NC Literary Hall of Fame



The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus by Allan Gurganus

$25.95, hardcover / $22.73, e-book / $12.24, audiobook
ISBN: 978-0-871403780
January, 2021
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

"Gurganus' vital collection (after Local Souls) portrays small-town Americans, mostly oddballs and misfits, at moments of self-discovery as recounted in their own authentic voices. Several stories take place in fictional Falls, N.C., once called the Athens of This Far into Eastern North Carolina, according to the tour guide in The Deluxe $19.95 Walking Tour of Historic Falls (NC).... Among the greatest entries in this stellar work are "My Heart Is a Snake Farm," featuring a spinster whose life in a crumbling Florida motel brightens when a slippery charmer opens a reptile tourist attraction, and "He's at the Office," which details a sons efforts to help his 80-year-old father, a WWII veteran mentally stuck in the 1940s. Simultaneously funny and compassionate, literary and lowbrow, Gurganuss stories trawl the mysteries of the human heart and surface with wonderful results."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"These nine stories provide a masterclass in How to Write a Story. I'm not sure how Mr. Gurganus can offer Comical, Tragic, Tender, Frightening, Soulful, Hopeful, and Despairing elements within every story, but it's true. Perfect protagonists and their enemies. What the heck took so long for these remarkable uncollected stories to discover a binding? This collection deserves to be on the same shelf as Carver, Cheever, and OConnor."
—George Singleton, author of You Want More: Selected Stories

"Gurganus, a storyteller in the grand tradition...can tell his stories as well as anyone alive in our time."
—George Garrett, The New York Times Book Review

One of the best writers of our time (Ann Patchett) offers this hilarious yet haunting cycle of storiesall previously uncollected.

Since the explosive publication of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus has dazzled readers as the most technically gifted and morally responsive writer of his generation (John Cheever). He has been praised as "one of Americas preeminent novelists, our prime conductor of electric sentences" (William Giraldi). Above all, Allan Gurganus is a seriously funny writer, an expert at evoking humor, especially in our troubled times.

Now he offers nine classic tales never before between covers. They attest to his mastery of the short story and the growing depth of his genius. Offering characters antic and tragic, Gurganus charts the human condition masked and unmasked as we live it now. Once upon a time collides with the everyday. We meet a mortician whose dedication to his departed clients exceeds all legal limits. We encounter a seaside couple fighting to save their family dog from Maines fierce undertow. A virginal seventy-eight-year-old grammar school librarian has her sole erotic experience with a polyamorous snake farmer. A vicious tornado sends twin boys aloft, leaving only one of them alive. And, in an eerily prescient story, cholera strikes a rural village in 1849 and citizens come to blame their doomed young doctor who saved hundreds.

These meticulously crafted parables recall William Faulkners scope and Flannery OConnors corrosive wit. Imbuing each story with charged drama, Gurganus, a sublime ventriloquist, again proves himself among our funniest writers and our wisest.

Allan Gurganusis widely translated, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Adaptations of his fiction have earned four Emmys, and his stories have been appearing in The New Yorker since 1974. He lives in a small town in North Carolina.


Hats Off! to Bob Cairns whose website,, was recently featured on WRAL TV. During the pandemic, Cairns has been keeping his grandchildren entertained long-distance with fresh stories, and hopes to encourage other families to do the same. A new book, Grumps' Classics for Kids, which retells favorite stories, from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to Wind in the Willows, is in the works.


My Faithbook Messages: Devotions to Like and Share by Sandra Fischer

Evergood Books
$12.95, paperback /$3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0996838023
January, 2021
Nonfiction: Inspirational / Devotional
Available from your local bookstore or

“Sandra Fischer captures the connection and communication that we love about social media with our relationship with God. Her Faithbook Messages are short, personal, and so encouraging. I reacted with a heart emoji!”
—James N. Watkins, award-winning author and speaker, God, I Don't Understand and Overcoming Fear and Worry

"Sandra Fischer's Faithbook Messages share with passion the love of Christ that she knows so intimately. Her messages encourage, inspire and lead us into the deep loving relationship our Heavenly Father desires to have with us."
—Michael Edwards, author of Gravity—True for You, But Not for Me and owner of and

“Powerful and Inspiring! Sandra Fischer connects with God's heart, and ours, through her Faithbook Messages. This book is a unique and contemporary web of genius, while promoting God and the Word.”
—CD Swanson, Christian author and devotional writer, Witness of Our Father's Love and Hearts of Love—Lost & Found

To anyone seeking to find some good messages:

If you are looking for timeless messages from the world of media, you are looking in the right place. My Faithbook Messages contains devotional posts inspired by the Bible, the Faithbook of the ages. Unlike messages found on digital media that are instantly viewed and not always saved, these posts give you the opportunity to “like,” “comment,” and, if you choose, to “share” any of them by requesting a copy to send to others.

Sandra Fischer is a regular devotional contributor to the website, Her inspirational book about nature, Seasons of the Garden, established her as a gifted writer of prose and poetry. Many of her articles and short stories are featured in several anthologies listed on her Amazon page. Sandra writes about her life experiences in Indiana and adds new ones found as a “Southern transplant” following her retirement in 2001. After spending fifteen years in Dataw Island, SC, she and her husband currently live in Southern Pines, where she continues to enjoy life and writing new stories and devotions.

To read more of her work, visit these sites:

Hats Off! to Lenard D. Moore whose haiku “questions answered” appears in the Asahi Haikuist Network.


Coyote Loop by L.C. Fiore

Adelaide Books
$22.30, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-954351370
January, 2021
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or

"In John Ganzi, Fiore gives us a fast-talking, foul-mouthed, money grubbing options trader we would love to hate—if only we could. As he navigates fatherhood and friendship, and runs headlong into his own tragic flaws, he earns our hearts."
—Heather Newton, author of Under the Mercy Trees

"Fiore paints this world with the practiced hand of a skilled writer as a man and a city are on the verge of change. Like all good fiction, Coyote Loop takes us to a place we hadn’t expected, yet somehow entertains and informs at the same time. This is a novel you don’t want to miss."
—Steve Cushman, author of Hopscotch: a Novel

"As gritty and shrewd as Chicago itself, Coyote Loop brilliantly probes the underbelly of our city's famed trading pit in the nadir of 2008, where brutality and grace collide in John Ganzi: South Sider, struggling dad, and a character I won't soon forget."
—Emily Gray Tedrowe, author of The Talented Miss Farwell

In Chicago, at the peak of the Great Recession, John Ganzi, Coyote Loop's take-no-guff narrator, has, at 44, already outlived his father. He’s a wealthy options trader, divorced, and his only friend is his disgruntled clerk, who he grew up with—two lower-class kids from the Southside, now made good. When Jeanie, Ganzi’s estranged teenage daughter, unexpectedly moves in with him, he sees an opportunity to one-up his old man by being the one thing his own father never was: a dad. Jeanie, however, despite her virginal veneer, turns out to be carrying on the family legacy of deception and addiction. When tragedy strikes, father and daughter must reconcile to help each other evolve into better versions of themselves—or risk losing everything. Adapt or Die: it should be scrawled in Latin across the Ganzi family crest.

Through an unforgettable narrative voice, Coyote Loop portrays a worldly, biting, and immutable character who bull-charges through his days. Coyote Loop is the story of one rapidly changing city, in this case, Chicago, and a financial system fueled by oversized personalities and boundless greed. Portraying a unique, fiercely loyal, and often funny parent-child dynamic, this novel explores how far we’ll go so that we don’t grow up to be our parents—and so that our children grow up to be something different, and better, than us.

L.C. Fiore's historical novel The Last Great American Magic won Novel of the Year from Underground Book Reviews. His debut novel, Green Gospel (Livingston Press), was named First Runner-Up in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards (General Fiction); short-listed for the Balcones Fiction Prize; and long-listed for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize.

His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and storySouth, among many others, and has been anthologized in Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short Short Stories (Persea Books) and Tattoos (Main Street Rag). His work has also appeared in various baseball publications, including The Love of the Game: Essays by Lifelong Fans (McFarland & Co.).

He is the host of the A440 Podcast, He is the communications director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and family.


Hats Off! to Dannye Romine Powell whose poetry collection, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver, won the 2020 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry from The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association is North Carolina’s oldest civic organization. The group has proudly promoted North Carolina’s cultural heritage—its history, literature, and arts—since 1900.


Hats Off! to Linda Vigen Phillips whose story "The Lion and the Lamb" was a Story of the Month finalist (September 2020) in 50-Word Stories. Also, her essay "Fog and Butterflies" appears in Sasee Magazine (March 2021), and her poems "Backyard High Wire Act" (June 26, 2021) and "Acer Macrophylum" (October 2021 - tentative) are forthcoming in Amethyst and The Friends Journal, respectively.


Hats Off! to the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective. L. Teresa Church, Fred Joiner, Ashley Harris, and Lenard D. Moore participated in a literary panel at the 20th Annual African-American Cultural Celebration on Saturday, January 30. This year's virtual experience was hosted by the NC Musuem of History. Also, the collective was featured, along with their anthology All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective (Blair, 2020), in the Daily Tar Heel.


Finding Her Spirit by Tracie Barton-Barrett

Kindle Direct Publishing
$15.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0997025941
January, 2021
Fiction: YA / Bildungsroman
Available from

"Ms. Barton-Barrett’s in-depth knowledge of horses and her personal experiences shine in this coming-of-age story. Finding Her Spirit is the balm for any teenage girl who has ever experienced adolescent pain and dreamed of having her own horse—and haven’t we all?"
—Padgett Gerler, award-winning author of Invisible Girl

"Finding her Spirit reawakened my childhood love of horses and had me cheering for Maren as she courageously chases her dreams."
—Heather W. Cobham, award-winning author of The Mother Tree

"Tracie Barton-Barrett has done something remarkable with this lovely book. She's captured the essence of childhoood dreams."
—Michelle Garren Flye, author of Sleight of Hand series

Packing for college in 1991, Maren Markey stumbles upon her old diary. Reliving moments from her past, she remembers weekend visits with her Daddy after her parents’ divorce, struggles with her new stepfamily, a new friendship, romantic interests, and a strong connection with a special horse. Through it all, Maren’s deep love for horses serves as a constant lifeline in her ever-changing life. Join the ride as Maren finds her Spirit.

Tracie Barton-Barrett’s passion for horses was born the moment she sat on a horse as a child. This life-long love deepened after watching The Black Stallion movie and learning about the incredible filly, Ruffian. As a speaker, counselor, former psychology teacher, and the author of Buried Deep in Our Hearts, Tracie is committed to celebrating the human-animal bond. A Michigan native, she and her husband, Daniel, now live in North Carolina and are owned by two cats, Bubby and Oliver Monkey.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem, "Adrift," appears in issue 17 of The Pangolin Review. Her untitled poem, beginning "Sheltered at home during the pandemic," appears in issue 55 of Three Line Poetry.


Mine By Design by Becky Moore

Wild Rose Press
$17.99, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-5092-3340-3
February, 2021
Fiction: Romance / Suspense
Available from your local bookstore or

“While you were sleeping, Mike called. Someone was messing around in your backyard again.”


He shrugged and gave her a pointed look. “Most likely the same Peeping Tom.”

“What did he do this time?”

“Scratched your fence. Tried to set your dock on fire with a Molotov cocktail.”

Her eyes bugged. “What?”

“It didn’t work. Mike will take the jar to his field office to check for evidence. We don’t want to run it through the local forensics lab in case something bigger is going on. This might help us prove it.”

“Do I need to worry?” She nodded at their waiter and waited for him to set their meal on the table before continuing. “I mean, more than I already am?”

“Whatever’s going on, it’s in North Carolina. Getting away for a bit is a good thing.”

“I’ve got enough to worry about right now with the production, so until you tell me to panic, I’ll stay calm.”

A dead cop. A corrupt politician. An innocent woman caught in the middle.

When Abby Markham witnesses the murder of a local cop with ties to a political dynasty, she finds herself not only in the crosshairs of a killer, but also on the radar of a powerful US senator. The clock is ticking for her survival, and Detective Ben Owens knows the best way to keep Abby safe is to keep her close. But as the danger escalates, so does their attraction. With their backs against the wall, Ben and Abby will risk everything to make sure she survives the dangerous web of political corruption, lies, and deceit.

Becky Moore is a lifelong Southerner with a penchant for storytelling and a propensity to try anything at least once. As a result, she can make an adventure out of any situation. She loves to read and write contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. In her down time, she’s an avid gardener, hiker, kayaker, bicyclist, swimmer, and community volunteer. She spent over a dozen years working as a writer, graphic artist, photographer and PR whiz in the pharmaceutical advertising, hi-tech, performing arts, and HIV/AIDS (grantwriting) fields before venturing into her current status of author, freelance writer, and adjunct instructor. Becky is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of SCBWI, the North Carolina Writers' Network, and the Chatham Arts Council.

Hats Off! to Jenny Bates whose poem "Clouded Leopard" is forthcoming in the inaugural issue of Self-Educating Poets Network.


Hats Off! to Secretary of the NCWN Board of Trustees Alice Osborn who is the Franklin County Arts Council Artist of the Month. "Alice Osborn’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a poet, singer-songwriter, historian, and book editor. In the past 15 years, Alice has taught thousands of aspiring song, fiction, poetry, and memoir writers of nearly all ages from 9 to 90 both around the corner and across continents." An Open House will be held in her honor on Saturday, February 20, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, at the Gallery on the Hill, 99 S Bickett Blvd, Louisburg.


Hats Off! to Lenard D. Moore whose haiku "new menu" appears in the February 5 issue of Asahi Haikuist Network, in Japan. The current executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society, Lenard won the North Carolina Award for Public Literature, the state's highest civilian honor, in 2014.


Hats Off! to VP of the NCWN Board of Trustees Paul Jones whose two triolets, “Saint of the Trees” and “Erasure,” appear in Grand Little Things.


Lizzy Baby by Sarah P. Blanchard

Kindle Direct Publishing
$5.49, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 979-8564938549
November, 2020
Fiction: Literary / Coming-of-Age
Available from your local bookstore or

Sensitive and quiet, the daughter of a conventional rural family that values faith and obedience, ten-year-old Liz Walters longs for a clear path through puberty to adulthood. She especially admires what her best friend Stefanie has: confidence, knowledge about the mysteries of sex and life in general; warm, supportive parents who provide guidance; and even a beautiful pony.When Liz's parents decide that she is ready for a "facts of life" lesson, she watches her heifer being bred—an experience that teaches her plenty about the brute realities of farm life, but very little about human sexuality. After a family member assaults her, Liz must make a terrible choice: Must she remain silent, or can she find a voice? Who will believe her, and whom can she trust?

Sarah Blanchard’s fiction has been published in Sixfold, The Write Launch, Dreamers, and more. She won an American PEN Women’s fiction award and a 2019 Writers' Workshop of Asheville fiction award. She was also a semi-finalist for the 2020 Doris Betts Fiction Award. Her poetry has appeared in Calyx, Welter, Poetry, Sixfold, and The Planetary Report. Her novella, Lizzy Baby, is available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon. She holds a BA in English literature and an MBA in marketing, and you can find her at


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose new collection of poems for children, Reagan's Romps, is out now from Kelsay Books. Brenda is the author of two additional poetry collections: Crepe Roses and Red Plank House. She received the Paul Green Multimedia Award from North Carolina Society of Historians for these books. Ledford has won the Paul Green Award a dozen times for her books, blogs, and collecting oral history on Southern Appalachia.


The Gathering at the Church Street Brewery by Christopher K. Horne

Wisdom House Books
January, 2021
Fiction: Southern
Available from your local bookstore or

Carlton awakens, alone, for the first time in forty-one years. His tears, quietly rolling down his cheek, are reflected in the framed glass protecting his bedside picture of Dot and their two grown children.

For a man of fifty-three who’s been divorced three times, the professor has, in his mind, solved the problem of lust quite well.

“I told you to keep quiet,” older brother Petey says. “We can sneak under the porch, then when she falls asleep, run off to the store.”

The Church Street Brewery is located in the center of Uptown in High Point, a former furniture factory, is surrounded by several dozen folks sitting or standing on the outdoor patio. Some sit like Rae and some stand like Professor David. A reserved Nadia talks with her college friend, Yuan, a twenty-something Chinese-born student. Some men, like the seventy-something Jim, a pillar of the community, float around the patio with a glass of chardonnay in hand. The reserved Carlton is a seventy-one-year-old widower, looking for love again. On sunny days, a cancer survivor, Debra, strokes paint across a canvas. Next to Debra is Katherine, a forty-something, single, political operative. Then, one fall Wednesday evening, all these characters strangely meet, converse, and warm their bodies from the patio firepit. Some drink, and some just talk. Some are kind, and some are rude. At least one person’s life is changed in a moment that Wednesday night.

Christopher K. Horne was born and raised in the urban street scene of High Point, North Carolina. He has traveled or worked in more than thirteen countries including the Brazil, Oman and Japan. He teaches at North Carolina A&T State University where the writer received his inspiration. Horne is also the author of the novel, Shattered Dreams at Rainbow’s End, published by Outskirts Press.

Hats Off! to Paul Kurzeja whose poem "Love Bird" was recently published in the Iris Literary Journal (2020) and whose creative nonfiction piece “Beach Subsidy” was recently published in Terrain (February 2020) . Paul also was a finalist for the Doris Betts Fiction Prize for “Tunnel.” He is hosting an upcoming interview with award-wining author Aaron Gwyn about Aaron’s new book All God’s Children. The interview will be part of the Charlotte Readers Podcast on February 16.


Hats Off! to Sam Barbee and NCWN Vice President of the Board of Trustees Paul Jones, whose poems "Just Get Here" and "Wine, Age" respectively, appear in Verse-Virtual (Feb. 2021, V.8:2).


Hats Off! to Sam Barbee and NCWN Vice President of the Board of Trustees Paul Jones, whose poems "Just Get Here" and "Wine, Age," respectively, appear in Verse-Virtual (Feb. 2021, V.8:1).


Breakfasting Around the World by Patricia J. Bell

Moreland Publishing
$28.00, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-97-968335-0
October, 2020
Nonfiction: Travelogue / Cookbook / Memoir
Available from the publisher

A travelogue (70 countries), cookbook (140 recipes), and memoir (personal journeys highlighting how geography, history, and culture are reflected through a culinary window and how it can offer us greater understanding and appreciation of our world's diversity).

Pat Bell was for many years Senior Editor and Travel Editor at Gourmet magazine. She has studied cooking both in the U.S. and abroad and written extensively about food and travel. She is a past board director and current member of the NY Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and a professional member of the James Beard Foundation, where she was a journalism awards judge. After moving south and making her home in North Carolina she has served on the Culinary Advisory Board of Cape Fear Community College, been a judge at the annual North Carolina Got To Be NC chefs competition, and writes a monthly recipe column for a local community magazine. She is co-author with her sister of Food From the Family Tree, and author of Landfall Cooks–A Collection of Recipes from the Landfall Community. Website:

Hats Off! to NCWN Communications Director Charles "LC" Fiore whose short story "Banglore" was chosen for Michigan Quarterly Review's 60th Anniversary Issue, a "special selection" of works that have appeared in the journal over the past six decades. Other contributors include Margaret Atwood, Bertolt Brecht, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Charles Simic, and many more. MQR is published quarterly by The University of Michigan.


Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen by Dolly Dozier

Dolly R. Sickles
$7.99, paperback / $5.39, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-733448901
August, 2019
Children's: Historical Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or

In the summer of 1957, the children of Peak City are about to learn a hard lesson. When Peggy Noodle moves into the neighborhood, speculation is high that she'll be a shoe-in for the basketball team—after all, she's tall and adventurous and everyone assumes she'll be a star. But looks can be deceiving, and by the time it's too late to convince them otherwise, she leads her team to a disastrous defeat.

Peggy finds an unexpected friend in her kind, elderly neighbor, Mrs. Moore, who invites her to learn how to hula hoop. Peggy realizes quickly that hula hooping is perfect for her, and the two set out to show Peggy's friends and the town how fun and sporty hula hooping can be. They hatch a plan to help the community build a fun new legacy by bringing the First Annual Tri-City Hoopla to Peak City, and along the way draw Peggy's friends into the fun of hula hooping. Because when you find something you love to do, it's easy to do it well.

Dolly Dozier figured out early in life that having a good book meant never being bored. As a result, her fanciful mind, along with her love of storytelling, have given her wings to do, well...anything. Before she started writing books for young readers, she had a very interesting career in advertising and the performing arts. She is a big community volunteer and a firm believer that the world is what you make it. Dolly lives in the wilds of central North Carolina with her husband and son, and Magnolia May the beagle. When she's not writing or telling stories, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, gardening, and riding bikes with her boys.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose two poems, written to January and February prompts, appear in Verse Visual. Also, two of her poems appear in The Ekphrastic Review. Her poem, "Ruffled," was selected as poem of the day on January 8. Bumples magazine accepted a short story by Joan for their spring issue (for children). Hobo Camp Review has accepted "A Basket of Lemons" for their spring issue. Finally, Ovunque Siamo accepted a poem about her father, "Donut Dialog," and Creative Inspirations accepted two of her poems for their spring issue.


Hats Off! to Susan M. Steadman whose play (Anti-)Material(ism) is being produced in May at the Tree City Playhouse in Sylvania, Ohio.


Daughter of the Dawn: a Child of Hilton Head Island, 1950-1956 by Avary Hack Doubleday

Mountain Arbor Press/BookLogix
$19.95, paperback
ISBN 978-1-63183-539-1
July, 2019
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from

"Daughter of the Dawn shines a light on a fascinating period of Hilton Head Island's colorful history. But this is no ordinary history. Avary Doubleday is an artist with words, and the picture she paints for us is glorious, vivid, memorable. She was a child when her father moved the family to Honey Horn Plantation on the island. It was a time when cows wandered into backyards. Marsh hens cackled all day. Copperheads sunned in the road. 'Currents and ebbing tides left behind deep slews' in which children played, 'little ponds warmed by the sun.' If you've ever visited Hilton Head, if you live (or lived) there—if you simply enjoy good writing—you'll love this book."
—Judy Goldman, author of Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap

"Daughter of the Dawn gives readers a glimpse into a little-known part of Hilton Head Island's history—long before its name became synonymous with beaches, resorts, and tourism. Avary Doubleday shares her personal experiences of growing up on the island and gives those of us who never experienced it a chance to slip back into time to imagine a period before traffic lights, resort hotels, or even a bridge from the mainland. Her vivid recollections of her home, Honey Horn, will help us share its past with visitors for years to come."
—Natalie Hefter, Vice President of Programs, Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island

"Opening with a moving poem covering a wide spectrum of 'I am…'—from 'silver sunlight' to 'sea oats and sand dollars,' Avary Hack Doubleday ends her seductive introduction with 'I am from the Island.' Indeed she is.

"From 1950 when her father moved his young family to Honey Horn Plantation, Doubleday describes her childhood and growing years on the sparsely populated island of Hilton Head in the years before there was even a bridge. After the purchase of a little over 8,000 acres for timber, her parents began to see new directions of progress for the island and had a strong hand in its progress.

"Avary Hack Doubleday is truly a Daughter of the Dawn. From her years spent in the wilderness of unpopulated beaches, adventures in the woods, long horseback rides, essentially a childhood in Paradise, Doubleday introduces us to the people of the Island before its development—people of the earth and the open skies. In the process of her story, by the time she leaves for college, her parents’ vision for the island has greatly shifted the idyllic landscape of her childhood. The island has become idyllic for many others, but its essential wildness is now tamed and groomed.

"Though meticulously checked against memories from others and documented facts, Daughter of the Dawn remains a memoir, an engaging telling of one child’s memories from the early days of Hilton Head Island—memories evocative for many of us of life more open, free, and connected to the earth—along with the changes that make it such a different place today. And who best to share those memories of an island 'growing up' than one who shared that growing up herself."
—Diane C. McPhail, author of The Abolitionist’s Daughter

This memoir covers early years of Avary's growing up on the Island. Fred and Billie Hack moved their family to Hilton Head in 1950, when Avary was five years old. Until 1956, the only connection to the mainland was by boat, or beginning in 1953, a regularly scheduled ferry. When Fred Hack and his associates purchased the first large tracts of land, the Island lacked electricity, telephones, doctors, and most other modern conveniences. Billie cooked on an iron woodstove and used an icebox for refrigeration—which had a large block of ice in the upper compartment to keep food chilled.

Avary and her brothers, Frederick, two and one half, and Byron, born in 1952, lived a free and wonder-filled life close to nature. They played in the creek behind their house, rode horses, occasionally went on family outings to the beach, and attended a one-room school. Reflecting back over these years, Avary was struck by how much the Island had changed from the 1950s until her nieces grew up on the Island forty years later! She felt it was important to record her memories so that they could know how their father, Frederick, and she had grown up.

From the age of five, Avary Hack Doubleday lived with her family on Hilton Head Island, where they were one of the few white families who were permanent residents. Following a career in accounting and finance, she has enjoyed volunteering, reading, traveling, birdwatching, and writing. She and her husband now split their time between Highlands, North Carolina, and Greenwood, South Carolina.

Hats Off! to Kathleen Tyler of Wilmington whose collection of short stories, What Shadows Eat, is the winner of the 2019 Cypress & Pine Fiction Series (Yellow Flag Press).


Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell: the reprint of her poem "Frozen Discoveries" was published in issue #374 and two winter haiku were published in issue #376 of The Weekly Avocet. Her flash fiction story, "Her Portrait," appears in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature (Feb 1). And her poems "Rescue Dog and a Poet" and "Minuscule Moments" appear in the recently released 2019 Fall print issue of Poetry Quarterly.


Wild Persistence by Patricia Hooper

University of Tampa Press
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-15932-175-4
November, 2019
Available from your local bookstore or

"Near the end of this beautifully quiet and deeply moving collection, Hooper writes about a mockingbird—'He has to sing, he has to keep on singing,/ to know he's really here.' These poems have that kind of necessity. Hooper has known loss and its attendant grief. But she has also see a paralyzed child stare out the window of a car at birds and blossoming trees, and sees 'your face alive with joy.' These poems are immediate, clear and uncluttered in a way that takes a lifetime to learn."
—Keith Taylor, author of The Bird While

Forty-seven poems, often about moments when the human and natural worlds intersect.

Patricia Hooper is the author of five books of poetry, a poetry chapbook, and four children's books. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The Yale Review, The Sewanee Review, The Gettysburg Review, and other magazines and anthologies. Among her awards are The Norma Farber First Book Award of the Poetry Society of America, The Anita Claire Sharf Award from the University of Tampa Press, The Roanoke Chowan Award, The Laurence Goldstein Award from Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Bluestem Award for Poetry.

Hats Off! to Phil Cohen whose novel Nick Bones Underground was a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards, "Debut Novel" category, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council.

Hats Off! to Eric Tran who was profiled in the "Literary MagNet" section of Poets & Writers magazine. His debut poetry collection is The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer (Autumn House Press, February, 2020). "The book contends with, as Tran says, 'the intersections of queerness, being Asian American, mental health, and their implications on desire, safety, and personhood.'" Eric taught a session at the NCWN 2019 Fall Conference.


Hats Off! to NCWN trustee Michele T. Berger whose short story "Etta, Zora and the First Serpent" appears in Afromyth Volume 2: A Fantasy Collection (Afrocentric Books | Mugwump Press). Now available for pre-order! In Michele's story, "Etta, a dancer at the Cotton Club, meets the charismatic Zora Neale Hurston and gets entangled in one of Zora's schemes to conjure secrets from an old spirit."


Wildland by Rebecca Hodge

Crooked Lane Books
$26.99, hardcover / $12.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1643852928
February, 2020
Fiction: Women's / Suspense
Available from your local bookstore or

"Alongside the taut suspense, Hodge has created a likeable, sympathetic character in Kat, and fans of Cheryl Strayed's Wild or Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone won't want to put down this nail-biter."

"Heart-stopping...Hodge shows great skill in writing a story that’s both touching and exhilarating.”
—Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Dream Daughter

"An adrenaline-pumping story about survival, acceptance, and courage, Wildland is a page-turner with a fearsome heroine.”
—Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Promise Between Us

She'll do anything to save them. But what will she do to save herself?

When Kat Jamison retreats to the Blue Ridge Mountains, she's counting on peace and solitude to help her make a difficult decision. Her breast cancer has returned, but after the death of her husband, her will to fight is dampened. Now she has a choice to make: face yet another round of chemotherapy or surrender gracefully.

