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GREENSBORO—The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference will once again host its annual Slush Pile Live! on Saturday, April 27, a fun and enriching way to end a full day of programming on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Registration for the NCWN 2019 Spring Conference is now open.

Beginning at 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 27, attendees may drop off either 300 words of prose or one page of poetry in the room of their choice (prose and poetry will be read in both MHRA rooms 1214 and 1215). The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.

At 5:00 pm, a panel of editors will listen to the submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading if the piece were being submitted to their publication. The editors will discuss what they did and did not like about the sample, offering constructive feedback on the manuscript itself and the submission process. All anonymous—all live! 

Those interested in having their anonymous submission read should bring a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work or one page of poetry (40-line max) to one of the Slush Pile Live! rooms. Submissions should be double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font. No names should appear on the submissions.

This year's panelists include: 

As many submissions as the panelists can get to in an hour, that's how many they'll read. Authors can reveal themselves at the end, to thunderous applause, befitting their bravery, but only if they want to.

“If you’ve never worked or volunteered for a publisher or literary magazine before, the submission process can seem kind of mysterious,” says NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “Slush Pile Live! will give attendees a peek into the editorial screening process, with the added bonus of giving feedback to anonymously submitted manuscripts in a non-threatening way.”

Other familiar programs will remain, including faculty readings, an open mic for conference participants, an exhibit hall packed with publishers and literary organizations, and “Lunch with an Author,” where conference-goers can spend less time waiting in line and more time talking with the author of their choice.

Spaces in “Lunch with an Author” are limited and are first-come, first-served. Pre-registration and an additional fee are required for this offering.

Pre-registration for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference closes Sunday, April 21. Register now!

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, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

GREENSBORO—As a fiction writer, you want to tell a good story. But how will the shape of that story influence—and be influenced by—the narrative?

What about the world you're trying to build? Does it lie there static like a cardboard cutout? Or is it a dynamic world filled with people or things that interact and exchange dialogue every now and then?

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 27, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, can help you settle these questions for yourself, and more.

Registration is now open.

Writers interested in fiction, or those who want to sample a broader selection of classes, may register for several offerings.

Krystal A. Smith, whose debut collection of speculative fiction Two Moons: A Collection of Short Fiction came out last year from BLF Press, will lead the session "Writing Speculative Fiction: World Building to Shape Story."

World building plays a major role in a speculative fiction story’s believability. Environment often motivates a character’s actions and attitudes. In this workshop, writers will practice world building techniques and create context for characters’ actions, thoughts, needs, and desires.

Kathryn Schwille, author of the novel, What Luck, This Life, which was selected by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the best Southern books of 2018, will lead the session "The Art of Dialogue."

Talk is easy. Dialogue? That’s something else. In this class, participants will talk about what makes good dialogue--how to use it and when, what it can do and what it can’t. How can speech reveal character? How can it be planted in a garden that enriches it? Attendees will start with a short exercise, then look at the work of master story-tellers. In the meantime, eavesdrop on their fellow humans, and listen for the unsaid.

"Stepping Back from Your Writing" with Joseph Mills, whose poetry collection This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family, invites participants to bring a draft in progress and plan to revise. In James Thurber’s “Many Moons,” a jeweler steps back from a creation and asks, “What is this thing I’ve made?” This is what wall writers need to do as we revise, but it can be difficult to get the necessary distance. In this workshop, participants will discuss ways to “defamiliarize themselves” with their writing so that they can see it more clearly, and they’ll consider several quick “down and dirty diagnostics” exercises that help a writer assess a piece of work in process.

Additional conference programming includes "Lunch with an Author" (only available to those who pre-register); faculty readings and open mics; and the annual Slush Pile Live! where poetry and prose will be read aloud in two rooms in front of panels of editors and publishers, who will raise their hands as soon as they hear something in the pieces that would make them stop reading if they came across the submission in a slush pile.

Register now.

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.

 

RALEIGH—NCWN members swept first, second, and third place in this year's Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition.

Pam Van Dyk of Raleigh won first place for her essay, "ABC to XYZ." Van Dyk will receive $1,000, and Ecotone will consider her essay for publication.

Final judge Madge McKeithen said "ABC to XYZ" is “an emotionally and cognitively compelling recollection by a woman at mid-life of her Vietnam Veteran Dad's love of nature and the sustaining tapestry of identity she created for herself at his side."

Van Dyk is a senior editor at Regal House Publishing and enjoys working with both fiction and nonfiction authors on their way to publication. When it comes to her own writing, she adheres to the philosophy that one must learn how to write by reading. Thus, she spends a great deal of time adding books to her ever-growing "to read" list. A selection of her fiction has been anthologized by the Maine Review, Outrider Press, and Flying South.

Ashley Memory of Asheboro took second place with her essay, "Eulogy of a Northern Red Oak," which McKeithen described as "an ambitious and accomplished use of the second person perspective to keep the reader's focus and attention on one particular Oak Tree amid the whirl of other world and very local goings-on during its life span. As experiential as it is experimental, this essay echoes with long resonance a deep caring for the specifics of our natural world."

Memory lives in the Uwharrie Mountains of the Piedmont with her husband, the sculptor Johnpaul Harris, and "happily counts many red oaks as her neighbors." A former communications director at UNC, she now spends her days musing on metaphors and poking around abandoned cemeteries. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Thomas Wolfe Review, The News & Observer in Raleigh, Wildlife in North Carolina, Naugatuck River Review, and Romantic Homes, among others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she is a two-time recipient of the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Memory will receive a $300 prize check.

"Oh Brother, Where Are You?" by Barbara Furr took third place. "This essay is a decades-spanning sibling connection revealed through a personal essay written in spare prose. The narrator's voice is spunky and savvy and able to capture the essence of a lifetime's connection in a few scenes well told."

Furr was born in Northampton County, North Carolina, in 1927. She and her husband Curt have lived in the village of Corrales, New Mexico, for four decades, but Barbara says she "is a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I’ll be a Tar Heel dead." She has published poetry and book reviews.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism. The contest is open to any legal resident of North Carolina or member of the NC Writers’ Network.

Normally administered by the UNC-Wilmington creative writing department, Queens University of Charlotte’s MFA in Creative Writing program took over this year’s contest so that UNCW could concentrate on hurricane recovery.

Rose Post worked for the Salisbury Post for fifty-six years as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. She won numerous state and national awards for her writing and earned the NC Press Women's top annual award four times. She received the O. Henry Award from the Associated Press three times, the Pete Ivey Award, and the School Bell Award for educational coverage. Nationally, she won the 1989 Ernie Pyle Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for human-interest writing, and the 1994 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' Award.

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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