNC’s English faculty for twenty-two years, retiring from teaching in 1989 as University Distinguished Professor of English, and later Emeritus. He left teaching in order to devote his energies full time to Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

He wrote two hours a day and credited his newspaper background with his ability to produce rapidly. “On a newspaper you do the best you can and you get it out,” he said. “You don’t hold it forever. It’s a matter of discipline. I’ve found it very valuable.”

He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.

Parking for the memorial service will be available in the nearby Bell Tower Parking Deck. The service is sponsored by the department of English and comparative literature.

English department chair Beverly Taylor will open and close the service. Speakers include Clyde Edgerton, Joseph Flora, William Harmon, Meg Harper, Jill McCorkle, Shannon Ravenel, and Robert Rubin.

UNC’s Friends of the Library will host a reception in Wilson Library immediately following the service.

For UNC tributes to Rubin, visit

NCWN Membership Coordinator

NCWNThe North Carolina Writers’ Network is seeking a part-time Membership Coordinator to help with all aspects of its operations. This person will work 10 – 15 hours a week through most of the year, and possibly up to 20 hours during the weeks prior to our Spring Conference (April), Squire Summer Writing Residency (July), and Fall Conference (November). The Membership Coordinator will report directly to the Executive Director, and will be paid a wage of $11/hour.

The NCWN Membership Coordinator will be the Network’s “front line” for routine member service. The Membership Coordinator will work from a home office, which must have an independent phone line for Network calls, a high-speed Internet connection, and space for Network files, promotional materials, etc. Candidates must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, and comfortable working alone. They must possess excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as experience with customer/member service. They must be computer-literate, proficient with MS Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.), and possess a basic familiarity with e-mail communication, html, and data entry. Experience with blogging software and/or content management systems is a plus.

The primary duties of the Membership Coordinator will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Enter new-member information into database
  • Send membership packets to new members
  • Send thank-you letters to donors
  • Update expiration date & check database entries for renewing members
  • Check member database for missing or outdated information
  • Be responsible for accuracy of all entries in member database
  • Respond to e-mails, or forward to correct recipient
  • Follow-up on members’ questions or complaints regarding routine member service
  • Assist Network staff before and during conferences & other events
  • Other appropriate duties, as required

The successful candidate will keep regular office hours during the week, preferably sometime between 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday, to take calls and e-mails from members and others.

Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to:

Ed Southern, Executive Director, North Carolina Writers’ Network,


P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

So Who’s Making Money with This Thing?

Writing Income for Different Types of Authors“Self-publishing has revolutionized the publishing industry.”

How many times have you heard that in the past five years? And it’s true that it’s easier now than ever before for authors to publish and to put their writing in front of potential readers—cheaper too. And yet. Even before the invention of the e-reader, very few writers were getting rich—or making any money to speak of—from their writing.

What about now? That’s the question Jeremy Greenfield asked recently on in his article, “How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Make?” Citing a recent study from Digital Book World and Writers Digest, the median income range for self-published authors is under $5,000 and nearly 20 percent of self-published authors report deriving no income from their writing.

At the high end of the spectrum, 1.8 percent of self-published authors made over $100,000 from their writing last year, compared with 8.8 percent of traditionally published authors and 13.2 percent of hybrid authors.

It’s a little better for authors who publish the traditional way: their median income range was $5,000 to $9,999. “Hybrid authors” (those who both self-publish and publish with established publishers) had a median income range of $15,000 to $19,999.

Bottomline? Outside of that lucky 1.8 percent making over $100K, the rest of us better have day jobs—or a trust fund. That much, at least, hasn’t changed.

Two NC Publications Offer Innovation and Excellence

The New New SouthThe publishing industry is rapidly changing. But two new North Carolina-based publications are redefining media and setting the pace: The New New South and GERM Magazine. Both take fresh approaches to content and both publish exclusively online.

The New New South ( offers “true stories from below the Mason-Dixon.” Founded by publisher Andrew Park of Chapel Hill, The New New South is a new digital publisher of longform journalism. Using the innovative technology platform developed by the creators of The Atavist, they release one in-depth and immersive work of nonfiction at a time for reading on tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and the web. Check out their forward-thinking approach to publishing by reading an excerpt here.

Along with great prose and fascinating subjects, stories on The New New South include YouTube video, photographs, music clips, and more. That’s what they mean by “immersive”—you can lose yourself for a lunch break or two just following the threads.

Two stories in, their authors have included Belle Boggs and Barry Yeoman. Boggs’ “For the Public Good” tells the story of the 7,600 victims of forced sterilization in North Carolina during the 20th century and their decade-long fight to be compensated by the state; Yeoman’s “The Gutbucket King” is an intimate and colorful multimedia profile of Little Freddie King, one of the last great country bluesmen in New Orleans. It includes never-before-heard interviews and music.

