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Every time I go to the dress boutique at Hunter Ridge, the sales clerk thinks I’m trying to steal something. I can’t blame her. I look suspicious—but I can’t help it. I like to window shop after I get off from Franklin’s Barbecue, and I always smell like chicken and pork grease and stale coffee mixed with a hint of dampness. Seems like there’s always a ketchup stain running down my sleeve or bit of barbecue sauce on my collar. Or maybe it’s A-1. Looks like I’m slowly oozing blood. Death by condiments.

I have an hour to kill before Jim picks me up, and he’s always late. Always. I don’t like waiting on a dark corner for an hour like some washed-up, middle-aged whore. So I cross the street to the boutique and watch for him out the window.

Every time Jim arrives he reeks of cigarettes and stale beer, wearing that gritty odor like a badge of honor. Ever since we had to sell my Toyota, Jim acts like he’s part of some invisible underground revolution that only he can see and hear, and I have to nod my head and play along and pretend I see what he sees, just like I did when my three-year-old niece had that imaginary dog named Duke. I try not to give Jim a hard time about it, but all I can think about when I’m placing take-out orders is how many of my overtime hours he’s been drinking away.

I shouldn’t let him drive me home, but I’m afraid to take the wheel. You never know what men are made of—I mean psychologically—until you try to take the wheel. Some of them just can’t handle it; they feel like they’ve lost control of everything in life except their truck and damn if they’re going to let someone take that from them. I’m afraid Jim will just break into pieces and float away on the wind to join his imaginary revolution.

Of course, I never buy anything when I go in the dress shop, and maybe that’s why the clerk hates me. As I enter the shop, she glares at me, convinced I’m going to cram the latest Liz Claiborne into my pocketbook and bolt. She watches me the entire time; I know because I feel a sharp tinge at the bottom edge of my shoulder blade like she’s drilling a hole through my skin. I call her Bea, although I’m sure that’s not her name. It’s probably something more like Beatrice or Belinda or something that has at least three syllables. Bea’s makeup is always perfect, and her deep coffee complexion looks like she was sculpted from dark marble. Her nails are perfectly manicured the way I used to have mine done every other Thursday. I stuff my stubby nails into my pocket—they won’t allow us to have long nails since that guy in Conetoe found a fake fingernail in his fried chicken livers and sued. The policy came down from corporate, and if it came down from corporate, it might as well have come down from Mount Sinai.

I have $40 in tips crammed into a wad in my pocket. I nervously pass my stubby fingers over the dollars because I’m afraid if I stop touching them, I’ll forget where I put them.

I used to hate Bea for her pulverizing stares, but now I realize I can’t blame her. I would feel the same way if I had to walk a mile in her $85 heels.

Before I realize, I’m in the hat section. All kinds of hats. Black women know their hats; at least, that’s what Mamma always told me. Every Sunday when I drive by the Mount Zion AME church, I see the ladies cascade out of the sanctuary wearing these beautiful, elaborate hats—hats with lace, hats with feathers, hats with beads, hats with sparkles, hats with pins, hats without pins, hats that match dresses, hats that don’t match dresses, hats that cascade down from heaven like Jacob’s ladder. The hats remind me of the head scarves featured in the line drawings of biblical matriarchs plastered all over our Sunday school walls. Ruth. Deborah. Sarah. I swear the Technicolor glory makes me hear music.

I always wanted a bright pink hat with a fake stargazer lily on the crown and one of those velvet, forty-dollar hatboxes to store it in, the same kind of hatboxes you see folks carrying for the Queen of England whenever she goes on diplomatic visits and has to keep all of her hats looking perfectly fresh. 

“Can I help you?” Bea slithers silently beside me.

“Yeah, you can help me.”

She tries to hide her surprise, but her overly mascaraed eyelashes clap together awkwardly. Today I’m getting a hat.

“Is there something you’d like to try on?” Bea is a good foot taller than me, like an ebony Amazon daring me to put any of the crisp, silk creations on my sweaty, $5.99-buffet hair.

“Do you have one of those pink hats with the stargazer lilies on it?”

“If it’s not on the floor, we don’t have it.”

“Do you have any plain pink hats?”

“If it’s not on the floor, we don’t have it.”

I pick up a bright yellow hat with a daisy and black lace. I want to put it on my head, but then I catch a glimpse in the mirror of my greasy, blond strings falling out of their braids. I want to gently pull the strands behind my ear with my stubby, plain fingernails and settle the hat onto my head like a crown and see how it looks against my pasty, pale skin. Instead, I hold it up to my cheek, seeing if the yellow was so bright it would suck out what little blush was left in my tired cheeks. I can feel Bea exhale with relief when I place the hat back on its stand. There’s a black pillbox hat that makes me think of Jackie Kennedy, and for a moment I picture myself sitting in the convertible in Dallas, holding on to my husband while the world erupts in madness.

“Try this one.” Bea hands me a light green bucket hat with a subtle and shy yellow ribbon. “It would bring out your eyes.”

Maybe Bea isn’t afraid of me. Maybe she’s afraid of becoming me. I can’t blame her. I don’t want to become me, either.

I put on the hat and look in the mirror. It does bring out the gray and green flecks in my eyes—flecks that, to be quite honest, I’m surprised are still there. It’s $55 but is 40 percent off.

“I can return it, right? I mean, if it doesn’t fit or it doesn’t go with my outfit.”

“Of course you can return it if it doesn’t fit.” She nods and plays along. She knows I don’t have any intention of wearing it at all. She knows I’m going to take it home, feel guilty, and return it the next day. But for a few seconds in the boutique mirror, I am one of the biblical matriarchs … Mary. Lydia. Rebecca.

I pull the wadded-up $40 from my pocket—two tens and four fives. 

I hear the croupy cough of Jim’s pickup. I hand Bea the hat, which she returns to the display. I leave the store and settle into the passenger seat beside Jim.

“I almost bought a hat today.”

“You don’t need one. You don’t look good in hats,” he says.

“I don’t think so either.”

We take a shortcut through an unfinished housing development budding with naked plywood. The muffler hacks again.

“Jim, we need a new muffler.”

“We need a lot of things.” He laughs the way people laugh when nothing is funny anymore.

I shove my fingers into my pocket and rub the cash again.

When we get home, I do the dishes from last night while he checks out the sports scores.

I take a shower. He brushes his teeth. We crawl into bed.

We start to make obligatory love, but we both lose interest about a third of the way through.

Tomorrow, I will do the same thing.

 

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network seeks to serve writers of all levels and abilities, no matter where they are in their writing careers. To those ends, the NCWN 2017 Spring Conference will offer classes on the business of books, to help those writers who have a manuscript they're ready to take to market.

The NCWN 2017 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 22, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open.

Industry offerings include:

Social Media for Self-Published Authors with Russell Hatler and Nikki Brate. Self-published authors in general have a tough time promoting their books. There are literally hundreds of options available on the Internet, all for a price. Choosing among the options can be a daunting experience. Once an option has been selected, working with the people who’ve promised to deliver fame and fortune can be treacherous. This workshop showcases the experiences of a self-published author when trying to wade through the technological mire that lurks in the arena of Social Media. It also addresses the joys and sorrows of building a website and shooting and posting a YouTube video.

Big, Medium, Small, or Self: What’s the Right Publishing Option for You? with Edmund R. Schubert. Having their work published by one of the big houses in New York used to be every writer’s dream; but more and more authors today—even those who’ve successfully published with New York before—are opting instead to self-publish. And in the space between New York and self-publishing, there’s a vast spectrum of small, mid-sized, and regional publishers. Exactly what role do each of these publishers play in today’s new and ever-evolving ecosystem of books, contracts, and money?

NCWN will also host the third annual Slush Pile Live!, where a panel of editors will listen to anonymous 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! (Authors can reveal themselves at the end, but only if they want to.)

At Slush Pile Live!, the writing tips fly fast and furious—it's an event not to be missed! For more details, including a listing of panelists, click here.

Pre-registration closes April 16. Register now!

 


GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference will offer its third annual Slush Pile Live! event on Saturday, April 22. This popular program allows attendees to peek inside an editor's head while he or she reads through a stack of unsolicited submissions. All anonymous, all live! 

Registration for the NCWN 2017 Spring Conference is now open.

How does Slush Pile Live! work? 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 (prose and poetry will be read in both MHRA rooms 1214 and 1215). The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.

Then, 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! (Authors can reveal themselves at the end, but only if they want to.)

Those interested in having their anonymous submission read should bring a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work or one page of poetry (40-line max) to one of the Slush Pile Live! rooms. Submissions should be double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font. No names should appear on the submissions.

This year's panelists include: 


As many submissions as the panelists can get to in an hour, that's how many they'll read. Authors can reveal themselves at the end, to thunderous applause, befitting their bravery, but only if they want to.

“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!’ will give attendees a peek into the editorial screening process, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Other familiar programs will 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 required for this offering.

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 16. 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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—Julie Funderburk's debut poety collection, The Door that Always Opens, was published by LSU Press in 2016. Julie will lead the Master Class in Poetry at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 22, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro—where Julie once earned her MFA in Creative Writing. 

Registration for Spring Conference is now open.

In Julie's Master Class, "A Poem That Sings," she will work from the premise that poems often tell or suggest stories. Yet, as poet Ellen Bryant Voigt writes in her book of essays The Flexible Lyric, poetry’s “first allegiance must be to music.” Attendees will begin by exploring a series of model poems to discover how they present stories without being burdened by too much narrative weight, so that the poems still sing. Then, when students explore work from the class together, they will focus on the ways that these strategies and structures can provide inspiration for revision.

Those interested in attending the Master Class should submit three poems, along with their current CV, on the same day that they register for the Spring Conference. At least one of the three poems should be narrative. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The registrant's name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Master class registration is first-come, first-served, and all Master Class applications must be received by Friday, April 7. Each applicant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master 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! 

Julie Funderburk is the author of The Door that Always Opens, her first full-length collection of poetry from LSU Press (2016). She is a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences. Her poetry has appeared in many journals, including 32 Poems, Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Ploughshares. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Queens University in Charlotte, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

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.

 

GREENSBORO—Of David Payne’s novel, Ruin Creek, the reviewer for The Dallas Morning News wrote: “I begin with what may seem a bold observation: David Payne is the most gifted American novelist of his generation."

David will lead the Fiction Master Class at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 22, on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open.

In this fiction workshop, participants will begin with a discussion of the writer’s need for psychological self-awareness; or, alternatively, the dangers of “acting out” on the page, using A River Runs Through It as their text. (Everyone should read A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean.) In the afternoon session, registrants will workshop one another's submissions.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current CV in a separate attachment, on the same day that you 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 your name should appear on the submission. The sample you submit 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.

Master class registration is first-come, first-served, and all Master Class applications must be received by Friday, April 7. Each applicant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

David Payne is The New York Times Notable author of five novels and a 2015 memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, A Brother’s Story. Payne has published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Libération, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA Program at Queens University of Charlotte and gives private workshops in Hillsborough: www.davidpaynebooks.com.

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

The conference features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, "Lunch With an Author," readings, an open mic, and the third annual "Slush Pile Live!" The faculty includes poets Barbara Presnell, Julie Funderburk, and Crystal Simone Smith; fiction writers Steve Cushman and James Tate Hill; and creative nonfiction writers Melissa Delbridge and Lee Zacharias. The keynote speaker is poet Fred Chappell.

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.

 

WILMINGTON—Joseph Mills of Winston-Salem has won the 2017 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for his essay, “On Hearing My Daughter Trying to Sing Dixie.” Mills will receive $1,000, and his essay will be considered for publication by Ecotone.

“At turns funny and contemplative, ‘On Hearing . . .’ asks us to see the South in all of its glorious contradiction,” said final judge Garrard Conley, author of the memoir Boy Erased. “For any aspiring essayists out there, this writing is a lesson on tone.”

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Mills holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, and was recently honored with a 2016-2017 Excellence in Teaching Award. He has published six collections of poetry with Press 53, most recently Exit, Pursued by a Bear, which consists of poems triggered by stage directions in Shakespeare. His book This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, and his work has been frequently featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.” With his wife, Danielle Tarmey, he researched and wrote two editions of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries. He also edited a book of film criticism, A Century of the Marx Brothers. More information about his work is available at www.josephrobertmills.com.

Beth Browne of Garner won second place for her essay, “Loblolly,” and will receive $300.

“’Loblolly’ is as much about real trees as it is about words,” Conley said. “An intimate portrait of a Southern family whose relationship to land is complicated, ‘Loblolly’ is also about the lyricism of memory and meaning. But what makes this writing so unique is its insistence that style represent real substance.”

 Browne’s work has appeared in Cruising World, Salt Magazine, Walter Magazine, and many other journals. A photo essay appeared in Shadowgraph Quarterly’s Spring 2015 issue. In addition to writing and photography, Browne manages a large farm, home schools her two teenagers, and spends most weekends sailing the North Carolina coast. Her website is www.bethbrownebooks.com.

“Postcards to North Carolina from a Northenmost Island,” by Asheville’s Jessica Jacobs, came in third. Jacobs will receive $200 in prize money.

“Try to find a more precise poetic line than this: ‘Its skull is drydocked in my palm, a dumb boat of bone, ferrying nothing.’ This author's prose is a wonder, and the associative quality of this essay, which charts two very different geographies, makes this essay a treat to read,” Conley said. “To call ‘Postcards’ an essay on place would be to reduce its significance. ‘Postcards’ is, instead, a lesson on how essay can blur the lines between prose and poetry.”

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance, a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, which was winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association, and a finalist for the Julie Suk and Lambda Literary Awards. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us, a memoir-in-poems, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2016. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Associate Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and faculty for the Sewanee Young Writers' Conference. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown. More of her work can be found at www.jessicalgjacobs.com.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the Department of Creative Writing at UNC-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 North Carolina Writers’ Network. This year's contest results were rare because all the finalists are NCWN members and all are North Carolina residents.

Conley’s memoir Boy Erased (Riverhead, 2016), was featured in Buzzfeed, Travel + Leisure, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications as a must-read book. Megan Daum of The New York Times calls Boy Erased a story written "through the lens...of compassion," and Publisher's Weekly, in a starred review, calls it an "exceptionally well-written memoir." Conley's fiction and nonfiction can be found in Time, Vice, CNN, Buzzfeed, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation writers' conferences. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—Julie Funderburk's debut poety collection, The Door that Always Opens, was published by LSU Press in 2016. Julie will lead the Master Class in Poetry at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 22, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro—where Julie once earned her MFA in Creative Writing. 

Registration for Spring Conference is now open.

In Julie's Master Class, "A Poem That Sings," she will work from the premise that poems often tell or suggest stories. Yet, as poet Ellen Bryant Voigt writes in her book of essays The Flexible Lyric, poetry’s “first allegiance must be to music.” Attendees will begin by exploring a series of model poems to discover how they present stories without being burdened by too much narrative weight, so that the poems still sing. Then, when students explore work from the class together, they will focus on the ways that these strategies and structures can provide inspiration for revision.

Those interested in attending the Master Class should submit three poems, along with their current CV, on the same day that they register for the Spring Conference. At least one of the three poems should be narrative. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The registrant's name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. Accepted registrants will also be asked to circulate their drafts to others in the class prior to the conference.

Master class registration is first-come, first-served, and all Master Class applications must be received by Friday, April 7. Each applicant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master 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! 

Julie Funderburk is the author of The Door that Always Opens, her first full-length collection of poetry from LSU Press (2016). She is a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences. Her poetry has appeared in many journals, including 32 Poems, Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Ploughshares. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Queens University in Charlotte, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

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.

 

ASHEVILLE—More and more authors are turning to indie publishing in order to reach a wider audience and have greater control over their final product. But there's a lot that an indie author has to juggle, and the process can be overwhleming to anyone who has never published before.

On Tuesday, March 21, at 7:00 pm, Danny Bernstein will lead the online class "Indie Publishing." This class will help authors make the journey from finishing their manuscript to taking their book to market.

Registration is now closed.

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

What Color is your Parachute? and The Martian are two of the more famous modern books that started out as self-published books. You’ve got a book in you. You may be writing a book but so far, it’s just a manuscript on your computer.

How can you go from manuscript to a published book and e-book? If you want to skip the traditional agent and publisher route, you can publish a book yourself, independently. It’s not easy, and it’s not quick, but publishing your book allows full control of the physical book such as book cover, content, and price. It also lets you decide how you’ll market the book and where it will be sold. Most important, it gets your book out there in the marketplace.

Danny will talk about the big picture of indie publishing and details that no one seems to think about until you self-publish. Indie publishing is an exciting trip, so let’s take a good look at the whole map before you begin the journey.

Danny Bernstein is a hiker, hike leader, and outdoor writer. She’s written two hiking guides for the Southern Appalachians (Milestone Press), and a travel narrative, The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina (History Press). Her latest book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, was published independently in 2016. Danny has written for many publications including the Mountain Xpress, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and the Smokies Life. She lives in Asheville.

In her previous life, she worked in computer science for thirty-five years, long before computers were cool, first as a software developer, then as a professor of computer science. She’s blogged for almost ten years about the outdoors and writing. See www.hikertohiker.com.

"Indie Publishing" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's fourth and final offering in their 2016-2017 Winter Series.

"This new program initiative 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. "These 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 "Indie Publishing" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, March 21, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

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.

 

No Such Thing as Distance by Karen Paul Holmes

Terrapin Books
$16.00, paperback / $8.00, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-998215976
February, 2018
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Like a circus aerialist who makes us gasp one moment and laugh the next, the poet takes us from her immigrant father’s Macedonian roots to her own maturity, to the life of a woman who is smart and well-read yet knows her way around a Coney Island hot dog..."
—David Kirby

"Her title may signal quantum physics, but it’s also how close this poet whispers in her reader’s ear."
—Denise Duhamel

"Karen Paul Holmes lifts up the extraordinary found in the everyday. Here are poems that brim with finely-crafted detail, anchored to place while at the same time embracing change and impermanence."
—Nancy Chen Long

Family, melding of cultures, meditations...and recipes for traditional Macedonian dishes.

Karen Paul Holmes has two poetry collections, No Such Thing as Distance (Terrapin Books, February 2018) and Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014). She was named a Best Emerging Poet by Stay Thirsty Media (2016), and publications include Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Crab Orchard Review, Tar River Poetry, diode, and Lascaux Review. To support fellow writers, Holmes founded and hosts a critique group in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she is a regional rep for the North Carolina Writers' Network.

Cloud Diary by Steve Mitchell

C&R Press
$18.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-936196-85-2
March, 2018
Fiction
Available for pre-order from the publisher

PREORDER NOW! Ships in May 2018!

"A delightful and accomplished novel. Cloud Diary is a winning blend of metaphysics and box wine, of sticky-floored dive bars and lofty artistic passions. Steve Mitchell renders love and mortality with precision and without sentimentality. Nuanced and compassionate, Cloud Diary is a tribute to the ever presence of the past, and how it might help us become whole."
—Michael Parker, author of The Watery Part of the World and Everything Then and Since

"With his spare, delicate sentences and poignant observations, Steve Mitchell takes us deep into his characters, and, in turn, into ourselves-into our own past loves and romantic longings. This story of Doug and Sophie is more than just the experience of being in love—it's about the deep roots and long tendrils that love can leave for all of us. Cloud Diary is a powerful story that is both beautifully crafted and deeply felt."
—Frances Badgett, Contrary Magazine

"A beautiful, bittersweet novel about first love-how it forms us, how it settles in us and lingers, consoling us even to the end of our days."
—Kim Church, author of Byrd

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.

Steve Mitchell is a winner of the Curt Johnson Prose Prize (judged by Lily King), the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Prize, and the Association of Alternative Media's 2017 Award for Best LGBT Coverage (with Deonna Kelli Sayed).

His short stories and essays have been featured in december magazine, the Southeast Review, Red Fez, Contrary, the North Carolina Literary Review, and others. His short-story collection, The Naming of Ghosts, is published by Press 53.

He has a deep belief in the primacy of doubt and an abiding conviction that great wisdom informs very bad movies. He's co-owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro and a Coordinator of Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival. He lives in Greensboro with his partner, Deonna Kelli Sayed, a writer, and Zip, a cat.

The Truth Is Hard to Tell by Ashley Atkins

Ashley Atkins
$13.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-986290831
February, 2018
Fiction: Literary / Southern
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Brilliant writing marks this serious look at contemporary America."
—Lee Smith, The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls and NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee

Jennie is a good person. Really.

She tries so very hard to be a godly woman, loving mother, attractive wife, attentive neighbor and dutiful sister, stepmother, daughter, and aunt. The problem is that everyone keeps getting in the way of her success. If it weren’t for circumstances and, well, people, she could be just about perfect.

Echoed by the fall of the Twin Towers, Jennie’s world comes crashing down as she tries to make sense of her projections and preconceptions. Sadly, heroic action does not always follow good intentions.

The Truth Is Hard to Tell is set in Charleston, SC, in September of 2001. Within the matryoshka structure are the interrelated stories of eight characters.

Ashley Atkins is a native North Carolinian, world traveler, and mother of three. She is a former fast food drive-thru worker, police dispatcher, middle school teacher, and community newspaperwoman. Atkins is the author of the literary novel The Truth Is Hard to Tell and the young adult novel Tough Mauve.

Those Eternally Linked Lives by Judy Hogan

Big Table Publishing Company
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-945917301
December, 2017
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“In Those Eternally Linked Lives Judy Hogan’s lines rise and fall in reveries of psalm-like lyrics: ‘Loving you was never easy, but I regret nothing.’ Looking back, letting the words find themselves, Hogan turns love to beauty. Her magnificent hymn sings itself.”
—Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee

“Judy Hogan reminds us over and over again that we need to put our egos to rest and simply serve the poem. Those Eternally Linked Lives allows the reader to bear witness through a graceful but intentional lens; allowing only the right images to filter through. This collection of gentle poems bear and wear their craft lightly but deliver identifiable truths. They offer questions and subtle declarations; a wellspring of good medicine for all of our hearts. Startlingly transparent and sensuously opaque all at once, these poems are rooted deeply in the soil of the natural world and the celebration of the everydayness of living.”
—Jaki Shelton Green, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, 2009 Piedmont Poet Laureate, NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee

“If you’ve ever been afraid to die, read Judy Hogan’s Those Eternally Linked Lives. Here, in thirty deft poems, we are carried along with Hogan as she encounters loss, aging, and illness. But she comes through it all with such grace and humility, we are left breathless with delight and hope. Hogan clearly believes in poetry as revelation: ‘The human spirit has been here before. We know how to die if we have to.’”
—Joanie McLean, author of Place and Up From Dust

Judy Hogan was co-editor of a poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970-81). In 1976 she founded Carolina Wren Press. She has been active in central North Carolina as a reviewer, book distributor, publisher, teacher, and writing consultant. Seven mystery novels, Killer Frost (2012), Farm Fresh and Fatal (2013), The Sands of Gower (2015), Haw, Nuclear Apples? ,Formaldehyde, Rooster (2016), Political Peaches (2017) are in print. Tormentil Hall came out March 1, 2018.

She has published six other volumes of poetry with small presses, including Beaver Soul (2013) and This River: An Epic Poem (2014). Her published prose is: Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16 (2017) Watering the Roots in a Democracy (1989) and The PMZ Poor Woman’s Cookbook (2000). Her papers and twenty-five years of extensive diaries are in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Duke University. She has taught creative writing since 1974 and Freshman English 2004-2007 at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh. Between 1990 and 2007 she visited Kostroma, Russia, five times, teaching American literature at Kostroma University in 1995 and giving a paper to a Kostroma University Literature Conference in March, 2007. She worked on five exchange visits, as well as cooperative publishing with Kostroma writers and exhibits of their artists. Judy lives and farms in Moncure, near Jordan Lake.

The Cottage on the Bay by Ruben Gonzales

Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
$14.99, paperbakc / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-945181290
February, 2018
Fiction: Historical
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“A saga—both intimate and timeless—that reminds the reader of our shared history and the strength of the human spirit.”
—Leigh Somerville, author of the It All Started with a Dog trilogy

“With a wealth of descriptive detail, Gonzales brings to life a remarkable woman and her family’s place in the history of the South, expertly weaving mystery, racial conflict, a search for family, and the lingering effects of the Civil War.”
—Jane Tesh, author of the Madeline Maclin series

"Cottage on the Bay by Ruben D. Gonzales returns readers to Civil War era North Carolina and provides a vivid glimpse of life on a plantation. Through the life of Martha Stewart Thorpe—the estate matriarch—Gonzales chronicles the master-slave relationship and her endeavors to right the sins of her family’s past. From the moment readers meet Martha, they will be engaged in her life and eager to follow her story to its end."
— Jennifer Bean Bower, author of North Carolina Aviatrix Viola Gentry: The Flying Cashier

Martha Stewart Thorpe, young war bride and then matriarch, lives through the changing times, lives, and family on a once thriving plantation. This historic saga follows the life of father and uncles come over from Scotland, and Martha’s sisters, as they struggle through the years after the Civil War and transition through reconstruction, the new century, the beginning of Civil Rights, and redemption.

Ruben is the author of the just released Cottage on the Bay, a historical novel with a mystery. Ruben was born in East L.A. and after graduating from college spent five years working and traveling with the Peace Corps before moving to his adopted home of North Carolina. Ruben was an entrepreneur for many years and then worked for the City of Winston-Salem helping entrepreneurs to enter the business world. Recently retired, Ruben enjoys writing and traveling with his wife and loves the low country of North and South Carolina.

We Are Taking Only What We Need by Stephanie Powell Watts

Ecco Press
$16.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-062749901
February, 2018
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Cheeky, urbane, and playful. Lorrie Moore meets Eudora Welty."
New Yorker

"These stories celebrate real people and their tenacious ability to break down life’s locked doors."
O: The Oprah Magazine

"Watts shows us people, real souls like the people we sit next to on the bus, people who live down the hall, people who could be relatives."
—Edward P. Jones

In these powerfully rendered, prizewinning stories, working-class African Americans across the South strive for meaning and search for direction in lives shaped by forces beyond their control.

The ten stories in this resonant collection deal with both the ties that bind and the gulf that separates generations, from children confronting the fallibility of their own parents for the first time to adults finding themselves forced to start over again and again.

In "Highway 18" a young Jehovah's Witness going door to door with an expert field-service partner from up north is at a crossroads: will she go to college or continue to serve the church? "If You Hit Randall County, You've Gone Too Far" tells of a family trying to make it through a tense celebratory dinner for a son just out on bail. And in the collection's title story, a young girl experiences loss for the first time in the fallout from her father's relationship with her babysitter.

Startling, intimate, and prescient on their own, these stories build to a kaleidoscopic understanding of both the individual and the collective black experience over the last fifty years in the American South. With We Are Taking Only What We Need, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted an incredibly assured and emotionally affecting meditation on everything from the large institutional forces to the small interpersonal moments that impress upon us and direct our lives.

Stephanie Powell Watts' debut novel No One Is Coming to Save Us was published by Ecco in 2017.

Watts won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need (2012), also named one of 2013’s Best Summer Reads by O: The Oprah Magazine. Her short fiction has been included in two volumes of the Best New Stories from the South anthology and honored with a Pushcart Prize.

Born in the foothills of North Carolina, with a PhD from the University of Missouri and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she now lives with her husband and son in Pennsylvania where she is an associate professor at Lehigh University.

Her author website can be found at: http://stephaniepowellwatts.com.

Lock & Load: Armed Fiction by Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash

University of New Mexico Press
$24.95, paperback / $18.45, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-8263-5908
October, 2017
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"A brilliant anthology . . . one of the very best. A gun gives a story heft; because of that heft, even a humorous story reminds us of its essential seriousness. These stories are sad, sweet, hilarious, thoughtful, and satirical."
—Kelly Cherry, author of Temporium: Before the Beginning to After the End

"Though we’re talking about cowboys, Portuguese gang members, returned veterans, or abandoned women, there’s always one more character on the page than you thought there was: the gun. . . . The stories we have here don't take a side, because they shouldn't; they do what important literature does: ask questions. It's the reader who must decide how to answer."
—Cully Perlman, author of The Losses

"A powerful, challenging and often exquisite response to our lethally dangerous gun culture. These stories reveal our complicated relationship to weapons."
—Roxana Robinson, author of Cost; Sparta

Compelling stories whose subject is guns, by American masters like Annie Proulx, John Edgar Wideman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Rick DeMarinis, Pinckney Benedict, and Jim Tomlinson, plus a host of new voices. Groundbreaking, timely, deeply American. Lock & Load brings readers into nineteen strange, beautiful, troubling, amazing worlds in which all the guns are loaded.

