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NCWN 2022 Spring Conference Offers Online-Only Classes and Livestreamed General Sessions

Rachel Priest
GREENSBORO—While the North Carolina Writers’ Network looks forward to hosting its first in-person Spring Conference since April of 2019, this year’s Spring Conference also will feature concurrent sessions that are only available online, meant for writers of all genres.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2022 Spring Conference happens Saturday, April 23, on the campus of UNC-Greensboro and online

Conference registration is open.

Writers can select one morning session and one afternoon session. The NCWN 2022 Spring Conference will offer the following online-only morning sessions:

In Flux(us) (all genres) with Steven Sherrill—Online Only
“I’m fleshing out the idea. For now, my plan is to focus on process over product, and the inherent range of potential within almost every idea.”

Steven Sherrill has five novels in the world (The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break and Joy, PA, among them), a book of poems (Ersatz Anatomy), hours of sound that occasionally verges on musicality here and here, enough video madness to give you a lifetime of nightmares at, a basement full of paintings and banjos and synthesizers and gongs, and a motorcycle in his garage. In September of 2021, he rode that motorcycle 2,500 miles, 21 days, through the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a travel banjo, to play and sing at the graves of Old Time Banjo Gods. Before that, Steven Sherrill dropped out of high school, got himself a Welding Diploma at a community college, and eventually graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Hitting a Home Run: Pitching to & Getting Published in Magazines with Rachel Priest—Online Only
So you’ve finally finished the story draft you’ve been working on for months. Or you recently met a person or have been to a place you think the world should know about and want to tell their story. You’ve found a few publications that you think would be a good fit for your work, but now you’re wondering what to do next.

If you’ve ever wanted to get your writing published in a magazine but didn’t know where to start or what to expect, this class is for you. This 90-minute session will focus on how and where to pitch your stories, what to expect if your story gets picked up, and what to do if your piece isn’t accepted.

Rachel Priest is the assistant editor at The Bitter Southerner, an online and print publication focused on moving the South forward through great storytelling about the people, places, and movements in the region. She grew up in Minnesota but graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and history. Prior to her work at The Bitter Southerner, she was a writer and editor at The Red & Black’s culture desk and wrote long-form features for Ampersand magazine. Her stories focusing on transracial adoption and the Asian American experience can be found at Rewire and The Bitter Southerner. She currently lives in Atlanta.

Here are the afternoon sessions:

Maegan Poland
The Sound of Prose with Maegan Poland—Online Only
In The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein writes about her dog and how “listening to the rhythm of his water drinking made her recognize the difference between sentences and paragraphs, that paragraphs are emotional and that sentences are not.” What might make a paragraph emotional? How do we find and enhance the energy of a sentence or a paragraph? How can syntax and sound intensify a description or an internal monologue? We will close-read passages from stylistically distinct authors and consider the elements and patterns that captivate us.

Maegan Poland lives in Philadelphia, where she teaches creative writing and composition at Drexel University. Her debut short-story collection What Makes You Think You’re Awake? was selected by Carmen Maria Machado to win the Bakwin Award and was published in 2021 by Blair. Her fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, Pleiades, Beloit Fiction Journal, Juked, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. She has received a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology, a Tin House scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. You can find more information on her website at

What Publishers Really Want from Authors: Building an Audience Before Your First Book Comes Out with Meg Reid—Online Only
You likely worked for years to write your book and get it accepted by a publisher. Now what? Most authors are more comfortable writing their book than marketing it. This class will focus on what publishers want to see authors do in the months before publication to help get the word out. Whether you’re an author with a traditional large publisher or smaller indie press or you’re self-publishing and responsible for all your own publicity, this workshop will tell you how to work in tandem with your publisher to support your book and lay the foundation for a successful book release.

Meg Reid is a book designer and writer living in South Carolina. She is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, SC, where she finds and champions exciting new voices from the American South. An editor and book designer, her essays have appeared online in outlets like DIAGRAM, Oxford American, and The Rumpus. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from UNC-Wilmington, where she served as Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Ecotone, and worked for the literary imprint Lookout Books. She also writes about all areas of design.

Spring Conference offers exciting general sessions as well, which will be livestreamed for the online audience. North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Carole Boston Weatherford will give the Keynote Address. Additional sessions include the Faculty Readings, an online-only Open Mic, and Slush Pile Live!

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