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Learn to Sustain Energy, Urgency in Longform Nonfiction with Belle Boggs

Belle Boggs
Belle Boggs
GREENSBORO—Belle Boggs, an NEA and NCAC fellowship recipient, will lead the Master Class in Nonfiction, “Writing with Urgency,” at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2022 Spring Conference, Saturday, April 23, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Conference registration is open.

Belle Boggs is the author of The Gulf: A Novel; The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood; and Mattaponi Queen: Stories. The Art of Waiting was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and was named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River, won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. Her stories and essays have appeared in Orion, the Paris Review, Harper’s, Ecotone, the Atlantic,, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is professor of English and director of the MFA program at NC State University.

Many writing teachers counsel us to save experiences we’re too close to for later—why not wait until you can get some distance and perspective? (I have given this advice myself!) But my experience writing about urgent personal and political issues has also taught me that developing a writing practice around contemporaneous note-taking, research, journaling, and interviews can be a way of producing work that feels urgent and alive. This nonfiction workshop will balance workshop discussion of short pieces with in-class planning for how to energize and sustain a longer nonfiction project. Our focus will be on using observation, research, interviews, and experience to create immersive work that is relevant and necessary.

Registrants must apply to be admitted into the Master Class; each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class. For full application details and more, click here.

Spring Conference is a full day of courses and programming on the craft and business of writing, offering both on-site (in-person) and online sessions. North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Carole Boston Weatherford will give the Keynote Address. Other sessions that might interest creative nonfiction writers include “Look Closer: Writing about Objects” with Julia Ridley Smith and “The Group: How to Form Your Own Thriving Writing Workshop” with Duncan Murrell, both on-site.

The online track offers several options for writers in all genres. Online registrants also will be able to watch livestreams of the Keynote Address, Faculty Readings, and Slush Pile Live!, and participate in an online only Open Mic.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit