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CABIN FEVER CONFERENCE 2020

Community, but not Communicable

 

ONLINE CLASSES

April 16-18, 2020

The North Carolina Writers' Network brings you the first-ever CABIN FEVER CONFERENCE, 630 minutes of high-quality, socially-distant instruction in the craft and business of writing.

 

Register Online

FEES AND DEADLINES | SCHEDULE-AT-A-GLANCEFULL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE WITH COURSES | | VIRTUAL EXHIBIT HALL | FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES


Fees and Deadlines

Register Online

Registration ends at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday, April 16.

MEMEBER RATES

  • $250 Full Conference (Seven 90-minute classes, or 630 minutes of high-level instruction)
    $200 for Seniors (65+), Full-Time Students, Writers 30 or Under, Writers with Disabilities
  • $125 Half Conference (any 4 classes, on any of the 3 days)
    $100 for Seniors (65+), Full-Time Students, Writers 30 or Under, Writers with Disabilities
  • $75 Quarter Conference (any 2 classes, on any of the 3 days)
    $70 for Seniors (65+), Full-Time Students, Writers 30 or Under, Writers with Disabilities
  • $45 Single Class
    $40 for Seniors (65+), Full-Time Students, Writers 30 or Under, Writers with Disabilities

 

NONMEMBER RATES
  • $350 Full Conference (Seven 90-minute classes, or 630 minutes of high-level instruction)
  • $65 Single Class

You can join the Network when you register, and pay the member rates plus the appropriate member dues:

$80 standard 1-year membership
$60 reduced membership (senior 65+, full-time student, writers under 30, writers with disabilities)
$140 2-year membership
$110 2-year reduced membership

Scholarships

A limited amount of scholarship aid is available to deserving writers who otherwise could not take part in the 2020 Cabin Fever Conference. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please send a C.V. and a “Statement of Writing Intent” of no more than 1,000 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Friday, April 10.

In addition to our general scholarship aid, "More Seats" Scholarships are available to join the Cabin Fever Conference thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. More Seats Scholarships seek to add “more seats” to the literary table by encouraging beginning writers from underserved communities, especially writers from rural counties, writers of color, and LGBTQ+ writers. Selection criteria will focus on commitment to writing, rather than degrees or publications. To apply, send a current CV—with contact information and a list of any work, education, publications, or other relevant literary experiences or achievements—and a Statement of Writing Intent of no more than 1,000 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than Friday, April 10. The subject line should specify the applicant’s interest in a More Seats Scholarship. Questions should be sent to that e-mail address, as well.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network office (via USPS or e-mail) by 4:00 pm, Wednesday, April 15, for you to receive a refund, less 25 percent. Send request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. No refunds for cancellations received after April 15 or for no-shows.

For Writers with Special Needs

The North Carolina Writers' Network strives to make our programs and services accessible to all writers, including those with special needs. If you require closed captioning, please let us know no later than Monday, April 13.

Deadlines

  • April 10: Deadline for all scholarship applications
  • April 13: Deadline for special-needs requests
  • April 15: Deadline to receive a refund for cancellation
  • April 16: Deadline for registration

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Schedule-at-a-Glance

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Thursday, April 16
5:30-7:00 pm Make a Scene: Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction with Quinn Dalton
7:30-9:00 pm The Art of Writing Memoir with M. Randal O’Wain
Friday, April 17
5:30-7:00 pm More than Meaning (poetry) with Timothy O’Keefe
7:30-9:00 pm Public Speaking for Writers with Cameron Kent
Saturday, April 18
9:00-10:30 am What a Long Strange Trip: From Manuscript to Finished Book with Robin Miura and Lynn York
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Writing Your Life: Turning Personal Stories into Universal Narratives with Bridgette A. Lacy
1:00-2:30 pm Narrative Medicine: Stories of Illness & the Power of Reflective Writing with Aimee Mepham
3:00-4:00 pm Open Mic Readings
4:30-5:30 pm Faculty Readings

 

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Full Conference Schedule with Course Descriptions

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THURSDAY, APRIL 16

5:30-7:00 pm

Make a Scene: Emotional Building Blocks of Fiction with Quinn Dalton
What is a scene? How do you know when you need one? How do you get “in” and “out” of it? Through discussion and in-class exercises you’ll understand the necessary elements of scenes, how they are built, and how to use them to propel your story.

