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Introducing Spring Conference Exhibitors: Part I

At the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Spring Conference, April 21 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the exhibit hall is open pretty much all day, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

There, publishers and literary organizations from around the state will sell books and other literary treasures. Not only is this a great chance to take some NC-grown books home with you (perhaps as an early jump on your summer reading list?), but the exhibit hall is the perfect opportunity to chat with the editors of some the most vital publishers in North Carolina in what is pretty much the ideal casual setting.

Over the next week or so, we’ll be highlighting this year’s exhibitors on our blog. Here’s part one of that installment…and we’re just going to do it alphabetically.

Anne Anthony (Anchala Studios):
Professional writer Anne Anthony will lead “How to Start Submitting” in the afternoon session of the NCWN 2018 Spring Conference. But when she’s not up in front the classroom, she’ll be in the exhibit hall, shilling the newest anthology from Anchala Studios, The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory (March, 2018). Anne served as co-editor. This special anthology is the first one created to deliver that special magic to adults struggling with memory loss, their families, friends, and caregivers. Sixty works of flash fiction offer “unexpected plots that warm the heart, give chills, stir laughter and surprise.” Contributors include organic farmers, a retired judge, university professors, visual artists, dog lovers, pastry chefs, a handful of bartenders, and a former morgue attendant—each one with a compelling story to tell.

Backbone Press:
The newest poetry chapbook from this Durham-based press is The Riddle of Longing by Faisal Mohyuddin, winner of the 2017 Sexton Prize for Poetry. In form and free verse, Mohyuddin delivers polished and powerfully controlled poems that enlighten even as they rage. Other titles include the forthcoming poetry chapbook Mother Said, I Want Your Pain by Naoko Fujimoto, winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest; 7 x 7 kwansabas by Tara Betts, in which well-known figures such as Katherine Dunham, Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan rise up on the page; and Sea Island Blues by North Carolina poet Tyree Daye. A small press with a big vision, Backbone Press offers itself as a venue for ethnic poets, including African America, Latina/o, Asian, and more. They love publishing poetry that is “political, invocative, social, gritty, [and] personal and poignant.”

John F. Blair, Publishing, merged with Carolina Wren Press earlier this year. The result? Blair, which, strengthened by a backlist that includes books on culture, history, travel, and food in the Southeastern US and beyond, will publish literary fiction of both national and regional interest, with a focus on new and diverse voices. New titles include Donald Morrill’s debut novel Beaut, a haunting tale of marriage and madness told in a blend of poetry and prose; the poetry collection Little Domesday Clock by Sam Witt, winner of both the Katherine Nason Bakeless First Book Prize (2000) and the Cleveland State University Press Open Book competition (2006); and two memoirs, This African-American Life by Hugh B. Price and Witness to Change by Sybil Morial. Editor Robin Miura will serve as one of the panelists for Slush Pile Live! at the NCWN 2018 Spring Conference, beginning at 5:00 pm.

BLF Press:
NCWN is thrilled to welcome BLF Press to our exhibit hall for the first time. Their newest title, Two Moons: Stories by Krystal A. Smith, traverses the connections between earth and the heavens, the living and the spectral, human and animal. Sensitive, ethereal, humorous, and at times, heart-breaking, Smith’s collection of speculative fiction signals the arrival of an exceptionally talented writer with a promising career ahead of her. Other recent titles include the anthologies Solace, wherein LGBTQ women of color writers to explore the power of literature and identity, and Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, which School Library Journal called a “riveting gathering of talented voices in black lesbian fiction.” The anthology also was a 2017 Goldie Finalist (Anthology) and a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist (LGBT Adult Fiction). Editor Stephanie Andrea Allen will serve as a panelist for Slush Pile Live! at the NCWN 2018 Spring Conference, beginning at 5:00 pm.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2018 Spring Conference ends April 15. If you’ve already registered, see you there! If not, don’t delay: run on over to and register.