White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENVILLE—Registration is now open for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2015 Squire Summer Writing Residency.

The Residency runs Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26, at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The long weekend offers intensive workshops with accomplished instructors, group events such as readings and discussions, a chance to share work with other dedicated writers, and a unique opportunity to bond with writers from across the state and beyond.

Registrants will spend the entire weekend in one workshop, in either fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. Participation is limited to the first sixteen qualified registrants in each workshop, for a total of forty-eight attendees. For more information, and to register, click here.

Jan DeBlieu will lead the Creative Nonfiction workshop.

Which stories in our lives most demand to be told? What themes connect them? We will study the art of the personal essay, in which scraps of material with no apparent connection can be woven together to form elegant, compelling narratives. We will learn to create what John Gardner called the “fictive dream”: writing that, whether invented or true, draws readers wholly into our worlds.

Jan is the author of four nonfiction books and has published dozens of articles and essays in national magazines. Her fifth book, in progress, explores how working to benefit others can heal even the most badly broken heart. Until 2009 she concentrated on writing about the natural world and how our attachments to our landscapes—the places through which we move each day—help shape who we are.

The Poetry workshop will be led by Amber Flora Thomas.

This workshop will provide space and time for participants to generate new poems, evaluate existing poems, and engage with tool building activities and discussions to inspire revision and more writing. Our time will be divided between the critique of existing poems and the crafting of new poems. The environment in this workshop is one of support and encouragement, welcoming self-expression, and development for writers at all levels. Participants will submit three poems in advance of the workshop, all of which should not have been in a workshop elsewhere. Please be prepared to write during and outside workshop sessions, using writing prompts designed to help you “stumble to the door” and find those poems, no matter what.

Amber is the recipient of several major poetry awards, including the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize and Ann Stanford Prize. The author of two collections of poetry, she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University.

The Fiction workshop will be led by Luke Whisnant.

In fiction we’re always using patterns and shapes, whether deliberately or intuitively. A character tears up her life and hits the road: Journey. An older couple stays home and an angry grandson comes to spend the week: Visitation. A husband and wife are in bed talking, remembering, and watching a movie: Onion. A character dies and everyone in the book goes to the funeral: Gathering. Using these and other shapes from Jerome Stern’s Making Shapely Fiction, plus some not included in the book, this workshop will help you identify, deploy, and exploit some patterns in your fiction. We’ll also learn about character routines, emotional connect/disconnect, the unique event, lingering in your key scenes, and mashing up a model story. And as time permits, we’ll write a few short pieces using prompts.

Luke is the author of the story collection Down in the Flood, the poetry chapbooks Street and Above Floodstage, and the novel Watching TV with the Red Chinese, which was made into an independent film in 2011. He edits the journal Tar River Poetry, and is Professor of English at East Carolina University, where he has twice won his department's Excellence in Teaching award.

East Carolina University, in Greenville, lies about halfway between the Triangle and North Carolina's coast. Support for this residency is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire. Registration is open.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is a nonprofit 501(c) (3). For more information, visit www.ncwriters.org.


WINSTON-SALEM—Most people, when they turn thirty, are just getting started.

The North Carolina Writers' Network has been around long enough to become an institution: one of the nation’s oldest and largest statewide writers’ groups; one of the most accepting and accessible writers’ groups of any size, anywhere; a major presence in the cultural life of this state, and a model for literary and cultural organizations in other states.

The Network is far too young, though, to let our joints get stiff and creaky, to get too set in our ways. We have so much more to do, to be, to try. We're just getting started, too.

For that, we need your help.

This year we are asking all of our members to give $30 or More for 30 and More: a donation of $30 (or more) to make sure the North Carolina Writers’ Network is around for another thirty years (and more).

Your gift of $30 or More will help make sure that North Carolina’s writers to come will still find the community, opportunity, and excellence that they need. Your donation will help fund new and existing programs and services, and will help us shore up our operating reserve against a rainy day. Your support will help make sure that North Carolina is still the Writingest State in 2045, 2075, 2115 . . .

You can make your $30 or More donation with a credit card, here, or by calling 336-293-8844 or 919-308-3228.

Thank you for being a part of the Network’s first thirty years—or, as future members will call them, Chapter One.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is a nonprofit 501(c) (3). For more information, visit www.ncwriters.org.


GREENVILLE, NC—Brad Field of Wilmington is the winner of the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his story “Achmed’s Lesson.” Field will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers' Network, and his story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s 25th issue in 2016.

A playwright, drama anthology editor, and retired university English professor, having taught at Wayne State University in Detroit for the majority of his career, Brad Field lives in Wilmington, then spends summers on Lake Michigan.

NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland selected Field’s story from ten finalists, saying, “I admire 'Achmed's Lesson' for its cultural critique certainly, but also for the deceptive simplicity of the writing. To me, it read like the best sort of translation. The meaning is crystal clear, but below the surface of the narration, the original simmers in subtle invitation. I think it's quite remarkable to capture this quality in a story written in English; I felt both comfortably at home and transported to a world I didn't—but wanted to—know.”

Wieland also selected “Eminent Domain” by Kathryn Etters Lovatt for second place and publication, applying Faulkner’s famous lines, “‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ ‘Eminent Domain’ illustrates the truth of this statement through deft description and the painful but compelling resilience of the first person narrator, Amy. The ending is the very definition of bittersweet, and will stay in my mind for a long time.” Lovatt, who has a vacation home in Southport, but lives most of the year in Camden, SC, is also a former winner and a finalist in previous Betts competitions.

A record 121 stories were submitted to this year’s competition. The other finalists are Heather Adams of Raleigh for “White Iris,” Debra Madaris Efird of Harrisburg for “Palette of Love,” Lana Hendershott of Hendersonville for “Kind of Crazy,” Debra Lee of Rocky Mount for “Dale Earnhardt and the Rapture,” Ian Oeschger of Wilmington for “Lowcountry Boil,” Denise Sherman of Raleigh for “The Color Wheel,” Robert Wallace of Durham for “The Disobedience of Love,” and Jude Whelchel of Asheville for “Body Talk Soft, Body Talk Loud.”

The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short-story writer Doris Betts, and is sponsored by the non-profit North Carolina Writers’ Network, 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.

Published since 1992 at East Carolina University, the North Carolina Literary Review has won numerous awards and citations, most recently the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Fiction Editor Liza Wieland is the author of three collections of short stories and four novels, including Land of Enchantment, just out this year.

A two-year subscription to NCLR will include the 2015 issue, featuring the winner from the 2014 Betts competition, as well as the 2016 issue, featuring Field’s winning story from this year’s competition. Find subscription information at http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/subscriptions.


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