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ASHEVILLE—On Friday, November 20, from 12:00-1:30 pm, Asheville's Dale Neal, author of The Half-Life of Home, will lead the Pre-Conference Tailgate prior to the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference.

Neal will provide instruction and guide participants through a writing exercise. Both conference attendees and the general public are welcome and no registration is required: admission is FREE.

“The idea is to get folks excited about writing and to warm up our creative muscles,” said Charles Fiore, Communications Director of NCWN. “That way, we hit the ground running once conference registration opens later that afternoon.”

The Pre-Conference Tailgate will take place at the sponsor's venue:

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site
52 N. Market St., Asheville
828-253-8304 / http://wolfememorial.com

While there is limited free parking at the site itself, there is metered parking along the street, as well as several parking decks within easy walking distance.

The workshop will focus on Joseph Conrad's quote, "'My task is to make you hear, to make you feel, and, above all, to make you see. That is all, and it is everything." What is in your hand? Writing too often feels like hard work, but attendees will start with a little child’s play, then use a guided meditation as a a writing prompt to see a little deeper into what’s already at hand.

Dale Neal is the author of the novels, The Half-Life of Home and Cow Across America, winner of the 2009 Novello Literary Prize. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Arts & Letters, Carolina Quarterly, Marlboro Review, Crescent Review, and many other literary journals. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, he has been awarded fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hambidge Center, and the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland. One of the last surviving American journalists, he is a prize-winning writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times, having covered entrepreneurs, police, local government, religion, arts, books, and technology. He is a lifelong native of North Carolina and lives in Thomas Wolfe’s old hometown of Asheville with his wife and dogs. When his nose is not buried in some book, he’s bound to be out on the trails of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains.

Thomas Wolfe is considered one of the most autobiographical novelists in American literature. During his short life he wrote four novels; Look Homeward, Angel, Of Time and the River, The Web and the Rock, and You Can’t Go Home Again, as well as numerous short stories, novellas, and plays. The historic Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse has been a memorial to Wolfe since 1949. It is now operated as a North Carolina State Historic Site. A visitor center offers exhibits about Wolfe and his family and an audio-visual presentation about Wolfe’s life and writings. Guided tours of the Old Kentucky Home are also offered daily. Wolfe foresaw the future of his mother’s boardinghouse when he wrote in his second novel Of Time and the River that the “old dilapidated house had now become a fit museum.”

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference opens Friday, November 20, at 3:00 pm at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Fall Conference offers workshops and master classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, lectures and panels on publishing and finding an agent, and the opportunity to have your manuscript reviewed by literary agents and editors.

Faculty includes poets Nickole Brown and Keith Flynn; fiction writers Robert Beatty and Vicki Lane; and creative nonfiction authors Danny Bernstein and John Lane. Keith Flynn & the Holy Men will perform at the Annual Banquet on Saturday night, for what will be a thirtieth birthday celebration for Network.

Pre-registration is open through Friday, November 13. Register now!

 

ASHEVILLE—Danny Bernstein will lead the creative nonfiction workshop "Guiding Others through Places You Love" at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference, November 20-22, in Asheville. Registration is now open.

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 Danny 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 Danny Bernstein's contribution to "Word Plugs: The Thomas Wolfe Edition". To read the original passage, click here:

"A destiny that leads the outdoor writer to the bear is strange enough; but one that leads from Asheville into snakes, and thence into the hills that shake in Altamont of the proud red cry of the knee, and the soft stone smile of a coyote, is touched by that dark c'est la vie which makes superb magic in an comedy world.

"Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: eat us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the excuse me? that ended yesterday in Never Never Land.

"The seed of our confusion will blossom in Asheville, the prune juice of our cure confused by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a happy slattern, because a London pharmacist was run. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like a hit ball, running home to Asheville, and every moment is a kiwi fruit on all time.

"This is a moment."

***

At the NCWN 2015 Fall Conference, Danny Bernstein will lead the creative nonfiction workshop "Guiding Others through Places You Love."

There’s a big world out there to write about, and guidebooks still contain the most reliable travel information. Ever think about writing a travel guide about your town, a favorite park, or beach? Many places still need trustworthy guides, whether it’s Cape Hatteras or the Cape of Good Hope. Producing travel and outdoor guides seems so glamorous and even easy, but what is the reality? In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to choose a location, look at the competition, decide on your audience, and find your niche. We’ll look at the writing and editing process for guidebooks. Moreover, no workshop on travel guides is complete without discussing how to market your book. Please bring your two favorite guidebooks. We’ll do an in-class exercise with feedback.

Danny Bernstein’s mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking. A committed hiker for more than forty years, she completed the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the South beyond 6000, and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. She’s written two hiking guides, Hiking the Carolina Mountains and Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and a travel memoir, The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina. Her articles have appeared in numerous outdoor publications including Smokies Life, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and National Parks Traveler. Her forthcoming book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South, will come out in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Danny blogs at www.hikertohiker.com. Her motto is “No place is too far to walk if you have the time.” Danny plans to die with her boots on.

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Fall Conference is open through November 13.

 

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 www.catherinereid.org.

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

 

 
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