NC Literary Hall of Fame



BOONE—"When you piece together an identity, a story of who you are, you choose only a fraction of these events as components of the narrative," says Eric G. Wilson. "The work is in progress: You revise earlier passages to conform to your current feelings....fostering awareness of the endless editing that we are always unconsciously doing anyhow, taking charge of the changes, growing responsible for them, and generously interweaving our texts into multitudinous networks of the world."

Eric will lead the Creative Nonfiction class, “Creating Presence: Voice in Creative Nonfiction,” during the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops, July 13-16, at Appalachian State University in Boone.

Registration is open through June 28.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, amid the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Without a strong voice, prose—no matter how stylistically felicitous—feels generic, institutional, and bloodless. Animated with an engaging persona, the same words spring into an essay: idiosyncratic, imaginative, vibrant. But while essential for powerful creative nonfiction, voice is notoriously difficult to define. Sure, we say it is the personality of the writer, the unique presence, the controlling consciousness, the point of view, the constructed “I” behind the “eye,” and so on. These traditional definitions, however, are almost as vague as the term they are meant to clarify.

In Eric’s workshop, attendees work to understand voice conceptually and practically. They will discuss how important writers have understood voice as well as how it works in selected essays (including those submitted for this workshop). Registrants will also complete exercises designed to strengthen their voice. Conferencegoers should come away from the sessions with strategies for creating a more captivating verbal presence and thus more powerful essays.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.

Eric G. Wilson is a professor of English at Wake Forest University, an Appalachian State alumnus, and the author of five works of creative nonfiction: Keep It Fake, How to Make a Soul, Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace, and Against Happiness. His essays have appeared or are appearing in the Portland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Fanzine, Georgia Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Our State, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also published a volume for Muse Books: The Iowa Series in Creativity and Writing, My Business Is To Create: Blake’s Infinite Writing. His most recent book, a work of fiction called Polaris Ghost, is coming out with Outpost 19 this winter.

Joseph Bathanti will lead the class in poetry, "Writing the Longer Narrative Poem." Sheryl Monks will lead the fiction course, "How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction."

Registration is capped at forty-two registrants, first-come, first-served. Register now.

Join is for an intimate weekend talking about writing in a town TripAdvisor named the number two “diamond in the rough” for vacation destinations.


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