- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
GREENSBORO—What does it mean to be a “Writers’ Writer”?
Does it mean that someone is a writer who is appreciated by their peers, who works hard, who commands the craft in a nuanced way that other writers truly appreciate? Yes, sometimes it implies a lack of commercial success, but what writer is in it for the money and fame, really?
The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2019 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 27, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will celebrate the ethos and hard work of writers everywhere with a full day of workshops and sessions meant to inspire participants to hurry back to their own desks and get down to the hard work of putting words on a page.
Registration is open.
Michael McFee will give the Keynote Address.
McFee is the author or editor of sixteen books. His most recent collection of essays is Appointed Rounds (Mercer University Press, 2018); his latest volume of poems is We Were Once Here (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017). A professor in the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill for decades, he received the 2018 North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor.
Susan Harlan will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, “Writing Personal Essays and Memoir.” Harlan teaches English literature at Wake Forest University. Her most recent book, Decorating a Room of One's Own: Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre, Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary Notables, which began as a column for The Toast, was published by Abrams in October 2018.
Around the corner, Jeff Jackson will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Exploring and Exploding the Possibilities of Story Structure.” Jackson’s latest novel is Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. It received rave reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and NPR, as well as praise from Don DeLillo, Janet Fitch, Ben Marcus, and Dana Spiotta. His first novel Mira Corpora was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
The Poetry Master Class, “Investigative Poetics,” will be led by Amy Catanzano, who publishes across genres and is the author of three books in addition to significant essay projects and digital literary forms. Her recent book, Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella, received the Noemi Press Book Award. Multiversal, published by Fordham University Press, received the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry and the Poets Out Loud Prize with Fordham University Press.
Attendees also have the option of taking classes a la carte.
Poets can sign up for “Metaphor and Memory in Poetry” with Ashley Lumpkin, author of three chapbooks and a competing member of the Bull City Slam Team since 2015; and “The Wonder of Falling” with Charlotte Matthews, whose most recent book Whistle What Can’t Be Said (Unicorn Press, 2016) chronicles part of her experience with stage-three breast cancer. Prose writers who like to invent can explore “Writing Speculative Fiction: World Building to Shape Story” with Krystal A. Smith, whose debut collection of speculative fiction, Two Moons: A Collection of Short Fiction, was released last year by BLF Press; and “The Art of Dialogue” with Kathryn Schwille, author of the novel What Luck, This Life, selected by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the best southern books of 2018.
Writers of prose who prefer to stick to the truth can enjoy Eddie Huffman’s “Real Characters: Capturing People in Nonfiction Prose.” Huffman is a veteran journalist and author of John Prine: In Spite of Himself and a forthcoming biography of Doc Watson for the University of North Carolina Press.
The NCWN 2019 Spring Conference also offers general sessions focused on the business and craft of writing.
North Carolina’s literary power couple, Ed Southern and Jamie Rogers Southern, will team up to teach “The Basics of the Book Business, Parts I & II.” Ed is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and the author of four books, including the short story collection Parlous Angels. He received the 2015 Fortner Award from St. Andrews University for his service to the literary arts in North Carolina.
Jamie Rogers Southern has been working with Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, since 2011, currently as Operations Director. She also has worked as Education Coordinator for the American Booksellers Association, and as manager of the Alabama Booksmith in her hometown of Birmingham. In 2018, she received the Winston-Salem Under 40 Leadership Award from the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
Joseph Mills, whose book This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family, will lead the session “Stepping Back from Your Writing,” meant to help participants assess their works in progress. A faculty member at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, and was honored in 2017 with a UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.
In addition, guaranteed to help attendees build the intestinal fortitude necessary to weather the furious storms of publishing, NCWN will host its fifth annual “Slush Pile Live!”
During this popular 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 the North Carolina Arts Council and UNCG’s Creative Writing Program, which will provide free 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).
Learn more and register at www.ncwriters.org.
- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will host a one-day Career Development Workshop for Writers, presented by Creative Capital, on Saturday, March 30, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Creative Capital’s intensive one-day Career Development Workshop will cover strategic planning, business management, goal setting, negotiations and income streams—all geared towards the specific needs and circumstances of writers. Participants will learn key business, management, and communications skills and hear first-hand from other writers how these tools can be used to achieve success, however they define it.
