NC Literary Hall of Fame



GREENSBORO—You know the old expression, "You have to crawl before you learn to walk?" The same might be true for writing. Before we get published, we need to master our craft.

But eventually, we're probably going to want to be published.

That's where this year's Spring Conference sessions "The Basics of the Book Business, Parts I & II," led by literary power couple Ed and Jamie Rogers Southern, come in.

The NCWN 2019 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 27, a full day of fun on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Register at

Ed Southern, NCWN's Executive Director, will lead "The Basics of the Book Business, Part I."

Creative writing is usually solitary, personal, idiosyncratic, and emotional. Writers who want to publish their writing, though, must understand that they are entering the business world: in the case of the book business, a world with visible roots in the Renaissance, with jargon, quirks, and practices unlike any other industry.

"The Basics of the Book Business" will be less a how-to manual than a glossary or compendium of useful information for writers who hope to enter the book business, with answers to questions you may not even know to ask. Part I will cover what would-be authors likely will encounter before publication: submitting, contracting, editing, and pre-publication marketing. What counts as “published”? Why is there no such thing as an “unpublished book” or “ISBN number”? Do you need to file for a copyright before submitting your work to a publisher? (Spoiler Alert: No, but come to the class to learn why.)

Jamie Rogers Southern, the Operations Director at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, will lead "The Basics of the Book Business, Part II."

"The Basics of the Book Business, Part II," will cover what brand-new authors likely will encounter once their book is published, especially working with bookstores and booksellers to help their writing find readers. What should an author expect at a book signing? Who are these Ingram, Baker, and Taylor people that booksellers keep talking about? What are “returns” and why should authors learn to live with them?

Please note that you do not have to take both parts of "The Basics of the Book Business" to register for one of them.

Ed Southern has been Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network since 2008, after almost a decade as Sales Director and Vice President of John F. Blair, Publisher. He is the author of four books, including the short-story collectioen Parlous Angels, and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, Change Seven, The Dirty Spoon, the Asheville Poetry Review, South Writ Large, and lsewhere. He received the 2015 Fortner Award from St. Andrews University for his service to the literary arts in North Carolina.

Jamie Rogers Southern worked at the Alabama Booksmith in her native Birmingham for more than five years as event organizer, buyer, and store manager. She moved to New York in 2007 to work for the American Booksellers Association as Education Coordinator; in addition to writing and leading education sessions for ABA, she was their coordinator for BookExpo America and Winter Institute in 2008. She has been working with Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, since 2011, currently as Operations Director. Bookmarks' nonprofit independent bookstore opened in downtown Winston-Salem in July 2017.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference runs through April 21.

Register now:


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