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After an involuntary hiatus in 2020, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will award a third Sally Buckner Emerging Writers' Fellowship in 2021, to a writer of prose.

Created in memory of the late Sally Buckner, one of North Carolina’s most beloved poets, editors, and educators, the $500 Buckner Fellowship supports an emerging North Carolina writer, between the ages 21-35, whose work shows promise of excellence and of commitment to a literary career.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not yet have achieved major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred, but students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply.

Poet Zachary Lunn of Hoke County won the inaugural Buckner Fellowship in 2018, while fiction writer Jasmine Kumalah of Durham won in 2019.

The fellowship awarded this year will cover the calendar year 2022. The fellowship recipient will use the $500 award to allay the costs associated with the business of writing: paper, printing, writing supplies, submission fees, research expenses, travel, conference registration fees, etc. In addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a complimentary one-year membership in the NCWN, as well as scholarship aid to attend the Network’s 2021 and 2022 Fall Conferences and the 2022 Spring Conference.

To honor and carry on the lifelong generosity displayed by its namesake, the Buckner Fellowship will invite each recipient, during their award year, to help at least one other writer—by mentoring a less-experienced writer, by critiquing another’s work, by writing references or editing applications, or in whatever other way the recipient sees fit.

Applications will be accepted as PDF attachments sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from May 1 to June 30. Application is free, and full guidelines are available at www.ncwriters.org. A committee appointed by NCWN will review all applications, and invite finalists for interviews with committee members. The fellowship winner will be announced and introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference, planned this year for Durham, November 19-21.

For more information about the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and NCWN, visit www.ncwriters.org, or contact June Guralnick, Fellowship Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

WINSTON-SALEM—Through its popular Critiquing & Editing Service, the North Carolina Writers’ Network now will offer its members access to Representation Readers, qualified writers/editors who can help writers avoid false or clichéd portrayals, and bring their characters to life fully and responsibly.

Representation Readers can examine members’ unpublished work for characterizations that seem inauthentic or undeveloped. They can advise writers on how to create accurate and authentic dialogue, descriptions, settings, plot points, and more.

The fees and submission process for a Representation Read are the same as for other Critiquing and Editing Service submissions. The time needed to complete a Representation Read will vary, based on the reader’s availability, the work’s length, and the depth of the critique needed.

“We decided to call this new service Representation Readings, rather than the more common ‘sensitivity reads,’ because the goal isn’t simply to avoid hurting people’s feelings,” NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern said. “The goal is to help writers produce the best work possible: authentic, understanding, and deeply imagined.”

The service currently has five Representation Readers, able to critique representation of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. The NCWN plans to add more Representation Readers as the service grows.

“Clichés and stereotypes are the hallmarks of bad writing,” Southern said. “We hope this service will help our members avoid them in their own work, and produce richer, more compelling portrayals.”

 

WINSTON-SALEM—Registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network Online Spring Conference 2021 closes Monday, April 19, at 9:00 am EST. Because this is an online conference, there will be no day-of registration, so Monday is your last chance to register.

Registration is open here.

Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 24, entirely online. Open classes include:

  • "Authors and Entrepreneurs" with Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White
  • "Form and Freedom" (Poetry) with Ashley Lumpkin
  • "How to Read Your Work to Others" (Poetry) with Joseph Mills

The day also includes faculty readings, open mics, and an online picnic lunch social hour. The cost of the conference is "Pay What You Can."

"Authors and Entrepreneurs" will be offered both in the morning and in the afternoon sessions. With the business models of traditional publishing changing, authors are increasingly being asked to act entrepreneurially. But a publisher’s only concern will be selling books, and there are many other ways authors can build a sustainable living by developing creative businesses and services that serve other writers and change the world. In "Authors and Entrepreneurs," two arts entrepreneurs will look at business model developed by writers and discuss best practices for starting businesses that benefit both the individual writer and the larger literary community.

"Form and Freedom" (Poetry) is an exploration of traditional and more recently created poetic forms. In this generative workshop, participants will explore how forms are developed and the many creative doors opened by adhering to the constraints they provide. 

Why does listening to some readers help us more fully understand their work while others make us wish we were anywhere else, even the dentist? What are the elements of a “good reading”? What should someone consider when giving a reading? In "How to Read Your Work to Others" (Poetry), we’ll talk about what it means to have an audience and what, if any, are your obligations to them. Some topics will include delivery, “poet voice,” poem selections and sequences, forums, and, yes, Zoom.

Register for the NCWN Online Spring Conference here.

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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