7:30-9:00 pm

The Art of Writing Memoir with M. Randal O’Wain
We all have a story inside of us that is itching to be shared with others and as nonfiction writers we have the drive to put these memories on paper. How do we reconstruct the past and all of the messy components of life onto the page? How do we breathe personality into the people we love, and how do we illustrate the settings and landscapes that made us who we are so that a reader can experience these meaningful life events with compassion and empathy? During our workshop period, we will practice the foundations of writing memoir artfully through exercises and readings that exemplify compelling narrative persona, vivid imagery, sensory details, and turn anecdotes into satisfying narratives that are relatable and fulfilled.

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 17

5:30-7:00 pm

More than Meaning (poetry) with Timothy O’Keefe
For many people, learning to read poetry is tantamount to becoming a word detective—one is taught to look for signs and clues in order to arrive at the “deep meaning” of the poem. Or, worse yet, they attempt to translate “what the poet was really trying to say.” This class will explore poetic approaches to the doing of a poem—the poem as an event on the page—instead of focusing on the traditional markers of meaning (symbol, metaphor, allusion, etc.). The goal is not to dispense with meaning altogether, but to reposition it as just one of many experiences the poem can present to an attentive reader.

7:00-9:30 pm

Public Speaking for Writers with Cameron Kent
Are you one of those people who is uncomfortable with public speaking? Many writers are. It can be daunting, but if you want to market your writing and sell more books, then you need to be able to effectively talk to people at book launches, book clubs, and even pitch meetings. Cameron Kent will teach you how to prepare your remarks, overcome your nervousness, and successfully deliver your speech to groups of people large and small.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

9:00-10:30 am

What a Long Strange Trip: From Manuscript to Finished Book with Robin Miura and Lynn York
So, you’ve finished your manuscript, and miraculously you’ve found a publisher. What happens next? In this workshop, two leaders from Blair, a Durham-based nonprofit press, will guide you along the perilous and winding path to publication. They’ll discuss ideas for working with an editor, understanding your publishing team, considering the design for your book, handling the copyediting and proofreading process, building your fan base, participating in the marketing plan for your book, becoming an advocate for yourself and your book, budgeting time and resources for the endeavor, managing your expectations, and preparing to enjoy every step of the crazy process. Between the two of them, your guides for this workshop have found themselves in the roles of author, agent, editor, copyeditor, proofreader, marketer, and sales rep, so this workshop will be a mix of nuts-and-bolts advice, war stories, and best practices—with plenty of time reserved for responding to your questions.

11:00 - 12:30 pm

Writing Your Life: Turning Personal Stories into Universal Narratives with Bridgette A. Lacy
Bridgette A. Lacy writes about the big and small moments of life, ranging from losing her sense of smell to a brain tumor to crafting essays on Sunday Dinner. Join her for a ninety-minute creative nonfiction class, where she’ll discus turning our private moments into literary gold. To make readers connect to our story, our work must show the turmoil, the joy, and those private moments that resonate in our own lives. During her class, she will share some techniques for focusing our life stories and fine-tuning them for publication.

1:00 - 2:30 pm

Narrative Medicine: Stories of Illness & the Power of Reflective Writing with Aimee Mepham
This session will provide a brief introduction to the field of narrative medicine—the scholarly and clinical movement that centers the power of story in health care—and the wide-ranging ways it can be practiced by writers who are patients, caregivers, or simply want to explore the connection between writing and healing. We will read and discuss select short pieces about health and illness, followed by practicing several reflective writing prompts/exercises that allow writers to explore their relationship with writing’s therapeutic potential.

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Open Mic Readings
You must have registered for at least one Cabin Fever Conference class to sign up for one of the 20 spots available in this online open mic. All are welcome to join the virtual audience, though, and hear work by your friends and fellow writers.

To read, select the Open Mic Reading along with your class choices when you register for the Cabin Fever Conference. To listen, look for your invitation, which we will e-mail to you before the conference.

