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Announcing the NCWN 2021-2022 Online Series

Michael Zapata
The North Carolina Writers’ Network has announced its 2021-2022 Online Series, featuring noted authors and talented teachers from North Carolina and beyond. This annual, virtual series offers a class in October and then one class per month, December-March. 

Registration will open on a class-by-class basis. The cost is $35 per class for NCWN members, $55 per class for non-members. Space is limited.

October’s class will be led by NCWN Trustee Katie Winkler. “The Big Share: Alternative Forms of Publication in a Digital Age” (Multigenre) will discuss some of the non-traditional publishing avenues available to writers, such as podcasting, blogging, editing literary journals, producing performances, and more—outlets that keep writers engaged with their communities without costing too much.

Michael Zapata, author of the novel The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and the A.V. Club, among others, will lead December’s online class, “At the Beginning of the World: Writing Historical Fiction” (Fiction). How do you fill a past world with a story that may or may not have happened? We’ll discuss research practices (how much is enough?), worldbuilding, fact vs. fiction, and realist vs. experimental approaches.

Travis Rountree, an Assistant Professor of English at Appalachian State University, will lead the online class in January, “Writing through Memory: Exploring Places and Spaces of Public Memory.” Dr. Rountree’s research interests include queer archival research and pedagogy, Appalachian rhetorics, place-based pedagogy, and public memory studies. His book is forthcoming from University of Kentucky Press: Hard to See through the Smoke: Rhetorical Remembering of the 1912 Hillsville, Virginia Courthouse Shootout.

In February, NCWN will once again host an open-forum Q&A on the subject of publishing. Kristina Marie Darling, Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly, will talk briefly on small press publishing and the world of literary journals, and then take questions from participants over the course of ninety casual, conversational minutes. Kristina also is a poet, essayist, and critic. 

Jennifer Givhan’s “Subverting Expectations: Stranger Things, Duende, & Writing into the Upside Down” (Poetry) will wrap up the 2021-2022 series in March. In this generative workshop, writers will pen poems that subvert expectations and locate and (re)create maps to the underbellies, to the duende world where madness and abandon often eclipse logic and where, as Tracy K. Smith writes, “skill is only useful to the extent that it adds courage and agility to intuition.” Jennifer’s honors include a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship.

“Thanks to all of you who provided us with wonderful conferences and Zoom opportunities during this crazy COVID year,” says NCWN member and frequent online class participant Marla Dunham. “It was a great inspiration and also fun to connect with writers all across the state, and I have managed to make a new friend as a result.”

The online series is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Each class is video archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

Watch and our social media channels for registration information.

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