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ASHEVILLE—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference, November 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary of NCWN, and the Network will celebrate more than a generation of serving writers at all levels of skill and experience, all weekend long.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with agents or editors. Professional writers from North Carolina and beyond comprise the conference faculty.

New York Times bestselling author Lee Smith, author of, most recently, Guests on Earth, will give the Keynote Address. Former NC poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer will be the featured guest at Saturday’s luncheon, and later that night the annual banquet—the de facto birthday bash for the Network—will feature musical guests Keith Flynn & the Holy Men.

Tina Barr will lead the Master Class in Poetry, “The Alchemy of Revision.” She has published five volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Kaleidoscope (Iris Press). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the MacDowell Colony, and the Ucross Foundation.

The Master Class in Creative Nonfiction, “Using the Imagination in Memoir,” will be led by Christine Hale. A fellow of MacDowell, Ucross, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she 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 (Apprentice House, 2016), is set in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Tommy Hays will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “Locating Our Stories.” His first middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, was a VOYA Top Shelf Pick for Middle Grade Fiction 2014, a nominee for the 2015-16 North Carolina Young Adult Award, and a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-Asheville and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Murray State University.

Additional fiction workshops include “Writing Middle Grade Fiction” from Robert Beatty, whose recent novel, Serafina and the Black Cloak, features Asheville’s Biltmore Estate and was a 2015 Summer Okra Pick. Wayne Caldwell will teach attendees how to craft the perfect first paragraph; Vicki Lane will review “Mystery 101.” Wofford College’s John Lane, author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, will instruct on “Writing Description that Means Something”; Megan Shepherd, whose novel The Madman's Daughter was optioned for film and won the NC Book Award for Young Adult Literature, will teach “Writing Young Adult Fiction”; and Lee Smith will lead a freewheeling discussion on the hazards and benefits of fiction and creative nonfiction.

Poets will find a broad range of offerings including former UNC-Chapel Hill English Department Chairman Laurence Avery’s “To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question”; “The Art of Editing Poetry” with Keith Flynn; a prose poetry workshop led by Murray State's Nickole Brown; and “Personal Poetry Dives into Archetype,” guided by Katherine Soniat, author of seven poetry collections.

For those writers hoping to stick more to the truth, workshops include “Guiding Others through Places You Love” with travel writer Danny Bernstein; Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Laura Hope-Gill’s “Narrative Medicine: Stories in Clinical Care”; “Memoir Plus: Doing More With Memoir” from Western Carolina University’s Jeremy B. Jones; and Catherine Reid of Warren Wilson College will lead a workshop on balancing craft and content.

Along with classes focusing on craft, the 2015 Fall Conference offers workshops designed to help writers navigate the publishing industry. Amy Cherrix, author liaison for the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, will lead a workshop on helping authors connect with independent bookstores. NCWN’s Communications Director Charles Fiore and Board Member-at-Large Nicki Leone (aka Lady Banks) will co-teach “Web Tools for Writers.” Joy Neaves will guide writers through the submission process, and Heather Newton will discuss legal issues writers commonly encounter in the areas of copyright and defamation.

Once again, the Manuscript Mart, Marketing Mart, and Critique Service are available to those who pre-register. And the Network will offer the Mary Belle Campbell Scholarship, which sends two poets who teach full-time to the Fall Conference.

2015 Fall Conference sponsors include Robert Beatty, Disney-Hyperion Author of Serafina and the Black Cloak; Lenoir-Rhyne University’s MA in Writing Program; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN regional rep Al Manning; Alice Osborn and Write from the Inside Out; The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site; WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio; Western Carolina University’s MA in Professional Writing Program; and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Registration is now open at www.ncwriters.org.

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.


ASHEVILLE—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference will be held November 20-22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. Registration is open.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site will host the Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday at noon. This is a chance for writers to get together prior to the conference and get your creative juices flowing. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site is considered by many to be where one of the giants of twentieth-century American literature, Thomas Wolfe, immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” Asheville, North Carolina, and “Dixieland” the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse, earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University MA in Writing Program will sponsor both the Welcome Reception on Friday evening and the Booksigning by Keynote Address speaker Lee Smith later that night. The Master of Arts in Writing (MAW) degree can help you take your writing to the next level. With courses in a variety of areas, you can not only discover the power of your voice, but Rise Up in your career and creative life. Features unique to the program include: an interactive program designed with you in mind; non-cohort base course delivery, meaning a flexible schedule at your own pace; traditional and career track admission, giving students more than one way to be admitted; and an involved and engaging faculty with extensive experience in the field.

WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio will sponsor Saturday morning’s “All Stories Connect Panel Discussion: Mountains Moving.” This panel will remind us how our own stories are enriched and deepened by knowing and celebrating the stories of others. In this discussion, poet and teacher Debora Kinsland Foerst of Cherokee, scholar Dee James of Asheville, and poet and naturalist Brent Martin of Franklin will talk about how the population and landscape of the North Carolina mountains are changing, and how writers can respond.

WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio offers public radio services to the far western portion of North Carolina. Incorporated in 1979, WCQS expands listeners' horizons through new perspectives and listening experiences; promotes the free and independent interchange of ideas and information; and enriches and reflects the cultural climate, heritage and traditions of our region and society through classical and other music, and the arts.

