NC Literary Hall of Fame



MHRA Building (Corner of Spring Garden and Forest Streets)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Saturday, April 13, 2013

The North Carolina Writers' Network and the Creative Writing Program at UNC Greensboro bring you a full day of workshops in a campus setting. This year’s Spring Conference moves to a more convenient location in UNCG’s MHRA Building, on the corner of Spring Garden and Forest Streets, but still offers classes and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing and publishing: from the latest on e-books to the traditional craft of bookbinding.

In addition, the “lunch” part of Lunch with an Author will be provided for those who register, so writers will be able to spend more time talking, and less time waiting in line.
Plus, free parking, thanks to the UNCG Creative Writing Program.

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is closed**


Fees and Logistics

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is closed**

Early registration ends Sunday, April 7. Members may register on-site April 13 for $135.

Early registration:

  • $99 for members
  • $150 for non-members



Lunch with an Author:

  • $15 for members
  • $25 for non-members


IMPORTANT: Spring Conference attendees MUST register for Lunch with an Author prior to the conference. Lunch with an Author registration will NOT be available on-site.

On-site registration as a walk-in:
  • $135 for members
  • $165 for non-members
  • Lunch with an Author not available to walk-in registrants


You can join the Network when you register, and pay the member rates plus the appropriate member dues:
$75 standard 1-year membership
$55 senior (65+), student, disabled membership
$130 2-year membership
$130 household 1-year membership


If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please send a C.V. and a letter of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Cancellations must be made in writing and arrive at the Network office (via USPS or e-mail) by 4:00 pm, Monday, April 8, 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 8 or for no-shows.

Venue and Parking

The 2013 Spring Conference will be held in the Moore Humanities & Research Administration (MHRA) Building on the UNCG campus, 1111 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC, 27403. The MHRA Building is located at the corner of Spring Garden and Forest Streets.

Free parking will be available for Spring Conference registrants in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, across Forest Street from the MHRA Building (behind Yum Yum Better Ice Cream and Old Town Draught House).

A map of the UNCG campus is available here.

Nearby Hotels

The Greensboro Marriott Downtown ( offers favorable rates to those attending events at UNC Greensboro.

Other accommodations can be found through the university's list,, or the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau,

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 conference materials either in large print or in Braille, or if you require a sign-language interpreter, please register for the conference and submit your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Monday, April 1. If you require any other special assistance, please let us know as soon as possible at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will do our best to accommodate all reasonable requests.

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Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is closed**


Saturday, April 13
8:30-9:00am Registration
Exhibit Tables and Book Sales (open from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm)
9:00-10:30 am

Workshop Session I:

  • Animating Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Lee Zacharias**Closed**
  • Writing Personal Essays and Memoir (All-Day Nonfiction) with Judy Goldman **Closed**
  • How to Write Dynamic Dialog with Lynn York
  • Nonfiction in a Stupid Golden Age with Scott Huler
  • Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing with Scott Nicholson
  • The Risks of Writing Poetry with John Rybicki


11:00 am - 12:00 pm Faculty Readings
12:00-1:00pm Lunch with an Author (or lunch on your own)
1:00-2:00 pm Open Mic Readings - Sign up at registration table
2:00-3:30 pm

Workshop Session II



Publishing Panel with Stephen Kirk (John F. Blair, Publisher), Robin Miura (Carolina Wren Press), Kevin Morgan Watson (Press 53)


Bookmaking demonstration with Andrew Saulters of Unicorn Press


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Full Conference Schedule with Course Descriptions

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is closed**


8:30–9:00 am Registration
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Exhibits & Book Sales Open

9:00–10:30 am Workshop Session I

Animating Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Lee Zacharias **Closed**
There are many elements to fiction, both short stories and novels—plot, character, point-of-view, and setting, to name a few—but perhaps none so important as character, which brings the fiction to life and drives the plot. This all-day workshop will center on characterization as we talk about ways to create plot, animate description, and discover the right point of view. The morning session will focus on discussion, the afternoon session on student writing and will include a prompt for generating new writing. Please also bring a short character description—no more than a couple of paragraphs—to share with the class. The description you bring may be from your own work or from a work you particularly admire and want to talk about.

