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RALEIGH—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference will be held November 4-6 in Raleigh. Registration will open on Monday, August 29.

Fall Conference offers a full weekend of workshops, classes, panels, and readings in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, self-publishing, and the business of books. Programming includes award-winning Raleigh mystery writer and 2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Maron, who’ll give the Keynote Address, and the NC Poet Laureate and 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Shelby Stephenson, who’ll be the featured guest at the Saturday night banquet.

This event will be held at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley, in Raleigh. These accommodations are in close proximity to North Carolina State University, Crabtree Valley Mall, and downtown restaurants and business parks. There is a fitness center and outdoor pool; the hotel is easily accessible from I-40 (as well as 440 and 540 in Raleigh).

Raleigh, and the Triangle at large, is a book-lover's delight and home to many independent bookstores. Attendees may want to schedule time to visit some of these cultural literary gems and tote along an extra suitcase to haul their inevitable purchases home.

Quail Ridge Books has been Raleigh's community bookstore since 1984, and no visit to Raleigh is complete without scheduling time to stop by here. Quail Ridge has moved to a beautiful new location. Also in the City of Oaks, So & So Books is run by Chris Tonelli, who will lead a poetry workshop at Fall Conference.

Outside Raleigh, in Wake Forest, Page 158 Books is where Lit Happens. Page 158 is the official bookseller of NCWN's 2016 Fall Conference and will be on-site selling books by Fall Conference faculty.

In Durham, near the Duke University campus, The Regulator Bookshop has been going strong since 1976. On Main Street in downtown Durham, Letters Bookshop specializes in pristine used books and many excellent new offerings.

Chapel Hill's Flyleaf Books stocks new and used adult and children's titles. They host an array of author events each week. In Pittsboro, just down the road, McIntyre's Fine Books in Fearrington Village has been selling books and promoting authors since 1989.

For more about things to do in Raleigh, click here. And you can keep your finger on the pulse of the Triangle's arts and culture scene through Indy Week.

Registration for NCWN's 2016 Fall Conference opens Monday, August 29.

 

RALEIGH—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference, November 4-6 in Raleigh, award-winning mystery writer Art Taylor will lead a class titled, "Sharp, Succinct & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Story."

Art Taylor is the author of On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and a finalist for both the Anthony and the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. He edited the collection Murder Under the Oaks, a finalist for this year’s Anthony for Best Anthology. He has also won two Agatha Awards, the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, and three consecutive Derringer Awards for his short fiction. Stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, in the Chesapeake Crime anthologies This Job Is Murder, Homicidal Holidays, and Storm Warning, and in other journals and anthologies. He teaches at George Mason University and contributes frequently to the Washington Post, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and Mystery Scene.

In "Sharp, Succinct & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Story," attendees will ask themselves what makes a mystery? How do you build suspense? Where can I sell my crime story? Art Taylor will offer tips for writing and marketing short mystery stories. From detective fiction to domestic suspense to hard-hitting noir, various subgenres of the mystery offer different challenges for building on tradition and meeting reader expectations. This workshop will examine some specific passages from published crime fiction and look at how they keep aspects of the story in balance: strong prose as much as a fast-paced plot, compelling characters as much as a cleverly solved crime. A discussion of the ever-evolving market for mystery stories will conclude the session.

We asked Art, “What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger writer self?”

“The advice I’d give to my younger self is—and this is telling—the same advice I’d give to myself now: Write something every day or at least check in on your writing every day.

"Too many times, then and now, I’ve allowed my writing to slip to the back burner while I’m tending too much to other matters. Certainly I have a day job that requires considerable attention (I teach); certainly there are e-mails to answer (and, yes, social media to tend to); and no doubt all of us have personal matters that often take priority: significant others, children, parents. But in the midst of all that, try to find some portion of the day to at least check in on your writing.

"Even if you can’t devote several hours to drafting or revising, there are ways to keep the process going. Read a passage from the previous day’s writing and revise lines as needed. Jot down ideas that have come your way for details, character traits, plot twists. Just open the file on your computer and stare at it for a few minutes. I’m convinced that even these small check-ins keep your mind connected to whatever you’re working on and help keep the momentum going when you do find yourself with more time to immerse yourself in your work-in-progress. (The flip side, of course, is coming back to that WIP cold: Where was I? What was I thinking about here? Where am I going?)

"Even one step is a step further along the path: toward finishing a specific work, toward publication, or toward improving your craft generally—or best yet, toward all three.”

Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference opens Monday, August 29, at www.ncwriters.org.

 

RALEIGH—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2016 Fall Conference runs November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. Programming includes breakfast panel discussions, faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, and a Saturday night banquet featuring North Carolina's poet laureate Shelby Stephenson.

Registration opens on Monday, August 29.

Fall Conference is the largest annual writing event in the state and one of the largest and most inclusive writing conferences in the country. But it wouldn't be possible without support from our sponsors.

Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author will sponsor the Welcome Reception on Friday night. (Thanks to Alice, there will be food at the reception!) Alice has published three poetry collections and edited two anthologies. She is the founder of Write from the Inside Out, a professional manuscript editing service specializing in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. She coaches authors through the book writing process; works with published authors on their book marketing and publishing strategies; and is a sought-after speaker at engagements across the southeast. Alice is a Trustee of the North Carolina Writers' Network and will lead a class at Fall Conference titled "How to be a Rock Star at PR."

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and five-time Agatha-award winning mystery writer Margaret Maron will give the Keynote Address on Friday night.

A Book Signing will follow the Keynote Address, sponsored by The Piedmont Laureate Program. The Piedmont Laureate Program, co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, has as its primary goal: “to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region.” The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens. The program nominates one Piedmont Laureate each year in a rotation of genres.

The 2017 application is open to writers living in Wake, Durham, or Orange Counties who meet the application criteria. The 2017 Piedmont Laureate will be a poet. The deadline is September 22.

At Fall Conference, Saturday's lunch will offer a panel discussion on Food Writing, featuring Debbie Moose, Bridgette A. Lacy, and John Shelton Reed—all of whom have books out from the University of North Carolina Press, which will sponsor Saturday's luncheon.

For over ninety years, the University of North Carolina Press has earned national and international recognition for quality books and the thoughtful way they are published. UNC Press books explore important questions, spark lively debates, generate ideas, and move fields of inquiry forward. They illuminate the life of the mind. With almost 5,000 titles published and almost 3,000 titles still in print, UNC Press produces books that endure. Titles include Southern Holidays by Debbie Moose; Sunday Dinner by Bridgette A. Lacy; and Barbecue by John Shelton Reed—all of which are part of the Savor the South cookbook series from UNC Press.

On Saturday night, Al Manning will sponsor the Open Mic, which is open to all conference registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. Al is a Trustee of NCWN and the regional rep for the Chatham-Lee Counties regional group of NCWN, otherwise known as the Pittsboro Writers' Morning Out. This group meets on the second Saturday of the month in the Barley Lounge of the Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro. Al is the author of Curmudgeon's Book of Nursery Rhymes.

The NCWN 2016 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 NCWN 2016 Fall Conference opens Monday, August 29.

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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