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What Makes Charlotte a Unique Place to be a Writer?

Charlotte, the Queen City

The North Carolina Writers’ Network will hold our 2014 Fall Conference November 21-23 in Charlotte. Also known as “The Queen City,” Charlotte is a unique place to be a writer—but don’t take our word for it.

“The Cabarrus-Rowan chapter of NCWN is a small but mighty group. Whether you are an experienced or emerging author, you’ll leave every meeting with honest feedback, encouragement and advice!”
—Joanna Chapman, author of Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood: Pledging the Pink Sorority, winner of IBPA’s Ben Franklin Award—Best First Book/Nonfiction

“It’s the South for sure, but not the Old South of Harper Lee or William Faulkner, or even Tennessee Williams. It’s the New South bursting with a cosmopolitan energy infused by the swelling population of ‘Yankees’ from the East Coast, the Midwest, and far west. The bucolic remains, though to some natives, it is fast-fading. Perhaps you have to look just a little harder to find it.

“Writing in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area is a thrill. I began my writing here. Why? Was it the place? Yes. Was it my time? Yes. And that combination has sustained me through the years and been bolstered by the support of the writing groups I have belonged to and the educational opportunities offered by Queens University (the home of one of the best MFA programs in the country), CPCC, and other venues. No matter what you write or want to write—fiction (the long and short of it), memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting—it can be found here.”
—Mark Havlik, winner, 2014 Winston-Salem Writers Anthology Contest (Creative Nonfiction)

“Charlotte is a great town for the arts as exemplified by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center featuring, a few years back, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s production Flowers (and other performances), about the life and times of Janis Joplin, a production that inspired me to write a poem on Joplin. I also appreciate the art exhibits that the Harvey B. Gantt Center showcases—exhibits that one can easily draw from as source material for composing a poem.”
—Grace Ocasio, author of The Speed of Our Lives

Charlotte by day

“I am grateful to the generous teachers and mentors that have encouraged me along my writing path and I have hugely benefited from small groups of writers who workshop together and a large active Charlotte Writers’ Club. Also the small press publishers that host readings, book launches and other events make a major contribution to the vitality of this writing community. Such universities and colleges as Davidson, Johnson C. Smith, UNCC, and Queens, with their creative writing courses, talented professors and MFA programs, have created a fine environment for writers, whether novice or experienced.”
—Diana Pinckney, author of Green Daughters


“The Charlotte area is a crossroads: of commerce and culture, of arts and activism, of growth while staying grounded. Many a writer has come here on the way to somewhere else, only to realize one day that the years have flown by and now Charlotte is home. We’re proud beyond words of the literary legacy we share.”
—Amy Rogers, author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas

“Charlotte is great city of contradictions. My friends who were born here see Charlotte as a charming Southern city with big city business. Many more friends hail from such diverse places as India and Indiana, Colombia and Columbus, OH, the Northeast US, and the Middle East. They see Charlotte as a cosmopolitan land of opportunity. Each claims Charlotte as their own. The diversity of people provides the opportunity to experience many different viewpoints and provides inspiration for all sorts of characters to populate our writing.”
—Caryn Studham Sutorus, NCWN member

“Charlotte writers enjoy a tight community—one that shares knowledge and opportunity, celebrates successes, and turns out in force to support each other. It’s a welcoming, creative group for novice and seasoned authors alike.”
—Lisa Zerkle, author of Heart of the Light

Sheraton Charlotte Hotel
Sheraton Charlotte Hotel

The 2014 North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference will be held from November 21 to November 23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference offers workshops and master classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures and panels on publishing and finding an agent. The faculty includes poets Anthony S. Abbott, Morri Creech, and Alan Michael Parker; fiction writers Wilton Barnhardt, Moira Crone, and Aaron Gwyn; and creative nonfiction writers Cynthia Lewis, Rebecca McClanahan, and Amy Rogers. Scholarships are available. Registration is now open.