Writing Personal Essays and Memoir: Transforming Memories into Narrative (All-Day Nonfiction) with Judy Goldman **Closed**
In this workshop (geared to both beginning and advanced writers), you’ll learn how to transform your experiences and memories into a narrative readers are interested in. For those of you who want to begin, but the way in seems shadowy, we’ll discuss how to embark: what to put in your essay or memoir, what to leave out, where to start, how to shape the story. For those of you already immersed in the writing, I’ll encourage you to push all the way to the end of a first draft, no matter how awkward it feels. For those of you who’ve completed essays or a memoir, we’ll discuss how to read your pages analytically and diagnostically, how to fix problems so that the writing is as good as you can make it and your story holds together.

How to Write Dynamic Dialog with Lynn York
This workshop, open to all levels of writers, will focus on the role of dialog in fiction writing. What should it do? What should it not do? Most important, how do you make it sound real—and make it do as much work as possible in your story or novel? In-class exercises will provide practical support and tools for writers to apply to their own in-progress and future work.

Nonfiction in a Stupid Golden Age with Scott Huler
Reality is a lie, news is opinion, and everybody is a documentarian. This workshop will range widely over the territory and address:

  • the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and how to be absolutely sure you're on solid ground;
  • the difference between a trustworthy and an untrustworthy source and how to instantly recognize it;
  • how to determine which tool to use for the story you've decided to tell;
  • how to know a story when you see one;
  • how to learn the essence of nonfiction reporting in five minutes and master it in one quick lifetime;
  • how to connect so that you have at least a chance at scraping together something like a living in the explosively growing world of nonfiction storytelling;
  • the skill of Late Adoption, the secret to mastering the tools of our trade;
  • how to conquer writer's block once and for all (hint: you will not like the method).


The workshop will be more of a conversation than a lecture, and we will be sharing information and learning things to do to make us better and more successful writers.

Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing with Scott Nicholson
The Kindle and other devices have changed the way writers and readers connect. Learn the basic methods and platforms for getting your ebooks to a worldwide audience, as well as the advantages and risks of self-publishing. International bestselling author and publisher Scott Nicholson will share his experiences and answer questions to help you enter the fastest-growing market in literature.

The Risks of Writing Poetry with John Rybicki
Poetry writing is about risk. None of us can compose a potent poem with a block of ice in our chest. In that respect, I will be urging students in this class to walk on water and run with scisssors; to say what it is a heart is burning to say. After some introductory flame throwing (inspiration) and some perusing of the nuances of craft, students will write a prose poem centered around one core person in their lives. Your father or mother will be a stranger to us before you write him/her into existence. By the end of your poem we will come to know them as a warm-blooded, three dimensional being. Don't worry about reaching some pinnacle of expression in a first draft. We all fail lavishly in our attempts to translate into higher language something core about the human condition. Students who wish to will share their work out loud at the end of class.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Faculty Readings

12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
Lunch with an Author (or lunch on your own). Sign up to have lunch with a small group of fellow registrants and one of our conference instructors. This is a great opportunity to talk shop with an experienced writer in a relaxed, informal setting. IMPORTANT: Spring Conference attendees MUST register for Lunch with an Author prior to the conference. Lunch with an Author registration will NOT be available on-site.

1:00–2:00 pm Open Mic Readings Sign up at registration table
Sign up at the conference registration table if you would like to share your work. Only twelve reading slots, of five minutes each, will be available, first-come, first-served.

2:00–3:30 pm Workshop Session II

Animating Fiction (All-Day Fiction) with Lee Zacharias **Closed**
See description above.

Writing Personal Essays and Memoir: Transforming Memories into Narrative (All-Day Nonfiction) with Judy Goldman **Closed**
See description above.