GERM Magazine

GERM Magazine’s story, “You are Beautiful”

GERM Magazine ( came out with their first issue yesterday. Focusing on “High school and beyond: Real thoughts, real writing, real life,” GERM is a magazine for girls—high school and beyond—that celebrates beginnings, futures, and all the amazing and agonizing moments in-between. From facts to fiction, beauty to boys, movies to music, how to’s to where to’s, you start here.

GERM has sections for “Lit” (prose, poetry, songs, etc.) and plenty of other offerings—and they’re looking for writers.

Stories in the first issue include “Take a Stand: How I Stopped Bullying” by Elizabeth Meade and “Germ Mix: Ladies Night In” which offers a playlist of exclusively female songwriters. Of course, there are advice columns galore (Ask a Man, Ask a Ninja) and plenty of selfies on the magazine’s active Facebook page.

While print may always have a place in the publishing world, it’s great to see two North Carolina-based publishers pushing the boundaries of what we think of when we think of good literature, and the way we consume it.

Free Trial at

Five Star Publications, Inc.Are you a published author? Well, that makes you an expert on whatever it is you’ve chosen to write about, be it Civil War battles or Space Invaders.

And maybe you wouldn’t mind booking a few speaking engagements. After all, a public appearance can be a great way to share your knowledge and maybe even sell a few books.

But how will the media find you when they need a quote from your field of expertise? How will a venue, searching for a speaker of your ilk, know how to get in touch with you?

It might be a good idea to consider a membership at is the place where media professionals, meeting planners, and others find experts, authors, and spokespeople. Since 1999, this mutually beneficial service has simplified searches and shaped careers. is the go-to site for media members and planners who:

  • Need a last-minute quote
  • an engaging personality
  • a speaker familiar with a niche subject

And right now, is offering the first month of all membership levels to authors, experts, and speakers for FREE. According to the site, 36,000 potential clients visit That’s a lot of visibility for your book and brand.

The site is also currently spotlighting A&E profiles on their Facebook page and Twitter account for exposure to 6,300+ followers.

Five Star Publications, the parent company for, is a proud member of the National Federation of Press Women, Arizona Book Publishing Association, IBPA, and Arizona Authors Association.

Crowdsource Your Masterpiece

Member Book Sales

Maybe your next book will be crowdsourced….

It’s hard to even consider writing a book without somewhere in the back of your mind wondering, “Hmmmm…is there a market for this type of work?” But now one company is hoping to take the guesswork out of publishing altogether with a revolutionary publishing platform: Pubslush.

What’s Pubslush?

Pubslush is a global, crowdfunding and analytics platform only for books. Our platform allows authors to raise money and gauge the initial audience for new book ideas, and for readers to pledge their financial support to bring books to life. Pubslush is entirely about giving: giving an opportunity to authors, giving a voice to readers, and giving books to children without access to literature.

So you’re probably already thinking, “It’s like Kickstarter for the literati, right?” Well, pretty much.

At Pubslush, readers can discover works-in-progress they’d like to see published and donate to those fundraising campaigns. Authors can submit their manuscripts and try to draw enough attention to fund publication. And everyone can get together in the online community of Pubslush to discuss up and coming books from professional publishers and connect with industry insiders and plain ‘ol book lovers.

Publishers and other literary organizations can also use Pubslush to “earn money, promote their authors, and grow their brand with proprietary crowdfunding solutions.” Publishers can gauge market viability with advanced analytics, raise funds to tangibly measure demand, and mitigate financial risk for new book ideas.

And through the Ambassador Program, students can get involved in the battle against illiteracy and professionals interested in sustainable philanthropy can combat illiteracy and transform the publishing industry to be more democratic and philanthropic.

“The idea for Pubslush is a direct tribute to J.K. Rowling,” says Vice President Amanda Barbara. “We were shocked to learn that twelve publishers rejected her first Harry Potter book. Upon further investigation, we learned many bestselling books were rejected, which means countless bestsellers might never reach the shelves. As with all creative projects, writers can’t share their work without monetary backing.”

To learn more, visit the Pubslush website.

Saturday is “Indies First Day”

Back Friday crowdsThis is a big week for folks who love to shop. Black Friday (which comes earlier and earlier each year!) is followed by Small-Business Saturday. And now book lovers have a reason to stand in line and wrestle other customers for the last copy of that must-have bestseller: Indies First Day.

Indies First Day happens Saturday, November 30. In bookstores across the country, authors will be standing in as booksellers, peddling books of all sorts to the throngs.