Self-reflection quickly proves impossible as her getaway is complicated by a pair of abandoned dogs and two friendly children staying nearby, Lily and Nirav. In no time at all, Kat's quiet seclusion is invaded by the happy confusion of children and pets.

But when lightning ignites a deadly wildfire, Kat's cabin is cut off from the rest of the camp, separating Lily and Nirav from their parents. Left with no choice, Kat, the children, and the dogs must flee on foot through the drought-stricken forest, away from the ravenous flames. As a frantic rescue mission is launched below the fire line, Kat drives the party deeper into the mountains, determined to save four innocent lives. But when the moment comes to save her own, Kat will have to decide just how hard she's willing to fight to survive—and what's worth living for.

A heart-pounding novel of bravery, sacrifice, and self-discovery, Wildland will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.

Rebecca Hodge is an author of fiction, a veterinarian, and a clinical research scientist who lives and writes in North Carolina. Fiction writing is the space where her creative side comes out to play, and her writing centers on characters who discover that life is not a spectator sport. She has three grown sons, two crazy dogs, and one patient husband. When not busy writing, she loves hiking, travel, and (of course) curling up with a good book. Wildland is her debut novel.

Hats Off! to Thomas Wolf whose essay "The Golden Era of Prison Baseball and the Revenge of Casey Coburn" appears in The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture 2017-2018 (McFarland & Co.), an anthology of essays on the history of baseball and its impact on America.



Symphony of Stories by Norman Weeks

Kindle Direct Publishing
$14.00, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-710035001
November, 2019
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

Here are twenty literary melodies in a Symphony of Stories.

The word-music of the stories is arranged in the form and framework of a classical symphony. There are four symphonic movements: first comes the Andante, a going-along in a sequence of events, a narrative, a story. Next is an Adagio, the slowing down on the path of sorrow; these stories are tragic. A contrast is provided by the Scherzo, jokes, tales with tongue-in-cheek. The grand finale of the Allegro is the happy ending.

The themes of the stories are some of the most basic: longing for love, finding love, suffering disappointment in love, and losing love. Sex as farce. Ambition and the frustration of ambition. Music, art, literature, and our electronic technoculture. The individual in society. The moral and the immoral. The sane, the insane, and doubts about which is which.

Symphony of Stories. Oh, the wondrous complexities of the human!

Symphony of Stories is the author’s only major work of fiction.

Norman Weeks is primarily an experiential nonfiction writer. He writes about living in Nature and within a culture.

Of the former, Nature Norm’s North Woods relates his experiences in the woods-and-waters of the northland, while Tropical Ecstasy explores the Amazon and the Northeast of Brazil.

Of culture, he enters into one of the oldest civilizations in Two Weeks in Eternal Egypt. Culture-versus-Nature is a principal theme of Walden Contemporaneous.

The trilogy Roman Ruminations presents “the psychology of the human as an enculturated animal”. Its three volumes are: Loneliness, Instinct, and Love.

Matters of Life and Death contains further explorations into human psychology.

Throughout his various writings, Norman Weeks expresses a cosmopolitan appreciation of our world and the wide range of experiences possible in one human life.

All these titles are available as Kindle e-books, some also as paperbacks.

Hats Off! to Katey Schultz whose novel Still Come Home was favorably reviewed in Smoky Mountain Living. "Through these characters, Schultz transports us into a part of the world unfamiliar to many Americans, even after eighteen years of our nation’s involvement in Afghanistan," says reviewer Jeff Minick. "When we walk through the marketplace and war-gutted streets of Imar with Aaseya...Still Come Home brings to life all these people and places."


Hats Off! to Jane Mary Curran whose short short story "January's Snow Moon" won the Fleur 2020-01 - Crocus Grand Prize from "'January’s Snow Moon' is mere silhouette," says final judge Dr. David A Ross, Oxford Scholar. "In setting and mood, the story reminds me of Coleridge’s poem 'Frost at Midnight.'" Read Jane's winning flash fiction here.


Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman whose story "Busted," which was featured in a 2018 Christmas anthology for Chicken Soup for the Soul, will be published again in their new collection, The Magic of Moms. The anthology will be available for sale in March in bookstores and large pharmacies. This is the sixteenth time one of Erika's stories will appear in a CSftS collection.


When I Go Back to My Home Country by Emily Herring Wilson

R.A. .Fountain
$20.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0984210244
Nonfiction: Biography
Available from some local bookstores and

"I love it. It's right on, heartbreaking, heartthrobbingly good, real, and openly warm and readable."
—Shelby Stephenson, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee and former NC Poet Laureate

"Part loving biography, part autobiography, When I Go Back to My Home Country is a deeply felt narrative of Emily Wilson's long friendship with the celebrated poet A. R. Ammons. Unsparing in detail about a complex and enduring relationship, this memoir is a compelling account of her admiration and respect for one of our leading literary figures. Emily Wilson is a poet herself, and her story is a vivid and moving tribute, told with both candor and affection."
—Robert Morgan, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee

Emily Herring Wilson is the author of five collections of poetry and five nonfiction books, including The Three Graces of Val-Kill: Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Dickerman, and Nancy Cook in the Place They Made Their Own. She and her husband, Ed Wilson, still live in the Wake Forest University campus neighborhood that welcomed Archie, Phyllis, and their son John to Winston-Salem in 1973, where Archie had come to spend a year on sabbatical from Cornell University.

Hats Off! to Gina Malone whose poem "1970" was a finalist for The James Applewhite Poetry Prize and appears in the North Carolina Literary Review Online 2020.


Carved from Stone and Dream by T. Frohock

Harper Voyager
$17.99, paperback / $11.99, e-book / $26.99 (audiobook)
ISBN: 978-0-062825643
February, 2020
Fiction: Historical / Fantasy
Available from your local bookstore or

"Frohock seamlessly blends fantasy and WWII history into a heart-wrenching story of war in the action-packed second Los Nefilim novel."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"There are glimpses of urban fantasy, of horror, of historical fantasy, as well as a big enough dose of tense action for a Hollywood blockbuster, but ultimately … [it] is a unique and rewarding pleasure that defies categorisation."
—T.O. Munro, The Fantasy Hive

February 1939.

Catalonia has fallen. Los Nefilim is in retreat.

With the Nationalist forces hard on their heels, the members of Los Nefilim—Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons—make a desperate run for the French border.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of angelic and daimonic descent, follows Guillermo and a small group of nefilim through the Pyrenees, where the ice is as treacherous as postwar loyalties—both can kill with a single slip. When a notebook of Los Nefilim’s undercover operatives falls into a traitor’s hands, Diago and Guillermo risk their lives to track it down. As they uncover a pocket realm deep within the Pyrenees, Diago discovers his family is held hostage.

Faced with an impossible choice: betray Los Nefilim, or watch his family die, Diago must nurture the daimonic song he has so long denied in order to save those he loves.

T. Frohock has turned a love of history and dark fantasy into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She is the author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale and the Los Nefilim series, which consists of three novellas (“In Midnight’s Silence,” “Without Light or Guide,” and “The Second Death”) and three novels (Where Oblivion Lives, Carved from Stone and Dream, and A Song with Teeth).

T. currently lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a Southern colloquialism for lying.

Hats Off! to Sarah Blanchard whose long short story, "Lizzy Baby," has been published in the February issue of The Write Launch. Another story, "A Good Voice for Horses," won honorable mention in The Plaid Horse Magazine's 2019 Equestrian Voices fiction competition. The story will appear in print and online in an upcoming issue.


Take Nothing by Deborah Pope

Carnegie Mellon University Press
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-887486562
February, 2020
Pre-order from your local bookstore or

"These are poems embedded in connections to family and landscape, to memory and possibility. They especially explore and distill those indelible, sometimes small, moments that cumulatively shape the arc of a life. These can be as surprising as the visitation of a hawk and as significant as the death of a parent. In a voice that ranges from the wry to the revelatory, from mourning to celebration, these poems speak with lyrical precision and deep experience." 
—Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet, author of How to Love a Country

From the closing of an old Howard Johnson's to the Perseid meteor shower to an eighth-century monk, Deborah Pope's range is as a remarkable as her poems. This collection embraces the complexity of her relationships and connections to a multitude of things: nature, faith, family, love, and more. Her language is at once direct and evocative, perfectly striking the difficult balance between simple, plain honesty and the verve and passion that comes from the voice of a life that is fully aware of its truth and contradiction, clarity and doubt, mortal bounds and limitless imagination.

Deborah Pope is the author of three previous poetry collections. In 2018, she received the Robinson Jeffers Award. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Threepenny Review, Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, as well as numerous other literary journals.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Wintry Banquet" was published in the 2018 Fall print issue of Poetry Quarterly. Her haiku beginning "Suspended halo" and her three line poem beginning "Pristine snowfall blankets the land" appeared in the online issue #320 of The Weekly Avocet (January 20, 2019). She will have two poems in this year's NC statewide poetry initiative "Poetry in Plain Sight," which will be displayed in Winston-Salem and New Bern. "Autumn Acrobats" will be displayed in September, and "Precision Pilots" will be displayed in October. Sunday afternoon, March 10, 2019, Suzanne will read her poem "Altered Silhouette" as part of Nancy Smith's "Women Speak" exhibit at the Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill.


Free Bird Rising by Ian J. Malone

Seventh Seal Press
14.99, paperback / 4.99, e-book
ISBN: 1-948-485915
January, 2019
Fiction: Science Fiction
Available from

“A noted explorer once asked, ‘Who knows if there are secrets lurking in the unseen corners of hyperspace?’ The answer is simple. There are!”
—Colonel Terrance Van Zant, Commanding Officer, Swamp Eagle Security

Taylor Van Zant has a lot on his mind.

Like everyone in Jacksonville, North Florida, the early-twenties bartender from Riverside saw his world upended when his brother, Terry, an interstellar mercenary and local hero, died suddenly in a freak starship accident. Five years later, having been stonewalled for answers, Taylor faced a choice: Honor his mother’s wish that he never go merc or defy it to save her life by resurrecting Terry’s company.

That was thirteen months ago. Now the newly reformed Eagles stand on the verge of a major milestone: owning their own flagship. There’s just one problem. Terry left behind a ship that no one knew about, a rare breed of cruiser with a most peculiar secret.

Free Bird Rising is the story of a young man’s quest for justice and to escape his brother’s shadow. The shocking revelations he finds, though, will likely rock the Galactic Union to its core and get him killed.

As a graduate of Florida State University, sci-fi author Ian J. Malone has written in a variety of arenas ranging from public health to news and sports. When it comes to his fictional work, however, he's a firm believer that nothing shapes an author's writing like experience. That's why he credits his tenures in radio, law enforcement, and military contracting for much of his inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who've stood with him along the way.

Beyond writing, Malone is an avid fan of audiobooks (he's legally blind) and the outdoors. It's also not uncommon to find him at a ballgame, a concert, or somewhere out by a grill.

Malone is an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a resident of Durham, North Carolina—but he'll always be a "Florida boy" at heart.

Hats Off! to Dorianne Laux whose poem "Snow" is included in the Winter, 2019, issue of Prairie Schooner, part of the Opiods Portfolio edited by Glenna Luschei. "In Laux's poem," Luschei wrote in her introduction, "in which the speaker's sister dies, the ending shows humanity out on the sidewalks pushing forward."


Hats Off! to Earl Carlton Huband whose poetry chapbook The Innocence of Education, based on his experiences in the Sultanate of Oman, which won the Longleaf Press 2018 Poetry Award sponsored by Methodist University, was favorably reviewed in Peace Corps Worldwide, a non-profit that promotes the writings of former Peace Corps Volunteers.


SCOURGE by Charley Pearson

CEP Books
$15.00, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-997299328
December, 2018
Fiction: Medical / Thriller
Available from your local bookstore and

“Imaginative and full of action...continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical.”
Kirkus Reviews

“If you love a great paced medical thriller, this is a must read!”
Jubilee Book Reviews

“Charley has that rare ability to infuse copious amounts of humor laced through a story that is anything but funny...his writing style is rich in colorful language...A completely engrossing and entertaining novel...Charley Pearson is one very fine wordsmith/artist/poet.”
San Francisco Review of Books

Desperate researchers hide from authorities and resort to unethical means to fight a plague. Because it's about saving lives, even if that puts them among the biggest villains in history.

Charley Pearson retired after a career with the U.S. Navy, at the headquarters of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, primarily overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation after the end of the Cold War, releasing closing facilities for unrestricted future use with EPA and state agreement. He apparently used up his left brain in the process, so now he's on to the right side, writing humor, thriller, historical, and fantasy type stuff.

GREENSBORO—What are you writing about?

It might seem like an obvious question, but writers would benefit from asking themselves this question more often.

Once writers are sure of their goals, they can begin making decisions on craft, point of view, structure, voice, and more. This builds a more confident writer, and what writer couldn't use a little more confidence?

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 27, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration is now open.

Susan Harlan will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, "Writing Personal Essays and Memoir."

What are personal essays and memoir, and why do we write them? This workshop invites participants to reflect on what they hope to achieve with their writing and how to accomplish their goals. Whether they’re writing a memoir, travel essays, object essays, or portraits of people or places, Susan Harlan's goal is to help attendees build confidence in their own voice. She will ask: What is their writing about, and how can they communicate this to their readers? The class will talk about what Vivian Gornick calls “the situation and the story” and discuss structure and organization (especially beginnings and endings), concrete detail (and omission!), pacing, dialogue, vivid images, and point of view. Registrants will think about how everyday writing exercises can serve as starting points for longer projects. And they'll look at nonfiction works published online and in print.

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

Harlan’s essays have appeared in venues including The Guardian US, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Roads & Kingdoms, The Common, The Brooklyn Quarterly, The Morning News, Curbed, Atlas Obscura, Public Books, and Nowhere, and her book Luggage was published in the Bloomsbury series Object Lessons in March 2018. She also writes satire for McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Awl, The Billfold, Avidly, Queen Mob's Tea House, The Hairpin, The Belladonna, Janice, and The Establishment, and she was a finalist judge for the Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest this year, with Michael Ian Black, Hank Herman, and Julie Schumacher. Her humor 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. She teaches English literature at Wake Forest University.

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

Eddie Huffman, author of a forthcoming biography of Doc Watson for the University of North Carolina Press, will lead the session "Real Characters: Capturing People in Nonfiction Prose."

People are messy and multilayered. This class will explore ways to cut through the clutter and hit the highlights that bring a subject to life in a memoir, essay, or profile.

"Stepping Back from Your Writing" with Joseph Mills, whose poetry collection This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family, invites participants to bring a draft in progress and plan to revise. In James Thurber’s “Many Moons,” a jeweler steps back from a creation and asks, “What is this thing I’ve made?” This is what wall writers need to do as we revise, but it can be difficult to get the necessary distance. In this workshop, participants will discuss ways to “defamiliarize themselves” with their writing so that they can see it more clearly, and they’ll consider several quick “down and dirty diagnostics” exercises that help a writer assess a piece of work in process.

Additional conference programming includes "Lunch with an Author" (only available to those who pre-register); faculty readings and open mics; and the 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


Hats Off! to Lucinda Trew who has two poems featured in the Spring/Summer issue of Fredricksburg Literary & Art Review and a poem forthcoming in Mulberry Fork Review.


The Innocence of Education by Earl Carlton Huband

Longleaf Press
$10.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9862142-7-1
November, 2018
Available from

"The Innocence of Education could be called the Education of Earl Huband. Innocence survives cultures. Education settles the uneasy ways which distinguish people. Huband's Americana charts a seriously humorous sway, as The Innocence of Education surprises and sustains the story of an American living and teaching English among the Arabs. Henry James would love this book, as I do, especially its compassion for travel, biography, and autobiography."
—Shelby Stephenson, NC Poet Laureate, 2015-2018

"Good poems do what Joseph Conrad proclaimed to be the ultimate purpose of prose: above all, to make you see. Earl Huband has through his poems in The Innocence of Education awakened me to what venturing as a Peace Corps teacher into a totally foreign environment, language and culture such as Oman's involves. His pithy poems are enlightening and entertaining."
—Christopher M. Armitage, Professor of English, UNC-Chapel Hill

"Earl Huband has led an extraordinarily varied and interesting life, and I'm glad to see that his recent poems harvest that variety. He offers exotic scenes, characters, and idioms, but he never sacrifices the spirit of his native South that I, another native, can recognize as 100% authentic. He offers the experience of that familiar theme--the American abroad--in many poems realized in carefully measured lines of nine syllables. I look forward to reading and rereading these for years to come."
—William Harmon, James Gordon Hanes Professor in the Humanities, UNC-Chapel Hill

Winner of the Longleaf Press 2018 Poetry Award, The Innocence of Education features twenty-seven syllabic and autobiographical poems based on the author's experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Sultanate of Oman, where he taught English in a remote fishing village near the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

A native of Wilmington, Earl Carlton Huband is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A., M.A.T.) and a resident of Durham. His poems have appeared in journals such as America, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Lyric, The Main Street Rag, and Visions International; in anthologies such as Earth and Soul, Heron Clan, Kakalak, and Pinesong; and in the textbook Unlocking the Poem.

The Precariousness of Done by Tony Houck

Brandylane Publishers
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-947860-14-8
February, 2019
Fiction: Psychological / Latino
Available from your local bookstore or

"The Precariousness of Done is a powerful work: a moving, courageous and daring narration of the difficulties of a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A valuable and enriching contribution to the struggle against the stigma that millions of anonymous sufferers heroically, resiliently and secretly battle to overcome."
—Pedro Martín-Barrajón Morán, Director Crisis and Emergency Management PSYA SPAIN, S.L.

"Houck paints a vivid Spanish backdrop for a complex entanglement of characters whose stories are rich with suspense and longing. Both emotionally haunting and full of heart, The Precariousness of Done is a strong debut from a writer who knows how to twist his way through a tale."
—Greg Shemkovitz, author of Lot Boy

"In The Precariousness of Done, Houck has without a doubt created a captivating story of depth that leaves the reader reflecting on the fear that drives our desire to protect ourselves and others. Each of us can relate to the sometimes hindering and sometimes motivating influence our own personal fears have on our path in life."
—Meg McSherry, LCSW, Courage Health & Wellness, Fredericksburg, VA

Meet Ethan, a bright yet painfully shy former exchange student to Spain. He has returned to Las Rozas during the town’s annual fiestas—complete with carnival, bullfights, street vendors, and pickpockets. Ethan’s “Spanish family” welcomes him into their home despite having their own problems, and he becomes inextricably involved in the personal affairs of two sisters, for better or for worse.

Next meet Thomas, another American living in Spain, whose obsessive-compulsive disorder wreaks havoc on his daily life and keeps him from connecting with his family, and even worse, being with the woman he adores.

Full of Spanish zest, layers of love, and the nuances of mental disorders, this smart and sexy book is sure to evoke joy and sorrow. Find out how these men’s lives mysteriously intertwine in this wonderful novel about culture, family, and the precariousness of “done.”

Tony Houck’s burning enthusiasm for Spanish language and culture was sparked by a two-week tour of Spain during high school. Thirty years later, this family man and severe obsessive-compulsive is still bitten by the bug to travel and explore. Set in the Spanish town where he lived, studied, ate tripe, ran with the bulls, and got his heart broken, The Precariousness of Done is his first novel.

Hats Off! to Tom Wood who profiles Malcolm Turner, the new athletics director at Vanderbilt University—and a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate—in The Nashville Ledger.


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 Turningwas 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


The Advance of Healing by Dr. Preston Edwards

Kindle Publishing Direct
$15.00, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-7917-3281-3
January, 2019
Nonfiction: Medical / Hospice Care
Available from

"I enjoyed this collection of true short stories because it takes the reader along in the writer’s realistic and sometimes humorous journey from untrained medical student to experienced and caring physician. Each chapter describes a patient who teaches him a lesson in life and humility. The well-crafted and remarkable details in these stories remind us to treat each patient and each other as an individual, with kindness and respect. This work is a testimony to the importance of listening and empathy as a key to healing of both body and soul."
—Martha Wiedman, MD

This is a highly personal collection of true and meaningful stories from Dr. Edwards career as a family practitioner in the Piedmont and Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. You will journey with him through medical school to the bedside of many endearing people who share their wisdom and with him, often under difficult circumstances.

This book invites all who have been sick or cared for a loved one or experienced the death of a friend or relative, to share the rich experiences of others. All have a unique approach to their lives and approaching deaths. Lend your spirit and listen with your heart to the stories of your friends and neighbors.

Dr. Edwards invites pre-medical students and doctors in all stages of their careers to reflect upon these stories. He hopes that doctors do not lose the personal touch as they care for so many every day.

Dr. Preston Edwards is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Emory University School of Medicine. His residency training was done in Roanoke Virginia. Since retiring in 2012, he has devoted himself to writing stories of healing to share with the world. He has been living in North Carolina during his retirement.

Hats Off! to Nickole Brown whose poem "What The Bees Taught Me" is available as text and audio at Split This Rock's website.


America Abroad: An Epic of Discovery by David Radavich

Plain View Press
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-632100603
January, 2019
Available from your local bookstore or

"David Radavich's America Abroad is vastly imaginative: pastiche; caprice; cameos by Ponce de Leon, Coronado, Sacajewea, Leif Ericsson, Betsy Ross, as well as other historic luminaries; and orchestrated by a truncated, nimble line, with brilliant musical enjambment that puts me in mind of Robert Creeley. The language is wonderfully elastic, accommodating, witty—what an ear Radavich has—but also of epic vision, 'Protean / beyond all reckoning,' as the speaker declares so aptly in the poem, 'Shape-Shifter.' And, indeed, these poems do shape-sift, holographic not only in their stunning wordplay, but in their vision and wry social commentary. This is a very fine volume of poems."
—Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina

"In America Abroad: An Epic of Discovery, David Radavich launches his most ambitious expedition to date. Crossing continents and spanning centuries, this sequence traces historical trajectories from the Age of Exploration to the present. Indeed, we hear echoes of Whitman in its sweep and grandeur. Organized geographically, sections recount the 'discovery' of the 'New World' and exploration of the American West, as well as sojourns to the Arctic, South America, Asia, and finally the Far East. Along the way, we encounter persona poems speaking in the voices of adventurers, conquistadors, and survivors. This is a bold and expansive book, challenging readers to re-conceive the ways that history is said to rhyme."
—Professor Christian Knoeller, author of Reimagining Environmental History

"America Abroad is part adventure story and part history told in crisp narrative poems rich in searing imagery. In these poems, David Radavich explores America’s complex history of discovery, destruction, and quest for power. With the keen eye of an historian and the heart and ear of a poet, Radavich uses a myriad of voices, from Ponce de Leon to Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty to explore America’s adventurism with clear-eyed honesty. These poems deliver on the promise that 'If you listen hard, / in the end you will be changed.'"
—Pat Riviere-Seel, author of The Serial Killer’s Daughter

In this wide-ranging narrative of interlocking poems, a variety of adventures take American explorers known and unknown to all four corners of the globe from earliest days of settling to recent exploits in outer space.

David Radavich is a socially committed poet, playwright, and essayist. Among his poetry volumes are Slain Species (London, 1980), By the Way: Poems over the Years (1998), and Greatest Hits (2000). America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007) narrates U.S. history from World War II to the present, while Canonicals (2009) investigates “love’s hours.” Middle-East Mezze (2011) focuses on a troubled yet enchanting part of our world. The Countries We Live In (2014) explores inner and outer geographies. His latest book, America Abroad: An Epic of Discovery (2019) is a broad-hearted companion volume to America Bound.

Radavich’s plays, both serious and comic, have been performed across the U.S., including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe. He has published scholarly and informal essays and presented in such far-flung locations as Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, and Iceland. Winner of numerous literary honors, he has served as president of the Thomas Wolfe Society, Charlotte Writers’ Club, and North Carolina Poetry Society and currently administers the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series.

Hats Off! to Susan M. Steadman whose short play "Remembering a Memory" will be presented at Buffalo State College (New York) in April.


Hats Off! to Michael K. Brantley whose essay "Shopping List, 1937" appears in Parhelion Literary Magazine. It's about a checkbook he found on his grandmother's desk after her death he was ten, with the last check written in 1938. There was a shopping list on the back inside cover.


RALEIGH—The short story “Papa’s Gifts” by Raleigh writer Sandra Headen has won the first-ever Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize.

Headen will receive $1,000, and The Carolina Quarterly will consider “Papa’s Gifts” for publication.

This award was initiated by Cedric Brown, a Winston-Salem native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to honor the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina. Founding donors also include Carol B. Alan, MD; E. Patrick Johnson, PhD; and Reginald Shuford, JD.

Final judge Rion Amilcar Scott selected “Papa’s Gifts” from among twelve finalists for the inaugural prize.

“‘Papa’s Gifts’ is the type of story that seems to exist in a hazy limbo, like something overheard between sleep and wake until the ending startles you to attention,” Scott said about Headen’s entry. “Papa of the title will stay with me for his ordinary strict father menace that morphs into something more chilling by the end.”

Following a career in teaching and research at universities in Chicago and Chapel Hill, Headen became an independent consultant and began writing historical fiction. Her debut novel, Warrior on the Mound (originally titled Cato’s Last Home Run) won the On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

Scott also selected “May Day Miracle,” a memoir excerpt by Charlotte’s Barbara Johnson, for Honorable Mention.

“‘May Day Miracle’ gives us a simple but heroic quest to root for. Seeking a fresh outfit for a May Day ceremony becomes a quest for dignity despite the indignities of rural poverty,” Scott said. “When the narrator's heart breaks, the reader's does, too, and when she triumphs, it washes over the reader and becomes our triumph as well.”

Barbara Johnson was born to a sharecropping family in Leasburg and graduated from Bennett College. Her work has been performed at the Matthews Playhouse, Queens University of Charlotte, and the Warehouse Performing Arts Center in Cornelius.

Both Headen and Johnson are members of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

The Jacobs/Jones contest, sponsored by the NCWN and administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina. Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must not have been published before (including on any website, blog, or social media), and must be no more than 3,000 words.

“The literary award was borne out of my frustration with being unable to readily find much fiction or creative nonfiction that conveys the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians,” Brown said. “I wanted to incentivize the development of written works while also encouraging Black writers to capture our lives through storytelling.”

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at

Rion Amilcar Scott’s short-story collection, Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. The World Doesn't Require You, his sophomore story collection, is forthcoming from Liveright.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors the nineteenth-century writers Harriet Jacobs and Thomas H. Jones. Jacobs was born in 1813 near Edenton, escaping to Philadelphia in 1842, after hiding for seven years in a crawl space above her grandmother’s ceiling. She published her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, under a pseudonym in 1861. Jacobs died in 1897 and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jones was born into slavery near Wilmington in 1806. Able to purchase the freedom of his wife and all but one of his children, he followed them north in 1849 by stowing away on a brig to New York. In the northeast and in Canada, he spoke as a preacher and abolitionist, writing his memoir, The Experience of Thomas Jones, in 1854, as a way to raise funds to buy his eldest child’s freedom.

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


The Russian Galatea by Ira David Wood III

Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
$14.99, paperback / $4.51, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-528900867
December, 2018
Fiction: Historical / Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or

On July 16, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, the last Tsar of Russia, and his entire family were supposedly murdered by Russian Bolsheviks in the basement of a house in Ekaterinburg, Siberia. One year later, Alexander Kolchak, the Supreme Commander of the White Army, appointed a legal investigator to prove, beyond any doubt, that ALL members of the Romanov family had, indeed, been executed. The investigator’s name was Nicholas Sokolov. (History tells us that he was gifted with a photographic memory.)

The Russian Galatea is a story based upon Sokolov's investigation. It takes place in Siberia, 1919—with the Russian revolution as its background. The major thesis is fiction, but woven around historical fact. In one sense, it is a detective story about one indiscouragable investigator’s obsession with finding out what really happened to Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. On the other hand, it is also a story about Love—Sokolov's deep relationship with the girl in a faded photograph. Is she alive or dead? Sokolov's real struggle begins once he uncovers the truth. He has been warned that "nothing will be what it seems."

The story opposes intellect and reason with violence and expediency: Sokolov’s rational assignment, to prove that the Romanovs are dead, carried out for purposes of propaganda in the midst of rising chaos—chaos let loose by rationalism in the first place. As Sokolov proceeds, he finds a world becoming exponentially madder, with the truth (or Truth) becoming whatever one chooses to make it—like the mythological statue of the title. The story hits nerves...maybe because the symbolism of its core event—fairy tale gunned down by rationalized brutality—has only more import as the twenty-first century grinds on.

The reader is drawn through all this by the inherent fascination of the subject and by its evolving mystery story structure. Using the device of having Sokolov double as narrator, the book captures interest and sustains it through some chapters that are themselves assaults on senses and sensibilities.

