NC Literary Hall of Fame



RALEIGH—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference, November 4-6 in Raleigh, poet, editor, and writing coach Alice Osborn will teach participants "How to be a Rock Star at PR."

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference is open, but pre-registration closes Friday, October 28!

Hemingway, Whitman, and Morrison. These notable authors created their own brand by tooting their own horn and you can too. If you don’t stand out in the crowd in this new publishing world, you’ll be a “one and done” author. A decade ago Alice Osborn started her own successful writing and editing services company from the ground up and is here to share her secrets and hacks with you. In this talk you’ll learn how to build your brand by doing what no one else does and by learning and identifying your strengths as an author. You’ll also learn how to self-promote and enhance the presentation of your own skills, even if you’re a die-hard introvert. This workshop is useful for all writers across all genres and publication achievements.

We asked Alice, "What is one piece of advice you'd give your younger, writer self?"

“I would have said 'no' more often so that I would have had more time to write. When I first started my writing career, I organized an open mic, a book club, a women’s networking group, and a writers’ morning out. Because it was the Recession, I felt I needed to volunteer and spend time working on unpaid projects, but what that led to a lot of sleep deprivation, stress, and rushing out client projects. I was busy, but I wasn’t productive. Sometimes we use busyness and volunteer activities so others can see how busy we are or as a way to procrastinate from performing the real creative work or deep thinking. Guilty as charged!

"My now third-grade daughter was a toddler and I was constantly shuttling her from part-time daycare to part-time preschool, using day hours for meetings and my night hours for writing and client projects. Weekends? I worked late into the night on Friday and Saturday, as well as during the day when I didn’t have family duties. Fortunately, I stopped this cycle of workaholism and madness when my work quality suffered and several of my clients weren’t too shy in telling me about my poor efforts. After I wiped the tears, I had a good look at myself and slowly made changes. Yes, I disappointed people because I wasn’t organizing events they had once enjoyed, but I had to stop disappointing myself and my family.

"I asked others for guidance, like one of my first writing teachers, Dr. Elaine Neil Orr, author of A Different Sun and Gods of Noon Day, how she got to be so good at saying no. She told me that as a double transplantee, she doesn’t have the luxury of time doing things that take her away from her writing. Dr. Orr is the master of saying no with gentility!

"Telling folks who want to pick your brain over a cup of coffee that they can consult with you for free … as long as they pay $50 for the coffee.

"Getting rid of colleagues, clients and friends who complain, use more than they give, waste your time by being late, or are generally unreliable. This isn’t fun to say no to them, especially if you’ve had a great time with them in the past. Say, 'It worked for me in the past, but it doesn’t work for me now.'

"Stop working with clients who want the lowest price and want the work done fast. Tell them to go elsewhere—you don’t need the stress and grief. Early in my editing/writing career, I took on any job that moved because I was afraid I’d be broke if I didn’t. This is bad thinking which only hurts you in the long run. If you say yes to these clients you’re pulling time away from your real clients, as well as your writing, meditation, creative, exercise, and relaxation time. All of this creative time is so important because when you do it, you’re giving love back to yourself. So if that’s true, working with clients that aren’t worth your time for a few bucks means you don’t value yourself. Aha!

"I’m not saying don’t perform services gratis or volunteer your time; I’m saying do these acts of service with intention within your business/writing plan, so that when you’re done you feel abundant, not depleted and bitter.”

Alice Osborn’s past educational (MA in English, NCSU, and BS in Finance, VA Tech) and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as an editor, writing coach, and poet-musician. In the past decade, Alice has taught writing workshops to thousands of aspiring fiction and memoir authors of nearly all ages, both around the corner and across continents. Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry. Previous collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. Alice is also the editor of the anthologies Tattoos and Creatures of Habitat, both from Main Street Rag. A North Carolina Writers’ Network board member and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in The News and Observer in Raleigh, The Broad River Review, Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review, and in numerous journals and anthologies. When she’s not editing or writing, Alice is an Irish dancer who plays guitar and violin. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, four loud birds, and Mr. Nibbles, the guinea pig. Visit Alice's website at

Alice is also the sponsor for the Opening Reception prior to the Keynote Address by Margaret Maron on Friday night. So, when attendees are munching on snacks and sipping beverages, settling into the conference vibe, they can thank Alice.

Register for NCWN's 2016 Fall Conference now at

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


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