Back to Network News

NCWN Welcomes Five New Trustees

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is proud to welcome five new members to its Board of Trustees.

The current NCWN trustees approved their nominations in an election conducted on June 24. They will serve three-year terms, after which each may be re-elected.

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls and her memoir-in-progress The Following Sea. She has been further supported by a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Orion, Oxford American, StoryQuarterly, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Abrams currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Heather Bell Adams is the author of two novels, Maranatha Road (West Virginia University Press 2017), winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for the Southeast Region, and The Good Luck Stone (Haywire Books 2020), winner of the Best Historical Novel in the Next Generation Book Awards. Her work, which has been awarded the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, James Still Fiction Prize, Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, and other prizes, appears in the North Carolina Literary ReviewRaleigh ReviewStill: The JournalReckon ReviewParenthesesThe Thomas Wolfe ReviewAtticus ReviewThe Petigru ReviewBroad River Review, and elsewhere. A lifelong North Carolinian, she served as North Carolina’s 2022 Piedmont Laureate and South Carolina’s 2023 Pat Conroy Writer in Residence.

Lilly Danzis holds a Bachelor’s degree in English – Creative Writing from UNC Asheville, where they work on the administrative team of the Great Smokies Writing Program to serve writers across Western North Carolina. In their more than five years with the Program, they have developed a summer writing program for high school students (Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop), hosted the monthly reading series Writers at Home, administered the NCWN Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, and have had the absolute joy of getting to know GSWP’s community of creatives. They are also a certified Inward & Artward Creative Facilitator through Asheville-based narrative arts collective Story Parlor, and have led a workshop on using group storytelling RPGs as catalysts for individual creative writing projects. A “genre-fluid” writer, their work has most recently appeared in Kelp Journal. They live in Candler with their wife, where the two of them are writing a collaborative novel when they aren’t reading, gaming, or enjoying time outdoors in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Halle Hill is the author of Good Women (Hub City Press), which was named a 2023 Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, O Magazine, Electric Literature, Book Riot, and Southwest Review. A finalist for the 2023 Weatherford Award, she is the winner of the 2020 Crystal Wilkinson Creative Writing Prize and the 2020 Oxford American Debut Fiction Prize. Her short stories have been translated into French and published in Joyland, New Limestone Review, Ursa Short Fiction, and Oxford American, among others. A born and raised East Tennessean, she currently lives, works and teaches in North Carolina. 

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of a short story collection, Sex Romp Gone Wrong (Blair, 2024), and a memoir, The Sum of Trifles (University of Georgia Press, 2021). Her fiction and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature, New England Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been recognized as notable in Best American Essays, and supported by the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, and other arts organizations. Julia grew up in Greensboro, and in 2018 helped launch the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival. A former associate editor at Bull City Press, she has nearly twenty-five years of experience working with university presses and periodicals as a freelance writer, copyeditor, and proofreader. Currently, she is a teaching assistant professor of creative writing at UNC Chapel Hill.

To learn more about the NCWN Board of Trustees, visit