Ira David Wood III is an award-winning actor, director, and playwright. He is the founder and current Executive Director of Theatre in the Park, located in Raleigh. His other works include A Lover's Guide to the Outer Banks and Confessions of an Elf. He is also a contributing writer to the book, Murder In Dealey Plaza What We Know Now That We Didn't Know Then. David is the proud father of three children: Ira David Wood IV, Evan Rachel Wood, and Thomas Miller Wood. He and his wife, Ashley, remain proud to call North Carolina “home.”

Hats Off! to Krystal A. Smith whose debut short-story collection Two Moons (BLF Press, 2018) is a Top 5 favorite in the "Short Stories" category of the 2019 Over the Rainbow Recommended Book List. This list of outstanding works of literature and nonfiction is intended to promote the improved quality and accessibility of GLBTQ literature through the provision for adult readers of an annual annotated bibliography of books for general readership. The Over the Rainbow (OTR) Project is a committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). For the entire list of fiction titles, click here.


Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Reagan's Rain Boots" appears on Creative Inspirations.


Mischievous Misty by Evelyn Wool

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$15.95, paperback / $9.95, e-book
May, 2018
Children's: Picture Book
Available from your local bookstore and

The story of Mischievous Misty introduces readers to one facet of the author’s real life on The Wool Family Farm, which includes chickens, cows, donkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, pigs, and sheep in addition to dairy goats. New to farming, the author and her family turned their world upside-down to try their hand at living off the land, discovering the joys and pitfalls of working with farm animals along the way.

Unlock the wonders of Misty’s world and get a glimpse of what raising dairy goats is really like. Mischievous Misty features many special extras, including photos of the real Misty, descriptions of the many dairy breed types, an invitation to join the Misty Fan Club and more. The adventures have just begun!

Also available is the Mischievous Misty Activity Book in which children are invited to illustrate their own version of Misty's story through coloring pages and puzzles, including mazes, word searches, connect-the-dots, criss-cross, and more.

Evelyn Wool spent numerous childhood vacations on a real working farm. When her own children were grown, she began to reminisce about the smell of hay and horses, the sight of cows marching into the barn, and the taste of slurping juicy peaches right off the tree.

In 2014, Evelyn and her husband, Robert, moved from Connecticut to North Carolina to start their very own farm where they are learning how to round up cows, out-smart goats, chase chickens, occasionally save pigs from drowning, and much more. Evelyn writes about their fun-filled adventures on the farm’s website:

Hats Off! to Judy Goldman who was featured in the Charlotte Observer. Judy's new book is Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap. "There are many different versions of a marriage," says Judy. "It’s the same husband and the same wife, but each person is constantly evolving into someone new. And not necessarily cuter. Or thinner. Or tidier. I believe we just need to pull way back, see the wide, wide picture—and keep creating our marriage as if we’re starting from scratch."


Man on the Floor! by Daniel L. Coberly

MOF Productions (St. George Seminary Press)
$19.99, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1719492843
July, 2018
Available from your local bookstore or

"A must read! Teaching DoDDS kids in one of the schools Coberly attended, I felt the truth and insights he captured. His book is remarkable in scope. It's huge, well-paced, absorbing, and it helped me understand better how the military itself operates and influences the inspiring young people we struggled to support. This isn't a scan and set down book—it's a book you'll pick up again and again to add to your wealth of understanding because it's so well written he'll pull you through the parts you'd thought to skip but didn't. He'll delight you with the areas you yourself recognize. This book is powerful, humorous and sad all together, like life. No matter what you already know I guarantee you'll learn from this book."
—Carol O'Donnell-Knych, Wurzburg Am High School, 1968-1994, author of A Cold War Teachers Tale and Reconnections

"I felt myself ‘back in the day’ while reading this fictionalized memoir. I could almost breathe in the stifling humidity of Fort McClellan, Alabama, and recall the cries of 'Man on the floor!' in the barracks. It took me back, to those early days, and to Germany too. I recognized those crafty NCOs, and some of the evil officers in others I had known but I reveled in the ways that the author adapted, overcame and moved on. I recommend this book to anyone who served in the last thirty plus years—we can all see ourselves in these pages."
—M.K. Eder

A wonderfully unique, fun to read, page-turning mix of satire, serious social commentary, and witness to signs of the times, Man on the Floor! is a must-read story that must be told. Author Dan Coberly will grab your attention with vivid descriptions of life as a small boy of a U.S. military father and a French war bride trying to make sense out of a brave new world in post-WWII Munich and Verdun.

He walks us through youthful enthusiasm while growing up in a Cold War military subculture through the 1960s and 70s, wide-eyed culture shock encountering race relations, and anti-Vietnam war sentiments that became a scathing indictment of the Vietnam "Error" and "democraZy". Somehow, during the 1980s and beyond, he survives man's inhumanity to man during otherwise humorous careers as a soldier and a government bureaucrat around the world, shaping maturity and wisdom along the way.

Author Daniel L. Coberly has lived and worked around the world, first within a military family, second as career soldier, third as a senior government bureaucrat. A former senior correspondent and Pacific Bureau Chief at Pacific Stars & Stripes daily newspaper in Tokyo, he is an award-winning writer of several historical books and countless newspaper and magazine articles. He's also edited many national publications for private groups. Coberly has been honored with more than fifty awards for writing, leadership, and distinguished service. He is a member of the U.S. Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame.

Hats Off! to Kathy Goodkin whose manuscrirpt, Crybaby Bridge, won the 2018 Moon City Poetry Award. Kathy won $1,000 and publication. Kathy is an editor for feminist publisher Gazing Grain Press, a manuscript consultant for the North Carolina Writers' Network, and an online teaching artist for the Loft. Her chapbook, Sleep Paralysis, was published by dancing girl press in 2017. Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Field, Fourteen Hills, RHINO, Redivider, The Volta, and elsewhere.


Dear Jane by Marina DelVecchio

Black Rose Writing
$16.95, paperback / $5.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1684331727
January, 2019
Fiction: YA / Teen
Available from your local bookstore or

“With sophisticated prose, this gritty coming-of-age story blends the familiar and the unthinkable as the lead learns to use her voice.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Dear Jane's subject matter is dark and troubling, but it's artfully written by Marina DelVecchio, and its protagonist's connection to literature rescues it from being depressing."

"No subject is off limits for letters to Jane in this soul-stirring epistolary novel by Marina DelVecchio. Dear Jane is a book full of wondrous prose and uplifting courage."
—Donna Kaz, author of Unmasked

Dear Jane is about an adopted teen whose letters to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre help her find relief from a childhood cemented in violence and an adoptive mother that attempts to silence her voice and her memories. It's about love, family, loss, and the power that books have in saving our lives.

Marina DelVecchio is a college professor of literature and women's studies and lives in North Carolina with her family. Her work can be found online at Ms Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Tishman Review, Her Circle Ezine, BlogHer, and The New Agenda. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in bibliotherapy, the premise of Dear Jane, which centers on using literature to help students overcome trauma and/or PTSD.

A Cry in the Snow by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, translated by Luke Hankins

Seagull Books
$21.00, paperback
March, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-857425973
Available from your local bookstore or

Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s poetry dwells in spaces of paradox, seeking out the words, metaphors, and images that capture both the peaceful stillness of snow and the desperate cry of human experience. A Cry in the Snow often draws on these two fertile tropes: the beauty of nature and the power and limitations of language. A trilingual poet who has published in French, English, and her native Romanian, Radulescu seeks to harness the elemental aspects of human experience, working between language and the mysterious power of silence. Combining poems from two French-language collections, Un Cri dans la neige (A Cry in the Snow) and a poetic prose sequence, Journal aux yeux fermés (Journal with Closed Eyes), this collection presents the distinctive and powerful French poems of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu to an English-language readership for the first time.

Stella Vinitchi Radulescu was born in Romania. She left the country in 1983, at the height of the communist regime. She holds a Ph.D in French Language & Literature, and she was a professor of French at Loyola University and Northwestern University for many years. Writing poetry in three languages, she has published numerous books in the United States, France, Belgium, and Romania. Radulescu’s French books have received several awards, including the Grand Prix de Poésie Henri-Noël Villard and the Prix Amélie Murat.

Luke Hankins is the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, and a collection of essays, The Work of Creation: Selected Prose, and is the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets. His translations have appeared in New Poetry in Translation, Pleiades, Poetry International, Verse, Waxwing, and World Literature Today, among other places. A graduate of the Indiana University MFA in Creative Writing Program, where he held the Yusef Komunyakaa Fellowship in Poetry, Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

Hats Off! to Jacque Jacobs who published three stories—"Finding My Voice"; "Baby Sister and a Foreign Name"; and "Terror is the Mountains"—in the "Storytellers" section of South Florida Poetry Journal (SOFLOPOJO).


Hats Off! to Jessica Jacobs whose poem "In a Thicket of Body-Bent Grass" appears on The Split This Rock website.


The Hopwood Poets Revisited: Eighteen Major Award Winners by Donald Beagle

Library Partners Press
$20, paperback
ISBN: 978-1618460691
December, 2018
Available from your local bookstore or

Praise for Donald Beagle's What Must Arise:

"What Must Arise is worth the wait; an achievement both impressive and hugely enjoyable. Donald Beagle has the rare ability to involve the reader with the poem, revealing that things of which we haven't been aware deeply matter to us. This book will surely be among the outstanding titles of its year, if not, indeed, of its century."
—X. J. Kennedy, quoted from Against the Grain

The Hopwood Poets Revisited has been named winner of the 2018 Gail O'Day Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry.

Hopwood Award-winning poet Donald Beagle presents a series of Q&A conversations with his fellow award-winning poets spanning decades, including Robert Hayden, John Ciardi, Anne Stevenson, Frank O'Hara, Marge Piercy, Nancy Willard, Keith Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop, Tom Clark, X. J. Kennedy, Patricia Hooper, Lawrence Joseph, Jane Kenyon, Garrett Hongo, Laura Kasischke, Tung-Hui Hu, and Derek Mong. Donald Beagle is himself interviewed for this book by Barbara Tierney of the University of Central Florida.

Donald Beagle is the author of six books, including What Must Arise: Poems (LP Press, 2017); Poet of the Lost Cause (University of Tennessee Press, 2008); and The Information Commons Handbook (ALA / Neal-Schuman, 2006). He is the editor of Radcliffe Squires: Selected Poems 1950-1985 (LP Press, 2017). His awards include the Hopwood "Major Poetry" Award (1977), the John Brubaker Award (2011), two prize-winning poems in the annual Ekphrasis Contest (2013; 2017), and others.

CLEVELAND, OH—We live in a world dominated by sound bites, inflammatory headlines, and 30-second soapbox diatribes. More often than, not, it is the loudest voice that gets heard.

How then should poets respond? Is there room for poets to move in the spaces between, in the margins and mortar, and to do so in a powerful way that lets them cut through the noise and touch readers in an authentic way? 

On Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 pm, poet Leila Chatti will lead the online class "Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem."

Registration is closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $30 fee to register.

In a time of seemingly endless bustle and noise, a quiet moment can be rare or too easily overlooked. In this workshop, we’ll turn the volume down and discuss how to notice and render the poetry of these “ordinary” moments. Using the work of masters such as Mary Oliver, Jane Hirshfield, Li-Young Lee, and Louise Glück, we will learn how to best use the tools of breath, space, syntax, and the line, and to recognize and communicate the power and beauty in what does not shout for attention, but quietly demands it.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar; grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation; and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing.

Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest, Narrative's 30 Below Contest, the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets. In 2017, she was the first North African poet to be shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She is the Consulting Poetry Editor for the Raleigh Review and her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.

"Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's fourth and final offering in their 2018-2019 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Hush: Writing the Quiet Poem" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, March 12, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

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


WILMINGTON—Three North Carolinians, Network members all, took top honors in the 2018 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition.

Elaine Thomas of Wilmington won First Prize for her essay “Upper Outer Quadrant.” Thomas will receive $1,000, and Ecotone will consider her essay for publication.

“‘Upper Outer Quadrant’ is stylish, observant, and thoughtful, a consideration of the human relationships that both cause and result from language—by which I mean all of them,” said final judge Benjamin Rachlin, author of the new book Ghost of the Innocent Man. “The essay moves readers to consider more deeply a vocabulary that most of us take for granted.

“Take for granted—a curious idiom, it occurs to me now,” Rachlin said. “To grant, meaning: to acknowledge as true. But also, to grant, meaning: to give as a gift. To take for granted. You can see what this essay has done to me. It’s an essay that squints carefully at words, that lifts each one and holds it to the ear, like a found seashell. It’s an essay that examines itself even as it unfolds, that—to borrow a phrase—makes ‘intimate strangers’ of us all.”

Thomas, a North Carolina native, has had a career that spans journalism, technical writing, and higher education communications as well as hospital chaplaincy. She directed college communications offices and edited alumni magazines for St. Andrews University, Green Mountain College in Vermont, and Hampshire College in Massachusetts. She holds degrees from St. Andrews and Duke Divinity School, with additional creative writing study at Green Mountain and Goddard College.

Virginia Ewing Hudson of Raleigh won Second Place for her essay “Seven Swims in Falls Lake” and will receive $300.

“‘Seven Swims in Falls Lake’ is elegantly told and innovatively structured, a love letter not only to a place but to its inhabitants—human, plant, and animal; organic and invasive; expected and surprising,” Rachlin said. “The essay is as vibrant and dynamic as its setting.”

Hudson teaches cello at Meredith College. She has won the 2017 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and The Woman’s Writing Award, and her work has been published in The Thomas Wolfe Review, Firefly Ridge Magazine, Wildflower Muse, and The News and Observer in Raleigh. She studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Texas at Austin, and UNC School of the Arts.

“Growing Up Ugly,” by Bahama’s Jane Shlensky, came in Third. Shlensky will receive $200 in prize money.

“‘Growing Up Ugly’ offers a moving series of contrasts,” Rachlin said. “An adult considers the child she once was. A scholar faces the unknowable. An independent thinker confronts a thoughtless collective. A political activist resolves for personal change. Yet the essay casts these conflicts not as liabilities but as opportunities. It makes one wonder: perhaps only by acknowledging limitations might a person also realize his or her potential.”

Shlensky, a veteran teacher and musician, has recent poetry in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Writer’s Digest, Pinesong, Southern Poetry Anthology: North Carolina, Kakalak, and Poetry Market. The North Carolina Poetry Society has twice nominated her poems for a Pushcart Prize, and her short fiction pieces have been finalists in the Press 53, Doris Betts, and Thomas Wolfe contests. Jane’s chapbook Barefoot on Gravel (2016) is available from Finishing Line Press.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism. The contest is open to any legal resident of North Carolina or member of the NC Writers’ Network.

Benjamin Rachlin grew up in New Hampshire. He studied English at Bowdoin College, where he won the Sinkinson Prize, and writing at UNC-Wilmington, where he won Schwartz and Brauer fellowships. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Virginia Quarterly Review, TIME, Pacific Standard, Orion, LitHub, and Five Dials. His first book, Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption, is available now from Little, Brown & Company.

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the NC Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

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


Hats Off! to Landis Wade whose essay "First Dance" took Third Place in the Charlotte Writers' Club Nonfiction Contest. Grace Ocasio was Contest Chair.


GREENSBORO—Lines are the building blocks of poetry. From the basis of lines, all poems, no matter the formal style, come into being.

Whether we're writing prose poems about the worst job we ever had or deep diving into collections by our favorite poets, it's impossible to talk about any of it without talking about lines.

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

Registration is now open.

Emilia Phillips will lead the Master Class in Poetry, "Walk the Line: Syntax and the Poetic Line."

Emilia Phillips is the author of two poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, Signaletics (2013) and Groundspeed (2016), and three chapbooks, most recently Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear widely in literary publications including AGNI, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her third book, Empty Clip, will be published by the University of Akron Press in Spring, 2018.

In her workshop, registrants will consider the relationship between poetry's vehicles of meaning: the line and the sentence. In doing so, attendees will investigate the ways in which these structures support, nuance, and deny one another to achieve resonance, depth, and subtext within a poem. This course will be generative, with exercises that rely on close reading and formal manipulation of texts, as well as the drafting of new pieces. Whether you want to learn more about what your favorite poets are doing with their poems or discover how to break lines in your own, this course will insist that poetry is a craft, honed by exercises and study.

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

Beginning poets, or those who want to sample a broader selection of classes, may register for additional offerings.

Charmaine Cadeau, author of two poetry collections and an Associate Professor of English at High Point University, will lead the session "Prose Poems."

Prose poetry suggests disorder from its very name, being a little of this, and a little of that. Its fluidity, folding in drama, nonfiction, fiction, and other poetries, insists on writers and readers engaged in thinking about how we read, what we read, and how it all connects. Beyond being just poems without line breaks, or narratives written by poets, prose poetry folds in conventions from other genres to push at the limits of form. In this workshop, we will look at a few models and generate some new writing.

"What Work Is: Poetry from our Working Lives" with Valerie Neiman, whose second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy (2015), had work nominated for the Pushcart Prize and cited in Best Small Fictions 2016, will discuss how work provides “our daily bread,” but also shapes the daily substance of our lives, whether that work takes place in the home, in the mall shop or mill, on the farm or behind a desk in a corporate tower. It is the framework for the story of our communities and ourselves. In this workshop, suitable for all writers, attendees will look at ways to tap into the history and culture of work to create new writing. Poetry about work will get folks started, followed by a writing exercise to help stimulate memory and imagination. Participants are asked to bring photographs of a family member at work, as well as a tool or some other memento of the workplace. Handouts will provide further inspiration and resources to help writers.

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


Katelyn's Killer by J. Marshall Gordon

Taylor and Seale
$16.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-943789-49-8
May, 2017
Fiction: Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or

"Katelyn's Killer is a fast read with a likeable protagonist named Penny Summers. Set in Annapolis, Maryland, the former Naval officer becomes entangled in a murder investigation when she finds the body of a friend in a goldfish pond. Gordon's prose is smooth and clever, and he gives enough plot twists to keep armchair Sherlocks guessing. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is beautifully rendered, and the reader is given a vivid sense of the modern day U.S. Navy. This land-lubber learned a lot, and enjoyed it."
—Sallie Bissell, Author of the Mary Crow thrillers

“John Gordon’s debut mystery novel, Katelyn’s Killer, provides an appealing portrait of (mostly) tranquil life in the shadow of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and an engaging pair of sleuths to solve the murder that disrupts that tranquility, as he depicts the tragedy of war's unintended consequences, the mendacity of contemporary politics, and the rewards of dogged determination—a first-rate mystery.”
—Con Lehane, Murder at the 42nd Street Library

“Penny Summers, ex-Navy turned gardener-for-hire is a charming but conflicted amateur sleuth, goaded by her own burden of guilt and supported by helpful whispers from her late grandfather. Cozy readers will enjoy the rich Maryland settings and the cast of quirky characters, as well as the moral dilemma and surprising resolution of this multi-faceted story.”
—Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries

Ex-Navy Public Affairs Officer Penny Summers’ first foray as a Master Gardener brings her face to face with her dead St. John’s College “sister.” After the funeral, Katelyn’s boyfriend Aaron joins Penny in her quest for answers. But when her day-job boss puts her in charge of a monster festival, Penny is up to her tramp stamp in conflicting allegiances.

J. Marshall Gordon is the pen name of John M. Gordon, an award-winning documentary and educational writer and producer. After attending St. John’s College in Annapolis, and earning a B.A. in English at Franklin and Marshall College, John served as a Navy Air Intelligence officer.

He has followed in his protagonist’s footsteps (or is it vice-versa?) as a Navy public affairs officer and landscape designer. Unlike Penny, however, he also designed and installed goldfish ponds. John lives in Asheville with his wife, two dogs, and a trio of spoiled cats who take turns hanging out behind his iMac.

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose story "Matheson Cove Trading" appears in the print edition of Good Old Days Magazine (March/April 2018).


Pepper's Misadventure by Renée Filippucci-Kotz

Archway Publishing
$8.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4808-5121-4
November, 2017
Children's: Chapter Book
Available from your local bookstore or

Pepper's Misadventure is the second book in the Amelia Jae series.

Pepper, recently adopted by AJ and her family, is on her way to the veterinarian when her family is in an auto accident. AJ takes Pepper out of the car to check on her. Pepper is frightened by a dog, jumps out of AJ's arms and runs away.

Pepper's Misadventure followos AJ, her friends Su Li and Cory, and her parents as they look for Pepper as well as Pepper's experience while she is lost.

Injured and alone, Pepper must navigate through a city with its frightening sounds and dangers.

Pets are an important part of our lives. Whether you have a pet or not, you'll understand how AJ feels about Pepper's disappearance.

Renée Filippucci-Kotz was born in New York and grew up in Kentucky. She developed a passion for books and animals as a child. Going to the library with her parents and brother was a favorite pastime. Renée became in became interested in writing for children while working with foster children. Pepper’s Misadventure is the second book in the Amelia Jae series. Pepper’s Misadventure received honorable mention in the Carteret Writers Contest.

Growing up Renée and her family had a variety of animals including gold fish, dogs, turtles, a cat, and a rabbit. In 2001 she began to volunteer with her local, county, animal shelter. Renée photographs animals for the shelter’s website and assists with adoptions.

When not writing, Renée enjoys traveling, reading, gardening and spending time with her husband and pets. Ms. Filippucci-Kotz lives in North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Steve Mitchell whose debut novel, Cloud Diary, will be published in March by C&R Press.

In the world lovers create for themselves, it's the simple images and quiet gestures that linger in memory. A silent moment together on a bench, a hand loose upon a table, a voice carried across a crowded room.

Doug is quiet and aimless when he meets Sophie, an extravagant, excitable artist. They live together on box wine, ramen, and peanut butter until their world is fractured by violence. Eight years later, they rediscover each other as Sophie approaches a startling decision.

Cloud Diary is Doug's story about Sophie and the shattering, transformative nature of intimacy. In considering the ways our histories can both scar and rescue us, it reminds us that the past is never simply the past.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose personal narrative "Timeless Land," about a family trip to the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho, went online at Parks and Points (Rocky Mountains) on February 15, 2018. Also, her poems "More Snow" and "Wintry S'mores" were posted on Naturewriting under the title of Winter Storm: Two Poems. Her poem "Slow Melt" will be posted on Naturewriting on Saturday, February 24, and her poem "Forgotten Barns" has been accepted for the 2017 NC Folklore Journal, which is currently in production.


Hats Off! to Karen Paul Holmes who will be at AWP in Tampa signing her second poetry collection, No Such Thing as Distance (March 9, 10:30 am at the Terrapin Books table) and reading (March 8, 7:00 pm, Tampa Club). Also, she also has poems in the latest issues of Crab Creek Review, diode, Front Porch Review, and San Pedro Review.


Hats Off! to Iris Tillman Hill whose poem "Heritage Tour: Day Four" appears in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of The Comstock Review. Also, she was a finalist in the Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Competition sponsored by Main Street Rag, and her chapbook All This Happened Long Ago—It Happens Now will be published later this year.


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


She'd Never Return by Bob Holt

CreateSpace Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1-977670533
September, 2017
Fiction: Romance
Available from your local bookstore or

Kayla stood, holding the invitation. It had been thirty years since she graduated from high school, and she’d never attended any of the reunions. Why attend this one?

If there was a reason, it was Brian Howard. They’d been sweethearts from fourth grade until she left to attend college at ECU. That was twenty-eight years ago. She still had deep feelings for Brian, but their parting had been difficult. It was her fault. She’d cast him aside wanting a new life far away from the only life she knew.

She’d married, had two wonderful children, but divorced Jeff after catching him with another woman. That was twenty-four years ago.

She refused to date anyone until Lynn came into her life. He swept her off her feet, and they almost became one but his son’s accident took him from her. That was two-years ago and he was still in Paris.

Maybe she should go to the reunion? She said that she’d never return. Would she?

Bob Holt grew up in rural Duplin County in the '40s and '50s, leaving the farm immediately after graduating from high school.

He traveled northeastern North Carolina as a traveling salesman for over forty years, meeting many interesting people. Many traveled like him. Others owned restaurants or were employed by school systems, hospitals, or served on church or club committees. Each had an interesting story to tell. Many were shared with him.

He published his first romantic novel, Jim’s Recurring Dream Was Back Again, in 2000 and his second, I Am Janie, in 2002.

His third romantic novel was released in May, 2012. III Islands is a story about a young man that flees Lenoir County and the tobacco farm after earning his real estate license while attending Lenoir Community College. He moved to Arapahoe seeking a sales position in real estate.

A year passed waiting tables before he was given a chance to prove his worth and immediately excelled climbing to the top of his MLS group in sales. He lived frugally refusing to get romantically involved with anyone but dated some of the locals and different ones from each new crop of waitresses that arrived each summer.

After ten years, he bought the house of his dreams and met Candi, who would become the lady of his dreams. A few months later, he proposed, and they were to be married on the first Saturday in December. But an unwelcome call from the State Highway Patrol changed everything. A drunk driver had crossed the medium on I-95 near Gold Rock and struck Candi’s car “head-on.” He was devastated but knew life must go on; decisions had to be made.

Since III Islands, he has published six other novels, She Walked Through His Heart Again Today, Gina, JD, Darlene, His Dark-Haired Darling, His Recurring Dream, and his latest, She’d Never Return, published in 2017. Presently, he’s working on two novels, Jimmy and Lisa’s Mountain Man.

He published his cookbook, Bob’s Country Recipes and Other Interesting Stuff II, in 2012.

He and his wife live in Greenville. His hobbies are many and diverse encompassing woodworking, decoys, watercolors, pencil sketching, photography, ham radio, genealogy, Facebook, and writing.

Hats Off! to Paul Jones, Vice President of the NCWN Board of Trustees, whose poem "State Mayakovsky Museum" appears in Trigger Fish Critical Review (#19, December, 2017). Also, his poem "Mowing" was selected for Poetry in Plain Sight (June, 2018); he received a Pushcart Prize nomination for his poem "Clear Channel" that appeared in the North Carolina Literary Review 2017; and he claimed Third Place for his poem "She Sails" through the International Lawrence Durrell Society. Paul will give a reading this summer at Poetry Foundation in Chicago, Illinois.


Naming the Scars by Marty Silverthorne

Longleaf Press
$10.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9862142-6-4
December, 2017
Available from the publisher

Winner of the 2017 Longleaf Press Poetry Chapbook Competition

"For a few decades, I’ve been reading with immense admiration Marty Silverthorne’s poems, yet nothing could’ve prepared me for the harrowingly beautiful and outlandishly courageous poems in his new work, Naming the Scars. In poem after poem, Silverthorne—through sheer bravado, wrought with iron, still white hot from the forge—gives voice to the ineffable. I’m not sure how he managed to pull these poems off—the jolting candor, the emotional voltage, the jackhammer beat. If I could, I’d stretch this epistle to include, in its entirety, 'Living Will,' the concluding spectacular poem of this searing volume. Let its final lines suffice: 'Burn the air / with my body, scatter me around / bellbottomed cypress, and river birch, / then suicide shift past the Slade Farm / where slave chains jingle under the chill / white light of the moon.' In Naming the Scars, Silverthorne brandishes his living will and his will to live. Lord, these are poems."
—Joseph Bathanti, NC Poet Laureate, 2012-2014

"Marty Silverthorne’s latest collection, Naming the Scars, is a visionary work of purity without sentimentality. His lines brim with a jagged, haunting music all his own:

Tomorrow we’ll wheel
into the valium-colored sun
to heal a season of sickness.
In a city of cement we sit
steel wheel to stilled wheel ...

"Silverthorne is a revered poet here in North Carolina, and his stunning work—especially these exquisite new poems—deserves a much wider audience."
—Michael White

"Naming the Scars by Marty Silverthorne is a powerful and disturbing book. 'Disturbing' is the right word. If you are not disturbed you haven’t read it. Silverthorne’s direct and forceful words, his unrelentingly honest images force us into a world that we would not know without his poems, a world both horrifying and blessed, horrifying because of the continuing illness, the quadriplegia the narrator must face, and blessed because of the extraordinary caregivers whose portraits Silverthorne paints so vividly, caregivers and family members who become healers. This book will stay with me for a long time."
—Anthony S. Abbott, author of The Angel Dialogues and recipient of NC Award for Literature

Naming the Scars is a poetic memoir reflecting over a life changed by a careless accident. It is the story of death and resurrection and all its beautiful traumas.