Deirdra McAfee's fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, Confrontation, Willow Springs, The Diagram, and others. McAfee has been in residence at MacDowell, Ucross, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others, and in France and Germany. She received an MFA in fiction from the New School and an MA in English literature from Georgetown (www.deirdramcafee.com).

BettyJoyce Nash's fiction has appeared in NDQ, the Broad River Review, and C-Ville. The winner of the 2015 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest, Nash has received residencies at MacDowell, Ragdale, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, among others. Before turning to fiction, Nash reported for daily newspapers throughout the South. She received an MFA in fiction from Queens University and an MS in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism. She teaches creative writing at WriterHouse, in Charlottesville, Virginia (www.bettyjoycenash.com).

Paul's Prayers by Susan Anderson

Good Books
$21.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-68099-347-9
March, 2018
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Any parent who has been handed an unexpected trial will appreciate this honest, vivid, and inspiring tale of raising an autistic son. There is heartbreak and frustration but also triumph and hope, as Susan and Rob find the strength through their faith to offer their son unqualified love.”
—Philip Gerard, author of The Patron Saint of Dreams and Down the Wild Cape Fear

"Many of us are gifted with loved ones who think and see the world in different ways. Susan Anderson's book about her autistic son, Paul, is a highly readable, moving, human and sometimes humorous account of the joys, trials, and challenges of raising an atypical child. As all good parents do—for all of our children—Susan and her husband Rob struggled to help their son navigate this complex world and grow to be the man God wants him to be. A wonderful book, both for those whose lives are touched by atypical thinkers and those who want to understand them better."
—Arthur Powers, author of The Book of Jotham and co-founder and Vice President of the Catholic Writers Guild

"Paul’s Prayers could just as fittingly be entitled Paul’s Song. In lyrical prose, author Susan Anderson portrays her adult son Paul, who is challenged with autism. Her story is at once a heartbreaking ballad of his lifelong struggles and an anthem in praise of his heroic fortitude. Though the narrative is focused on Paul, in the telling of the tale his mother's remarkable strength and wisdom are revealed as well—an inspiration for us all."
—Paul Thigpen, author of The Burden (2013) and A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints (2017) and editor for TAN Books in Charlotte

Paul's Prayers describes a moderately autistic young man with a deep spiritual intelligence. His mother Susan writes lyrically about raising Paul in a large Catholic family. Paul's parents refer to his condition as "The Marauder." He sweeps over the hospital nursery with blinding fluorescent lights. He throws his black cape over the Christmas holidays, stealing four-year-old Paul's speech for three days. In school, The Marauder shrouds Paul socially, leaving him isolated and alone.

Victories emerge as Paul reaches developmental milestones in creative ways. Piano lessons improve reading skills. Paul, with his brothers, joins the high school cross country running team, which goes on to win the state championship. After high school, Paul works for the family business and attends college.

As an adult, Paul finds comfort in faith and the support of his family. Having lived most of his life in western North Carolina, this story also lends to the reader, a strong sense of place. This memoir is a beacon of light for those who find themselves on a similar path.

Susan Anderson grew up in South Florida, a true child of the seventies, and was raised on radio. Having started writing late in life, she draws inspiration from faith, family, and the fodder of defeat, victory, and the blessed in between of the mundane. She enjoys the grit of a well written memoir. She belongs to Rob, her husband and six beautiful grown up children. Her day job consists of promoting and shipping Christian games through their family business, Cactus Game Design; advocacy for her adult son who has autism; stoking the home fires; and prayer. She lives in the far west corner of North Carolina where she stakes a little claim of mountain air and vista views. When she's not in the mountains, she'll be at the beach, toes in the ocean, writing in a spiral at the shore. Susan is a monthly contributor for www.CatholicMom.com.

Mara's Baby by Don Marple

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$12.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-978009875
January, 2018
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

A teen girl's sudden disappearance and her reasons for it lead to a man's unexpected search for answers—and closure—twenty years later. Mara's Baby is a story of love, disappointment, and redemption, and of family secrets that affect lives and relationships. It is a surprising, heartwarming tale that at times will have you on the edge of your seat.

Doctor Don Marple is a retired business executive and a former Army Reserve officer and graduate school instructor. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, the visual artist Nancy Marple. They have three grown children. Mara's Baby is his first novel.

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference offers a full-day of classes, top writing faculty, and intensive Master Classes and breakout sessions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for tweens, building your career, and the Facebook Advantage. Other features include faculty readings, on-site "lunch with an author," publisher exhibits, Slush Pile Live!, and an open mic for conference participants.

But none of it would be possible without the support of our sponsors.

The Master in Fine Arts Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers a two-year residency program with an emphasis on providing students with studio time in which to study the writing of fiction or poetry. This program is one of the oldest in the country. The faculty includes Michael Parker (who'll give the Keynote Address at this year's Spring Conference), Jim Clark, and Holly Jones. The program produces The Greensboro Review.

Conference attendees will be able to park free in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck courtesy of the MFA Writing Program at UNCG.

The North Carolina Arts Council offers operating support for the North Carolina Writers' Network. The Arts Council has been a statutory state agency since 1967. Their core functions include creating a strong and efficient arts infrastructure across North Carolina; planning and implementing economic development using the arts; education; and research. The Arts Council believes that artists are an integral part of civic life as they stimulate creativity, innovation and dialogue. Our cities vibrate with the energy of the arts; and our rural communities reach deep into their roots and celebrate their unique traditions. Residents in every corner of NC have the chance to engage their artistic aspirations. The arts help children flourish through a complete education that prepares them for the workforce with twenty-first century skills. The arts build bridges where diverse communities reach across boundaries to celebrate and share their cultures. The arts are an essential ingredient in state policy, practice, and pride.

Greensboro's News & Record is a leading multimedia news, information, advertising, and entertainment source for the cities of Greensboro and High Point, Guilford County and Rockingham and Randolph counties in North-Central North Carolina. The News & Record launched its first online edition in the winter of 1994-95. Its digital channels now include www.News-Record.com, an e-Edition for desktop computers and tablets, and mobile editions for smartphones and tablets. Go Triad is a free weekly insert in the News & Record, appearing on Thursday. Go Triad focuses on arts and entertainment, including reviews and listings of movies, concerts, and theatre, as well as restaurant and bar reviews. It also has features about local figures in the arts and entertainment industry, including local bands, artists, authors, and others.

88.5 WFDD: Public Radio for the Piedmont is the National Public Radio affiliate for the Triad. Owned by Wake Forest University, WFDD serves thirty-two counties in Central North Carolina and South-Central Virginia. It also operates a translator, W216K on 100.1 FM in Boone. The station airs news and talk shows from NPR during the day, with local news updates and shows including Triad Arts. From 8:00 pm to 4:00 am, the station turns to Classical music programming.

The NC Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 23, at UNCG. 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference will welcome Brittingham Prize-winning poet Jennifer Whitaker, who'll lead the Master Class in Poetry.

The NCWN 2016 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 23, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open.

Jennifer Whitaker is the author of The Blue Hour, winner of the Brittingham Prize and forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared in journals including Radar Poetry, New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Four Way Review. Originally from Midlothian, Virginia, Jennifer earned her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an assistant poetry editor at storySouth. She currently lives in Greensboro, where she is Director of the University Writing Center at UNCG.

Applicants must apply for Jennifer's Poetry Master Class. In Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, she writes: "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow." Central to this workshop will be questions of audience, intention, and craft. Of course, the poet's intention matters insomuch as it is played out on the page, so the discussion will aim to focus (in part) on poetic form: How is the poem built? What is its strength? Is it most interesting for its tone, diction, metaphor, shape, narrative, movement? What makes a poem successful and memorable?

Other poetry sessions include "The Ars Poetica: Developing a Personal Vision" with Vievee Francis and "Writing the Autobiographical Moment in Poetry" with Matthew Olzmann.

Vievee Francis is the author of three books of poetry, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Second Book Prize), and the recently released Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press), which has been long listed for the PEN Open Book Award. She is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Prize and a Kresge Fellowship. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Best American Poetry (2010, 2014), Poetry Magazine, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, among others. She is currently an Associate Editor for Callaloo and a Visiting Poet at North Carolina State University.

At some point poets have all written a poem on writing poems. Sometimes such poems are written simply to explore or expose their own processes as they write, or to vent their frustrations over the challenges of writing poetry. The poem is made as much by the way they think (about poetry and at large) as how well they negotiate craft. In Vievee's workshop, registrants will do a writing exercise and take a close look at various examples of the ars poetica. Further, they will discuss how they might ultimately develop and articulate a larger aim, cultivating their attitudes, concepts, and the contextualization of their work “twig by twig” (as Archibald MacLeish wryly notes in his poem, "Ars Poetica") toward a comprehensive personal vision.

Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems: Mezzanines (Alice James Books, 2013) and Contradictions in the Design, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books in November, 2016. He’s received scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, the Kresge Arts Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Necessary Fiction, Brevity, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He’s currently the 2015-16 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dinty W. Moore says, “It is not what happens to us in our lives that makes us into writers; it is what we make out of what happens to us.” In Matthew's session, "Writing the Autobiographical Moment in Poetry," attendees will examine how the autobiographical moment is most effectively presented in poetry and how that moment can be expanded to transform the speaker’s private experience into a personal experience for the reader as well. Through close readings of several poems, they’ll discuss successful strategies, and consider how those same strategies can be applied to their own writing. This will be a generative workshop. Registrants will write in class with the goal of producing drafts for at least two new poems.

Pr-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference ends Sunday, April 17. Register here!

 

GREENSBORO—As anyone who's published a book knows, the hard work begins once the book is out in the world. Many authors struggle to bring their book to market, and to find readers. But the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference offers a glimpse inside the industry through special programming and two sessions designed to teach authors how to assemble their own marketing campaign and leverage today's technology in order to sell more books.

"Getting the Word Out: Marketing Your Book on Your Own or with Your Publisher," will be led by Lauren Moseley.

Whether an author has a self-published a book or signed a contract with a Big Five publisher, there’s much he or she can do to market their own work, and it’s never too early or too late to get started. In this session, the Marketing Manager of Algonquin Books will lead an in-depth course on what authors can do to bring your book to a wider audience, from one year before your book’s publication date to well after its release. She’ll discuss examples from successful campaigns for books currently in the marketplace and tips that have proven effective for a variety of authors and genres. The final part of the course will focus on advice for how to best work with a publisher on a marketing campaign, practical dos and don’ts, and a Q&A session. Please come with questions!

Lauren Moseley is the Marketing Manager at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, which has been publishing literary fiction and nonfiction since 1983. She has worked on campaigns for scores of books since joining Algonquin in 2011, including regional, national, and New York Times bestsellers. Lauren received an MFA from UNCG in 2008 and continues to write and publish poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Pleiades, Narrative magazine, BOAAT, Mississippi Review, the anthologies Best New Poets and Women Write Resistance, and elsewhere. She has been a recipient of an artist’s grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Durham.

In the afternoon, Karen M. Alley will lead the workshop "The Facebook Advantage."

In this day and age, if you are a published author, a writer hoping to be published one day, or someone just looking for an audience for your writing, you can’t deny the power of Facebook and other social media. These platforms serve as a way to build relationships and expand your audience. In this course she will talk about the growing importance of Facebook and other social media sites such as Pinterest and Twitter in the publishing sphere, how they benefit writers, how authors can best use them to build their own relationships with their readers, and how to increase followers.

Karen M. Alley is a freelance writer and editor who has been working in the publishing industry for about twenty years. In that time she has served as editor of the IGA Grocergram, editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine, and web editor for Piedmont Parent. Her varied background has given her the chance to gain experience in everything from building a social network to editing a wide range of writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Her own work has been published in O’Henry magazine, Charlotte and Carolina Parent magazines, and various business publications.

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.”

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—The fiction offerings at the upcoming North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 23, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will encourage attendees to build a firm foundation before choosing to zig when others zag by finding inspiration in the everyday and establishing a firm sense of place.

Spring Conference registration is now open.

Quinn Dalton will lead the Master Class in Fiction, "Make a Scene: Learn How to Use the Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction."

What is a scene? What should scenes do—and not do? How do you get into and out of them? How do you assess whether a scene is doing the work you want it to do for the story? Through exercises, prompts and discussion, you’ll learn to create scenes that propel your stories and keep your readers engaged until the final line. Then we’ll apply this perspective to your own in-progress work.

Master Classes require a separate application; each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Quinn Dalton is the author of a novel, High Strung, and two story collections, Bulletproof Girl and Stories from the Afterlife. Stories, essays, and articles on publishing and the writing craft have appeared in literary and commercial publications such as Glimmer Train, One Story, Poets & Writers, Mediabistro.com, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best. Midnight Bowling, a novel, is forthcoming from Carolina Wren Press in March. The Infinity of You & Me, a novel co-written with the novelist and poet Julianna Baggott under the pen name J.Q. Coyle, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in the fall of 2016.

Other fiction sessions include "Not Set in Stone: The Importance of Place in Fiction" with Travis Mulhauser. This will be a focused discussion on the craft of setting your fiction—particularly, the importance of place. A critical, often overlooked element of our stories, setting too often stands flat—like bad background props in a low budget play. Setting can be the soil your story grows from, but it can also move fluidly through the narrative and impact our stories on every level—ultimately creating a multi-dimensional, immersive experience for the reader. And perhaps most importantly, a fully rendered place can often be the key to the universal in our fiction.

This workshop will look at contemporary master works, incorporate student questions and input, and talk about specific strategies for creating vibrant, realized “places.”

Travis Mulhauser is from Petoskey, Michigan. He is the author of two works of fiction, most recently the novel Sweetgirl from Ecco/Harper Collins. He lives in Durham with his wife and two children.

In the afternoon, Greg Shemkovitz will teach registrants how to "Make Something of Nothing." This workshop will look at how writers can enhance a narrative by bringing gravity to the ordinary. By letting the concrete bear the weight of the abstract—whether through symbolism, metaphor, simile, or even through gesture—a simple narrative moment can take on a whole new layer of tension. We will look at how to identify existing unutilized objects in a scene and how to complicate a moment by giving attention to an otherwise overlooked element, always in the hopes of bringing depth to the narrative and enhancing the emotions we feel for these characters. Workshop attendees will participate in short writing activities and should be prepared with a pen or pencil.

Greg Shemkovitz lives in North Carolina and teaches writing and literature at Elon University. He holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro. His fiction has appeared in Foundling Review, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. His debut novel, Lot Boy (Sunnyoutside Press 2015) was a finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: www.gregshemkovitz.wordpress.com.

Anyone interested in writing for tweens won't want to miss Bonnie J. Doerr's "Tween Fiction: Writing Against the Current." Thinking of writing for young readers who are not quite ready for edgy books? Want to try something other than the current trends of dark fantasy, science fiction, post apocalyptic, dystopian, and the like? To get books into the hands of 10–14 year-old (tween) readers it helps to hook the gatekeepers. Rather than discussing techniques of the craft itself, this session will inspire ways to do just that with realistic fiction. How can you draw librarians, teachers, and parents to your work? Offer them practical applications of your fiction’s components. This workshop will present specific examples of such applications. Examples include activities to enhance a variety of subjects in any school’s curricula; to enliven a reading/signing event; as well as those that entertain, inform, engage, and encourage audience interaction during school visits and presentations. Though these examples concentrate on realistic fiction, the concepts can be applied to all genres. Time will be devoted to discussion and sharing ideas.

Bonnie J. Doerr, an educator, gardener, and wildlife enthusiast, is the author of eco-mystery novels for tweens. Her work, which features endangered or threatened wildlife and the real-life heroes who rescue, rehab, and release them, has been described as a “mashup of Jean Craighead George and Carl Hiaasen” by some and as a “teen detective series inspired by Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Lassie” by others. Island Sting (Leap Books 2010) won the 2011 EPIC Children’s eBook award, and Stake Out (Leap Books 2011) was a 2012 Green Earth YA Book Award finalist. Third in the series, Tangled Lines, is scheduled for release summer of 2016. Visit the author at http://bonniedoerrbooks.com.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

WINSTON-SALEM—Karen Smith Linehan of Carolina Beach has won the 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay, "Magnolia grandiflora." Karen will receive $1,000, and her essay will be considered for publication in Ecotone.

"This meditative nature essay’s solid sense of voice, language, and dramatic arc made it a clear standout," said final judge Kate Sweeney. "There is a sense here that every phrase and every word is chosen with great intent, and taken together, the work conveys the magnitude of this tree in a voice that is, like the tree itself, both quiet and commanding. There are minute details here, such as the description of the twenty-four hour lifespan of stamens, which end life by 'transform[ing] into red-tipped wands that flutter to the ground.' These details are threaded to memories that span the life of the narrator, bringing the essay as a whole into a much richer, larger context. ('When we were children, my sister and I gathered the fragile stamens and placed them in the pink cup of our hands.') It’s a lyrical, solid read, a wonderful piece of writing, and it gives me pleasure to nominate it as first-place winner."

Karen Smith Linehan is a lifelong naturalist with a deep love for the flora and fauna of North Carolina. A Raleigh native, she lives in Carolina Beach where her heart still skips a beat when a pelican flies over her house. Karen teaches first and second grade at Friends School of Wilmington. She has a BA in Zoology from UNC-Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative nonfiction through Chatham University’s low residency program. Karen and her husband, Terry, have two grown daughters, Kelsey and Dylan.

Amy Rowland of Princeton, New Jersey, placed second with her essay, "Looking for Joan Little." She'll receive $300.

Final judge Kate Sweeney said, "This is an outstanding account of a community’s collective forgetting of an event that took place some four decades before. The essay examines how what we choose to remember shapes us as a people—and also the narrator’s coming-to-terms with the fact that this same community delivered her (or him; we’re never told). The title's meaning shifts as the piece progresses—from the suspect’s original flight from authorities, to her disappearance from the public eye today, to the absence her story—or lack of story—leaves in a people’s collective narrative. From start to finish, the voice in this essay is robust as it relates, in decisive tones, a narrative that matters to who we are as a people today, at least as much as it did in 1974."

Amy's first novel, The Transcriptionist, was published by Algonquin in 2014 and received the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a North Carolina native and a 2016 NEA Literature Fellow. She currently lives in Princeton, where she'll be lecturing in the fall.

Raleigh's Agnes Stevens came in third for her essay "Shelter." Agnes will receive $200.

"This essay forms a brilliant tapestry," said Sweeney, "weaving stories of childhood threats of annihilation in the form of plane crashes, nuclear explosions, and other potential menaces from the outside world. She does such a deft job of painting this family portrait of dormant dangers, generational coincidences, and cold-war fears that we never see the real explosion coming. When it does, both its form (the break-up of her own nuclear family) and its perpetrator (the 'sheltering' father) both come as a surprise that the author lands ably. I loved reading this essay, and am happy to name it as a contest finalist."

Agnes Stevens is a native North Carolinian who now calls Raleigh home. She writes personal essays and has presented her stories live on stage as a member of the 2014 Listen to Your Mother Raleigh-Durham cast and as a storyteller at the Monti in 2015. Her stories explore the extraordinary in ordinary experiences and are all set in and around Raleigh and Eastern NC. Her work received honorable mentions in the 2015 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition and the 2015 Carolina Woman writing contest. When she is not writing and telling stories for fun, she makes a living as a public relations professional.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at UNC-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.

Final judge Kate Sweeney is the author of the popular nonfiction book American Afterlife (University of Georgia Press), which won the Georgia Author of the Year Away in the Essay category for 2014. A resident of Atlanta, Kate’s radio stories appear regularly on Atlanta’s NPR station, WABE 90.1 FM, and she has won five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as a number of Associated Press awards for her work. She earned her MFA at UNC-Wilmington and has taught there, as well as at Emory Continuing Education and Clayton State University.

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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO―Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is in full swing. On Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, conferencegoers will attend workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as writing for children, the art of branding, and how to build a literary career.

Programming for the NCWN 2015 Spring Conference is made possible in part by our sponsors.

The Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a two-year residency program with an emphasis on providing students with studio time in which to study the writing of fiction or poetry. The program’s flexibility permits students to develop their particular talents through small classes in writing, literature, and the arts. As a community of writers, students read and comment on each other’s work under the guidance of resident and visiting faculty, who also meet with students in one-on-one tutorials. The MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is one of the oldest such programs in the country. They are the proud publishers of the Greensboro Review. Follow them on Twitter, and visit their Facebook page.

Greensboro’s News & Record is a leading multimedia news, information, advertising, and entertainment source for the cities of Greensboro and High Point, Guilford County, and Rockingham and Randolph counties in North-Central North Carolina. The News & Record launched its first online edition in the winter of 1994-95. Its digital channels now include News-Record.com, an e-Edition for desktop computers and tablets, and mobile editions for smartphones and tablets. You can find the News & Record on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

88.5 WFDD, Public Radio for the Piedmont, is the only public radio station of its kind located in the Piedmont Triad. They broadcast news, information, and public affairs programming covering the arts, people, and institutions in the area. They are the state’s charter NPR® member and the longest continuously broadcasting public radio station in North Carolina. WFDD is a member of the North Carolina Public Radio Association. It is a broadcast service of Wake Forest University. In downtown Greensboro, you can hear WFDD at 104.7 FM.

The North Carolina Arts Council was created in 1964 by executive order of governor Terry Sanford to strengthen North Carolina’s creativity, invention, and prosperity. Their mission? To utilize the arts for the benefit of North Carolina citizens and communities. The NC Arts Council seeks to create a strong and efficient arts infrastructure across North Carolina; plan and implement economic development initiatives using the arts; utilize the arts as an effective way to teach the public school curriculum, preserve our state’s heritage, and provide arts experiences to youth; and provide data models and conduct research that documents the impact of the state’s arts industry on North Carolina’s economy.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2015 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 12. Attendees save nearly 30 percent by registering early, so don’t delay!

 

ASHEVILLE—Mesha Maren of southern West Virginia is the winner of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story “Chokedamp.” She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final Judge Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, chose Maren’s story from more than 220 entries—a record number.

“It is very realistic, a big story,” Lee said. “I was impressed by the complexity of theme, situation, and the brothers’ relationship; the narrative voice rang true, and the writing was wonderful throughout.”

Mesha Maren is a fiction writer whose work appears in Tin House, The Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial. She is the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from LMU University, and a residency fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.

Elizabeth Oliver of Apex and Roz Spafford were named Honorable Mentions for their stories “Just Wait” and “Painting the Door,” respectively. The stories will also be considered for publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

The Thomas Wolfe Review is the official journal of The Thomas Wolfe Society, publishing articles, features, tributes, and reviews about Wolfe and his circle. It also features bibliographical material, notes, news, and announcements of interest to Society members.

To join the Thomas Wolfe Society and participate in yearly conferences and other activities, go to www.thomaswolfe.org. You can also follow Wolfe news on Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, and other media.

The 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize was facilitated by The Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The Great Smokies Writing Program is a joint effort between the UNC Asheville departments of Literature and Language, Creative Writing, and the Office of Professional Education. The program offers opportunities for writers of all levels to join a supportive learning community in which their skills and talents can be explored, practiced, and forged under the careful eye of professional writers.

Final Judge Lee Smith is a New York Times bestselling author and longtime professor of creative writing at North Carolina State University. Her novels include Fair and Tender Ladies, The Last Girls, and most recently, Guests on Earth. She is the recipient of two O. Henry Awards for her short stories, two Sir Walter Raleigh Awards, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction, and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, among many others. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize opens for submissions annually on December 1 and runs through January 30. It is open to all writers, regardless of geographic location or prior publication. Submitted stories must be unpublished and not exceed twelve double-spaced pages.

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.

 

GREENSBORO―Many writers focus so intently on finishing their book that they never consider what lies beyond. In today’s market, authors must build their brand and make decisions that best connect them to their readership. Because there’s no such thing as an overnight success, an author lays the foundation for their achievements long before their first book is finished. Getting published is merely one necessary step in a series of steps that shape a long and productive literary career.

At the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, attendees can learn the ins and outs of the book business from two publishing professionals with years of experience promoting authors and selling books.

During the morning session, Kevin Morgan Watson will lead the workshop “Don’t Forget the Small Stuff.” Say you’re a writer with a novel or memoir to sell, and you are looking for an agent, and preferably a large publisher for your book. Where do you begin? In this talk, we’ll discuss the many small steps a writer can take that could eventually lead to a book deal—steps a writer can (and should) be taking long before the novel or memoir is finished. Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor and publisher of Press 53, a publishing house in Winston-Salem that focuses on poetry and short fiction. Since 2005, Press 53 has published around 150 books and has earned almost forty awards. A few Press 53 authors have signed book deals with the larger New York City publishers, which Kevin considers a victory.

In the afternoon, NCWN Guilford County Regional Rep Faun Finley will lead the workshop “The Art of Branding for Authors: How to Sell Your Books by Selling Yourself.”

Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King. They are incredibly famous. But it wasn’t always that way. You know who they are, what value they bring to their audience and what to expect from them—all thanks to masterful branding. What has that got to do with you as an author? Everything. When you effectively present yourself in the market, your book sales––and any other products you may have––will increase. And that’s what you want, right?

This workshop will show you how to discover your authentic personal brand based on who you are and what you write. It will also give you tips for capitalizing on it. Branding, like writing, takes discovery, strategy, and planning. It is not something that “just happens.” But it is also a fun and exciting process that will help you further clarify your goals and better connect with your readers. With changes in the publishing industry and the ever increasing trend toward self-publishing, knowing how to brand yourself as an author is more important today than ever.

Faun Finley is an award-winning copywriter with more than a decade of experience in marketing and advertising. During her tenure at the News & Record, she has won two national awards for her online work, The Pet Shop blog, and Bargain Sense, a video show she created, co-wrote, and co-hosted. Faun has also won ten regional awards for her print ad work and is responsible for creating the brands Life Captured, Thrifty Living, Williams on Wine, and Ice Castle, among others. Contact Faun at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.faunfinley.com.

At Spring Conference, even the lunch hour can be used to make those literary connections you’ll need once your book is finally published. “Lunch with an Author” offers a terrific opportunity to have lunch with a small group of fellow registrants and one of our conference instructors. This is a great opportunity to talk shop with an experienced writer in a relaxed, informal setting.

Pre-registration is required to participate in “Lunch with an Author.” You will not be able to sign up on-site. Available faculty includes Faun Finley, Marianne Gingher, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green, Charlie Lovett, Tom Maxwell, Joseph Mills, Jacob Paul, Eleanora E. Tate, and Eric G. Wilson.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is open through April 12. 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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO―The North Carolina Writers’ Network is excited to announce a new program at the upcoming 2015 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building at UNC-Greensboro. 

At the end of the day, the Network will host “Slush Pile Live!”. Participation is open to all conference registrants for no additional charge.

Have you ever wondered what goes through an editor's mind as he or she reads a stack of unsolicited submissions? Here’s your chance to find out.

Over the course of the conference, attendees will drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry (40-line max) at the registration table. At 5:00 pm, these anonymous submissions will be read out loud for a panel of editors. The editors will raise their hands when they come across something in the text that would make them stop reading. When each hand has been raised, the editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the piece, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process.

As many submissions as the panelists can get to in an hour, that's how many they'll read: all anonymous—all live! Authors can reveal themselves at the end, to thunderous applause, befitting their bravery, but only if they want to.

“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!’ will give attendees a peek into the editorial screening process, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Those interested in having their anonymous submission read should submit a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work or one page of poetry (40-line max) at the registration table between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Submissions should be double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font. No names should appear on the submissions.

Prose panelists include Jason T. Graves (Second Wind Publishing), Anna Sutton (John F. Blair, Publisher), and Kevin Morgan Watson (Press 53). Poetry panelists include Terry L. Kennedy (Greensboro Review, storySouth), Crystal Simone Smith (Backbone Press), and Ross White (Bull City Press).

In addition to new programming, familiar features will 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.

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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

*Photo of Kevin Morgan Watson courtesy of Sylvia Freeman.

 

NORTH CAROLINA—“Beach Baby,” an essay by Wilmington writer Jillian Weiss, has won First Prize in the 2015 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition.

Author Jason Frye, the judge of this year’s contest, said, “The structure of 'Beach Baby' drives the essay—each section pulls you one to the other, and even when it seems to divert, it circles back on itself quite artfully.