Writing in Circles: Repeating Sounds, Words, and Refrains in Poetry with Carolyn Beard Whitlow
The ocean repeats its rhythmic waves. Birds repeat their trill. Chants are based on sounds rhythmically repeated. Repetition can be soothing or hypnotic. Or emphatic. Nursery rhymes and jingles depend on the repetition of sounds, most often rhyme. Sonnets most often rhyme. Other poetic forms, however, depend not only on rhyme, but on patterns of repeating words or lines that may not rhyme. The sestina form is based on six unrhymed words that repeat six times—no, really seven. The villanelle depends on two refrains that repeat alternately. Come learn how to create a villanelle and a sestina that repeat lines or words in entrancing and exciting ways. Even if you write free verse, you’ll learn the effect of melodic repetition.

Plot: The Shape of Fiction with John McNally
Have you ever had a good idea for a story but couldn't figure out how best to tell it? Have you written stories that fall flat because of the way you've plotted them? This purpose of this workshop is to refine the way you think about plot, to consider the ways it should function in stories and novels, and to expand your repertoire of plot's many shapes.

Creating with Images in Nonfiction with Cynthia Nearman
This workshop is designed to engage and invigorate participants’ approaches to the smallest yet most essential elements of nonfiction storytelling: sensory images and concrete details, objects and actions. First, we’ll look briefly at vivid scenes from recently published essays, paying careful attention to the connection between concrete details and characters’ desires, and between descriptions of actions and objects and larger meanings or ideas. Our main focus will be on what it means to "think from within images" as we generate and revise our own nonfiction prose. We’ll practice strategies for discovering and selecting images that do "double duty"—i.e., concrete detail and sensory information that works organically to create living, moving pictures resonant with meaning.

Authors as Entrepreneurs with Terry L. Kennedy and Ross White
With the business models of traditional publishing changing, authors are increasingly being asked to act entrepreneurially. While many authors choose to do this by concentrating on marketing their work, an increasing number are developing new models of creative businesses and services that contribute to the literary community and develop a personal brand. In this session, two arts entrepreneurs will look at several small businesses developed by writers and discuss best practices for starting businesses that benefit both the individual writer and the larger literary community.

4:00–5:00 pm Publishing Panel
Representatives of some of North Carolina’s most distinguished presses will answer your questions about what they look for in a manuscript, and the evolving realities of 21st Century publishing. Panelists include Stephen Kirk (John F. Blair, Publisher), Robin Miura (Carolina Wren Press) and Kevin Morgan Watson (Press 53).

5:00–5:30 pm Bookmaking Demonstration
Andrew Saulters of Greensboro’s Unicorn Press will lead a hands-on demonstration of the traditional art of bookbinding, showing how writers can create their own book, and not just the words on the pages.


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Faculty Biographies

Register Online | Download a Registration Form**Pre-registration is closed**


Spring Conference Faculty

Judy Goldman Judy Goldman has published two novels, two books of poetry, and a memoir, Losing My Sister. Her work has won the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, Gerald Cable Poetry Prize, Roanoke-Chowan Prize, Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize, and Oscar Arnold Young Prize. She received the Hobson Prize For Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for Outstanding Generosity to Other Writers and the Larger Community, and the Beverly D. Clark Author Award from Queens University. An excerpt from Losing My Sister appeared in Real Simple magazine and Drafthorse, an online journal. She has written book reviews for The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer, and craft articles for The Writer. Her commentaries have aired on public radio in Charlotte and Chapel Hill.

Scott HulerScott Huler is a nonfiction generalist who has written everything from newspaper and magazine stories to books, produced radio pieces and essays, and produced video work for a wide variety of on- and offline enterprises. He has written for newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, and the Raleigh News & Observer, and for magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Backpacker, Our State, and Walter. His radio work has been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Day to Day, and on Marketplace and The Splendid Table on American Public Media. The most recent of his six books was On the Grid, about the infrastructure that makes our modern lives possible, published in 2010. He also has served as Piedmont Laureate for the Triangle and surrounding areas.

Terry KennedyTerry Kennedy is the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNC Greensboro where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship and Literary Publishing and serves as Associate Editor of The Greensboro Review. In addition, he edits the online journal, storySouth.