Marty Silverthorne earned degrees from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and East Carolina University. He is the author of seven chapbooks of poetry. His latest work, Naming the Scars, is the 2017 Longleaf Press Chapbook Award Winner. He has published in numerous journals and anthologies. Marty has received several NC Arts grants and an NC Arts Fellowship.

Hats Off! to Ashley Atkins whose second novel was published this month. The Truth is Hard to Tell is dark, Southern, literary fiction set in Charleston, South Carolina, in September, 2001. Lee Smith calls it "virtuoso writing" with "apocalyptic vision." Atkins' first novel, Tough Mauve, is contemporary Young Adult literature.


Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Murmuration" has been selected for the statewide poetry initiative Poetry in Plain Sight. Her poem is scheduled to be displayed during April of 2018. Also, her three-line poem beginning "Forest green leaves eager to emerge..." was published in issue #47 of Three Line Poetry on Jan. 28. "Glacial Ecstasy" was posted at Nature Writing (Feb. 10), and "Morning Evasion" was published by The Dandelion Review (Feb. 12).


WINSTON-SALEM—Today, writers have more publishing options than ever. Indie or "self" publishing no longer holds the stigma it once did, and many authors are deciding that self-publishing offers the best combination of financial return and artistic control.

However, as the ancients knew all too well, the path to Hell is paved with good intentions: deciding to self-publish is a major decision, and would-be indie authors need to make sure they're doing it right.

On Wednesday, March 14, at 7:00 pm, writer, editor, and designer SP Rankin will lead the online class "Self-Publishing Basics for Authors." 

Registration is now closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $25 fee to register.

Authors interested in self-publishing their work quickly learn that writing a book is only the first step in a long journey, and navigating the process to publication can often be confusing and frustrating for the uninitiated. Understanding some of the ground rules and best practices in book production and design—whether you want to do it yourself or work with a professional—can help you publish a book to be proud of and that reflects the hard work you put into writing it. This workshop will introduce the basics of turning a manuscript into a book, including how to prepare your manuscript for production, common conventions of book interior design, cover design basics, limitations of DIY self-publishing, resources for self-publishers on a budget, tips for e-books, and working with a professional designer/service.

Sarah Park (SP) Rankin is writer and designer from Mount Holly. She currently works for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as editor of, as well as in freelance book design and production. SP has designed and produced books for both traditional and print-on-demand platforms, and has worked as the photo editor for books published by Arcadia Publishing and John F. Blair, Publisher (now Blair). In 2014, SP wrote, designed, and produced Common Threads: Gastonia and Gaston County Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Beers & Associates). A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, SP also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.

"Self-Publishing Basics for Authors" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's fourth and final offering in their 2017-2018 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Self-Publishing Basics for Authors" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, March 14, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

Registration has been capped at 40.

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


Bumbly Bee Can't Fly by Roy A Paine

Alpaca Books
$14.95, paperback / $9.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-1973787778
December, 2017
Fiction: Children's
Available from your local bookstore or

Bumbly often had difficulty getting around this building and would fly straight into a window and bump his nose. He would bounce off then bump back into it again and again.

Bump, bump, bump, bump, each bump pushing him to the side until finally he would reach the end and escape from the cruel building. He would gather his nectar and oftentimes would encounter the very same building again in the afternoon. Bump, bump, bump, bump, he would go again until he was able to escape.

Bumbly is a somewhat clumsy bee who is laughed at by the other bees. One day he is captured by a scientist who examines him and determines that it is impossible for him to fly. Now convinced he is unable to fly, Bumbly begins the long perilous walk home, only to meet a new friend along the way who saves the day. This fanciful and inspirational story proves that if one is true to oneself the sky is the limit!

Roy Paine is of Scottish, English, French, and German descent. His fifteenth Great Grandfather, Sir Thomas Payne, was an English Knight, born about 1400 A.D. in Leicestershire, England. Roy was raised near Boston and lived his entire life within ten miles of his birthplace, except for four years when he was in the military. He served in the US Navy from 1981-1985 attaining the rank of Petty Officer Second Class (E5). During his time in the Navy he earned the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

Roy moved to the mountains in the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina in 2016 and the relaxing atmosphere immediately inspired him to write. Besides writing stories, Roy likes telling them through the spoken word story as an Art Form. Roy won first place in the Amateur Division at the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival in Woodruff, South Carolina, in 2017.

When Roy is not writing, he enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and interacting with the area wild life.

He would love to hear what you think of his book. You can write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Emily's Ride to Courage by Sarah Maury Swan

Sarah's Book Enterprises
$16.95, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-9781-7017-9
January, 2018
Fiction: MG
Available from your local bookstore or

"Swan, a long-time horse enthusiast, is writing about a subject that she obviously knows well… The trope of the lost pre-teen taking solace and confiding in an animal is a gem, and Swan uses it well....On top of her familial challenges, Emily is trying to conquer two major fears—riding horses and math. Even as a nearly fifty-year-old man, I sympathized with her on both counts. I’ve done better at the former than the latter. I applaud Sarah Maury Swan for being so generous an author as to share her talent to make the world a more manageable place for her young readers. "
—Joey Madia

"Continuing on similar themes from her earlier debut novel, Terror's Identity, Sarah Swan once again entertains her readers with the heroic if not underdog qualities of her young main characters who despite their youth, are often called upon to face some of life's most difficult challenges."
—Kelli Johnston

When Emily and her sister move to their grandfather's farm, Emily dreams of a horse of her very own. She wants to buy Gemini, the patient horse she uses for riding lessons. However, Grandpa refuses to buy a horse with four white hooves.

Emily's plan to get Grandpa to accept Gemini is only one adventure. Emily also learns the value of math,supports her bullying sister during a difficult time, and even helps her mother all the way in Afghanistan.

Sarah Maury Swan was inspired to write Emily's story by her grief for having to put down her nine-year-old Appaloosa because of weak feet. The first voice to come to her was Grandpa saying he wouldn't ever own a horse with four white feet.

Like Grandpa, Ms. Swan and her husband had their own horse farm in Maryland for twenty-two years. But the sadness of having to put down three horses in five years, took its toll, so they sold the farm and move to New Bern. They spend their time golfing and kayaking. She continues to write stories and her husband continues to write songs.

Hats Off! to Billy Baites who will celebrate the publication of his short story "Daddy Don't Go" in the Winter 2018 issue of the Catamaran Literary Reader on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 pm at Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro. Members of the North Carolina Writers' Network are invited to attend the launch party. Enjoy refreshments while listening to a hilarious reading of a vignette from this story that entertains readers and listeners with the eccentric Southern traditions of when the nearly departed become the dearly departed.


Cogitation by Sam Love

Unsolicited Press
$16.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-947021-12-9
December, 2017
Available from your local bookstore or

"Sam has a great sense of humor, no small thing in poetry where everybody is VERY serious. I’m still laughing at some of the poems."
—Peter Makuck, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University

"Cogitation is not your typical poetry book—there's actual humor here with real wit and insight. While Love's poetry comments on the insanity of pop and digital culture, he also makes a strong argument that we need to take care of our environment. Love's gift is getting to heart of tough abstract subjects such as love, fear, and mindfulness with gentle aplomb."
—Alice Osborn, author of Heroes without Capes

Cogitate: To think deeply about something; meditate or reflect.

In this over-stimulated fast-paced society, everyone is so busy there is no time for cogitation. Now only rebels and misfits cogitate. What a pity.

To correct this contemporary problem poet Sam Love uses poetry to examine the cracks in our culture. Cracks that can have devastating personal, ecological and social consequences.

For him cogitation is a metaphor for the power of poetry to provide insights that can recreate our so-called modern world and heal beleaguered souls. Far from doom and gloom, Cogitation showcases a wit that will make you smile.

By understanding the interconnections surrounding a single event, product, or object he believes we can gain new clarity about healing our world. It doesn’t matter if he’s riffing on the commodification of yoga or the shuttering of small business dreams as a big box store steals customers. In one poem for example, he focuses on how the declining Monarchs could be our canary in a coalmine. Nothing is sacred to him. For example if you’ve ever wondered what’s really behind a Facebook picture or questioned whether a Pepsi ad can tempt a Buddhist monk, this book is for you.

Sam is one of the organizers of the First Tuesday Poetry Open Mic in New Bern. His poetry has been published in Kakalak, Slippery Elm, Voices on the Wind, The Lyricist, Flying South and other publications. His environmental poems appear in both the 2015 and 2016 issues of Duke University's eno magazine. His work has also been featured on Poetry in Plain Sight posters in Winston Salem.

North Carolina Poet Alan Welch describes Sam's work as "taking a guided tour of a number of places you have forgotten to think about recently." The poems are delectably short, served up as a rotating menu of thoughtful snacks or well-seasoned appetizers. Most will leave a smile on your lips or, if serious, a question mark filling a surprising void.

Hats Off! to Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra whose short-story collection The Fish Tank: And Other Short Stories won the Silver Medal at the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards, named one of the best award programs for independent authors by The Association of Independent Authors.


Death Logs In by E.J. Simon

Endeavour Media
$14.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-991256433
December, 2017
Fiction: Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or

"It's been less than a year since Alex, brother to Gibraltar Financial chairman Michael, was murdered and subsequently, in a manner of speaking, resurrected--as an artificial intelligence designed in Alex's image. Simon expertly manages the storylines in this captivating novel which help maintain an impressive pace. An action-laden plot and another open ending will have the series collecting many more fans. A fine technological thriller that only gets better as it goes along."
Kirkus Reviews

Some of the most powerful people in the world want to kill Michael Nicholas. Only his brother, Alex can save him—the problem is that Alex is dead.

It’s been almost a year since Alex Nicholas, a Queens based underworld Boss, was gunned down. After Alex’s brutal murder, Michael inherited not only his brother’s business—but his enemies. Michael is now a key player in a world he once feared. By day, he is the head of a Fortune 500 company by night, the CEO of Tartarus, one of the worlds largest illegal gambling operations.

Before his death, Alex invested heavily in breakthrough artificial intelligence software so that he could live forever. It worked. In his virtual form, Alex can communicate with Michael and monitor information—and people—in ways the NSA would envy.

It is Alex who discovers Michael’s life is in danger. He detects plots that reach from the darkest corners of Queens, to the highest officials in the Vatican—and they all want Michael dead.

Michael is now in a race to save his life, but he is never alone—Alex is there to help him navigate through this maze of life and death. Also protecting Michael from the forces closing in around him is Sindy Steele, a beautiful—and lethal bodyguard.

How far is Michael willing to go to save his own life—and that of his family? Guided only by a familiar face on a computer screen, will the information Alex discovers allow Michael to go from being the hunted to the hunter?

As action-packed, fast-paced, and brutally realistic as it gets, Simon’s latest page-turner is the follow up to his best-selling debut Death Never Sleeps. This startling look at artificial intelligence opens your eyes to many realities you think are only in your dreams.

E.J. Simon is the author of the bestselling thriller Death Never Sleeps, (#1 Kindle) and Death Logs In (#1 Kindle). His third novel, Death Logs Out, will be released by Endeavour Media in April, 2018. He is a member of the Authors Guild of America, the NC Writers' Network, and the Mystery Writers of America. He and his family live in Cary.

GREENSBORO—Why write about yourself?

Multi award-winning author Lee Zacharias will try to answer this question, and more, when she leads the Creative Nonfiction Master Class at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 22, at UNCG.

Pre-registration is now open.

The morning session of this nonfiction workshop, "The Art of Structuring Personal Nonfiction," will begin by addressing the significance of personal writing, both in essay and memoir, for the writer and for the reader. That is, participants will discuss personal writing not as autobiography but as art. They will learn to read like writers—to read beyond content for structure—and talk about strategies for structuring personal nonfiction. Because no one's story ends without involving others, registrants will end the morning by considering issues of privacy and legality that are unique to nonfiction, as well as copyright law. Students are welcome to bring questions about privacy and legality that they are facing or think they may face in their own work. In the afternoon session, attendees will turn their attention to discussing the manuscripts they have submitted in advance of the class.

The NCWN 2017 Spring Conference is a full day of classes on the craft and business of writing, as well as faculty readings, Lunch with an Author, an open mic for conference participants, and the third annual Slush Pile Live! Master class registration is first-come, first-served, and all Master Class applications must be received by Friday, April 7.

To apply, attendees should submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with their current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that they register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in a single MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The title of the work and the author's name should appear on the submission. The sample he or she submits will be the work discussed in class, and accepted registrants will be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Lee Zacharias is the author of a collection of short stories, Helping Muriel Make It Through the Night, two novels, Lessons and At Random, and a collection of personal essays, The Only Sounds We Make. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina's Sir Walter Raleigh Award, Southern Humanities Review's Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award, Prairie Schooner's Glenna Luschei Award, and a Silver Medal in Creative Nonfiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. At Random was a finalist in literary fiction for the 2013 International Book Awards, the National Indie Lit Awards, and the USA Best Book Awards. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, including, among others, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, and Our State. Ten times her essays have been named Notable Essays of the Year by The Best American Essays, which reprinted "Buzzards" in The Best American Essays 2008. For thirty-three years she taught literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and is currently on the faculty of the Wildacres Writer Conference.

For full conference details, and to register, click here.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by The MFA in Creative Writing Program at UNCG,, 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). Other sponsors include 88.5 FM WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont, The News & Record in Greensboro, and the North Carolina Arts Council.


Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell for the recent publication of three poems: "Night Eye Shine" in Plum Tree Tavern (December, 2016); "Hibernation" in issue #214 of The Weekly Avocet (January 18, 2017); and "Urban Pandemonium" in The Skinny Poetry Journal (February 22, 2017).


Hats Off! to Clare Beams whose short-story collection We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books/UNC Wilmington) is a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.This prize awards $25,000 to an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2016—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. The judges are Jami Attenberg, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Randall Kenan, Hanna Pylväinen, and Akhil Sharma.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who has three poems forthcoming in the DoveTales anthology from Writing for Peace. Also, her poems "Una Faccia" and "Where am I From?" will appear in the eponymous anthology from Soodabeh Saeidnia; Mom Egg Review will run one of Joan's flash fiction pieces in its Spring issue; two of Joan's poems are forthcoming in Bindweed and Angela Topping's hygge series; and Whispers reprinted her poem "The Year of No Leaves" while Ruby for Women reprinted her poem, "Chocolate Box."


Hats Off! to Sandra Ann Winters whose poem “Death of Alaska” is included in a major new anthology by Dedalus Press, The Deep Heart’s Core: Poets from Ireland Revisit A “Touchstone” Poem. Edited by Eugene O’Connell and Pat Boran, the anthology gives “a rare glimpse into the thinking, feeling and craft behind the finished poems.”


Running Smack into General Sherman: Stories from North Carolina to London (And Back Again) by Jeffrey T. Kiser-Paradi

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$11.99, paperback; $2.97, e-book
ISBN: 978-1539450771
November, 2016
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

In Jeffrey T. Kiser-Paradi's distinctive collection of short stories, we find ourselves on a bit of a disjointed and oftentimes comic journey. Part fiction, part autobiography and family history, we are offered a glimpse into an odd, incongruous world where the past of the American South, rife with “the War” and fragrant great-aunts, comes crashing into the concrete and glass and “Mind the Closing Doors” existence of modern life.

This is a place where individuals attempt to shake off their past, moving house and changing continents along the way, all the while awakening to the reality that long ago accidents of human folly, such as war and death, can still hold sway in the present. The events of 1863 can indeed diagram the outcomes of 1903, 1937, and 2004.

It is a world where the material objects that comprise our everyday life are empowered with the ability to move and shake our destiny. A bed, a piano, a Christmas ornament, and an antique cupboard can not only remind us of just where it is we stand in the order of the universe, but can deliver a well-placed smack on the head as well.

The stories range in date and setting from early twentieth-century Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, to late twentieth-century New York City, to modern day London, with subjects touching on the awakening of childhood consciousness, racism, suicide, midlife ennui, mourning and guilt, class and snobbery, and the capability of the past to colour, affect, and even determine one’s present.

For example, "August 1903" explores the imagined internal breakdown of the author's great-grandfather before his sudden death in 1903. "The Healer" moves ahead thirty years to observe one of the effects of that death on the author's grandfather, who is considered to possess special healing powers on account of his never having seen his own father. "The Photograph," taking place in the late 1990s, finds the author's grandmother still reacting to this loss, by her inexplicable editing of an old family photograph. The final story, “Running Smack into General Sherman,” is an account of a North Carolinian living in London, who is confronted, tangibly, with his family’s past in the form of a treasured heirloom getting stuck in a Council block stairwell.

Jeffrey T Kiser-Paradi was born in Charlotte, where he was fortunate to come of age among the fallow cotton fields and falling-down barns of his grandparents’ farm in rural Mecklenburg County. His fascination with history, antiques, genealogy, and the past in general, showed up early and inexplicably in his life, with his parents being rather stumped as to where the interest came from. He lived in Greensboro and New York City before moving to London in 1998, where he makes his home with Tibor, his husband of nine years.

He still longs for livermush.

Hats Off! to Blaine Paxton Hall whose article "Hail to a Chief for All People" appeared in the February 13 issue of The News & Observer in Raleigh. "I am aware that most people upon first impression, appraise me as a male born into privilege. None of that is true."



Tuning by Kathryn Beam Troxler

$12.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-48358-101-9
October, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or

"More than a poetry collection, Kathryn Beam Troxler’s Tuning offers us a book-length meditation on what it means to be human in poems that are sensitive, nuanced, and unpretentious in their learning. Ranging easily from consideration of ancient Chinese sages, Renaissance masters, or distant foreign lands to the humblest and nearest-home of everyday activities—tending the garden, visiting a friend in a nursing home, pinching clay into shape—Troxler’s poetry ably engages intellect and sensibility in affecting language that will resonate with all her readers."
—Mark Smith-Soto, Associate Editor, International Poetry Review and Professor Emeritus, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Tuning is a title most apt for Kathryn Beam Troxler's collection of contemplative poems. As we readers tune in to the lines, we tune out the distractions that assault us. . .Sometimes in these stanzas there is 'perfect attunement' that allows harmonic tones to be heard, even as, like the sounds of Tibetan bells, they shimmer into silence. 'Be still/focus/wait/Be,' the poet advises. It is as if her poems listened and took her advice. . .The last lines of the volume may be the best last lines of any poetry book I can recall."
—Fred Chappell, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee and former NC poet laureate

"Kathryn Troxler's poems move easily through a wide variety of scenes and situations.  Her gentle wit often brings amusement to serious subjects and can give a metaphysical twist to situations that would have gone unnoticed by less penetrating eyes. . . I've been reading her poetry for several years and always find her lyric voice distinctive."
—James B. Gutsell, Professor Emeritus of English Literature, Guilford College

Tuning is a contemplative collection of poetry which reflects the author's love of Nature, the beauty and music of language, the resonance of one art form with another, the leit motifs within her own life and community. Her wide-ranging themes deal with what sustains and restores us as we live and age today. She explores relationships, community, spirituality, sickness and health, the interface between art and experience, the factors that challenge and illumine our lives as manifested in her own life.

Kathryn Beam Troxler is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical hypnotherapist residing in Greensboro. A poet, singer, and painter, she has shown and performed in those three genres in Greensboro and in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up. Her poetry has been published in several books and magazines, including A Turn in Time, Piedmont Writers at the Millenium, and Lines from a Near Country, a collection of poems by the New Garden Poetry Group, which she co-edited.

Hats Off! to Anne Anthony who will be performing in the fifth and final Listen to Your Mother show in Raleigh-Durham. Her story, "In My Bones," celebrates and gives a voice to motherhood in all of its complexity, frustrations, and humor. A national project, Listen to Your Mother features live readings by local writers on "the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood, in staged community shows celebrating Mother’s Day." Join Anne and seven other local writers at Jones Auditorium on the campus of Meredith College on Friday, May 5, 2017, at 7:30 pm!


GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 22, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus. Registration is now open.

Fred Chappell will give the Keynote Address.

In 2004, Fred Chappell retired after teaching for forty years in the English Department of the University of the North Carolina at Greensboro. He is guilty of thirty-odd books of poetry, fiction, and literary commentary. Various awards have fallen upon him. His wife Susan has made gratitude one of the healthier parts of his life, as have his children, animals, neighbors, and colleagues. He in an inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. For five years he served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina, and in that capacity, visited some 250 or so schools, colleges, universities, retirement homes, churches, and other venues.

His latest book of verse is Familiars (LSU Press, 2014); his novel A Shadow All of Light, was published by Tor Books in 2016.

His son Heath and daughter-in-law Patty live in Chicago. Fred and Susan still live in Greensboro, tending their cat, their plants, and mostly, their own business.

Fred was recently profiled in YES! Weekly, the cultural publication for the Triad area. 

The North Carolina Writers' Network 20117 Spring Conference is a full day of workshops and session in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as aspects of the craft such as writing for children, publishing, and social media for self-published authors. Lee Zacharias, an NEA and Arts Council Fellow, will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction. New York Times bestselling author David Payne will lead the Master Class in Poetry. Julie Funderburk, whose new poetry collection was published in 2016 by LSU Press, will lead the Master Class in Poetry.

For full conference details, and to register, click here.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by The MFA in Creative Writing Program at UNCG,, 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). Other sponsors include 88.5 FM WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont, The News & Record in Greensboro, and the North Carolina Arts Council.


What Must Arise by Donald Beagle

Library Partners Press
$10.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1618460264
January, 2017
Available from your local bookstore or

"What Must Arise is worth the wait; an achievement both impressive and hugely enjoyable. Donald Beagle has the rare ability to involve the reader with the poem, revealing that things of which we haven't been aware deeply matter to us. This book will surely be among the outstanding poetry titles of its year, if not, indeed, of its century.”
—X. J. Kennedy, poet

These poems have appeared in journals from Carolina Quarterly in Chapel Hill to Blue Unicorn in San Francisco, and several were in a collection that won top prize in the “Major Poetry” category of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Awards.

Donald Beagle’s books and academic articles have received numerous awards, including the Hopwood Award (University of Michigan); Ekphrasis Poetry Contest (Oakland University); the John Brubaker Award (Catholic Library Association); the Willie Parker Peace Award (Society of North Carolina Historians); and the Doralyn Hickey Award (North Carolina Library Association).

Hats Off! to Maryrose Carroll who reads from her memoir, Beats Me, available on SoundCloud. Beats Me is a memoir of her life with her late husband, the poet Paul Carroll.


Hats Off! to Danny Bernstein who was featured in the Tampa Bay Times ahead of her visit with the Tampa Garden Club. Danny, from Asheville, is a hike leader and outdoor writer who has walked the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. Her new book is Forest, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South.


Hats Off! to Jeanne Julian and David E. Poston: Jeanne reviews David's poetry collection, Slow of Study (Main Street Rag, 2015), in the new North Carolina Literary Review.


Conversations with a Dead Lover by  Maryrose Carroll

Finishing Line Press
$14.99, paperback
Available from the publisher

"The poems in Conversations with a Dead Lover, by Maryrose Carroll, are beautifully contemplative, yet deeply visceral. Addressed often directly, often peripherally, to her husband, the great American poet and editor, Paul Carroll, they take head-on the conundrum of love in its myriad guises. This is a book of breathtaking candor, the poet’s seemingly limitless threshold for apprehending a love intensely physical, but also mystical, of another plane, of nuanced touch and texture, a love that accrues only by abiding the earth’s lore and orbit, yet reckons that unseen world beyond our ken. Carroll’s language – at once stunningly plain and otherworldly as the bluest cloudless sky – '[joins] all [her] kin / whether dressed in silk or tatters.'”
—Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate (2012-14)

Maryrose Carroll was, and is, a clearly defined presence of her own, “a figure of central interest and importance in the great efflorescence of American sculpture,” as one of her bios states. Her massive public sculptures tower in North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Hickory, and Fayetteville. They are also in Illinois and California, in museums in Chicago and Springfield, in Hartford and Dayton. She has taught at Northwestern University and Appalachian State University. Her first book was a collection of her photographs with verse by Lewis Carroll, titled Alice's Book. Images from Alice's Book and her sculpture can be seen at She is also the author of Beats Me, a memoir about her husband, the late poet Paul Carroll.

Hats Off! to David Garrett Izzo whose volume of poetry, Permutations Among the Nightingales, has been selected as the 2016 Shade Seeker's Press Vibrant Voices Award and will be published in 2017. "It’s a fierce collection of philosophical raps, tributes to culture heroes, and the naked autobiography of a man to whom life has given both great pain and great pleasure," says Kevin Killian, poet. "Reading Izzo’s poems, you wind up in unexpected places, for he is one of the great secrets of American literature." Poet April Lindner says, "The poems in David Garrett Izzo’s Permutations Among the Nightingales are full-voiced and whole-hearted. They range from quiet meditations--on teaching, on power, on poetry—to unabashed celebrations of the poet’s heroes—Springsteen, Auden, Huxley, and less famous exemplars of the twin arts of seeing clearly and living consciously. In a time when much poetry is guarded and cautious, these brave poems don’t flinch from expressing the big emotions—heartbreak, gratitude, rage, tenderness."


Becoming the Blue Heron by Terri Kirby Erickson

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-53-0
March, 2017
Available from your local bookstore or

"Open Terri Kirby Erickson’s book, Becoming the Blue Heron, and enter a world of light. You will encounter the warmth of loving parents, a granny dragged by a cow, the intimacy of nature, and the shock of unimaginable loss. Beauty and brokenness nestle side by side in this lovely collection. Each moment glimmers even more brightly against the shadow of sorrow, and the poet never loses sight of a realm where everyone is whole. We begin to believe, as she does, that 'here, there/is only goodness and mercy, the light of a million stars . . .'" 
— Ann Campanella, author of Motherhood: Lost and Found

"Terri has the rare gift of seeing with her heart and speaking with her soul. Her poems give voice to those nebulous feelings that for most of us, words all-too-often can't describe. She has a sensibility that both warms the inner self and invites deeper thought. Open yourself to the enchantments of this book, and let her take you to places only a master poet can reach."
—Arthur Brice, Executive Editor, CNN

"In Becoming the Blue Heron, Terri Kirby Erickson's poems take us to the mysteries of the natural world and the world of family and friends with magical sureness. The language is almost biblical in its intensity and rhythms. Whether dancing to zydeco on'floorboards glowing like embers' or playing the slots in a casino where 'loss howls from the hills,' we are swept along by Erickson’s masterful use of movement and mood. She is just as adept with simile and metaphor in her portraits of wildlife, inhabiting the creatures she writes about, like the heron she ultimately becomes, lifting this reader with the author on those 'great blue wings.'"
— Diana Pinckney, author of The Beast and The Innocent

Full-length collection of poetry by Terri Kirby Erickson, cover painting by artist Stephen White, cover design by Kevin Morgan Watson.

Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of five full-length collections of award-winning poetry. Her work has appeared in the 2013 Poet's Market, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Cutthroat, JAMA, Literary Mama, NASA News & Notes, North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac, Verse Daily, and many others. Awards include the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, Gold Medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. She lives in North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Lisa Zerkle of Charlotte who received an Honorable Mention for her poem “The Place Where the Answers Are Kept" in the 2016 Rash Award for Poetry, sponsored by Broad River Review.


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh and Carol Roan of Winston-Salem, who were finalists for the 2016 Rash Award in Fiction. Heather's story is "“The Ghost of Charlton Street." Carol's story is “Porch Talk." This award is sponsored by Broad River Review, the literary journal of Gardner-Webb University.


GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network will host its 2017 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 22, in the MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The depth and generosity of North Carolina’ literary community, and its legacy of great writing, will be on display.

Registration is now open.

Julie Funderburk will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “A Poem that Sings.” Julie’s debut poetry collection, The Door that Always Opens, was published by LSU Press in 2016. Currently teaching in the Creative Writing Program at Queens University of Charlotte, she is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, where Fred Chappell was one of her professors.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Fred Chappell will give the Keynote Address at Spring Conference. The former poet laureate of North Carolina, Fred’s newest book is a fantasy novel, A Shadow All of Light. He taught for forty years at UNCG.

Lee Zacharias, who will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, “The Art of Structuring Personal Nonfiction,” taught at UNCG herself for thirty-three years. An NEA and NC Arts Council Fellow, Lee’s newest book is a collection of essays, The Only Sounds We Make.

Another Queens University of Charlotte faculty member, David Payne, will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Acting Out on the Page.” The New York Times Notable author of five novels and a 2015 memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, A Brother’s Story, the The Dallas Morning News called him “the most gifted American novelist of his generation.”

