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CHARLOTTE—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall Conference, NCWN trustee Georgann Eubanks will lead the session "Write What You Don't Know" (creative nonfiction).

Fall Conference runs November 2-4, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place. On-site registration opens at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 2, in the hotel ballroom foyer.

Georgann Eubanks is the author of the three-volume Literary Trails series commissioned by the NC Arts Council and published by UNC Press. Her latest book is The Month of their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year (UNC Press, 2018). Georgann has published poetry, fiction, profiles, reviews, and essays in many magazines and journals, including Southern Cultures, South Writ Large, Our State, and Oxford American. Since 2000, she has been a principal with Donna Campbell in Minnow Media, LLC, an Emmy-winning multimedia company that primarily creates independent documentaries for public television. Eubanks has taught creative writing and the power of story to nonprofit leaders, UNC undergraduates, public school students, and adult writers in many contexts. Eubanks is director of the Table Rock Writers Workshop and a founder of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She is the current president of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association and serves on the NCWN board.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating publishers based in North Carolina, so we asked Georgann to answer the following prompt:

"Congratulations! You've inherited a large fortune, on the condition that you use it to start your own publishing house. What kind of books are you going to publish?"

Here's what Georgann said:

"Name of Press: First Books.

"Mission: Publishing first novels, memoirs, and collections of poetry and stories by Native Americans, African-Americans, and other voices less heard."

When you use your own curiosity to drive the story, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to do your homework and bring your readers along! "Write What You Don't Know" is a workshop designed to generate ideas for stories you can sell with tips on finding your sources, interviewing the right subjects, creating tension in the story, and finding your audience. Participants will do a bit of freewriting, too. This workshop is for writers at all levels and will draw upon the expertise of the group so that you leave with at least two ideas to pursue.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Randall Kenan, a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, will give the Keynote Address.

NCWN will host a Pre-Conference Tailgate at noon on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Novelist Bryn Chancellor will kick off the weekend festivities by leading the session "The Alchemy of Paying Attention." This event is free and open to the public; one need not register for Fall Conference in order to attend.

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

 

WINSTON-SALEM—The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize, which honors the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina, is now open.

The deadline is January 2, 2019.

The contest, sponsored by NCWN and administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina. Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must not have been published before (including on any website, blog, or social media), and must be no more than 3,000 words.

The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

The final judge of the inaugural Jacobs/Jones contest will be the acclaimed author Rion Amilcar Scott.

Scott’s short-story collection, Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. The World Doesn't Require You, his sophomore story collection, is forthcoming from Liveright.

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors the nineteenth-century writers Harriet Jacobs and Thomas H. Jones. Jacobs was born in 1813 near Edenton, escaping to Philadelphia in 1842, after hiding for seven years in a crawl space above her grandmother’s ceiling. She published her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, under a pseudonym in 1861. Jacobs died in 1897 and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jones was born into slavery near Wilmington in 1806. Able to purchase the freedom of his wife and all but one of his children, he followed them north in 1849 by stowing away on a brig to New York. In the northeast and in Canada, he spoke as a preacher and abolitionist, writing his memoir, The Experience of Thomas Jones, in 1854, as a way to raise funds to buy his eldest child’s freedom.

This Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize was initiated by Cedric Brown, a Winston-Salem native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Though Brown has lived in California the last three decades, he has “deep roots, an abiding love, and a little house in the Tar Heel State,” he said.

“The literary award was borne out of my frustration with being unable to readily find much fiction or creative nonfiction that conveys the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians,” Brown said. “I wanted to incentivize the development of written works while also encouraging Black writers to capture our lives through storytelling.”

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found at www.ncwriters.org.

 

JACOBS/JONES AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERARY PRIZE

Postmark Deadline: January 2 (annual)
Submissions Accepted: November 1 – January 2

The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize honors Harriet Jacobs and Thomas Jones, two pioneering African-American writers from North Carolina, and seeks to convey the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians. The contest is administered by the Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication of the winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any African-American writer whose primary residence is in North Carolina.
  • Entries may be fiction or creative nonfiction, but must be unpublished, no more than 3,000 words, and concerned with the lives and experiences of North Carolina African-Americans. Entries may be excerpts from longer works, but must be self-contained. Entries will be judged on literary merit.
  • An entry fee must accompany each submission: $10 for NCWN members, $20 for nonmembers. You may submit multiple entries, but the correct fee must accompany each one.
  • You may pay the members’ entry fee if you join the NCWN when you submit.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • If submitting by mail, submit two copies of an unpublished manuscript, not to exceed 3,000 words, on single-sided pages, double-spaced, in black 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • To submit by USPS:

Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize
UNC Creative Writing Program
Attn: Anita Braxton
Greenlaw Hall, CB#3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520

  • To submit online, go to https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit. Submittable will collect your entry fee via credit card ($10 NCWN members / $20 nonmembers). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner will be announced in February.

For questions, please contact 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.

 

CHARLOTTE—If you're arriving early for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall Conference, or if you're local to the Charlotte metro area, consider enjoying The Pre-Conference Tailgate hosted by Bryn Chancellor and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte English Department.

This event is free. There is no registration required, and you do not need to have registered for the conference to participate.

This special program will take place:

Friday, November 2, 12:00-1:30 pm
Fretwell 290B, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9203 Mary Alexander Rd., Charlotte, 28262

Attendees can park for free in East Deck 1. Simply enter the gate and bring your ticket with you to the Pre-Conference Tailgate. During the program, your ticket will be replaced with a validated ticket, which will allow you to exit the garage for no charge.

Bryn Chancellor will lead "The Alchemy of Paying Attention."

We live in a world of distractions that keep us from granting our attention in meaningful ways. For writers, paying attention—to the world, to our imaginations and memories, and to our work—is essential. To be observant as a writer demands engagement; we must slow down and open ourselves up—not just to see/witness but to listen, smell, touch, and taste. We must activate and fine-tune our senses, which takes constant refinement, especially when we’re busy with other demands. In this session, we’ll practice transforming our observations and memories into language that can be rich material for our stories or poems—maybe even gold.

Bryn Chancellor is the author of the novel Sycamore (Harper/HarperCollins 2017), which was a Southwest Book of the Year, an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Editors’ Best Book of 2017, and among Bustle’s Best Debuts of 2017. Her story collection When Are You Coming Home? (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications. A recipient of a 2018 North Carolina Artist Fellowship, her honors include fellowships from the Alabama and Arizona state arts councils and the Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. A graduate of Vanderbilt University’s MFA Program, she is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Pre-Conference Tailgate is meant to get writers' creative juices flowing prior to the weekend.

On-site registration for the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference will open at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 2, in the lobby of the Hilton Charlotte University Place. Those who have not pre-registered will be able to sign up for classes at that time.

The NCWN 2018 Fall Conference is a full weekend of classes, panels, readings, open mics, a NaNoWriMo launch party, and more. For full details, click here.

 

 
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