“As the essay progresses, it grows in its complexity: a misheard message, the death of a sister, the hole in the heart, jealousy (very complex, but gracefully handled), Down Syndrome, the meaning of the name ‘Jennifer,’ and the ruination of—or perhaps miracle of—Christmas. Simply put, it’s a beautiful piece that gets to the complex heart of trying to make known the unknowable.”

A Winston-Salem native who spent most of her adolescence in London, Weiss returned to North Carolina in 2008 to study at Elon University. A former creative writing instructor for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, she is currently an MFA candidate at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she is writing a collection of essays about her life as a missionary kid in West London.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at UNC 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. First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $1,000, $300, and $200, respectively, and the winning entry is considered for publication in the magazine Southern Cultures.

Beth Browne of Garner won Second Place for her essay “What My Father Kept.” In addition to working as associate editor for The Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Browne manages a large farm, homeschools her two teens, and sails the NC coast with “her sweetie, Eric.” She has served on the boards of the North Carolina Poetry Society and the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop.

“‘What My Father Kept’ takes a tight look at the individual and gets into depths the short story cannot. As such, the essayist is able to create a picture of her father and give readers insight into him, all while building mystery into it,” Frye said. “It’s that mystery that intrigues me. A very strong piece, it made me want to catalogue my grandfather’s garden shed and see what I might learn there.”

Durham’s Robert Wallace won Third Place for his essay “Where’s Jack Kevorkian?”

“‘Where’s Jack Kevorkian?’ grabs me from the opening line,” Frye said. “This essay is close to perfect.”

Robert Wallace has received an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council, and a Writer’s Fellowship from the NC Arts Council. He has had fiction and nonfiction published in various journals and newspapers, and writes a monthly column for the News & Observer. His story "As Breaks the Wave upon the Sea" was the 2010 winner of the Doris Betts Fiction Prize.

Frye also named “Common Prayer” by Jane Andrews and “Moonshine Manhattan” by Agnes Stevens as Honorable Mentions.

Jason Frye is a travel, culinary, and culture writer from Wilmington. After his first experience with North Carolina—a family vacation to the Outer Banks—he felt drawn to the state. He moved here in 2002 to attend UNC-Wilmington and pursue his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing; after graduating in 2005, he stayed and began to explore the state through the lens of a poet, essayist, journalist, culinary critic, and travel writer.

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.

 

GREENSBORO—Imagine two cars get into a fender-bender. Now imagine the drivers telling a policeman the story of what happened. One driver claims the other car stopped suddenly, causing the accident; the driver of the car who was hit claims the other person shouldn’t have been following so closely.

Both people are describing the same event…but who’s telling the truth?

The idea that a character’s reality can change the way a story is told is at the heart of this year’s Master Class in Fiction, offered as part of the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference. Led by Valerie Nieman, a creative writing instructor at NC A&T State University and the author of the award-winning novel, Blood Clay, the workshop is titled, “A Matter of Interpretation.”

This class examines the idea that characters are presented through their appearance, actions, and words—yet what is evident to other characters within the story may not be accurate, and the reader likewise must often ferret out the truth behind the surface. We'll explore how a story may hinge on the difference between a character's apparent reality and the hidden truth, and how the counterpoint between differing elements of a character's depiction can power the story. We will do a “two versions” exercise based on a scar or tattoo.

Please submit up to 1,500 words from a single work, along with your current CV or resume detailing your literary experience, 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.

Attendees who sign up for Jacob Paul's workshop "Sentence Aesthetics: Using Micro-Poetics to Create Rhythm in Prose" will strip their fiction down to the floorboards and joists. This workshop will focus on how writers can leverage sentence syntax, lexicon, and length to build and release tension in prose. Registrants will begin by studying several examples, then outline general principles, create a sample scene, and end in a discussion about application. Paul's debut novel, Sarah/Sara, was named one of that year’s five best first fictions by Poets & Writers.

There are also workshops available for those interested in writing historical fiction, and those interested in writing for children.

Charlie Lovett will teach “When the Past Isn’t Past: Using History in Fiction.” Lovett’s multi-strand novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Bookman’s Tale, explore the often complex relationship between past and present. In this workshop he will help participants examine ways to incorporate the past into narratives, regardless of when those narratives happen to be set. A little bit of a lecture, a little bit of an in-class exercise, and lots of Q & A.

For those interested in writing for children, Eleanora E. Tate will lead participants in discussions about selected literary devices they might not be familiar with, how to identify them in manuscripts, and how to apply them in their own work. Tate has conducted creative writing workshops in schools, libraries, and universities for children and adults for over forty years, and is the author of eleven novels for young readers. Her workshop is titled “Triggers, Transitions and Tone, Oh My! Using Literary Devices in Children’s Literature.”

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—From “The Iliad” to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” poetry has been a storytelling force for thousands of years. Poetry examines the relationships around us: in politics, myth, and among our families and friends. The genre is unique in its power to engage the listener and serve as a catalyst for change.

At the upcoming North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference, attendees have the opportunity to examine this time-honored method of storytelling and search for the deeper connections in the fabric of everyday life in workshops led by three highly acclaimed poets.

Joseph Mills, author of five poetry collections including This Miraculous Turning (Press 53, 2014), will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “Changing Stories.”

In his Tiffany Aching series, Terry Pratchett writes, “There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.” In this workshop, we will consider the power of changing the stories we live among. This may be a matter of re-telling a story, turning it, or tearing it apart. We may consider fairytale retellings (such as Anne Sexton’s Transformations), changes in perspective (such as Gregory McGuire’s Wicked), or examples of ekphrasis (such as W.H. Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts” or Billy Collins’ “The Brooklyn Museum of Art” in which the narrator walks into a painting by Frederick Edwin Church). In doing so, the emphasis will be on practical exercises to generate material. In addition to looking at submitted poems, we will be taking advantage of the workshop’s two-part structure to generate material and then return to it.

Please submit three poems, along with your current CV or resume detailing your literary experience, no later than March 27. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, 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.

Rachel Richardson, a 2013-14 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and author of two poetry collections, including the forthcoming Hundred-Year Wave (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2016), will lead the poetry workshop, “Excavating Artifacts: Poetry and Documentary Forms.”

How can a poem confront and engage history, politics, place, and myth? For poetry that seeks to explore the past, or witness the present, or speak out of a deeply-rooted landscape, it is easy to revert to comfortable modes of telling. How do we make these stories live, without slipping into nostalgia or polemic? To shake loose our stories and invigorate language and form, it can be helpful to borrow from the documentarian's tools. This workshop will explore ways of writing and revising using primary source documents, such as newspaper articles, family photographs, transcribed interviews, court cases, letters, keepsakes, and more. Participants should bring a couple of "documents" (to be interpreted as loosely as you like) that interest you to work with—anything that has a story to tell. We will spend workshop time discussing published “documentary poems” and their strategies, and doing generative writing exercises that will spark your own poems.

In the afternoon, conference-goers will have the rare opportunity to take a workshop from the presenter of this year’s Keynote Address. Jaki Shelton Green, a 2014 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, will address the general session at 11:00 am. After lunch, she’ll lead the poetry workshop, “Conversations in the Lines, or Eavesdropping on Yourself.”

What are the relationships you have with your poems that inspire or inhibit your voice from “telling” or showing up? Bring poems that you have strong relationships with. We will explore where these relationships, like kinships and friendships, intersect, collide, marry, divorce, confront, and unite in our poetics. How do these relationships limit or help to push the territory of language? How do these relationships inform, demand, dominate, or suppress? (Secrets, lies, fantasies . . .) There will also be a focus on selected poems that illustrate “what we talk about when we look at ourselves.”

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 18, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

Hats Off! to Maureen Sherbondy whose poem "My Father Returns from New York City" was a finalist in the 2017 Lascaux Prize in Poetry.

 

Hats Off! to T. A. Price whose poetry collection Bent 31 Poems is out now from Grateful Steps in Asheville. Price has been hailed by Ron Rash as "clearly one of North Carolina's best poets."

 

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose haiku beginning "Snow-covered pansies" is online and in print issue 57 of Haiku Journal. Also, her three-line poem beginning "Winding road lined with memories" is online and in print issue 48 of Three Line Poetry; "Blackwater Giants" was posted at Plum Tree Tavern (March 14); and "Vigilant Hunter," along with a photograph by Suzanne's daughter, Sara, was posted on Naturewriting (March 15).

 

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose flash fiction piece "The Lady of the Lake" (February 2) and poem "Dancing under the Moon" (February 3) appear in Writing in a Woman's Voice. Also, her essay on poetry, "Excelsior!", is forthcoming in an anthology about poetry from Black Lawrence Press.

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poems "The Little Leprechauns" and "Frogs" appear in the West End Poet's Newsletter (March/April/May, 2018).

 

Hats Off! to Alice Osborn whose script "Can I Put Gigolo on My Resume?" received an Honorable Mention in the 10-Minute Play Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Staged readings of the winning plays will happen Saturday evening, April 21, at the Shepherd's Center, 1700 Ebert St., Winston-Salem.

 

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell whose poem "Wintry Treats" was posted at Plum Tree Tavern (Feb. 25). Her poem "Marine Illusionist" is forthcoming in Issue 3 of Pangolin Review (May 8). Her poem "Dancing Leaves" is included in the Winter 2017 Poetry Quarterly. Her personal narrative "Calm Down," about her first solo flight in a Cessna 152, was selected for the Personal Essay Publishing Project (Winter 2018). Only North Carolina and Kentucky authors are included in the final collection, as it pays tribute to the resourcefulness and the character of Daniel Boone and his colleagues on the 250th anniversary of their experience hunting in the wilderness. Suzanne's essay is one of forty-five forthcoming in the anthology Bearing Up. The project was sponsored by Randell Jones and Daniel Boone Footsteps out of Winston-Salem. Publication is expected in early spring, 2018.

 

Hats Off! to Cindy Brookshire whose poem “Selma at the Crossroads” will be included in the time capsule of Selma, North Carolina (Johnston County). The capsule will be sealed for the next 100 years with other items such as copies of Johnston Now magazine, The Selma News, essays written by middle and elementary school children, and hundreds of photos taken by local photographers.

 

Hats Off! to Alli Marshall who was named the 2018 UNC Asheville Ramsey Library Community Author. The Community Author award "will provide Marshall a yearlong residency in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library, where she’ll enjoy a dedicated study carrel and access to campus resources. She plans to complete a collaborative project combining the spoken word with local visual and sound artists. 'I’m hoping there’s some way to work on that or some other project with people in the UNCA community,' she says."

 

Hats Off! to Meagan Lucas whose short story "Getting Past the Gate" has been published by The Same, a literary journal that promotes voices of women and girls. Being raised a person of faith, Lucas has always struggled with questions and doubt. She wrote this story as a way to deal with some of those questions that she still wrestles with.

 

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh whose short story "The Topaz Creek Fugitive" was a finalist for the 2017 Ron Rash Fiction Award.

 

 

Brutal Silence by Margaret Dardess

Mason Point Press
$13.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0692851043
February, 2017
Fiction: Suspense/Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Brutal Silence is an engaging thriller and a fine piece of work."
—William Bernhardt, author of The Game Master

"A page-turning thriller, Brutal Silence is filled with mystery, intrigue, and family secrets. With a plot that twists and turns, Margaret Dardess manages to entertain while also shining a spotlight on a growing plague in society: human trafficking. Even the most discerning reader will be guessing the outcome. Brutal Silence is not to be missed."
—Michael Morris, author of Man in the Blue Moon

"Brutal Silence is great edge-of-your-seat story. I love Alexher story really brings home the reality that human trafficking is not just something that happens in other placesit is in our own neighborhoods and our own communities."
—Kimberly Smith, author of Passport Through Darkness

Alex Harrington’s genteel Southern world shatters when two strangers drag her from a tourist bus while she's on vacation in Mexico City. She wakes on a grit-covered cement floor, head throbbing, looking up into the terrified faces of a dozen women and the brutal world of human trafficking. A champion runner, Alex escapes and returns to run her free clinic in North Carolina, haunted by the faces of the women she was unable to save. When a battered woman seeks refuge at her clinic, only to die moments later, Alex learns that human traffickers don’t only exist in Mexico. They are operating even in her home town, targeting her, and she has no idea why. Alex wants answers, but when the trail leads back to those she loves the most, she finds that sometimes it’s the most innocent and ordinary places that hide the most terrible secrets.

Born and raised just outside of New York City, Margaret Dardess has lived and travelled across several continents, landing at last in Chapel Hill, where she probably should have been all along. She is the daughter of an artist and a poet, who were determined to steer their only daughter away from a life in the arts. For many years they were successful. Margaret returned to New York after graduation from Connecticut College to study Japanese history at Columbia University, and after a brief teaching career at the University of Illinois, went on to tackle the law. When she finally stopped going to school, she set off on a journey, masquerading as an international trade lawyer, a corporate communications executive and a university administrator until at last she cast her parents’ warnings to the wind and began to write. Brutal Silence is Margaret’s debut thriller. After meeting a woman who escaped from human traffickers and hearing all that the poor woman endured, Margaret was so angry that she had to tell others about it. She chose to write an action-packed thriller as a way to make the issue of human trafficking come alive through fiction. Brutal Silence is the story of Alex Harrington, a resilient and gutsy young Southern woman who takes on human traffickers in her North Carolina town and in Mexico and wins. Margaret lives with her husband and three cats in Chapel Hill and Wilmington. She is hard at work on a second book that will take Alex Harrington to Margaret’s own native New York City and back to Mexico where Alex tries to build a new life as an international relief worker only to find that those she trusts the most are motivated more by greed than by charity: www.margaretdardess.com

 

Thinking about Quitting Medicine by C. Nicole Swiner, MD, and Others

Swiner Publishing Company
$9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9863702-2-9
January, 2017
Nonfiction: Self-help / Entreneurial / Medical
Available from www.Amazon.com

"I thought this book did an excellent job at featuring several individuals from different situational backgrounds. I enjoyed the conversational manner in which each individual's story was written. Succinct, but yet powerful. Thank you to all of the authors for sharing your life stories and for reminding us that one does not need to remain confined to the traditional constructs of medicine."
—Dr. David Pierre

Brought together from various fields of medicine, a team of visionary physicians came together with the shared mission of guiding our current generation of frustrated physicians to finding a path in medicine that is aligned with their ideal lifestyle vision.

From Emergency Medicine, to Obstetrics and Gynecology, to Radiation Oncology, to Psychiatry, to Psychology, to Beauty Queens with combined Law and Medical Doctorates, we’ve brought our best docs together. We’ve brought you medical school professors, entrepreneurs, publishers, locum tenens practitioners, doctors who entirely quit medicine to build virtual worlds, doctors who left the world of traditional practice to do missionary work.

They’ve all come together to share with you their experiences during medical training, their careers and lives after medical training out in the real world, and the feelings and thoughts that called them to consider alternatives to medicine.

C. Nicole Swiner, MD/AKA DocSwiner, is a family physician, two-time bestselling author, national speaker, wife and Mom of two in North Carolina. She loves taking care of the family as a whole—from the cradle to the grave. Her medical interests include Minority Health, Women’s Health, and Pediatrics. For her undergraduate education, she attended Duke University and went to medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, SC. She’s lived in the Triangle since finishing residency at the UNC-Chapel Hill and is a co-owner of Durham Family Medicine. She also continues teaching UNC medical students and residents as an Adjunct Associate Professor.

Her first book, How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex, discusses the false belief that one person can be all things to all people, perfectly. It can have devastating effects—emotionally, mentally and physically. She hopes this book will serve as a guide for recovering superwomen (and supermen) everywhere to avoid said negative effects, and to make it a little easier and less stressful to take care of one’s self and family.

Her second book (released August 2016), The Superwoman Complex: A Follow-Up Visit, is an international bestseller and takes a more in-depth look into how we fix the issues identified and defined in her first book.

Her third book, the first collaborative one, is also an Amazon bestseller—Thinking About Quitting Medicine. It is a story of thirteen doctors and clinicians that strive to succeed in passions both within and outside of the practice of medicine.

Since 2009, she has been speaking locally and nationally for organizations, groups, high schools, and universities about stress management, health matters, and self-care. She does weekly broadcasts online and on Periscope with PeriGirlsTV, which are interactive and live. She enjoys helping others and doing events in a Q&A format to allow people to ask those questions they may be afraid to ask anyone else.

Along with speaking and teaching, she added publisher self-publishing consultant to her list of duties, as friends and colleagues around her became inspired to write and publish themselves. She published the above-mentioned three books through this company. Through Swiner Publishing Company, she serves as a liaison and “accountability partner” for those wanting to follow in her footsteps to begin a new career in book writing, marketing, social media, broadcasting, and speaking.

In January 2016, she launched her inaugural women’s health conference, called “New Year, New You,” and hosted a sold out crowd filled with twenty-plus vendors, live music, over fourteen speakers, two panel discussions and giveaways. She plans to hold this annually on Duke’s campus.

She can be contacted and all other information is available on www.docswiner.com.

The Polite Society by Ross White

Unicorn Press
$20.00, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-87775-811-2
March, 2017
Poetry
Available from the publisher

“Seamlessly the beautiful poems of Ross White’s The Polite Society traverse the page, but then, reading, you are struck by the sense of language as suddenly all the more mysterious—language, that is, as the ultimate system, frighteningly capable of both negotiation and song. If ‘the system’ threatens an all-encompassing politics, which it might, resistance is found in ourselves, our own imaginations. These poems are the proof.”
—Sally Keith, author of River House

The Polite Society is exactly the kind of work we need to be doing as writers and as human beings. In these gorgeously crafted poems, White examines not only our broken system of government but the systems of thought that broke it—and threaten to break us. He does not flinch, and through his deconstruction of the prejudices we have so politely ignored, White offers the hope of reconstructing a society based on open-eyed understanding.”
—Emma Bolden, author of Maleficae

“In poems both brutal and beautiful, Ross White compels us to confront our numbness, our complacency, and our ‘burden / of guilt.’ In the contexts of colonial history, unchecked police and military forces, and both domestic and global unrest, White’s poems revisit and revise notions of the American dream, shedding a bright light on the high cost of engaging in a ‘civil’ society. All the while, White holds himself, his work, and all of us accountable. His poems point to our shared complicity in the brutalities that mar human interaction, from a troubled father-son relationship to the global forces of imperialism.”
—Dilruba Ahmed, author of Dhaka Dust

What is the spirit of our age, and what are the consequences of that spirit? The Polite Society pursues these questions, urging readers to ignore politics in its infamous, decadent sense and focus instead on how we might still work together to flourish together.

Ross White is the author of the chapbook How We Came Upon the Colony (Unicorn Press, 2014). His work has appeared in Best New Poets 2012, Poetry Daily, and The Southern Review, among others. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

A Failure to Communicate by S. Andrea Allen

BLF Press
$14.95, paperback / $8.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9972439-4-9
January, 2017
Fiction: Short stories / African American / LGBT
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"A Failure to Communicate is a collection of essays and short stories crafted with a deft and knowing hand by a talented writer and editor. Allen’s wonderful handling of diverse topics includes elementary school racism, the politics of an office potluck, and picking up the pieces professionally and personally when life decides it has other plans for you. It is a wonderful addition to the canon and to my bookshelf."
—LaToya Hankins, author of SBF Seeking... and K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood

"In A Failure to Communicate: Stories, S. Andrea Allen has written a memorable collection of stories that capture the universal essence of what it means to love self, other people, and the importance of communication in an array of beautifully imagined relationships and scenarios. These twelve stories speak an undeniable truth in vibrant vignettes of lesbian love, black history, feminism, abuse, and loss."
—Claudia Moss, author of If You Love Me, Come

A Failure to Communicate, S. Andrea Allen’s debut collection of short fiction and essays, focuses on how communication, or the lack thereof, impacts Black women’s lives. The stories range from the humorous to the heartbreaking: one woman wins a bake-off because her co-worker misunderstands the contest; an overweight woman finally learns to love herself, even though it means leaving her girlfriend.

A teenager reflects on his mother's inability to discuss her depression; a woman realizes that her partner has been hiding a gambling addiction, and has to decide whether to help her or save herself. The women in this collection are often silenced, but Allen imbues them with a voice that demands to be heard.

S. (Stephanie) Andrea Allen, Ph.D, is a native southerner and out black lesbian writer, scholar, and educator. In 2014, she founded BLF Press, and recently co-founded the Black Lesbian Literary Collective. She co-edited Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction (BLF Press 2016) and Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color (BLF Press 2017). Her debut collection of short fiction and essays, A Failure to Communicate, was released in early 2017, and she is currently working on her first novel.

Volunteer Gap by C. David Gelly

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$20.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1542631440
March, 2017
Fiction
Available from www.Amazon.com

Leroy Jefferson sat in favorite rocking chair on the front porch of his farm. This was his favorite part of the day as day edged into night. He smiled as he put his book down and looked at Laneisha in the porch hammock. She was sound asleep.

While he took it all in, he knew that all could change in a moment. He loved his farm and the hours of enjoyment he gained from working the land. Yet, his day job as Sheriff of Carroll County was overwhelming at times.

Sheriff Frank Pierce had retired and the race to replace him took on a life of its own He still was mentally recovering from the election campaign he had suffered through many months before.

He was pleased with his place as a Captain at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. The compensation was good and certainly offset by the revenue Laneisha earned as the most trusted tax consultant in Carroll County. There was also the revenue and agricultural tax considerations from his farm.

The County leaders were split on who they preferred to be the new Sheriff. Leroy knew who among them could look beyond the fact that he was African-American. The smart ones would back him because they knew he was capable and trustworthy and honest to a fault. Sheriff pierce promised his support as well as did many others in the County government. The elected political leaders understood and learned from what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. They understood the benefits of having a qualified and smart Sheriff who just happened to be black was a huge plus for Carroll County.

But that view was not shared by all.

Two Mennonite communities separated by thousands of miles must come together to protect the lives of an innocent Mother and Daughter caught in the cross-hairs of a violent struggle....

Hope and Hannah Showalter witness a violent drug related horrific killing that sets in motion a search by the killers for these two innocent souls in southwest Virginia that ends in the bucolic Mennonite community called Blue Creek nestled far off the beaten path in remote Belize.

If you enjoyed the 1985 movie thriller Witness, this modern-day struggle between good and evil will take you through the peaks and valleys of love and pure unmitigated hatred that challenges the very core of our existence.

While called upon again to find the truth, Quinn McSpain and Louisa Hawke are targeted by a maniac who will do whatever it takes…to kill them both!

C. David Gelly is the acclaimed author who has brought the Gap series to life. The first two selections, Fancy Gap and Orchard Gap, have won well-deserved critical acclaim. Follow him on Twitter @FancyGap and the Fancy Gap and Orchard Gap pages on Facebook. The author lives in North Carolina, as well as the mountains of southwest Virginia.

 

Permutations among the Nightingales by David Garrett Izzo

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$5.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-520678566
November, 2016
Poetry
Available from www.Amazon.com

"With remarkable elan, David Garrett Izzo unfolds the secret origami of our minds and constitutions in his new book, Permutations among the Nightingales. 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. Reading Izzo’s poems, you wind up in unexpected places, for he is one of the great secrets of American literature." 
—Kevin Killian, American poet, author, editor, and playwright

"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."
—April Lindner, author of Skin, winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Prize

David Garrett Izzo has published four novels, three plays, five short stories, and seventeen poems, as well as seventeen books and sixty essays of literary scholarship. David has published extensively on the Perennial Spiritual Philosophy of Mysticism (Vedanta) as applied to literature. He is inspired by Aldous Huxley, Bruce Springsteen, his wife Carol, and their five cats: Huxley, Max, Princess, Phoebe, and Luca. Two of his novels are fantasies with cats as characters: Maximus in Catland and Purring Heights: www.davidgarrettizzo.com.

 Kaleidoscope: 20 Stories Celebrating Women's Magazine Fiction by Ellyn Bache

Banks Channel Books
$16.00, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1889199177
March, 2017
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Surprisingly good...Kaleidoscope will cure some readers of their stereotypes about women's magazines. The stories here seldom turn dark, but they almost never sink into mere formula...Not all come from women's magazines. Some were published in regional magazines; one, the brilliant "Pho," appeared in The Chicago Tribune....

"Kaleidoscope illustrates a modern paradox. This should be a golden age for the short story; people are 'too busy' to read and have too many distractions, so the short form should be ideal. These days, however, there are fewer and fewer outlets printing them. Bache's collection shows us why attention should still be paid."
—Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News

For most of the twentieth century, women by the millions looked to magazines like McCall's and Good Housekeeping not just for recipes and decorating tips but for the short stories that appeared each month. Then technology- and budget-challenged magazines stopped publishing fiction, leaving behind many fans who, to this day, reminisce with real fondness about that genre and how much they still miss it.

This was the germ of the idea for this collection of twenty stories by award-winning author Ellyn Bache, who began her career writing magazine stories and later turned to novels, among them Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon. The stories, originally published in magazines ranging from McCall's and Seventeen to the slick regional publication, Virginia Country, run the gamut from funny to poignant to suspenseful, with a remarkably contemporary feel.

Ellyn Bache is the award-winning author of ten novels, including The Art of Saying Goodbye, a SIBA Okra Pick and book of the year nominee, and Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon. She has also published dozens of both literary and commercial stories, some of which were collected in The Value of Kindness, which won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize.

 

Deadly Ransom: a Matt Davis Mystery by Joe Perrone, Jr.

Escarpment Press
$12.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0692844809
March, 2017
Fiction: Mystery / Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Matt Davis is back—and that’s bad news for the bad guys! Matt Davis, the former NYC homicide detective, nearly killed in the line of duty in Joe Perrone Jr.’s debut, As the Twig Is Bent, thought he’d found peace and quiet as chief of a small, Upstate police department. But trouble has an uncanny way of finding him. It’s kidnapping and arson this time around in Perrone’s fifth Matt Davis mystery, Deadly Ransom, 'a must-read for his many fans.'"
—Tom Connor, co-author of the New York Times bestselling Martha Stuart’s Better Than You at Entertaining

"Generally I do not read serial novels, and I admit to fighting to keep preconceived prejudices at bay . . . to my surprise, Deadly Ransom is a page-turner, or in this age of e-books, a page ‘swiper.’

"Author Joe Perrone, Jr. cleverly presents his latest thriller in a psychophrenic storyline. Matt Davis, a former NYPD detective, now Chief of Police in Upstate Roscoe, NY, is asked by an old friend to solve a kidnapping in Montana. Davis convinces his boss, the mayor, to allow him a long overdue vacation, and agrees to work on his own time. As the mystery in Montana plays out, back in Roscoe, an arsonist runs loose, keeping Matt’s temporary substitute quite busy. The entire novel has the reader rooting for his replacement to solve the arson mystery so that Matt doesn’t return to New York, having solved the Montana crime only to find an unresolved mess at home.

"Among the things I like are the short chapters. As you read along, there is a comfortable certainty in knowing the action will shift when you reach the end of a chapter. The scene either shifts from protagonist to antagonist, or re-opens the action, either in Montana or Upstate New York.

"Although part of a series, Deadly Ransom has a strong enough plot and character development to allow it to stand on its own. In fact, your curiosity might be piqued enough to return to the scene of the crime and work your way through the first four books in the series." 
—Greg Miller, Production Manager, Thomson Reuters; author of Springsteen—A Notion Deep Inside (www.BossScribbler.com)

"Deadly Ransom is just that, another Matt Davis mystery well worth the cover price. However, this time you get two Matt Davis cases for the price of one. Matt and former partner, Chris Freitag, are off to Montana—not to fish, but to rescue a kidnapped ranch hand named Shorty. While Matt's away, Roscoe is burning, as an arsonist terrorizes the countryside.

"Author Joe Perrone, Jr. takes the reader on his typical twisted ride, this one from the Catskills to the big skies of Montana. The cast includes cowboys, Indians, an arsonist, and more three-dimensional characters.

"In the end, it’s Matt’s good old common sense and his lifetime of experience that saves the day. Deadly Ransom is a welcome addition to the Matt Davis Mystery Series and will hold your attention right up to the conclusion."
—Jim Krul, former director, Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center, Livingston Manor, NY

Ralph Gilly, the owner of a fishing resort in Montana where Chris and Matt vacationed together years ago has a neighbor in trouble, and reaches out to Matt and Chris for help.

Clint Davidson's prize bull has been slaughtered and his foreman, Shorty McMann, has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The cattleman has been warned that any involvement by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies will result in the death of his ranch hand. Desperate, the ranch owner offers to pay all expenses if Matt and Chris can fly out together to help. Reluctantly, Roscoe mayor Harold Swenson agrees to let Matt go, with dire consequences promised if he isn’t back on time, and he and Chris head West.