The Faculty Readings will happen at 4:30 pm on Saturday. The sponsor for this much-anticipated event is Western Carolina University’s MA in Professional Writing Program. This program is designed for students seeking advanced preparation for entering successful, professional writing careers in fields that regularly recruit new writers, editors, publishing assistants, or promotional talents. A total of thirty-three graduate English credit hours is required: twelve-hour core, nine-hour concentration, and twelve hours in either a thesis or non-thesis option. In addition to the coursework, all MA in English students must successfully pass written comprehensive examinations based on reading lists and content knowledge, which are specific to each concentration. For those writing a thesis, a final oral defense is required.

Alice Osborn and Write from the Inside Out will sponsor Saturday’s Happy Hour, immediately following the Faculty Readings. Alice, author of the new poetry collection Heroes without Capes, is an experienced editor-for-hire and published author who will help you achieve writing confidence and publication success. If you need one-on-one coaching, she offers mentoring that can turn you from a writer into an author. She is the expert you can trust and who will be honest and fair with you. And most of all she strives to create longterm relationships with her clients so she can be your go-to person on your writing and publication journey.

Services provided by Write from the Inside Out include:

  • Professional manuscript editing
  • Specializing in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir and poetry
  • Book writing coach
  • Book marketing specialist
  • Book publishing strategist
  • Published author
  • Sought-after speaker

Al Manning, the regional rep for Chatham and Lee Counties, is the sponsor of Saturday night’s Open Mic. Al is the author of the poetry collection Curmudgeon’s Book of Nursery Rhymes. His regional group, Pittsboro Writers’ Morning Out, meets on the Second Saturday of the month at 1:00 pm at Carolina Brewery, 120 Lowes Dr., in Pittsboro. All writers, any genre, are invited. This is the regional group of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and each month typically features special programming. For a complete list of NCWN’s regional reps, click here.

Robert Beatty, Dinsey-Hyperion author of Serafina and the Black Cloak, will sponsor Sunday's Brilliant at Breakfast Panel, "Agents & Editors." Participants include Gary Heidt of Signature Literary Agency, Stephen Kirk of John F. Blair, Publisher, Neeti Madan of Sterling Lord Literistic, and Betsy Teter of Hub City Press.

In Serafina and the Black Cloak, when children around the Biltmore Estate begin disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one. Serafina and the Black Cloak was a Summer 2015 Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Fall Conference is made possible in part by the North Carolina Arts Council. 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 N.C. have the chance to engage their artistic aspirations. The arts help children flourish through a complete education that prepares them for the workforce with 21st 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.

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

The Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Conference faculty include professional writers from North Carolina and beyond. Held every year in a major hotel, the conference rotates annually.

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—The North Carolina Writers' Network welcomes three new members to its Board of Trustees: Margaret D. Bauer, Bill Ramsey, and Ward Brian Zimmerman.

"New voices are essential for an effective board," said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "Our new trustees bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, and hail from parts of the state—the coast and the mountains—that too often have been under-represented."

A native of south Louisiana, Margaret D. Bauer is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature at East Carolina University and Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences. Since 1997, she has served as Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. She has also edited two Paul Green books: James Spence’s Green biography and a new critical edition of Green’s play The House of Connelly.

She is the author of The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist (1999), William Faulkner’s Legacy (2005), Understanding Tim Gautreaux (2010), and A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara’s Literary Daughters (2014), as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals. In 2007, Dr. Bauer was named one of ECU’s 10 Women of Distinction and received the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. She is also a recipient of ECU’s Scholar/Teacher Award, 5-Year Research/Creative Activity Award, and Centennial Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Bill Ramsey is an active supporter of literacy and literature. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Ridge Community College and as an advocate for Blue Ridge Literacy Council and the Henderson County Public Library.

In 2008, he helped to organize the Blue Ridge Bookfest and has remained on the leadership team.

In his youth, Bill wrote sports columns for the local newspaper. During his forty-year professional career he wrote technical manuals, magazine articles, and business newsletters. In retirement, writing about real-life issues became his passion. He is the author of four books and maintains a blog. He also writes op-ed columns and book reviews.

A proud and active member of the North Carolina Writers' Network, he lives the happy life of a retiree with his wife of fifty years, Donna.

Ward Brian Zimmerman is a Kansas native and alumnus of the University of Kansas where he completed undergraduate degrees in political science and economics, a masters in business administration and a Ph.D in educational policy and administration. Past positions include Director of the Budget at the University of Kansas, Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services at Murray State University, and Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs at Appalachian State University. Currently Ward is a professional testifying expert witness and CEO of EnterpriZ Economic Consulting.

His professional writing has been published in academic and financial journals. Ward’s fiction writing career was launched about five years ago, and since then he has been honored as a Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize finalist 2011; William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (Novel) contest, Short List for Finalists 2012; Novel Semi-Finalists 2013; and Short Story Finalists 2013. At this time Ward is working on a novel, four short stories, and a poem.

His personal interests include: human economic capital, higher education, religion, relative and quantum physics, astronomy, SCUBA diving, cooking, painting, photography, gardening, and aviation.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves the writers of this state. It provides education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write. The North Carolina Writers’ Network believes that writing is necessary both for self-expression and a healthy community, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance, and that the deeply satisfying experiences of writing and reading should be available to everyone.

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.

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