NC Literary Hall of Fame



GREENSBORO—As a fiction writer, you want to tell a good story. But how will the shape of that story influence—and be influenced by—the narrative?

What about the world you're trying to build? Does it lie there static like a cardboard cutout? Or is it a dynamic world filled with people or things that interact and exchange dialogue every now and then?

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 27, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, can help you settle these questions for yourself, and more.

Registration is now open.

Writers interested in fiction, or those who want to sample a broader selection of classes, may register for several offerings.

Krystal A. Smith, whose debut collection of speculative fiction Two Moons: A Collection of Short Fiction came out last year from BLF Press, will lead the session "Writing Speculative Fiction: World Building to Shape Story."

World building plays a major role in a speculative fiction story’s believability. Environment often motivates a character’s actions and attitudes. In this workshop, writers will practice world building techniques and create context for characters’ actions, thoughts, needs, and desires.

Kathryn Schwille, author of the novel, What Luck, This Life, which was selected by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the best Southern books of 2018, will lead the session "The Art of Dialogue."

Talk is easy. Dialogue? That’s something else. In this class, participants will talk about what makes good dialogue--how to use it and when, what it can do and what it can’t. How can speech reveal character? How can it be planted in a garden that enriches it? Attendees will start with a short exercise, then look at the work of master story-tellers. In the meantime, eavesdrop on their fellow humans, and listen for the unsaid.

"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


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