Meanwhile, back home in Roscoe, Rick Dawley becomes acting chief, and he, Bobcat Walker, and Pete Richards have their hands full with an crazed arsonist who is setting local barns on fire.

Joe Perrone, Jr. worked as a sportswriter for the Passaic-Clifton, NJ, Herald News, as well as a freelance advertising copywriter. He was also a professional fly-fishing guide for ten years in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and has had several fly-fishing short stories published in the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. The author is perhaps best known for his Matt Davis Mystery Series, which includes As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises, and Deadly Ransom (the most recent in the series). All but the first in the series are actually set in Roscoe, NY, the small Upstate New York fishing village where Joe was a guide.

Joe's first novel, Escaping Innocence (A Story of Awakening), was published in 2008, and is an evocative coming-of-age novel set in the turbulent 1960s. In addition to his six novels, Joe has authored two nonfiction works, A “Real” Man's Guide to Divorce (First, you bend over and…), published in 2009, and Gone Fishin' with Kids (How to Take Your Kid Fishing and Still be Friends), co-authored with Manny Luftglass, and published in 1997.

Opening Day and Broken Promises have each been awarded an Indie BRAG Medallion. As the Twig is Bent has been translated into Portuguese as Pau que nasce torto (translator: Rafa Lombardino of Word Awareness, Inc. of Santee, CA) and Spanish, with a German translation underway. Plans are in place to translate the other books in the Matt Davis series similarly in the very near future. All of Joe's novels are available in regular and large print paperbacks, in audiobook, and in e-book formats through various online retailers.

When he is not writing, Joe enjoys fly fishing, cooking, listening to music, watching movies, and, most of all, spending time with his one and only granddaughter. He makes at least one trip a year to the Catskills to fish his beloved Beaverkill, Willowemoc, and other trout streams, and uses that time to recharge his batteries and conceive new plots for his books.

Joe lives in Western North Carolina with his wife, Becky, and the couple's two cats, Callie and Cassie. He enjoys hearing from readers, and can be reached with comments and questions by visiting his website at www.joeperronejr.com.

Kelly Starling LyonsGREENSBORO, NC—Beat the upcoming price increase and pre-register for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at UNCG. While on-site registration will be available, members will save more than 25 percent by registering now.

Our faculty is at the forefront of the North Carolina literary scene, and they’ve been all over the news. Here’s what they’ve been up to:

  • Carrie Knowles, who along with Peggy Payne will lead the workshop, “Market Your Book—with Imagination,” was recently named the 2014 Piedmont Laureate.
  • Paul Stroebel, who will sit on the “Writing about War” panel with Robin Greene and Sharon D. Raynor, was featured last week on WUNC’s The State of Things with Frank Stasio.
  • Linda Rohrbough will teach attendees “How to Make an Elevator Pitch.” She was featured recently on Who’s Talking? with D.G. Martin on 97.9 FM WCHL.
  • Two of our fiction faculty members have new novels out: Kim Church published Byrd this month, and Drew Perry has been on tour for his new novel, Kids These Days.
  • Kelly Starling Lyons’ children’s book, Hope’s Gift, was named a 2013 Okra Pick and was showcased at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. She’ll lead a workshop titled, “So You Want to Write a Children’s Book.”
  • Jacinta V. White will lead a special session of “One City, One Prompt.” The NCWN Spring Conference is one of a handful of exclusive venues for this national program.

Not to mention our impressive workshop leaders, Nancy Peacock and Jonathan Farmer, who will lead the Two-Part Fiction and Two-Part Creative Nonfiction workshops, respectively. Or our distinguished poets, Mark Smith-Soto and John Thomas York; or the inimitable duo of Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan, who will lead a workshop titled “Writing from Experience.”

Pre-registration is open through Sunday, April 6. For more information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—On Tuesday, March 25, WUNC’S The State of Things with Frank Stasio featured Spring Conference faculty member Paul Stroebel, who will sit on the“Writing about War” panel at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference.

Stroebel, along with another member of the Veterans Writing Collective, Rebecca King, talked about their writing in the Upstage Cabaret at the Triad Stage in Greensboro. The State of Things with Frank Stasio is a live radio show that brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to listeners six days a week. Host Frank Stasio lives in Durham, and is the former host of Talk of the Nation. This event was free and open to the public.

From Homer to Hemingway, writers have grappled with the causes, effects, and costs of war more than any other subject (except, perhaps, for love). As writers living in a time and place at war, how do we write responsibly and honestly about our—and others'—experience of it, whether from the front lines or the home front? This panel will examine this question, and others that writers face when they try to put war into words.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Registration is now open. Spring Conference offers a full day of intensive workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing from experience, writing for children, and the art of the pitch. Other features include faculty readings, on-site "lunch with an author," publisher exhibits, and an open mic for conference participants.

The "Writing about War" panel will convene in the afternoon session. Robin Greene is the author of four books and is a professor of English and Writing at Methodist University, where she holds the McLean Endowed Professorship of English. Paul Stroebel is a six-year U.S. Army veteran who was with the 82nd Airborne Division and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharon D. Raynor is a Visiting Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University and an Adjunct Instructor int eh Center for Documentary Studies and Continuing Education at Duke University; she has written and directed two oral history projects with combat veterans in rural North Carolina.

Also on Saturday, award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons will lead a workshop titled “So You Want to Write a Children's Book?”

Have you always wanted to write a children's book? Start the journey with children's book author Kelly Starling Lyons in a workshop designed to introduce you to the field. You'll get a basic understanding of children's book genres, mine your life for story ideas and receive tips to help you on your way.

Lyons is a children's book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include the CCBC Choices-honored picture book One Million Men and Me; Ellen's Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; Tea Cakes for Tosh, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and winner of the 2013 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award for Juvenile Literature (sponsored by the North Carolina division of AAUW); and Hope's Gift, named an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and showcased as the featured North Carolina children's book at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Find out more at www.kellystarlinglyons.com.

Spring Conference pre-registration ends Sunday, April 6. Workshops are filling up fast—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 www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference will offer registrants two workshops on how to pitch and promote their books.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (Registration is now open.) For those writers with manuscripts ready or near-ready to be sent on submission, or anyone who's simply curious about how the process works, these workshops, led by bestselling and award-winning authors, offer proven strategies for pitching your next book and gaining readership through imaginative marketing.

In the morning session, Carrie Knowles and Peggy Payne will lead a workshop titled, "Market Your Book—with Imagination." You can improve your book’s sales, using the very ability that started you writing in the first place: imagination, the ability to see possibilities. Whether you start the process before you have a publication date or when the day is looming, you can help to kick off and maintain your book’s sales. You can even give a long-published book new life. Carrie Knowles and Peggy Payne, creators of their own three-state Crazy Ladies Book Tour and authors of a total of nine books, will show you how. Both are novelists, nonfiction authors, and have worked in advertising and marketing. They will suggest tactics and strategies for books and book ideas that workshop participants bring in.

In the afternoon, Linda Rohrbough will teach registrants "How to Make an Elevator Pitch." It’s a completely different set of skills to effectively talk about a book, than to write one. And it doesn’t take long for writers to figure out they need to be able to talk about their book to people they don’t know in a succinct and compelling way. First, it’s to editors and agents, but after publication it’s to book store managers, reader groups, and even the media. This workshop provides all the tools, including a simple three-step plug and play formula for pitching any book, along with the encouragement and fear-management techniques authors need to develop this all-important skill. Packed with examples, this interactive workshop gives writers everything they need to implement the career-long skill of pitching their books.

"How to Make an Elevator Pitch" is highly encouraged for anyone who signs up for the Speed Pitch special session at the end of the day, where registrants have a chance to pitch their manuscripts to four literary professionals. (See conference page for full details.)

Carrie Knowles is the 2014 Piedmont Laureate. She has been a freelance writer for the past forty-five years. She has published widely in both fiction and nonfiction and has won a number of prestigious writing awards including the Midland Authors Poetry Award, the American Heart Association Heart and Torch Award for Creative Journalism, and Glimmer Train’s Very-Short Fiction Contest. Her nonfiction book, The Last Childhood: A Family Story of Alzheimer’s, has been noted as one of the top 100 books written about Alzheimer’s. She has two novels published by Roundfire Books: Lillian’s Garden and Ashoan’s Rug.

Peggy Payne’s most recent novel is Cobalt Blue, kicked off at last year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and published in six countries. Her Sister India was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and her first, Revelation, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice with screen rights sold to Synergy Films. She is co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good and has written for many national publications and most of the major American newspapers. Peggy works with other writers individually and in groups, giving manuscript feedback and career counsel.

Linda Rohrbough has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and nonfiction. She’s worked as a bureau chief for a news network in Los Angeles and in Dallas as well as having her bestselling books published by the big five New York publishing houses. Her books have enjoyed translation into over a dozen languages and she’s been quoted by publications such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her novel The Prophetess One: At Risk has garnered three national awards: the 2012 International Book Award, the 2011 Global eBook Award, and the 2011 Millennium Star Publishing Award. An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website: www.LindaRohrbough.com.

All three instructors also are available for the "Lunch with an Author" program, where attendees can sign up in advance to have lunch with a faculty member. This allows attendees to spend less time waiting in line and more time in conversation with conference faculty outside the classroom.

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.

 

NORTH CAROLINA—Chapel Hill writer Laura Herbst won top honors in the 2014 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay “Breast Cancer: A Love Story.”

Author Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, the judge of this year’s contest, said, “I found ‘Breast Cancer: A Love Story’ an elegy for the body that reminds us of how our very identities are tangled up in painful physicalities. The writer sketches for us her own architecture and where in its design she has discovered fault lines and fulcra.

“In the end, the essay demonstrates that the barricades most difficult to break down are interior and intensely private. It reveals the unceasing struggle to countermand the secrets that, in becoming manifest, threaten to expose—as the writer acknowledges—the core of us.”

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Herbst left her job teaching news writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to write what she calls “soulful women's stories.” She is at work on a novel, set among village women in West Africa, where she once lived. Her fiction has appeared in The Sun magazine, and her nonfiction in The New York Times, the News and Observer in Raleigh and Indy Week (for which she received an investigative reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association last year).

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at UNC-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 NCWN. First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $1,000, $300, and $200, respectively, and the winning entry is considered for publication in the magazine Southern Cultures.

Jason Hess of Wilmington won second place for his essay “The Adopted Person.” Hess, a native of Scappoose, Oregon, holds a BA in Spanish and English from the University of Idaho, and has lived in Costa Rica, Idaho, Spain, and now North Carolina.

“The essayist has a compelling voice that nimbly moves from humor to grief, all the while pursuing labyrinthine questions concerning origins, family, and isolation,” Abrams said.

Chapel Hill’s Joanna Catherine Scott won third place for her essay “How I Went to Adult Prison as a Child,” based on interviews with a prisoner in Central Prison.

“‘How I Went to Adult Prison as a Child’ is essay as reportage, documentary, a lone lens trained on a subject with the writer vanished,” Abrams said. “The strength of the piece is perhaps in this stepping back of the author, so the voice of imprisoned can have the space necessary to testify.”

Scott is the author of the novels Child of the South, The Road from Chapel Hill, The Lucky Gourd Shop, Charlie: a novel of war, and Cassandra, Lost; the nonfiction Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam; and the prize-winning poetry collections An Innocent in the House of the Dead, Breakfast at the Shangri-la, Fainting at the Uffizi, and Night Huntress. A graduate of the University of Adelaide and Duke University, Joanna was born in England, raised in Australia, and now lives in Chapel Hill.

Abrams won the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award of $50,000, one of the richest prizes in American literature, for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls. She holds an MFA (’07) from UNC-Wilmington, where she now teaches in the English Department. She is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, a Hartshook Fellowship, and a Byington Award. Born on Guam, Abrams is currently at work on her memoir, The Following Sea, about growing up on a cutter that made port throughout the South Pacific.

 

NORTH CAROLINA—The announcement of this year’s inductees into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will bring to a close the 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival on Sunday, April 6.

The announcement and subsequent panel discussion, scheduled for 5:00 pm in the Multipurpose Room of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, will be the grand finale of the four-day-long celebration of past, present, and future of the written word.

Four North Carolina writers will be inducted into the NCLHOF in a ceremony on Sunday, October 12, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines. They will join the fifty-three inductees currently enshrined. Inductions are held every other year; the 2012 inductees were Maya Angelou, Kathryn Stripling Byer, and John Lawson.

A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at www.nclhof.org.

“This is a fitting time and place to announce the 2014 inductees,” said Ed Southern, the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, which oversees the NCLHOF. “The festival’s theme is ‘The Future of Reading,’and it’s proper to honor the past when you’re examining the future. We’re excited to honor these writers.”

The North Carolina Literary Festival will take place April 3–6 at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University. Participating authors will include current NCLHOF inductees Allan Gurganus, Lee Smith, and Elizabeth Spencer, as well as NCWN members Kim Church, Angela Davis-Gardner, Jaki Shelton Green, Marjorie Hudson, Scott Huler, Zelda Lockhart, Kelly Starling Lyons, Jill McCorkle, Sheila Smith McKoy, Elaine Neil Orr, Drew Perry, and Stephanie Powell Watts.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—Poets who attend the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Spring Conference will have the chance to sign up for two poetry workshops led by award-winning North Carolina writers.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 12, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the poetry workshops will focus on particular, nuts and bolts elements of the craft that will teach registrants how to turn their abstract bursts of inspiration into effective, uncluttered lines of poetry. Registration is now open.

During the morning session, Mark Smith-Soto will lead a poetry workshop, "Anchoring the Emotion." T.S. Eliot taught that emotion in poetry must find expression in an “objective correlative”—a sensory experience that will evoke the desired feeling in the reader rather than simply describe it. Naming or describing an emotion, and making others experience it as we feel it, are totally different things, and a failure to understand that difference can undermine a poem’s effectiveness. In this workshop, we will work on techniques useful in “anchoring” an abstract notion to the heart of a poem so as to make it shareable with others.

In the afternoon, poet John Thomas York will lead the workshop "Infinite Particulars and the Worlds They Make: Choosing Detail in Poetry." Ever had trouble generating detail, choosing detail (or letting the images choose you), or deciding when it's time to do some serious de-cluttering? Come join a craft talk, discussing strategies (some like cockleburs, some like fairy dust) offered by the leader after his long walks in literary fields. Bring a poem to share.

Mark Smith-Soto is Professor of Spanish and editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has published three prize-winning chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. He has twice been nominated for a Puschart Prize and won an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing in 2006.

John Thomas York grew up in Yadkin County in northwestern North Carolina. He has four poetry collections, including Cold Spring Rising, published by Press 53 in 2012. In 2011, he won the first annual James Applewhite Poetry Prize from North Carolina Literary Review.

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.

 

A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations by Christine Hale

Apprentice House
$16.99, paperback
ISBN: 978-1627201018
July, 2016
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Christine Hale’s evocation of the bewildering complexities of life as a mother, daughter, wife (and ex-wife), and student of Buddhism is both a poem and a letter to those she has worked so long and hard to understand. On a journey that takes her through emotional and actual hurricanes, love and cruelty, urgent losses, and painful gains, she climbs to sometimes unnervingly high altitudes as she experiences 'the joy and the sorrow of samsara.' In beautiful, clear language, Hale explores the wounds life gives us, the wounds we give ourselves, and the long process of healing."
—Sarah Stone, author of The True Sources of the Nile

"When St. John of the Cross first penned Dark Night of the Soul in the 1sixteenth century, he clarified the halting and stumbling steps of a spiritual journey. Christine Hale’s A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice takes this classic form and brings it into the twenty-first century, looking through the lens of loss, childhood trauma, Buddhism, and natural disasters, with tattoos and the author’s love for her children front and center. Her narrative illuminates the experience of stepping through the chilly and often frightening darkness into a hoped-for new dawn in the company of a generous friend and trusty guide who’s one step ahead."
—Bernadette Murphy, author of Harley & Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life

In this layered collage of memory within memory, Christine Hale recreates for readers her kaleidoscopic experience of a decades-long journey to acceptance and insight. Writer, prodigal daughter, single parent, Buddhist disciple, and, late in midlife, a newlywed, she is transformed through an unconventional relationship with a female spiritual teacher and an odd ritual of repeated tattooing with her two young adult children.

Christine Hale’s prose has appeared in Hippocampus, Arts & Letters, Prime Number, Shadowgraph, and The Sun, among other literary journals. Her debut novel Basil’s Dream (Livingston Press, 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. A fellow of MacDowell, Ucross, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ms. Hale has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and the Rona Jaffee Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program. Her new book, A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations (forthcoming from Apprentice House, July 2016) is set in the southern Appalachian Mountains, where she and her parents grew up. She lives in Asheville, where she is director of operations for Urban Dharma, a Buddhist temple and community center.

Afton: A Novel by Ellen LaConte

CreateSpace Publishing Platform
$15.25, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-515343653
October, 2015
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"It is perhaps the best new novel I have read in twenty years."
—Miles Frieden, Former Executive Director, Key West Literary Seminar

"...the writing is remarkably vivid. And that is very rare."
—Susan Shreve, author of A Student of Living Things and Board Co-Chairman of the Pen/Faulkner Foundation

It’s 1991 and greed is God. Money men are dreaming big, few bigger than Trump-competitor Rawden Darien. The Manhattan developer has investors, architects, and builders lined up to turn the breathtakingly beautiful Afton River delta and saltmarsh—located conveniently on Connecticut’s Gold Coast between big spenders in New York and Boston—into an upscale resort, condo, and retail complex. He’s confident Braeton Mills’ cash-strapped town fathers will see green, eagerly sell off “the swamp” to rake in new taxes, reap jobs, and win re-election. It’s a win-win.

But for bewildered, soon-to-be-widowed Hannah Walker, retiring landscape artist, Leslie Willoes, beloved children’s book author Jane Howard, and covert environmental activist Annabella Wedgwood, the destruction of the marshland is inconceivable. The Afton Marches are a singular place of solace, solitude, self-discovery and healing, rich with wild life and history. For Leslie Willoes they offer an opening into “designs grander than our own.” As spring yields to summer, they and their friends and opponents, including their friend, the only locally-born child of mill-workers, are an accidental community caught up in the fate of the Afton. They will suffer betrayals, disappointments, and losses. They will also discover gifts, strengths, and second chances. At its heart this is the story of one woman’s journey from psychological abuse and self-deprecation to finding her true self, her calling and, perhaps her passion. But, in reality, no one’s life will be unchanged by one man’s ambition to own the Afton.

Deemed a "stylish debut" by Kirkus reviews, Afton is by turns poignant, sad, funny, mesmerizing, evocative, and all too real.

A freelance writer, stringer, and editor of nonfiction—newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and memoirs—and dabbler in short stories for over forty years, Ellen LaConte's widely-endorsed Life Rules: Nature's Blueprint for Surviving Economic and Environmental Collapse was published by New Society Publishers in 2012.

Dimestore: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith

Algonquin Books
$24.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-616205027
March, 2016
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Here's Lee Smith at her best. Dimestore is personal nonfiction, where her brilliance shines. Her wide warmth blesses everything funny about life and—here especially—everything moving and deep."
—Annie Dillard

“In Lee Smith’s memoir, Dimestore, readers will gladly join her, finding her writing with the same lively spirit that has always informed her fiction. She never turns away from her Appalachian roots, revealing that remote region with discerning affection.”
—North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Elizabeth Spencer, author of Starting Over

“In her first work of nonfiction, novelist Smith explores how deep her Appalachian roots go, in this entertaining and poignant collection of Southern memories.”
Publishers Weekly

For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story.

Set deep in the mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters, and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing adventures for the store’s dolls--that she became a storyteller. Even when she was sent off to college to earn some “culture,” she understood that perhaps the richest culture she might ever know was the one she was driving away from--and it’s a place that she never left behind.

Dimestore’s fifteen essays are crushingly honest, wise and perceptive, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving personal portrait and a testament to embracing one’s heritage. It’s also an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith has published thirteen novels and four collections of short stories, including the bestselling novels Fair and Tender Ladies and The Last Girls, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Her new book is Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, a work of nonfiction. She is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She lives in Hillsborough.

Elegies for Small Game by ​Shelby Stephenson

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-941209-41-7
Apri, 2016
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"In these poems Shelby Stephenson continues his celebration of place, family, and memory. But here there is a new eloquence and authority of rhyme and ballad form, with laments for those who have gone on, and odes to hunting dogs, songs for game like possums and rabbits, a gallery of portraits of people and loved pets, and even imaginary pets of childhood. In poem after poem Stephenson catches the exuberance of childhood, the romance of hot-rods, the delight of barnyard basketball, and the poignant poetry of birdlife in the countryside. In dialogue and hymn, this singer and laureate meditates on issues of race, history, and the bonds of abiding love."
—Robert Morgan, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and author of Dark Energy

Beaver Damn Swamp

I will get up and walk out to the plankhouse,
And take in the health and sickness of the past
And turn my craft to verse for the mouse
Scrambling toward the crack in the window-sash.

Peace shall come and sit down for a long spell
On the porch where my father’s hunter-stool sits,
Empty, his gun in the modern house, well
In the corner-closet, silent in the clock-ticks.

I will stand on the high plank-porch and see as far as I can
Into sacrifices my ancestors made for the road,
Their low way through and round, the traces, the land—
Oh the faces on the wall—voices—my tongue’s load.

Shelby Stephenson has published many collections of poems, plus the poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photos by Roger Manley). Shelby is former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, judged by Allen Grossman. He is the current North Carolina Poet Laureate, and a 2014 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Shelby's website is www.shelbystephenson.com

The Libertarian Attack Against Liberty by Joseph W. Burrell

Algora Publishing
$23.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-672894-147-0
November, 2015
Nonfiction: Libertarian / Republican Party / Capitalism
Available from www.Amazon.com

This book describes the corporatist nature of the libertarian movement and its influence on the Republican Party. It attempts to refute the false belief by almost everyone that American capitalism is freedom loving and shows that capitalism is not and cannot be democratic. It also says that the Republican Party and the conservative and libertarian movements are trying to obliterate the revolutionary changes wrought by the New Deal by advancing a destructive "free market" ideology being pushed on the whole world through a globalist system of austerity for working people and deceptive propaganda aimed at consumers and ordinary citizens. It also discusses religion and the various challenges to fundamentalist belief by nonbelievers and secularists as well as aggressive American militarism and various social issues.

Joseph W. Burrell grew up in Western North Carolina, Lynchburg, Virginia, Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, DC. He served in the US Marine Corps during the Korean War and then earned a degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught school briefly in Washington, and then worked for the US Department of Justice. At last, he returned to the North Carolina mountains and began writing books. Algora Publishing in New York has published three of his nonfiction books, the last one in novemberr 2015. He has also written two novels, Child of Darkness and Man of Light, but so far neither has been published.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—University of North Carolina at Greensboro associate director Terry Kennedy recently dubbed this the “golden age” for publishing. But more publishing opportunity means more competition, so authors also need to be entrepreneurial in their approach. None more so than poets, who need to establish platforms in order to gain name recognition, nurture their readership, and sell books—one reader at a time.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2013 Spring Conference offers two poetry workshops and two workshops focused on the business of publishing—can’t miss offerings for those writers looking to earn a living doing what they love.

John Rybicki will lead a workshop titled "The Risks of Writing Poetry." Poetry writing is about risk. None of us can compose a potent poem with a block of ice in our chest. In that respect, Rybicki will be urging students in this class to walk on water and run with scissors; to say what it is a heart is burning to say. After some introductory flame throwing (inspiration) and some perusing of the nuances of craft, students will write a prose poem centered around one core person in their lives. Your father or mother will be a stranger to us before you write him/her into existence. By the end of your poem we will come to know them as a warm-blooded, three dimensional being. Don't worry about reaching some pinnacle of expression in a first draft. We all fail lavishly in our attempts to translate into higher language something core about the human condition. Students who wish to will share their work out loud at the end of class.

In the afternoon, Carolyn Beard Whitlow will lead a poetry session titled "Writing in Circles: Repeating Sounds, Words, and Refrains in Poetry." The ocean repeats its rhythmic waves. Birds repeat their trill. Chants are based on sounds rhythmically repeated. Repetition can be soothing or hypnotic. Or emphatic. Nursery rhymes and jingles depend on the repetition of sounds, most often rhyme. Sonnets most often rhyme. Other poetic forms, however, depend not only on rhyme, but on patterns of repeating words or lines that may not rhyme. The sestina form is based on six unrhymed words that repeat six times—no, really seven. The villanelle depends on two refrains that repeat alternately. Come learn how to create a villanelle and a sestina that repeat lines or words in entrancing and exciting ways. Even if you write free verse, you’ll learn the effect of melodic repetition.

Two additional workshops will focus on the business of publishing.

In the am session, Scott Nicholson will facilitate a workshop titled “Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing.” The Kindle and other devices have changed the way writers and readers connect. Learn the basic methods and platforms for getting your ebooks to a worldwide audience, as well as the advantages and risks of self-publishing. International bestselling author and publisher Scott Nicholson will share his experiences and answer questions to help you enter the fastest-growing market in literature.

And in the afternoon, Terry Kennedy and Ross White will co-coordinate a workshop titled “Authors as Entrepreneurs.” With the business models of traditional publishing changing, authors are increasingly being asked to act entrepreneurially. While many authors choose to do this by concentrating on marketing their work, an increasing number are developing new models of creative businesses and services that contribute to the literary community and develop a personal brand. In this session, two arts entrepreneurs will look at several small businesses developed by writers and discuss best practices for starting businesses that benefit both the individual writer and the larger literary community.

John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit. He is the author of three poetry collections: We Bed Down into Water, Traveling at High Speeds, and When All the World Is Old, published by Lookout Books in 2012. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, and Bomb, among many others, and have been reprinted in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize. He teaches poetry writing through InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice to children who have been through a trauma or loss. He lives in Augusta, Michigan, with his son, Martell.

Carolyn Beard Whitlow is Dana Professor of English at Guilford College, where she has taught Creative Writing and African American Literature since 1993. Finalist for the 1991 Barnard New Women Poets Prize and the 2005 Ohio State University Poetry Prize, she completed the MFA at Brown University, then published her first poetry collection, Wild Meat, in 1986. Her most recent book, Vanished, won the 2006 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and she was awarded the 2012 Sonia Sanchez/Amiri Baraka Prize in Poetry. She co-edited, with Marilyn Krysl, the anthology Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century, now under consideration for publication. Whitlow is also a visual artist and quilter whose work can be found at http://colorquiltsbycarolyn.squarespace.com/.

Scott Nicholson is the international bestselling author of more than thirty books. He released six mass-market paperbacks before becoming a self-publisher, and has since hit the Kindle Top 100 multiple times in four different countries. Nicholson has also written children’s books, poetry, comic books, and screenplays, and as a journalist he won three North Carolina Press Association awards. His website is www.hauntedcomputer.com.

Terry Kennedy is the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNC Greensboro where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship and Literary Publishing and serves as Associate Editor of The Greensboro Review. In addition, he edits the online journal, storySouth.

Ross White is the Executive Director of Bull City Press, a Durham-based small press dedicated to poetry and short fiction. He teaches poetry writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he is the Dean of Distance Education. His poetry and criticism has appeared in Best New Poets 2012, Salon.com, Poetry Daily, and others.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit www.ncwriters.org or call 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.

Jasper: Rainforest Friends and Family by Sharon C. Williams

Fountain Blue Publishing
$7.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-628681291
October, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Life in the jungle is never boring. It’s a lesson Jasper knows well. When someone is in need, he’ll gladly offer a helping hand. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for those he loves. The jungle is a dangerous place. One must tread carefully if they’re to survive. Though Jasper does his best to follow his mother’s every rule, he still marches to the beat of his own drum. New boundaries must be explored and new friends must be made. With so many new sights out there, it’s hard to let go of the curiosity that grows within Jasper at every turn.

Sharon C. Williams is a native of New England, raised in Northern Maine. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son. She is also owned by a flock of seven rescued birds. She has a B.S. degree in Chemistry. She loves to read, sketch,take pictures, walk, exercise, go to the movies, and listen to music. She is a budding bird watcher and knits on the side. Sharon is a huge sports fan of baseball, basketball, hockey, football, and MMA.

Two of her short stories were published in the anthology Cassandra’s Roadhouse and two in Dragons in the Attic , which was written by her writing group The Wonder Chicks. Her children’s chapter book, Jasper, Amazon Parrot:A Rainforest Adventure was released in September of 2013. Volume two, Jasper: Amazon Friends and Family was just released in October of 2015.

