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Learn to Write Truthfully about the Places that Define Us, with Zackary Vernon

Zackary Vernon
BOONE, NC—What does it mean to be from a place? Are we of somewhere by the circumstances of our birth, or do we choose the places and spaces that define us? More importantly, how do we write about these places truthfully while being mindful of their impact on our lives-—and our impact on them?

At the NCWN Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021, July 22-25, at Appalachian State University in Boone, Zackary Vernon will lead the workshop “Writing Place: Creative Nonfiction.”

Space is limited; registration is open.

This workshop will explore how to write about places and spaces, while remaining mindful of the interconnections between the natural and cultural, the built and non-built, the human and animal. We will investigate how notions of home and belonging are created and maintained as well as how they can be disrupted by alterations to the cultural traditions and physical environments that surround us and inform our sense of place. During the workshop, we will read and write about the places that have made us who we are today. We will also consider our responsibilities to those places and how to preserve them both in reality and on the page.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of this workshop.

Zackary Vernon is an associate professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone. He has published numerous articles in magazines and journals, such as The Bitter Southerner, North Carolina Literary Review, Southern Cultures, and The Carolina Quarterly. He is also the editor of two recent scholarly collections: Summoning the Dead: Essays on Ron Rash (USC Press, 2018) and Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies (LSU Press, 2019). He is currently working on a novel-in-stories entitled The Flesh Parade.

The NCWN Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021 offer fifteen hours of workshop time in a single genre with a single instructor. Registration is capped, allowing plenty of time and space for registrants to get to know one another and learn one another’s work. Additional weekend highlights include Faculty Readings, Open Mics, group writing activities, conversations, and more.

“We’re very grateful to be able to offer in-person events again,” said NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern. “SW21 will have all the inclusiveness and creativity our members have come to expect from an NCWN event, while also keeping everyone safe.”

Kathryn Kirkpatrick will lead the poetry workshop. The fiction workshop, led by Mark Powell, is full.

Out of an abundance of caution, some changes have been made to ensure the well-being of the attendees. For 2021, there will be no “tag-along” registrations; only those who attend workshops will be allowed to use overnight accommodations at ASU. The “Shared Campus Room” registration option is only available to attendees who live in the same household. Commuters are still very welcome.

For more information about the NCWN Squire Summer Writing Workshops 2021, and to register, click here.

Support for these workshops is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.

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