White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




GREENSBORO—Today, on #GivingTuesday, we ask you to keep the North Carolina Writers’ Network in mind.

On November 27, please consider donating to the Network to support our mission to connect, promote, educate, and serve the writers of this state (and all others).

This year, we have set a modest fundraising goal of only $1,000.

I like to think that Network is more than just an organization for writers.  I view the Network as one way to build vibrant communities.  I appreciate that the Network brings together writers who otherwise might not be in conversation.

Actually, I like to think that the Network is a community. It isn’t the board, staff, or offices: the Network is you, and your more than 1,300 fellow writers who belong to the Network.

The Network is a community that offers inspiration, encouragement, and opportunity. The Network offers conferences that bring together hundreds of writers, from all over the state and nation. We offer scholarships and fellowships to deserving young writers, online services and resources, and contests and classes for all sorts of writers, wherever you are—geographically, professionally, or artistically. We help writers escape their offices, their attics, their coffee shops, their own minds, and find their tribe.

Since 1985, the Network has supported thousands of writers. As a Network member, you’re part of one of the largest writing organizations in the United States, and one whose heart is right here in North Carolina.

I know many worthy nonprofits will ask for support during #GivingTuesday on November 27, but please spare a thought—and a few dollars—for the NCWN.

Please visit www.ncwriters.org to give online with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. You also can call us at 919.308.3228 or 336.293.8844 to make your gift over the phone, or mail your check to the address below.

All we need is for one-third of you to make a small donation, and we'll meet our goal.

If half of you give, in any amount, we'll beat our goal.

If all of you give, then we'll have some Happy Holidays, indeed.

Yours in writing spirit,

Deonna Kelli Sayed

NCWN Membership Coordinator
P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120


RALEIGH—Do you have an idea that you think would make a terrific movie? Have you read a book recently—or written one—that you think would translate well to the silver screen?

While a successful film script shares certain characteristics with other successful forms of writing, screenwriting is its own beast entirely, one worthy of deep exploration and consideration before you sit down to write that first line of dialogue.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 7:00 pm, screenwriter, playwright, and documentarian Ellen Shepard will lead the online class "Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel."

Registration is now closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $30 fee to register.

Screenwriting is a lean craft, meaning that everything is very succinct: scenes, dialogue, action, and description. We’ll look at the Academy Award Winning screenplay Manchester by the Sea, written by Kenneth Lonergan, as he builds his plot and characters brick-by-brick (scene by scene).

Patricipants will be asked to read the script and come to class ready to discuss it. Manchester by the Sea can be read for free, here.

Ellen Shepard is a critiquer for the North Carolina Writers' Network, focusing on screenwriting and playwriting. She was Assistant Professor of Film Production at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, where she developed their BA degree in Film Production and taught classes in Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Documentary Filmmaking. Shepard is also a produced playwright and screenwriter and a member of the WGA. Ellen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose last film Sitting at God's Table has had numerous screenings across the South, including the NC Museum of History as part of their Billy Graham Exhibit. It also was an Official Selection at the Indigo Moon Film Festival.

"Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's second offering in their 2018-2019 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, January 16, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

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—Bestelling novelist Jill McCorkle, a 2018 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, will serve as the final judge for the 2019 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.

The deadline is January 30, 2019.

The contest, sponsored by NCWN and administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, is open to any writer regardless of geographical location or prior publication. Submissions should be unpublished fiction manuscripts of less than 3,000 words.

To submit, click here.

The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Jill McCorkle has the distinction of having her first two novels published on the same day in 1984. Since then she has published four other novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, while three of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories anthologies. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis, where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. A native of Lumberton, she lives with her husband, photographer Tom Rankin, in Hillsborough.

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize honors beloved North Carolina writer and Asheville native Thomas Wolfe. He was the author of Look Homeward, Angel, considered one of the great coming-of-age novels. His novels and collected short stories go beyond autobiography, trying to, in William Faulkner’s words, “put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin.” His intense poetic language and thoughtfully developed symbology, combined with his uncanny ability to enter the minds of his other characters and give them powerful voices, elevate the books from memoir to undeniable literary art.

He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Famewith the inaugural class of in 1996.

The full competition guidelines for the 2019 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

Postmark deadline: January 30 (annual)
Submissions accepted: December 1 – January 30

The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The prize is administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication.
  • Submit two copies (if submitting by mail) of an unpublished fiction manuscript - short story or self-contained novel excerpt - not to exceed 3,000 words, double-spaced, single-sided pages (1" margins, 12-pt. Times New Roman font).
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • An entry fee must accompany the manuscript: $15 for NCWN members, $25 for nonmembers.
  • The entry fee is per submission. You may submit multiple entries.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner is announced each April.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • To submit online, go to https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • To submit by regular mail:

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Great Smokies Writing Program
UNC Asheville
1 University Heights - CPO 1915
Asheville, NC 28804

Questions? Please contact Tommy Hays at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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