She writes in other genres such as nonfiction, YA, and adult.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference offers fiction writers the chance to hone in on very specific aspects of the craft under the tutelage of three renowned authors. The Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 13, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and offer workshops focused specifically on dialog, plot, and other foundational components of successful fiction.

Lee Zacharias will lead an all-day workshop titled "Animating Fiction." There are many elements to fiction, both short stories and novels—plot, character, point-of-view, and setting, to name a few—but perhaps none so important as character, which brings the fiction to life and drives the plot. This all-day workshop will center on characterization as we talk about ways to create plot, animate description, and discover the right point of view. The morning session will focus on discussion, the afternoon session on student writing and will include a prompt for generating new writing. Please also bring a short character description—no more than a couple of paragraphs—to share with the class. The description you bring may be from your own work or from a work you particularly admire and want to talk about.

Lynn York will lead a half-day fiction session in the morning. Titled "How to Write Dynamic Dialog," this workshop, which open to all levels of writers, will focus on the role of dialog in fiction writing. What should it do? What should it not do? Most important, how do you make it sound real—and make it do as much work as possible in your story or novel? In-class exercises will provide practical support and tools for writers to apply to their own in-progress and future work.

In the afternoon, John McNally will lead a workshop titled, "Plot: The Shape of Fiction." Have you ever had a good idea for a story but couldn't figure out how best to tell it? Have you written stories that fall flat because of the way you've plotted them? This purpose of this workshop is to refine the way you think about plot, to consider the ways it should function in stories and novels, and to expand your repertoire of plot's many shapes.

Lee Zacharias is the author of Helping Muriel Make It Through the Night (short stories); two novels, Lessons and At Random; and The World You Leave Behind, a volume of personal essays forthcoming from Hub City Press. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays and numerous journals, including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, The Gettysburg Review, and The North Carolina Literary Review among others. A former fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, she is English Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she won the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence and the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Outstanding Teaching Award, and was for a decade editor of The Greensboro Review.

Lynn York is the author of two novels: The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, the Duke Summer Writer’s Workshop, NC State University, and High Point University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council and the NC Art Society and lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

John McNally is the author of three novels: After the Workshop, The Book of Ralph, and America’s Report Card; and two story collections, Troublemakers and Ghosts of Chicago. He is also author of two nonfiction books: The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist and Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction, both published the University of Iowa Press. He has edited, coedited, or guest edited seven anthologies. John’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the Washington Post, The Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, and Virginia Quarterly Review. As a screenwriter, he has a script in development with the producer of Winter’s Bone. He’s an Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University and on the Core Faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit www.ncwriters.org or call 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.

Hundred-Year Wave by Rachel Richardson

Carnegie-Mellon University Press
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-887486104
February, 2016
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

View the book trailer here!

"Reading Hundred-Year Wave I kept thinking of that moment in Moby-Dick when Ishmael, having taken a Nantucket sleigh ride into the heart of a megapod of sperm whales, leans over the gunwales, looks down, sees 'suspended in those watery vaults' mothers and newborn calves, a cetacean nursery, and notes the resemblance between the harpoon line and the umbilicus. Hundred-Year Wave is full of, makes music of, such furtive similitudes. Following a 'great pulse and signal,' Richardson has gone diving into the twilight zones of language and metaphor, history and story, eros and grief, motherhood and marriage, and resurfaced with poems that, one almost feels, could light lamps."
—Donovan Hohn, author of Moby-Duck

"Immaculately yet organically structured, Rachel Richardson’s Hundred-Year Wave dives and sails and swims from the cosmic to the personal, accounting for the epical, sublime and tragic, and the lyrical, hymnal and elegiac. The sea is the book’s domain and the source of energy, its grief and solace; and in wave after wave of remarkable poetry bearing wit and grit and tenderness it heralds the arrival of a poet of great poise and prodigious lyrical gifts."
—Khaled Mattawa

"Rachel Richardson’s Hundred-Year Wave is a gorgeous book that borrows its vast subject matter from new parenthood, marriage, the ocean, whales, and Sylvia Plath. The poet knits each poem with such care—stitch by stitch, loop by loop, word after word into an effortless collection of quiet yet haunting music lush with texture and feeling. Her gifts are wide and deep like the ocean, as she shows us that 'we are not lost/in the vast expanse of lostness.'”
—Victoria Chang

In Rachel Richardson’s second collection of poems, she juxtaposes the grand quests of Ahab and Melville with the quotidian journeys of contemporary life. Hundred-Year Wave launches stories of marriage and motherhood over the currents of a nearly mythological ancestry: women and men who built their possessions out of iron and flour and whalebone and wool. If reaching back into the past is akin to plumbing a depth, then Richardson exhibits the rare abilities of craft to build, from our language, vessels light enough to travel on that element, but sturdy enough to weather the storms we are likely to find there.

Rachel Richardson has published poems in the New England Review, Slate, Southern Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan and an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina. Her awards include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Hopwood Award, and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences. She has taught in several prisons, public schools, and universities, and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

Jennifer BringleNORTH CAROLINA—Greensboro writer Jennifer Bringle won top honors in the 2013 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition for her essay “Mamaw’s House.”

Author Shawna Kenney, the judge of this year’s contest, said, “This was the winner from the very first sentence to the very last. This writer's personal essay is a heartfelt ode to the hoarding of all that is handwritten, told in a subtle southern voice the world would do well to hear more from.”

Bringle’s has written for The Washington Post, Southern Living, and Our State, among other publications. She also is a regular contributor at The News & Record of Greensboro and The News & Observer of Raleigh.

“I'm originally from Salisbury and grew up reading Rose Post's columns, so to win a competition bearing her name means so much to me,” Bringle said.

Jane Andrews of Raleigh won second place for her essay “Where the Heart Is.” Andrews is a North Carolina native and graduate of North Carolina State University whose work has appeared in Main Street Rag, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Southern Arts Journal, Raleigh Review, and other publications. Kenney said of Andrews’ entry, “This personal-yet-universal story shows the sibling bond through the prism of gem-like sentences.”

Helen Aitken of Swansboro won third place for her essay “The Last Wooden Boat,” which Kenney described as “a journalistic piece that feels as important to the endangered arts of boat building as it is to the state of North Carolina.”

Shawna Kenney authored the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, which enjoys international translation and a development deal with the FX network. She also wrote Imposters, a book about celebrity impersonators. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Florida Review, Juxtapoz, Ms., and Bust Magazine, among others.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at UNC 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. First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $300, $200, and $100, respectively, and the winning entry is considered for publication in the magazine Southern Cultures.

Stumbling Toward Enlightenment: A Wife's Thirty-year Journey with Her Green Beret by Polly B. Davis

Old Mountain Press
$15.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-931575-88-1
October, 2015
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Polly Brown Davis’ warm and wonderful Stumbling Toward Enlightenment reads like a charm. It is first a love story, full of energy and accomplishment, a rare combination of experiences: parachuting, mothering, going to graduate school while her husband goes off to Vietnam, confronting realities of health. Polly Brown Davis is a survivor, a beautiful one, as this memoir attests."
—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate

"An independent southern girl who copes, challenges, survives, and thrives as a career soldier’s wife (and much more), Polly Davis writes with grace, wry humor, poignant honesty—I was with her all the way."
—Celia Miles, author/editor

"You might think you know what it takes to be a US Special Forces Green Beret soldier during a time of war. But very few understand what it takes to remain his wife and constant companion for over forty years. Polly Davis does. With courage and wit and a heart too big to fail, Davis’ memoir is at once an adventure tale, an enduring love story, and an unwitting case study of true grace under pressure."
—Brian Knopp Author, Private Investigator and adjunct professor, UNC-Asheville

Married to a Special Forces soldier during the height of the Vietnam War, Polly B. Davis was a soldier’s wife with a difference: she often led, always followed, and sometimes fought alongside her Green Beret. Whether leaping out of airplanes, SCUBA diving off the coast of Massachusetts, hauling her family and their dogs over two continents, or battling a life-threatening disease, Davis’ life story is superbly rich with courage, compassion, and a sly humor that overcomes all obstacles. Failure is not an option with this warm and enticing tale.

Polly B. Davis did something she thought she never would do: marry a soldier. A Green Beret even!

Polly started out as a military wife with a BS Degree from the University of Georgia, and over the next thirty years, raised two children, numerous dogs and cats, and attained a Masters and a Doctorate. All while tramping the world with her soldier husband. Often alone in strange and uncertain circumstances, she not only rose to the occasion, she excelled in everything she ever did.

She has taught at every level from pre-school to college, served as the head of the English Department and Director of Research and Planning for Fayetteville Technical Community College. She was the first woman to join and the first woman to be president of the Kiwanis Club of the Cape Fear, President of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, President of the Friends of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, and Program/Speaker chair of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center for which we drew authors from all over the area and beyond. She was also the President of the North Carolina Community College Council of Teachers of English.

 

GREENSBORO, NC—What do a multi-genre, serial award winner; a former Piedmont Laureate; and the creative nonfiction editor for storySouth have in common? All three will be leading creative nonfiction workshops at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 13, in the MHRA Building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Judy Goldman will lead an all-day workshop titled "Writing Personal Essays and Memoir: Transforming Memories into Narrative." In this workshop (geared to both beginning and advanced writers), you’ll learn how to transform your experiences and memories into a narrative readers are interested in. For those of you who want to begin, but the way in seems shadowy, you'll discuss how to embark: what to put in your essay or memoir, what to leave out, where to start, how to shape the story. For those of you already immersed in the writing, Judy will encourage you to push all the way to the end of a first draft, no matter how awkward it feels. For those of you who’ve completed essays or a memoir, you'll discuss how to read your pages analytically and diagnostically, how to fix problems so that the writing is as good as you can make it and your story holds together.

Former Piedmont Laureate Scott Huler will lead a half-day creative nonfiction session in the morning. Titled "Nonfiction in a Stupid Golden Age," Huler's workshop will range widely over the territory and address topics such as:

  • the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and how to be absolutely sure you're on solid ground;
  • how to connect so that you have at least a chance at scraping together something like a living in the explosively growing world of nonfiction storytelling; and
  • how to conquer writer's block once and for all (hint: you will not like the method).

 

In the afternoon, Cynthia Nearman will lead a workshop titled, "Creating Images with Nonfiction." This 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. First, you’ll look briefly at vivid scenes from recently published essays, paying careful attention to the connection between concrete details and characters’ desires, and between descriptions of actions and objects and larger meanings or ideas. The main focus will be on what it means to "think from within images" as we generate and revise your own nonfiction prose. You’ll practice strategies for discovering and selecting images that do "double duty"—i.e., concrete detail and sensory information that works organically to create living, moving pictures resonant with meaning.

Judy Goldman has published two novels, two books of poetry, and a memoir, Losing My Sister. Her work has won the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, Gerald Cable Poetry Prize, Roanoke-Chowan Prize, Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize, and Oscar Arnold Young Prize. She received the Hobson Prize For Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for Outstanding Generosity to Other Writers and the Larger Community, and the Beverly D. Clark Author Award from Queens University. An excerpt from Losing My Sister appeared in Real Simple magazine and Drafthorse, an online journal. She has written book reviews for The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer, and craft articles for The Writer. Her commentaries have aired on public radio in Charlotte and Chapel Hill.

Scott Huler is a nonfiction generalist who has written everything from newspaper and magazine stories to books, produced radio pieces and essays, and produced video work for a wide variety of on- and offline enterprises. He has written for newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, and the Raleigh News & Observer, and for magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Backpacker, Our State, and Walter. His radio work has been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Day to Day, and on Marketplace and The Splendid Table on American Public Media. The most recent of his six books was On the Grid, about the infrastructure that makes our modern lives possible, published in 2010. He also has served as Piedmont Laureate for the Triangle and surrounding areas.

Cynthia Nearman teaches in the English Department and the Writing Program 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.

For more information, or to register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Spring Conference, visit www.ncwriters.org or call 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.

 

Khayal by Cristel Orrand

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$11.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1519127839
November, 2015
Fiction: Historical
Available from www.Amazon.com

“She moves as stealthily as the darkness for which she was named—Khayal.”

Against the crisp backdrop of the Jordanian desert, the Dead Sea, and the living paradise of Aqaba, twenty-seven-year-old medic and secret operative, Khayal, lives in the shadows, submerged in a criminal underworld, where lies aren’t just the things you tell yourself to sleep at night; they’re the things that keep you alive.

On her mission, Khayal is joined by Ibrahim, who speaks in riddles; Yasmin who knows where all the bodies are buried; Anya, the angry humanitarian; the orphaned teenager Mohammed; Huzzaq, her handler, who is either an evil mastermind or redeemer; and Ibrahim’s grandson Nur, who is her namesake, and the target who infiltrates her dreams. Unbeknownst to Khayal, they are all indelibly bound by the same man and the same decades-old secrets.

This second novel by award-nominated writer Cristel Orrand is an action-driven, fast-paced adventure through the Holy Land, through darkness and light, and the hefty gulf between legality and morality. Khayal is a kind of women's literary spy fiction and a tale of the indomitable human spirit, love, and friendship.

Cristel Orrand is the author of two published cross-genre novels, The Amalgamist and Khayal, as well as poetry, nonfiction, and short stories. She’s currently working on a series of biographies and Southern historical fiction. With an archivist’s passion for preservation and detail, she tells the stories of the voiceless and of the past. Cristel grew up in a military family, moving back and forth across the US, and living in such exotic locations as Turkey, Jordan, France, and Fort Riley, Kansas. She blends her love of history, people, and place in such a way that the settings are often their own characters in her work. She’s a mom, a consultant, a bibliophile, a writer, an historian, a cook, a critic, a gardener, a storyteller, a cancer survivor, a caretaker, a scavenger, and a pugilist, of a sort. Cristel lives in Raleigh, NC, with her artist husband, pixie power twins, and rescue pups.

101 Reasons to Love Running by Tyler Moore

Lulu Press
$7.95 paperback / $7.55 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4834-3848-1
December, 2015
Nonfiction: Inspirational / Motivational / Health
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

This book summarizes 101 reasons why we love running so much. Author Tyler Moore hopes this book serves as extra inspiration and motivation to meet and exceed running and racing goals. For beginner runners, or people that don't run as often as they should, maybe these reasons can be a wake-up call to be more active.

Captain (Ret) Tyler Moore is the author of 101 Reasons to Love Running, an inspirational and motivational book for runners of all ages, beginner runners, and lifelong runners.

Tyler enlisted the United States Air Force as an airman and retired as a captain after twenty-three years of service. He specialized in Communications and Intelligence, Information Technology, Satellite Networks, Plans and Programs, Equal Opportunity (EO), Logistics, and Academic Operations. His tours of duty include the Middle East, Korea, the Philippines, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington, DC. He has served as a Detachment Commander, Watch Officer, EO Director, and Deputy Operations Chief. In addition to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and Squadron Officer School, he has completed the Basic and Advanced Communications Officer Training School and Joint Information Operations School.

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Tyler relocated to the Triangle in 2013 after retiring from active duty in Washington, DC. He graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and has an MBA from Grantham University. He currently lives in Garner, and works at Siemens Healthcare.

Tyler began writing nonfiction, and later published his first novel in 2008, a collection of letters from students called Dear Captain Moore: Letters to a Service Member in the Middle East. From 2007-2009, Tyler served as a guest columnist in Cannon Connections, the base newspaper at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

As a lifelong runner and three-time marathoner, Tyler has written two books about running. His first book was The Power Within: A Spiritual Guide for Runners (2010), a book that contains Biblical passages and scriptures and their relation to running, races, perseverance, and victory.

Contact him through his website, http://tymoore11.wixsite.com/tylermoore; on Twitter (@101Reasons2); and e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Henry IV by Luigi Pirandello
Translated by Martha Witt & Mary Ann Frese Witt

Italica Press
$35.00, hardcover / $20.00, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-59910-292-4
January, 2016
Plays: Translation
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"After the brilliant translation of Six Characters in Search of an Author, Mary Ann Witt and Martha Witt return to Pirandello with yet a bigger challenge: translating the complex play Henry IV and placing it next to The License, a much less performed work. The insightful and original introduction well supports this coupling, which is based on the theme of madness, so central in Pirandello’s production. An absolute must-read for understanding Pirandello’s work."
— Daniela Bini, University of Texas at Austin

"At once elegant and absorbing, subversive and vibrant, this superb translation of Pirandello’s story of the bankruptcy of reason and of the seeming pointlessness of life, is truly one ripping good read. Catching the humor of a desperately moving journey of self-invention and unpredictability, the translators skillfully succeed in bringing out Pirandello’s bleak and yet life-affirming creation of alternative worlds in a drama that — just like the short one-act play that accompanies it — tells us much about the human condition and society’s role in policing it."
— Valeria Finucci, Duke University

Luigi Pirandello’s Henry IV opened to general acclaim at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan on February 24, 1922, less than a year after his revolutionary theatrical achievement, Six Characters in Search of an Author. The title of the later play suggests a historical drama, recalling Shakespeare’s great history plays. Yet Henry IV is instead anti-historical in that it “plays with” history, presenting historical events not as sequential and true, but as simultaneous and as an imaginary refuge. Henry IV (whose real name is not given) lives in a fake medieval castle where everyone must wear the costume of a historical figure. He is a twentieth-century Italian aristocrat whose madness traps him in the role of the Holy Roman Emperor, the German Henry IV, who reigned from 1056 until 1105.

Numerous comparisons have been made between Pirandello’s Henry IV and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The affinities between their protagonists include madness, along with the pretense of madness, involving a consummate theatricality. Like other “mad” Pirandello characters, the man consumed by the role of Emperor Henry IV has been judged to be insane by a society that he judges to be insane. Madness, for Pirandello, can reveal a particular lucidity that gives access to truths not evident to “normal” people.

Pirandello’s one-act play The License (La Patente, 1918), displays an earlier version of this theme. Its main character, Rosario Chiarchiaro, may be mad or pretending to be mad as he also dons a costume and prepares to play a role for the rest of his life, the role of a purveyor of the “evil eye” — his means of self-defense against a society consumed by hypocrisy and superstition.

Martha Witt is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at William Paterson University. She is the author of the novel, Broken as Things Are (Holt, 2004/Picador, 2005). Her translations and short fiction have appeared in multiple anthologies and international literary journals.

What Comes Around: An Allison Parker Mystery by Adair Sanders

CreateSpace
$12.50, paperback / $2.99 Kindle
ISBN: 978-1518835056
December, 2015
Fiction: Mystery/Detective/Women Sleuths
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Follow attorney Allison Parker in Book Two of this exciting mystery series as she, P.I. Frank Martin, and F.B.I. agent Jake Cleveland track a serial killer.

Who is the woman whose dismembered body has been discovered in a field outside Ft. Charles, Alabama? When fingerprints identify the dead woman as a New Orleans prostitute, Sheriff Trowbridge hires P.I. Frank Martin and attorney Allison Parker to assist in the subsequent investigation. After a second murder occurs, and authorities fear a serial killer, Allison calls on her F.B.I. contact Jake Cleveland for assistance.

While Allison, Frank, and an F.B.I. task force search for the identity of a possible serial killer, Allison’s law partner David Jackson takes on an odd new client who has come to Ft. Charles around the time of the first murder. Something about Jefferson Boudreaux makes David Parker uncomfortable, but how could there be a connection between this well-to-do client and the recent murders? Before this question is answered, Allison once again finds her life increasingly entangled in mystery, intrigue and the gravest danger in this page-turning thriller.

Adair Sanders was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After spending thirty-two years as a trial attorney, both as a special assistant US attorney and in private practice, she turned her attention to writing. Her first book, Biologically Bankrupt, explored generational dysfunction and was a 2012 EVVY Awards finalist. Her next book, As Sick As Our Secrets, is the first of the Allison Parker mystery series, followed by What Comes Around.

She resides in Brevard, North Carolina, where she is a member of the Brevard Authors Guild and the North Carolina Writers Network.

The Family in the Mirror by Drew Bridges

iUniverse
$23.95, hardcover / $14.95, paperback / $3.99, e-book
978-1491781456
December, 2015
Fiction: Psychological Drama / Mystery
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

The Family in the Mirror unfolds a story of hidden identity and survival.

An abused child named Melinda is taken by child welfare services to a mental health clinic.

Despite the best intentions of the clinic director, John Randt, Melinda does not get the help she needs and returns to a cult-like existence.

More than a decade later, adult Melinda comes back into the life of John Randt. But this time she is not alone; she is guided by a mysterious woman who offers Melinda a way out the prison that is her father's home. In the plan, someone must die.

John Randt is now a troubled man, battered by loss and circumstance, emotionally alone and vulnerable. He falls into a relationship with Melinda and finds himself presented with the option of killing or dying. His only escape is to recognize the true identity of those who offer his life as a sacrifice so Melinda can be free.

Drew Bridges is a retired psychiatrist who writes works of fiction and memoir that are informed by his forty years as a clinician. Originally an English major who lost his nerve about earning a living with writing or teaching, he received his medical school and psychiatry specialty training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He practiced in a combination of public and private practice settings and eased into retirement by opening a bookstore in the town of Wake Forest, where he lives with his wife Lauren. He ran the bookstore for seven years, using it as an "internship" to again return to being an English major. Now he reads, writes, and teaches storytelling and creative writing at the Senior Center of Wake Forest.

 

Laurel FerejohnNORTH CAROLINA--"That Other Story" by Laurel Ferejohn of Durham, NC, is the winner of the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The Wolfe Prize awards $1,000 to the author of the winning story.

Final judge Josephine Humphreys selected Ferejohn’s story from eleven finalists sent to her by preliminary judge David Radavich of Charlotte. Humphreys, one of the South's most distinguished novelists, said Ferejohn’s story “smoothly accomplishes fiction's number one goal, that is, to create a believable world, using all the tools available: narrative voice, character, place, dialogue, action. The result is a fictional texture that's strong and convincing."

Ferejohn is an independent editor working with literary and scholarly journals. She is a recipient of the 2012 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council, with support from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Humphreys selected "Sanctuary" by Elizabeth Brownrigg, also of Durham, as the first honorable mention, praising the story for "its distinctive voice and strong writing.... It's a thought-provoking story." Brownrigg received her MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, and is the author of two novels, Falling to Earth (1998) and The Woman Who Loved War (2005).

NCWN members Kathryn Shaver of Louisville, KY, and Kermit Turner of Hickory, NC, shared the second honorable mention. Of Shaver's story, "The Fourth Monkey," Humphreys wrote, "The narrative voice is dignified, earnest, sympathetic, and the plot progresses in surprising but believable ways." And of Turner's story, "Pool," she said, "I was struck by the way the writer gradually opens a view onto the past of the main character...in a way that's both unexpected and satisfying."

Humphreys, the author of Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, The Fireman's Fair, and Nowhere Else on Earth, said of all these stories, "I'd like to add that I was impressed by all four of these submissions. I know a story's good when I finish reading and feel that I've received a gift."

The seven other finalists were "Mr. Potato Head" by Leah Rachel Berkowitz of Durham, NC; "Revival" by Debra Efird of Harrisburg, NC; "Rules" by Heloise Jones of Jacksonville, FL; "Blind Fish" by Amanda Pauley of Elliston, VA; "Crying in Italian" by Virginia Pye of Richmond, VA; "Tea in Chesapeake" and "Dear John," both by Michael Twist of Boring, OR.

The winning story and the three honorable mentions will be considered for publication by the Thomas Wolfe Review.

 

Alan Michael ParkerGREENSBORO, NC--The Network will host its annual Spring Conference at the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on April 28. Fiction writers can choose between two can't-miss offerings: an all-day fiction workshop with Alan Michael Parker titled, "Fact and Fiction," and a half-day fiction workshop with Mylène Dressler titled, "Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction."

Here are the course descriptions:

Fact and Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Alan Michael Parker
You can’t make it all up, right? Nor can you render religiously exactly what happened—stories need invention, the mechanics of time, re-telling, and shape. Stories need characters and scenes: life doesn’t always accommodate. So what’s the best way to combine experience and imagination and write the best fiction? In this class, we will focus on questions of fidelity, distortion, fancy, and freedom, as we examine various ways to approach the writing of fiction. Bring a pen, lots of paper, and a good-sized ball of string (really). In the morning, exercises and discussion: in the afternoon, more, as well as a little adventure…

Get Out of That Room in Your Head: Crafting Physically-Charged, Moving Fiction (fiction) with Mylène Dressler
As writers, we face a daily challenge: we create (and live, much of the time) in the spaces inside our heads, yet our task is to create dynamic, breathing characters and active, arcing stories capable of moving our readers as well as stopping them dead in their tracks. How can we notice and break through “brain-locked” writing, and learn to craft fiction that inhabits the physical world, packing visceral as well as emotional punch? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the limitations of writing that happens only-inside-our-heads, and explore techniques and exercises that will help you—and your audience—connect with your stories and characters in charged, vital, and vivid ways.

Alan Michael Parker is the author of two novels, Whale Man (WordFarm, 2011) and Cry Uncle, along with seven collections of poems, including Long Division (Tupelo Press, 2012). His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in many prominent magazines, and in The Best American Poetry 2011 as well as the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology. Since 1998, Parker has taught at Davidson College, where he is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing; he is also a Core Faculty Member in the Queens University low-residency MFA program.

Mylène DresslerMylène Dressler is a novelist whose books include The Medusa Tree (MacAdamCage), The Deadwood Beetle (Putnam), and The Floodmakers (Putnam), and an essayist whose work has appeared in Pilgrimage, Creative NonFiction, and New Graffiti. A professor and frequent distinguished visiting writer at various universities, including the University of Texas at Austin and the McCullers Center in Georgia, she leads workshops designed to develop the skills, stamina, and confidence of emerging and established writers. She is the current Visiting Writer at Guilford College, where she teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and contemporary literature.

Full faculty bios can be viewed on the conference webpage. The 2012 Spring Conference also offers workshops in nonfiction, poetry, children's publishing, and tutorials for authors. Registration is available online 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.

 

Spring Conference 2012 FacultyGREENSBORO, NC—The University of North Carolina at Greensboro sits in the geographic heart of the state. It’s a fitting venue for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2012 Spring Conference to be held Saturday, April 28, from 8:00 am – 6:30 pm, in the Elliott University Center at UNC-Greensboro.

The annual event, co-sponsored by UNC-Greensboro’s creative writing program, draws writers from across North Carolina and beyond for workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, children’s writing, and publishing, led by distinguished writing faculty. This year’s conference will also feature a Publishers Panel with book and journal editors; a Faculty Reading; an Open Mike reading for conference attendees; and “Lunch with an Author,” where attendees share lunch and personal conversation with faculty members.

In fact, geography will very much be on people’s minds, as the keynote address will feature representatives from an exciting new web-based project titled “A Literary Map of North Carolina.” A collaborative project between UNC-Greensboro and the North Carolina Center for the Book, the NC Literary Map is a database-driven, searchable/browseable, multi-level, multi-media online research tool to foster interest in North Carolina’s rich literary tradition. Guests can search by author or genre, or just browse the map to find authors who have lived in or written about North Carolina. Scheduled to be officially launched in the fall, visitors can catch a sneak peak at www.library.uncg.edu/dp/nclitmap.

Course offerings at the 2012 Spring Conference include two all-day workshops, one on fiction led by Alan Michael Parker, and a nonfiction intensive led by Randall Kenan; a half-day fiction workshop with Mylène Dressler; and poetry workshops by Janice Fuller and Rebecca Black. Registrants can also attend “Breaking into Children’s Publishing” with Megan Bryant, classes in “Accounting for Writers” and “Guerrilla Tactics for Authors,” and creative nonfiction workshops led by Justin Catanoso and Paul Bogard.

Registration is available online here 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.

Carole Boston WeatherfordGreensboro, NC—Bestselling author Carole Boston Weatherford will deliver the keynote address at the 2011 North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference.  The conference will be Saturday, April 30, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Elliott University Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The annual event, cosponsored by UNCG’s Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, draws writers from across North Carolina and beyond for workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, children’s writing, and publishing, led by distinguished writing faculty. 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.

Weatherford’s books have received the Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Award, NAACP Image Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Jefferson Cup, and Carter G. Woodson Award, and have appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. Her more than two dozen children’s books include Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom; Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People; Birmingham, 1963; Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane; Becoming Billie Holiday and The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights. A recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, she teaches at Fayetteville State University.

