NC Literary Hall of Fame



ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Catherine Reid will lead the workshop "Creative Nonfiction: Exploring Possibilities, Generating New Work."

We selected a passage from Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel (one of Asheville's most famous texts) and removed a few words. Then we prompted Luke to fill in the resulting blanks, for what we're calling "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition." Of course, the sharp reader might recognize this as a version of the famous Mad Libs game.

Below is Catherine Reid's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"Where is the day that cajoled into one rich person's indifference? Where the music of your knee, the adagio of your teeth, the dainty languor of your jeans, your elegant firm spleen, your slender fingers, to be considered like raspberry, and the little cherry star-nosed mole of your white knee? And where are all the tiny electric kettles of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the monadnocks of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this shearwater. You who were made for quilt-making, will design blacksmithing no more: in your dark bull pasture the hailstorms are silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that broken rib that we did not foresee, return not into Gilead, Iowa, but into Balsam Gap, where we have never dreamt, into the enchanted wood, where we kept bees, strewn on the kitchen table. Come up into the hills, O my young Annie Peck: return. O lost, and by the wind-grieved Lila Doll, come back again."


At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Catherine will lead the workshop "Creative Nonfiction: Exploring Possibilities, Generating New Work."

Creative nonfiction, sometimes called literary or narrative nonfiction, emphasizes craft as much as content—the way something is written as much as its choice of subject matter. Many of the techniques we use come from the fiction writer’s repertoire, such as how to begin scenes, build momentum, and keep a reader turning pages. We also rely heavily on the poet’s sensibilities, paying particular attention to the rhythms and sounds of language as well as to the careful use of images and metaphors.

In this workshop, we will look at several short examples from masters of the craft as well as at the range of possibilities, from memoir and personal essays to more complex, braided forms. The session will include writing exercises that illustrate aspects of CNF and tips on revision, all aimed at helping shape detailed, compelling work. Participants will leave with several “flash nonfictions,” suggested reading lists, and a refined sense of what constitutes well-crafted CNF.

Catherine Reid is on the faculty at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in creative nonfiction and environmental writing. A recipient of recent fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is the author of two works of creative nonfiction—Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home (Beacon Press) and Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Her essays have also appeared in such literary journals as Georgia Review, Fourth Genre, Massachusetts Review, Under the Sun, and Bellevue Literary Review. More information can be found at

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is now open.


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