NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC—Whether we're writing a fiery speech; critiquing public policy; or penning a scathing letter to the editor, words have power. As writers, our first instinct, when faced with injustice, is to turn to the page. The written word is our most dangerous and effective weapon. 

On Tuesday, January 12, at 7:00 pm EST, author Tessie Castillo will lead the online class "Write to Fight" (nonfiction).

Registration is open.

The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.

In light of current events and ongoing injustices, how can writers use their craft to engage in civic participation? "Write to Fight" will discuss the art of persuasion, how writers can use their skills for activism, and the mind-traps and ethical dilemmas of writing for a cause.

Tessie Castillo is an author, journalist and public speaker who specializes in stories on criminal justice, drug policy, prison reform and racial equity. She co-wrote her first book, Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row, with four men serving death sentences in North Carolina, whom she met while volunteering at North Carolina’s Central Prison in 2014.

While volunteering, Castillo was moved by the wisdom, humility, and accountability of the men in prison. In May 2014 she wrote an editorial to The News & Observer in Raleigh, advocating for the humanity of people on Death Row. In response, the prison administration canceled her class and revoked her status as a volunteer. Castillo began writing to her former students. The letters and essays they exchanged formed the base for Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. After its publication in March 2020, the prison confiscated the book from its co-authors and banned it from NC prisons.

By offering the unique opportunity to listen and interact with people on Death Row, Castillo and her co-authors debunk the assumptions and stereotypes that shape criminal justice policy. Crimson Letters is more than just a book. It is a collaborative project that challenges us to witness and engage with humanity behind bars.

"Write to Fight" is part of the North Carolina Writers' Network's 2020-2021 series of online classes.

"The Network has offered online programming since 2016," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We're proud to already have the educational framework in place that allows us to continue to serve the writers of North Carolina, and beyond, during this time of social distancing."

The online class "Write to Fight" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, January 12, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

Register here.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

WILMINGTON—The Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition is now open for submissions. The deadline is January 15, 2021.

This prize awards $1,000 and possible publication in Ecotone to a piece of unconventional journalism not to exceed 2,000 words. Second and Third-Place winners will receive $300 and $200 respectively.

Destiny O. Birdsong will judge.

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and MacDowell, and won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Narrative Poetry Contest, and Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and her debut novel is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing in 2022. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.

Subjects for essays submitted to the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition may include traditional categories such as reviews, travel articles, profiles or interviews, place/history pieces, or culture criticism.

This competition is facilitated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Creative Writing, which runs a small press, Lookout Books, and a sister literary magazine, Ecotone.

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.

Recent contributors include Ross Gay, David Gessner, Mesha Maren, and Jennifer Tseng.

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 winner of the 2020 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition was Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin of Cullowhee, for her essay "Plum Song."

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is January 15.
  • The entry fee is $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. Send two printed copies through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 2,000 words, typed in a 12-point standard font (i.e., Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, one manuscript per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $12 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in March.
  • When you submit online at https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit, Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information. For more information about Submittable, click here.)
    • To submit as a Member of NCWN ($10), click here.
    • To submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($12), click here.
  • If submitting by mail, send submission to:
North Carolina Writers' Network
ATTN: Rose Post
PO Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

 

Registration for The Writingest State Online Conference is now, closed, and we look forward to welcoming all the attendees starting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10!

We are grateful to our sponsors, who helped make this event possible. Please take a moment to check out their websites, utilize their services, and support them as they support the literary arts.

Freedom.to is the sponsor of the "NaNoWriMo Gathering" on Thursday, November 12. Freedom.to can:

  • Block websites and apps or the entire internet if you want to. With your distractions blocked, you can get into your workflow and stay on task.
  • Help break the habit of checking whatever digital source is beckoning. The more you experience Freedom time, the more you’ll find it indispensable.
  • Treat your email like a mailbox (the mail comes and goes once a day) and enjoy your social media proactively on your time (not in respond mode.)

Over 1,000,000 Freedom users have gained control over their relationship with technology and protectetd themselves from online distractions, improving their productivity. You can too!

The "Online Happy Hour" on Tuesday, November 10, and the "One More for the Road Happy Hour" on Saturday, November 10, are sponsored by Alice Osborn: Author/Book Coach/Editor. Alice serves as a critiquer for NCWN's Critiquing and Editing Service; she's the author of three poetry collections; and she's also a singer-songwriter. Her new album is Searching for Paradise. Alice serves as the Secretary on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers' Network and serves as Regional Rep for Wake County.

Plottr will sponsor the "Prompt Party" on Saturday, November 14. Outline faster, plot smarter, and turbocharge your productivity today with the #1 visual book planning software for writers! Plottr helps you:

  • Quickly outline your book with visual story cards
  • Filter your timeline by characters, places, and tags
  • Color-coordinate your storylines to keep them organized
  • Flip the timeline to view it vertically or horizontally

For a free 30-day trial, visit www.getplottr.com

The University Press of Kentucky is the publisher of Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle's debut novel, Even as We Breathe. They will sponsor her Opening Conversation with Therese Anne Fowler on Wednesday, November 11. The University of Kentucky has sponsored scholarly publication since 1943. Currently, the press publishes 50-55 titles per year, focusing on tiles of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and the publication of significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Katie Winkler is a trustee of NCWN and the editor of Teach.Write. She'll sponsor the Open Mic sessions on Saturday, November 10. The Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Teach. Write.: A Writing Teachers’ Literary Journal is now available. Katie lives in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a writer, teacher, wife, and mother in love with all of her jobs. She is the former NCWN Regional Rep for Henderson County and is on the English Faculty at Blue Ridge Community College. 

Overall support is provded by the generous contribution of the North Carolina Arts Council, which, over more than a half-century of leadership, has provided resources for arts programming, education, and leadership across the state.

The Writingest State Online Conference is a five-day festival for writers featuring classes and conversations on the craft and business of writing, as well as a keynote address by North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, a NaNoWriMo Gathering and a Prompt Party to get creative juices flowing, online Open Mic readings and Happy Hour virtual gatherings, and an Agents & Editors panel discussion.

 

 
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