Conference participants may select from a variety of half- and full-day workshops, including “Writing For Your Life,” a creative nonfiction workshop with author Marianne Gingher; “Packaging Yourself as a Writer,” with Press 53 publisher Kevin Morgan Watson; “The Worst Things Ever” with poet and UNC School of the Arts professor Joseph Mills; and Weatherford’s “Think Anyone Can Write a Children’s Book?” workshop.

Other instructors include David Halperin and Tracy O Connor on fiction, Anjail Rashida Ahmad on poetry, Edmund R. Schubert on science fiction and fantasy, Paul Cuadros on nonfiction, and Angela Harwood on marketing for authors.

Registration for the conference—made possible with support from UNC Greensboro and the North Carolina Arts Council—is $99 for Network members, $150 for nonmembers.

To register, visit www.ncwriters.org, or call 919-251-9140 for more information.

Robert Wallace of Durham is the winner of the 2010 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for his story “As Breaks the Wave upon the Sea.” Wallace will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 2011 issue. Eighty-two stories were submitted to this year’s competition.

Wallace is a recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council and a Writer’s Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, and he has been a Blumenthal Reader. He has had fiction and nonfiction published in various venues, including the Wellspring, The O. Henry Festival Stories, the Raleigh News & Observer, and the anthology Racing Home: New Short Stories by Award Winning North Carolina Writers.

NCLR fiction editor Liza Wieland selected Wallace’s story from ten finalists, saying, “As Breaks the Wave upon the Sea” is a beautifully woven, deeply affecting story (I wept as I read it, and so did my husband). The language is simple and direct; the relationship between a returned Iraq War soldier and his wife is depicted in all its wrenching complexity, from both points of view, in short sections that sing like prose poems. The result is a pitch-perfect whole, and one of the best stories I've read in a long, long time.”

Wieland also noted Wayne Johns’s “Where Your Children Are” and Susan Snowden’s “Revenge” for honorable mention, saying of Johns’s story, “I confess a personal attachment to this story, having grown up in this part of Atlanta and written about the child murders myself. Mainly, though, I love this story for its language: ‘easing into the backyard as into dark water’; ‘orange-tinged moon was snared in the pines’; ‘the last light shifted through the leaves like a kaleidoscope.’ The story's final line evokes the threat that quivers through the entire story. I admire, too, the way the writer has made the awakening of sexual identity a part of this story that works seamlessly with the history we all know. This is clearly a writer of terrific talent.” Of Snowden’s “Revenge” Wieland says, “I admire this story for its sense of place and culture (the Talmadge ham versus the cooler of shrimp), and for the writer's ability to juggle such a large cast of characters. I feel every bit of Carolyn's anger and disbelief, and I very much enjoyed (and would have loved more of) the way the story calls into question our assumptions about high (portraits of venerable ancestors) and low (pastel Pekingese) art.”

Also of note is that finalist Julie Ann Davis’s story “Taylor’s Creek” was recommended by the NCLR editors for publication in the eastern North Carolina–based, online and print magazine IBX Lifestyles, and it will appear in the spring issue.

Six other stories were finalists in the competition: Joseph Francis Cavano’s “Soldiers,” Carol Cooley’s “Jude and Ms. Martha,” Carol Roan’s “The Streetwalker,” Merry Elrick’s “The Rhubarb,” Doris Monica Iarovici’s “Among The Ruins,” and “The Neighbor’s Dog” by Thomas Wolf, who received the Betts Prize in 2007.

Published since 1992 by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations. Fiction editor Liza Wieland is the author of three novels and three collections of short stories.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2010 issue, featuring the winner and two finalists from the 2009 Betts competition, as well as the 2011 issue, featuring the winning story from this year’s competition. Go to www.nclr.ecu.edu/subscrip.htm for subscription information, and subscribe by June 1 to avoid postage charges.

Fred ChappellGreensboro, NC—Fred Chappell, described as North Carolina’s “resident genius,” will deliver the keynote address at the 2010 North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference, which takes place Saturday, April 24, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Elliott University Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The annual event, cosponsored by UNCG’s Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, draws writers from across North Carolina and beyond for intensive workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, and publishing, led by distinguished writing faculty. 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.

In 2004, Fred Chappell retired after 40 years in the UNCG English department. During this time he published 26 books of poetry, fiction, and critical commentary. His awards include the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the North Carolina Award in Literature, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, eight Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Awards, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers (Best Foreign Book Prize) from the Academie Francaise, the Mihai Eminescu Medal from the Republic of Moldova, and the Thomas Wolfe Prize. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2006. He served as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 1997 until 2002. His latest book of poetry is Shadow Box, published in 2009 by LSU Press. His latest work of fiction, Ancestors and Others: New and Selected Stories, was published last year by St. Martin’s Press. He lives with his wife, Susan, in Greensboro.

Conference participants may select from a variety of half- and full-day workshops, including “Inspiration Station,” a poetry workshop with poet and Asheville Poetry Review editor Keith Flynn; “Gimme a Break: Breaking Into Nonfiction Publishing,” with author and publisher Malcolm Campbell; “The Morning After: Reclaiming Your Life as a Writer” with NC State University professor Sheila Smith McKoy; “The North Carolina Screenwriter, and Screenwriter as Filmmaker” with Nathan Ross Freeman, the director of the award-winning feature film Mr. Bones; and “The Greatest Writing Prompt Ever” with poet Scott Owens.

Other instructors include Holly Goddard Jones, Chris Roerden, and John McNally on fiction, and Cynthia Nearman and NCWN executive director Ed Southern on nonfiction.

Registration for the conference—made possible with support from UNC Greensboro and the North Carolina Arts Council—is $99 for Network members, $150 for nonmembers.

To register, call 919-251-9140 for more information.


 

NORTH CAROLINA—Final judge Sheri Reynolds, best-selling author of five novels, named Paul Byall of Savannah, Georgia, the winner of the 2010 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for his story “Sequestered.” Reynolds said of this story, whose main character, Maggie, finds herself sequestered as a jury member at a murder trial, “This writer brilliantly controls the story’s tempo, moving between scene and summary, between details of the murder and the trial itself. The story is controlled, complicated, and graceful.” Byall will receive $1,000 from the NC Writers’ Network and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.

Paul Byall was raised in Ohio and studied at Miami University (Ohio) and the University of California. He is the 2008 recipient of the New South Short Story Award and has been a finalist for numerous fiction awards. His first published story, written while a student at the University of California, was selected as one of the one hundred distinguished stories of the year by The Best American Short Stories anthology. He currently lives and writes in Savannah, where he has recently completed a novel, Salvation’s Fire.

Reynolds also selected two honorable mentions: “Official Business” by Mark Connelly of Madison, Wisconsin, and “Burial Ground” by Tracy Knight of Raleigh, North Carolina. Of “Official Business” Reynolds wrote, “Set in post-war Poland, this story follows a single day in the life of a doctor and researcher who is relieved of his duties and taken into custody by the government. In prose both spare and vivid, this writer provides a snapshot of place, time, and politics through a very compelling character.”

And of Knight’s story Reynolds said, “In ‘Burial Ground’ an eleven-year-old watches her brother struggle to bury a beloved dead cat. The narrative voice here is lush, poetic, mysterious, insightful—and still believable. I love the visionary quality of the writing.”

Both Connelly and Knight are experienced fiction writers. Connelly has an MA in creative writing and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and his novella, Fifteen Minutes,received the 2004 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize from Texas Review Press. Knight is a native North Carolinian, who lives and works in Raleigh. Two of her stories were selected in 2008 as finalists for the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award sponsored by the Salem College Center for Women Writers. She has a BA in English from Meredith College and has studied fiction writing at North Carolina State University.

Final judge Sheri Reynolds is the author of five novels, the most famous of which, The Rapture of Canaan,was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and New York Times bestseller in 1997. Her most recent novel is The Sweet In-Between (2008). She is a graduate of Davidson College and Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches creative writing and literature classes at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia in 2003.

Preliminary judge, David Radavich of Charlotte, North Carolina, also named six finalists, whose stories were read by Reynolds: “The Changeling” and “Let Us Plough, Let Us Build” both by Mark Connelly; “The Once and Missing Captain of Commerce” by Rodney Nelsestuen of Woodbury, Minnesota; “Rainbow” by Gary Powell of Cornelius, North Carolina; “Brea’s Tale” by Karen Pullen of Pittsboro, North Carolina; and “Lying” by Allen Smith of Alexandria, Virginia.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is our state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit http://www.ncwriters.org.

Hats Off! to Betty Reed whose work is included in the sixth edition of eno Magazine. The launch party was held on the rooftop garden of Environental Hall at Duke University.

 

Hats Off! to Terri Kirby Erickson whose new poetry collection Becoming the Blue Heron (Press 53) is favorably reviewed in the Winston-Salem Journal. "Our torn-asunder nation needs books like this," says reviewer John Railey. "She writes of dreams lost and found, of love lost and found, of siblings and innocence lost and of parents growing older, at the beach and back here at home, of good country folk and good city ones and ones not so good, and of the wild things." Terri launched her collection this week with a fundraiser for the Centers for Exceptional Children, the Winston-Salem nonprofit that works with children with developmental delays, orthopedic disabilities and/or other long-term chronic health impairments.

 

Hats Off! to Quinn Dalton and Sherry Torgent whose books, Midnight Bowling (Carolina Wren Press) and The Curse of Viola (Blue Ink Press) are 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azrael's Wings by Karol A. Neufeld

Main Street Rag
$8, paperback
ISBN: 978-59948-529-4
April, 2015
Poetry
Available from the publisher

"In Azrael’s Wings, Karol Neufeld confronts death and grief head-on, suggesting these inevitable journeys of the human condition can be considered a gift: 'We collect our dead/in memory, preserving what we need to live.' But the reality is that no one is fully prepared for that knock on the door from the Angel of Death. Thanks to Neufeld’s keen eye for imagery, the details of navigating her family’s multiple deaths from the Holocaust to old age honor what we do our best to ignore as 'we keep in our hearts what death tries to take.' Through her often painful reverential tones and brave language ('Fight back and be broken;/beauty lies in giving way'), Neufeld recognizes what scares all of us while giving comfort to survivors who wish to remember their dead 'as they were before, before we knew about the wind/and water that engulfed them.'"
—Alice Osborn, author of When the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects

What She Doesn’t Know

She’s only nineteen, newly wed,
bridal bouquet brought all the way
from Louisville: three-foot waterfall
of fragrance almost as dazzling
as her smile. How could he not
have wanted to coax her away
from the others? What a handsome
couple they make. They’ll honeymoon,
come back home, start a family.
He’ll go to work, she’ll love him,
birth two sons. Youthful, shining,
how can she know, in seven years
she’ll sit beside his July bed
hour after antiseptic hour
and watch him, car-crushed, die?
Her roses will turn funereal,
she will always shrink from the smell.

After teaching elementary school for twenty-six years, Karol Neufeld left the field of education to pursue other creative interests. She has recently completed a history/memoir about her Polish-Jewish father-in-law’s family. Her poetry has been published in International Poetry Review, Bay Leaves, Pinesong, Seven Hills Review, and two anthologies of Greensboro writers. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society and North Carolina Writers’ Network and has participated in many of its workshops, as well as Miami Dade College Writer’s Institute, Anjail Rashida Ahmad’s year-long The Fractured Writer course, and Colrain Manuscript Conference. A dedicated traveler, reader, and collage artist, Karol lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband John and dog Roxie.

Hats Off! to Consuelo Marshall who has been appointed to the Orange County Arts Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Örnbratt

Light Messages Publishing
$20.95, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-61153-111-4
April, 2015
Fiction: Historical / Women's
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s lain hidden for generations.

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways in tact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows, Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates.

Fourteen years, a Great Depression, and a World War later, Christian sets out to discover why Gillian was ripped from his life. What he discovers on the Isle of Man will change them both forever. Not even a thatched cottage by the sea, a spritely Gillian, or memories sprinkled on a page can mask the secret that has been buried for too long. But it isn’t until a set of poems is given to Gillian’s granddaughter that the real mystery––Gillian’s true secret––is freed.

So who is Pugsley?

Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada, and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone as rowing filled all of Susan’s time outside of school while competing in regattas across Canada and the US. When she was sixteen, Susan became a member of the Junior National Rowing Team and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Susan and her crew placed third.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Manitoba in elementary education, as well as attending L’Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France while she worked as a fille au pair, Susan has gone on to teach and live in six countries. With her experiences abroad, including delegation leader for CISV (Children’s International Summer Villages) where she prepared and accompanied ten fourteen-year-old students for a cross-cultural experience in Sweden, it is not surprising that she finds travel a motivating factor in her writing.

Although a maple leaf will forever be stitched on her heart, she has called Sweden her home for the past sixteen years with a recent three-year stint in North Carolina, USA, for her husband’s work. It was there where Susan achieved her longtime goal of signing with a publisher for The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley.

Susan lives in Gothenburg with her husband and two children and an apple tree nibbled on by the local moose population. If she isn’t shooing away the beasts, you can find her in her garden with some pruning shears, a good book, and always a cup of tea. If Susan were dried out, she could be brewed.

Hats Off! to Suzanne Cottrell who has been selected to attend the Looking Glass Rock Writers' Conference (Poetry) to be held at Brevard College, May 18-21. Also, her poem "Evasive Catch" will appear in the print issue of The Avocet, and her flash-fiction piece "Fractured" will appear in the paperback The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), a subsidiary of Prolific Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rhythms on a flaming drum by Michael Hopping

Pisgah Press
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-942016014
January, 2015
Fiction: Dystopian
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"With uncanny prescience and nuanced story, Hopping deftly crafts the convoluted personal and political relationships in a disturbingly familiar world of environmental and social turmoil, cyber-hacking, GPS tracking, infiltrators, and collaborators, along with brutal reprisals and heroic survivals."
—Clare Hanrahan, author, Conscience & Consequence: A Prison Memoir

"Absolutely first-rate. The plot is gripping, not to say frightening. It is chillingly close to reality, in terms of our politics, both corporate and governmental, as well as the desecration of our environment."
—Sarah-Ann Smith, author, Trang Sen

"With his trademark erudition and copious imagination, Hopping expertly leads us through a corrupted and perilous world not quite parallel to our own, where an earthquake in Memphis, Tennessee sets Xan Hicks on a collision course with treachery and collusion amongst corporate, government and military figures—and with Caitlin Schmidt, the beautiful actress and activist who’s fighting them."
—Jerry Stubblefield, playwright and author of Homunculus

Here in America, corporate control of government has proceeded apace, leftist resistance is outlawed and activists are considered enemies of the state. It is an America that could happen tomorrow—or may already be in place, without our noticing. Caitlin Schmidt, a young woman of privilege, is participating in a covert leafleting campaign opposing the ongoing pollution of local drinking water by Palomar Coatings, an industrial plant with secret government contracts. While she and her group aren’t caught, demonstrators at the Palomar gates are beaten and arrested.

Shortly thereafter, Caitlin reconnects with Xan, a young man the media dubbed “John Henry” after he entered a collapsed building and rescued a man and his two daughters, only to slip away before being identified. A romance develops, and Caitlin and Xan struggle to maintain their relationship and their integrity while trying to save themselves and their community from the corporate-government ISA forces—and working to bring Palomar down.

Michael Hopping lives near Asheville, North Carolina. In a former life he was a practicing psychiatrist and medical director for a community mental health center. In search of less industrialized approaches to coping with today’s world, he eventually left the field. For several years Michael served as an investigative reporter, features writer, and occasional commentator for alternative news outlets in and beyond Asheville. His short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Spoiled Ink, The Great Smokies Review, fresh, the Mad Hatters’ Review blog and Chrysalis Reader. His acclaimed collection of short stories, MacTiernan’s Bottle, was published in 2011 by Pisgah Press. A novel, Meet Me in Paradise, was published in 2007.

Hats Off! to NCWN Communications Director Charles "LC" Fiore whose novel The Last Great American Magic won the Novel of the Year Award (Editor's Choice) from Underground Book Reviews. "The Last Great American Magic by L.C. Fiore is more than just an American epic," said the award announcement. "With well-developed characters, a strong theme and captivating prose, The Last Great American Magic is a must read for lovers of literature."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchard Gap by C. David Gelly

CreateSpace
$18.00, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-502961914
January, 2015
Fiction: Suspense/Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“A rogue biotech scientist secretly nurtures her deadly GMO corn seed while America sleeps…”

Sally Barber is a brilliant Ph.D working for a global biotech firm in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, who is about to be honored as the youngest recipient of the World Food Prize. Hidden deep in her laboratory is her sinister plot to use her “secret” GMO corn seed to kill and destabilize America. An adrenaline producing thriller to capture this mysterious scientist before it is too late takes the reader through the slums of Karachi to the GMO Research fields of Kauai and is unraveled in tiny Orchard Gap, Virginia.

Quinn McSpain and Louisa Hawke are called upon again to capture this rogue geneticist who holds the deadliest of secrets more sinister than Ebola and must be stopped before she brings America to…its knees!

While this novel is purely a work of fiction, it highlights many emerging developments that affect global food security. While doing research for this novel on genetically modified crops, the author came across a wide spectrum of opinions both pro and con on the place for GMO crops in the global food chain. He also became aware of the many security risks/challenges and shortcomings with the entire GMO seed lifecycle.

C. David Gelly's second novel Orchard Gap is now published and available. It is the second selection in the five novel Gap series. Fancy Gap was the first in the series and was very well received. In addition to over 146 Amazon reader 5-Star reviews, it was serialized for over a year in the weekend editions of the Galax, Virginia, Gazette newspaper.

As an indie author, he's pleased with the tools social media has provided him to reach and capture those readers who enjoyed Fancy Gap and enthusiastically encouraged him to write Orchard Gap. He retired a year ago from Syngenta (the Swiss version of Monsanto) as their Director of Corporate Security. In that role, he became aware of the many security risks/challenges and shortcomings with the entire GMO seed lifecycle.

Hats Off! to June Guralnick who has been awarded a writing residency at the Hambidge Center in Georgia to begin work on a new play!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Forces A Teams by Tom Davis

Old Mountain Press
$2.99, e-book
January, 2015
Memoir
Available from the publisher or www.Amazon.com

ODA 232 SCUBA Team Ft. Devens, MA
My main problem was blisters. As always, the first place that blisters appeared was between my toes. I would pop them with the needle I always carried, but within an hour the blisters would fill back up and hurt like hell. Years later a member of the Danish Special Forces would show me a trick to address this problem. But that would be later, and this was now. I rubbed Vaseline between my toes, but that only helped a little bit. Eventually, the blisters started to bleed. This caused concern with infection. Others were having similar problems.

ODA 223 Mountain Team Ft. Devens, MA
We trained in class one through five climbs. Our training included not only repelling off cliffs but also from out of helicopters. We not only trained in free climbing where we always maintained three points of contact with the wall and climbed without a rope, but also in technical climbing which involved the use of rope, belays, and pitons, metal spikes, usually steel, that we hammered into a crack or seam in the rock. Our mission was not only to become proficient in the art, but also to teach basic mountaineering to other Teams as needed.

Testing Dry Suits Under Extreme Conditions
After a few swims, we discovered we had to wear ¼ inch neoprene mittens rather than five finger gloves. When the water hit our faces, it immediately froze. So, for protection, we coated our faces with gobs of Vaseline. This way the ice freezing on our face didn’t touch the skin. Of course, our eyebrows caked with ice. Even though we wore heavy woolen socks, the cold was so numbing that when we completed a couple of hours swimming with fins, we weren’t able to stand, much less walk, for several minutes. Swimming under these severe conditions proved a challenge, to say the least.

Special Forces A Teams is a portion of the author’s memoir, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel. COL Tom “The Squid” Davis recounts his experiences serving as commander of four Special Forces A Detachments during the 1970s. These teams specialize in Underwater Operations (SCUBA), Mountaineering, Small Atomic Demolitions Munitions (SADM), and High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) Parachuting. In addition to serving in the United States, he and his team of Green Berets tromped the lands of Germany, France, England, and Denmark. The narrative with the accompanying photos gives incite into the type of training missions carried out by the various specialized Operational A Detachments belonging to a US Army Special Forces Group.

Tom Davis’ publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, Proud to Be: Writings by American Warriors Vol. 3, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, Special Warfare., and Winston-Salem Writers’ Poetry in Plain Sight program for May 2013 (poetry month). He’s authored the following books: The Life and Times of Rip Jackson, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On, The Patrol Order; and The R-complex. Tom lives in Webster, NC.

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Mountain Muse" appears in West End Poet's Newsletter, March/April/May 2017 issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
$9.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5437-7
October, 2014
Fiction (YA): Novel in verse / Historical / Literary
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Phillips’ poetry coupled with her personal experiences truly make this a poignant read. It should be in the hands of anyone—teen and adult—who has ever felt powerless at the hands of mental illness."
School Library Journal

"Phillips' accessibly written chronicle will resonate with teens who understand the desire to protect themselves from their families' inner truths."
Booklist

"Laura’s story is one that will resonate widely with contemporary readers as they seek avenues of support through their own struggles to remain sensitive to mothers who sometimes disappear, and almost always to some degree disappoint."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

I stopped by the canal,
swarming with hungry pelicans
and screeching gulls,
and I wondered
what it would feel like
not to sit and dangle my feet through the slats
but instead to climb up on the railing
and let myself just slip off and down
and down
and down.

Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960s, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she's carrying around a secret: her mother is suffering from a mental illness.

No one in Laura's family will talk about her mother's past hospitalizations or increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. She finds some solace in art, but when her mother, also an artist, suffers a breakdown, Laura fears that she will follow in her mother’s footsteps. Left without a refuge, can she find the courage to face what scares her most?

Eloquent and compelling, this novel-in-verse tackles complex themes in a way that will have readers rooting for Laura to find the courage to face her worst fears.

A 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.

Linda Vigen Phillips has always loved reading and writing poetry. As a retired teacher she delights in having enough time to pursue these passions. Crazy, her debut book, is a YA novel in verse. Drawn from her own experiences growing up in Oregon, it tells the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother’s mental illness. Linda hopes that the book will speak to teens or adults whose lives have been affected by a loved one facing similar challenges. She and her husband live in North Carolina where they ride vintage bicycles on greenways and make regular play dates with the grandkids.

Hats Off! to Maren O. Mitchell whose poem "Watching Water" appears in Still: The Journal, #23 Winter 2017, in the section "Poetry Sampler: Rivers." Also, her poems "Lois Hampton, Striptease Artiste, Expatriate, Paris" and "Lois Hampton, Homesick Striptease Artiste" are currently online in Wild Goose Poetry Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haverford House by Katherine Winfield

CreateSpace
$14.99, paperback / $11.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1492269663
June, 2013
Fiction: Mystery/Suspense
Available from www.Amazon.com

“Winfield masterfully reveals how the complicated lives of the people in Corsica are intertwined. In the first half of the narrative, she paints a rich picture of the characters’ personalities. She also establishes a strong sense of setting, especially as it involves the atmosphere of the house. Winfield draws readers in with her use of details… deftly shifting from a character-driven story to a plot-driven, action-filled mystery. Winfield explores themes about the nature of good and evil, of right and wrong. With unusual but appealing characters, she keeps readers deeply engaged throughout her eccentric, compelling novel.”
—Maria Siano, Foreword/Clarion Review (Five Stars)

Haverford House, an intriguing novel by author Katherine Winfield, takes place on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A suspenseful yet uplifting tale, Winfield weaves the characters into a colorful tapestry with the small Eastern Shore town as the backdrop. Winfield takes the reader on a journey of family dynamics and the sometimes deadly consequences of the need for love and power. The idea for the book began with a rumor about a local house that was haunted.

When Josh and Libby Langston move from Baltimore to a small fishing town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, they’ll soon find out that the sleepy town of Corsica has some deep-rooted secrets. Thinking that she has finally found the perfect place to call home, Libby will discover her new dream house has a troubled past that is about to be awakened.

After a Haverford descendant, dead for over a century, sends Libby cryptic messages for help, Libby decides to seek the aid of the local townspeople. However, as the hidden history begins to be uncovered, and a suspicious death at the house twenty years ago comes into focus, Libby will learn that sometimes the past is better left buried.

Katherine Winfield is a seventh generation Washingtonian, who currently divides her time between North Carolina and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She has been writing for over thirty years and grew up in a large extended family, surrounded by artists, world-renowned musicians, and writers. Winfield studied Psychology and English at the University of Maryland. She has written numerous essays, poems, and is currently working on her third novel. She enjoys spending time with her five beautiful grandchildren.

Hats Off! to Joe Perrone, Jr., who was interviewed on indieBRAG about his Matt Davis mystery series. "One thing that a writer needs to avoid at all costs is listing activity, or what I call the 'then he did this, and then he did that' syndrome," Joe says. "If it’s boring, you ought to be able to recognize it."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Just In by Kathryn Scarborough

Astraea Press
$2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-62135-363-8
October, 2014
Fiction: Romance (Contemporary)
Available from www.Amazon.com

"This book will be embraced by readers who appreciate fast-paced stories with no fuss. It's fun, to the point, and Gina is an incredible heroine who sometimes may remind you of yourself in the many ways her brain seems to take over and interrupt her daily thoughts. If you don't believe in love at first sight, Scarborough will promptly change your mind."
—Jaime A. Geraldi, Romantic Times

Science teacher Gina Thompson is as pragmatic and level headed as the next person except for the perpetual TV announcer that lives in her head and comments on everything she thinks. Her large family drives her crazy by getting her the worst blind dates on the planet. Ken Armstrong is an astrophysicist working at NASA. He is alone except for his grouchy old cat and his grouchy old uncle, Ken’s only family, and he likes it fine that way. Uncle Johann meets Gina and decides "she is the one" for Ken. Through a series of planned mishaps and an icy visit from Mother Nature these two seriously logical people discover that indeed, there is scientific proof of love at first sight.

This past year, an article Kathryn Scarborough wrote about her father was published in Flight Journal Magazine, and she has placed several short stories and scholarly articles in other magazines. She has just written a small book on the history of the Methodist Church in North Carolina that will be in a collection for libraries and historical societies to be released this year. She just moved recently to Birmingham, AL, from central NC with her husband.

Hats Off! to Tom Davis, Bill Ramsey, and Ed Southern, who were quoted at length in the article "The Business of Books" in the most recent issue of Capital at Play: Western North Carolina's Free Spirit of Enterprise. Tom is the publisher at Old Mountain Press; Bill has self-published four books and is a Trustee of the North Carolina Writers' Network; and Ed is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers' Network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red-Headed Angel Discovers the Crystal Sea by Jane Thompson Pait

Tate Publishing, LLC
$8.99, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-618621146
January, 2012
Children's
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

BK's heavenly antics are a wonderful way to introduce children to the concept of the heavenly realm and teach them of God's patience and grace for us all. This is the first book in a series in which BK, a delightful cherub, has many celestial mishaps in store for us.

One day far up in heaven, a beautiful little cherub was born. She had flaming red hair, and with it came a flaming red personality! BK, the red-headed angel, must learn patience and obedience as she explores her new home. Her celestial antics will delight readers of all ages.

The Red-Headed Angel Discovers the Crystal Sea is the first in a series starring BK, a delightful cherub who innocently manages to create mischief in the heavenly realm. Through her adventures she learns about the God's mercy and grace. The second book in the series, The Red-Headed Angel and the Empty Tomb, will be released soon. Probably by the end of February, 2015.

Each book is available in hardback, softback, digital download, and audio download from Tate Publishing, LLC. A free audio download of the text is included free with each hard copy of the book purchased.

Jane Pait holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in Reading Education and has been an English and Reading instructor for over forty years. She loves to tell her nine-grandchildren stories like The Red-Headed Angel.

writing edThe first thing you ought to know about me is that my middle name is Cameron.

Stick with me on this.

My middle name is Cameron because my grandfather's middle name was Cameron.  Because I like the way it sounds with her first name, my daughter's middle name is also Cameron.

My grandfather's middle name was Cameron because shortly before he was born, Cameron Morrison, North Carolina's "Good Roads Governor," had a road built through east Lincoln County that happened to run right past my great-grandparents' farm.  Thanks to Cameron Morrison, my great-grandparents' main source of income - a small sawmill bolted to the back of a flatbed truck - became a lot more profitable and easier to use.

Ashley WarlickNovelist Ashley Warlick has selected “This is Not a Barren Place” by Paul Mihas of Durham, NC, as the winner of the 2008 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. Warlick writes of this story, “The opening moments, where Nick Papadimitriou’s wife cuts his body from the rafters of their garage are hauntingly realized within the attenuated timeline of tragedy, and the story’s movement along these fragile currents of community grief in a strange open country is heartbreaking. This writer shows his ease with language, spoken and told, in a wealth of voices, on every page. Marvelous.”

