- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
WINSTON-SALEM, NC—Whether we're writing a fiery speech; critiquing public policy; or penning a scathing letter to the editor, words have power. As writers, our first instinct, when faced with injustice, is to turn to the page. The written word is our most dangerous and effective weapon.
On Tuesday, January 12, at 7:00 pm EST, author Tessie Castillo will lead the online class "Write to Fight" (nonfiction).
Registration is closed.
The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.
In light of current events and ongoing injustices, how can writers use their craft to engage in civic participation? "Write to Fight" will discuss the art of persuasion, how writers can use their skills for activism, and the mind-traps and ethical dilemmas of writing for a cause.
Tessie Castillo is an author, journalist and public speaker who specializes in stories on criminal justice, drug policy, prison reform and racial equity. She co-wrote her first book, Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row, with four men serving death sentences in North Carolina, whom she met while volunteering at North Carolina’s Central Prison in 2014.
While volunteering, Castillo was moved by the wisdom, humility, and accountability of the men in prison. In May 2014 she wrote an editorial to The News & Observer in Raleigh, advocating for the humanity of people on Death Row. In response, the prison administration canceled her class and revoked her status as a volunteer. Castillo began writing to her former students. The letters and essays they exchanged formed the base for Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. After its publication in March 2020, the prison confiscated the book from its co-authors and banned it from NC prisons.
By offering the unique opportunity to listen and interact with people on Death Row, Castillo and her co-authors debunk the assumptions and stereotypes that shape criminal justice policy. Crimson Letters is more than just a book. It is a collaborative project that challenges us to witness and engage with humanity behind bars.
"Write to Fight" is part of the North Carolina Writers' Network's 2020-2021 series of online classes.
"The Network has offered online programming since 2016," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "We're proud to already have the educational framework in place that allows us to continue to serve the writers of North Carolina, and beyond, during this time of social distancing."
The online class "Write to Fight" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, January 12, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.
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.
- Written by Administrator
- Category: Network News
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 closed.
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 deadline has been extended to January 6, 2021. The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of their winning entry in The Carolina Quarterly.
The final judge of the 2021 Jacobs/Jones contest will be W. Ralph Eubanks.
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South, and A Place Like Mississippi, which will be released in 2021. His writing and essays on the American South have appeared in The New Yorker, WIRED, Vanity Fair, and the Oxford American. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, he is currently a visiting professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He divides his time between Oxford, Mississippi, and Washington, DC.
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 winner of the 2020 Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize was Barbara Johnson-Davis of Charlotte, for her short story, "The Last Straw."
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.
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.