4:30 - 5:30 pm

Faculty Readings
Stay there to come hear short readings by our Cabin Fever Conference instructors, a fitting end to our virtual gathering.

 

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Virtual Exhibit Hall

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Virtual Exhibit Hall
During the conference, exhibitors will offer special pricing on select titles through our Virtual Exhibit Hall. Our exhibitors represent NC-based publishers and literary organizations that rely on handselling their products in-person at physical events. We can't replicate that personal touch here, but please take some time over the weekend to poke around the exhibitor sites and purchase a few things to read during this time of social distancing.

Looking for a book by a faculty member? Scuppernong Books is the exclusive carrier of books by conference faculty.

Click here to visit the Virtual Exhibit Hall! (Coming Soon!)

 

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Faculty Biographies

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Cabin Fever Conference Faculty



Quinn Dalton
is the author of two story collections and two novels, most recently Midnight Bowling. She also co-authored The Infinity of You & Me under the pen name JQ Coyle with award-winning novelist and poet Julianna Baggott. Dalton has taught creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and Wake Forest and has published numerous articles on the publishing business and writing craft. Her Spring NCWN course "Make A Scene" is based on her editing experience and a resulting article of the same name.


Cameron Kent is a member of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He retired from television broadcasting in December of 2016 after thirty-two years at WXII-12 News in Winston-Salem, working as a street reporter, sports anchor, and then the main News Anchor for the last twenty-two years of his career. He was nominated for fourteen Emmy Awards for journalism, including three times as best news writer, and won an Emmy for his reporting on the Pentagon after 9/11. Cameron has published five novels: The Road to Devotion, When the Ravens Die, Make Me Disappear, The Sea is Silent, and Mayor Molly. His other writing credits include four films which have aired on NBC, HBO, Lifetime, and at the American Film Institute.


Bridgette A. Lacy is an award-winning journalist and author. She served as a longtime features writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh. She’s the author of Sunday Dinner, part of the Savor the South series by UNC Press and a finalist for the Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize. Lacy is also a contributor to The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food (Eno Publishers, 2016) and 27 Views of Raleigh: The City of Oaks in Prose & Poetry (Eno Publishers, 2013). Her work has appeared in Our State Magazine, Salt, and O.Henry.

Aimee Mepham  is Assistant Director of the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University where she is co-chair of the Story, Health, & Healing initiative. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and has taught writing workshops at Indiana University, Washington University in St. Louis, Wake Forest University, and Salem College. She is also the Creative Nonfiction Editor of Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing. Her work has appeared in Meridian, River Styx, and Hobart, among others, and has also been performed twice by Liars’ League NYC, a live literary journal featuring professionally trained actors reading original short stories by writers.

Robin Miura is the Senior Editor and Associate Publisher of Blair, a nonprofit press based in Durham. She has worked in publishing for twenty years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press and later as a freelance editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, and writing coach for publishing companies and individual authors. She has worked with all types of books, but her passion is literary fiction and creative nonfiction. She is also a founding editor of the online magazine South Writ Large.


Timothy O’Keefe is the author of You Are the Phenomenology, winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and The Goodbye Town, winner of the 2010 FIELD Poetry Prize. His poems and lyric essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Best American Essays, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review, VOLT, and elsewhere. He teaches writing and literature at High Point University.


M. Randal O’Wain is the author of Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South (Nebraska, 2019) and the short-story collection Hallelujah Station (Autumn House, 2020). He is an Assistant Teaching Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow at Alderson Federal Correction Institute in West Virginia.

Lynn York is the Publisher of Blair, a nonprofit press based in Durham. She is the author of two novels: The Piano Teacher (Plume) and The Sweet Life (Plume), a Booksense Notable Book. She holds a BA in English from Duke and an MBA/MA from UT-Austin. She began her career as a college textbook rep and has also worked in telecommunications and satellite television industries. She began working as a volunteer with Carolina Wren Press in 2013, and, with Robin Miura, founded the Lee Smith Novel Prize. She has taught writing workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, NC State University, High Point University, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and elsewhere. She has served on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council, the NC Art Society, and Carolina Wren Press (now Blair).

 


 

The Cabin Fever Conference 2020 is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council.

    

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