Fiction writers can choose from additional offerings, including “Flash Fiction: Sometimes Less Is More” with Steve Cushman, whose new novel Hopscotch is forthcoming in 2017; “The Mystery of Plot in Fiction” led by James Tate Hill, whose novel Academy Gothic won the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel; and writers for children can sign up for “Exercising the Imagination,” led by John Claude Bemis, North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature.

On the slate for poets? “Poetic Architects: Building Poems Editors Publish” with Crystal Simone Smith, poet and publisher of Backbone Press; and “Documenting Life through Poetry” with Barbara Presnell, whose Piece Work documents the textile industry in North Carolina and won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Prize.

Nonfiction writers can choose additional courses including “Asking the 5 Hard Questions: Revising Memoir” with Melissa Delbridge, whose memoir Family Bible (University of Iowa Press, 2008) evolved from essays written during her fellowship at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.

Attendees wanting to gain insight into the business of books, including self-publishing and promotion, can register for Russell Hatler and Nikki Brate’s “Social Media for Self-Published Authors” and “Big, Medium, Small, or Self?,” a class on self-publishing led by Edmund R. Schubert, who served for ten years as head editor of the online, bi-monthly magazine InterGalactic Medicine Show (including publishing three IGMS anthologies and winning two WSFA Small Press Awards).

NCWN also will host its third annual “Slush Pile Live!” Like last year, 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,” in which conference-goers 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 required for this offering.

Spring Conference is sponsored in part by The MFA in Creative Writing Program at UNCG,, 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). Other sponsors include 88.5 FM WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont and the North Carolina Arts Council

Pre-registration closes April 16. Register now!


Hats Off! to Pawan Mishra, author of Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy (Lune Spark Books), whose book is listed in Huffington Post's "The Best Self-Published Books of 2016" in the Literary Fiction category.


Astonished to Wake by Julie Suk

Jacar Press
17.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9364810-5-0
January, 2016
Available from the publisher

“The poetry of Julie Suk is at once deceptively spare and metaphorically rich, and the sensual mystery of her perfectly pitched and etched lines is haunting, elemental, and wild,”
—R. T. Smith

In her sixth collection, Julie Suk continues to write poems that are deeply sensuous and unflinching.

"Oh the things we would all say to the stars in the sky if we found ourselves alone in a lifeboat at sea."
—Charles Simic, former Poet Laureate of the United States

Julie Suk is the author of five previous volumes of poetry. The Angel of Obsession won the University of Arkansas Poetry Competition, the Roanoke-Chowan Award, and was on the short list for the Poets Prize. The Dark Takes Aim (Autumn House Press) was awarded the Brockman-Campbell and the Oscar Arnold Young awards. Suk is also a recipient of the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine, and received the Irene Honeycutt Lifetime Achievement Award from Central Piedmont Community College. She was formerly a managing editor of Southern Poetry Review, and co-editor of Bear Crossings and the Anthology of North American Poets.

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network will host their annual Spring Conference on Saturday, April 23, in the Moore Humanities and Research Administration Building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration is now open.

Spring Conference offers two excellent options for writers who focus on Creative Nonfiction.

Jim Minick, Assistant Professor at Augusta University and Core Faculty in Converse College’s low-residency MFA program, will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, "Tension in Your Prose." Tension causes headaches and family breakups, yet without it, your prose is dead. This workshop will focus on revision—from word choice and sentence rhythm to scene selection and character creation—to analyze how best to create tension that pulls readers in and keeps them reading. We’ll read a few masters and spend most of our time with each other’s drafts, figuring out what to cut and what to keep as we work toward creating art.

Please note, all Master Classes require a separate application process and fee. Those who apply should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

A stand-alone creative nonfiction session is also available: "True Character: Crafting Portraits in Creative Nonfiction" with Mylène Dressler. In this active workshop, registrants will explore how to vividly portray the reality of others in our nonfiction. They'll study both traditional and lyric models, drawing on examples as they craft their own portraits and experiments. Writers at any level of experience with creative nonfiction are welcome. If you have questions about this workshop, or would like to contact your workshop leader, visit

Mylène Dressler is a critically acclaimed author and the current director of the Sherwood Anderson Creative Writing Program at Guilford College, where she teaches fiction and creative nonfiction.

Along with workshops and sessions hosted by top-notch faculty, Spring Conference will again offer additional beloved programming, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, Lunch with an Author (pre-registration required), and the second annual installment of the popular Slush Pile Live!

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record; WFDD 88.5 FM: Public Radio for the Piedmont; 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). For directions, click here.

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 17, at


The Work of Creation by Luke Hankins

Wipf & Stock
$20.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-625643605
January, 2016
Nonfiction: Lit Crit / Essays
Available from your local bookstore or

“In his generous and illuminating volume of prose, The Work of Creation, Luke Hankins demonstrates how much of poetry and the maturation of our engagement with it rely upon a power to contain opposites, particularly as they problematize our historical moment. With the wide-angle of a theorist and the jeweler’s monocle of a close reader, the author here sets out to revalidate and reposition the poet’s work as part of a more fundamental set of contemporary challenges: to seek the genuine in the fractured, divine union in uncertainty, magnanimity in despair—and thus to forge greater intimacies among aesthetics, ethics, and psychology. In praise of the devotional, the book honors a radiance of doubt that eschews both easy ironies and dogmatic polemics. The subtext here is gratitude, a love of work, and a deepening summons to the complexity of art as bound to the complexity of our condition. A beautiful book.”
—Bruce Bond, author of Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand

“This collection is tuned to the pitch of listening—listening with fine intelligence as Hankins explores the nuances of poetry, culture, and history: the soul.”
—Claire Bateman, author of Leap and Scape

In The Work of Creation, poet, editor, and translator Luke Hankins explores literature, art, aesthetics, ethics, religion, and the life of the spirit in a number of genres, including literary criticism, meditations on art and aesthetics, personal essays, and interviews. Collected in this volume are pieces that have appeared in such places as Books & Culture, Contemporary Poetry Review, Image, The Writer's Chronicle, and the American Public Media national radio program On Being.

Luke Hankins is the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, and the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets (both from Wipf & Stock). Hankins serves as Senior Editor at Asheville Poetry Review, and he is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

Hats Off! to Judy Hogan, author of The Sands of Gower: The First Penny Weaver Mystery, who appeared on the "Wacqueline Stern Show" on Carrboro's WCOM 103.5 FM. For the podcast click here; for the video click here.


Holy Ghosts of Whiskey by Marty Silverthorne

Sable Books
$10.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9968036-2-5
January, 2016
Available from the publisher

“Marty Silverthorne shows us how memory and the past concretely inform each other: all that happens—the handed-down stories, the unimprisoned present—live as witnesses for the stalwarts, the listeners and readers who stand for generations to find out and to hear what Marty Silverthorne sees and hears. Holy Ghosts of Whiskey works like that. The pleasure of his words warm like good whiskey.”
—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and North Carolina Poet Laureate (2015-2017)

Holy Ghost of Whiskey is a beautiful commitment to the god-force of memory. Marty Silverthorne reminds us over and over again how poetry strengthens our root. These deep evocations of language and ghosts create pathways that charm us into honky tonk heavens. From beginning to end these poems offer a haunted awareness of the joys, sacrifices, and sorrows that are singing in the hinges of three room shot gun shacks. These poems lift up the roots and reveal well-crafted tenderness and emphatic imagination that bears witness to the longings and challenges we all have confronting our angels, our ghosts, loves, and losses. Holy Ghost of Whiskey makes us dream about the rapture of what it means to be eat up with music.”
—Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee

“Some academics use the term 'regionalist' as a slight. It’s true that, in lesser hands, regionalism sometimes devolves into local color nostalgia and sentimentality, into romanticism, but Marty Silverthorne’s Holy Ghosts of Whiskey is a tumbling, musical urgency of 'smoke ring eulogies,' 'voices singing through the hinges,' bruises shining through worn blouses, cold, cold hearts and 'buzzards high in the Tuscarora pines.' It’s a regional collection in the best sense of the term. These vibrant poems are distilled from 'the poverty of fatback and biscuits,' they’re spiriting hymns worming their way to us from an eastern North Carolina landscape that isn’t quite dead yet, rising from the coiled copper of liquor stills, from kerosene lamps and radio gospel. These poems will take you there so that you remember it.”
—John Hoppenthaler, author of Domestic Garden, Anticipate the Coming Reservoir, Lives of Water

Marty Silverthorne lives in Greenville, NC, where he earned a M.S. from East Carolina University. He received the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award in 1993 and has been awarded several grants from the NC Arts Council. His poems have appeared in The St. Andrews Review, Carolina Literary Companion, Tar River Poetry, Chattahoochee, and others. He has published two chapbooks: Dry-Skin Messiah and Pot Liquor Promises.

Hats Off! to Marilynn Anselmi whose script "Reading Signs" won Second Place in the 2016 10-Minute Play Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. "Reading Signs" tells the story of a daughter and her Alzheimer's afflicted mother who try to find common ground in the disappearing landscape of their past.


Dark Paths to Light by Gil Alligood

Outskirts Press
$18.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4787-0963-3
November, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or

The story takes place in current times. The characters are on a mission to prevent a group of terrorists from executing their plan that would cause major catastrophe in the Mideast and the world.

The major characters are Craig Johnson and his wife Kitty. When Craig discovers that his wife is in the hands of terrorists, he must thwart an international terrorist plot in Israel to rescue her. Craig and his team find themselves involved in Black operations as they make their way through several countries to reclaim Kitty..... and ensure peace.

The story is based on today's international political climate and rich in foreign culture, politics, and intrigue. Dark Paths to Light is a timely, nail-biting adventure fraught with difficulty and danger.

Gil Alligood's stories are based on research as well as his own experiences as a pilot in the United States Air Force (retired colonel),a consulting engineer, and a private pilot flying his Piper Arrow—providing background information for adventure and intrigue. He currently lives in Washington, North Carolina, where he serves his church as a Bible School teacher, and is chairman of the local airport advisory board. His previous novel The Devil's Pace examines the culture and amorous adventures of a young girl in 1953 in Eastern North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Sheila Webster Boneham whose book Catwalk has won the 2015 Maxwell Award for "Fiction: Young Adult or Humor" from the Dog Writers Association of America. Catwalk is the third book in Boneham's Animals in Focus series, which includes cats and dogs in all the books. The first book in the series won the Maxwell in 2013, and the second book was a finalist last year. Three of Sheila's books have also won Maxwells in nonfiction. Woof!


Fallen Land by Taylor Brown

St. Martin's Press
$25.99, hardcover
January, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or

“A story of love and loyalty set within the madness and chaos of war, Fallen Land is also a thrilling fugue, in both senses: of flight, and intricate composition. It is also the story of a revenge quest, the horrors of Sherman's March, a noble horse named Reiver, of sacrifice, endurance, and redemption. No one who reads Fallen Land will ever forget it. In this first novel Taylor Brown proves himself a fresh, authentic, and eloquent new voice in American fiction.”
―Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek, Boone, and The Road from Gap Creek

“A shattering debut that puts one strongly in mind of the young Cormac McCarthy, and the best historical fiction I've read in ages.”
―Pinckney Benedict, author of Town Smokes, The Wrecking Yard, and Dogs of God

“It is rare thing for a writer to have the talent and scope to exhibit both the worst and best of humanity in one book, much less in one scene, but that's what Brown does here: He literally floods the page with violent beauty and devastating grace. Well-known and oft-praised writers will look back on long and storied careers only to wish they had written a debut novel as flawless as Fallen Land.”
―Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of western North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications including The Baltimore Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, and storySouth. He is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and was a finalist in both the Machigonne Fiction Contest and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. His short story collection In the Season of Blood and Gold was a finalist in the short-story category of the 2015 International Book Awards. An Eagle Scout, he lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Ellen LaConte who was featured, along with her debut novel Afton, in a Writer's Profile in the Winston-Salem Journal's arts/entertainment weekly magazine, Relish. Afton has been well-received, leading to several book club invitations and event opportunities.


Hats Off! to June Guralnick whose new full-length play, Birds of a Feather: a Comedy about De-Extinction, has been selected from nationwide submissions for further development and a staged reading by Turn to Flesh Productions in New York City.


Hats Off! to Ray Morrison whose short story "Dawn Branch" was a finalist for the 2016 Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story and will be published in the Spring 2016 issue of the Beloit Fiction Journal.


The Changing Season by Steven Manchester

Story Plant
$26.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-611882261
February, 2016
Available from your local bookstore or

"The Changing Season is a story that will bring you back to that awkward period of time between childhood and adult life. I highly recommend this book."
—Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times bestselling author, The Christmas Box and The Mistletoe Promise

"The Changing Season is a thought provoking coming of age tale that explores the complicated themes of love, faith, family, and above all, loyalty. Mr. Manchester's portrayal of a boy at the cusp of manhood is evocative and sympathetic."
—Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author, One Good Dog

This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy: one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He'd fill the hours playing with Jimmy his canine best buddy going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they'd do before Billy left. But that was before the accident that shook the entire town. It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck. And it was before Vicki. This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn t truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple. An enormously touching, richly textured, deeply moving novel of new adulthood, The Changing Season is an experience to savor.

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island, as well as the novel Goodnight, Brian. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning, and BET's Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester's short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Hats Off! to Clay County NCWN Regional Rep Glenda C. Beall, who interviewed Steven Harvey, author of the memoir The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, in which the author pieces together the life of his mother, Roberta Reinhardt Harvey, who committed suicide when he was eleven.


Oh, Nelly ! The Life and Loves of Penelope Evangeline Dougherty 1883-1963 by Richard David Randall

Force 10 Publishing
$13.23, hardcover / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9962482-0-4
July, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or

Meet Penelope Evangeline Dougherty, otherwise known as “Nelly.”

“I’ve known genuine love’s fierce passion and the love one feels for a soul mate. I’ve known parenthood’s unmatched joy and agony. I’ve known abject poverty and financial contentment. I’ve known terrifying adventure, death’s near misses, and the double-edged sword of revenge.”

Inspired by a mysteriously discovered, time-worn autobiography started by Nelly, her story is vividly brought to life once more for us, knitted with great love and a healthy dose of imagination into a compelling narrative by her grandson.

A North Carolina Arts Council Writers’ Fellowship recipient, Dick Randall is a retired counselor, an avid sailor and cross-country rambler. Charlotte, North Carolina is his home. Website:, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hats Off! to Phil Bowie who took second place in the British Flash 500 short-story contest with a tale called "Mister Sad." He has a fourth book in his suspense series out, and does a new blog post about writing every Monday on his website


Hats Off! to Ruth Moose whose poems appeared recently in Salt magazine and Chatham magazine.


Hats Off! to Crystal Simone Smith who will receive the first Absher Initiatives Literary and Arts Grant. Her projected work will combine watercolor and haiku, a customary pairing call haiga. Although less conventional, the work will also incorporate another form of Japanese poetry called haibun, a prose poem accompanied by a haiku. The collection will be published in 2016.


Another Sunday by Cynthia Strauff

$27.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4834-3817-7
November, 2015
Fiction: Historical / Literary / Women's
Available from your local bookstore or

In the fall of 1901, beautiful, self-centered Celeste Wells twirls her parasol as she strolls down Baltimore’s North Avenue, waiting to be noticed by handsome, shy Willie Strauff. She is certain that life will deliver her dreams—love, and a house on Mt. Vernon Place.

But destiny selects a different path. As the vagaries of fate and her own decisions result in blow after blow, she finds an inner-strength, replaces her dreams and accepts her circumstances as life comes full circle.

In this historical novel, a young woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery during the early twentieth century where she must rely on newfound courage to persevere through the challenges before her.

Cynthia Strauff (Schaub) is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards for her poetry and prose. A native of Baltimore, she holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Dick Schaub, and her cats. Another Sunday is her first novel.

Hats Off! to Jeanne Julian whose poetry chapbook, Blossom and Loss, won the 2015 Longleaf Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. Jeanne received $200, fifty contributor copies, and publication.


Lot Boy by Greg Shemkovitz

Sunnyoutside Press
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1934513491
July, 2015
Fiction: Literary / Rust Belt
Available from your local bookstore or

"Greg Shemkovitz’s Lot Boy shines a relentless spotlight on what we keep trying to understand—father-son relationships, the elusive American Dream, how to escape Sisyphean tasks. This is a first-rate page-turner, written by a man who grasps the plight of blue collar workers. I recommend it highly."
—George Singleton, Between Wrecks

"Greg Shemkovitz’s rust belt noir is a gritty, vulgar, hilarious example of why you should never turn your back on a mechanic. Lot Boy does for Buffalo what Donald Ray Pollock has done for Ohio. Best of all, it’s accomplished by a Pynchonionally large cast of untrustable characters with grease under their nails and surprises in their hearts."
—Patrick Wensink, bestselling author of Broken Piano for President

"If Eddie Lanning knows what’s good for him he’ll start to behave himself. Then, maybe, he’ll get a piece of the family Ford dealership. But don’t count on it in this funny, antic, swift-moving novel about independence, the call of the road and learning the hard way. Lot Boy is a terrific debut by a writer with talent to burn."
—Porter Shreve, The End of the Book

Eddie Lanning has grown up with the run of his father's Ford dealership, but lack of ambition and an immature attitude leave him trapped as the "lot boy" who covers the most menial and unskilled tasks and errands. Eager to escape both snowy Buffalo and his family legacy, Eddie allows a habit of petty theft to escalate into warranty fraud as he is drawn by fellow employee Spanky into a dangerous parts-selling scheme. This sensitive portrayal of both inchoate youthful rebellion and the invisible bonds of family and home effectively emphasizes the difficulty of Eddie's final choice.

Greg Shemkovitz teaches writing and literature at Elon University. His fiction has appeared in Gihon River Review, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. Lot Boy was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and is his first novel.

Hats Off! to JS (Stan) Absher whose poetry collection Mouth Work won the Lena M. Shull Book Award sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society. The final judge was Ann Garbett. Mouth Work contains poems that reflect Stan's father’s childhood in northwest North Carolina and his own upbringing in the Blue Ridge and Brushy Mountains. Mouth Work will be published by St. Andrews University Press and launched at Poetry Day at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory on April 2.


Hats Off! to Katherine Van Dis whose short story "Jellyfish Moon" appears in The Carolina Quarterly.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Jay Feather Day" was selected for January's Poetry in Plain Sight, sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Her poem "Joan Miro and Me" is forthcoming in Silver Birch Press, and her poem "Dressed Stones" is set to run in the February issue of Ruby magazine.


Hats Off! to Ashley Memory of Raleigh whose poem “Why I Love Used Books” received an honorable mention in the 2015 Rash Award in Poetry from Broad River Review.


Hats Off! to Heather Adams whose story "A Pop of Color" is an honorable mention in the 2015 Rash Award in Fiction, sponsored by the Broad River Review.


GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 23, in the MHRA Building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration is now open.

Michael Parker, of Greensboro, will give the Keynote Address. Michael is the author of six novels, including All I Have in This World, and two collections of short stories. He has received fellowships in fiction from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the North Carolina Award for Literature. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, he is the Vacc Distinguished Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and since 2009 has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Quinn Dalton, author of the novel High Strung, will lead the Fiction Master Class, “Make a Scene: Learn How to Use the Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction.” Midnight Bowling, her next novel, will be published by Carolina Wren Press in March. The Infinity of You & Me, a novel co-written with novelist and poet Julianna Baggott under the pen name J.Q. Coyle, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in the fall of 2016.

Augusta University Assistant Professor Jim Minick will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, “Tension in Your Prose.” Jim is the author of four books, including his most recent, The Blueberry Years, a memoir that won the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. His novel, Fire Is Your Water, is due out in 2017.

The Poetry Master Class will be taught by Jennifer Whitaker, author of The Blue Hour, winner of the Brittingham Prize and forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press later this year. Jennifer’s poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals. She is an assistant poetry editor at storySouth. She currently lives in Greensboro, where she is Director of the University Writing Center at UNCG.

Additional Spring Conference offerings include poetry classes with Vievee Francis, recipient of the Rona Jaffe Prize and a Kresge Fellowship, and Matthew Olzmann, the 2015-16 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; fiction sessions with Sweetgirl author Travis Mulhauser and Greg Shemkovitz, author of Lot Boy, who teaches writing and literature at Elon University; creative nonfiction with Myléne Dressler, the director of the Sherwood Anderson Creative Writing Program at Guilford College; writing tween nonfiction with Bonnie J. Doerr, author of eco-mystery novels for tweens; and two sessions focused on the business of books: “The Facebook Advantage” with twenty-year publishing veteran Karen M. Alley, and “Getting the Word Out: Marketing Your Book on Your Own or with Your Publisher” with Lauren Moseley, Marketing Manager at Algonquin Books.

The Network will offer the second installment of the popular “Slush Pile Live!”, but with one major change: poetry and prose will now be read in two rooms, so that more attendees have a chance to receive feedback on their writing.

Beginning at 4:00 pm, attendees may drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry in the room of their choice. At 5:00 pm, a panel of editors will listen to the submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading if the piece were being submitted to their publication. The editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the sample, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. All anonymous—all live!

“If you’ve never worked or volunteered for a publisher or literary magazine before, the submission process can seem kind of mysterious,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “‘Slush Pile Live!’ gives attendees a peek into what goes through an editor’s mind as they read their way through a stack of unsolicited submissions, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Many 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 conference-goers 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. Pre-registration and an additional fee are also required for this offering.

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference is sponsored in part by the Greensboro News & Record; WFDD 88.5 FM: Public Radio for the Piedmont; 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). For directions, click here.

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 17.

The non-profit 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, and to register, visit


A Fox with Earrings: What's a little MURDER among friends? by Loyd Little

Oak Tree Press
$12.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1610092050
October, 2015
Fiction: Mystery
Available from the publisher or

Nolan Chastain, a real estate agent, is three months into a consuming affair with Cass Tolley, a woman he’s known and been fascinated with for more than a decade. On Friday, after the first day of showing million-dollar homes to a recently retired Air Force general and his wife, Nolan arrives at Cass’ home to find police cars and blue lights—Cass has been shot and killed. Many had motive to kill her; far from virtuous, Cass had slept with most of the men she had ever known. Jealous spouses and men scorned headline the list. Nolan’s insatiable curiosity and desire to see justice inspires his compilation of suspects—ironically all friends. An exaggerated conversation concerning Krugerrands (Cass’ versions were always outrageous) tips the scales, but toward whom? How is the general involved? Which story does he believe? And what has the fox with earrings have to do with anything?

Loyd Little’s published novels include: Parthian Shot, winner of the PEN-Hemingway Award and a Playboy Book-of-the-Month Selection (Viking Press in hardcover/Ivy Press in paperback, 1975), In the Village of the Man (Viking-Penguin Press hardback, 1977), Smokehouse Jam (Available Press, a division of Ballantine Books, 1989,) and Roll On Sugaree (Author House, 2013).

Published short stories: “Out With the Lions”, published in Free Fire Zone: Short Stories by Vietnam Vets (McGraw Hill, 1973) and “The Moon in June” (Playboy, March, 1977). Fragile Islands of Memories, a nonfiction picture book about the Hre Montagnards around Gia Vuc, a Special Forces camp where he served in 1965 (available at

A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he has taught creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill and in the state's community college system and has lectured at various literary events. He has been a critiquer of novels and short stories for more than twenty years for the North Carolina Writers' Network, as well as an active member of the Network. He was the editor/managing editor of four newspapers in North and South Carolina:










My Father's Daughter, From Rome to Sicily by Gilda Morina Syverson

Pegasus Books in conjunction with Divine Phoenix Books
$17,95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941859-10-0
December, 2014
Memoir: Travel, Family Relationships
Available from your local bookstore or

“Gilda Morina Syverson’s beautiful memoir, My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, is so rife with Italianate passion and sentiment that I was often spirited away—not just to Rome and Sicily, but to my parents’ kitchen, and the precincts of my past I most cherish. This is a travel book in every sense. Syverson—a savvy, funny, elegant tour guide—expertly escorts us through the gorgeous time-locked terrain of Italy, but also along the often precarious byways of the heart. This book risks everything: its humanity, its courage, its sheer unbridled candor, the moving sweep of its poetic language and its refusal to turn away from the breathtaking mystery of love and ancestry. Bravissimo!”
—Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate, 2012-2014, author of Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, Essays

“Here’s what’s in store for you: A delightful journey into the heart of Italy, into the heart of this family, into the heart of what it means to be human. My Father’s Daughter is a beautifully crafted, moving, entertaining memoir that will win you over from page one. If five stars is the highest rating, I give this book six.”
—Judy Goldman, author of the memoir Losing My Sister

“Travel south from Rome with Gilda Morina Syverson. Let her show you her ancestral land through the eyes of her closest ancestors, her parents, who travel with her and her husband. It’s a trip well worth taking… vividly observed, richly detailed, gently humorous, and deeply poignant. The only thing better would be a trip to Italy.”
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter

In this travel trilogy, My Father's Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, we are captivated by this passionate adventure with Gilda Morina Syverson as she journeys with her Italian-born father, Italian-American mother, and very-American husband among ancient sites of Rome, south to Sicily through landscapes of a picturesque countryside, seaside villages, and her family’s ancestral roots. This tale is not only about the land but also about relationships, family, love, mystery, and ancestry. With joy, angst, humor, and a quest to unearth a heritage, the journey of a lifetime is about to begin.

Gilda Morina Syverson, artist, poet, writer and teacher, is the author of the memoir My Father’s Daughter: From Rome to Sicily published by Pegasus Books in conjunction with Divine Phoenix Books. Syverson's story was a Novello Literary Award Finalist. She is the author of two poetry books: Facing the Dragon and In This Dream Everything Remains Inside. She has taught in the creative arts for over thirty-five years including fifteen years of memoir writing at Queens University of Charlotte. Her website is

Hats Off! to Katherine Soniat, whose hand-sewn poetry chapbook, The Goodbye Animals (Foothills Press, 2014), won the 2014 Turtle Island Poetry Award.


Hats Off! to NCWN board member Terry L. Kennedy who was featured "In the Spotlight" on the website of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP).


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh who won First and Second Place in the Novel Excerpt category of the 2014 Knoxville Writers' Guild Contest.











Tryon Diary:Tales from the Friendliest Town in the South by Susan McNabb

Susan McNabb
$12.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1505549393
January, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or

"Susan's humor is as subtle as a sharp razor blade and her columns always look at life and people from a positive point of view—a wonderful feature that should be a great read for anyone in book form."
—Jim Wright, Mayor of Tryon

"Susan's snippets of life here are fun, chatty, sometimes very personal, and sometimes just a little bit peppery. Tryon Diary is charming and insightful—a must read!"
—Patti D'Arbanville, actress and Tryon resident

“Susan eloquently captures the quirks and bona fides of Tryon’s diverse population, always with a warm heart willing to see potential oddity as charm.”
—Richard Christian Nelson, portrait artist and Tryon gallery owner

Fall in love with Tryon, North Carolina, in this collection of Susan McNabb’s insightful and often funny weekly newspaper columns from the Tryon Daily Bulletin as she discovers the unexpected in small-town life after nearly three decades in Hollywood. Included are her thoughts on Tryon native Nina Simone, the Mule Club, and rented goats.

Susan McNabb is the author of Tryon Diary, a collection of columns from the Tryon Daily Bulletin, "The World's Smallest Daily Newspaper," in which she chronicles her adjustment to small-town life in North Carolina after nearly three decades in Los Angeles. Susan grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and received an English Literature degree from the University of Tennessee before moving to L.A. to pursue modeling and commercial acting. Now settled in Tryon with her husband and rescued dogs, Susan is also an accomplished potter and fiber artist. You can visit Susan at or on Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter.

Hats Off! to Kim Church whose debut novel, Byrd, has been named a semi-finalist for the Chautauqua Prize.


GREENSBORO, NC—Creative nonfiction aims to tell the truth. But historical accuracy alone isn’t enough to create a compelling narrative: the stories must be worth telling, and then told with an authentic, irresistible voice.

Nonfiction writers will have a chance to hone these vital elements of the craft at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference, held April 18 in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Eric G. Wilson, a professor of English at Wake Forest University and author of three works of creative nonfiction, will lead the Creative Nonfiction Master Class, “Creating Presence.”

The Creative Nonfiction Master Class will meet twice during the conference: once during Workshop Session I (in the morning) and again for Workshop Session II (in the afternoon). The course description is as follows:

Without a strong voice, prose—no matter how stylistically felicitous—feels generic, institutional, and bloodless. Animated with an engaging persona, the same words spring into an essay: idiosyncratic, imaginative, vibrant. But while essential for powerful creative nonfiction, voice is notoriously difficult to define. Sure, we say it’s the personality of the writer, the unique presence, the controlling consciousness, the point of view, the constructed “I” behind the “eye,” and so on. These traditional definitions, however, are almost as vague as the term they are meant to clarify. In this workshop, we will do our best to understand voice conceptually and practically. We will discuss how important writers have understood voice as well as how it works in selected essays (including those submitted for this workshop). We will also complete exercises designed to strengthen your voice. You should come away from the sessions with strategies for creating a more captivating verbal presence.