According to novelist and poet Sherman Alexie, who spearheads this grassroots campaign:

“We will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books. Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing).”

Plenty of independent bookstores in North Carolina are joining in on the fun…

At City Lights Bookstore in Sylva: Pamela Duncan and Brent Martin.

Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill: Rosecrans Baldwin, Erica Eisdorfer, Alan Shapiro, and Daniel Wallace will be booksellers for a day.

Pomegranate Books in Wilmington: Sheila Boneham and Wiley Cash.

Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh: Kelly Lyons, Sarah Shaber, Diane Chamberlain, Bren Witchger, Betty Adcock, Linda Watson, and Debbie Moose.

And at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham: Sarah Dessen, David Cecelski, Stephanie Greene, Jim Wise, J.J. Johnson, Katy Munger, Dan Ariely, Lora Florand, David Ferrio, and Tim Tyson.

And many more.

You and your house-guests are going to need something to do next weekend. Why not get out there on Saturday, November 30, and support those indy bookstores?

NCSU Launches Virtual Paul’s Cross Project

Paul's Churchyard, looking east

Paul’s Churchyard, looking east

November 5 marked the 391st anniversary of poet John Donne’s Sermon for Paul’s Cross, given on Gunpowder Day, 1622. And if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Wow, wouldn’t it be sorta neat to travel back in time and hear Donne give that sermon?” well, now you sorta have the chance.

Researchers at North Carolina State University, led by Dr. John Wall, have “an auditory and visual simulation of what it might have been like to stand in front of St Paul’s Cross pulpit in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral almost 400 years ago, being preached to by poet John Donne.”

At the Virtual St. Paul’s Cross website, visitors can fly around the visual model, listen to the acoustics (and notice how they differ depending on where one stands), and learn more about Donne, who, though now best known for his metaphysical poetry, was also Dean of St. Paul’s and an experienced preacher.

St. Paul’s was lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666, but NCSU used “historic documents and images to create a visual model showing architectural details of the gothic St .Paul’s Cathedral, and a sound model that takes account of the acoustic properties of materials such as stone, glass and brick.”

“We know that large crowds showed up to hear Donne’s sermons, but it was unclear whether they could even hear what was being said,” said Dr. Wall. “By using the models we created for this project, we learned that the courtyard space allowed sound to reverberate, amplifying the voice of the speaker.”

He continued: “This means the sermon had to be delivered at a measured pace to keep the speech from being garbled as the reverberating sounds overlapped. Those are insights we wouldn’t have without this project.”

Dr. John Wall will offer additional performances on the following days/times:

  • Monday November 25, 9:00 am
  • Tuesday November 26, 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday December 4, 9:00 am
  • Wednesday December 11, 9:00 am

To learn more about the Virtual St. Paul’s Cross project, click here.

Sales Tax on Amusements Call To Action


NC Governor Pat McCrory

NC Governor Pat McCrory

As we’ve written about here in the past, the North Carolina state government is considering a series of tax reforms, including assessing sales tax on “amusement activities.” ARTS North Carolina believes such a tax would hurt arts organizations across the state, and is asking individuals and organizations in counties with Legislators who serve on the Revenue Laws Study Committee to contact their reps before noon on November 22.

From ARTS North Carolina:

Identify yourself as a constituent in the opening paragraph. Keep your messages short and personal, and always be respectful.

Core Message:
On behalf of arts and cultural organizations and North Carolina citizens, we respectfully request your support of a delay in the application of the sales tax on amusements currently scheduled to begin January 1, 2014, for the following reasons:

• Organizations have not had time to adequately prepare. The question of which organizations are exempt and which are not under the current law were not clarified until the Revenue Laws Committee meeting in October. Anticipated cost of computer software and administrative support were not budgeted for the current year.
• On January 1, arts organizations, cultural institutions, museums and gardens, are expected to adhere to the law. However, “state entities” and Grassroots Science Museums have been ruled exempt. This has the unintended consequence of creating “winners and losers”, and because Revenue Laws has prepared a bill for introduction in May that eliminates all exemptions, all entities that must pay the tax should be scheduled to begin on the same date projected for October 1, 2014.
• The delay would help avoid confusion for North Carolina citizens. We would expect an outcry of frustration as citizens are charged sales tax at some venues and not at others.

Conclusion: Finish your message with a short message of appreciation for the Legislature’s support of grants funding to the North Carolina Arts Council and their support of arts education policy. Thank them for understanding the complexities and confusion of the tax issue and give them credit for being willing to work for a solution.

Send to:
Governor Pat McCrory –
Legislators in your county (click here for a complete list)

Please forward any Legislative responses to or contact us if a Legislator asks a question and you need assistance.