Warlick also named one honorable mention — “Miller’s Deer” by Gary V. Powell of Cornelius, NC. She called “Miller’s Deer” a story “written in clean, compelling style and supreme confidence. Every so often you can hear a writer’s career in a single, sharp line — ‘Miller’s Deer’ is made whole-cloth of just such self-possessed work.”

Paul MihasPaul Mihas, the son of Greek immigrants, spent his childhood in Kemmerer, WY, and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. He received his M.A. in English Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1989 and teaches creative writing at Duke University Continuing Studies. One of his short stories, “One of Us Is Rich,” was recently published online at Pindeldyboz. He is currently working on a collection of short stories based on his travel to China, Argentina, and Greece.

Gary Powell is the author of several short stories and the soon-to-be-published novel, Pointe of Contention. A graduate of Indiana University and Indiana University School of Law, Powell currently resides with his family in Cornelius, NC, near Lake Norman. He is at work on his second novel, Beyond Redemption.

Hats Off! to Alli Marshall, an editor and writer at the local weekly paper Mountain Xpress and the author of the novel How To Talk To Rockstars, as well as the NCWN regional rep for the Asheville area, who put together an "Asheville playlist" for NPR's World Cafe. Alli says Asheville residents approach music, crafts, arts, architecture, and even beer with a reverent desire to keep the city their own.

 

Hats Off! to Pam Van Dyk who has a short story in the anthology Juxtaposition: Short Fiction from the Maine Review, edited by Katherine Mayfield.

 

Hats Off! to Kim Church whose essay “Exactly What To Say” appears in the April issue of The Sun.

 

Hats Off! to Brenda Kay Ledford whose poem "Holy Ground" is forthcoming in the Spring, 2016 issue of Artifact Nouveau published by San Joaquin Delta College. Also, her poem "Patchwork Memories" appeared in the Spring, 2016 issue of West End Poets Newsletter published by the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department.

 

Hats Off! to David Payne who was interviewed by Charlie Rose on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS. David is the author of the memoir Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story, which was an Amazon Best Book of 2015 and a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Book of 2015.

 

You Cant' Be THAT

 

 

 

 

You Can't Be THAT by Susan Wright Beard

Patten-Miller House
$11.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9911079-0-2
March, 2014
Progressive Christian fiction, Southern literature, Women's Literature
Available from www.Amazon.com

"You Can’t Be THAT gives us a glimpse of an under-appreciated phenomenon in American Christianity, those of progressive congregations who are just, thoughtful and inclusive and who are undergoing spiritual renewal as they seek to be faithful to the way of Jesus....I recommend Beard’s book highly for ministers, church leaders, church study groups, and other Christians seeking to be faithful to their church tradition AND to Jesus."
—H. Stephen Shoemaker, Former Senior Minister, Myers Park Baptist Church, and Theologian in Residence at Queens University and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte

"As more and more Christians recognize the many conflicts that exist in outdated and ill-informed teachings, books like You Can’t Be THAT help people better understand themselves. More and more congregants disagree with their church’s teachings on a variety of important issues, from women’s roles in church leadership to marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Susan Wright Beard's book gives a helpful lens into advancing society toward more inclusion, equality and ultimately, happiness."
—Mitchell Gold, Founder, Faith in America and Co-Founder, CEO, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings

What happens when a small-town Southern church calls a young woman to minister to its dwindling congregation? Everything changes.

For as long as she can remember, Annie Adams has had one deep desire—to be the pastor of a church. And for as long as she can remember, people have told her, “You can’t be that.” But at Covenant Baptist Church, Annie finds a group of bold, forward thinking men and women who share her vision of inclusiveness and who are willing to work along with her for a new way of being the hands and feet of Christ.

As a pastor, Annie is fully committed to ministering to her congregation and develops delightful relationships with them. Her struggle comes as she tries to balance her role as pastor with her life as a single woman.

The first in the Covenant Congregation Series, this novel introduces characters who strive, both individually and as a group, to resolve real-life issues in their faith.

Susan Wright Beard considers herself to be a recipient of God’s grace. A born-and-bred Southern Baptist, Susan graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in religious education. She also has a Master’s degree in social work from LSU. She has worked primarily with adolescents dealing with issues such as suicide and personal and academic issues. Now a Presbyterian, Susan is married and has two children and four step-children.

 

Hats Off! to Ben A. Sharpton who has signed two different contracts with two different publishers for two different books in two different genres. Camp Fear, a YA/NA thriller, will be published by Solstice Publishing, and 2nd Sight, a thriller for adults, will be published by Limitless Publishing. Both books are slated for release this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Vice Versa by Allen D. Cowan

Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
$14.00, paperback / $3.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1494875732
March, 2014
Fiction: Detective
Available at www.Amazon.com or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“I alternated between laughing until my ribs hurt and cringing. Albe gets himself into some hilarious predicaments.”
—Dr. Vivian B. Lord, author and former instructor at the North Carolina Justice Academy

"This book is a great ride through the amazing mind and imagination of Allen Cowan. The characters you meet along the way are well worth the price of admission."
—Roger Flessing, former senior vice president, PTL

"Albe takes us on a frolicking ride through the sexy underbelly of a city imitating Atlanta."
—Frye Gaillard, author and writer in residence, University of South Alabama

A humorous, audacious, irreverent detective tale of greed and getting off.

Just how far will lawyers, preachers, and other crooked characters go to satisfy their desires? Find out in the irreverent new novel, Vice Versa.

Author Allen D. Cowan turned his twenty-five years as a PI into this outrageous story that will appeal to readers of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard.

Albe de Hammer is a PI trying to nail a blackmailer who’s got a TV preacher by the short hairs. One of his pals is double-crossing him. And he’s got woman trouble that gets worse when he goes “undercover” to crack a case.

Allen D. Cowan, a University of Florida graduate with a degree in journalism, has worked as an investigative reporter at The Orlando Sentinel, The St. Petersburg Times, The Charlotte Observer, and the military newspaper in Germany, Stars and Stripes. In 1974, Mr. Cowan was named Reporter of the Year in Florida. One of his articles about greyhound racing was part of a package that became a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1986, the National Association of Realtors awarded him first prize and $1,000 for his investigative series on land-sales scandals in the United States. His training includes a NEH fellowship studying law at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, two weeks of intensive investigative reporting at the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, and more than 10,000 hours of on-the-job sleuthing. While at The Observer, Mr. Cowan's reporting helped lead to the downfall of TV evangelist Jim Bakker's PTL empire. Since 1989, Mr. Cowan has been licensed by the State of North Carolina as a PI. He has worked on behalf of rapists, pedophiles, murderers, and a host of other sordid characters. Mr. Cowan resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is an occasional guest lecturer at UNCC. He lives with his wife, Vivian, and their wonder dog, Gretchen.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose work will appear in both the Drive and Mane anthologies forthcoming from Silver Birch Press. Also, "Dancing Under the Moon," a collection of six moon poems, has been accepted by Origami Poems. Finally, she has signed contracts for three additional picture books from THEAQ, who published her first picture book, WHOOSH! Intended for ages 3 to 9, the new books will feature Rosa in the garden, collecting seashells, and learning to help her mother with chores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind Every Great Fortune: A Novel by Frank Amoroso

Simply Francis Publishing Company
$15.99, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-63062-000-4 (pb) / 978-1-63062-001-1 (e-book)
February, 2014
Fiction
Available from www.Amazon.com

"Frank Amoroso's debut novel Behind Every Fortune is a fictionalized view of the life of international investment banker Otto Kahn, and captures in exquisite detail the political intrigue of the early twentieth century, including the vast cast of influential characters integral to the events leading to world wide conflagration. Incorporating glimpses into Kahn's opulent and secretively hedonistic lifestyle, from the Gold Coast of Long Island's Oheka Castle, to the offices, drawing rooms and boudoirs of the rich and famous of the time, Amoroso brings to life the 'monopoly man' through his well-written prose and extensive historical research."
—Anne Brusca, Library Media Specialist

“So you see, Otto, behind every great fortune, lies a great crime,” boasted Princess Zina Yusopov, the richest woman in Tsarist Russia.

Set in the turbulent second decade of the twentieth century, Behind Every Great Fortune chronicles the life and times of Otto Hermann Kahn, the financier and philanthropist whose fame was so great that he was immortalized as the iconic character with the mustache and top hat of the board game Monopoly.

Behind Every Great Fortune crackles with intrigue, ritual murder, sexual depravity, and betrayal, as the action races from the first terrorist attack on New York City to the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, the murder of Rasputin, the Russian Revolution, and the bloody devastation of WWI. Mr. Amoroso adroitly weaves historical facts with colorful characters of the day such as Margaret Sanger, Vaslav Nijinsky, Mata Hari, the mad monk Rasputin, and Commander James “Strafe” Oliver.

As the 100th anniversary of these events approaches, Behind Every Great Fortune presents a fresh look at the seminal events that shaped the world. According to one reviewer it is an “Exciting, imaginative novel with many scenes of high dramatic intensity.”

Frank Amoroso is an attorney who was born in New York City. He grew up near Long Island’s Gold Coast where Otto Hermann Kahn built Oheka Castle his monument to power and wealth. Behind Every Great Fortune is Mr. Amoroso’s initial book in the Oheka Chronicles trilogy.

Before embarking on a writing career, Mr. Amoroso practiced law for many years and was a senior partner in a large international law firm. “Law is a wonderful training ground for writing,” says Amoroso. From his days on Law Review to clerking for a Judge on New York’s highest court, to working as chief of staff for a NYS Senator, to prosecuting and teaching a course in White Collar Crime, to handling litigation for Fortune 500 companies, his career revolved around words.

A number of exciting projects are in the works. Mr. Amoroso is currently working on Book Two of the Oheka Chronicles, and Book Three is in the scoping phase. In addition, he is writing a companion book to Behind Every Great Fortune and is writing the memoirs of a Korean War veteran that will be poignant and tragic at the same time.

 

Hats Off! to Ben Sharpton who reviews movies on his website, BenSharpton.com. While he doesn't "use stars, popcorns, tomatoes, or thumbs up/down," he does offer opinions, often about flicks that don't get much attention. Recent reviews include Secret in Their Eyes and The Martian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Angel Dialogues by Anthony S. Abbott
with illustrations by Betsy Hazelton

Lorimer Press
$22.95, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0989788526
March, 2014
Poetry: Illustrated
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Abbott miters each poem into the next with the precision of a master carpenter, in language that moves seamlessly, often floating, from impressionism into a quirky vernacular narrative..."
—Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of NC, 2012-present

"This book is one of the most emotionally wide-open collections of poetry that I’ve read in a long time."
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, Poet Laureate of NC, 2005-2009

"(T)his angel...is a double tasking, sarcastic, Yeats reading, quantum-leaping trickster..."
—Cathy Smith Bowers, Poet Laureate of NC, 2010-2012

"Solicitous, assured, understanding, cheeky, impudent, mischievous..."
—Fred Chappell, Poet Laureate of NC, 1997-2002

This book is not really a collection of poems; rather, it is a narrative, a story that takes place over a year, in which a poet, who has prayed for a muse, receives instead an angel who teaches him much about what it means to be a human being, and leaves him, at the end of that time, wiser, healthier, and more spiritually aware.

Anthony S. Abbott is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College where he served as Department Chair from 1989-1996. He is the author of four critical studies, two novels, and six books of poetry, including the Pulitzer nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. His awards include the Novello Literary Award for Leaving Maggie Hope (2003), the Oscar Arnold Young Award for The Man Who (2005), and the Brockman-Campbell Award for If Words Could Save Us (2011) as well as the Irene Blair Honeycutt Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. He lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his wife, Susan.

 

Hats Off! to Maryrose Carroll who has been in San Francisco working on a documentary of her late husband, poet Paul Carroll. There, she met Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and read hm one of Paul's poems, "Song after Making Love," which was published in Maryrose's memoir Beats Me: Love, Poetry, Censorship, from Chicago to Appalachia (2015): "Shadows of birds between the bones / blood feels sweet as if moving in maple trees / a part of me is grass."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Fairy Tales, Poems in Concrete and Flesh by Maureen A. Sherbondy

Main Street Rag Publishing Company
$14.00, paperback ($9.00 if pre-ordered through the publisher)
May, 2014
Poetry
Available for pre-order from the publisher

"Bittersweet and spot on, Beyond Fairy Tales, Poems in Concrete and Flesh are about those moments in life when the fairy dust of happy-ever-after has blown away...leaving the reader thinking about the deceit in our own dreams."
—2014 Piedmont Laureate Carrie Knowles, author of Ashoan’s Rug and Lillian’s Garden

"Waving her magic wand, Maureen A. Sherbondy transforms classic fairy tales into contemporary fables: Goldilocks becomes a senile woman who sleeps on other residents' beds in a nursing home, Rapunzel loses her hair to chemotherapy, and the Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe abandons her children. The poems push beyond the margins of fairy tales into modern mutations of mystery, betrayal, and loss. Despite multiple personae and shape-shifting, the unique voice of the poet remains constant."
—Beth Copeland, author of Transcendental Telemarketer

“With humor and raw, dark beauty, Maureen Sherbondy shows us a world of broken, aging survivors. Her characters dance on the edge of loneliness and longing; they inhabit lost dreams where happily-ever-afters have twisted into financial, emotional, and physical hardship. And yet, one word rises out of this haunting, unforgettable collection of poems: acceptance.”
—Barbara Claypole White, author of The In-Between Hour

Beyond Fairy Tales, Poems in Concrete and Flesh is a full-length poetry collection about what happens after the fairy tales end.

Maureen A. Sherbondy's books are After the Fairy Tale, Praying at Coffee Shops, The Slow Vanishing, Scar Girl, Weary Blues, The Year of Dead Fathers, and Eulogy for an Imperfect Man. She teaches at Alamance Community College.

 

Hats Off! to Joseph Terrell who was featured in Set in Paris, "Our own very modern-day Hemingway."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Byrd by Kim Church

Dzanc Books
$14.95, paperback / $7.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-938604522
March, 2014
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Brilliant writing—lively and heartbreaking at every turn."
—Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

“A riveting debut. Kim Church is a very talented writer.”
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Nothing Gold Can Stay

"Beautiful, dream-like language … connects us directly with the experience of all the characters. It goes right to the heart, without being filtered through the brain, the way a smell connects you to a memory."
—Nancy Peacock, New York Times notable author of Life Without Water and The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson

Set in North Carolina and points west, Byrd is the story of Addie Lockwood, an independent single woman who, at thirty-three, gives birth to a son and surrenders him for adoption without telling his father, little imagining how the secret will shape their lives. Told through short chapters, vignettes, and Addie’s letters to her son, Byrd is an unforgettable story about making and living with the most difficult, intimate, and far-reaching of choices.

Kim Church’s stories and poetry have appeared in Shenandoah, Mississippi Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has received fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Raleigh. Her web address is www.kimchurch.com.

 

Hats Off! to C. David Gelly whose short story "The Alley" appeared in the Sunday edition of Camel City Dispatch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Narratives III: Fanning the Flames by Vince Guaglione

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$6.95, paperback / $0.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1495926211
February, 2014
Fiction
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

The Narratives is collection of short introspective essays written by an average guy in an effort to better understand himself, his life, and his relationship with the world around him while traveling the road of self-discovery. These works can best be described as the author's unique brand of journaling, encompassing both self-reflective entries, and an expression of thoughts and opinions surrounding social issues of the present day.

The Narratives III: Fanning The Flames departs from its predecessors, taking a more cynical personal tone and presenting a more pointed, indignant, view. Half the essays are a further examination of the author's innermost thoughts, while the remaining pieces are lightweight "op-ed's", touching on issues that are front and center to our national discourse.

The Narratives III: Fanning The Flames is the third volume in The Narratives series.

Vince Guaglione is a guy who asks lots of questions, not only of himself but of his society and the world around him. Although he claims he's found no real answers, that hasn't stopped him in his quest to gain perspective on a little something we call life. When he's not at his real job, you can find him sucking down venti-sized coffees at a brisk pace his local Starbucks, thinking up new writing projects, or pondering his mystery questions of life. Originally from Philadelphia PA, Vince now resides in Raleigh, NC. You can read more about Vince and his work on his website: http://www.vinceguaglione.com his Narratives Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com//TheNarrativesKeepingTheSoulAlive or on Twitter at: @VinceGuaglione. Vince always enjoys hearing from his readers. You can email him directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Hats Off! to Danny Johnson who has been invited to appear at WORD Fest in Charlotte on October 15, 2016. This event is sponsored by Baker & Taylor, one of the oldest book distributors in America. Danny's new book, The Last Road Home, will be published in August. The book launch will happen at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on August 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendetta Stone by Tom Wood

CreateSpace
$18.00, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1490331522
August, 2013
Fiction
Available at your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

“As a former newspaperman and a Nashville resident, I especially enjoyed the book because of its reporter protagonist and its Music City setting. The plot is believable, provides action and suspense, and the characters are well-defined. It also offers insight into how the media functions that 'civilians' should find interesting. It’s a good, quick read and I enjoyed it.”
—Larry Woody, former Tennessean sports writer/outdoors editor and author, is a three-time Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year and a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Martin Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame

“Tom Wood’s journalistic background is perfectly showcased in his suspenseful first novel, Vendetta Stone. Its clever premise as a true crime novel, written from the point of view of journalist Gerry Hilliard, works so well that readers may question why they didn’t know about these serial murders earlier. Vividly drawn and complex characters join a well-crafted plot to create a 'can’t turn the pages fast enough' winner. … [It] practically cries out for a sequel.”
—Michelle Broussard Honick, co-author of Ghosts, Gangsters and Gamblers of Las Vegas

“It is a gripping thriller . . . an excellent social and psychological piece of literature, especially looking into the mind of a serial killer.”
—Nick Sullivan, former Tennessean sports writer, outdoors editor, and copy editor

“Finished Vendetta Stone last night—what a thriller!”
—Suzanne Webb Brunson, former Nashville Banner reporter

Your loved one is murdered. You have the will—and the skill—to do something about it. Do you want justice ... or revenge? For Jackson Stone, a Nashville advertising executive, former Marine and avid outdoorsman, his journey to answer that question begins with an extraordinary press conference to announce his deadly intentions in this fictional true-crime thriller. The sensational comments concerning the murder of his quickly go viral, and reaction is swift—from the police to Jackson’s family members to his church family, from bloggers to victim’s right advocates to anti-violence groups. Everyone takes sides and his comments divide Music City like never before. Soon, the hunter becomes the hunted, and Jackson’s fate will be decided in a suspenseful showdown at one of Nashville’s iconic landmarks.

There to chronicle it all is journalist Gerry Hilliard, who also recounts his own role in tracking down the killer in his first “true-crime” book, Vendetta Stone.

Veteran sports writer and copy editor Tom Wood has covered a wide variety of events, ranging from Nashville universities to boxing, from the Iroquois Memorial Steeplechase to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games for The Tennessean, where he also wrote a number of entertainment features. Since his retirement from that newspaper, he has continued to contribute freelance articles for several news outlets including the Knoxville News Sentinel, Nashville Ledger, The Associated Press and Ft. Myers News-Press. He had a short story published in the 2012 Civil War anthology Filtered Through Time and contributed an interview to the 1989 collection Feast of Fear: Conversations With Stephen King. The native North Carolinian and Middle Tennessee State University graduate is also an actor and has appeared as a background character actor in numerous episodes of the ABC series Nashville (seasons one and two) as well as several other film and multimedia projects. Vendetta Stone is Wood’s first novel. His website is http://tomwoodauthor.com.

Hats Off! to Blaine Paxton Hall who writes the My View column for Raleigh's The News & Observer. His most recent column is "Cicadas and other Cycles."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure by Sharon C. Williams

Fountain Blue Publishing
$17.99, hardcover / $9.00, e-book
ISBN: 978-1628680041
September, 2013
Children's Chapter Book
Available from the publisher or www.Amazon.com

Jasper, the Amazon parrot, is no ordinary bird. He lives within the rainforest, whose secrets he’s eager to explore. He loves his life, his home, and his family—grateful for the blessings he’s discovered. He's in charge of his younger brother, Willie, a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.

Learning how to fly, he learns to appreciate the world around him. When he meets a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude named Charlie, he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible.

Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper soon understands that there is more to the world around him. Most especially the strange new creatures that have come to live there. Are they safe the young parrot doesn't know. With Willie and Charlie by his side he will soon find out.

Sharon is a native of New England, raised in Northern Maine. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son. She is owned by a flock of eight birds.

Sharon has a B.S. Degree in Chemistry. Writing keeps her busy. She tends to lose all track of time. The world could be coming to an end, and Sharon would be oblivious to it. When this author is writing, she envisions the scenes in her head. She tries to imagine the reality of what is written down on paper. The different options, scenes and problems will be listed down on the side in case she can use them later.

Sharon tends to write by long hand—the flow works better for her this way. The authors you would see in her bookshelves would be Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Bentley Little, and James Patterson.

She loves to read, take pictures, walk, exercise, go to the movies, and listen to music. Sharon is a budding bird watcher, and knits on the side. She is a huge sports fan which includes baseball, basketball, hockey, and football.

Two of her short stories were published in the anthology, Cassandra's Roadhouse. Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure, was released on September 7, 2013, by Fountain Blue Publishing. In December of 2013 Sharon along with members of her writing group, The Wonder Chicks, released an anthology called Dragons in the Attic.

 

Hats Off! to Bob Grove, a Network-West prose critique facilitator from Brasstown, who has had double success with poetry and prose submissions. His poem "Homage," a tribute to an abandoned homestead near Murphy, has been accepted for publication by Write City Magazine, and Adventure in Ecuador, an account of his exploration of Inca burial mounds in South America, has been accepted by Old Mountain Press. Bob’s writings have earned several gold medals in the North Carolina Silver Arts literature competition, and his public performance readings are well attended.

 

Hats Off! to Cindy Brookshire who wrote a guest blog for "Suite T" at Southern Writers Magazine. Her post, "How to Start a Writers Group and Help it Thrive," examines her experiences founding Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. In 2015, the chapter sponsored “In the Company of Laureates” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and a 2016 project, "Windy Knolls Writers Workshop," in Nokesville, in October. Since moving to North Carolina in 2014, Cindy has been an active member of the Johnston County Writers Group, which meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Selma Public Library in Selma. Led by facilitator Gary Ridout, the group has hosted such guest speakers as former Piedmont Laureate Carrie Knowles and current North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson.

 

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem "On the Platform" appears in Verse Virtual. Another poem, "Hearts," is forthcoming in the Origami anthology on Kindness, and her poem "Peaches and Dares" will be in the third annual "Love" issue of Walk Write Up. Her essay "The Golden Triangle" is in this month's issue of Sasee.

 

Hats Off! to Asheville's Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafè, The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, and Greensboro's Scuppernong Books, all of which cracked Southern Living magazine's list of Top 19 bookshops in the South. Malaprop's, clocking in at number twelve, aims to be “a place where the best reads, the best company, and the best coffee complete the picture.” Ranked thirteenth, The Regulator thrives with "its well-curated collection of new and used inventory and stellar magazine section." And Scuppernong, at fourteenth, "features a large children’s section and a heavy dose of poetry and general interest titles. Within the store, a book-themed café offers everything from coffee and sandwiches to wine and beer."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colony Collapse Disorder by Keith Flynn

Wings Press
$16.00, paperback
ISBN: 9781609402945
February, 2013
Available from your local bookstore, the publisher, or www.Amazon.com

"The poems of Colony Collapse Disorder form a geopolitical abecedarium that lives up to Keith Flynns reputation as 'a seminal force in poetry.. a voice for the dispossessed...with rock-gospel charisma and riddle-like revelations.'"
Choice

"Colony Collapse Disorder is a book of journeys, journeys across the world, journeys of conscience and witness, journeys of spiritual discovery. Flynn is one of our finest contemporary troubadours, heir to Bop, to the Beats, the poetry of Rock and Roll, the roar of Walt Whitman, and the seduction of cinema. He is a poet of overwhelming energy, in rebellious ballads, stunning life riffs, and wry meditations. In this work we feel a relish for both improvisation and craft, in delicate lyrics of longing, in songs of protest, and progressive commentary on todays violent and chaotic news. Like the best music, Flynn's poems bind us together with a shared sense of failure, challenge, joy, and love."
—Robert Morgan, author of Terroir

"Keith Flynn's lyrical travelogue, a revolution of sound and story, celebrates the reader as witness. Not only are we transported to gorgeously-crafted locales, but we are rooted there by the poet's unerring narrative, transforming each poem with a facet of light, an illuminative hallelujah. Scan the poetic landscape all you want, but you won't find anything like this." —Patricia Smith, author of Blood Dazzler

From the Introduction:
The poems in this book are built in a circular fashion like a Mayan calendar, its architecture and interconnected narrative have a hive mind, with each poem connected to the poem in front and behind it by a theme, an image, or a single word. Colony Collapse Disorder is a place-based abecedary in which each letter of the alphabet is represented by two places, cities, countries, or regions whose name corresponds to the letter and its assigned poem. The poem may be inspired by the place or its traditions, written with geography's characteristics in mind, or can be aimed at the place, or may take the irony of the place and nestle its rhythm next to the future that is drifting inexorably closer.

There are a wide variety of forms and textures, but each poem, 52 in all, correspond with the weeks of the year, and interlock the entire collection with historical vignettes and try to capture a sense of what a worker bee might see through the eyes of a human, how the various places might feel and think through their gauze of feuds or appetites or vanities. Poetry is language with a shape, and a music all its own, my hope is that these shapes bring the reader along, around the world in eighty or so pages, and to feel as if they are completely at home between its covers, bent toward the horizon with a new awareness of the other spirits that are occupying their hive.

Keith Flynn (www.keithflynn.net) is the author of six books, including five collections of poetry: The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters (1994), The Lost Sea (2000), The Golden Ratio (Iris Press, 2007), and Colony Collapse Disorder (Wings Press, 2013), and a collection of essays, entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer's Digest Books, 2007). From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced three albums: Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), Pouch (1996), and the spoken-word and music compilation, Nervous Splendor (2003). He is currently touring with a supporting combo, The Holy Men, whose album, LIVE at Diana Wortham Theatre, was released in 2011. His award-winning poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world, including The American Literary Review, The Colorado Review, Poetry Wales, The Cuirt Journal (Ireland), Takahe (New Zealand), Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Review, Margie, Rattle, Shenandoah, Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry, Crazyhorse, and many others. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for North Carolina. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994. For more information, please visit: www.ashevillepoetryreview.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonnets of the Cross by Joseph Bathanti

Jacar Press
$25.00, paperback
February, 2013
Poetry
Available from the publisher

A hand-bound, limited edition chapbook, signed and numbered by NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti. Original pen and ink art works by Tasmanian artist and poet Ron Moss, created exclusively for this project.

The Sonnets of the Cross are based on the fourteen Stations of the Cross that commemorate the final hours of Jesus’s life, beginning with His sentence of death and culminating with His removal from the cross.

The spirituality embodied in these sonnets is unconventional, iconoclastic. Most of the poems are set in Pittsburgh and North Carolina, and contemporized among the working class and disenfranchised. Their Christ is a brilliant laborer with a blazing social conscience and abiding love who is wrongly convicted of a crime, then executed despite His innocence.

Joseph Bathanti was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. Bathanti is the author of four books of poetry: Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; and This Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award. His first novel, East Liberty, winner of the Carolina Novel Award, was published in 2001. His latest novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. Most recently, his collection of short stories, The High Heart, winner of the 2006 Spokane Prize, was published by Eastern Washington University Press in 2007. He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council; The Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, presented annually for outstanding contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina over an extended period; the Linda Flowers Prize; the Sherwood Anderson Award, the 2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; and others. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. On August 30, 2012, Joseph was named Poet Laureate of North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Souls and Other Stories by Charles Blackburn, Jr.