Please submit up to 1,500 words from a single work, along with your current CV, no later than March 27. Submissions should be saved as an MS Word document, using double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

In addition, Marianne Gingher, author of Bobby Rex’s Greatest Hit, will lead a workshop titled “Stories Worth Telling.”

We know what they are. They keep happening to us. If we live long enough, our personal histories pile up the drama. How do we make sense of all the stories we’ve lived? Which of them demand to be told, and why? How do we make personal experience make sense to others in such a way that readers connect and identify? This is a workshop in the “personal” narrative or “writing from life.” Participants should bring a “time line” of their lives, documenting dates and a “headline” summary of the five or six most significant events/turning points of their lives. We will discuss techniques for making memoir writing come alive and include a brief in-class writing exercise with feedback. Two personal narratives that workshop participants might want to read before they attend the class are “The Fourth State of Matter” by Jo Ann Beard and “The Lamb Roast” by Rosemary Hamilton. Both were published in the New Yorker and should be accessible online.

Writer and musician Tom Maxwell, formerly of the band The Squirrel Nut Zippers, will lead an afternoon workshop titled “Narrative Truth vs. Historical Truth.”

Memoir writing is, by needs, the art of navigating a strange terrain. How does one turn real people into characters? How does a messy, non-linear story get hammered into a narrative arc? What gives one the right, ultimately, to do this? Let’s discuss the manifold issues of objective truth, characterization, and emotional authenticity.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is now open.

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











Sawdust and Soul by William J. Everett and John W. de Gruchy

Wipf and Stock
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6256444633
December, 2014
Memoir: Spiritual
Available from your local bookstore or

"The title and subtitle are exactly right. This is 'A Conversation about Woodworking and Spirituality' in which 'sawdust flies in all directions, but the soul also takes wings.' So, reader, prepare to pause often to reflect on your own life journey as you listen to Everett’s and de Gruchy’s. This is wisdom beautifully communicated."
—Ecological theologian Larry Rasmussen

"This absorbing and often moving conversation about friendship, faith, and the woodworker’s craft invites us to explore the inner journeys that accompany the working and shaping of wood. The obvious joy of the authors in the soul-deepening craft will strike an immediate chord with fellow woodworkers—and invite some who have not yet felt the warm texture of newly planed wood grain under their fingers to go out and buy their first tools."
—Bishop Peter Storey of South Africa

"In Sawdust and Soul I felt like I was standing across a workbench from two friends reminiscing, philosophizing, and reflecting about woodworking, the influence it has on their lives and their relationship. The journey I experienced with Bill and John resonates with my own."
—North Carolina woodwork designer and craftsman Gregory Paolini

An American ethicist and a South African theologian reflect on their work with wood and how it has helped them find creativity and meaning in experiences of both loss and transformation. Through their friendship, correspondence, and work together they have developed a rich narrative about the way this craftwork has shaped their relationships with family, friends, and their natural environment. Their conversation invites both craftspeople and religious seekers to join them on a spiritual journey toward fresh insight and inspiration. The book is enhanced with numerous photographs of the authors’ work as well as with line drawings by Isobel de Gruchy.

William J. Everett taught Christian ethics in graduate schools for over thirty years before turning to woodworking. In addition to his academic books and articles, he is the author of Red Clay, Blood River, an eco-historical novel, as well as Turnings, a collection of his poetry. He lives in the hardwood forest of western North Carolina.

One of South Africa’s most celebrated theologians, John W. de Gruchy is also a woodworker, with pieces in many churches, schools, and homes throughout the country and abroad. Among his recent books are Confessions of a Christian Humanist and Led Into Mystery. He and his wife Isobel are members of the Volmoed Christian Community near Hermanus, South Africa, where he writes, gives seminars, and does woodworking, while Isobel paints and writes poetry.

Hats Off! to Laurence Holden who will have recent poems appearing in the March issues of Snapdragon: a Journal of Art & Healing and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (vol 18, 2015).


Hats Off! to Tom Wood whose short story "A Live Wire in Deadwood" is now available as an e-book and will be published later this year as part of the Tennesseans West by Western Trail Blazer. An enterprising young reporter from Nashville, Tennessee, meets railroad porter Nat Love at the turn of the twentieth century. Mister Love has an amazing story to tell, beginning how he was born a slave on a plantation in Nashville and headed West at age fifteen, where he was known and feared as Deadwood Dick.











Hotel Worthy by Valerie Nieman

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-18-9
March, 2015
Available for pre-order at your local bookstore or

"Check into Hotel Worthy and you’ll never want to leave. There abides in its pages an uncanny past wrought into poems that spring from a memory that unites the dead with the living, restores the abandoned, returns the missing. This is a startling book. The language—its lyric nuance, its plaintive harmonies, its ceremonial beauty—is unforgettable. In the words of the poet, 'Each blow of wood on wood / sets ripples on the water: / deo gratias, deo gratias.' Deo gratias indeed—for Hotel Worthy."
—Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of Concertina: Poems

"At last, a book that states clearly the purpose of life. According to Val Nieman's Hotel Worthy, it's to know things, especially the names for things—Candor peaches, Marvel-of-Peru, pipsissewa. It's a pleasure to hear the quiet, sure voices of these poems, to be caught off guard when some swoop wide at the end like the trumpets of lemon lilies, to be reminded that "the personal . . . holds hands with the larger all the way up.'"
—Sarah Lindsay, Lannan Literary Fellow and author of Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

"What are we to do with the lost, broken, failed things of our lives? How do we piece together the shards of relationships that didn't last, salvage the ghosts of our younger selves? Like a daring archeologist, the poems of Hotel Worthy dig [deeply] into the intimate layers of years, excavating the fossils of memory, love, loss, and family history. These poems compel us to have the courage to emerge from our past shipwrecks and embark anew. This collection is a road map for beginning again."
—Ansel Elkins, author of Blue Yodel, winner of the 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets

These are poems of love, loss, and survival, ranging across a landscape from the North Carolina coast to the painted caves of the Perigord.

Valerie Nieman's poems have appeared widely and been collected in two chapbooks and her debut collection, Wake Wake Wake (Press 53). She has held writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Her books of prose include three novels, with the most recent, Blood Clay, being honored with the Eric Hoffer Award. She is a graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte. A professor of creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University, she teaches at John Campbell Folk School and other venues, and serves as poetry editor for Prime Number Magazine. You may encounter her on a train, or solo hiking, or over a cup of lemon-ginger tea at a local bookstore.​










Converging Waters by Sam Love

Nexus Poetry Media
$12.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-502367785
January, 2015
Available at your local bookstore or

"Sam has a great sense of humor, no small thing in poetry where everybody is VERY serious. I’m still laughing at some of the poems."
—Peter Makuck, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University

"Reading Converging Waters is like taking a guided tour of places you have forgotten to think about. The poems are delectably short, served up as a rotating menu of thoughtful snacks or well-seasoned appetizers. Most will leave a smile on your lips or, if they’re serious, a question mark filling a surprising void."
—Alan Welch, New Bern poet

New Bern’s converging rivers, historic houses, and contemporary fads play a major role is shaping the insightful and witty poetry in a new book, Converging Waters, by author Sam Love.

This title emerges from his poem "New Bern Nexus" where he writes: "Converging waters often birth sacred places, places that pry open beleaguered souls."

Many of his poems will make you smile. His poem "The Perfect Holiday Meal" pokes fun at fad diets that create a cook’s nightmare. To the author no subject is sacred. For example in "Downstream Loop," we follow the journey of a carelessly tossed plastic bag through the ecosystem to its return back to us as part of our food chain. Even the tragedy of a neighbor losing his hunting dog and being left with his wife’s poodles can inspire a story poem. In "A Real Man’s Dog" the good ol’ boy attempts to train his wife’s poodle to be his hunting dog.

"I like to explore the interconnections surrounding a single event or object so that we can gain new clarity about our world," Sam said. "For example in my poem "Blueberry Mourning" one blueberry in my cereal inspired me to write a poem exploring the miles per gallon of a blueberry traveling from Chile to my bowl in New Bern."

Sam Love is a writer living in New Bern. His nonfiction articles have been published in major magazines including, Smithsonian and Washingtonian. He is the author of two novels, Electric Honey and Snap Factor. He is one of the organizers of the First Tuesday Poetry Open Mike in New Bern.

Hats Off! to Laurel Ferejohn whose short story "Bear" is a finalist for the World's Greatest Short Short Story (judge: Robert Olen Butler), and will appear in the new issue of the Southeast Review, 33.1.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, whose poem "Ora Pro Nobis" is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (March).


Hats Off! to Randy Lee White who has two poems forthcoming in Helix Literary Magazine.











Song of Moving Water by Susan Schmidt

Kakapo Press
$15.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0986383519
February, 2015
Fiction: YA
Available from

“'Groundtruthing,' she calls it—ways of knowing the land—from a mountain man’s gift for hunting ginseng… to a woman’s skill at putting by food… to a scrappy Quaker ecologist’s understanding of the webs of life. This closely observed novel takes you deep into the embrace of the mountains."
—Valerie Nieman, author of Blood Clay and Neena Gathering

As paddler, flyfisher, bass fiddler, gardener, and Quaker naturalist—Susan Schmidt writes about ecology, geology, women’s ways of knowing, bluegrass music, square dancing, chestnut trees, quilting, endangered species, local food, and environmental organizing in her new young-adult novel, Song of Moving Water.

“Don’t blame yourself for other people’s decisions,” Aunt Ruby tells Grace. At seventeen, Grace feels guilty that her father drowned in the river when she was ten. Just when she has moved back home, the power company proposes a dam that will flood her family farm. She builds confidence to raise her voice.

With a backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, Song of Moving Water is a young woman's coming-of-age story and a fictional environmental impact statement. When Grace returns to her father's homeplace seven years after his death, a proposed hydroelectric dam threatens the remote valley. Learning about farming and faith from her Aunt Ruby and about foraging herbs from neighbor Amos, Grace begins to value the self-sufficient community in contrast to her mother’s social whirl in Richmond. In the country, Grace goes to a square dance at the elementary school; in the city, she goes to a debutante party at the Country Club. Grace plans on college, but her childhood friend Sally Bee is already married with two babies. Grace has a crush on Sam, aquatic ecologist and Quaker pacifist who is looking for an endangered species to stop the dam.

While canoeing with Sam, Grace learns how to read a river and the Tao of water. In contrast to Sam, Grace's stepbrother Jared is a vain business student who slaps her in a political argument. With comic rivals, Amos and Farley, the half-Indian/half-black musician up the creek, Grace goes to the Galax Fiddle Festival, and Farley competes in the fiddle contest. Reclaiming her mountain heritage, Grace organizes neighbors to celebrate their river, and she sings to protest the dam that may flood her family farm.When she skinnydips in a mountain pool, Grace accepts her growing maturity and forgives her own gracelessness. Walking the woods, Amos shows Grace the flowering shrub, Hearts-a-Busting, to remind her to keep her heart open.

Susan Schmidt writes Song of Moving Water with the insight of a scientist, the imagery of a poet, and the big heart of one who loves the Appalachian highlands and their people. Poised on the cusp of adulthood, Grace comes back to McDowell County to learn what no classroom can teach: family secrets, spiritual knowledge, sexual stirrings—all against the backdrop of a newborn environmental movement.

As developmental editor, Susan Schmidt polishes science and history books, novels, and memoirs—with the same mindfulness as pruning apple trees. She has been a professor of literature and environmental decision-making, sailboat delivery captain, and government science-policy analyst. She has a doctorate in American literature and a Masters in Environmental Sciences. To witness natural diversity, she walked the Camino de Santiago, Cornwall Coastal Path, Scottish Highlands, Ring of Kerry, and Appalachian Trail; surveyed birds in Kenya and Ecuador; paddled Prince William Sound and Milford Sound; and delivered sailboats to the West Indies. Her homeplace is the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and her homeport is Beaufort, North Carolina, where she walks beaches with her Boykin Spaniel. Susan Schmidt’s two new books are Song of Moving Water, an environmental novel, and Salt Runs in My Blood—poems about journeys in boats and walking long trails. Her poems appear in Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina and won the 2012 Guy Owen Poetry Prize. She wrote Landfall Along the Chesapeake, In the Wake of Captain John Smith (Johns Hopkins University Press), an ecological history and boat adventure.

Hats Off! to Linda Vigen Phillips whose YA novel in verse, Crazy (Eerdmans, 2014), has received these recognitions: Junior Library Guild Selection; New York Public Library Best Books for Teens 2014; Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) BFYA nomination 2015; and Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015.


Hats Off! to Ron Jackson whose short story "The Station" has been accepted by Firewords Quarterly.


Hats Off! to Art Taylor who had two stories named finalists for this year's Agatha Awards: "Premonition" from the anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays; and "The Odds Are Against Us" from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.


Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, "The Cardinal's Mirror," was accepted for the Poeming Pigeon Anthology (The Poetry Box). Also, she is this month's 30/30 poet for Tupelo Press. For the month of February, she will post one poem a day—and it's for a good cause! For a $5 donation, Joan will dedicate a poem to you. For a $25 donation, she will write an entire poem just for you! To donate, click here. To read this month's poems, click here.


Hats Off! to Marilynn Barner Anselmi whose script, The Osanbi Deal, has been selected to be presented at the North Carolina New Play Project in Greensboro. Production will run April 10-19, 8 pm (Sunday 2 pm) at the Greensboro Cultural Center, Stephen D. Hyers Theatre.


Hats Off! to Anne Anthony whose story "The Coal Room" was shortlisted in the Brilliant Flash Fiction "Life is Good" writing contest.


Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams who is a semi-finalist in the 2015 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, which qualifies her to participate in the Masters Workshop in Fiction.









Prissy on the Moon by Dolores Andral

Laurel View Press
$17.99, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-990397809
August, 2014
Children's: Picture Book
Available from

Not one to let boredom get the most of her, Prissy imagines herself living on the moon! Imagination collides with reality, however, when she uses her "outside voice" indoors and jumps on the furniture in her space odyssey, and then crashes into her mama as she flies through the house on her spaceship! When Prissy finds out about a party that will include fun, family, and food, she decides to just visit the moon so she can enjoy a bit of both worlds.

Dolores Andral received her MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. When she is not writing she is caring for her home, husband, and four busy children!

Hats Off! to Ellen Fischer who will be one of the featured writers at the O.Henry Book Fair, on February 21. She'll read from her book If An Armadillo Went to a Restaurant, illustrated by Laura Wood.









Blood & Parcels by T.Q. Bernier

Lulu Publishing
$23.99, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4834-0438-7 (pb) / 978-1-4834-0439 (e-book)
January, 2014
Family Saga/Drama
Available from

"Blood & Parcels is a wonderfully conceived and eloquently orchestrated epic tale of one family’s generational journey through time. Masterfully and skillfully rendered characters are weaved in a story with extraordinary vivid details set in the 1800s and culminating in the present, punctuated with intense familial love and loyalty. It is engaging and captivating in its totality, leaving the reader thirsty for more. Every so often, amid the throngs of published authors, there emerges a talent so pure that it cannot be perceived as anything other than brilliant. Bravo!"
—Marie Rose Rivera, Stay-at-Home Mom and Entrepreneur

"T.Q. Bernier’s novel, Blood & Parcels, takes the reader on a journey through history filled with adventure and intrigue. With stories of honor, betrayal, love found and love lost, and finally to a place of redemption. Her characters are highly complex. As she develops the multiple layers to their personalities, the reader is consumed with a sense of urgency to know what happens next. You are caught up in the trials, tribulations and sheer will for survival of these characters. Their sense of honor and loyalty to family runs deep through this narrative. For someone whose family history in many ways follows a similar path, it was fascinating to get caught up in familiar places and surnames. A true testament to this great adventure is that the author leaves you wanting more....Congratulations, T.Q. Bernier!! From an American woman, who as well, is so proud of her French Caribbean Heritage. Well Done!"
—Rosemarie Danet Correa, RFID Project Manager, United Space Alliance, Kennedy Space Center and President of Florida French Connection

"I have just finished reading Blood & Parcels, and 'Wow' is all I can say. I was thoroughly captivated by the characters, absorbed right into the times and places, felt the pain, the love, and the joy. T.Q. Bernier, I want more! I can’t wait for your next novel. I definitely recommend Blood & Parcels to everyone for a fabulous read."
—Marilyn Pearson, Business Owner, Appliances Plus

Catherine never anticipates that her marriage to Jonah Dusant would be a death blow to the Dusant business empire. Amid the heat of a brewing war between nineteenth-century Germany and France, her union with the powerful family exposes deadly secrets. From the high court of France to the pristine shores of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Blood and Parcels crosses five generations and spans a continent to tell the story of the inescapable bonds of family and ancestral duty. It weaves a riveting tale of love, lust, daunting loss, difficult decisions, betrayal and murder.

Of French, Caribbean descent, T.Q. Bernier was born in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. She worked in the banking industry specializing in mortgage loan underwriting and retired in 2012 from one of the largest banks in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands to pursue her writing career. She and her husband, James, have three children and reside in Cary, North Carolina.

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh who placed twice in the 2013 Southern Literary Contest sponsored by the Union County Writers' Club: First Place in the poetry category for her poem entitled "Empty Space;" and Second Place in the short fiction category for her short story entitled "Green River Gorge."


Hats Off! to Katherine Crawford who writes a weekly parenting/outdoors/general life column for The Greenville News in Greenville, SC. It runs every Thursday.


Hats Off! to Joan Howard who had five poems published in The Eclectic Muse: A Poetry Journal, Volume 19, Christmas 2013.


Hats Off! to T.Q. Bernier who recently published her debut novel. Blood & Parcels begins in nineteenth-century France amid the stirrings of World War I and follows five generations of the powerful, somewhat underhanded Dusant family from France into the sultry heat of the Caribbean.


Drew PerryGREENSBORO, NC—Warp, weave. Thieve and lie. Hearts that beat—and break. Fiction is action, and a good story demands a writer's best verbs. Need proof? Just check out the titles of the fiction course offerings at the upcoming North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 12, at UNCG. 

Nancy Peacock, author of the novel The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson, will lead the Two-Part Fiction Workshop. The title? "The Warp and Wave of Fiction."

Two-part workshops meet twice during the conference, once during Workshop Session I (in the morning) and again for Workshop Session II (in the afternoon). Peacock, whose first novel Life Without Water was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book, says about her course:

Writing good fiction is not the same as laying a brick wall: first the characterization brick, then the setting brick, then the action brick. Instead, all the elements (character, plot, setting, action, structure, description, emotion, and more) must work together to form the tapestry of storytelling. In this class we will examine successful storytelling through reading and commenting on students' work and the work of published writers, as well as through class exercises.

In addition Drew Perry will lead a fiction workshop titled "Thieves & Liars: How We Build the World."

Nancy PeacockThis workshop will address something critical to the crafting of stories and novels: When and how to steal from the world around us (hint: early and often), and when to make things up (another hint: when the story demands it). Registrants will talk about how things like landscape, humor, oddity, and stray detail are often the most important ways of entering into a piece of work—and keeping it alive in draft after draft after draft. Another way of thinking about this: attendees will talk about how to use their own strange obsessions most productively in their writing. So someone really loves, say, tractors. Or tigers. And they keep appearing on the page. Registrants will find ways to make that feel less weird, and more like they're working.

Perry is the author of two novels: This Is Just Exactly Like You, which was a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and an Atlanta Journal Best of the Year pick for 2010, and Kids These Days, just published by Algonquin Books. He teaches writing at Elon University and holds an MFA from the writing program at UNC-Greensboro.

In the afternoon session, Kim Church will lead a fiction workshop titled "The Beating, Breaking Hearts of Fictional Characters." Church's debut novel, Byrd (Dzanc Books, March 2014), is the fragmented family history of a child secretly given up for adoption.

Kim ChurchThe heart of fiction is character; but what is the heart of a fictional character? How is it revealed to the writer, and how does the writer express it? This workshop, for fiction writers at all levels, will focus on how to create characters that are unique, lively, and memorable—characters we might like to spend time with after the workshop is over. To prepare for this session, registrants should think of a memorable event from their own life—something that touched or scared or excited or confused or changed or defined them in some small way. Something they don’t mind sharing with others, a moment they’d like to put in a time capsule. Attendees should not write about it beforehand, but come with an idea. And paper and pen.

Registration is now open. 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

Regarding My Son

Regarding My Son by Sonia Usatch-Kuhn

Finishing Line Press
$14.00, paperback
May, 2014
Available for pre-order from the publisher

"Sonia Usatch-Kuhn's memorable chapbook, Regarding My Son, is the odyssey of a mother and son through and beyond the 'barren pit' of schizophrenia. The mother-speaker is habitually, often desperately, 'frozen outside' of her beloved son's 'blackened confusion,' herself at every moment about to detonate. In prayerful language, at once poised at the brink of desperation and dogged hope—without a whit of sentimentality, cold-eyed, often fierce, always permeated with love—Usatch-Kuhn inches the reader ever closer to the stunning feat that only poetry can achieve—the ultimate triumph of recovery: 'I open my eyes / caress your cheek / weave you whole again.' These poems brave utterance in face of the direst odds. Such courage."
—Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina

"Sonia Usatch-Kuhn has created a heartbreaking—and ultimately, heartwarming—portrait of a mother's love for her son, the loss that she endures as a result of his schizophrenia, and, finally, hope for the future. As the book unfolds, we travel with this mother into the recesses of her son's illness; we visit him in the psych unit, where she writes, 'I look for promise…' We cheer for him as he comes home on a day pass, laugh when he cracks a joke, and understand when, in 'The Untying,' she writes: 'I have been pregnant/too long with you….' There are ample rewards here for the reader, none more moving than the final poem, 'The Reward,' in which a jagged timeline is presented, from the depths of 1978 to the joy of the son's college graduation in 2012. Haunting and memorable, this book deserves a wide audience."
—Judy Goldman, author of Losing My Sister

“In Regarding My Son, Sonia Usatch-Kuhn portrays a mother’s emotional journey into her son’s schizophrenic world. She accompanies her son faithfully, no matter how distant he seems or how disheveled he becomes, hoping always 'to weave you whole again,' until at last he emerges with her into a new world of light and language and love. Usatch-Kuhn’s poems shoot straight to the heart, each one a tiny, but crystal clear, window into her years of disappointment, pain, endurance, faith, and ultimately her joy as her son achieves 'affection / self-reliance / independence / leadership…' These are strong poems, spoken with a powerful and distinctive voice.”
—Jack Coulehan, MD, author of Bursting With Danger and Music

Regarding My Son is a journey in poetry about my son's diagnosis of schizophrenia through his recovery and college graduation in 2012. The poems deal with the issues of my observations of the hospital wards, the pain, hopelessness, stigma, hope, fear, wonder, frustration, doubt, and the process toward recovery as we took the path hand in hand.

Sonia Usatch-Kuhn, in facing the blank page, found release for the myriad feelings she experienced when her son Lance was diagnosed with schizophrenia thirty-five years ago. She is grateful to him for generously agreeing that these poems be shared. Some have appeared in The Journal of Poetry Therapy, Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making, on the CD Woman In Darkness, The Best of Raleigh Reading Series, and The Best of Fuquay-Varina Reading Series. Main Street Rag and What the Fiction Journal published short stories. She authored Noodle Kugel & Life’s Other Meichels, compiled and edited Living in the Rooms of our Lives, and The Book of Asher: Memoirs of a Passionate Jewish Life. She taught Healing & Madness at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Sonia has garnered praise for her portrayal of characters on Community Theater stages.


Hats Off! to Sheila Webster Boneham whose essay "The 'I' States" appears in the Winter Issue of The Museum of Americana: A Literary Review. Sheila also has blogged about the essay.










Goddess Spells for Busy Girls by Jen McConnel

Weiser Books
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-578635481
February, 2014
Available from your local bookstore or

Goddess magic is powerful magic: with the help of the right goddess, simple spells can yield amazing results. In Goddess Spells for Busy Girls, Jen McConnel offers eighty spells imbued with the vibrant force of twenty-five goddesses from around the globe.

McConnel provides an introduction to twenty-five celestial ladies, to make sure you are asking the right goddess for help: Athena for memory retention, Aphrodite to gain confidence, Persephone to find you path, and Sekhmet to prevent illness. Each section includes the history and lore behind the goddess, and three simple spells to invoke her help.

For the busy young woman who wants it all but needs help getting it, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls can help you achieve love, balance, protection, and abundance in your life.

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Visit to learn more.


Hats Off! to Laurence Holden who has two poems in winter issue of Written River: Journal of Eco-Poetics.


Hats Off! to Laurence Holden whose poem "Death, at Night" won Second Place (Educator Category) in the Georgia Poetry Society's annual awards. Click here to listen to Laurence read his poem.


Hats Off! to Joan Howard whose poem "Exhaustion" appears in Miller's Pond Winter Edition 2014. She also has four poems in the anthology Red Fox Run published by Ridgeline Alliance.


Hats Off! to Katherine Scott Crawford whose debut historical novel Keowee Valley is the #1 e-Bestseller at Amazon in the categories of western, historical, and historical romance. Keowee Valley is set in the Revolutionary-era Carolinas and in the Cherokee country. Pat Conroy calls it, "A terrific first novel."


Hats Off! to Catherine Carter whose poem "The Wooly Adelgid" won the Still 2013 Poetry Contest award and was published in the Fall 2013 issue.


Jonathan FarmerGREENSBORO, NC—“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly,” said Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in his 1913-1914 collected lectures, On the Art of Writing, “and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

The first cut is the kindest cut—as are the second and third (and fourth). That's the theme of this year’s Two-Part Creative Nonfiction Workshop at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference, led by Jonathan Farmer, titled “The Kindest Cut: Writing Energetic Nonfiction.” Registration is now open.

Two-part workshops meet twice during the conference, once during Workshop Session I (in the morning) and again for Workshop Session II (in the afternoon). Farmer, Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor of At Length magazine and the poetry critic for Slate, describes his course as follows:

When we’re working from reality, the need to say what happened puts a lot of pressure on our style. In this workshop, we’ll experiment with cutting a surprising number of words from our own and each other’s writing in order to uncover some of the possibilities we’ve already woven into our prose. We’ll also look at examples of efficient nonfiction writing for models of the ways we can answer the pressure to say everything with language that carries the weight and vitality of our reckoning. All participants should bring at least five copies of a double-spaced excerpt from a nonfiction project—ideally one that you’re currently working on—that’s between 500 and 750 words long. (It’s fine if it cuts off suddenly.)

In addition, Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan will lead a workshop titled “Writing from Experience.”

Steve MitchellWriting is more than something that happens in our heads. Every element of our selves has a voice we might use. How do we engage this wealth of experience in our writing? This workshop will use short exercises and prompts to open up the question. This workshop will be great for those interested in creative nonfiction—but also for fiction writers and poets as well.

Carol RoanSteve Mitchell is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of the short-story collection, The Naming of Ghosts (Press 53). Award-winning writer Carol Roan’s most recent books are Speak Up: The Public Speaking Primer (Press 53) and When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers over 50 (Holy Cow! Press).

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 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


Hats Off! to Jack J. Prather who earned finalist honors and a $250 prize in the 2013 Pundit Contest at His reflections about the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of 35 articles selected from 66,000 that were eligible for the contest. The judging panel included noted journalist and writer Eleanor Clift.


Hats Off! to Joseph Mills whose poetry chapbook Exit, Pursued by a Bear, was one of two winners in the 2013 November Pad Chapbook Challenge, sponsored by Writer's Digest. In Exit, Pursued By a Bear, Mills uses Shakespeare and stage directions to guide his poems while still trying to incorporate the November prompts.


Beth's Birds









Beth's Birds by Deanna K. Klingel
Illustrated by Steve Daniels

Peak City Publishing
$11.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9-357-11377-7
February, 2014
Children's, Picture Book
Available from the author

Little Beth shows how she recognizes and names her backyard feathered friends. Her antics are delightfully illustrated by Steve Daniels. This is the first in the series of Little Beth Books, backyard nature for pre-K—2nd grade.

NCWN Member Deanna K. Klingel lives in the western corner of the state in Sapphire Valley with her husband Dave and golden retriever Buddy. She enjoys traveling with her books to events and schools.

