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BOONE—A summer event in Boone is always something to look forward to, but even more so this year, as the NC Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021 will be held in-person, marking the first face-to-face event the Network has hosted since March of 2020.

"SW21" happens July 22-25 at Appalachian State University, in Boone. Register here.

This conference offers fifteen hours of workshop time in a single genre with a single instructor. Registration is capped, allowing plenty of time and space for registrants to get to know one another and learn one another's work. Additional weekend highlights include Faculty Readings, Open Mics, group writing activities, conversations, and more.

"We're very grateful to be able to offer in-person events again," said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. "SW21 will have all the inclusiveness and creativity our members have come to expect from an NCWN event, while also keeping everyone safe."

Kathryn Kirkpatrick will lead the Poetry Workshop, "About Looking." Workshop participants will use John Berger's About Looking as a jumping-off point to write their own ekphrastic poems and to learn from other poets who have used art expansively in their work. Kathryn is the author of seven collections of poetry, including three recipients of the NC Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell award. The Fisher Queen: New & Selected Poems (Salmon, 2019) received the NC Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke Chowan Poetry Prize. She is a Professor of English at ASU.

The Fiction Workshop, "Roaring Off the Page—Writing First Chapters and First Pages," will be lead by Mark Powell, Director of the Creative Writing Program at ASU. Registrants In this workshop will focus on crafting openings of both novels and stories, discussing the differences between the forms and looking at famous examples of great openings. Mark is the author of seven novels including Small Treasons (2017, Gallery/Simon and Schuster) and Lioness, forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in 2022.

Zackary Vernon will lead the Creative Nonfiction Workshop, "Writing Place," which will explore how to write about places and spaces, while remaining mindful of the interconnections between the natural and cultural, the built and non-built, the human and animal. Participants will consider how the places they've been have made them who they are today. Zackary is an associate professor of English at ASU. He is the editor of two recent scholarly collections: Summoning the Dead: Essays on Ron Rash (USC Press, 2018) and Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies (LSU Press, 2019).

Because registration is limited, after fifteen hours of workshop time and seven group meals, including a celebratory picnic on Saturday night, attendees at the Squire Summer Writing Workshops tend to form even closer bonds than at other Network events.

"We had a wonderful, supportive, knowledge-filled (workshop) group," wrote an attendee in 2017, the last time the Squire Summer Writing Workshops were held in Boone. "I have several special memories. The support and outpouring of writing suggestions from my workshop group will stay foremost in my mind. The exposure to the various writers from so many different paths, converging into this writing community, surpassed my expectations."

Out of an abundance of caution, some changes have been made to ensure the well-being of the attendees. For 2021, there will be no "tag-along" registrations; only those who attend workshops will be allowed to use overnight accommodations at ASU. The "Shared Campus Room" registration option is only available to attendees who live in the same household. Commuters are still very welcome.

For more information about the NCWN Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021, and to register, click here.

 Support for these workshops is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.

The non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

WINSTON-SALEM—The North Carolina Writers' Network is very glad to share that, although they are decidedly low-hanging, we have begun to realize the first fruits of our ReCover Campaign. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, Network staff was able to upgrade our phone system for the first time since the Obama administration.

Membership Coordinator Deonna Kelli Sayed's number will remain the same, although her phone has been substantially upgraded to better serve our members, whether she's in her virtual office or on the floor of an event.

Executive Director Ed Southern's number also will remain the same and will remain the general number for the Network. However, for the first time in its history, the official Network phone will not be connected to a wall by a telephone cord. That's right: the Network's telephone system has finally gone 100 percent wireless! 

"Now that I don't have to be attached to the wall of my house when I'm on the phone," Ed said, checking his Fitbit, "I look forward to getting my steps in each day."

Not to bury the lede, but the biggest news to come out of the ReCover Campaign so far is that Communications Director Charles Fiore finally has a Network phone, period. He's worked the past decade without a dedicated work phone line, and, after being dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century, can finally admit there might be some bright side to having a phone.

"In the past, I've had to use my personal cell phone when I needed to make a call for work," Charles reflected late Friday night. "That phone has an out-of-state area code. I've lived in North Carolina long enough now to know that almost no one, from plumbers to exterminators to general contractors, calls back an out-of-state area code. Maybe now that I finally have one, people might start to return my calls!"

One interesting item gleaned from the phone system upgrade: the Triad area, which traditionally boasts a "336" area code, is plumb full-up on phone numbers. So, there's a new area code for new Triad-based phones: "743."

"Or not," Charles said.

Staff of the North Carolina Writers' Network can be reached at the following numbers:

Deonna Kelli Sayed, Membership Coordinator: 919-308-3228

Ed Southern, Executive Director, 336-293-8844

Charles Fiore, Communications Director, 743-219-7189

Network staff can generally be reached during normal business hours. 

The 2021 ReCover Campaign sought funds to address specific NCWN needs, including upgrading our websites; creating a new cleaner look for our websites, newsletter, and other visual media; purchasing livestreaming and conference equipment; and more. Supporters should expect to continue to see the results of the successful campaign over the next year to eighteen months.

The NCWN is a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. Gifts can be made online or by checks made out to NCWN and mailed to P.O. Box 21591, Winston-Salem, NC, 27120.

 

GREENSBORO—S.L. Cockerille of New Bern has won the 2021 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem "Aproned Literacy." Cockerille will receive $200 and publication in storySouth.

Final judge Jennifer Militello said, “I spent much time with the wonderful array of poems sent: sorting, reading, rereading, making piles, taking notes. 'Aproned Literacy' was the one poem in the batch that my mind most often returned to. It grabbed me from its powerful first moment—a quietly commanding, Biblical assertion--and sustained that level of energy throughout. The initial precision of biscuit makers as 'humble-budgeted, quiet scientists / of the breakfast table' drew me in. From there, the poem took a series of definitive steps, such as the leap from the 'clinical trials / at Sunday dinners' to an image of children clamoring for the result. I loved its expansive use of a seemingly everyday subject, its textured treatment of language, and its measured pacing and music, as well as the sense it gave me as a reader of being in a church of comfort, worshipping at the altar of physical and emotional sustenance. The central metaphor in 'Aproned Literacy' rests under the umbrella of its title and within each smaller, cautious stitch. Its mode of execution matches its intent, and I admired the sense of it as a form of ‘ars poetica’—as it is a poem about making, made with the same attention and exactitude that serves as its subject. The overall effect of the poem is one of being sated even as other, more perfect hungers open up.”

Suzannah L. Cockerille began writing poetry in college while pursuing an architecture degree from Virginia Tech. She has been a semi-finalist in the North Carolina Literary Review’s James Applewhite Contest and a finalist in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Poet Laureate Contest, won first place in the NCPS’s Thomas McDill Contest, received an Honorable Mention in the NCPS's Joanna Catherine Scott Award, and has received additional recognition from various contests and journals. The Charlottesville, Virginia native lives in New Bern. She is the vice-president of Nexus Poets in New Bern.

Militello named "Black wool coat on a hook" by Catherine Carter as Runner-Up and "the best way to know trees" by Lucinda Trew as an Honorable Mention.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

storySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international."

Jennifer Militello is the author of The Pact (Tupelo Press, 2021) and Knock Wood, winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize (Dzanc Books, 2019). She also is the author of four additional collections of poetry: A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and the Sheila Margaret Motton Prize; Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named one of the top books of 2013 by Best American Poetry and runner-up for the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award; Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award; and the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail.

The non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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