Stephen KirkStephen Kirk has been the editor at John F. Blair, Publisher, for more than twenty years. He is the author of Scribblers: Stalking the Authors of Appalachia and First in Flight: The Wright Brothers in North Carolina and has contributed to other books including Travel North Carolina and Sports in the Carolinas. His short fiction has been reprinted in the Best American Short Stories series.

John McNally John McNally is the author of three novels: After the Workshop, The Book of Ralph and America’s Report Card; and two story collections, Troublemakers and Ghosts of Chicago. He is also author of two nonfiction books: The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist and Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction, both published the University of Iowa Press. He has edited, coedited, or guest edited seven anthologies. John’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the Washington Post, The Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, and Virginia Quarterly Review. As a screenwriter, he has a script in development with the producer of Winter’s Bone. He’s an Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University and on the Core Faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

Robin Miura Robin Miura has worked in publishing for eleven years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press, and for the past eight years as an independent editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, writing coach, and literary agent for publishing companies and individual authors. She has worked with many different types of books--from academic and educational to self-help--but her passion is literary fiction and nonfiction. Currently she edits fiction and memoir for Carolina Wren Press. Robin is a North Carolina native who enjoys living outside of Raleigh with her husband and two children.

Cynthia NearmanCynthia Nearman teaches in the English Department and the Writing Program at Guilford College in Greensboro. Since 2009, she’s served as creative nonfiction editor for storySouth. She writes flash nonfiction, cultural commentary (rants, really), and experiments with lyric essays.

Scott Nicholson Scott Nicholson is the international bestselling author of more than thirty books. He released six mass-market paperbacks before becoming a self-publisher, and has since hit the Kindle Top 100 multiple times in four different countries. Nicholson has also written children’s books, poetry, comic books, and screenplays, and as a journalist he won three North Carolina Press Association awards. His website is

John Rybicki John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit. He is the author of three poetry collections: We Bed Down into Water, Traveling at High Speeds, and When All the World Is Old, published by Lookout Books in 2012. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, and Bomb, among many others, and have been reprinted in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize. He teaches poetry writing through InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice to children who have been through a trauma or loss. He lives in Augusta, Michigan, with his son, Martell.

saultersAndrew Saulters is a poet and book binder and designer in Greensboro. He hails from Phenix City, Alabama, and teaches composition at Guilford College.

Kevin Morgan Watson Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor of Press 53, a literary publishing company in Winston-Salem. As a publisher and editor, he has worked with writers ranging from newly published authors to winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Kevin also serves as an advisor on adaptation of short stories to screenplays for the screenwriting faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.

Ross White Ross White is the Executive Director of Bull City Press, a Durham-based small press dedicated to poetry and short fiction. He teaches poetry writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he is the Dean of Distance Education. His poetry and criticism has appeared in Best New Poets 2012,, Poetry Daily, and others.

Carolyn Beard WhitlowCarolyn Beard Whitlow is Dana Professor of English at Guilford College, where she has taught Creative Writing and African American Literature since 1993. Finalist for the 1991 Barnard New Women Poets Prize and the 2005 Ohio State University Poetry Prize, she completed the MFA at Brown University, then published her first poetry collection, Wild Meat, in 1986. Her most recent book, Vanished, won the 2006 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and she was awarded the 2012 Sonia Sanchez/Amiri Baraka Prize in Poetry. She co-edited, with Marilyn Krysl, the anthology Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century, now under consideration for publication. Whitlow is also a visual artist and quilter whose work can be found at

Lynn YorkLynn York is the author of two novels: The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, the Duke Summer Writer’s Workshop, NC State University, and High Point University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council and the NC Art Society and lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

Lee ZachariasLee Zacharias is the author of Helping Muriel Make It Through the Night (short stories); two novels, Lessons and At Random; and The World You Leave Behind, a volume of personal essays forthcoming from Hub City Press. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays and numerous journals, including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, The Gettysburg Review, and The North Carolina Literary Review among others. A former fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, she is English Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she won the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence and the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Outstanding Teaching Award, and was for a decade editor of The Greensboro Review.



The 2013 Spring Conference is made possible with support from the Creative Writing Department at UNC-Greensboro, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Self Employment in the Arts (SEA).

UNC GreensboroNC Arts Council


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