Hats Off! to Alice Osborn whose poem "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" appears in Quantum Fairy Tales.


Hats Off! to Alice Osborn, whose poem "Southern Ice Storm" appears in GERM magazine.


Hats Off! to Sheila Webster Boneham whose book Drop Dead on Recall (Midnight Ink, 2012) has won the Maxwell Award for Fiction in the Dog Writers Association of America's annual competition. Three of Sheila's nonfiction books have won Maxwell's in the past.

Hats Off! to Tamra Wilson whose essay "Mayo's" will appear in the upcoming issue of The Nassau Review.

Hats Off to Joan Leotta whose short story "Cottonwood Grove" will be published by Western Trail Blazers as a single release with the option to anthologize it in the future.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story "Red Apron" won $100 in the 2013 Intergeneration Storytelling Contest. Her story "Rings" received a Certificate of Distinction from the same contest, sponsored by the Intergeneration Foundation.










Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery) by Bill Ramsey

Lifeswrite Press
$14.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
January, 2014
Available at

Angela Leigh Tucker had not expected death that day. Newlywed, thirty years old and a successful public relations professional, she and her husband were driving home when a semi-truck hurtled over the lane divider and crushed their SUV. Her husband died on impact. She was left hanging onto life by a thin, golden thread. With her brain severely injured and her neck, shoulder, and ribs broken, she had instantly lost everything but her will to live.

In the two years following the crash, with the help of doctors, therapists, friends and family, she fought to recover and to rebuild an entirely new life. This is the inspiring story of her recovery.

Today, Angela lives independently in New York City. The injury transformed her life in many surprising and positive ways. Today, she is an advocate for millions of people who have survived and now live with their own brain injury. She has "been there" and her experience informs and inspires us all.  

During his forty year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote technical manuals, magazine articles, and business newsletters. Retired and living in the mountains of western North Carolina, he now focuses his writing on real-life topics. This is the most recent of his books. Learn of the others at "Meeting Angela for the first time just weeks after her tragic crash inspired me to research the topic of traumatic brain injury and to focus on her unrelenting and spirited battle to survive and recover. She is an amazing teacher and an inspiration. Writing about her has changed my life. Reading about her can change your life too."

Tule Publishing Group, LLC
$3.99, paperback
January, 2014
Available at

"A master class in writing compelling and unforgettable fiction. Writing the Bestseller deserves a spot right beside your keyboard..."
—Elizabeth Boyle, NYT bestselling author of Love Letter from a Duke and If Wishes Were Earls

Writing the Bestseller offers practical advice and wisdom from a dozen successful authors who have sold hundreds of thousands of books, experiencing all the ups and downs of the publishing industry. What to do, what not to do, as romance and commercial fiction have their own rules.

Writing the Bestseller doesn't sugar-coat the work involved. Instead, authors who've been there tell you how to understand the genre and reader expectations. The rewards of writing a bestseller are worth the effort, and these authors share what they've learned over the years so you, too, can succeed in today's competitive market.

The contributors include NCWN member Kim Boykin.

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman: she needs your vote! Her story "The Bucket List" is one of five finalists in a weekly writing contest sponsored by Midlife Collage. Go to to read and comment on the stories! Then vote for it in the Closing Argument section. It's an extremely close race, and voting ends at noon on Sunday, February 3. So get out the vote! Every vote counts.

 Hats Off! to Joseph Cavano, who is proud to announce that his baby, “The Widows Tale,” has been accepted for publication. It will appear later this year in the Press 53 anthology, Everywhere Stories: Fiction from a Small Planet. Editor Cliff Garstang received over 600 submissions. The author has just completed a new short story collection he hopes to have published sometime in 2014.

 Hats Off! to Kim Church of Raleigh, author of the debut novel Byrd, will be featured at the 20th annual Virginia Festival of the Book, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The Festival, which takes place March 19-23, is held in venues throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County, VA, and is now the largest educational book event in the mid-Atlantic, drawing a cumulative annual attendance of more than 20,000.







Senior Scribbles: Second Dose by Chuck Thurston

Second Wind Publishing
$9.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-938101915
January, 2014
Available from your local bookstore or

"Chuck Thurston is one of those rare writers who…..leads you off in one direction only to deliver you somewhere else, and it is always somewhere you find fascinating……because, though Thurston seems to be writing about himself, he turns out to be writing about you……with such generous respect for the reader that you feel both welcome and in awe, as though you've been invited into someone else's home, and through its windows is new world.

"In the same manner, these pieces redefine nostalgia…..normally presented in print as a treacly memorial to the better that once was. Thurston gently pooh-poohs this, demonstrating that the only value of the past is to bring value to the present and, rather subtly, to point to a future we need not fear.

"This then is the book you buy for a cynical friend who sees no value other than survival, and it is the book you buy for yourself when you realize your friend is not alone. Senior Scribbles.…is not an emotional is a why to. Through laid-back humor and the sense that only what is important is important, Chuck Thurston manages to shine a gentle light on his life. That brightness illuminates ours.
—Hesh Kestin, author, The Iron Will Of Shoeshine Cats

In this series of insightful, humorous essays, Chuck Thurston delights, informs and inspires his readers. This second in a series of wide-ranging vignettes is full of misdirection, nostalgia, personal insight, warmth and beautiful writing.

Chuck Thurston is one of five brothers raised on a small farm in Pennsylvania. He served in the United States Coast Guard and flew in search and rescue seaplanes. He spent over thirty years at IBM. In earlier days, in between times, and in later years he has been: a turret lathe operator in a factory; a newspaper reporter and columnist; a pick and shovel grunt for a landscaping company; an instructor for North Carolina State University in their Industrial Extension Service. He has a BS from Elmira (NY) College, and graduate degrees from SUNY Geneseo and Appalachian State University. He is married to Heidi Wibroe Thurston from Copenhagen, Denmark. The couple lives in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Their three children are grown with families of their own, and have contributed seven grandchildren—and two greats—to the mix. He has published columns, editorials, and essays in many newspapers and periodicals. Senior Scribbles: Second Dose is his second book in this series. His first, Senior Scribbles Unearthed, is available on Amazon.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "Around the Round Oak Table" has been accepted by Fragrance, a British publication. She first heard about the call for submissions through the NCWN website.


Hats Off! to Richard Krawiec, who has been asked to be on the Advisory Panel of Writing for Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating empathy through education and creative writing in order to develop a foundation of compassion on which to build a more peaceful world.


Hats Off! to Gwenyfar Rohler, whose novella is serialized this year in Encore Magazine. Titled "Contract Killer: Memoirs of a Reluctant Reaper," the latest installment is here.













Bad Blood by Ann Phillips

$12.99, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1482093896
February, 2013
Available at

Book Two in the Revenge Series!

Nathe and Addie Watson are warned by Amps, a ghost from Nathe’s past, that the Hooper-Watson Feud might still be fermenting. Nathe thinks it’s due to Bad Blood. Bad Blood—the fact that a person is bad because of his or her blood line. Is that possible? The struggle involves Glee Hooper, his wife’s nephew, which hides activity in the mountains that’s illegal.

Their daughter, Lottie, has become an object of a bet that is meant to revenge the Watson family. Can Lottie survive her marriage? Is there anyone that can intervene and save her?

The Hooper and Watson families struggle with mistrust and betrayal. Can you settle debts involving blood, or do one of the two families need to escape from the mountains to stop the fighting?

Watch the book trailer here!

Ann Phillips is mother to five children and grandmother to fifteen. Writing has always been a part of her life, whether she was making brochures for church or her varied businesses, or just making elaborate "lists" to organize her life. Her interest in genealogy inspired this series. Revenge and Bad Blood are partially based on a story of distant family members in Jackson County, North Carolina, where a "feud" took place between the Hoopers and the Watsons. She is kin to both sides. Her mother is a Hooper. Her grandfather married a Watson. When the feud occurred, a nine-year-old boy witnessed those atrocities. His true name was believed to be Leander Watson. Her website is













Allegiance and Betrayal by Peter Makuck

Syracuse University Press
$19.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8156-1015-1
March, 2013
Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or

"These stories dramatize the paradoxes of felt or forced connections as in a first kiss from a troublesome married cousin that burns the narrator’s cheek like a brand. Allegiance and Betrayal sears the reader with recognition."
—Allen Wier, author of the award-winning novel Tehano

"Makuck returns to one of the most fertile wellsprings of literature—the family. With grace and wit, he dramatizes family matters in post-World War II America, drawing attention to why families matter and what is the matter with so many of them. . . . As he points to the tragic and comic ways family members exacerbate and resolve their differences, he repeatedly surprises us with the mysterious ways people act. These stories are destined to beguile."
—Henry Hart, author of James Dickey: The World as a Lie

The stories in Allegiance and Betrayal are set in cars, on top of a water tower, in a bar, on a fishing boat, at a family farm, and at a swimming pool. Each story carries an aura of the mystery surrounding family relations, the enigma of love, the gaping rift between generations, the give-and- take between husbands and wives, and the inevitability of loss. The book begins with a suite of three stories about Tim Budney. In the first, he reluctantly leaves home and his beloved hot rod Ford to attend a small Catholic college; in the second, he experiences a conflict of allegiances—loyalty to a friend versus lying to his teacher and priest; in the third, he imagines that his uncle, a pool hustler, is in danger and returns to the uncle’s tavern where he witnesses something unforgettable. In other stories, a Yankee house painter trying to sell his car encounters a tricky, Bible-quoting southerner; a married couple hurtfully moves away from their friends of twenty years without saying goodbye or leaving an address; a near fatal scuba dive revives a friendship of many years; a family reunion turns ugly on the subject of religion; and a high school French teacher arranges an offshore fishing trip to settle a score with the football coach.

With deft prose and a generous spirit, Makuck explores the deep but subtle range of human emotion. Humorous and tender, these stories offer rich portraits of individuals struggling to overcome failed dreams and searching for an answer to the question of what truly matters.

Peter Makuck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University. He is the author of Long Lens: New and Selected Poems and two collections of short stories, Breaking and Entering and Costly Habits. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in the Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, the Nation, and Gettysburg Review.













Sam's Place: Stories by Bob Mustin

AuthorMike Ink Publishing
$14.99 paperback, $7.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9852146-6-1
March 2013
Available at your local bookstore or

Justice can be tough at Sam's Place, but the good times are better than good.

Step inside and you can play a game of eight ball, nurse a beer, or get to know a wayward preacher, a reformed hooker, an Iraq vet amputee - or Sam himself. You may watch a baby being born, see a deadly knife fight, or simply hear tall tales. But there's always a rough-hewn truth within the lies, and Sam's there to manage everything from birth to death with a righteous cant. All things considered, it isn't a bad world.

Sam's Place is a collection of interwoven short stories that revolve around a local watering hole in the Alabama town of Striven. Pull up a chair and get to know the locals in this powerful and entertaining world that is Sam's Place.

Bob Mustin has had a brief naval career and a longer one as a civil engineer, and has been a North Carolina Writers' Network writer-in-residence at Peace College under the late Doris Betts' guiding hand. In the early '90s, he was the editor of a small literary journal, The Rural Sophisticate, based in Georgia. His work has appeared in The Rockhurst Review, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Cooweescoowee, Under The Sun, Gihon River Review, Reflections Literary Journal, and many sites in electronic form. His website is













The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles through Wildness, Culture and History by Danny Bernstein

The History Press
$19.99, paperback
ISBN : 9781609497200
February 2013 Outdoors/Fitness
Available from the publisher, your local bookstore or outdoor outfitter, and

"Remindful of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Danny Bernstein’s The Mountains-to-Sea Trail also isn’t a trail guide per se. It’s a travel book. Whereas Bryson could be dour (not to say grumpy) at times, the reader senses right away there’s no other place Bernstein would rather have been than on that trail and adjacent byways, recording the incidents and personalities, anecdotes and reflections, landscapes and legends, and natural history observations brought to life in her book. This will find its place among the front ranks of books depicting outdoor life and travel in North Carolina."
—George Ellison

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles through Wildness, Culture and History focuses on the beauty, quirkiness, and vibrancy of the 1,000 miles trail from Clingmans Dome in the Smokies to Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks. Danny recounts her walk through North Carolina and discusses the highlights and challenges of walking the MST. Meeting people is also a vital part of walking the trail. As a mountain hiker from western North Carolina, she talks about the unexpected and unusual sights she encountered in the rest of the state and show slides.

The route takes in Frazer fir trees and pelicans, old grist and textile mills, working cotton and tobacco farms, Revolutionary War sites, and two British Cemeteries complete with Union Jacks. Author Danny Bernstein shares stories that will captivate the curious, adventurous, hiker, biker, and history and culture buff.

See the book trailer here!

Danny's mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking. Her motto is “No place is too far to walk if you have the time.” Danny plans to die with her boots on.

A committed hiker for over 40 years, she's completing the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the South beyond 6000, many other hiking challenges, and, of course, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. She maintains sections of the MST and the A.T. She’s written two hiking guides, Hiking the Carolina Mountains (2007) and Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains (2009) published by Milestone Press and blogs at


Hats Off! to Malinda Dunlap Fillingim, whose poem "Biscuits" has been selected by the Winston-Salem poetry project, Poetry in Plain Sight, for its March 2013 edition.


Hats Off! to Glenda Barrett, whose poem "Final Wish" was accepted by Barely South. Also, her essay "The French Harp" was accepted for Bread 'n Molasses.












The Book of Asher: Memoirs of a Passionate Jewish Life by Sonia Usatch-Kuhn

$41.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-47726-470-6
January, 2013
Available from the publisher, your local bookstore, or

Asher Leon Edelstein has been described as a spirited, learned, force of nature—a complex, focused man on-the-go. He lived his life guided by seven principles: gratitude, friendship, smiles, connectedness, honor, reverence, and acceptance. Become acquainted with this Raleigh, North Carolina, dynamo, who consistently remained true to his love of Torah, family, and every stranger who crossed his path under all manner of circumstance. Feel the energy of the first Jewish basketball player for Georgia Tech, his escapades on the golf course (including Augusta), his “sweetly-filled” teaching method that endeared him to his coming-of-age bar and bat mitzvah students. Asher’s cantorial voice enthralled the congregants of Beth Meyer Synagogue. Storyteller, food lover, and mover and shaker, Asher was inspirational.

Sonia Usatch-Kuhn is the author of Noodle Kugel & Life’s Other Meichels and the editor of Living in the Rooms of our Lives. Her poems, short stories, and articles have been published in Main Street Rag, The Journal of Poetry Therapy , and numerous anthologies. She was a contributing author for Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making. Usatch-Kuhn has been a correspondent for the Raleigh News & Observer's community paper, Southwest Wake News , and for the NBC produced website, On Long Island, she taught second-year medical students at Stony Brook School of Medicine. She is passionate about the words of playwrights and has appeared on stage in New York, Raleigh, Durham, and Cary. She and her husband call Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, home.


Hats Off! to Valerie Nieman, whose poem "Live With It," published in the ...and Love... anthology edited by Richard Krawiec, has been accepted for the new Virgina Quarterly Review Instapoetry project. She's "jazzed to think of this poem visualized."

Shadows Trail Them Home by Scott Owens and Priscilla Campbell

Clemson University Press
$15.00, paperback
ISBN: 0-978-9835339-7-9
December, 2012
Available from the publisher

"Shadows Trail Them Home is an excellent and compelling novel in poetry, an important contribution to the cultural canon of American life, presented in an engaging but disturbing context. It needs to be read by a wide audience, not only those who have faced abuses as children, as the two main characters have and, consequently, suffer severe (but not disabling) life-long responses, but also by a reading public that treasures poetry that fuses superior writing with major social issues. This penetrating book is compassionately narrated, as it articulates the extent to which the past can never really be overcome, even though one may be bent on altering it."
—Ronald Moran, author of The Jane Poems and Waiting

"The story of Norman and Sara exposes innumerable shades of joy and pain in our deepest human drive—the one that dances us toward, away from, but ever toward love."
—Suzanne Hudson, prize-winning author of In the Dark of the Moon

"Scott Owens and Priscilla Campbell create characters by reading our souls, create scenes by framing the pictures that live in our memories, too raw to remember, too vivid to ever completely ignore, and in these poems, they have a die-hard nonfiction writer turning pages as fast as possible to see what happens next. I didn't know poets could do that. Scott Owens and Pris Campbell can."
—Shari Smith, author of Gunpowder, Cowboy Boots, and Mascara

Scott Owens is the author of ten collections of poetry. His prior work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/ Indie Lit Awards, the North Carolina Writers' Network, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of South Carolina. His more than 1,100 published poems have been in Georgia Review, North American Review, Chattahoochee Review, Southern Poetry Review, The South Carolina Review, Poetry East and elsewhere. He is the founder of Poetry Hickory, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review and 234, and vice president of the Poetry Council of North Carolina and the North Carolina Poetry Society. He has taught at the college, high school, middle school, and community levels for more than twenty-five years. Born and raised in Greenwood, South Carolina, he currently teaches at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina.

The poems of Pris Campbell have been published in numerous journals. The most recent include PoetsArtists, The Dead Mule, Outlaw Poetry Network, Rusty Truck and Wild Goose Review. She has had six poetry collections published by the small press and has been included in a number of anthologies. Her most recent collections include Sea Trails, a riff from her trip down the east coast in a twenty-two-foot sailboat, published by Lummox Press, and Postscripts to the Dead, published by MiPOesias Publishing. One of her poems is featured in The Poet’s Market 2013. Nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and numerous Best of the Net awards, she also was recently contacted by Pearson Publishing for permission to include one of her poems in their next textbook alongside Margaret Atwood. A former Clinical Psychologist, she has been sidelined by ME/CFS since 1990 and makes her home in the greater West Palm Beach, Florida. Her website is


Hats off! to Carol Cooley, whose essay was chosen for a second volume anthology, Unruly Catholic Women Writers, Creative Responses to Catholicism. The essay collection will be published by SUNY Press. The release date is slated for November 2013.


Hats Off! to Kathryn Etters Lovatt of Camden, SC, who has been named SC Arts Commission's Prose Writer for 2013. This $5,000 grant is awared every other year.


MHRA Building, UNCGGREENSBORO, NC—Pre-registration for the 2013 North Carolina Writers' Network's annual Spring Conference is now closed, but attendees can still register on-site Saturday, April 13, at 8:30 a.m., at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The 2013 Spring Conference will move into a new home in UNCG’s Moore Humanities and Research Administration (MHRA) Building. Located at the corner of Spring Garden and Forest Streets, the MHRA Building offers easier access to those coming from off-campus.

In addition, UNCG’s Creative Writing Program—a co-sponsor of the Spring Conference—will provide free parking for registrants in the adjacent Oakland Avenue Parking Deck.

The NCWN Spring Conference draws writers, at all levels of skill and experience, from across North Carolina and beyond for a full day of workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and the business side of writing. Attendees will be treated to faculty readings and can share their own work at the open-mic reading. They also can sign up for “Lunch with an Author,” their chance to engage in informal conversation with accomplished writers.

Conference-goers this year will need to pre-register for “Lunch with an Author,” as there will be no on-site registration available for this conference offering. Food will be provided, so that participants 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.)

Courses include two all-day, two-session workshops: “Animating Fiction” with Lee Zacharias, and a creative nonfiction workshop, “Writing Personal Essays and Memoir.” One-session course offerings will be led by John McNally and Lynn York (fiction), Scott Huler and Cynthia Nearman (creative nonfiction), and Carolyn Beard Whitlow and John Rybicki (poetry). Scott Nicholson will teach a class on self-publishing e-books, while Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White will lead a workshop for “Authors as Entrepreneurs.”

100 Poems by 100 Poets (Unicorn Press)In the afternoon, a Publishing Panel including Stephen Kirk of John F. Blair, Publisher, Robin Miura of Carolina Wren Press, and Kevin Morgan Watson of Press 53, will answer questions about what they look for in a manuscript and the evolving realities of 21st Century publishing. After looking ahead to the future of books, Andrew Saulters of Greensboro’s Unicorn Press will close the day with a look back, leading a hands-on demonstration of traditional bookbinding, so that conference registrants can turn their well-crafted words into well-crafted objects.

Registration is available online at or by calling 336-293-8844.

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













Macaroni Ponytail by Irene Menendez

$19.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4772-8589-3
November, 2012
Children's Illustrated Story Book
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, and

This inspired and true story began when our grandchildren, Emily and Speight, visited my husband Bill and me during the summer of 2012. Our daughter Jennifer challenged us to potty train Emily while she was visiting. The challenge turned out to be both fun and successful, with all of us collaborating as the amazing experience developed. We want to share this experience with others in the hopes that it will spark imaginations everywhere so children can be potty trained in a fun and fanciful way. We thank you for reading Macaroni Ponytail and hope you and your child enjoy it as much as we enjoyed experiencing and writing it. (Irene Menendez)

Irene Menendez and her husband Bill called Long Island, New York, home for over forty years where they both had careers in corporate America. They are now retired and enjoying life in Wilmington, North Carolina. Irene loves to create and Bill’s passion is golf. They never suspected they would start writing children’s books. Macaroni Ponytail is the first in a series of children’s books inspired by their experiences with their grandchildren Emily and Speight. Their goal in sharing these stories is to stimulate and spark imaginations everywhere.


Hats Off! to new author in town, Irene Menendez. Macaroni Ponytail, her first illustrated children's book, appeared in "New and Notable" by Ben Steelman of the Wilmington Star-News, and her first booksigning was held at Two Sisters Bookery in Wilmington with standing room only.


Cold Feet by Karen Pullen












Cold Feet by Karen Pullen

Five Star Cengage
$25.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1432826376
January 16, 2013
Available from your local bookstore or

"“Stella Lavender [is] the appealing 26-year-old heroine of Pullen’s absorbing first mystery … Readers will hope to see a lot more of Stella in future installments.”"
Publisher's Weekly

“Stella Lavender, an SBI undercover narcotics agent, really wants to work homicide. Her boss should listen because she has both the smarts and the nerves. Karen Pullen combines good suspense with such nice touches of humor that this strong debut promises to turn into a habit-forming series.”
—Margaret Maron, award-winning author of the bestselling Deborah Knott series

"Karen Pullen of Pittsboro has just had her debut mystery published and it's a winner. The protagonist, Stella Lavender, is an undercover narcotics agent who gets pulled into a murder investigation at a local bed and breakfast. The author herself runs the Rosemary House bed and breakfast in Pittsboro so she definitely knows her stuff. Before that she was a math teacher and an engineer so she brings a wealth of different experiences to her writing which makes it all the richer."
—Sarah, Quail Ridge Books & Music

What happens when an undercover drug agent, two religious scammers, a stalkerish ex-girlfriend and a cocaine dealer attend an elegant outdoor wedding in central North Carolina? Someone gets cold feet. In this traditional mystery, SBI agent Stella Lavender investigates her first homicide. BookList: “The fast pace; multiple plot strands, which work together nicely; and the well-drawn characters, including strong-willed, intelligent Stella, distinguish this promising new series.”

Karen Pullen left a perfectly good job at an engineering consulting firm to make her fortune—(er, maybe not)—as an innkeeper and a fiction writer. Her B&B has been open for twelve years, and she's published short stories in Every Day Fiction, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Outreach NC, and Spinetingler. She lives in Pittsboro. Her website is


Hats Off! to LC Fiore and Richard Krawiec, who finished first and second respectively in the Winston-Salem Writers Ten-Minute Play Contest. Fiore's "The Pit" and Krawiec's "Disabilities" will be given a staged reading and a discussion, moderated by Nathan Ross Freeman, in late April.


North Carolina Literary ReviewNORTH CAROLINA--There are only three days left for contestants to submit to the 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. All entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, February 15!

This competition honors acclaimed author and North Carolina native Doris Betts, three-time winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award and recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, among many other honors. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication in NCLR.

Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill won the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story "Boundaries." This was Mr. Wolf's second award, having also won in 2007 for his story, "Distance." "Boundaries" will be published in the 2012 issue of NCLR, along with the second-place story, "The Honey Wagon," by Joseph Cavano.

The 2011 competition drew nearly 100 entries. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is sponsored by the Network and managed by the editorial staff of the North Carolina Literary Review. Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations.

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize
Postmark deadline: February 15 (annual)
Submissions accepted: January 1 – February 15

Eligibility and Guidelines:


  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of NC or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. NCLR subscribers with NC connections (who live or have lived in NC) are also eligible.
  • The competition is for unpublished short stories up to 6,000 words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts. No simultaneous submissions.
  • Submit story electronically via the NCLR’s online submission process. For electronic submission instructions and to start the online submission process, go to:
  • Author's name should not appear on the manuscript. Author will register with the NCLR’s online submission system, which will collect contact information and connect it to the author's submission.
  • An entry fee must be mailed to the NCLR office (address below) by the postmark deadline (February 15).
  • You may pay the Network member/ NCLR subscriber entry fee if you join the NCWN or subscribe to the NCLR with your submission: $10 (NCWN members, NCLR subscribers) or $20 (nonmembers/ nonsubscribers--must be a NC resident).
  • Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network. (Separate checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Literary Review only if purchasing a subscription to the NCLR.)
  • Mail checks or money orders to:

North Carolina Literary Review
ECU Mailstop 555 English
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

  • The winner and finalists will be announced in May.
  • Questions may be directed to the NCLR at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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


Randall JarrellNORTH CAROLINA--There is only one week left to submit to the Doris Betts Fiction Prize and only three weeks left before the closing of the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. Time's running out, so send in your submissions!

The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-prize winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication. The Doris Betts Fiction Prize is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network and managed by the editorial staff of the North Carolina Literary Review. For full submission guidelines, click here.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions. The contest awards the winner $200, publication in the Crucible literary journal, and an invitation for the winner to read his or her poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Founders Day activities. The contest is administered by Terry L. Kennedy and the MFA Writing Program at the UNC-Greensboro. The Final Judge is Maria Hummell, author of the novel Wilderness Run (St. Martin's) and the chapbook City of the Moon (Harperprints). For full submission guidelines, click here.

Both contests are open to any writer who is a legal resident of NC or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. NCLR subscribers with NC connections (who live or have lived in NC) are also eligible to submit to the Doris Betts Fiction Prize only.

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


Hats Off! to Lavonne Adams of Wilmington, whose new poem “Disparity,” appears in the Winter 2012 issue of CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women.


. . . to Sandra Ann Winters, whose poem “Death of Alaska” won first prize and 1000 Euros in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre in Ireland.  The Centre flew her to Cork, Ireland, where she read her winning entry February 16 at the Cork Spring Literature Festival 2011.  Her poem will be published in the Irish poetry journal, Southword.  Announcement of her winning  entry can be found at the festival blog site: .

.... to Linda Rohrbough. Linda  has an iPhone App of her workshop “Pitch Your Book” and her first novel The Prophetess I: At Risk, both coming out in Spring of 2011.

. . . to Suzy Barile, Wake Tech Community College instructor, whose essay titled "Richard Caswell Swain 1837-1872" is included in Shannon, Illinois: 150 Years -- 1860-2010, published for the Illinois town's sesquicentennial celebration. Swain was one of the first physicians in the then-frontier town of Shannon and Barile's great-great uncle. She also is the author of Undaunted Heart: The True Story of a Southern Belle & a Yankee General (Eno 2009).

......David Rigsbee’s new chapbook The Pilot House, winner of the 2009 Black River Chapbook Contest, has just been published by Black Lawrence Press.  More information is available at

. . . to Sandra Adams.  Two poems by Sandra Ervin Adams, "Shame," and "Family of Man," appear online in the February 2010, Black History Month edition of The Dead Mule.

Maureen A. Sherbondy

At an early age I set four goals for myself: (1) earn a college degree, (2) marry, (3) have three children (yes, three, I have always been very decisive) prior to thirty, and (4) publish a book.

By twenty-nine I had checked the first three items off my life’s to-do list. Item four eluded me. Get a book published. Was I crazy? What was I thinking? I hadn’t even majored in English in college. I had no publishing contacts, yet I continued to write and read and refine my craft. Alone. It was a solitary act, this writing business. I managed to send some poems and stories out and get a few pieces published. But a book! This task seemed impossible.

Then in 1996 I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Everywhere I went, someone was either writing or talking about writing—at the local Starbucks, in the YMCA locker room, at temple. For the four years I had lived in Pennsylvania, I had never once bumped into another writer. This state was different, though. Someone told me about the North Carolina Writers’ Network. I was so excited to hear that an active, thriving organization existed for people like me.