In addition to lecture presentations, participants will join in interactive exercises, hear case studies, have the opportunity to meet with leaders in small working groups, and take home a Strategic Planning workbook to help guide their process.
Burnsville novelist Abigail DeWitt, a past participant in a Creative Capital Career Development Workshop, said of her experience, “It was great—life-changing, actually.”
DeWitt is the author of three novels, most recently News of Our Loved Ones.
The March 30 workshop will be co-led by poet and Creative Capital Awardee Tracie Morris and strategic planning consultant Colleen Keegan.
Morris is a writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor, and multimedia performer. She is the author of Intermission, Chap-T-her Won, handholding: 5 kinds, Rhyme Scheme, and was co-editor, with Charles Bernstein, of BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing. She leads her own eponymous band and is a lead singer for Elliott Sharp's group, Terraplane. Morris has earned numerous awards and fellowships for poetry and performance, including New York Foundation for the Arts, Asian Cultural Council, Franklin Furnace and Creative Capital fellowships as well as residencies at Millay, Yaddo and MacDowell colonies. She is a former Poetics fellow of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, a Cave Canem Fellow, and Professor and Coordinator of Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, New York. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, a Ph.D in Performance Studies from New York University, and has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and at Michael Howard Studios. Morris is currently visiting professor of poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Keegan is a corporate Strategic Planner and Arts Activist. She is a partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, an equity investment and consulting firm specialized in providing strategic planning and business affairs services to companies in the communications and entertainment industries. Previously, Keegan served as the president of Pacific Arts Video Production and Washington Video Services, and also worked as a producer for MTV Networks, WETA, and Showtime. Keegan is the art business adviser for the TED Fellows program and the Co-Chair of the TED Fellows Arts Committee. She lectures on art and new markets at California College of Art, Cal Arts, and the Wharton Business School among others.
Workshop participants will learn key skills, including:
- A personalized system for using strategic planning to increase your satisfaction in your life and career
- Improved communication techniques to represent yourself and negotiate with clarity and confidence
- Strategies for balancing time and money
- Calculating the real cost of your time for budgets and negotiations
- Essentials for running your art practice as a small, independent business, including employment, contracts, incorporation options, budgeting and cash flow
- How to write and use a business plan and why it is crucial to both personal and professional development
- How to analyze, navigate and secure teaching and other related opportunities
Accepted participants will leave the workshop with a personalized plan of action based on their own goals for their writing careers, a close community of informed and educated peer artists (including participants and workshop leaders) who can act as resources for future endeavors, and the Strategic Planning Workbook, which includes exercises and evaluation processes to work toward personal goal setting and financial management.
The registration fee for this full-day workshop—a value of more than $200, including morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, and the Strategic Planning Workbook—is only $35 for NCWN members, $75 for non-members.
This Career Development Workshop is open only to the first 24 qualified applicants. Those who wish to register must apply online through the NCWN Submittable page, submitting a short writing sample, a current CV, and a brief Statement of Writing Intent, along with the registration fee. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the workshop fills or the registration deadline of Monday, March 18, whichever comes first—so don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Applicants who are not accepted into the workshop will receive a refund of their registration fee.
Kim Church, author of the award-winning novel Byrd, said, “I’ve taken two Creative Capital workshops, one at Penland and one through the NC Arts Council when I got a fellowship a few years ago. I found them useful in that they helped me be clear about my professional goals and how much time I needed to allocate to career development and marketing. The workshops are probably most useful for writers just starting to think about the business of writing, but they’re also good refreshers.”
“I loved the CC workshop I attended,” said poet Anna Lena Phillips Bell, author of the Vassar Miller Prize–winning Ornament and editor of Ecotone. “It was really clarifying, and a different perspective than I often hear about living and working as an artist . . . one that acknowledges artists should be and can be paid for their work, and offers helpful guidance on how to make that happen more.”
Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Made possible through public and private philanthropy, Creative Capital has committed $45 million in financial and advisory support to 561 projects representing 700 artists, and our peer-to-peer career development program has reached more than 15,000 artists in 700 communities through in person and online workshops. Learn more online at http://www.creative-capital.org.
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future, and serving as an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions, while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. Visit them online at http://www.NCArts.org.