Main Street Rag
$13.95, paperback ($12.50 if ordered before March 12, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-59948-398-6
March, 2013
Fiction
Available from the publisher, your local bookstore, or www.Amazon.com

"Sweet Souls and Other Stories is full of surprises: a character named Goody Koonce had 'a Gibson Hummingbird guitar with cigarette burns on the head stops from wedging them between the strings, a basset hound named Merle, his father's looks and his mother's sense.' Prose often becomes poetry: the 'migraine heat of August beat the fairground to dust.' Blackburn changes into marvelous and believable stories the things he no doubt has seen and heard."
—Shelby Stephenson, Professor Emeritus of English, UNC-Pembroke, and Editor Emeritus, Pembroke Magazine

"Charles Blackburn's stories simmer in the imagination long after the first reading. His ironic gaze ranges broadly embracing the pseudo-historical, the fantastic, and even the outlandish. A story might start in recognizable down home Carolina, maybe on the road to Morehead City, but in the turning of a page, you get dropped into a world you never imagined with hilarious characters you don't want to leave. Some of these natives may be 'quaint beyond reason,' or even wanderers adrift from some other literary stream, but whatever their distinctive voice or voyage, they are always entertaining and their surprising fates totally satisfying."
—Katherine James, Associate Editor, Crucible

"Where 'Golf in Pakistan' came from in Blackburn's creative mind, I can't say, but the reader is in for a hair-raising bus trip careening backward over a cliff, passengers falling out along the way; a sweltering train ride with stops for communal showers; and finally a game of extreme golf on a 'sporty little course' hacked out of the jungle, with an army of 100 ragged caddies who carry a single club, or carry the sedan chairs (and a case of single malt scotch), or retrieve balls, or who beat the bush 'never know what might be lurking about.' Did I mention the dead body on Number Eight?"
—Marsha Warren, Executive Director, Paul Green Foundation; former Director, North Carolina Writers' Network

These stories range from the rural South to the Middle East. Their subjects include the home front in World War II, the dangers of unexploded Confederate ordinance, a small-town lawyer's encounter with the supernatural, and a modern-day outlaw whose exploits breathe life into a dying newspaper. In "Borer Bees," a lonely recluse's unusual method of bee control robs him of a gabfest with two visiting missionaries, and in "Ghost of a Scientist," babysitting an elderly gentleman in a spooky old house leads to an unexpected revelation. "Sweet Souls," "The Golden Pine Cone," and "Golf in Pakistan" all won Crucible magazine's annual fiction contest, and "Sweet Souls" won a literary fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Charles Blackburn, Jr. grew up in Henderson, NC, attended Barton College and UNC-Chapel Hill and now lives in Raleigh with his wife and daughter. Early in his career he roamed the state as a reporter and editor for four small-town newspapers. He has been part owner of a Chapel Hill used and rare bookshop, for which customers were even rarer. His stories, feature articles, and poems have appeared in many regional and national publications. He has written about NC history, people, and places for Our State magazine. Charles is a past president of the North Carolina Writers' Network and the North Carolina Writers Conference. In 2008, St. Andrews Presbyterian College presented him the Sam Ragan Award for Literature.

III Islands by Bob Holt

CreateSpace
$12.75, paperback / $1.95, e-book
ISBN: 978-1470122591
May, 2012
Fiction
Available from the author, your local bookstore, or www.Amazon.com

At the first opportunity, Max Howard left the farm he grew up on near Pink Hill, NC. Armed with two years of college from LCC in Kinston, NC, and his Real Estate Salesman’s license, he moved to Arapahoe, NC, wanting to be near the water.

It took a year of waiting tables before Ray Brinson gave him a shot at selling real estate and he proved immediately he could sell becoming the top producer as he beat the highways and back roads of Pamlico county searching for FSBO’s (for sale by owner). The locals realized he could be trusted and called him constantly, trusting him to handle their real estate needs.

He dated occasionally, living frugally, in a very small rental house on Seafarer Road for eight or nine years not wanting to get involved romantically, but enjoying casual relationships with each year’s new crop of summer waitresses.

On one of his forays, he chanced on the house of his dreams and made an offer to the New Jersey couple that had built it to retire in but found it much, much too quiet and tranquil for their lifestyles. They’d posted a FSBO out front and left. He stole it when they accepted his second counter.

What followed was like a merry-go-round settling into his new gabled, four-level home, complete with an elevator, on the banks of the Neuse River at its confluence with the Pamlico Sound, meeting Candi, the girl of his dreams, becoming involved with the Jernigans at Janiero wanting to build a sub-division on their property, and picking up listing after listing in the Oriental, NC, area as property values sky-rocketed with Oriental becoming the sailboat capital of the east coast.

Now in business for himself, with his marriage to Candi just a few weeks away, tragedy struck knocking him off his heel’s leaving him with an emptiness, wondering if it could ever be overcome…

Bob Holt, a North Carolina native, spent a tour in the Air Force before beginning his fifty-year career selling restaurant equipment. During the last twenty-five years, he also held an active real estate “brokers” license. Traveling northeastern North Carolina as a “traveling salesman” for over thirty years, he met many interesting people and each had an interesting story to tell. He used these stories as inspirations to future works. His hobbies are many and diverse encompassing woodworking, decoys, watercolors, pencil sketching, photography, ham radio, genealogy, and writing. He currently lives in Winterville, NC, with this third wife, Diana.

Holt’s other novels include I Am Janie and Jim's Recurring Dream Was Back Again, also both set in North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beckoning by Brenda Kay Ledford

Finishing Line Press
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-62229-226-4
March, 2013
Poetry
Available from the publisher or www.Amazon.com

"Brenda Kay Ledford's book, Beckoning, is a wonderful collection of poetry about her Southern Appalachian roots.... Her poetry sings with color and harmony. Many poems depict rural scenes that speak to the senses. Brenda captures her culture with the love of generations. You'll feel, see, hear, and taste the beauty of nature in her verse. This collection is important to remind us where we came from and how the past is still relevant."
—Randy Wright

Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of North Carolina Writer's Network, North Carolina Poetry Society, and listed with A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers.

Her work has appeared in Our State, Asheville Poetry Review, Pembroke Magazine, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, and many other anthologies.

She received the Paul Green Award from North Carolina Society of Historians for her poetry collections: Patchwork Memories, Sacred Fire, Shewbird Mountain, and Simplicity. Brenda also received the 2012 Royce Ray Poetry Award and won first place in the nature category of Fields of the Earth Poetry Contest sponsored by Writer's Ink Guild.

Her blogs include http://blueridgepoet.blogspot.com and http://historicalhayesville.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Village: Searching for Answers in a Cotton Mill Town by Flora Ann Scearce

Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC
$16.99, paperback / $13.99 e-book
June, 2013
Fiction
Available for pre-order from the publisher and www.Amazon.com

"The Roanoke Rapids of today is vastly different from the mill village of Rosemary, but Flora Ann Scearce has taken us on a fascinating journey to that earlier culture, and that life . Enjoy her story, it's well worth your time."
—Reverend Tom Bodkin, Retired, Raleigh, NC

"Once I started The Village, I could not put it down. Flora Ann Scearce has a great talent for making the reader feel a part of the story . I think (she) has another winner in this book."
—Lucy Penegar, Gastonia, NC

"Yes, Lucille Smith wore pants on occasion. So did Norma Shearer and Marlene Dietrich, but they were movie stars and lived in Hollywood. Norma Shearer wore pants when she rode horses or lounged in her Hollywood mansion with her rich husband. Lucille was a mill company secretary and lived in a mill village in Roanoke Rapids. She wore pants because she liked them, how they looked and felt. It mattered not one iota what other women thought, men either for that matter…”

Rising above the drudgery of cotton mill life and aspiring to something greater, Selena leaves Gastonia with her best friend’s family and struggles to gain acceptance into the lives of the Rosemary villagers. Could one person be the catalyst that changes a whole neighborhood?

Set in the years between the Great War and the Great Depression, the townsfolk of Rosemary, North Carolina didn’t make it very easy for this “mountain hooger” girl. Join Flora Ann Scearce in her captivating book, The Village, as she unveils the colorful journey of her mother, Selena, amidst the industrial revolution of the twenties and the societal pressures of her newfound life.

Her high school yearbook named her class poet, but native North Carolinian Flora Ann Scearce, mother of three, grandmother of five, did not begin writing in earnest until the mid-1980s when she retired from First Citizens Bank. She now lives in Trent Woods, NC, with her husband, Herman, a retiree of both the Air Force and as NC Magistrate. Her most recent novel, Cotton Mill Girl (Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang, OK, 2007) won the prestigious NC Society of Historians’ Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award, as did her first novel, Singer of An Empty Day (2009). Both of Scearce’s novels, as well as a third “in progress,” are based on the life of her mother who also wrote extensively of mountain life, lore, medicine, and music, as well as life in a piedmont cotton mill village, giving her daughter a wealth of material on which to draw. Her website is http://floraannscearce.tateauthor.com/.

The Shimmering Bubble by William Wortman

CreateSpace
$24.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1461172697
May, 2012
Fiction
Available at www.Amazon.com

A weeklong meeting in California ends and a weary Dr. David Jacobs boards his flight home. Kathleen, a lovely and intriguing flight attendant welcomes him. There is instant attraction. While waiting for departure they banter. Scotch and fatigue lull him to a fitful sleep after take-off, but he doesn’t sleep well. Ghosts from a hidden past cause recurring nightmares. Friends know nothing about this, and he cannot tell them.

Thirty years as a surgeon and his wife’s recent death compound his problems. Kathleen’s curiosity is piqued by words muttered as he dreams. Who is “Scott?” Where is “Erzerum” and “Capo Posillipo?” Why does the name “Michael” bring tears to his eyes? Who are these people? Most importantly, she asks herself, why should she care? Why does this man she has just met evoke deep emotions and feelings long suppressed and denied? He awakes, she queries him, but her perception threatens to reveal ghosts he can’t expose. He leaves her questions unanswered.

David bids farewell at the airport. He promises dinner if she has a future layover. Kathleen intrigues him and her memory remains vivid. His Medical School class is holding its reunion and he’s there for the evening’s festivities before proceeding home. Many classmates attend: Sexy Sarah, her husband Allan the Gas Passer, Texas Charlie, Marty the Slob, and Moosie the class clown. All, he reflects are interestingly intertwined, tied by bonds in and beyond their profession.

Some absentees are the ones Kathleen has asked about and their memories torment him. As a writer he needs to tell their stories if he is ever to be free of their ghosts. On his late wife’s death bed he promised her to do just that, but he procrastinates. Kathleen calls. She has an unexpected layover. Would David like to see her before she leaves? Would he be interested?

On impulse he invites her to the reunion dinner and she accepts. His friends are amused but supportive, especially Sarah. Excited but apprehensive David realizes Kathleen could hold answers for him to many questions and needs and possibly help finally put to rest many of the ghosts. We meet a number of his colleagues. They discuss themselves and others from their past. What role do each play in David’s life? All have a poignant story to tell.

Between the Prologue and the Epilogue David tells their stories in a series of narratives. But he must eventually face the past he has tried unsuccessfully to forget. And that might mean revealing secrets long kept hidden.

Tinkerer, traveler, former sailor, Naval Officer and spy, William Wortman is a retired OB-GYN married to an attorney. They live with Benzie, a Schnauzer, in North Carolina. When not being otherwise creative, this wine connoisseur and gourmet chef divides his time between writing and helping direct his wine and beer importing and distributing company. He has been published in the Journal of the American Physicians’ Poetry Association, MEDIPHORS: a Literary Journal of the Health Professions, the Journal of the Southern Medical Association, Patient Care Magazine, regional newspapers and other nontechnical journals, and (under a pseudonym) several national magazines. In addition to editing the Société Mondiale (wine) and Turning Spit (features) portions of Gastronome the National Journal of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the oldest food society in the world, he has served as National Vice Echanson (VP) of the Société Mondiale. He wrote by invitation the chapter on Obstetrics and Gynecology in Pfizer Pharmaceutical’s book, A Career Guide for Medical Students, (published by Mark Powley & Associates) a copy of which was given to every graduating medical student in the United States. He has two grown children and four grandchildren. His motto is: “The fear of death can be eliminated by the ubiquitous joy of living!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Warriors by Tom Young

G.P.Putnam's Sons
$26.95, hardcover / $12.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-399158476
July, 2013
Fiction
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parson has been in plenty of action lately, so he’s happy with his new assignment as safety officer at a Kyrgyzstan air base. It’s a pretty laid-back way to spend the next year.

Or so he thought. On his second day, a C-27 crashes on the runway with a load of electronic gear—and opium. Recruiting his battle companion Sergeant Major Sophia Gold as interpreter, he investigates not only the crash, but the source of the cargo, and the answers they find will lead them into a conflict as lethal as any they have known.

A new Balkan war is brewing, driven by a man of ruthless ambition. Parson himself flew during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, so he’s seen their horror firsthand. But neither he nor Gold has witnessed anything like what’s about to happen now.

Tom Young has logged 4,500 hours as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, and elsewhere, including Latin America, the horn of Africa, and the Far East. Military honors include two Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.

He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied writing there and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among other places. Besides The Mullah’s Storm, Silent Enemy, and The Renegades, he is also the author of the oral history The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and contributed to the anthology Operation Homecoming, edited by Andrew Carroll. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of the Light by Lisa Zerkle

Finishing Line Press
$14.00, paperback
May, 2013
Poetry
Available from the publisher

"What I like best about Lisa Zerkle’s poems is their honesty. She has heart, she has humor, but she never sentimentalizes, never makes the world into something she would like it to be."
—Anthony S. Abbott, author of If Words Could Save Us

Lisa Zerkle's poetry has appeared in Crucible, The Main Street Rag, Thrift Poetic Arts, and online at www.literarymama.com. She is a co-editor of Kakalak: Anthology of Carolina Poetry. In 2008, she wrote a monthly column for the Charlotte Observer as one of their Community Columnists. She is the president of the North Carolina Poetry Society. She lives in Charlotte.

Hats Off! to North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Joseph Mitchell who is featured in a behind-the-scenes look at the Paris Review documentary "Big, Bent Ears," by Ivan Weiss and Sam Stephenson.

 

Hats Off! to North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee John Ehle whose novel The Landbreakers, reissued in 2014 by New York Review Books, was favorably reviewed in the Southern Literary Review.

 

Hats Off! to Valerie Nieman, author of the poetry collection Hotel Worthy, who was profiled in Avant Greensboro.

 

Hats Off! to Liza Wieland who was Book Brahmin for Shelf Awarenesson Wednesday, March 25. Favorite book when she was a child? Harriet the Spy....

 

...

Hats Off! to NCWN board member Alice Osborn who has a poem forthcoming in Pilcrow & Dagger (April).

 

Hats Off! to Ron Jackson whose short story "Slow Dancing" was accepted by Vine Leaves Literary Journal for publication in their April 17 issue (Issue 14).

 

Hats Off! to Crystal Simone Smith, author of the poetry chapbook Running Music, who was featured on Blotterature, a website devoted to "merging the art of fancy talk with blue collar sensibilities."

 

Hats Off! to NCWN board member Julie Funderburk whose poetry collection The Door that Always Opens has been accepted for publication by LSU Press to appear in July or August 2016.

 

Hats Off! to David Radavich and Sandra Ann Winters whose poems, "Envoy" and "Japanese Maple," respectively, were selected for March's Poetry in Plain Sight program, sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. Their poems will appear on posters throughout downtown Winston-Salem.

 

Hats Off! to Eric Roe whose short essay was published in Stereo Stories, a website devoted to stories about a song, a place, and a time. His piece is about the song "Just One Thing," by Randy Adams.

 

Hats Off! to North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson, a 2014 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, who was profiled by David Menconi in Raleigh's The News & Observer.

 

Hats Off! to Michael R. Hassler who has an essay forthcoming in the Spring issue of Eclectica Magazine.

 

Hats Off! to Gustavo Pérez Firmat whose book A Cuban in Mayberry, an exploration of The Andy Griffith Show, was reviewed by the Southern Literary Review.

 

Hats Off! to Sam Love who has three environmental poems forthcoming in the new issue of Duke University's magazine Eno.

 

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh who placed first in the creative nonfiction category of the 2014 Union County Writers' Club Contest for her essay "Arrival Gate," and second in the short fiction category for her story "Third Shift," which is forthcoming in Gravel.

 

Hats Off! to Ivy Rutledge who has an essay forthcoming in the inaugural issue of Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing.

 

Hats Off! to Rebecca McClanahan who is featured in the current issue of The Writer's Chronicle, the magazine of the Association of Writers and Writing Professionals.

 

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who has five poems forthcoming in Knot Magazine for their spring issue on women in and women in art.

 

Hats Off! to Chris Roerden who reports that the 2014 anthology Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey, to which she was invited to submit an essay, is one of five nominated books for this year's upcoming Agatha Awards in the category of Nonfiction. Chris' 575-word essay "Married to the Job" covers a writer's commitment. Coincidentally, her own tenth book, Don't Murder Your Mystery, was the first book about writing to win an Agatha in the fourteen years since the Nonfiction category was added to the national awards. In addition, Hank Phillippi Ryan, editor of the just-nominated anthology, contracts with Chris to edit her own writing: five thrillers so far in her second series of mysteries, the multi-award-winning Jane Ryland/Jake Brogan series.

 

Hats Off! to Glenda Barrett who had five poems selected for Kaleidoscope magazine: "Stay Seated Please," "Bound," "At Arm's Reach," "Boundaries," and "No More comfort, please." Another of her poems, "VFW Fish Fry," is forthcoming in the anthology No Achilles from Waterwood Press, and her poem "Ordinary Guy" will appear in The Healing Muse: A Journal of Literary and Visual Arts.

 

Hats Off! to Moira Crone whose novel, The Ice Garden (Carolina Wren Press), was reviewed in the Southern Literary Review.

 

Hats Off! to Charles "LC" Fiore whose short story "The Trench Garden" has been produced as an audio edition by Audible.com. "The Trench Garden" was published by Ploughshares in January.

Hats Off! to Marilynn Barner Anselmi whose short script, "Floral Deliveries," won 2nd Place in the 2014 10-Minute Play Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. The winning plays will be presented Saturday, April 12, at 7:00 pm at The Community Arts Cafe, 411 West Fourth St. in Winston-Salem.

Hats Off! to Judy Hogan, author of Farm Fresh and Fatal, who was featured in the March/April issue of Southern Writers Magazine.

Hats Off! to Judy Hogan whose novel Farm Fresh and Fatal was featured in Mystery Scene magazine. Vegetables "turn out to be a lot more interesting than we'd ever guessed" in this "fascinating" mystery.

 

Hats Off! to Sandra Lee Hartsell whose book Adam Petty's Heartbeat was written up in the Lexington Dispatch, the Archdale-Trinity News, and the Thomasville Times.

 

Hats Off! to 2014 Spring Conference faculty member Drew Perry whose new novel Kids These Days was reviewed in the Southern Literary Review. Matt Simmons interviews Drew about Florida and parenting in the same issue.

 

Hats Off! to Ross White who has a poem in Day One.

 

Hats Off! to 2014 NCWN Spring Conference faculty member Jacinta V. White who was featured in the Winston-Salem Journal for her project, "One City, One Prompt." As part of this, Jacinta will lead one of the Special Sessions at Spring Conference, where she will begin an opening dialogue on this year's theme, “Begin Again.” She will then provide the prompt to attendees, and allow them time to write.

 

Hats Off! to Paula Oliver, NCWN Regional Rep for Albemarle/OBX, who read her essay, "Hermine Jungus Komnik’s World Wars I and II Experiences and Results," at the Dare County Arts Center. NCWN members in Albemarle/OBX are teaming up with the Dare County Arts Council to provide a platform for works by these writers and their guests. These local writers will present readings and book signings at the Dare County Arts Council throughout the year.

Hats Off! to Ron Jackson who reviews Katey Schultz' Flashes of War in the new North Carolina Literary Review.

 

Hats Off! to Erika Hoffman whose story about how she met her husband, "Before March Madness", has been accepted by Screamin’Mamas. This is a paying gig out of Hollywood, Florida. This is Erika’s fifth story to be published by this print magazine.

 

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, “Five Little Bears Came to My House Today,” has won Third Place in the Caldwell Nixon, Jr. Award sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society.

 

Hats Off! to Spring Conference faculty member Peggy Payne whose article "Allergic to Sex? On Book Pulping and Pursed Lips" appeared in the Religion section of the Washington Post.

 

Hats Off! to Sharon C. Williams who won a literary grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

 

...to GARY CARDEN.   His work , "Prince of Dark Corners" is currently being broadcast on both UNC-TV and ETV, and it will continue to be a part of the broadcast format for 
2008.  The PBS endorsed DVD can be obtained by contacting Gary Carden,  236 Cherry Street, Sylva, N.C.
 

Jennifer Mackenzie has won an Artist Fellowship in Screenwriting from the North Carolina Arts Council/National Endowment for the Arts for her script, THE SPACE BETWEEN.  In 2004, Ms. Mackenzie's first screenplay, HEAVEN RUSHING OUT, reached the semifinal round of the prestigious Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, finishing among the top 30 out of the 6,073 scripts entered that year.

 

Hats Off! to Chuck Thurston, whose guest column "Living the Pond Life" appeared recently in the Salisbury Post.

 

Hats Off! to Danny Bernstein whose book, The Mountains-to-Sea Across North Carolina, was featured in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

 

Hats Off! to Marilynn Barner Anselmi, whose play Becoming IT is a finalist for the Susan Nims Distinguished Playwriting Award. Becoming IT will be presented at The Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, in May, 2013.

 

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, whose short story "Voice of an Angel" has won First Place in the 2013 Charlotte Writers' Club Contest!

 

Hats Off! to NCWN Regional Rep Betty Dotson-Lewis, whose book Sago Mine Disaster (Featured Story) Appalachian Coalfield Stories is listed with synopsis in Goldenseal magazine's spring Edition 2013, page 63. Goldenseal is a quarterly magazine devoted to West Virginia traditional life, published by the State of West Virginia, Division of Culture and History.

 

Hats Off! to Susan Rochette, whose short story "Kewpie" was published in _Short Story_, an academic journal of short fictions and essays/reviews on short fiction.

 

Hats Off! to Heather Bell Adams of Raleigh. Her story "Butler Road" won the Fifth Photogene Contest sponsored by Sundog Lit.

 

Hats Off! to Ruth Ilg, whose poem "March 20th" won The Pegasus Prize from the Poetry Society of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.

 

Hats Off! to Scott Owens, whose poetry collections For One Who Knows How to Own Land and Something Knows the Moment were reviewed in the North Carolina Literary Review by Karen K. Mason alongside two of Robert Morgan's books in a review called "The Regional Poet and the World."

 

Hats Off! to Joseph Bathanti, who will receive the 2013 Mary Frances Hobson Prize and participate in the nineteenth annual Mary Frances Hobson Lecture to be held on the Chowan University campus in April 2013. The Mary Frances Hobson Lecture and Prize recognizes distinguished achievement in the field of arts and letters.

..... to Alice Osborn.  Her poem, "Southern Ice Storm", won 3rd Place in the 2011 Carolina Woman Writing Contest.

....... to Sheri Castle. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance recently named The New Southern Garden Cookbook an Okra pick for Spring 2011. The Okra picks are a baker's dozen of Southern books that SIBA member bookstores are excited about.

 

Hats Off! to Charlotte's Lisa Rubenson, who won NPR's Three-Minute Fiction Contest. Her short story, “Sorry for Your Loss,” beat out more than 4,000 entries. NPR reporter Tamara Keith read the story on Saturday’s “Weekend All Things Considered” program.

..... to Jim Clark. Jim Clark's new CD, The Service of Song, is now available at http://www.jimclarkpoet.com/
The Service of Song features Jim's musical settings of twelve poems by the sadly neglected North Georgia "farmer-poet" Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958).  Reece published four books of poems and two novels with E.P. Dutton in New York before taking his own life at the age of 40.  Poet and novelist Robert Morgan says, "In The Service of Song, Jim Clark gives new life and new voice to the poetry of Byron Herbert Reece. Clark’s music and performance are a wonderful exploration and expression of Reece’s art, inspired and inspiring, for a new generation of readers and listeners. The outstanding poet of the North Georgia mountains could not be more fortunate than to have his work celebrated, set and sung by this outstanding contemporary poet and musician, recalling the ancient, haunting ballads of the mountains."

 

Two faculty members from the 2012 NCWN fall conference, Elaine Neil Orr and A.J. Mayhew, and one conference attendee, Cheryl Isaac, all have pieces in the current issue of South Writ Large magazine.

 

Hats Off! to Mimi Herman, whose poetry collection Logophilia was favorably reviewed by Scott Owens in the Wild Goose Poetry Review.

 

Hats Off! to Mark Havlik, who won First Place for Fiction in the 2013 Pamlico Writers Competition for "What Lies Beyond Those Hills." His piece will appear in an upcoming all-literary issue of Washington The Magazine.

 

Hats Off! to Malinda Fillingim, whose short story "The Right Track" has been accepted for inclusion in Hub City's (Spartanburg, SC) annual holiday anthology. Also, Fillingim's photo/poem about Martin Luther King, Jr., "Southern Dreams," appears in the online magazine Deep South.

 

Hats Off! to Angela Davis-Gardner. The paperback edition of her novel, Butterfly's Child, will be published by Dial Press in April, 2012.

 

Hats Off! to Michel Stone, whose debut novel, The Iguana Tree, sold out its first edition before it was even released. It's received favorable national reviews, and it's been selected as a SIBA "Okra Pick." The release date is March 12, 2012.

 

Hats Off! to new NCWN member Jules Riley, who recently earned an Honorable Mention in the NC Poetry Society's Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award. His children's poem, "A Rainy Day," will be published in Pinesong. He and others will read on May 19, Awards Day at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. For more information on the NCPS please visit www.ncpoetrysociety.org.

Tamra Wilson's story, "The Prodigal," was a finalist in the 2010 Flatireon Writers Short Fiction Contest and her story, "Brother Dirk," took third place in the Children's Story Contest sponsored by Charlotte Writers Club. Both stories are excerpts from Home at the Lincoln Hotel, a novel in progress.

The National Association of Professional and Executive Women (USA) has selected Islamic author and illustrator Linda “iLham” Barto as its 2010 Woman of the Year in the arts category. More about Barto and her work is available on her website www.Lit-by-Linda.com.

 

 

Katrina Parker Williams has works published or accepted for publication at the following:
 

  • a fictional piece "Rock" published at Charlotte Viewpoint.
  • a fictional piece "Aunt Luella's House" and a poem "A Housewife's Lament" published in the March 2010 issue of The Saints' Placenta.
  • a poem "Bag of Clothes" accepted at All Things Girl for their March 2010 issue.
  • a poem "Revolt in the Cherokee Nation" accepted at Dead Mule for their July 2010 issue.
  • a fictional piece "Missus Buck" accepted at The Village Pariah.
  • a fictional piece "Grandpa's Courtship" accepted at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal  for their July-September 2010 issue. 
  •  a fictional piece "The Fear of My Father" published at Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal.
  • a fictional piece "Ms. Pimmelly's City" published at usadeepsouth.

NCWN member Kim Wright's debut novel, Love in Mid Air, was selected for the "First Fiction" list of Publisher's Weekly, Spring issue 2010.

Joan Carris'  latest book, Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, was put on the Smithsonian Notable Books List for 2009. 

Hats Off to Wilson Roberts. His short story, "Against the Dying of the Light"  has been accepted for publication by the Massachusetts Review.

Hat's Off to...JOHN GROOMS of Charlotte, NCWN member and critiquer, who recently won a first place award from the North Carolina Press Association. Grooms, who writes a weekly column for Charlotte alternative weekly Creative Loafing, won first place among weeklies with circulation greater than 10,000 in the category of "lighter columns." His win was based on these sarcasm-laden selections: "Mommy, can I stone the queer now?" "Overkill? What overkill?" and "Do it yourself campaign ads."
To see the columns, click here, or here, or here!

. . .to TIMOTHY DAVIS, whose feature length screenplay, a comedy entitled: "Models of Reform," which was picked as one of the top twelve scripts and semifinalist in the 2008 Vail Film Festival Feature Length Screenwriting Competition.
...

...to GLENDA BEALL.  Her poems Early Morning Hope and Beneath the Beauty were published in the 2007 edition of the Journal of Kentucky Studies. This annual publication of the Northern Kentucky University Department of Literature and Language is edited by Gary Walton and Danny L. Miller.

 ...and again to GLENDA BEALL. Her personal essay AN ANGEL CALLED AMOS was accepted by Adams media for the anthology, Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers which will be on bookshelves in April.

...to JANET HARTMAN. Her work, "Flash Fiction", won first place in the Union COunty Writers' 2007 contest.
. . .to Al Manning,  has won second place in the Charlotte Writers' Club Children Fiction Contest for his short, short story "King Wilfred of Woppingsham."
...to JANE HOOVER, who had her first essary and poem published in the American Heart Association's Magazine Stroke Connection this month and her article the front cover feature of their website.
 
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