Soon, I signed up for my first NCWN conference and felt both excited and terrified. But the other writers, from Tony Abbott to Dave Manning, were so friendly. I remember people wore nametags with their chosen genres scrawled on their tags. This was a great conversation starter. Many friendships took root and blossomed. Writers whose work I admired taught informative, helpful classes. These workshop leaders were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I took notes, learned how to write better, and discovered local journals. On display tables, workshop leaders and other NCWN authors exhibited their books of poetry, fiction, or essays. I remember drooling over the covers. In my head a little voice whispered, One day my book will be on that table. This tangible goal gave me something to work toward. When my mailbox overflowed with rejection letters, when I lost yet another book contest, I thought about my book displayed on that conference table.

If I had not attended the NCWN conferences, I never would have had my first book published. Every time I attended the Fall Conference, I walked the perimeter of the vendor room, where publishers set up tables and sold their books. There, I met Scott Douglass, owner and editor of Main Street Rag Publishing. Every time I returned to the conference, I talked to him, bought some of his fine books. He was publishing wonderful North Carolina poets and poets from other states.

At the 2006 conference, I once again stopped at his table and spoke with him. By this time, my work had appeared in over a hundred literary journals, and my poetry manuscript had landed on the finalist lists of several book contests. But I was frustrated, still missing that elusive book contract. Would I be sending manuscripts to book contests when I was ninety years old? Was this last goal on my list unattainable?

I will remember this next moment always. Later in the conference, as I was talking to Susan Lefler, a poet friend whom I met years earlier at another conference, Scott Douglass tapped my shoulder and said, “I don’t usually do this, but I am inviting you to submit a book to me for consideration.”

My jaw must have dropped. I could hear my heart pounding. At first, I thought he was talking to someone else. I had been waiting my whole life for someone to say these words. So, the rest is history. I sent the book, and After the Fairy Tale was published in 2007. I was ecstatic.

Until then, I had never thought beyond achieving that book publication goal. After a book is published, actually months before, the author becomes a marketer. Having a new goal of selling my book, I quickly learned that the NCWN was an extremely important promotional resource. I was able to post my Web site link on their Web site, to mention my good news in their Book Buzz, and also to announce my upcoming readings in their calendar. And, of course, I returned to the Fall Conference with my books. Standing over the display table there and seeing my first book was a preeminent life moment. On the outside I was calm and quiet, but on the inside I was jumping up and down yelling, “I did it!”

I strongly recommend joining the NCWN for writers who are interested in improving their craft, meeting a community of supportive writers, learning about the publishing universe, and promoting their books and events. The NCWN has, in Frost’s words, “made all the difference” in my book publication journey.

Sharyn McCrumbGreensboro, NC – New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb will discuss “Keepers of the Legends: Writing about North Carolina” at  the 2009 North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference, which takes place Saturday, April 25, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the Elliott University Center at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro.

The annual event draws more than 100 writers for intensive workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, publishing, and public speaking, led by distinguished writing faculty from across the nation. This year’s conference will also feature a Publishing Panel with book and journal editors, a Faculty Reading, an Open Mike Reading for conference attendees, and “Lunch with an Author,” in which attendees share lunch and personal conversation with one of the authors on the faculty.

McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including the New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket. Her novels have won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature, the AWA Book of the Year Award, and the AWA Best Appalachian Novel.  A North Carolina native and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, McCrumb has been named a “Virginia Woman of History” for literary achievement and has won the AWA Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award.  A film of her novel The Rosewood Casket is currently in production.

Conference participants may select from a variety of half- and full-day workshops, including “Nowhere to Hide,” a creative nonfiction workshop with Sir Walter Raleigh Award-winning writer Lee Zacharias; “Local Atmospheres,” a poetry workshop with renowned poet David Roderick; “Writing Life Stories” with author Marianne Gingher, the former director of the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill; and “Playwriting Improv” with playwright Alan Cook. 

Other instructors include Quinn Dalton, Jack Riggs, and Valerie Nieman on fiction; Carolyn Beard Whitlow on poetry; Carol Roan on reading and speaking for an audience; and NCWN executive director Ed Southern on nonfiction.

Registration for the conference—made possible with support from the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, UNC-Greensboro, and the North Carolina Arts Council—is $100 for Network members, $150 for non-members.

For more information and to see a full schedule click here

To register online via our secure server click here, or call (919) 251-9140 for more information.

Brunch Fundraiser to Honor "Blythe Spirits," Family of Writers

Carrboro, NC, 9 January 2007 – the North Carolina Writers' Network ( is hosting a fundraiser brunch to honor writer, Will Blythe and his family on Saturday, February 10th at the Fearrington Barn beginning at 10:30 am. In addition to serving as editor of Esquire Magazine, Blythe also earned renowned for his book To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry.

The event additionally recognizes the other literary members of the Blythe family including Will's sister, Anne and his grandfather, Literary Hall of Fame inductee, William LeGette Blythe.

The brunch occurs at the Fearrington Barn in Pittsboro, NC before the Carolina-Wake Forest basketball game on February 10th with traditional southern cuisine by Mama Dip, a reading and book signing by Will
Blythe, live Celtic Music, and a cash bar.

Will's book is getting so much buzz, with the incredible title To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever, ostensibly about the Carolina-Duke basketball rivalry, but really about so much more. It's hilarious,
pensive, poignant, Southern, Northern, and altogether charming.

Like the rest of us, Will worries about his sanity. He consults famous Columbia professor Robert Thurman and ruminates, "I had to know from the point of view of a renowned scholar and practitioner of Tibetan
Buddhism whether hatred of Duke might cause me to be unduly reincarnated, forced to spend billions of years as praying mantis or a screech owl or a coyote baying at a coldhearted moon…Baying seemed an
especially apt fate."

Duke fans will be welcome at this unique event----you may want to come just to defend yourselves!

Tickets to the event are $79.00, based on Will Blythe's graduation date from Carolina in 1979.

Proceeds go to help the NC Writers' Network continue their efforts to support and connect NC writers.

For details or to reserve tickets, please call 919-967-9540.

Brunch Fundraiser to Honor "Blythe Spirits," Family of Writers

Carrboro, NC, 9 January 2007 – the North Carolina Writers' Network ( is hosting a fundraiser brunch to honor writer, Will Blythe and his family on Saturday, February 10th at the Fearrington Barn beginning at 10:30 am. In addition to serving as editor of Esquire Magazine, Blythe also earned renowned for his book To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry.

The event additionally recognizes the other literary members of the Blythe family including Will's sister, Anne and his grandfather, Literary Hall of Fame inductee, William LeGette Blythe.

The brunch occurs at the Fearrington Barn in Pittsboro, NC before the Carolina-Wake Forest basketball game on February 10th with traditional southern cuisine by Mama Dip, a reading and book signing by Will
Blythe, live Celtic Music, and a cash bar.

Will's book is getting so much buzz, with the incredible title To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever, ostensibly about the Carolina-Duke basketball rivalry, but really about so much more. It's hilarious,
pensive, poignant, Southern, Northern, and altogether charming.

Like the rest of us, Will worries about his sanity. He consults famous Columbia professor Robert Thurman and ruminates, "I had to know from the point of view of a renowned scholar and practitioner of Tibetan
Buddhism whether hatred of Duke might cause me to be unduly reincarnated, forced to spend billions of years as praying mantis or a screech owl or a coyote baying at a coldhearted moon…Baying seemed an
especially apt fate."

Duke fans will be welcome at this unique event----you may want to come just to defend yourselves!

Tickets to the event are $79.00, based on Will Blythe's graduation date from Carolina in 1979.

Proceeds go to help the NC Writers' Network continue their efforts to support and connect NC writers.

For details or to reserve tickets, please call 919-967-9540.



CARRBORO, N.C. - The North Carolina Writers’ Network will hold its 2006 Annual Spring Conference on Saturday, May 20 at Peace College in Raleigh, N.C. from 8:30 am. until 6:30 pm.

A Writer’s Life: Blank Page to Book Tour will include workshops to help writers find inspiration for new material, refine their work, get published and promote their writing. Panels will include well-known writers and poets who will offer tales of challenges, tips on problem-solving, and wisdom on how to balance the writing life with family and other work. The conference features workshops with accomplished writers of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. A special feature is a workshop on poetic sequences with master poet James Applewhite. The conference also features a panel of booksellers, promoters, and agents who will give insight into the business side of writing.  

“This conference takes you through a day in the life of a writer,” says Cynthia Barnett, Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. “From writing new pages in the morning, to conferring with fellow writers, to getting advice on the business of publishing and coaching on reading out aloud. This year’s program offers more than ever.”

The day-long conference features books for sale by Writers’ Network members and conference faculty, publishers, open mike sessions, and a raffle drawing. The day will conclude with one-on-one critiquing sessions with Bridgette Lacy, feature writer for the News & Observer; Carol Henderson, teacher and author of critically acclaimed Losing Malcolm: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief; playwright and poet Howard Craft, recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship and two-time winner of North Carolina Central University’s New Play Project; and Lynn York, author of novels The Piano Teacher and The Wine Maker.  

Registration for the conference is $120 for Writers’ Network members and $145 for non-members. One-on-one manuscript critiquing sessions are $75, arranged in advance.  

For more information, please visit,  call (919) 967-9540, or email the Network at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Founded in 1985, the nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is reportedly  the largest statewide literary arts organization in the country. The mission of the North Carolina Writers’ Network is to connect, promote, and lead emerging writers and established writers through workshops, conferences, and other programs and services. The Network builds audiences for literature, advocates for literacy and the literary arts and provides information and support services for writers at all levels.

Thomas Wolf (that's Wolf with no e) of Chapel Hill is the winner of the Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story "Distance." North Carolina Literary Review editor Margaret Bauer remembers that when she saw the story come in, she thought, "With a name like that and living in North Carolina, I guess you have to be a writer." Wolf will receive a prize of $200 from the North Carolina Writers Network. Second place, $100, is awarded to Gregg Cusick for "Five is Red."

2006 Inductees to the NC Literary Hall of Fame Announced 

The North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) announces three Inductees for 2006 to The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, a biennial program begun in 1996. Past inductions have been held at the historic Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, in Southern Pines, N.C., but this year the ceremony, free and open to the public, will be at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham on Friday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m.  Please join us for an evening’s entertainment all North Carolinians can enjoy! 

To be honored are poet Gerald Barrax, poet and prose writer Fred Chappell, and journalist and mystery writer Elizabeth Daniels Squire. The Induction opens NCWN’s annual Fall Conference that 400-plus writers from beginners to published professionals are expected to attend.  Acclaimed writers Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina’s Poet Laureate; James Applewhite; Shelby Stephenson; Betty Adcock; Lenard Moore; and Margaret Maron will present. UNC-TV’s “Bookwatch” host, D.G. Martin, will emcee.

Poet, teacher, and literary editor Gerald William Barrax (1933-    ) earned his B.A. from Duquesne and M.A. from the U. of Pittsburgh. He was Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at NCSU from 1970 until his retirement in 1997; editor of Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review; and poetry editor for Callaloo, the premier African Diaspora literary journal. A major influence on young writers, Barrax has been anthologized in more than three dozen works. His noted book Leaning Against the Sun: Poems (1992) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Among his other awards are the Raleigh Medal of Arts (1993) and the Sam Ragan Award for Contribution to the Fine Arts. 

Fred Davis Chappell (1936-    ), born in Canton, N.C., earned a B.A. in fiction writing and later an M.A. from Duke.  Upon graduation in 1964, he went to teach English at UNC-Greensboro, retiring in 2004 after a long and distinguished career.  Chappell is author of over forty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was Poet Laureate of North Carolina 1997-2002, and reviewed poetry for the Raleigh News & Observer, publishing his last column on June 25, 2006. One reviewer called him “truly a national treasure.”  Both humorist and visionary, with a gifted eye for details of character, Fred writes poetry and fiction that has earned the following accolades:  The North Carolina Award for Literature; Yale University Library’s Bollingen Prize in Poetry; France’s prestigious Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers; and the T.S. Eliot Prize.  “Anybody who knows anything about Southern writing,” Lee Smith said in 2005, “knows that Fred Chappell is our resident genius, our shining light.” 

Elizabeth Daniels Squire (1926-2001), reporter, philanthropist, nationally syndicated columnist, and mystery writer, was born in Raleigh, N.C., to Jonathan Daniels and Elizabeth Bridgers Daniels. She graduated from Vassar College, then became a reporter for the New York Times. Squire published fiction and non-fiction on palmistry, mail-order shopping, journalism heroes, and crime detection. Liz told a reporter, “My life has been interesting every minute, which is why I constantly steal bits of it to weave in with my fiction—like a flood or an encounter with a rattlesnake.”  In 1994 she created the character of Peaches Dann, an absent-minded detective.  An Agatha Award winner, Liz was working on her ninth mystery at the time of her death.

For more details, see


Final judge Sharyn McCrumb selected Billie Harper Buie of Asheville, NC as the winner of the 2007 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize of the N.C. Writers Network, for her short story, "Shining Rock Wilderness." McCrumb praised Buie's story highly, saying, "This was a moving story, well told, and without a pat happy ending. . . . This story read as if one were hearing a real housecleaner talk about her day, and it is the convincing voice of this character, coupled with the poignant vignette of an abused child, that made 'Shining Rock Wilderness' such a memorable work." Buie will receive a $1,000 prize from the Network, and her story will be considered for publication by The Thomas Wolfe Review.   In addition to Buie, McCrumb gave honorable mentions to Jason Mott of Bolton, NC, for his story, "The Dream that was Arcadia," and to Leslie McCray of Cartersville, GA, for her story, "Climbing the Sphinx." 

McCrumb, the highly acclaimed author of two NASCAR novels, Once Around the Track and St. Dale, is perhaps best known for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains. Her novels include New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket, which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness. Other novels include The Ballad of Frankie Silver and Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians. St. Dale won a 2006 Library of Virginia Literary Award as well as the AWA Book of the Year Award. Once Around the Track will be published this June. 

Billie Harper Buie, who lives in Asheville with her husband and three children, is a member of the Great Smokies Writing program at UNC-Asheville where she has been a member of its advanced prose workshop for six years. Buie has recently had a story published in CALYX journal. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and has an MA in landscape architecture from N.C. State. Jason Mott received his BFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where his is also pursuing his MFA. McCrumb said of his story, "This story was like a day trip into a disordered mind. Creating a believable OCD character who is neither absurd nor extreme is a difficult task, and this writer managed it well." Of Leslie McCray, McCrumb wrote, ". . .this is the writer I voted 'Most Likely to Be Able To Quit Her Day Job Someday.' She writes likeable characters, and she tells a good story with a clear point to it."   McCray and her husband operate a community theatre in Cartersville, GA, where she is involved in local arts organizations. She has finished a collection of short stories, started another, and is polishing her first novel. 

The North Carolina Writers' Network serves writers at every stage of development through programs that offer ample opportunities for professional growth in skills and insight. The Network builds audiences for literature, advocates for the literary arts and for literacy, and provides information and support services. For further information or if you are interested in becoming a member please call (919) 967-9540.

"The wisest teacher of writing I know."
--Peter Elbow, from the Foreword of Writing Alone and with others by Pat Schneider
“Pat Schneider is a fuse lighter. Her work is gentle, playful, brilliant, and revolutionary. She is the real animal."--Julia Cameron, author of The Right to Write and The Artist's Way 
“Pat Schneider’s method was a wonderful revelation. There was a dramatic increase in self-confidence in the student writers in my classroom.” - Cynthia Kennison, AWA workshop leader 


Leader of Groundbreaking Workshop Comes to N.C. to Offer Special Opportunity to Teachers.

For teachers of creative writing workshops, for public school teachers of all grades and for anyone who works with marginalized populations, a special Sunday afternoon workshop is being offered to teachers just this year as an introduction to Pat Schneider’s groundbreaking writing techniques. Pat Schneider, the founder of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method, who had originated these workshops in a MassachusettsSewanee Review, Minnesota and, Ms. Magazine. For more about Pat Schneider and her work, see housing project 15 years ago and now has 400 certified writing workshop leaders, will teach the class herself. She has published widely in literary journals and magazines, including Review

The workshop, Sunday, July 9, 1-5 pm will begin with a short introduction and a DVD presentation on working with young writers. Participants can receive .4 contact hours of Teacher Continuing Education credits. This four hour workshop will be held at The Peace College Campus in Raleigh, NC. and is sponsored by the N.C. Writer’s Network. The fee is $60 for the afternoon.

The North Carolina Writers Network, founded in 1985, is one of the largest statewide writer’s organizations in the nation. It fulfills its mission to connect, promote, the writing community by offering national spring and fall conferences and also critiquing services. The Network awards writers more than $30,000 annually in honoraria, competition prizes, and stipends through its competitions. For further information about the workshop, you can go to the website: or call Virginia Freedman or Marjorie Hudson at (919)967-9540.






Carrboro, NC, 30 Oct. 2007 – This fall, North Carolina writers are eagerly anticipating the state’s most valuable professional development opportunity to explore the publishing and writing world: The North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference on Writing and Publishing. 


The conference runs from 5pm Friday, Nov. 16 to 1pm Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Hawthorne Inn Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem. Registration is open through Wednesday, Nov. 7. Registration ends at midnight on Nov. 7 if registering online; it ends at 5pm if registering by calling the NC Writers’ Network at 919-967-9540. Walk-in registration is also available.

The conference features three days of classes, panels and special events on the craft of writing, techniques for getting published, and networking opportunities with editors, agents and other writers. It offers more than 35 classes and workshops; manuscript critiques with distinguished teaching  writers; pitch sessions with agents and editors; faculty readings; master classes in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry; a cocktail reception on Friday with honored Winston-Salem guests and faculty, and more.

The keynote speaker is well-known author Jill McCorkle, a Lumberton native, at 9pm Friday. (The Jill McCorkle keynote is free and open to the public. All other speakers and events are for conferees only.) Robert Morgan (Gap Creek; Boone: A Biography), a native of Hendersonville, will give a talk at Saturday’s banquet. Winston-Salem educator and filmmaker Nathan Ross Freeman of the Winston-Salem Youth Arts Institute will perform with four young poet friends at Saturday’s luncheon. Saturday morning’s “Breakfast with Author” talk features Carole Boston Weatherford of High Point (whose latest book, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, is a Caldecott Honor Book) in conversation with Kim Underwood of the Winston-Salem Journal. Sunday morning’s “Breakfast with Authors” features Salisbury native and New York Times best-selling author John Hart (King of Lies; Down River) and Louise Hawes of Pittsboro, a children’s’ and short story writer whose 14 books include the new Anteaters Don’t Dream, in conversation with editor Lauren Mosko.

UNC-TV’s “Bookwatch” host D.G. Martin recently wrote, ”If you ask me, ‘How do I get published?’, my answer will be: Go to the Writers’ Network Fall Conference. Then we’ll talk…… You will rub shoulders with North Carolina literary heroes like Jill McCorkle, Robert Morgan, Randall Kenan and Tony Abbott. Over the years, this conference has been instrumental in generating publishing deals for North Carolina writers. It has a reputation as one of the best - and most affordable - conferences of its kind for writers in the country.”

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to connect, promote and lead the writing community from beginners to published professionals. Its annual conference is held in different regions of the state each year. The Network’s publications, programs and services are made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council.


Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Writing Residency Expanded in 2007


Carrboro, NC –From July 8 to 13, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer five days of writing workshops at Peace College, close to downtown Raleigh. This offering is an intimate alternative to the large summer conferences and a rare opportunity to create new bonds in your writing community, get manuscript critique, and take time to focus on generating new ideas. This year’s Writing Residency program has expanded to include four workshop areas: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and the Amherst Writers and Artists Method. To register or for more details, please go to or call (919) 967-9540.

The Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Writing Workshops include:

Poetry workshop : Inspiration and Crafting the Poem, with Evie Shockley
This workshop will encourage poets to identify and capitalize on their strengths, but also to step outside of their comfort zones and experiment with techniques and topics that are less familiar to them. –

Fiction workshop: Strategies and Winning Game Plans, with Bill Henderson
In this workshop, beginning and experienced writers will read and critique each other's work with particular attention to character, story or chapter structure, and style, the three key elements of a winning game plan.

Creative Nonfiction workshop : True Stories, with Sebastian Matthews .This class is designed for both beginning and advanced writers. In it, we will work with a variety of creative nonfiction forms, including personal essay and memoir. We will read and discuss published creative nonfiction, workshop each other's work and explore revision strategies.

Amherst Writers And Artists Method workshop: From Revery to Revelation -- Freeing the Voices Within, with Carol Henderson
Based on the Amherst Writers and Artists method, this workshop is appropriate for all skill levels -- from the professional, looking to discover new creative sparks, to the beginner, eager to delve into the challenges of writing for the first time. Come prepared to write a lot.  


The North Carolina Writers' Network serves writers at every stage of development through programs that offer ample opportunities for professional growth in skills and insight. The Network builds audiences for literature, advocates for the literary arts and for literacy, and provides information and support services. or call (919) 967-9540.

The North Carolina Writers' Network
Brings Creative Writing Conference to UNCG

Carrboro, NC – On Saturday, June 2, 2007, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will bring its annual Spring Conference for Writers to the UNCG Campus in Greensboro, NC, for the first time.  In collaboration with UNCG’s Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, the conference will feature talented area faculty and keynote Fred Chappell, past poet laureate of North Carolina.

This conference is a rare opportunity for area writers and aspiring writers to work in small-format All Day Workshops with Quinn Dalton (Fiction) and Marianne Gingher (Memoir). In addition, attendees will have access to intensive courses in Poetry (Stuart Dischell and Carolyn Beard Whitlow), Creative Nonfiction (Lee Zacharias), and Fiction (Michael Parker). Editors from Press 53, Main Street Rag Press, International Poetry Review, and the Greensboro Review will provide a panel about what it takes to get published.

Two conference events are free and open to the public:

  • Midmorning Keynote with Fred Chappell and
  • Faculty Reading and Book Signing at 4:15.

The conference will take place at the Elliott University Center, from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Workshop attendance is limited to registrants only. For more information or to register for the conference, see or call 919-967-9540.

The North Carolina Writers' Network serves writers at every stage of development through programs that offer ample opportunities for professional growth in skills and insight. The Network builds audiences for literature, advocates for the literary arts and for literacy, and provides information and support services. For further information or if you are interested in becoming a member please call (919) 967-9540.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Center for Creative Writing in the Arts aspires to foster the efforts of those who believe in the power of the crafted word to transform and to improve our lives as individuals and as a society. The beginning wordsmith and the established word master, the student and the professional alike will find in the Center a place from which to draw strength, encouragement and support in producing their work and in finding the opportunity to share it with others.


Sherry Shaw of Gastonia, NC  is the winner of the 2006 Thomas Wolfe Fiction prize.Humphreys, the distinguished author of four widely acclaimed novels, most recently Nowhere Else on Earth (2000), also named two honorable mentions, “The Descent” by Lis Anna of Asheville, NC, and “Outside the Lines” by Therese Fowler of Raleigh, NC. A former student of Doris Betts at UNC-CH, she received her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, where her fiction took top honors. Shaw has won a Fellowship in Literature from the NC Arts Council and a grassroots artist grant from the United Arts Councils of  Mecklenburg /Gaston County. She lives in Gastonia with her husband and has  recently completed a novel.

“To win is a great honor,” Shaw said. “This competition is but one example of how the North Carolina Writers Network is a great resource for writers and book lovers across our state. Conferences, author readings and other events create a feeling of community that inspires me to write. You know they are there for you and they want to help you to succeed. Whether you’re a writer or simply love books, their work is key to promoting literature.”  

The first honorable mention winner, Lis Anna, is a prize-winning writer, film maker, and photographer. Her films have been screened internationally, and her photography published in Asheville Through the Seasons, a coffee table book by Twin Lights Publishers. Therese Fowler, the second honorable mention winner, is a 2005 graduate of North Carolina State University’s new creative writing MFA program. She works as editorial assistant for the literary journal, Obsidian III. 

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, one of the N.C. Writers Network’s most popular and successful competitions , had been suspended for several years, but was re-instituted in 2005 by the Board of Directors, and will be continued annually. The final judge for the 2007 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize has not yet been selected, but will be announced in the coming months. Lisa Shearin. The next two books in Lisa's Raine Benares fantasy adventure series were sold to Anne Sowards at Ace Books by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency. Edwina Rooker. Her work "It Was All About 'The Circle'" won 2nd place in the nonfiction category of the 2007 Carteret Writers contest. Her poem "Billy Strayhorn" won Honorable Mention in the James Larkin Pearson Contest sponsored by The Poetry Council of North Carolina. Her World War II poem, "Lost Romance," appeared in the "Looking Back" anthology of Old Mountain Press.
..... to Susan Meyers. Her poetry book "Keep and Give Away" from USC Press has won the SIBA (Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance) award. Allan Jefferys, who is now writing a weekly column (Sundays) for the newspaper,The Pilot, which is published Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from Southern Pines, NC. Jefferys has written two novels and is a former New York, NY theatre critic. Katherine S. Crawford. Her historical novel Unto the Hills , won first place in the historical fiction category 2007 Paul Gillette Writing Contest, given by the Pikes Peak Writers' Conference. Crawford was also awarded a writers' residency in October 2007 to the Montana Artists Refuge. Brenda Kay Ledford. She received the 2007 Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her poetry chapbook, SHEW BIRD MOUNTAIN . It was published by Finishing Line Press. For more information, go to: Gerald Smith. His long essay, “The Pilgrim’s Procrastination,” in the current edition (Spring 2007) of The South Carolina Review. It appears in the section Republic of Letters and can be verified via this link Kathy Norcross Watts whose non-fiction short story "Goin’ Fishin’" was named the Linda Flowers Prize winner by the N.C. Humanities Council and was published in its October 2006 edition of NC Crossroads Dody Williams Her story "Baba" will be published in the February issue of Read This Magazine. Read This Magazine is a literary magazine associated with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The editor, Claire Askew, wrote the following about Dody's story: "We were very impressed by "Baba"- it was not only skillfully written but very moving-beautifully done, a gread read. I hope you'll continue writing, and maybe submit to us again in the future!" Charles Blackburn, Jr., of Raleigh, NC. a Former Writers' Network board  president, received the 2008 Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award for Literature from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. His band, When Cousins Marry, performed as part of the this reading at the event. The group recently released their debut CD, Shotgun Wedding , featuring 13 original songs. Visit for related details. Susan Barry Blair whose children’s book Adventure on the High Sea! A Family’s Sailing Voyage Across the Atlantic was the featured review in the November issue of MySchoolRocks magazine, which is distributed to all elementary students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg county. She also presented her story at this year’s North Carolina School Library Media Association Convention in Winston-Salem October 5th. Paula Offutt whose debut novel, Butch Girls Can Fix Anything, was released January 10th, 2007. The press release can be found on the publisher's website, Regal Crest Enterprises. Howard A. Goodman, whose short stories, "Husband" and "Déjà Vu" were selected for publication in Catfish Stew, the annual compilation of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop. Maureen Sherbondy Her Poem "Laundry Rant" won the 2007 Hart Crane Memorial Award from Kent State University. Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. She has been appointed as the Distinguished and Endowed Paul and Clarice Reynolds Chair of English and Associate Professor of Poetry &Writing at the University of Nebraska, Kearney. Ann Barnhill. She currently has a poem online at Poetry Southeast and will have another in the spring, 2007 issue. Another poem has been accepted in the antholgy, Mourning Sickness, and an essay has been accepted for the anthology, A Quite Place. Chris Roerden, who won the internationally recognized Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction Book for Don't Murder Your Mystery It is also one of three finalists for the Macavity Award, given by Mystery Readers International, the largest organization of its kind in the world. Alice Owens Johnson . She is a finalist in the Hidden River Arts 2006 Awards for her short story "Mrs. Peacock Did it in the Conservatory." Eleanora E. Tate, whose eleventh book, Celeste's Harlem Renaissance was released by Little Brown Books for Young Readers and has sparked a well-received "Celeste's Walking Tour" of downtown Raleigh. Her short story, "Root Beer Sit-In" was published by Scholastic Storyworks Magazine earlier this year and her chapter book Front Porch Stories at the One-Room School , was reprinted by Just Us Books, Inc. Publishers in February. Nancy Williams. Her book The Agenda 21 Conspiracy won second place from the Southeastern Writers Association Conference.
... Zach Goodson had a short story, "Christmas Tree," published in Aries, Volume XXIII Winter 2007 - 2008, a publication of Southeastern Community College, Whiteville, NC. the Hawkins family. The Anna Wooten-Hawkings Graduate Award has been established at UNC-Greensboro to support the work of outstanding graduate creative writing students.
Joomla Templates: from JoomlaShack